Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Interstellar

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A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to find a potentially habitable planet that will sustain humanity.

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Cast

Matthew McConaughey – Cooper

Anne Hathaway – Amelia Brand

Jessica Chastain – Murph

Casey Affleck – Tom

Michael Caine – Professor Brand

David Gyasi – Romilly

Wes Bentley – Doyle

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Wow.

..ok, I’m kidding.

There really was no “wow” about this film. Which surprises me, because most people are raving about it. I have read articles in newspapers about how great it is. Saw a reviewer on television mention how good – but not groundbreaking – it is. A woman I work with even raved about it as “brilliant”. So when I headed into the cinema and handed over my (well used) Cineworld Unlimited card, I had high hopes. I was ready for a rip-roaring blast off bursting with impressive special effects and a story that would draw me in with intrigue.

..it was alright.

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Seriously. Interstellar was a good enough watch, but nowhere near as ‘groundbreaking’ as people are making it out to be. Which gets on my tits. Seriously, I’m fed up of people walking around spouting how ‘life affirming’ a movie is – because of its moderate storyline, and CGI that we’ve seen before. Us viewers are no stranger to great CGI – look at Gravity for example; nicely done. Slick. Bold. Interstellar also involved the use of such effects to create the atmosphere of an astronaut’s journey through outer space. And these graphics were very good – but they weren’t anything I haven’t seen before in terms of clarity.

Sorry people but for me, in order for a movie to completey win me over, it needs to engage me emotionally – I want to empathise with the characters. It also needs jaw-dropping scenes that genuinely make me go, “whoa”. These elements are crucial, as well as involving a plot I don’t want to let go of, performed by a dynamic cast.

..this movie didn’t really do this. In fact, as I sat watching Jessica Chastain light a flare in a brilliantly not-overly-heroic fashion, I sighed. The feature was nearing its end and Jessica wanders through a corn field to ‘light up’ as if trying to be as memorable as Darth Vader raising a lightsaber to the face of Luke Skywalker. But hey – Anne Hathaway cries. And Matthew McConaughey slurs wisecracks in a southern American accent. So Interstellar should be brilliantly effective.
Shouldn’t it?

Shouldn’t it?..

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Different

As the movie opens, viewers are shown interview clips of future humans delivering facts about what they experienced when the agricultural disaster happened. I quite liked this element. It gave the movie a genuine feel, got me intrigued as to what they were talking about. Instead of jumping straight into the action, Interstellar begins by displaying honest interviews from victims of a natural disaster – this gets a thumbs up from me. The movie then continues by introducing young Murph, a girl as obsessed with science and physics as her father. Their close relationship is soon splintered when out for a drive one evening, and Cooper inadvertantly discovers a team of NASA experts hidden away in a secret chamber. Without ruining the story, he is hired by them to seek out a new planet fit for human habitation. There isn’t much I can say as A) that’s basically the entire story B) anything I do say would be a spoiler.

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Visuals

I’m not going to lie – the graphics in this movie were brilliant.
So it wasn’t a groundbreaking feature, but the producers put a nice effort into whisking their audience into outer space. My favourite scene was when the astronauts enter a black hole; their ship glides through a curtain of dust and haze, before whirling along a dangerously rocky path of stars. I must say, I had my head sticking forward and my eyes firmly widened as I focused intently on this bit. Anything to do with witnessing the splendour of something forbidden or unknown, I’m right there. (Lucy for example – the scene where she becomes a super computer and travels so far back in time beyond anyone’s knowledge that she discovers the ‘nothing’ before everything. I lapped up every wonderful second.)

This scene was rather splendid. The effects used definitely created an impact, rich in clarity and colour.

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How? Why? Wtf?

Was it just me, or was the entire sub-plot / back story never explained?

..it wasn’t just me. I recently discussed the movie with a guy at work who said the exact same thing: That the ‘agricultural disaster’ is not once touched upon or explained. Oh, of course we witness the aftermath – complete with those televised interviews of suffering survivors – but nothing else. Imagine a scene where the lead character wakes up in a hospital bed, near death – without explanation – as the movie continues. Welcome to Interstellar. One or two scenes show gargantuan dust clouds rolling toward members of the public. These scenes were quite exciting, like a tornado approaching..

The cloud clears.
The dust settles in big heaps on the ground.
No one mentions it, and everyone continued with their daily routines.
Done.

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..WHAT THE FUCK IS IT?!
TELL US!

Is the dust bodies? Food? Some sort of outer space debris?
Whatever it was, no one explained and I was left sitting frowning, as I pondered what it was the remnants of. The producers of Interstellar did a fantastic job of not just keeping the story minimal – but not actually having one at all. Perhaps it was one of those, “let the disaster be whatever the audience want it to be” scenarios, which let’s face it – is good in some movies, bloody awful in others. And yes, Interstellar was guilty of the latter. It was like watching Deep Impact post-asteroid, watching survivors wade through water and wondering what the hell had happened.
not good.
Points lost here.

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Fast-Forwarding

The best and most emotional scene in this movie was when Cooper sits in his space pod, watching videos sent from home. These aren’t just brief hello’s – they are literally a growth process. Having been away from home for over twenty years, Cooper watches his young children grow older with each video message. At first you have son Tom waving at the camera as a seventeen-year-old, who then ages massively in the second video when he is in his late twenties. Cooper sits crying hysterically at images of his little boy now holding a baby as a grown man. This scene was fascinating, slightly inspiring. That whole ageing / not ageing through space travel has always appealed to me. I love that aspect of an astronaut living his days as normal whilst people back home age ten or twenty years. Amazing. And I’ve not yet seen a movie where it happens – until now.

Points scored here.

Interstellar

Interstellar is nowhere near as “mesmerising” or “groundbreaking” as some people make out. Those people were obviously beaming at the fact their favourite actors were part of the line-up, because I don’t know how they arrived at such a decision. Yes, the movie is okay – but it’s not fucking liquid gold!
As you have read, I am half & half about this one – where the movie impressed in some areas, it certainly lacked in others.
Matthew is the same husky southern American middle-class man as always (I regard him now as a ‘Samer’ – practically the same character in every movie he does, only in a different costume. Think Liam Neeson, Daniel Craig, etc.)
Anne strutting on to the set surprised me at first, her forthright character was different to what I’ve seen her do before. Slick and sharp-tongued, she did well.
And as for the others – they passed.

I have tried to bring you the good and the bad as always, but ultimately – you decide. You are the viewer. Just don’t go along to the cinema expecting to be blown away.

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This entry was posted on November 14, 2014 by .
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