Friday, November 7, 2014

Interstellar Review

I will unashamedly admit that I am a huge Christopher Nolan fanboy. He's become one of my all time favorite directors because he just consistently puts out good movies. Inception is definitely my favorite movie that he has done and is also one of my favorite movies of all time, although I say "one of" because making that all time favorite movie choice has always been hard for me. Not far behind Inception in terms of Christopher Nolan's movies is of course The Dark Knight. Heck, I even still love movies of his like The Dark Knight Rises despite them having several issues. Because of this, all you need to say is that Christopher Nolan is directing a new movie and I am immediately on board. This, of course, is exactly what happened with Interstellar. I had no idea what the movie was going to be about, but it was immediately my most anticipated movie of 2014 anyways. Going in I was mildly nervous because early reviews weren't extremely positive. Turns out this movie was a lot like The Dark Knight Rises for me. It had it's fair share of issues, but I still loved it anyways.

I'm going to openly admit that this is a hard review to right. Christopher Nolan is so good at making his movies secretive in the advertising, which I really respect because it preserves the actual movie-going experience. Thus is the case here. Despite several trailers and a lot of marketing put into this, you really don't know a whole lot about this movie going in, which is great because this is one of those movies where the less you know, the better the experience will be. Because I appreciate this so much, I also want to preserve the movie-going experience, so I'm going to try to write the best review I can without giving anything away. But that's hard in this case because most of the stuff I want to talk about comes in the second half of the movie. In this case this means that I am going to make this review a lot shorter than I want to, but since there is so much to talk about, a spoiler review will be on it's way because this movie needs to be discussed in more depth.

Moving onto the actual movie now, as I was watching this movie I had the thought in my head that this is a movie that Christopher Nolan has always wanted to make since he was young, but never had the means to do so. But now that his popularity is at an all time high after The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, he finally has the opportunity to live out his dream. This is of course all theoretical as I've not read anything of the sorts from Nolan. But I mean, come on, who doesn't love space as a child? Who wouldn't want to make an epic movie about space? That's what this is. A space movie. As we know from the trailers, Earth is in ruins and the remaining inhabitants need to find a new place to call home or else the human race will get wiped out. So Matthew McConaughey and company go on this epic journey to another galaxy to find an acceptable planet to call home. And you know that all kinds of crazy things will happen with the theory of relativity, wormholes, black holes, and all that jazz that make interstellar travel possible. Because, you know, it totally is, right?

There are three major things with this movie that deserve a ton of praise that I feel it's perfectly fine to praise without giving anything away. The first is the acting. Matthew McConaughey has been an actor that has received a lot of negative criticism in the past. However, if you haven't been paying attention in the last few years, the man has turned into quite the excellent actor. His best actor win last year for Dallas Buyer's Club was no fluke. And if you missed that movie or if you also missed Mud from last year, you're going to be pleasantly surprised by how amazing he is in this. Same story for Anne Hathaway. Not always been a respected actress, but after The Dark Knight Rises and Les Mis, her stalk has shot through the roof and once again she pulls off an excellent performance. But that's not it for acting. Michael Caine gives his usual Christopher Nolan appearance and, like always, he does a great job. Matthew McConaughey's two kids in the beginning as well as the kids' grandpa are great as well. There's even more worth praising, but I'm not even going to mention them. Overall, this movie was just cast to perfection.

Item number two worth praising is the visual effects in the movie. Holy cow! When they get out to space, the movie is a huge visual spectacle. Even if you hate the movie, you can't deny the fact that the visuals in the movie are amazing. In fact, in all the reviews I've read, despite the mixed reaction the movie has received, that is one thing that has remained a constant. The third thing that goes along with that is the sound and the music. The sound isn't quite at the level of epicness as last year's Gravity, but there were moments where it matched it. And since music is technically sound, I'm putting the two together and saying that this is an amazing score. In fact, it gets so intense, so loud, and so awesome, that for possibly the first time ever I was saying to myself that I really wished I would've purchased IMAX tickets for this movie because I could tell that this would've been an amazing experience in IMAX. In fact, some time in the next month or so I'm seriously considering seeing this movie in IMAX now. It was that impressive.

Alas I have spent a lot of time with this review, which might make you confused because I did say that I wasn't going to spend as much time as I wanted to. And I haven't gone back that. There's a lot more I want to say, but I'm just not going to say it here. As you can see, there is a lot that is done right in this movie like acting, visuals and sound/music. But you'll notice I haven't even talked much about the story at all outside giving you a brief summary, which you already knew from the trailer, and that weighed heavily on what I thought about this movie. In fact, based on everything that you've read so far, you may guess that I will award this movie a 9 or a 9.5 and call it one of my favorite of the year. But I'm not going to. My grade for Interstellar is actually an 8/10. That means I enjoyed the movie. It's good. But it's not great. Why is it good not great? You'll just have to wait and see. Part two of this review will be coming soon. But see the movie first before you read that, because major spoilers will be given.

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