Saturday, November 8, 2014

Movie Review -- Interstellar

This week we have the new Matthew McConaughey movie Interstellar. Directed by Christopher Nolan, does this ambitious film live up to its pedigree?

The story begins some time after an unspecified apocalypse has devastated civilization. A mysterious disease called the Blight is gradually destroying every plant life on Earth. Pilot-turned-farmer Cooper (McConaughey) is doing his best to maintain his farm and raise his two children, Murph (Mackenzie Foy) and Tom (Timothee Chalamet) along with their grandfather Donald (John Lithgow). This isn't easy, as the region they live in is subject to severe dust storms. One day, during a particularly nasty storm, dust settles on Murph's floor in a series of lines. She blames a ghost, but Cooper realizes it's Morse Code. He translates it and discovers it's a set of coordinates. He and Murph head out to investigate and find a top-secret facility, whereupon they are captured and interrogated by an outdated robot named Tars (Bill Irwin). A woman named Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway) comes in and introduces herself. She takes Cooper to see her father, Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) whom he was once a pilot for. It's actually a NASA facility, and Dr. Brand explains they've got a plan to save mankind by colonizing a new planet using a wormhole that just happened to appear near Saturn, and he wants Cooper to be the pilot. Knowing it's the best chance to save his family, Cooper agrees, but Murph is devastated to be losing her father. Cooper promises to return, but it makes little difference, and he must leave without making peace with his daughter.

Murph, Amelia, Tars and the rest of the crew launch in a rocket and make their way for Saturn. The journey will take two years just to reach the wormhole, and even when they arrive, they still must choose between three possible planets to visit and report back to colonize. Meanwhile, time keeps going for those left back on Earth, and the Blight keeps tightening its stranglehold on the world. Even if the astronauts find a new home for humanity, will there be anyone left back home to save?

Christopher Nolan is known for delivering incredible movie experiences. From the Dark Knight trilogy to Inception, this man knows both style and substance. Thankfully, I'm here to report Interstellar is no different. It's an incredible film that moviegoers everywhere must experience. It's visually stunning and features yet another excellent soundtrack by the incomparable Hans Zimmer. But it may be the incredible acting that sets this film apart; McConaughey and Hathaway both deliver powerful performances that will be remembered for years to come. 

However, anyone who has seen the Dark Knight movies knows Nolan likes to take a while to tell his stories, and Interstellar continues that tradition. At some three hours, this film is guaranteed to test the patience of some viewers, as it takes forever to wrap up the plot.

Nevertheless, those who can commit to Interstellar will find an exceptional movie that deserves to take its place among the greats.

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