Interstellar  (2014)

Some time in the future, Earth will no longer be able to sustain human life. Humanity will be faced with a choice of changing everything about us in order to bring balance back to nature, or pack up and move somewhere else. "Interstellar" takes place in an undisclosed number of years in the future, where the planet is still recognizable, but clearly not the world we currently live in. There are no flying cars, no personal jetpacks, no hoverboards. It also depicts a very realistic dystopia. It's not like "Blade Runner" or "The Matrix", where computers and robots have taken over; instead, it's a very plausible idea that the planet just can no longer sustain life, so crops die, animals die, and humans are in danger.

Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a former NASA pilot and astronaut. He is recruited to lead a crew through a wormhole in order to search a new galaxy for a habitable planet. Cooper agrees to the trip, even thought it will take him away from his two children for an unknown amount of time. "Star Wars" movies like to depict interplanetary travel as no big deal, bouncing from Tatooine to Naboo to Dagobah, making the jump to hyperspace with ease. "Interstellar" takes a realistic approach, acknowledging that just being able to reach the wormhole (which opened up near Saturn) will take two years. Once the ship goes through the wormhole, there's really no telling how long it could take to find a new planet and to return, if they can return at all.

I've never had a movie that was so complex make so much sense to me, but still blow my mind. Talking about blackholes and singularity and quantum physics and wormholes and the theory of relativity and gravitational time dilation are all way beyond my paygrade, but Nolan was able to take them and strip them down to bare terms so I could understand them. The beauty was that somehow in basic terms, these things seemed even more incredible. It's a phenomena where having something as epic as a blackhole brought down to understandable terms makes it that much more fascinating that it even exists. I have no idea how accurate the movie was, but when Neil DeGrasse Tyson endorses it, I'm all in. The truly fun thing was that any of the crazy ideas put forth are actual scientific theories, not just the imagination of a screenwriter.

Christopher Nolan has still yet to fail to impress me. Matthew McConaughey continues to distance himself from his early romcom days, and suits his character perfectly. A supporting cast of Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, and David Gyasi are great. Nolan also has a knack for getting fantastic actors in smaller roles, two of which are somewhat surprises, so I won't spoil them here.

Adding to a great story and great cast is the audio and the visual.  The CGI is nearly flawless in my eyes. In reality a blackhole would be invisible, so for the sake of the movie some liberties had to be taken, but other than that everything seemed incredibly realistic. The score was incredible, filling certain moments with music and other moments with the complete and utterly silent vacuum of space.

The movie manages to cover light-years but still maintain an emotional core. Despite traveling halfway across our galaxy, through an unknown tear in space-time, and landing on distant planets, the humanity of the crew is still what drives them. It's a beautiful balance of the cold empty nature of space, the relentless persistance of time, and the infinite power of love.

 

 

On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Interstellar" gets a 10 out of 10.