The Movie: 7.5/10
Galaxies, the universe, interstellar travel, it’s all very exciting to me. I might have a bias to this kind of story, so keep that in mind. I will admit this movie is not original, obviously that’s hard to do with we boring humans. We tell each other about love, struggles, pain, loss, and adventures beyond the confines of where we plant ourselves on this planet. Interstellar has all of this, so let me sort through what I liked and what could be plucked out to make a better movie for someone like me who prefers outer space to interpersonal relationships.
First the hokey stuff. Our big story is the Earth finally giving up on supporting human existence. Crops won’t grow, and well, I think that’s about it. There is a lot of dust storms due to climate change. OK, I have to assume its climate change, we do not get much of an explanation about any of this. I’m fine with that, to a degree, but it does leave me feeling a bit empty in the satisfaction department. I like big Earthly disaster plots, they wake up some primal urge to protect us all, but when it’s vague or the agenda of the movie is bigger than the tale they are telling, it can be a bit disappointing.
More hokey? Yes, the theme of “love conquers all” is really annoying. I get it, we love each other, we need each other, we are driven to one another and surviving for one another…I GET IT…but it’s kind of boring when we have all the Science Fiction fun stuff to think about and look at and then Anne Hathaway gives a little speech about how none of that really matters but following our hearts is the way to go…ick.
The last hoke would be this concept that when we write a story about humans traveling outside the safety of our little planet, into the unknown, exploring the universe and all of its reality like danger and certain death, that we must throw something unexplainable, mystical, intangible into the mix. Again, boring. To have inter-dimensional existence and communications through time and space mixed with the harsh realities of space travel you have to do it very well (Star Trek..hint hint) or don’t do it at all. Interstellar doesn’t do it with much finesse and the heavy-handedness does take away from a lot of the other excellent offerings in this movie.
Excellent offerings? Yes, IT’S INTERSTELLAR TRAVEL!! I’m all for it. I would become an astronaut right now if I thought I could do the math and they would me. I really do get lost in stories about space traveling humans. It gets my imagination going, it opens the possibilities of existence, it confirms just how small and insignificant we are. That might not sound like a good thing, but for me, in my view of this life, it reminds me of just how important the people and moments of this life really are when the universe is out there, just BEING out there indifferent to us. A story where we have figured out how to get through the long travels, build machines to take us there, more machines to assist, ways to survive in hostile corners of the galaxy, it all opens my eyes and I get lost in it.
Telling me the planet can no longer grow crops we can eat is a bit of a stretch, but I forgive this for the contrasting technology we have to leave this little rock. Our farmer astronaut (not to be mistaken for The Astronaut Farmer, that was Billie Bob) wants to explore and find other places, other adventures. So, the whole story is him finding a way to have an adventure, solve the human races problem of finding a place to survive, and yet that is just a bi-product of him being able to go on more self satisfying adventures while exploring space. Fair enough.
It’s a movie that gets me thinking, but not as much as I would like. It makes me think more about the fiction of space rather than the reality of it. I like the reality. Interstellar does it’s job of making a little family for me to care about, even though the son does get kind of shoved to the side and the daughter becomes the favorite, come on, it’s obvious. It should get me focused on our changing planet and the possibilities of it not sustaining us forever, how we will cope and if we should even bother. The thing is, I already think that’s how the whole thing works, change is the nature of the universe and we are just along for the ride while we can hold on. All in all I did really enjoy the movie. I haven’t said much about the specifics or the cast because it’s one of those flicks. Either you have the patience and inclination to dig the themes and wonder at the technologies we aspire to create in our fictional future, or you don’t. It’s long, by the way, so patience might not be a factor if you are like me and really enjoy the ride it takes you on, but if you are at all easily distracted and bored during a well paced long movie, you might want to watch Armageddon instead. It’s not jam-packed with action adventure scenes like that classic:) and it even challenged me through some of the more eye rolling concepts, but it’s worth it if you give it a chance.
- Plotting An Interstellar Journey (7 Minutes) – The case and crew discuss the origin of the films story and the problems Imax cameras can bring to the table.
- Life On Coopers Farm (10 Minutes) – A look at the farm built for the movie in Calgary, fun fact Nolan and his team actually grew the cornfields used in the opening scenes.
- The Dust (3 Minutes) – The dust storms at the start of the film were actually practical and not digital, here we see how that was done.
- TARS & CASE (10 Minutes) – A close look at the robot characters of the film. Here we get to see the humans who literally stand behind the costumes giving the robots life.
- The Cosmic Sounds Of Interstellar (1 Minute) – An all too short look at Hans Zimmer’s musical score.
- The Space Suits (5 Minutes) – A look at the suits and how they were inspired by NASA.
- The Endurance (9 Minutes) – A detailed tour of the space station used in the movie, designed after the international space station.
- The Ranger & The Lander (12 Minutes) – More technical tours of the vehicles used in the space portions of the film.
- The Simulation Of ZeroG (6 Minutes) – Movie magic is used to simulate zerog, similar to last years gravity.
- Across All Dimensions & Time (9 Minutes) – A look at the visual design of the films bookshelf sequences.
- Shooting In Iceland (13 Minutes) – A very detailed look at the icelandic locations, love seeing Nolan here waist deep in water but still wearing his trademark suit.
- Celestial Landmarks (13 Minutes) – A look at the science and locations behind the film.
- Miniatures In Space (6 Minutes) – A lot of models were made for the movie, here we take a look at each of them in detail.
- The Science Of Interstellar (50 Minutes) – A superb documentary hosted by Matthew McConaughey which investigates the real world science used in the movie. This is worth the price of this Blu-Ray alone and is a must watch if you are science minded.
- Final Thoughts (6 Minutes) – Cast and crew reflect on the project which seemed to wear everyone out.
- Trailers – A teaser and the three main theatrical trailers are included.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
I can think of so many other good images from this movie for the cover. I am not that into the one they choose so it wouldn’t be a poster in my house. I would rather just have a big mural of the Milky Way. The menu is the menu. Why do we still have this in the review? I have no idea.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Interstellar is presented in 1080P AVC encoded HD video using 2 different aspect ratios. The CinemaScope parts are 2.39:1 and the IMAX parts fill your home theatre screen at a 1.78:1. Like the Dark Knight this process is seamless and invisible to the non technical viewer, I find it makes the special effects scenes even more impressive when it kicks in. As far as picture quality goes Interstellar is almost perfect aside from a few fuzzy scenes and some inconsistent black levels in some of the opening shots. There is not much here to complain about though you will be in awe of this Nolan Supervised transfer.
Warner have chosen to use the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track here instead of the 7.1 version used in theatres. The 5.1 track handles things admirably though with some superb surround action and chest pounding LFE from the subwoofer. If I have any complaints its something that I heard mentioned during interstellar’s theatrical release, that is Han’s Zimmer’s superb score is sometimes mixed a little high and it drowns out McConaughey’s already mumbly dialog. Aside from that this is an epic moving soundtrack that will satisfy even the most jaded listener.
Overall Score 7.5/10