Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Save Me

Let's just start off by saying we went to go see Interstellar this last weekend.


...and I'm being generous. Very generous. And I'm way more generous than a number of the reviews I've read since seeing the film.

I went for it being a Christopher Nolan movie because it certainly wasn't for the ability for Matthew McConaughey or Anne Hathaway to act.....that's for sure.

Yes, they have Oscars, but you know my follow-up to that, "who doesn't?" (that remarkable actress Halle Barry has one!)

As with many a Nolan film, he has to make the story more complicated and convoluted than it has to be. That worked with Inception, but in my mind, it worked against him here.

While trying not to give too much away - the story is set in the somewhat near future after the population of Earth and their food supply has been decimated. A new home for humans must be found.

And really, who better to helm this mission than McConaughey (besides just about anyone)? Because he's the one you want to entrust to finding us a better life form. (eye roll, please!)  Colleges are almost non-existent in this timeline and people's career options are farming and farming to try to sustain some type of food source.

Of course, there is SNASA.  SNASA can always help.

Or can they??

A previous team of astronauts went into space before looking for habitual planets - a team headed by one intelligent Dr. Mann.  ......because..........wait for it............wait for it............."Mann can save us".

GROAN.  (my choice of musical artist was not coincidental.)

Because it was filmed in IMAX and not converted to, we spent the extra $$$$ ($17 per ticket!!!) to see it in that format. In theory, it was probably worth it. But I don't know if it was the theater or the sound mixing - but it was muddied. It was hard to understand some dialogue and then with the swelling score just overwhelmed a lot of the dialogue anyways.

No offense to Nolan, but he might have looked to the Big Bang Theory to help him get some of his science jargon down and his ideas across. While that TV show makes it funny and understandable, Nolan made things needlessly cumbersome.

First off - part of the premise is that maybe - the way Relativity works - when McConaughey returns from space, he and his daughter (now 10) could  / would be the same age.

Doing some calculations in my head (because at times it was more interesting than some of the crap up on the screen) that would have placed McConaughey's character at 33 years old. I'm all for testing my level of disbelief on some things, but old Matt-boy trying to pull off 33 was a s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

In that same 23 year time frame, save for a wheelchair, Michael Caine did not look any older. Space and time is a confusing thing.

On the way to meet friends for the movie, 710 tells me the movie is over 3 hours long, to which I dropped an f-bomb.

But relax, it's only 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Again, convoluted. It could have been much shorter without the necessity of seeing Hathaway's Anime eyes always on the verge of tears, and for almost no good reason.  (I pictured Mike having convulsions on the floor - and spilling his martini popcorn - of the theater at being forced to watch her, let alone paying $17 to do so.)

I must have leaned over to 710 three times and go "she has an Oscar, you know!"   Tres tongue-in-cheek. But to be fair, I do it every time I see Nat'lie Portman in Thor.

There are folks in the movie they don't put in the trailer or the poster credits. Ohhhhhh.....surprises.

But why is is that with these "big names" (I did not say "big talents") that the only 'characters' that resonated with me the most were the robots / computers? I likened them to Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. They seemed far more interesting and three dimensional.

We picked apart the loopholes in the stories after it was through, of course. Even the writers in the Big Bang Theory wouldn't have left some of those. Actually, the characters in that should would take scenes to dissect those loopholes themselves.

Nolan couldn't be bothered just breaking the third dimension into the fourth, he went into the fifth dimension (no Marilyn McCoo or Bill Davis Jr, sorry to say). Again, had there been better explanation, or sound, maybe it would have been clearer what he was trying to do - or had done - and why.

To his credit, for a while there, Nolan had parallel sequences in space and on current Earth that seemed appropriate and somewhat thought out - and then the Earth sequence just stopped and the other continues. They eventually picked up Earth one, but it the timing and counter-story was broken by that time. It just seemed like finally a great editing job had gone bad.

I thought the storyline had promise, but lackluster talent (or at least performances, save the little girl and her grown up version played by Jessica Chastain) and crappy script choices, like a fight scene that rivaled the two girl scouts fighting in a bar in Airplane just deteriorated any credibility the movie had left.

The overall theme is saving someone else: be it the planet, mankind, a relationship or someone's life. And you get beaten over the head with Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night".

Throwing in visuals like ones used in Inception just made me wonder if Nolan just had to throw in something more visually interesting than the vastness of space. Or if he's running on fumes.

People compare Interstellar to Gravity - and it's like comparing apples to kumquats. They both had some kind of rockets and space...........annnnnnnnnnd that's it. Except that you feel that Sandra Bullock kind of earned her Academy Award nomination for her film. If anyone gets one from this flick - the system is more broken than anyone thought.

2014 Movie Count / Goal:   9 of 12

Song by: Aimee Mann


Raybeard said...

There's a significant amount of congruence between our respective views. I expected so much more from Christopher Nolan, even though I wasn't as completely down on this as you were (though still not very far from it). But on 'Interstellar' I feel he lost it.
I also thought 'Gravity' was the more enjoyable, despite not being a die-hard Bullock fan.

Bob said...

I agree: too long, and lots of loose ends and parts of the story that just kinda faded out without explanation.

And I, too, when hearing about the Fifth Dimension, was hoping for Marilyn and Billy!