'Interstellar' Nolan Fans Member Reviews

Christopher Nolan's 2014 grand scale science-fiction story about time and space, and the things that transcend them.
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I went to see Interstellar in 70mm IMAX on Friday night. As a movie I have been anticipating for almost a year, I had high expectations, expectations that I was very anxious would not be met. Now some background: while I do love most Nolan movies (The Prestige, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and Inception), I never considered myself a "Nolanite." My interest in this movie was born in my interest in space travel, astrophysics, astrobiology, and so on. So I feel like I can present an honest review of the film (I was not a huge fan of The Dark Knight Rises in all honesty).

That being said, I was awed by Interstellar, and in many ways, not because of what I expected to awe me. Gravity's visuals were stunning, and made me long to travel in space. Interstellar had amazing visuals, but it was the emotional connection between Cooper and Murph, that really made the film for me. I felt as the film explored two equally important ideas: (1) the need to become explorers again and advance humanity's reach, and also (2) at the same time to keep in touch with our humanity, because both are equally important to our species' future.

This being said, I felt the movie was both incredibly optimistic and hopeful, and terribly heartbreaking at the same time. Cooper watching the videos with his son Tom and daughter Murph was extremely poignant but incredibly hard to watch. The movie was optimistic, however, in the way it portrayed our potential future. While I was happy the humanity seemed to be saved, I felt a sense of loss for Coop because he missed his children's lives. I got some sense of relief when adult Murph (Chastain) realized that her "Ghost" was her father, and so he was actually there for her.

The emotional side of me is disappointed that Cooper didn't get the happy ending with his children that he wanted. But I realized there are sacrifices that need to be made in order reach humanity's potential, and Interstellar is really the story of one man's sacrifice. I also realize that a movie can be beautiful and optimistic, while also a heartbreaking tragedy. Beautiful and optimistic in the macro, but heartbreaking and tragic in the micro-sense.

Thus, I felt the two aspects of this movie provided a nice counterweight to each other. Interstellar was beautiful, optimistic, tragic, and heartbreaking all at once. And that's what makes this an extremely important movie.

10/10

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Interstellar Full Review:

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Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” Trilogy and “The Prestige” are often cited as art-house pictures masquerading as big Hollywood blockbusters. The case has never been truer for his most recent intergalactic traveling space film, “Interstellar.” As a matter of fact, there’s an argument to be made that this is Nolan’s most challenging work from a conceptual and theoretical standpoint, even more so then the reversed, fractured narrative of “Memento” (2000) and the mind-bending “Inception” (2010). Interstellar is one confounding space odyssey. Quite honestly, this is a film I’m still reeling from, so any opinion stated here is likely subjected to change, for better or worse, and that may take anywhere from a few months to a few years, or maybe it’s all the same depending on how we choose to interpret the space-time continuum.

Unquestionably inspired by Ken Burns’ documentary series on the 1930s Dustbowl, a near-future vision of Earth has been made irreparable by violent dust storms. Areas have begun to depopulate and the sustainability of our food sources has dropped significantly, the only lasting crop used for agriculture being corn, GMO’s be damned. Now facing a global apocalypse due to starvation and inhabitable conditions, Earth’s population is faced with a bitter reality: Leave now, or die out. Meanwhile, Cooper (Matthew Mcconaughey), father of two and former NASA pilot, now farmer, follows a cryptic trail that leads to a finding that just might require him to partake in a near suicidal mission through the cosmos in order to save the planet. The only setback is that he’ll have to leave his kids behind, one of which, Murph (Mackenzie Foy), named after Murphy’s Law, who might never forgive him for saying goodbye.

After the semi-disappointment of 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” a solid standalone film, and a great Batman film, but a poor end-cap that was overly campy and comic-bookish in tone as the follow up to the ultra-brooding, realistic and serious police drama “The Dark Knight,” I was looking to see Nolan back in top form. His films aren’t mere casual weekend matinees, they’re events, and whether or not his previous film was problematic is beside the point. If Nolan’s name is attached, it’s a day-one showing, no question. But gathering the reception so far, it’s safe to say this is Nolan’s most polarizing film. While two-thirds of “Interstellar” are designated to be a gratifying experience, the first thirty minutes being pure Spielbergian, its last act aims to divide viewers with abstruse, meta-physical head games.

I’ll preface this by saying I have no affinity for the science being presented in “Interstellar” outside of the general understanding of a scientific theory introductory course, however, astrophysicist and cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to be in unison with the film’s hypothetical accuracy, even if some of it is entirely fabricated, so that’s good enough for me.

This is a film that requires viewers to put on their thinking-hat. Time, a reappearing theme Nolan’s been exploring ever since “Inception,” is further analyzed to a brainy-magnitude and viewed as a non-linear, quantum construct. When gravity shifts slow the passage of time, the task of keeping up narratively is hardly unlike the individual dreams levels of “Inception.” Until “Interstellar,” Alan Moore’s “Watchmen,” specifically Chapter 4: Watchmaker, was the only popular fiction piece to radically alter my perception of time.

Moreover, regarding plot on their spacecraft named “Endurance,” Cooper is sent hurdling through space and kaleidoscopic worm holes, in company with chief scientist and biologist, Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway) in search for a new, habitable planet. Tagging along are Doyle (Wes Bentley), Romilly (David Gyasi), and a Tetris, jenga piece resembling Robot named TARS whose offbeat humor can be adjusted in percentages. Upon reaching an oceanic planet, circumstances turn dire and the sense of danger becomes overwhelming. At least they have TARS, who’s sarcastic jokes never miss the mark.

There’s simply no denying that “Interstellar” is a visual extravaganza. Darting through worm-holes, attempting to optically comprehend extra-dimensional physics and 5th dimensions is an experience that goes unmatched. Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” might’ve had moviegoers on the edge of their seats, and “Interstellar,” is prone to do the same, but the paradoxical outlook of Nolan’s film is far more visionary. Chaperoned by Hans Zimmer’s God-like church cathedral score, “Interstellar” nearly becomes some sort of religious experience.

Above all, the film is about love, especially the parental kind, and finding spirituality and existential meaning in a universe of binary. Nolan aims to cast humanity in a flattering light and it’s quite beautiful. Hathaway spills out in big, weepy tears, “Love is the one thing that can transcend time and space.” Even if it’s laid on a bit thick, the spiritual gushiness of “Interstellar” is affecting. Nolan’s been criticized previously for leaving his audiences cold emotionally, here the sentimentality is through the roof and consequentially has also come under objection. I guess the man can’t win. I do agree that “Interstellar” has a few forceful “who’s peeling onions in here?” moments that are a bit reaching, nevertheless it’s hardly a knock against the film itself that’s big heart never quits penetrating our soul emotionally. And even if Mcconaughey’s rambling, southern twang voice has become a parody of itself at this point (It has: See Jim Carry’s SNL spoof of Mcconaughey’s Lincoln Commercial), the actor generates an incredibly poignant performance of a father being placed at opposite ends of the universe from his daughter, whose grown-up counter part is played by the equally melancholy Jessica Chastain.

Just shy of three hours, “Interstellar” is a seat-shifting long haul made all the more bearable by how astonishing a near ninety percent of it is. Even so, there are momentary pauses and stretches of dullness that I’ve never experienced in the past while watching a Nolan film. Although the writing is frequently substantial and weighty, there are scenes of verbal Ping-Pong that fall into the trap of plot exposition, Nolan telling us, rather then showing us. That’s to be expected by a film so permeated in abstract scientific theories, so it’s hardly a heavy blow to the film’s sturdy legs.

“Interstellar” simply has to be seen, preferably in theaters if you can make it out to your local IMAX. Seek out a 70mm IMAX projector screening to take in every inch of its spectacular glory. I found myself caught up in the film’s more intellectually heady ideas rather than its set-up, especially since the world building, at least on the home front, felt rather muted, the stakes not feeling nearly as high as they should. As a meditation on the human experience, and how both simultaneously frightening and angelic our place in the universe is, “Interstellar” works best when it makes the sensation of astronomical insignificance seem awe-inspiring and tear-jerking. Leaving the theater, I felt so negligible set against the boundless backdrop of our star system, and there was something celestial, rather then terrifying about that. A film that produces that type of contemplative reflection has to be commended in one way or another. Time will tell how it stacks up to classics such as Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) and Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972). It doesn’t quite reach the heights of Nolan’s bests (“The Dark Knight”, “The Prestige” or “Inception”), but for all its imperfections, “Interstellar” still remains one of a kind.

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I'll write a more balanced review when I've seen it twice and had more time to chew over all the plot, the meanings and the character threads, but right now, around and hour after I've seen it, it gets an
(8.2/10)
for me. There's just so much thrown up here and so much that works and should be lauded, and some that doesn't and should be reprimanded, but it's a helluva ride, no mistake. Still feel elated and enlightened somehow

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Interstellar Review

Nolan’s most ambitious film to date that attempts to juggle various concepts of relativity, theoretical interstellar travel, and the human condition, succeeds mightily in some areas and falls flat in others. Interstellar, as one part of the filmography of Christopher Nolan, really is a microcosm of what he does best, (crafting ideas and concepts) and what continues to be perceived as a weakness (character emotion).

The usual suspects are all there: Nolan’s exceptional direction, a great looking film (with a new cinematographer to boot) and a memorable score from Hans Zimmer. Couple that with the sheer scale of the film, and you have a film that is worthy of belonging within an already acclaimed filmography. Oh, and I’m happy to report that this film is head and shoulders above Nolan’s previous film in the editing and pacing departments (although the pacing is a bit inconsistent within the three acts).

A few of the issues I had with the film are the various character dialogues (some of the “love transcending time” lines were plenty short of inspiring) and the seemingly very convenient solutions that were almost instantly found that again, conveniently move the plot towards what feels like a scripted conclusion. There were also a few small details that I felt were odd to not even touch on
(why did Cooper seem uninterested in even knowing whether his son was still alive or not—how did he even arrive back to the rest of humanity from this perceived 5th dimension)? I would love a bit of an explanation on these things if anyone has any insight to offer.
But here may be my main complaint:
I think a strong argument could be made to completely remove Jessica Chastain’s storyline on Earth from the film. Perhaps I need an additional viewing to completely validate this claim but from what I recall, her main contribution to the plot (that must be seen at least) is her video that is sent to Brand which indicates the death of Brand’s father and also the revelation that Professor Brand had deliberately mislead the team. We know that in the 5th dimension, Cooper provides valuable information, but what comes to pass after this, is more than enough, and does not warrant what comes before it with Chastain’s character on Earth. I’d like more perspective on this from others here; if you can defend the scenes that Chastain is in on Earth and explain how it provides more clarity or is essential to the plot (particularly when we know that when Cooper wakes up, and sees the progress that is made, we can conclude that Murph largely is the reason why).
Overall, many of the emotional scenes worked for me
(particularly the scenes with Cooper viewing those videos of his children as they progressed in age), and there were also plenty of scenes that fell flat and felt forced. And as much as we know that Nolan loves to come full circle with his plot, even the ending of this film seemed a bit too convenient for a Christopher Nolan film. You either suspend all disbelief and go with it or it proves to be an odd direction to conclude the film (and I fall in the latter category).
Grade: 7/10

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Skyab23 wrote:Interstellar Review

Nolan’s most ambitious film to date that attempts to juggle various concepts of relativity, theoretical interstellar travel, and the human condition, succeeds mightily in some areas and falls flat in others. Interstellar, as one part of the filmography of Christopher Nolan, really is a microcosm of what he does best, (crafting ideas and concepts) and what continues to be perceived as a weakness (character emotion).

The usual suspects are all there: Nolan’s exceptional direction, a great looking film (with a new cinematographer to boot) and a memorable score from Hans Zimmer. Couple that with the sheer scale of the film, and you have a film that is worthy of belonging within an already acclaimed filmography. Oh, and I’m happy to report that this film is head and shoulders above Nolan’s previous film in the editing and pacing departments (although the pacing is a bit inconsistent within the three acts).

A few of the issues I had with the film are the various character dialogues (some of the “love transcending time” lines were plenty short of inspiring) and the seemingly very convenient solutions that were almost instantly found that again, conveniently move the plot towards what feels like a scripted conclusion. There were also a few small details that I felt were odd to not even touch on
(why did Cooper seem uninterested in even knowing whether his son was still alive or not—how did he even arrive back to the rest of humanity from this perceived 5th dimension)? I would love a bit of an explanation on these things if anyone has any insight to offer.
But here may be my main complaint:
I think a strong argument could be made to completely remove Jessica Chastain’s storyline on Earth from the film. Perhaps I need an additional viewing to completely validate this claim but from what I recall, her main contribution to the plot (that must be seen at least) is her video that is sent to Brand which indicates the death of Brand’s father and also the revelation that Professor Brand had deliberately mislead the team. We know that in the 5th dimension, Cooper provides valuable information, but what comes to pass after this, is more than enough, and does not warrant what comes before it with Chastain’s character on Earth. I’d like more perspective on this from others here; if you can defend the scenes that Chastain is in on Earth and explain how it provides more clarity or is essential to the plot (particularly when we know that when Cooper wakes up, and sees the progress that is made, we can conclude that Murph largely is the reason why).
Overall, many of the emotional scenes worked for me
(particularly the scenes with Cooper viewing those videos of his children as they progressed in age), and there were also plenty of scenes that fell flat and felt forced. And as much as we know that Nolan loves to come full circle with his plot, even the ending of this film seemed a bit too convenient for a Christopher Nolan film. You either suspend all disbelief and go with it or it proves to be an odd direction to conclude the film (and I fall in the latter category).
Grade: 7/10
I agree with a lot of what you said here. I thought the film looked great, had some astounding moments and had some of the most intimate, emotional scenes that I haven't seen in a Nolan film in a long time. I have problems with the editing of this film, however. Overall it felt uneven, particularly in the rushed first act. The emotional beats were a hit or miss,
the scene where Cooper watches the video was pretty heartbreaking, and arguably the best one in the film. The scene where Cooper says goodbye to his daughter in the beginning started off great, but then kind of fell flat by the end, with Hans Zimmer's score blaring unnecessarily loud. I did like the last 15 minutes, even though it gets a bit heady there, but Nolan finally brings it home emotionally.
Another problem I'd say I had was with the endless descriptions of the scientific jargon, which I must confess I didn't understand a lot of. The sound mix was also iffy at times (I saw it presented in Digital 4K) and I couldn't always make out what people were saying to each other, particularly McConaughey with his mumbling. So, as you can see, I have mixed opinions about this film and I'm still processing it.

My rating, for now, is a 7/10.

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Updated.

All Critics: 98% (average Rating: 9.2/10)
Top Critics: 100% (average Rating: 9.4/10

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The climax of the dreams, love and imagination is here, new and fresh.
Sincerely, i never expect a Christopher Nolan film so touchy, so sentimental, this movie make me remember what where my touchy points, even there are some scenes at other Nolan movies in which you cry, this movie, is the epicenter of the feelings, Interstellar made me dream again, made me remember what where my impossible ambitions, it made me feel, the happiest person on the world.
Hundred sixty nine minutes of emotions, and 125 minutes to encourage them, Hans Zimmer did an amazing work here, the themes, touch your heart on unexpectable ways, he transform frames and voices into pure feeling, selfless love.
Nolan also slipped away from his serious films, adding a little bit of "fun"if we can call it that way. Also, you have to understand Newton and Murph
Sometimes you just don't want to see the other side of the coin, but here it is.
Tricky theme, confusing names are some of this movies weakness, to be honest, i must see the script of this movie to understand it in its totality, when you see this movie, take attention or take note of the names, all of them unfortunately are actually important on Interstellar.
The theme... You can't expect to see just half movie and understand it all, because, you just can't, Nolan did the movie in such way all the movie is connected, it is nice of course, see all the effort to make the movie non-senseless, but its too tricky in some parts.
Very well done movie, it have it all, and here's a comment on my own, as a illegal movie (torrent) follower and visitor, i recommend you, you must see Interstellar on a cinema, perhaps Nolan did the movie so, good that if you see it on your pc, is not gonna be the same, you must feel the magic on this movie, sincerely.
:twothumbsup:

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Mind numbing experience

I saw it on a single screen old school theatre in India, huge capacity. Almost a full house audience. Not your average Nolan fan type crowd. But they ate it up. And how.

They went mad for all those key sequences, especially the docking one, even though one or two hooted when the exposition speech was happening at the end of the movie.

Also when THAT actor appeared, people stood up and clapped.

8.5/10 :)

EDIT: Sorry, More I think about it its a 9.5/10 film.
Last edited by evilnik on November 10th, 2014, 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Just got back from a second viewing and this film just went up a notch for me. I loved it the first time around, but you all know how Nolan's films work. They get better with repetitive viewings and this is no exception. Without spoiling things, there were so many small details and plotting that I quickly picked up on. Some of my initial questions were answered and I now feel there are fewer plot holes than before.

Meanwhile the space scenes were more magical, the score more haunting and the third act came together so beautifully. I definitely recommend a second viewing! This is now my top Nolan film and is a bonafide science fiction classic.

Might even creep into my sacred Top 10...

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Interstellar

before the film:
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first act:
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second act:
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third act:
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after the end:
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