Saturday, November 8, 2014

Interstellar - First Impressions

So, I just got back from the theater, and I wanted to jot down a few initial impressions about Interstellar before I dive into the real meat of the plot. It is definitely Nolan-esque in its scripting and in the way that plot and time moves, so it needs a close look before being able to dissect it. It also needs to be spoiler-filled, so I wanted to get in a few spoiler-free words in first. Also, at some point, I need to bring in The Dark Knight Rises into this. I'll explain later.

First of all, you should see this movie. I walked out of the theater with my friend, we concluded that it was Nolan's third best movie to date. (First and Second being The Dark Knight and Inception, although I personally have no idea which one of those is actually first.) In other words, this movie didn't exactly floor me, but I think it can easily be said to better than most movies I've seen.

I consider myself to be a pretty big of Nolan movies, and so hearing this movie was about space travel, I thought it would stand out as being way too different from his other movies. Before today, if you would have asked me what Nolan's wheelhouse is, I would have told you "crime". However, I think this places him so squarely and so comfortably in the science fiction, that I may have to take a second look at some of his other movies.

Speaking of his other movies, Interstellar is something of a mishmash of themes Nolan has touched upon in other films. You might be able to go through this movie and point out the Dark Knight section or the Inception section. With so many themes at play -- and don't get me wrong, all of them executed well -- it's really sad to know that this isn't his masterpiece. That is, after drawing in influences from all his other works, you would think this film would be better than all of them individually. Like I said, you should go see it, and it's better than most films, but this is not Nolan's masterwork.

I was lucky enough to see it on film, having the option of seeing it on digital, in imax and in 4D. Of course, I haven't seen the other formats yet, but I'm glad I saw this on film. The special effects in this film are very stunning at times...

"You rang?" -Black Hole

...but Nolan always has been a practical effects type of guy. I can see the argument for watching the movie in imax and even in 4D, as there are some scenes that would have been a lot of fun to see in those formats. However, at the end of the day, this movie isn't about effects or even action sequences. The grittier format of film lent itself to the understand that this movie was a story more about reality than it was fantasy, and more about people than shit blowing up. The asshole sitting next to me couldn't sit still throughout the film because he was waiting for lasers or something dumb, and a few people in the audience complained that the movie was "too difficult" after the screening, so I just want to make sure this clear: This movie is about people talking and having emotions and junk. There are no space lasers.

There are robots though. And the robots are great.

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