Friday, June 26, 2015

Interstellar Re-Watch Movie Review (Spoilers!): The ending is still weird

I really like the movie Interstellar. I wouldn’t have bought the Blu-ray if I didn’t enjoy the movie. I had not sat down and re-watched it since I bought the movie when it initially came out. I like to fall asleep watching movies, but it’s not one that screams, FALL ASLEEP WATCHING ME!  It is deep, thought provoking and surprisingly emotional. Not something I would want to fall asleep listening too. I had three hours to kill yesterday on a train ride, and I decided it was a good time to bust it out and watch the movie again.  I enjoyed the re-watch as much as my initial viewing when I saw it in theaters. I even liked the ending more this time around. It was however, still really freaking weird.
Let’s start with what I love about the movie. The space sequences are fan-freaking-tastic. The initial launch was well done, and the initial docking with the main spacecraft was awesome. I love how the soundtrack of the movie stops during these sequences, and gives us the deadly silence of space. Great touch, which I would expect out of a director the caliber of Nolan.  The landing on the water world was beautiful, and the escape extremely intense. The final sequence, when they have to dock with the spinning Endurance, had me on the edge of my seat for the second straight viewing.  Highly implausible, and one of things I thought was a too far out on my initial viewing. The second time it did not bother me as much, and I just enjoyed the stellar action sequence.  These scenes help drive the movie forward, so it doesn’t get bogged down and boring. They are spaced perfectly throughout the movie so the audience doesn’t get a chance to check out during our three hour adventure.  In between these scenes we are treated to strong dialogue and spectacular acting. The bonds of the characters and chemistry of the actors in the movie keeps us invested.
The strongest bond is between Cooper (McConaughey) and Murphy (Foy 10 year old version).  Cooper is trying to save the world and get back to his daughter. This is the overriding premise of the movie. A father and a daughters love for one another. How this bond transcends time, space, and gravity. Love is a quantifiable element for Interstellar. It is a great sentiment. One I wasn’t sold on the first time I watched the movie, but I got behind it the second time around.  McConaughey does a fantastic job as Cooper. He has had a stellar couple of years and has hopefully left his sappy romantic comedy days behind him. He deserves legitimate dramatic roles with performances like this. I loved the 10 year old version of Murph. The movie doesn’t work without Cooper and her connecting and selling us on their love for one another.  The ending is far enough out their already, without this belief the movie would have failed miserably.
Onto some problems. Since we are on Cooper and his family, the brother of Murphy is only in the movie as a plot device. You don’t get a connection, or believe a connection exists between Cooper and his son, Tom. I had to look up the character’s name on IMDB, that’s how much he means to the movie. I think it would have been better just to leave him out of the movie altogether. Nolan however needed some way for the older Murphy to go back to her childhood home. Hence the older brother who stays on the farm. The sub-plot about him not wanting to leave, and trying to hang on was silly. If he shared chromosomes with Cooper, he had to be somewhat intelligent, he should have known everything was failing and gone with his sister from the start. The whole sequence was orchestrated for Murphy to find and understand the Morse code of the watch. The drama fell flat for me, more so on the second viewing. Nolan could have found some other plot device for Murphy to go back to her home. There had to be a better option than creating a one dimensional flat character like Tom. It wouldn’t be as bad, if the main point of the movie wasn’t a father’s love for his children. He had two, not just one!  
Ok, just throwing this in the middle of the blog. Transitions are for punks (that or I’m just too lazy to come up with a good one). I really like the comedic relief robots. TARS was great. The movie needed small moments of laughter and the machines of the movie provided it for us. I had forgot about them until I viewed the movie again. The movie has such deep reaching themes and concepts, you don’t think about the comedic relief aspect of the movie. They were there and they were great. The movie doesn’t work well without them, even in their understated role.
No transition needed here, back to the main points: I’ve already touched on how I think the ending is far-fetched. It pulled me out of my viewing the first time, and made me go WTF. I was so engrossed in the story, to be thrown such a curveball affected my enjoyment. Watching it a second time greatly increased my enjoyment of the movie.  I was expecting the curveball and the movie worked better. I could at least partially get behind how future humans could create a fifth dimensional world for Cooper to communicate with his daughter across time.  Just typing still makes me stop and say, wait a tick, the ending of the movie does what?? That aside I still loved the movie, and will watch it again.  The spaces scenes alone are worth watching every time they are on TV.
My Rating: Worth Owning on Blu-ray.
My top five favorite Chris Nolan movies:
1.      The Dark Knight(duh)
2.      Batman Begins
3.      The Prestige
4.      Interstellar
5.      The Dark Knight Rises

(Really debating between Memento and Inception vs DKR, but I went with my heart. The man really hasn’t directed a bad movie)

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