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Interstellar, A Review

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I saw Interstellar last night and I was blown away. If you read nothing else in this review, read this:

You should see Interstellar.

I’m not saying everyone in the world should but if you read something like this blog, you are part of the target audience.

And let me get this out of the way: this is not a perfect movie. There are flaws and plot holes – though not too many – that for brief moments in time took me out of the movie. The most glaring of those I don’t want to get into because I don’t want to reveal too much of the last third of the movie, but how an important dump of data is achieved really annoyed me.

All that said, this movie punched me right in the gut . . . in a good way. I have two young daughters whom I consider pretty damn bright. Geniuses? (genii?) Proud as I may be, I’m not going there. So I might not understand about being the father of a genius, but I certainly know about being a father, and this movie is about fathers and daughters and the sacrifices we are willing to make for our children. It’s about children following their parents and children exceeding their parents. I felt bad for the son because he kind of gets swept aside for the relationship between the main character and his daughter, but I really identified with that relationship.

And while the exploration of that relationship is powerful, it’s not the full story. Interstellar, as one might imagine, is also about exploring space, the extreme environments we might encounter on other planets, and the majesty of the universe. It’s about smart people doing smart things, even when they are flawed people who sometimes make mistakes because they are human.

Why are we exploring space – other than that’s what we should be doing, that we are a species that explores . . . until now. Much of the movie is about what a mess the Earth has become. There are stabs at the anti-science, anti-rationality movement that has abandoned evidence and replaced it with ideology and emotion. And this movie does talk about emotion, it revels in it. And faith, but not religious faith, which I don’t recall being addressed.

The cast of this movie is amazing, and they deliver. I’ve always liked Matthew McConaughey, and he is fantastic in the lead. Everyone is fantastic. Even the young lady playing 10-year old Murph is really convincing. The script can be overwrought and sentimental at times, but the score by Hans Zimmer helps to land these moments, helping me to accept the moments and have them resonate.

And the score – another out of the park for Zimmer. I gushed about his work on Man of Steel (honestly, my favourite thing about that whole movie), but I think he may have outshone himself with this one. The score really adds to the majesty and the tension, and I wondered who could have done such masterful works as the credits rolled, and when I saw Hans Zimmer, it all made sense. Since noticing his work in Black Hawk Down, I’ve realized that if a score really hits home for me, it’s likely Zimmer.

I could go on. This is a case of having so many superlatives and few complaints. For geeks, there are going to be parts of this movie where an inaccuracy or flaw really hits you because we love science fiction and we know the pitfalls and dangers of Hollywood telling us about space. But this movie really delivered. It gave me both a science adventure and a moving story. That’s hard to do.

I think I appreciate the concept and execution of Inception more, but Interstellar’s core story of father and daughter, the goddamn outstanding visuals, the space exploration, and the score all score higher for me.

This is a movie I desperately want to see again. I’m giving it 4.75 wormholes out of 5.

You can learn more about Interstellar at Wikipedia and IMDB.

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