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Wick's Review

Created Nov 12, 2014 11:26PM PST • Edited Sep 26, 2019 03:56AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Interstellar is stellar: long yet engaging, showy yet substantial. Most of all it’s conceptually creative and consummately mounted, the former because of its theoretical physics underpinnings and deep humanity, the latter because of Christopher Nolan’s visual derring-do and Mathew McConaughey’s consummate space cowboy performance. Equal in ambition to the Perfect Inception, it ranks just below it in the Nolan canon.

    McConaughey builds on Sam Shepherd’s Chuck Yeager from The Right Stuff, in a mega-moviestar performance as a farmer who just happens to be NASA’s best pilot. He’s got two main modes of attire: Carhartt jacket & formfitting spacesuit. Yep, the amiable Texan continues to fly at a stratospheric level.

    The Nolans (Christopher and cowriter Jonathan) lay out clues and then pick them up several plot turns later. Some Easter Eggs don’t get laid till almost two hours into this nearly three hour movie, and still have time to pay off. Happily, Interstellar never drags, though you are well warned to enter with an empty bladder.

  3. Great 4.0

    Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a widowed astronaut whose daughter is named Murphy. So he’s Coop and she’s Murph, proving the Nolans know a thing or two about great naming. McConaughey is called upon to essay countless heartrending moments, several of which get relived, doubling the acting quotient. He doesn’t fumble a one, proving yet again that’s he’s so much more than a pretty face.

    Minor Spoilers Follow, unavoidably

    Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy & Ellen Burstyn play Murph at different stages of life. Young Foy looks like she could grow up to be Chastain. All three are terrific, the youngest most of all.

    • Timothée Chalamet plays their brother, er, her brother.
    • Casey Affleck plays him as an adult, impressively.
    • John Lithgow plays their grandfather,
      McConaughey’s father, in a pungent supporting performance.
    • Michael Caine plays the scientist out to save the human race,
      Anne Hathaway his ice queen daughter.
    • David Gyasi & Wes Bentley play other geek-o-nauts.
    • Bill Irwin voices a robot named TARS & Josh Stewart voices one named CASE.
      Neither sounds like HAL.
    • Other big stars pop up during this long movie:
      Matt Damon, David Oyelowo & William Devane included.
  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Really Great 4.5
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Great 4.0

    Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is full of master moviemaker tricks, with the cinematic slight-of-hand hiding in plain view. To wit, people are said to be hungry, but look like Iowans returning from the fair. They live in a dustbowl, yet are well scrubbed, hardly Okie-like.

    Let’s not damn Nolan’s really great film with faint dings however. It is an accomplishment that no other filmmaker could conceive or deliver, especially given Nolan’s dexterity with time warpage.

    Indeed, Interstellar plays with time no less than Inception did, even if that perfect movie didn’t breath hard doing it. Interstellar labors with its time twists, becoming virtually incomprehensible near the end.

    While Interstellar feels like a mashup of more than one film, the one that comes readily to mind is The Astronaut Farmer, even if they are in radically different quality orbits.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Great 4.0

    Nice touch, having the stud astronaut’s chip-off-the-old-block be his daughter, not his son.

    Another is imagining a future where thought-control includes denying that man ever walked on the Moon.

  11. Music Really Great 4.5
  12. Visuals Great 4.0

    Dust falling on a Space Shuttle model is one strikingly small image amongst many overwhelmingly huge ones.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.1

    This is a take-your-daughter movie.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.5
  16. Violence Fierce 2.3
  17. Rudeness Profane 2.6
  18. Supernatural 3.6

    Fortunately, the Nolans didn’t make humans the cause of Earth’s apocalypse, a construct that was long-in-the-tooth well before Climate Change became the cause célèbre that consumed Hollywood.

    Now that that’s off my chest, let’s consider Interstellar’s supernatural rFactor, which is oddly highest on CircoReality for a SciFi that plays dice with the space-time continuum.

  19. Circumstantial Fantasy 4.7
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.1
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.1


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Nov 23, 2014 8:49AM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
“They ran out of plausibility at the end.” Yes they did. Great line, BTW.