Bunnies in Space: Interstellar

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Our Rating

With the recent discoveries of exoplanets like Kepler-186f and Gliese 581, our imaginations have been running wild ever since. Interstellar explores what it would potentially be like if those planets were within our reach. Earth is dying. The last voyage of the human race is into space – to find our place among the stars.

Rachel

I really liked it, even though it was a bit of a disappointment as you’re led to believe by the trailer that this movie is going to be something akin to Gravity (but involves more story). I was completely unaware that there were elements of time travel and crossing between dimensions. It came as a very strange surprise. Though Interstellar’s not nearly as cinematic as Gravity – one of the most profound space movies of the last couple of years, it still offers a beautiful glimpse of worlds we’ll never see in our lifetime.  Watching Saturn pass by slowly – so close that you can practically reach out and touch it – was a breathtaking experience. They captured the experience of being sucked into a wormhole (and subsequently a blackhole) so well that it felt transcendent.

The problem lies with the details. From the overabundance to the lack thereof, it’s the details that make what could’ve been an incredible journey through space that much more unbelievable. Even if they had solved the schematics of how to transport humans en masse, they still wouldn’t have been able to achieve that with the Earth being the state it’s in. I find it hard to believe you can send what’s left of humanity (millions, if not billions of people) into space when you don’t even have the resources to grow food that doesn’t die.

Matthew McConaughey is once again, incredible. He does what he does, and he does it well. I found myself crying along when he reviewed the footage of 24 years lost. Even though he and his daughter are separated by millions of lightyears, his love for her never wanes and we can feel it. Probably an Oscar nom here, but I wouldn’t know about a win. Oh, and Matt Damon? What the hell?! His role in the movie as Dr. Mann was completely unnecessary. He was simply just a plot device to fuck up Cooper and Brand’s mission and prove to them that nature isn’t evil, humans are.

As per Christopher Nolan, the movie deals with a sort of existentialism that gives you a headache. As I said earlier, I was completely caught with my pants down when I realized that this movie involved time travel. When Cooper travels through the black hole, that’s when things warp and it’s like we’re seeing everything through the bottom of a glass. Inception, but in space. They aren’t they. They’re us. Somehow, the future human race has evolved to the point where they’re able to access the fifth dimension – a place where all of time can be viewed at once, and we opened a wormhole and saved Cooper so he could save the humans in the present via his daughter… What? What does that even mean?! Now I’m usually pretty open with suspending my disbelief when it comes to movies, this was entirely unexpected and threw me for a loop. I honestly though this movie could’ve done without a fifth dimension and benefited from it. While our most pressing questions have been ‘answered’, it leaves a lot to be desired.

And what’s with this ridiculously white cast? The only person that wasn’t white was the balding black guy who was blown to smithereens about halfway through. Has anyone noticed that Nolan’s films are like 97% white people? Anyone?

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White as far as the eye can see.

Anais

I was really excited going in to watch Interstellar, a couple of days ago. I had been waiting for that movie for a year and a half. It’s one of the rare movies in the past few years that produced a really efficient series of trailers and teasers, although I only saw the last one, the one revealing the plot, when I went to the theater to see the actual thing. Interstellar is the story of Coop, who lives in an apocalyptic version of our world, where blight has made farming extremely difficult and humanity basically had to go back to farming as a main occupation. On top of that, dust storms regularly roam the surface of the planet. It’s not a great time for humanity and Coop, who knew a time when humans thrived, is unsatisfied. That is until an anomaly discovered by his ten-year-old daughter leads him to discover NASA’s plan to save humanity. Coop packs his bags and leaves the Earth to find humanity’s salvation in space.

The first thing that hit me with Interstellar is that it’s a real cinematic experience. It’s not quite as stunning as Gravity but Chris Nolan is no newbie when it comes to directing. Everything is calculated to make you live the story. The most impressive moment for me was when the launch. The sound was so overwhelmingly loud that it shook the theater. Damn.

What about the rest, then? It’s good. The movie has strong points and weak points but I would certainly not call it bad. When it’s good, it’s pretty mind-blowing. I called every twist in the plot before it happened but the strength of the characters and the message they carried still left a strong impression on me. Humanity’s survival is a topical subject and Nolan knows it. He guides us through all the stages of grief, all the different kinds of survivors in a spectacular manner, from the part of humanity that is blatantly ignoring the upcoming apocalypse to those who would reshape the universe to save their loved ones. The movie is about science as much as it is about humanity and that is probably its strongest point… as well as one of its most obvious weaknesses.

Christopher Nolan’s problem is not that he doesn’t feel, unlike what most people say. The real problem is that he is unable to portray emotions in a good light. In Nolan’s world, the strongest people are the wisest, the smartest, and the coldest. In Nolan’s world, emotions will always get you in trouble, if not simply killed. That’s what differs here. With Interstellar, Nolan tries to depict emotions in a positive way and despite all his good efforts, it doesn’t quite work. Every time the characters express negative emotions, it works. Every time they talk about love, it just comes off as clunky and corny. Sorry Mr Nolan.

Still, Interstellar spoke to me as a modern human being. It’s not Nolan’s best, not by far, but I will always appreciate a movie that tries to tackle our issues as a species.

By the way, Internet, there’s a shot of Coop in the movie, when his kid’s teacher tells him that the Apollo lunar landing was a scam. I count on you to make it a meme.

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The Moon landing was real, alright? Alright alright alright.

Nadin

Wow, another film successfully managed to wrap all of my phobias into one – confined spaces, occasional near suffocation/hypothermia, WATER, being stranded alone in outer space! They did not, however, stop me from loving Gravity last year. They did not stop me from enjoying Interstellar. Aside from seeing a rather vague trailer a couple of times, I knew next to nothing about the film, choosing to go blind and unprepared.

Interstellar did not disappoint.

It’s been a few hours and my mind is still reeling, trying to wrap itself around the unbelievable imagery and heart-wrenching scenes.

It was breathtaking, big time. Like a fascinating mixture of Signs, what with the cornfields, and Solaris. I wouldn’t go so far as to claim that Cooper was the very best role Matthew McConaughey ever played but it definitely was, and probably will be for a while, one of his most memorable ones. Again, it was good to see Anne Hathaway in the film that probably won’t be dismissed or shelved too soon. It’s been a while.

The best and the most interesting thing about Interstellar, in my opinion, was not the impressive space travel or Inception-style ending that felt like it was somewhat inspired by Elysium. The best thing about it was that it made us all wonder what would we do and how far would we go to save the people we love. After all, asshole Mann was right – it is one thing to drop everything and try to help your family, and entirely different to do the same for the humankind in general. And yes, I do think it’s important we ask ourselves that very question now and then. Just in case.

Another thing that can’t be dismissed is the complex father-daughter relationships between Coop and Murph, and Dr. Brand and Amelia, the parallel between them keeping the otherwise a bit too technical plot a lot more relatable. It definitely was a nice touch to basically juxtapose Coop who agreed to go on the mission, thinking it was the only way to save his loved ones, and Dr. Brand who voluntarily sent his daughter to die who-knows-how-many-light-years away from home in hopes that maybe she could find a way to save the other several billion people still populating the dying Earth. Or maybe that was his way – his one and only way, it seemed – to save her. In case, you know, one of the twelve planets on the other side of the wormhole was actually inhabitable.

Kudos for not pushing any love story on us along the way!  Yes, I did sort of expect Amelia and Coop to fall for each other and add some extra drama to the already emotionally overstuffed plot. Thank God it didn’t happen.

That said, the film wasn’t perfect in terms of logic. Frankly, it kind of lost me when the ‘fake’ moon landing was brought up, making me hope people will never reach that kind of either ignorance or stupidity. If I were Murph, I wouldn’t just get into a fist fight, I’d probably off myself just so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it. I mean, it’s one thing to deal with the effects of global warming that we already called upon ourselves, and something else to practically degrade intellectually.

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Fuck all y’all, I’m going home.

Although it could perhaps explain why “the best of humanity”, aka the crew of Endurance, felt more like a bunch of randomly picked half-experts instead of high class scientists. I mean, come on! I had a steady C in physics throughout high school and yet I could understand everything they were talking about. That does mean that it wasn’t that impressive, trust me. Time, gravity… basically the campfire talk. Also, I know they were running out of time and getting slightly [or seriously[ desperate but they went on a suicide mission without knowing ANYTHING about what they were going to do once they go through the wormhole, hence the fighting about which signal to check first, which one to dismiss entirely and such. Like HOW DO YOU DO THAT?! Having a plan should have totally been #1 on their list of priorities, yet they chose to wander blindly – pretty much literary – along the vast expanses of space.

The ending, naturally, was a bit of a downer, if only because Nolan chose to go for a typical Hollywood happily ever after, which was understandable of course, but it felt too convenient and perfect after 3 hours of holding my breath.

On the bright side, it did not feel that long. Granted, with so much going on, it barely have any time to acknowledge the existence of Coop’s aging kids but one hardly can complain about the film being boring.

All in all, Interstellar was more of a high concept than SciFi film, so I’d cut its plot holes some slack. Plus, the score? I need to get on my iPod right now!

PS Am I the only one who saw the potential for Interstellar 2 in the way they wrapped the things up?

The Breakdown

teamplotbunnies@gmail.com'

Four screenwriters candidly writing about film, television, novels, comic books, video games, and fanfiction.

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