Uncategorized, Zero Popped Corns

I Just Watched This Movie; “Interstellar”

Sequels. They’re extremely common in the film industry. When people like a movie, sequels are often a profitable way to give the audience more of what they loved. Successful director/producer/writer/physicist Christopher Nolan understands the value of a sequel, and with “Interstellar,” attempted to replicate the critical success of last year’s hit “Gravity.” Following new characters, many years after the events of “Gravity,” Nolan explores the view of Earth from space, flying in space, and the struggle to find gravity in space. ¬†Knowing that you must modify the original, Nolan’s depiction of space is much much larger, as well as significantly quieter. Additionally, there was a larger cast. While the plot didn’t have much to do with “Gravity” in general, Nolan seemed to force “Gravity” into the film all the time. For example, early in the film, a book falls off a shelf, and the character says that “Gravity” did it. I found blaming that occurrence on the previous film was unnecessary.

Exposition. In films with a lot of back story, or a complex premise, or advanced physics, or philosophical theories, or all of those like “Interstellar,” it is necessary to inform the audience as to what is going on. An effective and traditional way of doing this, is through dialogue. Nolan expertly cast Matthew McConaughey as the lead knowing how well he reads exposition. Starring in “True Detective” last year, McConaughey proved that he could explain complex and confusing ideas and background information in a way that people could easily understand. During “Interstellar,” McConaughey’s familiar voice and accent guided us through a universe of quantum theories and multiple dimensions. If it ever became confusing to understand the science behind a scene, it was comforting to know that the astronaut farmer on-screen knew exactly what he was talking about.

Experience. Most movies strive to be called an experience. In my opinion, they are films that an audience goes out to see in small theater, or maybe just in their living room. They have a slow plot and subtle performances. When you finish these movies, you feel like you’ve just experienced something similar to what you experience in your everyday life. “Interstellar” has been falsely called an “experience” by many of my film reviewing peers.”Interstellar” was way too grand and out-of-this-world, to be classified as an experience. Watching this movie in IMAX, I felt like I was trying to save all of humanity and my mission led me across galaxies. But that’s nowhere close to my normal everyday activities. There’s got to be a better way to describe the action of watching “Interstellar” and feeling the many emotions that it evokes because it is certainly is not an “incredible movie going ‘experience’.”

Perhaps overly ambitious at times, “Interstellar” is an epic film of size and scope that contains all the suspense and moving moments that one would expect from Christopher Nolan. I give it zero popped corns.

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Zero Popped Corns

I Just Watched This Movie; “Nightcrawler”

Crew. A film is an enormous collaboration between many people. The tighter knit the group, the more effective the team, the better the production. A good crew should be like family to each other. The film “Nightcrawler” definitely benefitted from the intense planning and coordination that went into making the crew. It all began when Frank D. Gilroy, a screenwriter from 1950-1990, decided that he wanted to make a movie called “Nightcrawler.” He had no story, just a title, and decided that the first thing to do would be to find a producer. He understood the importance of a good crew, so he decided to have a son who would be his producer. Next, he needed a director and writer. Same as before, he had another son, however this time, he got more than he expected… Twins! One a director-writer, and the other, an editor. Next, they needed a leading lady. Frank left this to his son Dan, who married actress Rene Russo. They also needed a small role to be filled, and Dan’s twin John took care of that by having a photogenic daughter. Their plan was completed with the theatrical release of “Nightcrawler.”

Character. When you see the protagonist on-screen, it should be like looking in a mirror. Who goes to the movies to see a film about someone with interesting views and behavior that ultimately culminates in an exciting confrontation with society? I certainly don’t. I want to feel like I’m the main character. So if he does or says something that I wouldn’t do myself, I’m put off. In the case of Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, I assume that only a peculiar person that has a strange infatuation with objectivity, objectivity that may drive him over the lines of morality, would related to the character and thus enjoy the film.

Theme. Between the lines of the script there is the theme. In screenplay format, this is done with white ink (look at a script and you’ll notice the formatting). The message of the film says something about life, society, relationships, or superpowers. Few films have a message that could be used in the business world. However, like Scorsese’s documentaries’ on how to be successful in business, (“Goodfellas”,”Casino””,The Wolf of Wall Street”), “Nightcrawler” presents a very informative guide to how to build a company and compete in an open market. The main character often goes into long monologues about how to make sales and expand a company. The film itself presents this idea in a very real setting, and therefore is an accurate resource to anyone looking to start their own business and are willing to sacrifice normal human behavior and relationships.

I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire well paced film. Gyllenhaal’s creepy performance drove the story 80 mph while I sat in the passenger seat terrified of what he might do next. I give it zero popped corns!

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