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.