Movie Review: Interstellar

InterStellar

Details from IMDB:

Interstellar (2014)

169 min  -  Adventure | Sci-Fi  -  7 November 2014 (USA)

Ratings: 8.9/10 from 329,512 users   Metascore: 74/100

Reviews: 1,565 user | 530 critic | 46 from Metacritic.com

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to find a potentially habitable planet that will sustain humanity.

Director:

Christopher Nolan

Writers:

Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan

Stars:

Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

I had heard a lot of good things about this movie, lately Matthew McConaughey has been doing some amazing acting and of course it’s Christopher Nolan (I enjoyed all the Batman movies and Inception) so I plunked down $17.50 for IMAX and went with a friend last week.

Main Points:

The movie is an interesting mixture of science and science-fiction, along with some great performances and a study of human nature and our behavior. The special effects (once they leave earth) are amazing, Nolan has a talent for doing these wide shots that can really bring out the beauty and majesty of a scene. In this movie really look out for when the spacecraft goes by Saturn, it looks incredible and the ship is so small it really helps but man’s insignificance in perspective.

Mcconaughey shines in this movie with a truly interesting character that goes through a lot. Michael Caine is quite good as is Anne Hathaway (who plays his daughter in the film). As it’s in credits I don’t mind saying Matt Damon is here and also is quite good in a smaller role.

Enough about the story and performances though, so there are ideas that leave you to think about long after you’ve left. How much damage have we really done to the earth? Will there come a time when humanity will have to leave? Will governments try to re-write history for our supposed benefit? (This has already happened several times in history). What would a wormhole be like? What would a black hole be like close up? How far away are we from putting people in suspended animation for a long trip? (Or to extend their life)

What will robots look like in the future? The movie has a robot that is basically one solid block with two other blocks on each side for moving (it can extend arms from all pieces as well). The robot is very functional and has an important part to play at several points. Is there dimensions that we can’t perceive? (Like a time dimension for example) While the movie answers a couple of these questions (and it’s fictional context) the rest I don’t know, I hope that we do better as a species to preserve the earth and eventually explore more of the solar system but sometimes with the state of the world I have doubts.

Final Thoughts:

This was getting really long so I’ll stop. Overall I really enjoyed this movie and would highly recommend it (though not for young children). Some of the concepts are wacky and strain credibility of the movie and it is on the longish side at almost 3 hours (all of Nolan’s movies are long though). I give it a strong 8/10. Next will be my thoughts on St. Vincent (which was on Netflix France), until then.

Movie Review: Lawless

Details from IMDB:

Lawless

Lawless (2012)

116 min  -  Crime | Drama  -  29 August 2012 (USA)

Ratings: 7.3/10 from 76,011 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 214 user | 293 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang is threatened by a new deputy and other authorities who want a cut of their profits.

Director:

John Hillcoat

Writers:

Nick Cave (screenplay), Matt Bondurant (novel)

Stars:

Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

As you may have noticed I’m watching a lot of movies lately. It’s what I do when we’re on vacation Smile. So last night we saw this one. I had heard some good things about it and I do like Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce  Jessica Chastain and of course Gary Oldman.

Main Points:

Depression era booze smuggling/gangster movies have been popular lately, no doubt due to shows like Boardwalk Empire. I should say first off I don’t like Shia LaBeouf, he is fine in this movie but I really don’t like him in most roles he takes (this could be mainly due to the travesty that is the Transformers movies).

Gary Oldman is good here (as always) but his talents are wasted I felt on a very small part. Chastain also takes a good part but really has quite a small role. The movie does have a couple of surprises but thing mostly happen as you suspect.  Guy Pearce is only standout here as his character Charlie Rakes is genuinely creepy and evil.

I enjoyed the fact that it was based on a true story and Shia’s character Jack does show some change and emotions (I can give credit when it’s due Hot smile).

Final Thoughts:

I would recommend this movie, once again don’t pay a lot for it and certainly don’t watch it with kids around. 7/10 from me Thumbs up. In case you’re wondering I have been reading old Batman comics (not really that old, from the 90s) but I suspect my next post will be another movie review.Open-mouthed smile Until next time I am as always…

SignatureB&W_0003

Movie Review: Zero Dark Thirty

Details from IMDB:

 

ZeroDarkThirty

 

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

157 min  -  Drama | History | Thriller  -  11 January 2013 (USA)

Ratings: 7.6/10 from 72,803 users   Metascore: 95/100
Reviews: 402 user | 403 critic | 46 from Metacritic.com

A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.

Director:

Kathryn Bigelow

Writer:

Mark Boal

Stars:

Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

Like most people I was introduced to Kathyrn Bigelow from The Hurt Locker (which I really enjoyed) so I looked forward to her second military flick, this time about the hunt for Bid Laden.

Main Points:

First off I have to say that Jessica Chastain is excellent here. She brings an intensity and an honesty to the role that is rare. The movie itself starts off with a riveting (and hard to watch) torture scene but soon afterwards things slow down.

I find it to be a common problem that directors just don’t know when to cut out scenes. I think a good 20 minutes of this movie could have easily cut. A lot of politicians and military discussions about procedure and of course Maya’s (Chastain) obsession with Bid Laden’s courier and how it will lead to the leader.

There are several scenes I really enjoyed that means…

SPOILER ALERT!

It’s a little silly, everyone knows they get Bid Laden but there are a couple of other scenes. Maya and another CIA operative do a clever trick on one prisoner, convincing him that he had already given up some names while under torture (he didn’t) and that there’s no point holding back now.

Another part where Maya is given her biggest lead by a simple filing error was a nice touch and of course once the mission got started it was very exciting. Hot smile

Final Thoughts:

The movie does feature torture and there is a line that once Obama takes away the torture they have a much more difficult time obtaining information.  As I said earlier though the fact that investigation and a simple filing error is what ultimately leads to Bid Laden’s death makes the movie somewhat contradictory. Overall another solid movie from Bigelow that does make you think. I would recommend it Thumbs up with reservations for time and of course some intense/gruesome scenes does not this appropriate for children. 7/10 from me Smile. Until next time (and it will be Denzel’s movie Flight) I am as always..