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: Dallas Buyers Club

DallasBuyersClub

 

Details from IMDB:

 

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

117 min  -  Biography | Drama | History  -  22 November 2013 (USA)

Ratings: 8.0/10 from 42,229 users   Metascore: 84/100

Reviews: 96 user | 216 critic | 46 from Metacritic.com

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.

Director:

Jean-Marc Vallée

Writers:

Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

Stars:

Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

I had heard good things about this movie, in particular that Matthew and Jared were both nominated for Oscars. So when this came back to theaters here a few weeks ago I made sure to go.

Main Points:

I’ll admit right off that I don’t know the whole Ron Woodroof story (which was good in that I got to be surprised in the movie), so I don’t know how accurate this movie is with the real events/people. I will say though that I found the story to be excellent and the acting was top notch. I had never thought of Jared Leto as a serious and talented actor, I had seen him in a few roles but this is the one that stands out for me. He character is extreme (she is a cross-dressing prostitute with AIDS) but likable and compelling to watch. Matthew is also excellent, he has really turned up the heat here with this performance and is so convincing and believable as Ron.

I really enjoyed how the movie shows what was wrong (and I’m certain continues to be the case in many places) with major drug companies/hospitals/government when it comes to public health. Ron simply wants the best drugs to help deal with the symptoms of HIV and he has to break the law repeatedly to get them.

He shows real character growth as he sees that his homophobia is stupid, we’re all just people. He also has to end his petty crime dealings and steps up to help those around him who need medicine for HIV. He even cares less about the money and more about helping others as the movie reaches the end.

I should point out Jennifer Garner also takes on good role (if in a smaller part) and shows how even a doctor can see just how messed up the medical system in the USA is.

Final Thoughts:

If you don’t know the story I wouldn’t spoil it. I’ll just say this movie has some nice laughs, plenty of touching moments and a few really sad ones. It makes you think about big drug companies, government, law, medicine and even the food you eat. A friend of mine said on Facebook that this movie is anti-science but I don’t see it that way. I thought part of the movie just focuses on how part of the scientific process can be very cruel and unforgiving when people’s lives are at stake. I highly recommend this movie (just not to children of course). I give it a strong 8/10 and I hope at least one of these guys get the Oscar they deserve.