interstellarSpoiler alerts: At nearly three hours in length, Christopher Nolan’s ambitious Interstellar succeeds and fails consistently through its long journey. Nolan amassed a powerhouse of buzz and talent from his cast including last year’s Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Wes Bentley, and icons Michael Caine, and Ellen Burstyn. Oh right… Matt Damon also appears about 3/4 of the way through the film. So the beginning is a beautiful, haunting look at near-future Earth and a dying planet. Very quickly and a bit awkwardly, McConaughey’s character Coop transforms from an obscure farmer to piloting a space mission to save the human race. The opening scenes at the farm are realistic and compelling. The scene driving through the cornfield is a bit odd. The obsession with the drone is confusing. Coop’s discovery of NASA and his new job are baffling. The scenes in outer space are gorgeous, particularly Saturn and the black hole look phenomenal. The introduction of Damon’s character and the ensuing cowboy fist fight on the new ice planet is nothing short of ridiculous. Nolan could have cut that out completely, shortened the film to a reasonable length and held on to some necessary integrity. Was that scene for the 14 year-old boys out there in Movieland? What 14 year-old boy would make it that far in the movie to witness the fight sequence? Coop’s ejection from the spacecraft within the wormhole seemed ludicrous even for me – a non-scientist, but it made for great suspense. His landing in a space between time behind all the bookshelves in his home at all different times periods was not just stunning, but lyrical – elevating the story to a height I yearned for throughout the film. I could have lived in that space for years trying to figure it all out. The final scene reuniting Coop and his daughter Murph felt contrived, but hey that’s Hollywood. I loved parts of Interstellar and rolled my eyes over other sections. Still I commend Nolan and company for giving it their all. Mistakes often lead us to excellence in the future. Interstellar gets a 3 out of 5 from Reel Charlie.


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