Wednesday, November 26, 2014


We've at last seen Interstellar! I enjoyed it, for husband, "jury still out". The film's two and three-quarter hours...3 hours in our seats, including ads and previews, didn't seem over-long.

My only complaint was that some of the softly spoken dialogue was all but inaudible. My hearing is usually fine, no problems. As it's the third week of showing this movie at our 6-screen cinema, perhaps management has relegated Interstellar to the least well-equipped screening room. I have to suspect there's some local cause because I haven't come across any such complaint about sound in any review I've read since seeing the film. Whether we lost anything crucial through lack of some dialogue, I can't say. We'll probably rent the DVD in due course and find out.

I'd have benefited from more research before seeing the movie, but didn't want to know any plot details in advance, so desisted. I wish, in particular, that I'd seen this piece about the movie's spaceships before seeing the film. Even after reading it though, I'm still puzzled about one aspect.

Without giving too much away and spoiling this film for any who might still wish to see it, I'll just say that what puzzles me most wasn't involved in some of the high-fallutin' quantum physics, timey-wimey space wot-nots involved, those had to be understood by me in my own peculiar way, rightly or wrongly, but the question I still cannot answer had to do with the circular space ship Endurance, and its minor craft as described in the linked piece above. When the crew entered the wormhole discovered near Saturn, they used the smaller Ranger vehicle, while the Endurance "wheel" remained somewhere outside the wormhole's entrance. When Ranger arrives through the wormhole, into a new galaxy, Endurance is there, ready for them. Now, I might have not followed what was being said or done, or maybe I missed something (not hard to do in this movie filled with "somethings"), but in spite of spending time searching for an answer online I still haven't resolved this.

For anyone who hasn't seen the film and who doesn't intend seeing it - or for any who have seen it and would appreciate explanations, there's a very good article and commentary at
Screen Rant Interstellar Ending and Space Travel Explained
With commentary at Interstellar Spoilers Discussion.

All that said, in a nutshell Interstellar is the tale of how, when Earth becomes uninhabitable in the future, due to changes in climate, inability for crops to survive, attendant lack of food, a large proportion of Earth's population already dead, a remaining branch of NASA and one visionary professor (played by Michael Caine) struggle to devise a plan for humans to save their race. This, the professor hopes will be possible by travelling outside of our Milky Way galaxy, via a wormhole discovered near planet Saturn. The hope is that there will be planets in the new galaxy capable of supporting human life. To this end NASA had already sent out a set of explorers to some possibly suitable planets. From three of those planets "pings" have been received from beacons set by three different astronauts, indicating that there might be possibilities for humans to begin colonies on those planets.

The movie's hero, ex-astronaut turned struggling farmer and widower, Cooper ("Coop"), played by Matthew McConaughey, is persuaded to head a small team to be sent to investigate the three "pinging" planets in the new galaxy to assess their viability. There's lots of other stuff going on around this point which I shall not mention. Enough to say that Cooper takes on the mission, much to the angst of his young daughter Murphy.

Matthew McConaughey, for me, made this movie enjoyable. I should also mention that director Christopher Nolan had hand a hand in it too! I said to husband on our way across the car park that had the lead part been played by someone like Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, I'd have been turned right off. McConaughey is an actor to whom I'd not paid much attention until we rented Dallas Buyers Club some months ago. His dedication in that movie, his willingness to lose so much weight (some others in the cast did too) endeared him to me, as does his Texas accent which makes me feel "at home" with him. In Interstellar he gives another excellent performance as a
father whose love for his family, and dedication (that word again) to his race (the human race), become a division of loyalties almost impossible for him to bear. He's not an over-the-top or method actor, he's a natural. He understands, I believe, from his own depths, what it is he's portraying, and how to do it best. Perhaps I should mention here that his birthday is 4 November - Sun in Scorpio.

What else? Well, there's lots of timey-wimey, spacy-wacey stuff for cinema-goers to get their heads wrapped around, which I'll not detail for two reasons - a) unwilling to spoil it for others; b) still contemplating it all myself!

Some reviewers align Interstellar with one of my all-time favourite movies 2001 A Space Odyssey. I don't see it quite in that category. Interstellar, though complex, is less mystical, more spelled out, more obviously (potentially) understandable once you get "your eye in".

There's a Dylan Thomas quotation used more than once during the movie to good effect, it's this:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Lyrics from a lovely song Starlight by Muse, an English band, floated into my mind later. I think some see the ship in the song as a ship sailing the ocean, but the song works even better about a ship sailing through space and time:
"Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations
Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations........

Far away
This ship is taking me far away
Far away from the memories
Of the people who care if I live or die

Here it is sung not by Muse but by Adam Lambert:


Sonny G said...

as soon as it gets to netflix I'll watch it.
I too like Matthew as he is able to play an "every" man. He's subtle but you can feel the intensity beneath that. I was married to a Nov. 4 so maybe thats what recognize:)

James Higham said...

one visionary professor (played by Michael Caine)

Trying to get my head around that concept. Not a lot of people know that.

mike said...

Glad you enjoyed the movie and that it was thought provoking. Some movies provide mental entertainment well after the actual viewing, when trying to digest what was viewed. I read that "Interstellar" depended upon actual, current mathematics and representations to more accurately portray the physics of the black hole, but failed with the discovered planet. Hey, it's a Hollywood production intended to entertain!

Neil deGrasse Tyson enjoyed the physics' representation...maybe one of his youtubes will help:

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Matthew McConaughey's star must be in the ascendant at present. I can see him being at least nominated for awards again this year, for his performance in "Interstellar" (I wish his surname were easier to say and spell!) ;-) He's now on my list of favourite actors anyway.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~ Oh I dunno James - have you forgotten "Educating Rita"?

Twilight said...

mike ~ The movie tries, I think, not to stray too far from what could, at some point in the future, actually be feasible, using what knowledge is available now, rather than veering off into flights of sheer fantasy as some sci-fi tales have done. But obviously there's some creative imagination involved too, there has to be in order to make the film entertaining enough to make $$$$$$$$$$$$.

Thanks, yes I've watched a couple of Neil deG-T's videos. He's good!

I definitely will see "Interstellar" again, on DVD, when it becomes available. It's one of those movies that you need to see at least twice.

Twilight said...

PS~ PS ~ Robert Phoenix (link in Astrology Links in sidebar) has a good piece on Interstellar today: