A feller looks at Interstellar

15 Dec

We finally got around to seeing Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s big budgeted sci-fi picture.  In our humble opinion, it’s a lot like 2001: A Space Odyssey, only longer. OK, we’re being flip – the film is quite different from 2001 in many ways, and yet, there are parallels.  Both films deal with a trans-dimensional duct / wormhole near a planet in our solar system. Both have a character who thinks that the mission is too important to allow the others to jeopardize it, and both deal with the paradoxes of travel in space/time (although 2001 handles the latter much more obliquely than Interstellar does.)

The situation on Earth in Interstellar is a mixed bag.  On the positive side, there is apparently no more war, as armies are a thing of the past. It’s not all Shangri-La though; the U.S. (and presumably the rest of the planet) has become one big dust bowl.  Instead of heading to California in like the Joad family in “The Grapes of Wrath”,  NASA decides to push out toward the stars in search of a new planet for us humans to trash. Indeed, they’ve already sent a team of astronauts through the wormhole, though no one has apparently heard from those folks in 10 years.

Interstellar takes the viewer to the stars, but getting there is not half the fun. The film is a bit of a slog at times, clocking in at 169 minutes. The picture left us a bit frustrated, as it tackles some pretty heady ideas, but left us wanting more, although we weren’t quite sure what that something was.  Nonetheless, the film boasts impressive visuals, and  Matthew McConaughey carries the picture quite well.  It also manages to dishes out a few surprises along the way. To us, however, it never quite achieved the escape velocity we were hoping for.

Interstellar still

Latter day Joads

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