Interstellar very well may be my favorite Christopher Nolan movie, perhaps even edging out The Dark Knight which is saying something from a Batman fan. The performance from Matthew McConaughey was magnificent and powerful and the story itself captivating.
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Adventure, Drama
Paramount | PG13 – 169 min. – $44.95 | December 19, 2017
Date Published: 12/12/2017 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE — 4.5/5
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, written by his talented younger brother Jonah (creator of “Person of Interest”), is a sci-fi odyssey crossing the styles of Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg, who was originally set to direct before bowing out. Now, before you make a nasty comment, this isn’t to say Nolan has the vision of Kubrick or Spielberg but their influence, or homage, is there.
The story opens in an undetermined future where Earth’s resources are drying up and only a few remain including corn crops which apparently are the only thing that can be grown. Society also kind of sucks with school children are determined by teachers and counselors their life course. Due to cuts in funding, the space program is supposedly extinct.
Cooper (MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY) is a single father of two, daughter Murph (MACKENZIE FOY) and son Tom (TIMOTHEE CHALAMET), and although he runs a farm, along with his father Donald (JOHN LITHGOW), his heart is into exploration. This is demonstrated early on as he and his kids chase down a wayward drone and using some electronic wizardry, nabs the signal and takes control in order to get much needed spare parts.
Back at home, where I feared Nolan was going to post-Unbreakable M. Night Shyamalan territory, Murph believes her bedroom has ghosts of sorts with books flying off the shelves on their own. And there may be something to that when, following an all too normal yet nasty dust storm, discovers some secret message in her room. The dust had settled into some kind of boundary and on the floor are coordinates.
After initial hesitation, and again being the explorer he is, Cooper, with Murph in tow, head to those coordinates driving for hours before coming upon some kind of government facility. They are soon taken inside where we discover the space program is alive and well and they’re planning an expedition — along with Dr. Brand (ANNE HATHAWAY), Doyle (WES BENTLEY) and Romilly (DAVID GYASI) — to find inhabitable life to continue the human race.
I loved Interstellar when I first saw it and the film still holds up two years later. It has the obvious trippy tropes that Nolan has become known for, part from the Batman Trilogy, and while there is some thought-provoking scenes, especially towards the end, what I actually appreciated was the human element more so than that or the pseudo-science aspects. Matthew McConaughey in particular turns in a fantastic performance, and in specific scene, absolutely and totally gut-wrenching.
The supporting performances were, mostly, all well played. Anne Hathaway was fine in the female lead while Jessica Chastain played the hurt (older) daughter both with ferocity and deep hurt and pain; same as, albeit lesser so, with Casey Affleck. The smaller roles filled with high class actors were used to their fullest, be it Michael Caine as the man with a plan or John Lithgow playing the father-in-law.
And then there was the odd cameo of Matt Damon who portrayed more or less the only true antagonist in the film. I like Damon and all, but his inclusion did feel a bit distracting, but he does present a likeable persona from the very first minute so it makes sense, perhaps that role wasn’t terribly well written by the Nolan brothers.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5
This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a Digital HD copy redemption code.
The Science of Interstellar (50:20; HD) is a lengthy but interesting, narrated by McConaughey, looking at the idea of interstellar travel. Not entirely sure, I wonder if this was some sort of documentary made for Discovery or something.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
|Paramount releases Interstellar onto the 4K format and is presented with a 2160p high-definition transfer and in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio alongside 1.78 for the IMAX scenes. The picture is nice to look at providing some bright colors thanks to the HDR though I felt detail in spots was a bit soft. Doing a quick comparison, it’s probably a modest upgrade in that regard.
AUDIO – 4.75/5
|No change here. Both the Blu-ray and 4K discs comes with the standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks which, based on the fact the Dunkirk 4K release has the same, was the choice of Nolan too keep it the same than going with Atmos or DTS:X route. Even so, this is a strong track providing excellent depth during the space travel/danger sequences to Hans Zimmer’s dramatic score.
OVERALL – 4.75/5
Overall, Interstellar very well may be my favorite Christopher Nolan movie, perhaps even edging out The Dark Knight which is saying something from a Batman fan. The performance from Matthew McConaughey was magnificent and powerful and the story itself captivating even with the lengthy running time. This 4K release by Paramount does offer up good, but not great, video excellent audio and a fine selection of bonus features.