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Interstellar

(24 posts)
  • Started 4 years ago by Ron
  • Latest reply from geoffhart1962

  1. Ron
    Member

  2. Mark Pontin
    Member

    [1] Reviews are all over the place.

    I suspect (or hope) that part of this may be that there's large variation in reviewers' mileages -- and tolerance for and comprehension of -- attempts to do Clarke-style cold, hard SF on the big screen, especially when there's accompanying Clarke-style minimal characterization.

    With no Kubrick and Clarke around to execute it, too, of course.

    [2] I do have a problem with a scenario -- which Nolan's movie apparently presents -- in which everybody in the US has not only reverted entirely to an agricultural society to feed what's left of the population but also they're all growing one or two unmodified wheat or corn-style crops.

    Given that here in our real world of 2014 a revolution in synthetic bio is just starting to transform our world and that, anyway, traditional agriculture is the most inefficient and ecologically destructive answer to food shortages you could come up with, that sounds dumb.

    However,INTERSTELLAR's future America also has a profound anti-science and anti-technology bias, too.

    We'll see.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. Steve R.
    Member

    Richard Roeper Review

    Rotten Tomatoes

    Though I have not yet seen it, Mark has an excellent cautionary comment. "However, INTERSTELLAR's future America also has a profound anti-science and anti-technology bias, too." I have been disappointed by many movies/stories for that reason.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. Mark Pontin
    Member

    Not so excellent. Maybe I was unclear. I meant the future America _that the movie depicts_ is anti-technology.

    There's a clip on the Internet where the Mathew Mcconaughey character goes to his daughter's school because she's in trouble for denying the school-taught, revisionist dogma that the Apollo moon landings never happened -- that they were a Cold War show designed to make the Soviets outspend themselves.

    The movie itself seems clearly pro-science, what with hiring Kip Thorne, the theoretical physicist, as co-producer.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. Mark Pontin
    Member

    Anyway, I'll see the movie next week. Enough waffling about what I haven't seen.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. Steve R.
    Member

    Saw the movie, good. Even though the story outline is standard, the plot was fresh and some action scenes very intense. Very well done. Definitely a movie that you will have to see twice to fully follow.

    Mark: The movie did not appear to me to be anti-technology. There was one scene which "established" the society as portrayed in the movie as possessing an anti-technology bent, but the movie itself did not have an anti-technology theme.

    By coincidence, I ran across this Washington Post article after getting home. "Critic’s notebook: ‘Interstellar’s’ sonic soup or: How auteurs diss their audiences". Ms Hornaday writes: "The unanswered question is whether they’ll hear a word in the movie. ... “Interstellar” has been dinged in recent weeks by critics and other gadflies for a muddy, thuddingly loud sound design, in which Hans Zimmer’s booming score (he’s all about that bass) and similarly thumping sound effects render spoken dialogue a submerged garble."

    Well, the dialog was very hard to follow, which is one reason for why the movie should be seen twice. (Needed subtitles).

    Where I live, the movie screen was unfortunately quite "dark" The screen quality of the movie "Gravity" was very bad here too. So when "Interstellar" comes out on BluRay, it should be visually much brighter and crisper. Anyway, as a quick aside "Gravity" and "Interstellar" share very good performances and production qualities.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. Marian
    Member

  8. Steve R.
    Member

    New York Times Review: Off to the Stars, With Grief, Dread and Regret

    Marian: Well, Phil's comments were spot on. I also agree with Phil's observation that "Gravity" and "Interstellar" were very similar as that was my reaction too. Phil seems to have missed the homage to Ringworld. I also don't think the movie adequately explained the wormhole or how a person "outside" of our dimensional space could interact with it (even though they gratuitously tossed in the word gravity). But it did cause me to think about it, which I still am. For the sake of the movie, I was willing to forgo those deficiencies, as I have for many others. Nevertheless,the movie was worth seeing.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. Marian
    Member

    I like the motivation behind the movie "It's time to look outward again" http://www.ssninsider.com/nolan-mcconaughey-chastain-hathaway-take-ssn-on-a-journey-through-interstellar/

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. geoffhart1962
    Member

    Steve quoted: "However, INTERSTELLAR's future America also has a profound anti-science and anti-technology bias, too." And observed: I have been disappointed by many movies/stories for that reason.

    Speaking from a perspective outside the U.S., the only issue I have with the quote is the inclusion of the word "future". I think this is very plausible extrapolation, at least for a great many regions of the country. The amateur historian could make a case that religion's old role as the dominant force in shaping society's worldview having been replaced by science, the failure of science to solve all our terrestrial problems and deposit us in an earthly paradise will lead to a similar loss of faith by many. The professional historian (emphatically not me) would probably laugh at this notion. Still and all: plausible extrapolation from what I'm seeing.

    But I do agree with Steve that one of the things I look to in SF/F is an optimism that human effort is worthwhile because it can make a difference. (Except those days when I'm in a Lovecraft frame of mind. *G*) A movie that starts with a dystopian view in which the creationists have seemingly won the day will have to work hard to win my heart.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. Steve R.
    Member

    geoffhart1962 wrote: "A movie that starts with a dystopian view in which the creationists have seemingly won the day will have to work hard to win my heart." Well the movie does start out that way, but that theme quickly vaporizes. Essentially a one scene prop to kick-start the movie. Once the movie gets going, that theme is left behind and (to my knowledge) remained unresolved. The movie does have an (simplistic glossed over) optimistic end, based on human effort.

    The movie, for me will really require, a second viewing to pay attention to what happened, if anything, to the seemingly anti-technology society that existed at the start of the movie.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. Ron
    Member

    I saw the movie this past Sunday. It was so-so. The movie didn't grab me. It had script problems and some science problems.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. Marian
    Member

    Saw it yesterday and enjoyed it. It helps to know in advance of the science problems. That's why I like Phil Plait's analysis because he also liked the movie. There is a very long beginning, painting the relationships and the crumbling environment on earth. If you don't like it, you won't like the movie. I liked it.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. Chris DeVito
    Member

    Marian: Plait's criticism of the black hole science was wrong, as he acknowledges:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/11/09/interstellar_followup_movie_science_mistake_was_mine.html

    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. Steve R.
    Member

    Would it have even been possible for a space vehicle to land on/take off from Miller's planet?

    Considering the gravity implications of time dilation and proximity of Gargantua, I was dumbfounded by this. But then Hollywood does have space vehicles that never run out of fuel. Nevertheless, the capability of a space vehicle to land on and take off may involve more issues than power/fuel.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  16. Marian
    Member

    Here's more information than you ever wanted about the film and its sources http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816692/trivia

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. Marian
    Member

    Saw Interstellar for the second time yesterday. It is definitely worth a second look. The story was much clearer. Overall, my opinion is that the movie gets A+ for special effects and the ideas but B- for the writing. It could so easily be a really great movie but it's not. Still, the message is so worthwhile - that we need to look at the stars and try to reach them - I just hope it inspires other moviemakers.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. LukeJackson
    Member

    The latest issue of the free rag LA Weekly found Interstellar and Transcendence to be the worst movies of the year. I can only imagine this is part of the rag's effete hipster anti-SF agenda. This aggression will not stand, man.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. Mark Pontin
    Member

    ' I can only imagine this is part of the rag's effete hipster anti-SF agenda. This aggression will not stand, man. '

    This time I'm down with the effete hipster anti-SF agenda regarding INTERSTELLAR, dude. It's a deeply stupid movie.

    How come they've got a space plane with propulsion so powerful that it can go down and then reach escape velocity against the unimaginable gravitational resistances of that time-dilated planet -- and yet they still use clunky three-stage Apollo-era chemical launchers to leave Earth at the start?

    How come there's white daylight illuminating all these planets beyond the wormhole, where they've got no sun, but only the accretion disc of a black hole?

    How come everybody on Earth has resorted to growing a monocrop of wheat, which is the last thing you'd do? Especially with the kind of biogenetic manipulation we can already do, which includes creating GMO microbes in vats that produce cheese or milk?

    For that matter, how come the movie has some vague 'Blight,' rather than global climate change, as its inciting disaster? (Well, we know the answer to that one: because the movie would lose audience share among that percentage of the US population that's CC-denialist

    There's about ten minutes of visual spectacle people should watch when the DVD/Netflix release happens. That is, the software simulation of Kip Thorne's ring singularity and the Gerard O'Neill-style space colony that the Coop character protagonist wakes up in near the movie's end.

    Stupid movie. Stupid, stupid, stupid movie.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. CWJ
    Member

    Mark, here's my summary of "Interstellar:"

    A magic plague nearly kills humanity. Then, more magic saves it.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. CWJ
    Member

    Some more of my thoughts on Interstellar (hosted on a friend's blog):

    http://www.starshipnivan.com/blog/?p=9172

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. Steve R.
    Member

    CWJ, good review by Calvin Johnson. Unbelievably, Kevin McCarthy who does Nerd Tears (movie reviews) rated "Interstellar" the #1 movie for 2014. He even (unbelievably) rated "Edge of Tomorrow" as #8. Though I enjoyed watching both "Interstellar" and "Edge of Tomorrow", it did require a massive suspension of scientific plausibility.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. Marian
    Member

    Some comments on the portrayal of the black hole. The final paragraph is interesting. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26966-interstellars-true-black-hole-too-confusing.html#.VOKnvctAS1s

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. geoffhart1962
    Member

    Finally managed to see the movie (PVR'ed from TV), and have to say, I'm very glad I didn't pay money to see this. (Well, I paid my cable fee, so I suppose I indirectly contributed to paying for it...)

    Every time I think Hollywood can't do a worse job of telling an SF tale, they manage to exceed my expectations. Well, at least I don't have a chance to get jaded, right? This one probably ranks at the top of my list of really bad movies: bad acting, bad writing, nonsense science, no logic or logical follow-through, and a badly misguided attempt to redo the 2001 monolith thing. Bad, bad, bad. Did I mention "bad"?

    About the only redeeming features of this movie were that the visuals were generally decent (particularly for the O'Neill cylinder at the end) and the soundtrack was OK -- and pitched at a normal level that doesn't sterilize laboratory rats, unlike Blade Runner 2049.

    Posted 11 months ago #

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