Saturday, January 31, 2015

INTERSTELLAR - 5 nominations

Original Score - Hans Zimmer
Production Design - Nathan Crowley (Production Design), Gary Fettis (Set Decoration)
Sound Editing - Richard King
Sound Mixing - Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, Mark Weingarten
Visual Effects - Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher

Let me just begin by saying that I fully expect to be derided for my review of the just mediocre Interstellar.  I highly doubt they will be "retweeting" what I have to say.  The visual effects were terrific and of course, this film was just primed for all of the technical awards.  It's no surprise that it has garnered nominations for both Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.  Much like Gravity, it had a stunning musical score which Hans Zimmer created (his 9th nomination for Original Score!), and that was a nice companion piece to the visual gymnastics.  The design of the film required the ability to suppose what other planets might look like, what space travel would look like, and what redesigned future worlds would look like.  That was very well done.

Then we arrive at the narrative.  I really really liked the first hour and a half.  It was interesting story, I was riveted, I liked the characters and the complexities of their relationships and the challenge faced by Matthew McConaghey's character whether to save the world or be with his family.  The exploration of other planets was cool.  But after that first section of the film, that's where Interstellar starts to go off the rails. We learn that love is a physical property (as in, another property of physics, or maybe it was meant to be next element on the periodic table... the science was, it was, well, let's just say Neil Degrasse Tyson was not the scientific advisor on this movie), that time is fluid, and that we had the power to click our heels and go back home all along.  (Believe it or not, that was not even a spoiler.)

In my defense, I want to add that I love science fiction films.  I don't mind a crazy new wrinkle that has nothing to do with reality or anything that could ever be reality.  I'm sure Neil Degrasse Tyson does too (right, Neil? Call me!), and that he is also able to separate real scientific principles from fantastic ones.  But this one was just too cheesy, even for me.  The last hour made science too precious, too adorable, too much baby seal hugging a puppy (what's cuter than that?), to the point where they lost me.

The sad part of this film is that it should be seen in a theatre in order to fully appreciate the sound and the visuals, but the story is more of one that you could "catch it on cable."  So if you balance the excellence of the technical merits and the silliness of the story, you end up with Inter-mediocre rather than Interstellar.  

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