Saturday, December 27, 2014

Interstellar

The most visually stunning film I have seen since 2001: A Space Odyssey.  It has a lot of similarities to that film: state-of-the-art special effects; a compelling story with interesting ideas and subplots that did not know how to end, and degenerated into feel good sappiness that did not make much sense.

Some ideas could have been better explained.  The planet with thousand foot tides is orbiting just outside the event horizon of a black hole, a place where tidal forces would make the Bay of Fundy's tidal extremes seem minor.  A bit more explanation of how gravity slows down time might have helped those audience members who haven't taken college physics.

 The opening sequences in what is clearly the modern equivalent of the Dust Bowl are stunning, and give a good feel for the hopeless situation that started the Okies headed to California in the 1930s.  A bit more exploration of the anti-scientific, environmental ideology that turns NASA into a black budget operation could have been interesting.  Think of Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn's Fallen Angels novel, but with dust and plant blight instead of snow.

And loud!  My wife had her fingers in her ears for the last 1/3 of the film.  So much organ music!

1 comment:

Jay Karamales said...

I had a similar reaction to the film. I did think the 4-D library at the end was a clever concept. The last issue of "Wired" magazine was almost completely devoted to Interstellar, its director, and related concepts, and actually helped me appreciate the movie a little more than I would have otherwise. But I agree, it still fell short of my expectations despite beinf visually impressive.