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Interstellar (2014)I have a confession: I was a Nolan head but am no longer. His earlier… More I have a confession: I was a Nolan head but am no longer. His earlier films like "Insomnia", "Memento", and "The Prestige", were crafted in Nolan's own distinctive style. But since he dabbled into Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking, he has compromised his fresh vision for an old and redone one. Yes, I admit it: I did not like "Inception" and "The Dark Knight Rises". Out comes another highly ambitious film -- "Interstellar". Much like many of Nolan's films, "Interstellar"'s plot was shrouded in mystery, so I cautiously bought my movie ticket to see if Nolan took some notes. I can say that the 9-time-movie director has crafted possibly his most mature and emotionally arresting movie to date. Right off the bat, the visuals are extremely reminiscent to the likes of "2001: A Space Odyssey". Drawing inspiration from one of the most beautifully shot films of all time is not a bad thing whatsoever. The sweeping visuals are jaw droppingly gorgeous and what is even more amazing is that most of these sequences are shot primarily with practical effects. Yes, at heart, "Interstellar" still remains a blockbuster, and hey, I don't have anything against blockbusters, but if a commendable director begins making blockbusters, he or she's gotta stick to their skills and craft it their own way, not Hollywood's way. I believe Nolan has done that with his latest two movies prior to "Interstellar". But surprisingly, Nolan crafts this film to be a slow burn. Gone are the flurry of quick cuts between Alfred opening an elevator and Gordon stopping a mayor and a judge getting blown and Harvey Dent getting rejected. It worked for "The Dark Knight" as it seemingly meshed well with the theme of "chaos", but it absolutely did not work in "The Dark Knight Rises". Here, "Interstellar" starts from beginning to end in chronological order, giving the film a very natural organic, and mature tone. But by far the biggest achievement that this film succeeds on are not the outer space, mind blowing shots that twirl around with finesse -- it's the emotional tug with the characters. Nolan has never done character development well for any of his films. I repeat -- never. Just take a look back; "Inception" had a puzzling story that dug into multilayered portions of the narrative that made it fascinating, but the entire core of the film that was about Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Mal's relationship had absolutely no weight. Even "Memento", undoubtedly my favorite Christopher Nolan film, had an interesting concept of memory but yet the main character was a character that audiences had no attachment with. Here, Nolan drives the characters home and tugs at the heartstrings so powerfully that I almost choked up. The anchor that hinges this powerful emotional core is Matthew McConaughey's visceral performance. His presence coupled with the superb direction and Hans Zimmers score (quite possibly his best score he's ever made) makes the close-to-3-hour-film zip by super fast. It's where the 3rd act begins is where many people have issues with "Interstellar". Now as of today, I have rated close to 600 films via Flixster and quite possibly on every single one of my reviews have I never actually talked about the details of the film itself nor have I criticized certain plot turns that films take (other than "The Game" by David Fincher). The plot can take a turn this way or that way but that is not what dictates a good or bad movie. So the common misconception many have is that people are having issues of where the actual narrative takes them. I am here to say regardless of what specifically happened in the 3rd act, it is a design choice. I still believe that the WAY it was told was still excellently crafted. It all comes down to the audience's suspension of disbelief. Yet, I'll have to admit -- "Interstellar"'s 3rd act could've ended 10 minutes shorter. There is a certain part of the movie where if "Interstellar" ran the credits, the movie would be stellar (no pun intended). But because Nolan ties up any kind of loose ends, the ending feels too much like a neatly wrapped present. Hope has risen once again. After being disappointed by recent Nolan films, I was pleasantly surprised by "Interstellar". It kept me gripped to my seat waiting to see what would happen next. Nolan has proven that he does not need to solely rely on an extremely witty premise for his narrative; he's proven here that he is equipped with the ability to concoct deeply interesting characters in a marvelously mysterious and deeply imaginative universe.
14 days ago via Movies on iPhone