I am very proud to present two reviews of Interstellar. Reviewers Ali Farhat and Charlie Xu are Cerritos High School students taking Advanced Placement Physics under the instruction of former OASIS president and long time OASIS member Phil Turek.
Many thanks to the two for their contribution!
Mr. Farhat noted flaws but overall gave the movie a good review.
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, at the worst possible time, all of the time, without fail, when you least expect it?” This law was one of the two punch lines the movie had. If anyone feels this is true, then he or she is living under Murphy’s law.
Interstellar in general was an imaginative movie that combines physics, action, and romance, although without detailed explanation. The movie itself had flaws that had to deal with physics laws and motions. However, I understand Hollywood’s need for drama in there. So wherever they were supposed to die, Hollywood just saved them.
Newton’s third law was the second punch line; in fact, the best statements of the entire movie. Riding in space was all calculated based on this law. He must leave behind.
Murph was the most fascinating character. She knew what she was dealing with and never gave up. She really loved her father and didn’t want him to leave. Cooper didn’t want to make her not feel safe so he didn’t lie to her. Murph’s character developed vastly throughout the movie. She ended up saving humanity.
Overall, the movie was a blast and I hope for more to come. Next time, let’s try to not survive when nearing a black hole.
Mr. Xu, however, was not nearly so impressed:
I’ve always looked forward to Christopher Nolan’s new films. Whether it be Memento, Inception, or the Dark Knight, every movie I watched from his heretofore was in my memory a pleasant experience. And this week, I walked out the movie theater more disappointed than I had been in any movie for years. Interstellar was a flat disappointment that simply made no sense. With prolonged exposition, painfully predictable, gaping with inconsistencies and plot holes, Interstellar is little more than nice visuals and a litter of bombast that attempts to conceal mere convolution as great profundity.
Interstellar takes a majority of its time creating the exposition of the movie. It attempts to explain everything in the majority first part of the movie and do everything in the last 30 minutes. Way too much time is spent with inconsistent and needless dialogue explanations of the science, and it takes more than half the film to take off. Nolan seems almost unwilling to make any action until everything is explained, so that the movie would not come off as confusing. I personally feel that it was oversimplified to the extremes, even going as far as to explain the gravitational pull of a black hole as well as its effect on time, a concept that even I know and Cooper definitely should know. Even so, they go through explaining this to Cooper. In addition, many of the events that happen are a little too predictable because of how the exposition was carried out. I found myself predicting many of the things that would happen – they explained the nature of the black hole, I expected a black hole scene, and sure enough there was a black hole scene. There was just too much explaining over the course of the 3 hour movie, and I feel that Nolan could have been a bit more concise.
For a film that takes place in deep space, Interstellar has little real depth to it – whether that means emotional depth or intellectual depth. Christopher Nolan has never, in my opinion, been great at creating emotional scenes. His climatic emotional moments always end up hollow, as evident in multiple scenes of the movie such as the reunion between Cooper and his daughter. That scene and others (emotional talk between Murph and Cooper across the 5th dimension of time through the use of large bookshelves in a chamber inside the center of a black hole, where time is actually a physical dimension created by transcendental 5th dimensional humans of the future? What? is what I’m thinking as well) felt histrionic, and left an empty feeling of apathy that this time not even Hans Zimmer’s brilliant score could cover up.
I think the part of Interstellar that I disliked the most was by far its ending. For the first two hours or so, Interstellar spends its time building up to the climax, to some “click” of realization in which everything connected and all made sense. To me, the majority of the movie was actually entertaining and perhaps even thrilling, but largely because I thought it was going somewhere, and that when it finally reached there, everything would make sense in the most marvelous of fashions. But it never actually reached there. In fact, the ending actually adds narrative complications rather than explore intellectual complexions. This “click” Nolan banks upon utterly fails, presenting nothing but the generic theme of “the power of love” in perhaps the most convoluted way possible. It never really explores the themes that it occasionally brings up, and lacks depth thought it poses otherwise. How did Murph know that it was her father delivering the messages of all people with such confidence? Why didn’t they send a satellite of some sort through the wormhole rather than individuals to each planet? If they were manufacturing underground plants that could work, why not spend profits on that rather than move the whole station to space as Plan A? Why is the assumption that humans made the tesseract when they become 5th dimensional beings in the future treated as a fact? To me, many of the ideas of the ending were pretty ridiculous. Humans become 5th dimensional beings and they implant a wormhole from the future. Cooper enters the Tesseract inside the black whole which is some physical library of time also implemented from the future. If these future humans were able to do such things, why didn’t they just save the humans more directly rather than sending Cooper on a huge trip? These were off the top of my head but here were so many others that I just could not understand while watching the movie and even after the credits rolled.
It should be noted, however, that Interstellar was far from a terrible film. I did enjoy it overall despite being overwhelmingly disappointed. The visuals were very well done, perhaps even better if we had watched it at IMAX. The soundtrack (as most scores from Hans Zimmer) was very well done and played a crucial role in Interstellar. The majority of the film was entertaining at the very least. TARS was one beast of a robot, showing off his great sense of humor and providing Interstellar with occasional moments of great comedy. And probably most importantly, I get five thousand stinking millipoints of extra credit for watching it. However, I feel in the case of Interstellar the flaws outweighed the strengths. Interstellar was a major disappointment that offered little more than the thrills of the moment and visual splendor. And, as I said before, Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors; every film he makes is brimming with ambition, and Interstellar is no exception. However, this time, Nolan’s ambition exceeds his grasps.