Wednesday 2014-11-12

Interstellar written by the Nolan brothers, directed by Christopher Nolan

If you loved Contact, you'll love this film.

This film has two parts: the first describes a dystopian future where humanity's ability to feed itself has become The Question as the environment degrades, the second shows self-doubting humans exploring space with bad physics.

Interstellar starts quite strong, with Matthew McConaughey as an ex-pilot widower who tends farm robots and contends with his teenage kids and old-times-were-better father-in-law. Civilization is collapsing as dust storms and crop failures become more frequent, with many people seemingly switching from hope to resigned to die.

In the second part, humanity attempts to explore space using a wormhole. However, the only redemptive bits are 1) the massive waves on a candidate world, 2) the effects of relativistic time dilation on family relationships, and 3) you have plenty of time to think about what circumstances might allow the observed phenomena to occur under normal physics.

Of course, there's nothing we can do about the part where McConaughey goes into a black hole, and survives.

This bad science becomes even more painful as there's a great scene in the beginning where McConaughey's daughter gets in trouble at her school for bringing in a toy lunar lander. In this Earth-centric future, schools teach that the Apollo missions were faked, so her teacher asks him to make her stop spreading disinformation. This causes McConaughey -- a pilot with an engineering background -- to flip out.

Why would the Nolans do this? Presumably, it's because all the other endings screen-tested worse.

[permalink] Long overdue email incoming :) - Ryan