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Interstellar Blu-ray Review

Interstellar Blu-ray

“Interstellar” is an overly ambitious mess.

Set in the not too distant future, “Interstellar” envisions an Earth that is on the verge of extinction due to drought, crop failure, and extreme climate change. The primary story focuses on a single father (Cooper) and his two children (Murphy and Tom) who may be the key to humankind’s survival. You see, there just happens to be some unexplained phenomenon happening in Murphy’s room that leads Cooper to discovering a NASA outfit (led by Professor Brand). Cooper learns that NASA is looking at potentially habitable planets for Earth’s citizens. Furthermore, Cooper is offered a mission on a spacecraft (Endurance) to recover data from 3 planets that may become a potential home for mankind. Of course, there’s a lot more going on in the story than just that. Expect to see pivotal subplots and interconnected plotlines involving a wormhole, space stations, the strange happenings in Murphy’s room, Cooper and Murphy’s relationship, and a “twist” involving the mission.

Despite having massive success with films such as the Dark Knight Trilogy and “Inception,” writer/director Christopher Nolan has frequently come under fire for his cold characters. With “Interstellar,” Nolan seems to have taken that critique to heart by focusing more on character. Unfortunately, the character work still leaves much to be desired here as the central father/daughter storyline feels entirely forced. Instead of tugging at the heart strings of the audience (as I’m sure the intention was), the bland characters anchor the sci-fi spectacle by dragging it down from its true potential. It’s sad to say but the only interesting character in the entire film is a robot named TARS. How a robot can steal the show from an all-star cast that contains Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, John Lithgow, Topher Grace, Casey Affleck, and an extended cameo by a certain superstar, I will never know. It’s disappointing to see all of that talent go to waste here.

From a story and scientific perspective, the film is both fascinating and frustrating. When the plot delves into time’s effect on characters (specifically the Miller planet sequence), Earth’s inevitable extinction, or the mysteries of the universe, “Interstellar” soars. When we have to see Cooper pining for his daughter, a character ridiculously becoming a NASA genius for plot purposes, the out of place “thriller” plot twist in the third act, or the groan worthy ending, however, you’ll wonder why you bothered to embark on this overlong adventure to begin with. Add in the fact that the more you think about the plot, the less sense it makes and it all becomes profoundly aggravating.

One thing that everyone can agree upon is that the practical and special F/X are extraordinary. Between the detailed model work and the CGI space matter, “Interstellar” is nothing if not visually stunning.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p and 1.78:1 for the IMAX scenes. How does it look? From the dusty landscapes of Earth to the wonders of space, this hi-def transfer is perfect.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The track itself is flawless, but you may notice that Hans Zimmer’s score is overpowering and distracting. This is not a fault with the track; it’s just the way the sound design was done.

Extras:
* DVD copy and Digital HD copy.
* 4 “Interstellar” trailers.
* A whopping 14 “Inside Interstellar” featurettes about dust, the space suits, models and miniatures, visual f/x, zero gravity, the score, the ranger and lander vehicles, sets and shooting locations, the robotic TARS and CASE characters, the story and characters, the Endurance ship, Kip Thorne, and space objects.
* An IMAX print film cell.
* “The Science of Interstellar”- Matthew McConaughey narrates this 50 minute special about the film’s science. Among the topics covered here are spacetime, black holes, and climate change.

Overall Thoughts: For those wondering if “Interstellar” is Christopher Nolan’s “2001,” it’s not. The film certainly had the potential to be an epic story about the mysteries and wonders of the universe, but writers Jonathan and Christopher Nolan simply juggle far too many ideas and stories. It’s an intriguing, but ultimately sloppy sci-fi film.

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March 30, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Interesting review. It’s interesting to read a not entirely enthusiastic opinion. I loved the film, mostly because of the way it attempts to stimulate the imagination with its ideas.

    Comment by garethrhodes | April 5, 2015 | Reply


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