Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
I’m going to have to tread lightly on this review. One of the hardest parts of analyzing these films is deciding what to right here without spoiling the movie for you. Nolan’s entry into Science Fiction is probably, nay not probably, CERTAINLY watched with as little information as possible going in. The story unfolding is done at a slow and steady pace, but done so that spoiling things near the beginning will most definitely spoil things along the way. I originally missed Interstellar in theaters due to EXTREMELY polarizing opinions on the matter across the interwebs. People seemed to either hate the movie or end up considering it a religious experience and with such opposite opinions I felt a little nervous about going to a nice expensive IMAX showing. Nolan has been a bit hit or miss for me, as I think the man tends to get wrapped up in his own hype. Movies like “Batman Begins”, “Inception” and “Memento” are works of art, while “The Dark Knight Rises”, “The Prestige” and “Insomnia” (which is one of the only movies that I know of that actually CURES insomnia) fall flat as a board for me. After watching on my home theater I rather wish I had ended up going to the theater as it ended up being an amazing experience, albeit one that required a few times of viewing to get completely won over.
Fast forward 40 years or so and the earth is in deep trouble. We’re basically running out of resources and humans are down to only a few crops left that they can grow. Corn, Wheat and a few others represent the last of humanities food sources and the Earth itself is withering away in old age. Joseph Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a NASA trained pilot turned farmer out of necessity. Living with his daughter Murphy (Mackenzie For as a 10 years old and Jessica Chastain grown up) and his son Tom (Timothee Chalamet as a 10 year old and Casey Affleck as an adult) on a corn farm with his father and law Donald (John Lithgow), he struggles to help feed the starving humanity. This all comes to an end when he stumbles upon secret government installation that daughter finds the coordinates to. Hidden and kept from sight, the remnants of NASA have been forming secret launch missions over the last decade with the goal of finding habitable new worlds for them to inhabit. Being an Ex NASA pilot in a world that doesn’t need pilots anymore, Tom is chosen by Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) to lead one last Hail Mary expedition through a wormhole to find a world.
Combined with a military robot, Dr. Brand’s daughter (Anne Hathaway), they set out across space and time to find humanity a home once more. Out in the vast reaches of space Cooper has to battle his inner demons as well as the demons of the whole crew in a last ditch effort to save what they can of humanity. Even if that means leaving everyone on Earth behind to continue the survival of the species.
The science of the film is a lot more down to earth and realistic than your average sci-fi movie. So much so that some of the lingo and theories about time shift and relativity may go over your head. That’s fine though. The theories and lingo are there for those who can understand them, but also it’s explained enough that your average person can follow along for the ride. Especially pertaining to cause and effect. Interstellar felt absolutely ginormous in scope, being almost 3 hours long, but it never becomes boring. The first act is the slowest, but it sets the pace for the 2nd and 3rd act which clip along at a pace that never had me checking my watch once. Once the space expedition launched I was sitting in rapture, staring at the screen.
The third act is the most polarizing of the movie, as it’s the act where people ended up loving it, or loathing it. Upon viewing it I ended up loving the complete full circle science of the movie. The cyclical, paradoxical theories that make the movie a mind bender. The Sheer amount of star power that is in the film is awe inspiring, as Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey and Casey Affleck do a fantastic job. However, Jessica Chastain and Mathew are not only the main attraction, but they stole every moment they were in. I’m always amazed at how Matthew McConaughey has matured as an actor over the years, but his chemistry with Jessica Chastain in the movie was awe inspiring. Their pain and love for each other was written on their faces, laced with every word they spoke. They worked SO well together that the sappy portions of the movie didn’t sees sappy, but rather needed. I have to also give a shout out to Matt Damon, for though his role was fairly small and hush hush, the scene with him and Cooper is one of the most visceral and important scenes in the movie (take special note of Damon’s film name Mann).
Rated PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language.
• Inside Interstellar: Plotting an Interstellar Journey
• Inside Interstellar: Life on Cooper's Farm
• Inside Interstellar: The Dust
• Inside Interstellar: Tars and Case
• Inside Interstellar: The Cosmic Sounds of Interstellar
• Inside Interstellar: The Space Suits
• Inside Interstellar: The Endurance
• Inside Interstellar: Shooting in Iceland: Miller's Planet/Mann's Planet
• Inside Interstellar: The Ranger and the Lander
• Inside Interstellar: Miniatures in Space
• Inside Interstellar: The Simulation of Zero-G
• Inside Interstellar: Celestial Landmarks
• Inside Interstellar: Across All Dimensions and Time
• Inside Interstellar: Final Thoughts
Interstellar is a film that certainly exceeded my expectations, especially with how hit or miss Nolan can be with his work. It’s certainly long and full of a lot of scientific logic that may go over some peoples head, but it is a movie that requires multiple viewings and a keen eye for detail to truly glean all the nuances that it has to offer. It may not seem to worthy of all the praise on first viewing, but after chewing on it for a while and re watching again the movie certainly delivers. I was amazed at all the little details, the symbolism rife throughout and the depth of layers present upon multiple views. Nolan sometimes gets a bit too convoluted for his own good, but his sense of style and panache is present and the end result is nothing short of staggering. It’s slow, it’s fast, and it’s trippy and delightfully simple all at the same time. For this upgrade to 4K UHD the video gets a DEMO worthy encode that is the real treat here. Sadly there's no upgrade to Atmos or DTS:X, but the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track that Nolan put on the Blu-ray is still a rocking track today. While I normally don't wholeheartedly recommend upgrading a Blu-ray that has ONLY the video encode as improvement, but this is a real treat of a picture and the upgrade is nothing to sneeze at. The extras are what they are (and are almost ALWAYS direct ports of the Blu-ray), but that video is what we as home theater enthusiasts are paying the dinero for, and is worth the upgrade as the step up in quality is significant. Go for it.
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Matthew McConaughey
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Christopher Nolan, Jonathon Nolan
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1/1.78:1 HEVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1, and English DVS 5.1
Runtime: 249 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 19th, 2017
Recommendation: Get It!