Saturday, November 15, 2014

In Nolan's idiotic but watchable INTERSTELLAR, all you need is... (What? He's got to be joking.)

What is the point, I wonder, of inundating us with quasi-scientific folderol if what you really have up your sleeve is an approximation of "All you need is love"?  The Beatles managed that in a four-minute song, but Christopher Nolan, in his latest overlong epic INTERSTELLAR, takes nearly three hours to tell us the same thing. What amazes me most about Nolan's films -- three Batman movies, each worst than its predecessor, and the love-and-loss sci-fi nonsense, Inception -- are how uninvolving they finally seem, for all their attempts at profundity and technical prowess.

His latest (the filmmaker is shown at left) is on track to be as successful as his others, and his fan base is certainly not disappointed. In fairness, I must admit that my spouse loved the film and was in tears during one particular scene, while I sat there, totally unmoved but along for the ride. The movie's plot -- all about the end of us humans' life on earth and what happens after -- is not uninteresting but grows tiresome past a certain point, even though Nolan and his co-writing brother Jonathan do have some surprises in store along the way.

A fine -- and major -- cast has been assembled, and the actors come through as well as they can (that's Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, above), though it is Jessica Chastain (below) and Matt Damon, the former as forceful and appealing as ever, the latter in a small but telling role, who shine the brightest.

But, as usual, when I finish one of Nolan's portentous "blockbusters," my immediate reaction is always a yawn and then the thought: Once again, it's way too much ado about damn little. The real crime of this movie, however -- thanks to Nolan and the film's US distributor, Paramount -- is contractually preventing Ms Chastain from doing any promotion for any other of her films coming out this awards season. She's got at least two more small, independent movies that she would and could be helping, and that would greatly benefit from her help. But, oh, no -- the big boys won't let her. As though Interstellar needs more publicity? Just another sleaze story out of Hollywood.

The movie will be playing your nearest multiplex for some time, at least, so no hurry to make that visit. In any case, Interstellar is sure to look good and/or put you to sleep on Blu-ray, too.

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