Sunday, November 30, 2014
1. The ambition - I will never understand how anyone can criticize a movie like this for its "science fiction" not being "realistic". For me, if a movie builds a world and sticks to the rules of that world, then the so-called plot holes do not exist. I would much rather a story-teller imagine and create something new and not worry about certain realistic logistics, than re-tell me a boring, safe, scientifically accurate story. Plus, there are so many things we don't know yet, about space, time-travel, black holes, other dimensions etc., how can we criticize a movie for not being accurate, when we are still learning the intricacies of the universe? The only thing I would criticize the movie for is the acting - I'm a fan of Anne Hathaway, but she was not good in this movie. It wasn't just her, though. There was something off about all of the acting, except with Jessica Chastain - she's fantastic. Although, I don't see it as a movie that relies that much on acting. I mean, none of the acting was terrible or anything; it just wasn't as spectacular as the rest of the movie. Interstellar may well be my favorite Nolan film (I've liked all of them, to some degree). It's thrilling, intellectual, epic, and bold. Like whoa.
2. The surprises - *Do not read if you haven't seen it* - I don't know how, but I managed to avoid everything about this movie. Never saw the trailer, never read any reviews and I changed the channel every time a commercial came on. The only information I knew was, who the 3 main stars were and I read a whole ton of twitter snark about the science behind it (but I never clicked on the articles). Going in blind for this movie, definitely enhanced my enjoyment. For one, I had NO IDEA about that mind-blowing surprise cameo. I'm not even going to spoil it; even though I prefaced this with a spoiler alert, but I think knowing that there is, in fact, a huge cameo, already ruins the surprise factor. I've read several articles, since watching the movie, that argue this character isn't necessary in the movie, but I say "WHAT?!" to that. His character is the catalyst for the end of the movie. Second, I knew it was a movie about people in space, but I had no idea why they were in space. The whole "Earth becoming uninhabitable" is a fantastic (and scarily realistic) idea for a movie. The beginning of the movie is so engaging; the idea that technology and science has ruined Earth - so much so, that text books have re-invented History to encourage the younger generation to become farmers?!? That's a crazy idea to digest. Like whoa.
3. The emotion - It's so hard to really describe or critique this movie, because it's all about the emotion behind it. As I watched it, I enjoyed the story, and was dazzled by the special effects. Then I went home and bawled my eyes out. It's such a "big idea" movie, that I didn't really connect with it emotionally while watching it. It wasn't until I absorbed all of the information and personalized the theories that are presented, that I really "got it". Behind all of the space travel, adorable robots, and surreal images, the movie is really about this untouchable, mysterious idea of "destiny". I think I cried so much because it reinforced my theory about "gut feelings". Sometimes, I just "know" when something is right; like everything in my life has led me to this moment. What if this "gut feeling" is another dimension "me", leading me in the right direction? Isn't that just overwhelmingly uplifting and emotional to think about? Like whoa.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
1. Jake Gyllenhaal's finest performance? - For an actor who has had very little career missteps (The Edge of Tomorrow and Prince of Persia), it's weird that I never really rated Gyllenhaal as one of my favorite actors. He's been a strong presence in many movies, and has been on a career high over the past couple of years, but I think this performance has really sealed the deal. It's an astonishing, Oscar worthy performance. While most refer to the "creepiness" Gyllenhaal instills as Lou Bloom, I didn't really find him creepy at all. Instead, I thought his performance came off as a really complicated sociopath, with aspects of undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome. I really, strongly wish that the scene in the beginning didn't exist because I think it set expectations about his character. If that scene didn't exist, we would see his descent into a vicious monster as a result of a societal effect. As he discovers his interest in crime "journalism", he is praised for the images that he is capturing and the line that he is crossing - someone with personality/social disorders would take that praise and continue to push the envelope. It's a fantastic character study and Gyllenhaal takes pride in the role. It's impossible to look away.
2. Where has Rene Russo been? - First, can we talk about the fact that Rene Russo is 60 years old?! Holy cow, she looks incredible. Stunning, in fact; It seems she hasn't aged in 20 years. The real question, though, is where the fuck has she been? Other than the Thor movies, she hasn't acted in anything in 10 years and I am baffled as to why. She's such a strong actress; and she makes a gigantic impact in this movie. I hope her break from acting was her own decision and not because she wasn't getting roles. This movie proves that the acting world needs her.
2. It's Taxi Driver meets Drive meets Network? - Um, no, no, no, 10,000 times, no. I get the comparisons. The sociopathic character study can be compared to Travis Bickle; the pulpy, noir L.A vibe can be compared to the atmosphere of Drive; the edgy, unapologetic view of journalism ethics can be compared to the subject of Network. Just because it can be compared to these masterpieces, doesn't mean it should be, though. Every review that I've read has referenced one of these three movies and it is mind-boggling. Before I saw the movie, I read several one-line reviews that simply said "this year's Drive" (apparently by people who loved Drive, but may have worryingly misunderstood it). If you go into the movie expecting this; then you may be severely disappointed, as I was. If I hadn't expected a masterpiece, I may have enjoyed the movie more. It's still a strong movie; with even stronger performances, and it sits just outside of my Top 10 of the year, so far. It just doesn't come close to a masterpiece, for me.