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Interstellar (2014)

Dir. Christopher Nolan

Been stewing on this for the past 24 hours and wanted to see if I could coherently type up my thoughts on what some declare to be a masterpiece and others deem a misstep. I somehow managed to avoid nearly all spoilers since Interstellar's release and went into watching it with absolutely no idea of the plot.

Right off the bat, I should explain that "movie science" does not matter to me one iota. Movies and fiction in general shouldn't have to adhere to real world rules and I don't understand those who think they should. So analyzing the factual/non-factual aspect of this movie isn't of any interest to me. I care only about the story and the execution. That being said, there's now a push to get this shown in schools so I'm guessing if they're not on the money -- they're close.

Matthew McConaughey stars as Joe "Coop" Cooper, an apparently retired former NASA engineer who now spends his free time hanging out with his kids and chasing drones in his muddied pickup. I mean, this performance isn't great. It's just serviceable, really. I could see countless other actors who would've fit into this role and maybe even could've done a better job. It feels like he got the part since he was Hot Actor at the time and was going through his big career renaissance that has yet to let up. To be fair though, there are really no notable acting performances in the film.

I don't want to get into spoilers here. Just because there might be others like me who decided to let the hype die down and check it out later. But sweet Jesus, the set-up -- which pays off HUGE, to be fair -- is so ridiculously asinine that I almost mentally checked out within the first 30 minutes of the movie. Really? That would really be his first thought? And he'd be right? I think most people will know what I'm talking about here and I guess it's worth suspending your disbelief for given the payoff is so good. Raving about this ending the way I am, you might get the impression that I truly enjoyed this film more than not.

Sadly, this is not the case. After we get over the bizarre introduction to our main story, we're launched into the stars with our cast of flat ass characters, long scenes of expository dialogue matched with a numbing lack of any external conflict and a subplot involving a certain Mystery Actor Cameo that is so outside the realm of things that should've happened here that I can't believe more people haven't complained about it. Tone deaf writing. Interstellar also falls victim to a hamfisted save-the-world ticking clock which takes away from the stakes that really matter in the film involving Coop, his voyage and his family.

Thankfully, mercifully even, after over two hours of a long haul, you are absolutely rewarded for your patience. The last sequence of this film is so incredible that it garnered another whole star in my rating on its own. I'm talking, this is the most ambitious thing I've seen in film -- nevermind a AAA Hollywood film at that -- and the execution is near flawless. The visuals that transpire throughout the film are lovely, but our ending is where they really shine and I have to think that if Nolan had given his editor a bit more leeway with the shears, the near three hour Interstellar could've been a monster at that year's Academy Awards. The new 2001, this is not. But that's not a slag. There was an intention here to make something phenomenal given its conclusion. But sadly, the story that five star finale called for got lost in translation.

FINAL VERDICT: Watch for the last 45 minutes alone. Lower your expectations and I think you'll probably end up enjoying yourself.