Tag Archives: sci fi

Interstellar – Film Review


A few generations from now the Earth’s soil is losing the ability to grow enough food to sustain the Human Race. A slim chance for survival rests in a space trip to another galaxy for a group of brave scientists piloted by Cooper (Matthew McConaughey).

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The words ‘spectacle’ or ‘epic’ are not used lightly when talking about many of director Christopher Nolan’s films. He burst onto the scene with his second feature “Memento” and then seduced us with his Batman trilogy and delightfully confused us  with “The Prestige” and “Inception”.

Through these films he has explored memory loss, time lapsing dreams, magicians, and the nocturnal crime fighting habits of a deeply disturbed millionaire and all with a sweep of a cape embedded with a grand style and neatly stitched with misdirection.

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With “Interstellar” Nolan revisits many of these themes and creates an atmosphere we last saw in Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” while borrowing from a Twilight Zone episode which deals with what the effects of Interstellar space travel may have on humans. The first hour and half is well-crafted. We are drawn into the world of pilot-turned-farmer-Cooper, his family, in particular the relationship with his daughter Murph and the plans to save the Human race from a crumbling Earth. Once his incredible journey had begun Nolan asks the audience to make a number of small leaps of faith. They are just about forgivable because we are hooked.

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McConaughey is still playing his usual role (I confess to not having seen his Oscar winning turn in the Dallas Buyers club yet) and it fits in here as the suave and commanding pilot turned family man.  Anne Hathaway is perfectly sharp as the physicist who accompanies his on the journey. Michael Caine gives a grandfatherly performance as Hathaway’s father (also a physicist). There is a lovely injection of comic relief delivered by the clever artificially intelligent mechatronic robots who lumber about with their own peculiar and charming style.

It is long and it is as sentimental as his Batman trilogy was stirring. There are passages of dialogue in the second half of the film that are almost unnaturally verbose especially when dealing with the themes of love versus science and survival. Romantic love is not a theme that Nolan seems to gravitate toward and instead he pours all of his sentimentality on the relationship between Cooper and his daughter and does not spill one drop.

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There are breathtaking moments and some nice little plot diversions that will pique your attention. While the graphics are incredibly stunning, making the film a visual feast, it is the final, and massive, leap of faith makes the film good but not great science fiction and yet still very enjoyable.

As with “Memento” and “Inception” he uses an innovative Time device in the plot like a vendor infuses a whipped ice cream with a delicious syrupy sauce.

If you can watch it in a screen like the Omniplex MAXX in Rathmines! 

8/10

Interstellar is in Irish cinemas now.

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Elysium


An over populated and disease ridden Earth has forced the elite to live in a massive space station where they have technology to eradicate disease.  

This looks fantastic, the year is 2154 and the filthy crowded earth where architecture has been influenced by the amount of people who now inhabit the world. High-rise buildings sprout concrete branches that support entire housing estates. Robot police roam through the citizens and arrest people on parole for being cheeky and automated parole officers understand but don’t appreciate sarcasm. On Elysium people are blissful, beautiful and spend their time healing themselves and sipping champagne while the government shooting down any unauthorised ships that dare to try and invade. A great set up and the technology is slick and fun to watch.

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Unfortuantely this lasts but a few minutes until you realise that poor old Matt Damon and the special effects team were the only ones doing their best when they made this film, though Sharlito Copley (District 9) was having loads of pantomime fun. The plot is simplified, silly and full of so many holes that halfway through I almost left. At one stage the editing was so bad that things seem to happen out of sequence. Characters make so many ridiculous choices and I was taken out of the story to slap my head enough times I was surprised I did not trigger a migraine. Jodie Foster struts about with a sort of America/English accent unlike anyone else in the film and she so nasty that she may as well have been carrying a broomstick, wearing a hat and sporting green make-up. There are characters on Earth who seem incapable until the plot needs them to be useful and technology that also appears when it is needed. It is bloody and violent in places and the action sequences are at the very best mildly entertaining and attempts at humour poor.

We do not spend enough time on the surface Elysium which looks like they have just stuck all the Beverly hills mansions back to back on the inside of a massive wheel. I have had enough of this review as well.

This trailer for “Gravity ” at the beginning was more entertaining and certainly looks more challenging.

3/10

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