MOVIE REVIEW: "Interstellar" [With mild spoilers]

John Many Jars
John Many Jars's picture

Interstellar has the makings of a good film, some serious issues that, if you are a geek are thrown into sharp relief if you know some basic physics.

Even my liberal arts kind if "physics knowledge".

My wife nearly jumped out of her seat while shouting "that's absurd" but she was downed out by the ear pounding score.

And she wasn't upset about a physics problem either but by the scene where there is, basically, a fist fight in spacesuits, on a solid "cloud", that floats, apparently.  

So, it ain't 2001.  It isn't the "the proverbial good science fiction movie", in fact, it has a time travel plot reminiscent of a Doctor Who episode.

It's half an hour too long, unevenly paced, has some pretty hokey dialogue, weird editing choices, and the cliché bit where they choose the main character to head the mission because HE'S THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN FLY THIS MISSION is the most unrealistic unrealism ever...

...and the central plot point, that they can't figure out a way to get the big space station things (they they have built buried in a corn field) into orbit because they don't understand all that gravity stuff enough to make some sort of gravity drive, or anti-gravity, or something, was solved in the sixties. Just set some nuclear weapons off under them. As the Earth is "dying", why not?

There are loads of more nitpicky issues with the "science"... for example, gravity doesn't work as depicted.   One planet they visit, which improbably is orbiting a black hole, apparently has such high gravity that time is slowed to the point that one hour on the planet equals seven years on Earth.  That much gravity would squash everyone flat.  The same planet has waves that nearly stood still and are hundreds of feet high, so you'd expect tidal forces would rip the planet to shreds.  

The landing craft that apparently has magic engines which need no fuel (as does the mothership) and can do SSTO from a planet that has 130% of Earth gravity, but it requires a Saturn V to launch it to Earth orbit


I could keep going...  I could “nitpick” it to death for hours. Still, it gets a "B" for effort, and it's heart is in the right place.  As far as today's movies go, it's a reasonably good film.  There are easily enough hokey conversations about time and love, many featuring "Irving the Explainer" and bits that don't move the plot that could be removed, and should be.  That is the real problem here, too much time a-wasting.  

The ending is dues-ex-machina, and not a convincing one, unless you are a big Stephen Moffat fan.  Kubrick understood, if you are going to do that, send Iriving home.I liked Inception better.  Inception made more sense, so go figure.