Sunday, November 9, 2014

F This Movie! - Interstellar

Patrick, JB and Adam Riske were born on Earth. They have every intention of dying here.



Download this episode here. (78.8 MB)

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Also discussed this episode: Big Hero 6 (2014), Stretch (2014), Laggies (2014), Nightcrawler (2014), Mockingbird (2014), Ivory Tower (2014)

39 comments:

  1. Hmmm...I feel like doing a comment as I listen experiment. Let's see how it goes.

    Hey, you know me and if this is your 100th review then give me a prize!

    I liked Strech a lot! Reminded me of a darker Elmore Leonard kind-of thing. Blumhouse is hit or miss (mostly the latter) and Mockingbird is a huge piece of shit.

    I thought Helms was fine in Stretch. He ruled in Cedar Rapids, great, slept on movie. I also liked him in They Came Together so I don't think he's that bad recently. Haven't seen the Hangover 3 but I'm sure it's the same movie as 1 and 2 which both represent the worst in comedy in my opinion. Keep in mind, Comedy is the genre I struggle with the most in terms of finding ones that legitimately make me laugh.

    Laggies looks woeful. No interest.

    Can't wait for Nightcrawler. Should have seen it already but I find it takes a LOT to get me to the theaters nowadays.

    Again, Mockingbird SUCKS. As I wrote during SMM, I'm done with FF movies.

    The thoughts on Interstellar makes me iffy on seeing it theatrically. More and more I am thinking that Nolan thinks he's profound (exactly what you said, JB) when in reality it's rehash of simple ideas that have been explored in film before. DKR is a great example. Fuck that movie. Don't promise me a Barman movie and have him trapped in a hole for the whole f-ong movie. Should have been called "The great Catwoman Caper" or some shit.

    Most films are too long these days. I re-watched The Prestige last night and being my third viewing, I was getting antsy 1 hour 1/2 in.

    I will be waiting for VOD for Interstellar now that you guys have wrapped it up.

    Okay, well, I'll probably never do this again but it was fun commenting as I listened! Great job as always!!









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    1. You might want to go see Interstellar in a theater just for the visuals. It's going to be better that way then watching it at home.

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  2. I think the fact that this film presented us with a scientifically accurate depiction of a black hole is reason enough to appreciate it.

    As for what the movie was trying to say, I feel like the message was pretty straightforward: Man's survival instinct is what makes us truly unique as a species. We are capable of just about anything in order to survive. We will always find a way to evolve and "endure," even if it means traveling through a fricken black hole.

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  3. A Sunday podcast? What is this sorcery?

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  4. I find myself torn about interstellar. On the one hand, the effects are great, the cinematography is great, the acting is not great, the dialogue and a lot of the writing are just awful. I liked this movie immediately after i saw it but I have since cooled to it

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  5. Does anyone get the impression that no one is inviting Christopher Nolan to any parties? They tell him the wrong address and give him the wrong number so he won't show up being all intense? After watching the Robert Altman documentary, I was really impressed by how fun he seemed to be in his private life. His film sets seemed like a cool place to hang out, yet his movies still had a lot to say. You guys, I think we need to have an intervention with Christopher Nolan. I'll bring the finger foods.

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    1. I think Heath is on to something. Ive heard Christopher Nolan in interviews and he will admit he is a bit reclusive and totally obsessive with his work and doesent have a life outside of work. I think this can be a good and bad thing. A perspective can sometimes only be seen from outside the box. I hope someone tells him to have a break and get his head straight. I dont want him stuck in a bubble of his own making. A bit like what happened to Tarrantino

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    2. Indeed... the guy has written and directed six movies in the past nine years, and not small movies, but big-ass productions with looooong running times. That's a big accomplishment. But, seems to me that each of those six movies are about a workaholic white male who feels pangs for the family he's lost or not built, and they all seem to have a very similar techno-melancholy tone, whereas, say, Spielberg will go from the madcap lunacy of Tintin to the there-will-be-a-quiz intellectual heft of Lincoln, with a dash of War Horse sentimentalism also.

      I was impressed with Inception in many ways, but I didn't give two damns about (cosplaying-as-Nolan) Leo's protagonist, and I may skip Interstellar altogether. To me, the definitive line on Inception comes from Tom Shone: "'How can we turn this business idea into an emotional concept?' asks one of Di Caprio's men in front of a blackboard, in a scene surely inspired by the brainstorming sessions for the script."

      It's getting harder, in other words, to shake the feeling Nolan's coming up with the stunning imagery and intricate plot twists first, and then ladling his unchanging blend of recycled emotional porridge into the gaps.

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    3. Nolan is has mild autism.
      it explains everything.

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  6. Interesting listen as always.

    So would JB's 7 word review of Interstellar be "Nolan cracked corn and I don't care"?

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  7. Count me as someone who generally likes all of Nolan's works. Maybe because I appreciate his ambition, and that he does attempt to tackle something well beyond standard blockbusters. I liked that he explained many of the theories, even if at times it was somewhat detrimental to the plot. The characters themselves were not nearly as interesting as what Nolan gave us in Inception, as I agree with Adam that I felt no emotional connection to their plight. I also didn’t like the Matt Damon characters intrusion in the film; it felt like he came from a completely different script. I would recommend anyone seeing Interstellar to see it in Imax, the visuals were stunning, as was the score (the theatre literally shook). It’s not one of my favorite Nolan works, but I liked it much more than say Avatar, which was effective in a similar manner. Also it wasn’t in 3d, which for a 3 hour movie is always a plus in my view.

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    1. We all forgot to mention the score. I am a big fan of Hans Zimmer's contribution to Interstellar.

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    2. I thought it worked, too, but like so many other things in the movie I was distracted by how much it reminded me of something else (in this case Philip Glass).

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  8. I don't care for Christopher Nolan that much, but I really liked this movie. I didn't like it as much as The Dark Knight, but still more than any of his other movies.

    It was kind of a perfect storm though. It's a movie that hits a lot of my buttons and was also seen in the perfect circumstances. So my opinion isn't very subjective.

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  9. One can get an awful lot of hate thrown at them if they criticize a Christopher Nolan movie. For whatever reason he seems to have a fan base that is a little more hysterical than most. So, while I have no opinion about the movie as I haven't seen it yet, I have to give you guys kudos for not holding bac

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    1. Because his fanbase are people for whom Nolan's movies are the smartest things they've ever watched. So, when you say that he's not the smartest filmmaker around, they go ape shit, because they don't like to appear dumb.

      Anyway, I think the gang was too harsh on Interstellar in this podcast. All Nolan films are essentially detective stories with a twist and should be treated as such. In that terms Interstellar is a quality film, but of course, it's far from "2001: A space Odessy" in terms of art. What Nolan did is took this film and turned it into a detective story/human drama for mass appeal while keeping some of the ideas of space exploration around to create the illusion of intellectual depth. That being said, it's still fun to watch for many reasons, despite the plotholes and occasional nonsensical behaviour from the characters. This movie is made for thrills and it delivers the thrills in a non offensive way. This is what mass cinema should be. And while just being okay in the sea of shit movies is not a grand accomplishment as it may seem, it's still cool that films like Interstellar are around.

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  10. Went to go see this at the IMAX at the regal on western in logan square. I enjoyed the movie, very ambitious, and honestly a pretty good movie. But I totally agree with alot of the problems you guys pointed out with dialogue and plot/sub plot issues.. and FUCK the sound at the regal imax, the bass was soo fucking loud, rattling the damn walls, drowning out dialogue. Is it really necessary to be soo goddamn loud?

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  11. Great podcast guys.

    I probably enjoy Nolan's work more than anyone mentioned here, but I think you were all really on the button here. Yes it is ambitious, yes it has scope, yes it is trying to be intellectually challenging, but it can't escape the numerous black holes sucking the life out of the script.

    The one that bothers me the most is this... Michael Caine (pronounced "My Cocaine") spent almost 30 years PRETENDING to try and come up with a solution? Not to mention that he was at least 103 years old BEFORE the huge gap in time.

    Lots to like. Still better than DNR but doesn't approach Nolan's best.

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  12. Too tired to be more coherent than this, but INTERSTELLAR is really, really, really, great. I'm amazed how lukewarm of a reception you guys gave this film. I usually am in agreement with at least one of you guys, but not so much this time. Adam tried to be the voice of reason, but it was 2 on 1 unfortunately. To be fair, you guys all did mention things you liked in this film and appreciated it was going for it. But overall, I believe you you undersold it. I thought Anne Hathaway was great. Obviously Matthew McConaughey was great too. I think it tackles plenty of themes and has a lot to say about empathy for those around us, relationships, parenting, love, etc. On the pod the film was criticized for tackling an old story (dad goes on a difficult journey and returns home, etc). I would argue there are almost no original ideas anymore. It's all in how you present and deliver those ideas, which I think this film does in an interesting way. The score is phenomenal. Anyway, just a few thoughts. We can still be friends.

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  13. I think the problem with Ivory Tower is that the topic is way, way too complex and sprawling to cover in a 90 minute film. And they even say this, after 90 minutes of flapping around. I thought it was a decent primer on the basics of what's going wrong in higher ed, but nothing more. I gave it a fair grade in my DVD Verdict review, but maybe that's because I'm a little too close to the subject.

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  14. Can you guys please post a link to that Nightbreed blu-ray issue video you mentioned in this episode?

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  15. Just listened to the podcast! Great rundown. My only note would be...

    SPOILERS

    ...that I think Patrick was right and the STAY moment was not really a plot hole. It's his first action, before he really understands what's going on, and in that moment everyone is dead and he's thinking "this mission was a mistake" so his first instinct is to try to fix it.

    And for a while I actually thought that's what the movie was going to be about, that it was a mistake for him to leave. This grandiose hard sci-fi space movie that argues "space is a fantasy." That instead of wasting technology and fuel and resources trying to come up with a plan to save mankind by abandoning the planet we were born on, we should work on fixing the place we live. I almost thought it was going to be a tragedy about man's hubris, about our constant desire for the quick and easy and heroic fix instead of more difficult, more institutionalized, more slow-acting solutions. I didn't like the movie very much, but when I thought the movie was going in this direction I got excited. Then the movie went with optimism, with heroism, with an impossible solution to extremely real problems and I went back to being bored.

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  16. Great point regarding the unfulfilled narrative. I enjoyed the movie overall but did not like the tesseract communication-through-time plot line.

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  17. Great Podcast and You guys should absolutely do a f this movie podcast on Nightbreed.

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  18. Great episode guys. I have a couple of thoughts that might contribute to the discussion.

    I just got to see this one and I quite liked it. There are the usual half formed emotional elements that seem to be typical in Nolan films but unlike others of his, such as Dark Knight Rises, I think Interstellar met the "good enough" standard mainly due to it operating off fairly universal truths of emotional connections (i.e. a father love his children). On the emotional level this movie worked for me.

    I liked the movie's exploration of the Survival Instinct theme and how it is influenced by hope and love/attachment to others. While this is clear with McConaughey's character who was full of hope and love for others, so much so it took him to the 5th dimension and saving humanity, I also liked how it was mirrored by Caine and contrasted by Affleck and Damon. In that Affleck had no hope after losing his dad and accepting he will lose his planet (so why fight) all he has left is his attachment to wife and kids ,and no one will take that from him, while Damon has no attachment with only some hope all for himself. Ive only just seen the movie, so this is sitll a half formed thought, but that is part of what I took away from it.

    Nolans most recent films seem to prioritise thematic exploration over character arcs and air tight plots, and this one doesnt seem to deviate too much from that. Its given me plenty to think about. Im kinda surprised by JB saying that it doesnt enough there to keep you tinking. oh well. Po-TA-to

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  19. Oh, and also. Did anyone else think it seemed to take an odd stance on global warming/environmentalism?
    It spoke about planetary environmental changes being due to the planet turning against them or being harsh, and that people should be explorers not caretakers of earth.
    unusual messages to have on the topic

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    1. Yeah I definitely agree that the comment on environmentalism struck me as oddly conservative, the same way that much of The Dark Knight Rises' commentary on revolution did. Like basically the planet is fucked we should stop trying to save it and start trying to find another one to live on.

      Though even the film's own narrative makes plain that this is an impossible option unless someone is nice enough to come along and drop a wormhole to livable planets somewhere in our solar system. So I'm really not sure what the argument is re: climate change, according to the movie.

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  20. This movie was WORTHLESS.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgPGDRc7_kM

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  21. So I finally got around to seeing Interstellar and...I liked it. Once again I think it's a matter of tempered expectations which might be the one example of waiting on watching a highly anticipated film. It one of the ones I was looking forward to most until I saw the trailer which grounded it a bit for me and then hearing all of your tepid reviews dropped them down another notch, so by the time I got in there I was expecting mediocrity and was pleasantly surprised when it was a bit better than that. I finished listening past the spoiler section of the podcast this morning and while I wouldn't debate you on any of your problems with the movie, I just think I was less let down by it. I was also glad to hear someone else thought that awesome robot was William Fichtner because it was driving me crazy all movie how sometimes it sounded just like him and sometimes it didn't.

    Maybe it's because my impending fatherhood has made me a bit mushy about such things because all of the stuff about leaving them and wanting them to feel safe and worrying about time slipping by (and that once you're a parent you're the ghost of your children's future - holy shit) worked on me big time. But then, yeah, their reunion was mind-bogglingly anti-climactic.

    Anyway, a good but far from great movie for me that certainly looked gorgeous and, once I got used to the holy fuck loudness of it, the sound was awesome too.

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    1. I also responded to the emotional moments, even if they were all manufactured. And I agree that it's easier to enjoy the movie if expectations are managed beforehand.

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  22. Here are some assorted thoughts on the movie and the podcast:
    • Attended a 70mm IMAX showing on a big big screen at the local science center. Did not experience any technical problems with the sound. The only time the background audio drowned out the dialog was when the picture also went out of focus; therefore it seemed to be intentional. The change in aspect ratio was only a distraction once; after that I didn't pay attention to it.
    • At the risk of being criticized for liking the movie because it was big and loud, the rocket porn visuals and chest-thumping audio really worked for me. Personal note: I previously produced a set of short videos about the space shuttle launch, and I'd say this movie captures many great qualities of NASA footage.
    • Found the story relatively easy to follow after listening to the podcast first. This might be a case where spoilers contribute to a better viewing experience. FWIW, I enjoy watching 2001 much more since reading various interpretations of it.
    • This movie is well suited to further (fan) edits because I think there is a potentially great two hour story nested within it. I like Patrick's idea of ending it as Cooper is headed toward the black hole. Perhaps also turning his "return" into a short dream sequence in keeping with Dr. Mann's question about seeing your children before you die.
    • I really like the comment posted above by Ghost Dinosaur regarding the underlying consumption versus ecology message. Why couldn't Murph have grown up to be a scientist who finds the cure for blight? Instead, we get a time-loop enabled, gravity-defying fantasy where it's better to explore new worlds and plan our escape than to live in harmony with the planet we already have. What ever happened to, "You break it, you bought it?"
    • Thank you very much for the podcast. I've listened to it multiple times and appreciate the range of perspectives.

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    1. Interstellar Revisited: The Grumpy Remix

      Watched the movie again in the same IMAX theater. This time the mid-range and low-end audio was much louder compared to my first viewing. The background rumble during the farmhouse scene includes frequencies that are intrinsically aggravating at higher amplitudes. It left me irritated through the rest of the movie and prone to picking apart all the faults in story. During the first viewing the sound mix was a strength; I loved it. This time it felt like the film-makers hated me.

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  23. cant believe Michael Caine would wear the same shirt and pants for 23 years

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    1. This almost made me do a spit-take laugh.

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  24. Finally saw it, worst movie ever.

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