Blu-Ray Review- Interstellar (2014)

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[Possible Spoilers Ahead]

Any new film by Christopher Nolan is always an event and his latest Interstellar is no exception. Over the last few months there has been a heavy backlash, Metacritic users called it the most overrated film of 2014 recently, which surely is Birdman. It is in reality a film full of ambition and imagination, which is surely lacking in cinema not just in Hollywood but also all over the world.

Interstellar is a science fiction epic in the mould of 2001: A Space Odyssey with sprinkling of early Spielberg Americana sci-fi flare like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper who is picked to head a mission from earth through a black hole to try to find an inhabitable planet because the world’s food supply is dying. There was a previous expedition and they have had some messages but nobody has returned back to earth so they going to try find out what happened and if the possible new planets are inhabitable.

For the majority Interstellar is some of Nolan’s best work and many of the reviews said Nolan nearly made his masterpiece and there is some truth to that. The film first and foremost is truly stunning to look at; the scenes in the blackhole and the surreal climax in the Tesseract are truly breathtakingly beautiful. They also have aspects of surrealism which is rare in big blockbuster and even lacked in the film he made Inception which should have been more surreal than it turned out to be. Nolan as he did with his Batman films took a stanch that he would only use CGI when he found it necessary so the film has an organic look which is refreshing in a world of CGI overload in Blockbusters.

Out of the Mcconaissance performances, it’s one of the lesser ones. He certainly has a strong emotional arc he has to go through but it lacks the darkness that his role in Mud or the career defining turn in the TV show True Detective had. Anne Hathaway who I normally can’t stand is perfectly fine as one of the other astronauts. Casey Affleck plays Cooper’s son and as with any of his performances is outstanding. Jessica Chastain shines as Cooper’s daughter Murphy, who has a better track record than Chastain of late? Matt Damon shows up and gives an uncharacteristic villainous turn, which along with The Zero Theorem shows his range of late.

It’s of course not without faults; the hour before they get to space does drag considerably. I personally like the testimonials reminiscent of Warren Beatty’s Reds that are sprinkled in the first half but I could easily see how they slow down the pace before you get to the real meat of the film. It’s overly long as well it’s nearly 3 hours in length and when it comes to film’s lengths just remember 2001: A Space Odyssey took you from the birth of man to the dawn of a new species in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes. The film’s climax also suffers from Spielbergian sentimentality but *Spoliers* the whole film is a lot more satisfying if you take the last half an hour to be the dying thoughts of Cooper in the tradition of Ambroise Bierce’s masterful short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge *Spoliers*.

In closing Interstellar remains a film that is masterful executed despite some over sentimentality in the last act. The performances from the ensemble cast are top-notch and is Nolan’s most satisfying film since The Dark Knight. It might not quite have the philosophical weight of 2001 but has a profound what if… we keep going the way we are may have vacant our home planet and find somewhere else to settle.

The Blu-Ray includes a lengthy making of documentary split into individual featurettes that has a play all option. It also includes a science of Interstellar documentary which is extended from the broadcast version. It also includes the trailer and a digital copy and finally it’s also available in a snazzy digibook which includes a 48 page book it’s limited to 20,000 in the UK.

Ian Schultz

Genre: Sci-fi, Adventure Distributor: Warner Bros BD Release Date: 30th March 2015 (UK) Rating:12 Aspect Ratio: 16:9 – 1.78:1 Director:Christopher Nolan Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Wes Bentley Buy:Interstellar [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free]