March 13, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS | 4 Comments |


(Dir. Christopher Nolan) (2014)

It is shocking how Hollywood, where marriage equality is all the rage, seems unable to avoid schmaltzy deployment of The Nuclear Family as its trope for love and sacrifice.  In the visually impressive Interstellar, a former NASA ace stumbles, through the dust of his corn fields, onto a super-secret (off balance sheet) NASA base, where the head guy only needs to finish that knotty maths equation (or make up something in its place) in order to save the world from a kind of agricultural Ebola, doubtless the product of pulping that mountain of IPCC reports and draining them into the watershed.

So it’s off to the event horizon for the fly-boy and mega-sulking for his kids, under the concerned tutelage of crusty-but-with-a-heart-of-gold-pop-in-law, left to fend with the dust and cinematic hurdles such as linear time and digesting corn, which is as hard as swallowing the words (when you can hear them) and deeds of the one-dimensional characters, lost in space.  There’s a moderately witty anthropomorphic computer on board, and Ellen Burstyn’s on hand to assure us that so-and-so doesn’t live here anymore, just to reassure us there’s nothing new to see here.

Turns out it was all a question of interchangeable slivers of time and a magic bookcase!  Oh well.  They loved it on Pantagruel.  But TVC aged 23 years, with an additional 5 when Matt Damon turned up plus another 8 when they used a pencil and paper to explain relativity, which I thought Sam Neill covered at a symposium in Hollywood, circa 1997…I’m looking nervously at my dusty bookshelves for confirmation.


  1. Reply


    August 1, 2015

    One of the things that makes for a good Sci Fi movie from a poor one is the adherence to "rules" of logic within the framework being established. This film does that by accessing the latest scientific research and theory around quantum physics, black holes, relativity of time and space and alternative universes. It explores relationships and truth. If we all held the full truth would we make the same choices? If the lead actor had not ventured through the wormhole and stayed home would the data have been found to assist humanity build other large scale stations and explore further into space? Would he have left his family or not? When left for long periods of time would we all go crazy and take massive risks to pursue our own agendas? The plight of the planet and an expectation that science will intervene is topical. Rather than see the book case as magical I perceived it to be a portal between dimensions or another universe. There are many levels of engagement within this file. No scary monsters or alien invasions yet palpable suspense and at times good effects. I would rate the movie 5 stars and would gladly watch it again.

    • Reply

      Lesley Jakobsen

      August 2, 2015

      Thanks for your comment Rick. I dare say some quantum physicists might disagree. But perhaps I was overly harsh, and may add half a star. As a student treated cruelly by his high school maths teacher after rashly declaring his discipline "mere tautology", I did enjoy the plot device that revealed the maths master (played by Michael Caine) as an old fraud, and hence will re-examine my rating.

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