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Who has time for Interstellar?

Interstellar:  With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history; to travel through a wormhole in an attempt to find a potentially habitable planet that will sustain humanity. (C) Paramount / IMDB)

A typical Morning like any other, my daughter was in school, routine as usual, a pleasant surprise happened at my door. The knock sent me to the window to see who it could be only to find it was my dear mother cheerful smile as usual for a visit. Over herbal tea and a split peanut butter sandwich we decided to be spontaneous and take a trip to see a movie. To see what? It didn’t matter.

Presented with a number of viable choices at the ticket booth—both of us being sci-fi buffs—we immediately gravitated to Interstellar, we really had no clue what it was about and had never seen a trailer for it (I rarely watch television), but how much more “sci-fi” could that title be? Even with the reputation Christopher Nolan has for delivering masterful films, we were not prepared for what we were about experience. What we saw transcended science fiction, taking us for a thrilling, nail-biting emotional roller-coaster, mixing elements of quantum science coupled with an outstanding demonstration visually representing the basics of string theory, all while playing at the heart strings of any parent or adventurous spirit. For this Father-Geek it was money well spent.

The viewer should be prepared to entertain scientific theories that still fall into the theoretical category. In layman’s terms, there are many broad ideas presented that some viewers will either quickly grasp or have to watch twice or more. I recommend the latter. A perfect blend of visually stunning cinematography and art direction, the superficial story makes the PG-13 rating appropriate for children even with its very brief expletives. Young viewers will enjoy the excitement and action of the harrowing journey, while those geeks who are older and/or more knowledgeable will appreciate the depth and magnitude of the over-arching storyline and premise.

Two hours and forty-nine minutes felt like half that time. The pacing of the movie is perfect to create the illusion of lapsed time echoing the mood and theme. Considering the topic relied on Einstein’s theory of relativity and time dilation (which basically means that time lapses differently for two objects as perceived by an observer, depending on whether they are traveling at the same speed and bound to the same gravitational force or not). Time really became irrelevant while sitting in that movie theater.

The issue Earth has is it will become unsuitable for supporting human life. With the discovery of a recently formed wormhole, NASA has a “Plan A” and “Plan B” for ensuring the continuity of the human race, which involves exploring that wormhole (it seemed to have recently been “intelligently placed” in our Solar System). Plan A: In hopes of identifying which of three options has the best possibility of being suitable for sustaining human life, traverse the wormhole and explore the galaxy at the other side. Once identified, return home to Earth parades. Plan B: If none could be found or if the mission takes longer than planned, then it would be up to the members of this space exploration mission to carry with them the seeds of humanity and continue the human races on their own.

NASA recruits a onetime ace NASA pilot and engineer named Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) father of teenage son Tom (Timothee Chalamet) and his 10-year-old daughter Murphy “Murph,” aptly named after Murphy’s Law (Mackenzie Foy). Ultimately Cooper, to the chagrin of his daughter Murph, agrees to join and lead the humanity-saving expedition. Matthew McConaughey rips at our heart strings as we have front row seats to his doubt, anguish, and hope. Watching him question whether he loves humanity or his children more or are they both one in the same cause, had me at the edge of my seat and a ball of nerves simply by considering as a father how far I would go for my own daughters. Without spoiling much, the ending was such a gentle touch down after a long journey, allowing my shoulders to lower and relax. By the time the credits rolled, I felt like I had run a marathon while carrying 1000 lbs. on my shoulders. I was exhausted for Cooper and my only thought was to hug my little girl tightly when she came home from school.

Aside from that of the authentic Matthew McConaughey, other performances that cannot be understated are that of Anne Hathaway, who plays an exemplary supporting star; Michael Cain and John Lithgow both distinctive icons in performance and notability; Mackenzie Foy and Jessica Chastain who convincingly played the same role so perfectly.

Matt Damon, although briefly, complimented the quality of acting capability essential to harmoniously interpreting and conveying such a climactic portion of the story. Josh Stewart (TARS Robot) gave the audience a refreshing impression of what machines can be: not apathetic, but comfortably bound by objective. TARS is one of my most memorable good-guy robots, without mimicking the I am almost human/Robot theme that’s become a bit stale. Along with many other great illustrations of showmanship, the cast was synergistic. Visually hypnotic, Nolan hand gift-wraps a superb collection of creative yet compelling and inspiring capture techniques that is only achievable from an iconic director of his caliber.

Ultimately, I would suggest any parent, science geek, action-suspense fan, or Sci-fi lover to run immediately to your nearest movie theater and throw cash as the man behind the window declaring that ‘you will not leave until they slide a ticket through that little opening in the glass panel between you’, then cross your arms and stare.

~Jack~
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