Interstellar

First Hit:  Beautiful pictures, very long and, at times, a confusing film.

I walked out of the theater unsatisfied by the film. It meanders between philosophical, spiritual, pragmatic, and scientific. Example:  The earth is dying and is being encumbered by dust storms but we only see Midwest of the United States. Where is the rest of the world?

The focus of society is on growing food, but corn is the only surviving food. Is that what they are growing in Asia? Another hole  was that NASA is a secret unit of the government because no one would authorize spending money on rockets to find a place for earthlings to re-populate. Why would we want to repopulate a new planet when we screwed up our own?

The holes in the initial setup of this story are huge and gaping. Because there were so many questions from the beginning the story was confusing. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a former NASA pilot, turned farmer who has two kids Murph (10 Yrs – Mackenzie Foy, Jessica Chastain as mid-aged, and Ellen Burstyn as the older Murph) and Tom (15 Yrs - Timothee Chalamet and older Casey Affleck).

Because his wife is deceased, also living with him is his father-in-law Donald (Jon Lithgow). He improbably (gravity helps him discover where it is) finds NASA’s working headquarters and because he’s there, Professor Brand (Michael Caine) decides to ask him to fly a space vehicle into a wormhole near Saturn.

The film wants us to believe that some super being placed the wormhole there for our use to figure out how to save the planet. Professor Brand’s daughter Brand (Anne Hathaway) is part of the scientific crew as well. The story spins off into different planets (worlds) for the crew to explore as a way to “save earth”.

McConaughey was good (and no better than that) as the cowboy-ish pilot of the space vehicle and father of two children he misses. Although he is fun to watch, I don’t think his character was believable and really a tad too self-righteous. Hathaway was good, but again believability in her character was questionable. Foy was one to the highlights of the film as was Chastain in the role of Murph. Lithgow is effective in the brief role as father-in-law. Caine was mediocre as the professor who is neither brilliant nor conniving. Matt Damon as Dr. Mann a pilot who had previously gone through the wormhole stuck on a planet was very good in his role. Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan wrote a script that was too large to film well without it being a 4 hour film. There were too many holes (black or worm) in the story to be believable. Overall, the story was disappointing. Christopher did a very credible job of filming space and creating various worlds, but the ambitiousness of the story left me lost in space.

Overall:  Although there were great pictures this film was too ambitious for its own good.