By Ronald Keenske (Buffalo, New York, USA)
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This sci-fi film could also have been titled Gravity 2. You remember Gravity the Oscar award winning film from last year. The film also rang up $274 million at the USA box office ticket sales. The film also won praise from film critics and movie fans alike. With this much adoration, awards and big bucks from the box office. It was inevitable that other filmmakers would want to take their chance at the box office gold, with their version of Gravity. And so Interstellar is the first of the follow the space film leader. The next space travel film coming soon, director Ridley Scott’s The Martian starring Matt Damon about…you guessed it an astronaut stranded on the planet Mars. Without a doubt many other Gravity clone copycat films are in the planning stages.

Interstellar wanting so much to cash in on Gravity’s Oscar gold, that the word gravity is used at least a dozen times in the film. One line uttered in the film “This is gravity.” Dropping hints to the Academy voters? Interstellar also borrows (steals) similar scenes from other successful sci-fi films like 2001 Space Odyssey, Gravity and Apollo 13. The film fares well as family drama, and could have made it on its own in that genre. Yet for all of those sci-fi fans who are looking for a mind blowing sci-fi epic.

Well you have to sit through almost two hours of slow paced drama. With only a harmless dust storm as any on screen action. Here’s the other glaring problem with this film. The scenario that the world is near ending because of the Earth is turning into a dust bowl, thus killing off all vegetation, except corn. Now, here’s where this film goes from science fact to utter science fantasy. The lead character Cooper an ex-astronaut played by last year’s best Oscar actor winner Matthew McConaughey, he is put out to pasture as a farmer. Why? Because as the film explains it the world doesn’t need brilliant people, they need farmers to dust off their corn and keep feeding the masses that are still living.

Well here’s a brilliant suggestion, since no brilliant people appeared in this film. Why didn’t they just build gigantic greenhouses to grow their crops to feed the world? Oh, during this dust bowl world ending event we only see a handful of people dashing in and driving away from a dust storm. Where is the world ending threat shown to humanity in this film? Nowhere! In the film World War Z we saw thousands of terrified people running from zombies. In the film The Day After Tomorrow we saw tidal waves submerge Manhattan followed by death chilling cold and snow and the throngs of people affected by it. Here, in Interstellar there is no worldwide calamity shown anywhere except to handful of people.

So later Cooper and his young daughter investigate strange signals. They find themselves in a secret NASA rocket launch site. Here they meet the lead scientist a Professor Brand played by Michael Caine. This where this film gets downright redundant. Professor Brand recruits Cooper as astronaut to lead a space team mission. To fly a rocket through a wormhole they have discovered near Saturn. To look for another habitable world that has air water, ready for humans to pack their bags and move right in. The filmmakers claim this film is based on science reality. No it’s based upon a theory that has yet to be proven. Why travel through a dubious wormhole to a galaxy thousands of light years away? When we have a possible habitable planet in our own solar system backyard…Mars. It will take a lot of work to terraform (greening) the red planet but it is more realistic than the find the planet needle in the wormhole haystack.

Another error made in this film. The astronauts are put in a state of animation hibernation for eight months. Then upon arrival at the wormhole they wake themselves up ready to begin work. After eight months of no activity their muscles would be like jello, they would not be able to move. If the filmmakers saw film clips of the real space station above Earth they would have seen astronauts using exercise bikes to keep their muscles toned.

The film’s director Christopher Nolan shot homage scenes to Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi classic 2001 Space Odyssey yet Nolan’s homage scenes pale in comparison to that sci-fi classic film from 1968. Interstellar has some impressive special effects and a nice dramatic story yet its sci-fi premise is pure fantasy.

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