Christopher Nolan takes big swings at the cinema. I’ve always appreciated the fact that this filmmaker doesn’t waste our time with retreads, repeats, or films that absolutely don’t matter. He’s … Continue reading ‘Tenet’ carries bold aspirations, but fails to achieve greatness
If looks could kill, this film would already be a surefire hit
The World War II film delivers big time with an unconventional perspective.
“We used to look up in the sky and wonder about our place in the stars. Now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”-Interstellar
Chris Nolan makes awe inspiring movies. Every time. He doesn’t waste your time or steal your money with his cinematic features. He takes you on a ride that is guaranteed to fill your mind with rapturous movie love glee and get your thinking about how movies should be made. The third(and most likely final) trailer for his latest, Interstellar, is built the way all previews should be built. It offers a tease of the plot, great imagery, powerful dialogue playing over it and an instant need to watch it again and again.
Don’t spend too much time thinking about the plot. It’s 2001: Space Odyssey meets Apollo 13 meets The Abyss. The idea is that earth has become a dangerous place to live and climate control is destroying it. In a way, our planet is dying and a professor/scientist(Michael Caine) devises a plan for a group of scientists(Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway among others) to perform an exercise called “interstellar” in order to “save” it. It involves time travel and perhaps finding another planet that humans can survive on. Remember, there is a lot more going on and many characters in play. The plot is just the first bite of the steak on this delicious looking experience.
That’s what Nolan does every time. He creates a one of a kind experience. Something to watch again and again. Something to tell your kids about when they are ready to explore great films. Nolan’s films always involve plots that require a little leap of belief. A format that denies limitations in the depths of storytelling. He opens a pandora’s box in your soul with his trailers. Remember The Dark Knight trailer? The Inception tease? They had you at hello! That’s Nolan.
This is McConaughey at his best. His dramatic scenes in the trailer with Mackenzie Joy, playing his daughter in the film, are amazing. The line where McConaughey tells Hathaway after she asks him, “Couldn’t you have told her you were going to save the world?” is priceless and speaks for any good parent.
“No. When you have become a parent, one thing becomes pretty clear and that’s that you want your children to feel safe.”
That is the backbone of every Nolan production and story. Family and how it binds people to each other and makes them do dangerous things to protect the sanctity of it. Every film of his has something to do with the depths one will go to in order to get back to his family or protect others. His stories are about troubled men and how their sacrifice sits close to mankind’s reward.
Dylan Thomas’ writings are read, Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck show up, and tons of astronaut activity occurs as well. Add it up and these 2 minutes and 33 seconds will just about store itself away in your cerebellum.
Nolan makes movies that are easy on the eyes and blow your mind.
Interstellar comes out on November 7th. That gives you a little over three months to salivate over this trailer.
I wrote this over a year ago and I found it today while scanning through my drafts here. Wow. I did have a raucous debate with a fellow comic book fan and it led to me taking another look at a sequel that divided Batman fans. I wouldn’t look too hard at the writing. It’s back in the pre-sharpened Buffa days but please enjoy it. It is full and long and goes to the end and back.
After a spirited healthy debate with a quality comic book fan and film fan on Twitter today, I wanted to retrace my thoughts about the Dark Knight Rises, the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s sensational trilogy of films about Batman. While doing this, I will answer a lingering question in the film world. Is Dark Knight Rises Oscar worthy in the main categories and months later, what is the effect of Nolan’s film?
First, this movie isn’t perfect. There are plot holes and certain threads that don’t completely work, and any film fan can tell you that the length of the film is felt. Bane isn’t as great of a villain as The Joker, but that was impossible. That’s the best way to describe this conclusion. It wasn’t as memorable or superb as The Dark Knight, arguably the best comic book interpretation ever put on film, but that doesn’t mean DKR wasn’t great. In my opinion, it was. The story was great because it wrapped up the three films in a satisfying and morally ambiguous manner, spinning a scene from Batman Begins and weaving it into the storyline of the final film, bookending the tales. When you watch all three films, the moral of Nolan’s story either hits or it doesn’t. Like any great film series, the take will be debated for decades. Did Nolan do enough to capture the heart of comic book and film fans? In my humble opinion, he did. I have reasons for that. I will lay them out here in detail. The film was a blend of realism and fantasy. If you go into this movie wanting to know why Batman didn’t pull out the tubes in Bane’s face in the first fight or why didn’t happen, you are clearly nitpicking. No one can win there. It is indeed a movie. An interpretation that gains credible status by staging things in reality. In the end, the fight for Batman was one made up of symbolism. Watch this scene first before reading on. It wraps the trilogy together quite well.
1.) Remember that Batman isn’t a superhero. He is one man, flawed, human, breakable, fallable and far from perfect. He isn’t chemically engineered like Captain America or carry a beast inside him like the Hulk. He is a rich man who uses his intelligence and money for good and creates a suit of armor to protect him and puts together gadgets to help him outsmart and outlast bad people. He makes a choice, as the moral of the story points to, to fight crime and stop the kind of people who kill innocents, like his parents. In DKR, Batman ran into a physically and mentally strong opponent in Bane who was connected to Wayne through their past experiences. A perfect villain for Batman to tangle with. In the end, Bruce didn’t defeat Bane by himself but with help from reformed criminal Selena Kyle and John Blake.
Leave it to Christopher Nolan to blow our minds with a 140 second reel about crops, engineers, outer space, time travel, wormholes and Matthew McConaughey running through all of it. Nolan isn’t a pioneer of film but he is a renegade every time he touches it and promises us something great with every release. In a day and age where so many filmmakers phone in a production for the dollar and need to keep working, a film addict must appreciate creators like Nolan. He doesn’t waste our time and serves up fresh engaging and quietly amazing cinema every time. Isn’t that great to have around?
Nolan was the only director in Hollywood who could make Inception so good. He was the only director who could turn Batman into a movie that many felt was snubbed for an Best Picture nomination. He put Batman and Wolverine(Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) into a movie about magic(The Prestige) and made an award worthy film. In short, Christopher Nolan doesn’t own a Best Picture or Director nomination but in a matter of 12 years has created a fine partnership with Warner Brothers.
Interstellar centers itself around McConaughey’s Cooper, an engineer who has an obsession with Indian surveillance drones and loves his two kids, one of them called Murphy(which is a moniker here for Murphy’s Law) a little more than his urge to go back into space discovery. When a scientist(Michael Caine, a Nolan regular) wants to place him in a special mission that involves time travel, Cooper must weigh the risks against his family if he decides to venture into the unknown. Think Inception meets The Abyss meets 2001: Space Odyssey. You will catch short glimpses of Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck and Jessica Chastain as the trailer closes.
If you are confused by the trailer at first glance, that’s not a bad thing. Nolan wants to throw you for a loop and watch you click it again as you slowly get up off the floor. He doesn’t want to bore you so he plays with your mind. He will have your interest with this one because it concerns real questions and sprinkles in movie juice to go with it.
His brother Jonathan wrote the script with him, and their idea here isn’t as complex as some would think. Is there more to us than simply life and death? Does the human race have abilities that stretch outside of our world? Where does our destiny truly lie? These kind of questions are being put on the table here for us to start thinking about. Nolan wants us to open the book and get invested.
Great films make moviegoers go into their own outer space and let us time travel for a couple hours. With Interstellar, Nolan is producing that kind of phenomenon here. While we won’t know the result until the November 7th release date, this trailer gives us plenty of chew on in the mean time.
Watch it(a few times) and let me know what you think.