|Seriously - wouldn't you kill for this dog?|
John Wick is a revenge picture - Wick is a very talented hit man who got out of the game and lived a quiet, very comfortable life with his wife, who dies not from some other assassin's bullet, but from something as mundane as disease. She knew she was dying and arranged for a puppy to be delivered to her grieving husband after her death so he could have something to love and to help him heal. So far so good, until some piddling kid with a Russian mobster for a father tries to carjack Wick's ride and winds up staging a home invasion where the puppy - well, it's not graphic (wives and girlfriends usually get it worse in these sorts of pictures), but Wick is back in the game. The movie puts together a dark world that has rules, including hotels and clubs that cater to the dark underworld of hired killers and let me just say - awesome customer service! Not for children, but a solid action movie that understands how to film a gunfight so the audience actually knows what's going on in the frame. Tremendous, but highly violent, fun - and Ian McShane!
Interstellar, on the other hand, is less fun. I'm not going to quibble with the science - it's a feature film, not a documentary, and I allow a lot of leeway there, understanding that directors like Nolan are far more concerned with making it look good than making it strictly accurate.
|Bad design - way too much surface area|
to get hit by debris, but hey! looks cool.
1. We need some explanation as to how the "blight" destroying the crops has been able to leapfrog species. And really - was it necessary to pick on okra?
2. Nolan's use of Ken Burns' Dust Bowl footage is an interesting use of misdirection to get us thinking that the folks being interviewed there are looking back and discussing the timeframe of the movie, not the 1920s and 1930s. You know, the Dust Bowl - the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history that really happened.
3. McConaughey's Cooper hasn't been a test pilot for at least a dozen years, yet he finds NORAD and within three days or so, he's in a spaceship.
4. Thank heavens Cooper didn't prefer a digital watch.
Scientists are weighing in on the hard science of Interstellar - click here for that view and Vulture has compiled a list of "things in Interstellar that don't make sense" that's a fun read (click here!) if you want to get that point of view.
There's good in this film, too - particularly Mackenzie Foy, who plays the young Murph, Cooper's daughter who is left behind as he goes off to save the world.
I know that many, many people are loving this movie and finding profound questions in it regarding time, space, and love. I'm just not one of them. I've often said that science fiction is the genre that is perhaps best suited to asking those big questions - but no, Interstellar is not a film that does that, preferring to skim the surface, muddy the waters, and direct the audience in how to feel when. Plus, I think it owes an apology to the estate of Dylan Thomas for the heavy overuse of "Do Not Go Gentle." Last bit of snark - could someone PLEASE tell Hans Zimmer that the soundtrack doesn't always have to go to eleven? It makes the dialogue hard to hear, although now that I think about it . . . nevermind.
*I allow that Memento and The Prestige are exceptions to this - both are strong Nolan films that I enjoyed, even as I had to work to unravel the plots.