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Interstellar

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Matthew McConaughey! Anne Hathaway! Space! Christopher Nolan!

This movie is good. It's got great acting, and truly wonderful exterior space shots. It's definitely worth seeing. But the good parts of the movie stand on their own, and I have nothing to add that seeing the movie itself doesn't accomplish in a much better fashion..

Let's get to the niggle -- I just wish that Christopher Nolan had a more sensitive bullshit meter. It's easy to see why Nolan picked up this script. Much of it is perfect for him. There's a lonely hero out of place, commentary on human nature, and a sweeping storyline with a philosophical bent. But, much like with Inception, the movie has a lot of bombast, but the storyline has big, obvious, gaping holes. It seems like Nolan could and should have sniffed this out at the script stage, and it feels lazy that he decided to hand-wave it away.

The big problem is that the black hole makes no sense whatsoever. Black holes are crazy things. They're ridiculously dense, cause all kinds of strange behavior, and should, under no circumstances, ever be messed with. Unfortunately, the movie plot keeps going back to a black hole for plot points, and they just don't make sense. Most obviously, I'm not sure what kind of propulsion and fuel system they have for these ships, but it seems that they can just go for a quick dip in the interior of a black hole like it's no big deal. The movie also plays fast and loose with gravitational pressure, time dilation, fuel effects, event horizons, and time travel. If this was one scene in the movie, or if they mostly ignored the black hole, this wouldn't be so jarring, but they keep going back to the black hole as a plot point, and it wears very thin, very fast.

But again, it's still a good movie. Get your popcorn, suspend your disbelief, and enjoy the ride.

I'm hoping that the success of this movie and Gravity means that big-budget near-future space movies are getting a renaissance. Most of our space movies have been suffering from the Star Wars effect, and need to be set in a galaxy far, far away with lots of aliens and a high dose of adventure. These sci-fi adventure movies are fun, and I certainly don't advocate for the elimination of them, but my favorite sci-fi dives a little deeper into the human psyche.

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