[Movie Review] Interstellar.. and what 70mm film is

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Christopher Nolan is back on the big screen with a new adventure. After doing the superhero (Dark Knight) trilogy and after messing with our minds (Inception), he has decided to take on the final frontier with a space adventure with Interstellar. Shot in 70mm film, will this be able to capture your space crave?

All trailers leading to the Interstellar movie have been somewhat vague. It’s clear that there’s some sort of space travel to find life elsewhere since Earth is all messed up but it really wasn’t clear how they were going to do it. I purposely didn’t read anything about the movie nor did I go looking for specific plot points going in. Was it good? Did it suck?

Plot
It’s the future and things are going really bad for Earth. Food has run out and it seems that the focus on the governments of the world is to try and produce sufficient food supply. But it’s not purely caused by lack of production, it also has to do with the conditions of the world. Dust storms and weird phenomenon that stunt the way food is produced. Cooper (McConaughey) is a former pilot who now lives with his family as a farmer. He stumbles on to some secret NASA site and, given his skills, now has to go on a mission to try and find new worlds to live in.
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Characters
Matthew McConaughey plays the lead guy, Cooper. The character has a cowboy-ish like personality which suits him… and he’s a farmer, so that accent just works. I thought he was good for the part. There was a lot of crying as well which he does well. Anne Hathaway plays Amelia Brand, the scientist who is in charge of assessing which planet can be inhabitable. I wasn’t really feeling her in this role… they cut her hair to make her less appealing and more nerdy looking, but it still didn’t work for me. She didn’t seem up to the task, but maybe because her dad (Professor Brand played by Michael Caine) was leading the whole project and that’s how she got the job. The professor is the guy who’s calling the shots. Caine does a good job of making you actually care about why they’re doing this in the first place.
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There’s a bunch of other peripheral characters like Jessica Chastain who plays Cooper’s daughter. There’s also Topher Grace (Spiderman 3 – Venom) who plays her boyfriend. Then there’s that secret character that totally surprised me and made me so disappointed because I had no idea what he was doing in this movie. I won’t say who it is, but it’s nothing to be excited about. You’ll know when you see him.

Story
Strap on to your seats because this is one long movie (almost 3 hours). The story is sci-fi made to look real, that’s why they put it in the future. The pacing is good and there’s enough story to keep the action going. Where it kind of falls short for me is how they don’t really explain some of the time lapses. They just kind of let you figure it out on your own. Whether this was intentional or not I don’t know. I’m not giving any of the major plot points away so I’ll just leave it at that. I just wish they added a clearer timeline of how much time passes after scenes.

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70mm film and what it is
One of the things that the host of the premiere highlights is how everything is shot in 70mm film. I could see that most of the people in the IMAX was just looking at her blankly until she walked away. I was rolling my eyes. In today’s filmmaking world, the standard when using film is 35mm. That’s the giant roll you see. 70mm is almost twice that size (almost because not the entire film is used just for picture). So these things are supposed to make the picture look better and capture more details. The alternative to film is of course digital, which a lot of people use today. That means that instead of recopying and shipping the film, it can instead be done digitally. Obviously it costs less to produce and the quality is not that far off. If this had been like 10-15 years ago, I’ll agree to film looking better. But not today. welcome to 2014. So unless you’re a picture quality buff who does side by side benchmarking, this isn’t really going to mean very much. From this movie’s perspective, most of the scenes I wanted to see more detail to are CG anyway.
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Overall
Interstellar is a fun sci-fi adventure that will keep you at the edge of your seat and in constant thought. Yep, it’s not a mindless movie, you actually have to understand what’s going on. I enjoyed it while it lasted. It’s a really good film you have to watch at least once.

Score: 4 out of 5 (Exceeds my expectations a little bit).

Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 6, “Interstellar” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. “Interstellar” is available in four formats: IMAX 70mm Film (wee!) (at IMAX SM Mall of Asia), 35mm Film (at Glorietta 4, Sta. Lucia East and Trinoma), IMAX Digital (at SM Aura Premiere, SM Cebu, SM Clark, SM Lanang, SM Megamall, SM North EDSA and SM Southmall) and Digital 2D (most theatres nationwide).
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