This is a scene by scene generally glowing review of Interstellar.
Right away we have some awesome. The blend of re-purposed dust bowl interview footage, complete with this neat upside down dishware detail, coupled with the Sci-Fi space-jet teaser opening immediately established the film as something special, with a feeling of serious intellectual attention without being pretentious. Adding in the dusty running laptop is a stroke of genius as it nicely juxtaposes the apparent technological regression with the obvious fact that we are either in the future or a contemporary parallel era, without having to resort to telling us.
Rule one of great film making: Don’t tell the viewer anything you can show them instead.
The relationship dynamic here is excellent. It shows parental frustration along with the absolute best possible response. We see respect for the girl shown as a human being which feels not as if it’s a staged (despite literally being staged) father of the year moment, but rather a snapshot into their typical interactions. Encouraging critical thinking and empowering the child by teaching her how to think, as opposed to what to think. To bad she turns out to be pathologically dim and mean as an adult. I really hope that wasn’t the point… We get enough oppress your children for their own good rhetoric in the whole rest of culture.
Pretty sure this is the first ever drone chase through a corn field in cinema history. Again with the awesome sweet and sour flavor of high tech meets backslide, with a garnish of purpose and excitement.
Another example of respect towards children by showing them (again not telling) as competent trustworthy people. True she’s later proven to be exceptionally bright from a technical standpoint, but not to a super human degree, as is often the case in other lesser movies where they have to have some supernatural excuse for kids when they act like actual humans. The son asks insightful questions as well, so again it’s not a big “check out the mutant nerd” showcase when we see a kid with an IQ north of carrot.
She asks an awesome question and gets an awesome answer. She asks why they can’t simply release the drone, as if it’s a bird. This is not presented as childish nonsense for even a millisecond. I was deeply impressed by this question. And his answer is excellent as well. He says it needs to learn to adapt like everyone else, creating a feeling of shared struggle, and mutual respect, for a machine. Let that sink in. Because it won’t be long till we have feeling machines in reality. They will be our allies but it will still be possible to victimize them. Don’t be that guy (person).
Without starting in on a massive rant about school, let me just say that in my opinion this depiction of school as little more than drones making drones, and outright lying about history for manipulative reasons is horrifyingly accurate.
And yes I picked that frame on purpose. Looking painfully, willfully, ignorant and half blind… Nailed it.
When the meat bots demonstrate total oblivity to his opposition to their indoctrination program and imply that he should somehow punish her in their behalf to stop her from thinking and stuff, he delightfully goes in the opposite direction. Again showing a parent doing at least some degree of the right thing… Opposing that odious machine, instead of feeding our kids to it like some kind of island primitives stuffing our loved ones into the volcano for (in this case literally) a better harvest.
I’m guessing me and this character were born about the same time. They never say what year exactly that I noticed, but that’s the impression I get. I like the nature of his role too. He seems burnt out but still doing what he can, if fatalistically.
Here he says it’s like we’ve forgotten who we are, explorers, not caretakers. I couldn’t agree more. At some point it’s like we decided to stop willfully changing things when our ability to willfully change things is the whole reason we are alive and special.
We need to declare actual war on mosquitoes.
I love that the enemy in this film isn’t runaway technology or climate change or whatever other unabomber Luddite kind of moral, where the implied “correct” response is to go churn butter and drop our cellphones in the toilet in some futile and literally mindless effort to halt innovation. Rather the enemy appears to be the very nature of life, things evolving faster than we are, depicted as an organism called the blight which metabolizes crops, oxygen, and nitrogen. It’s a brilliant double message. Regression will kill us, and when you stand still while everything else moves forward, you might as well be killing yourself, because nature does not care about you.
Evolution is both the question and the answer. Love it.
“We used to look at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down, and worry about our place in the dirt.”
Again with the awesome respect shown children and diversity. That it’s ok to want different things out of life, different ways of life so long as they don’t hurt anyone. Wow. That is really an ethic we need right now for parents, and the world.
We need to stop trying to force everyone into the same life plan of immediate returns for the culture. When we developed farming, we showed patience in the short term for gains in the long term. We need to do that again with a universal basic income.
Simply water humanity and see what they yield. Don’t eat your seed stock. Have a little faith that the same creatures that invented culture will find a way to be useful to it.
This bit is unrealistic and I’m sure virtually all of us called it.
I think I would have had her be in the house and answer him, then sneak into the back of the truck, and then have him hit a bump or something causing her to make a noise.
Having her already hidden in the cab while great for the character interaction is also a fairly hamfisted way to initiate the next scene.
This robot design is brave and awesome. More to follow. At first it looked silly to me, like a guy in a silver cardboard box, but that impression did not last. And while possibly being a nice nod to the monolith (especially in the very final frame of the movie) I think it also served as an instant and obvious disclaimer of the AI-as-menace trope.
Brilliant film making here. They knew not to show us his face. They did point him out though. So we know he’s going to be significant later, but we don’t know in what way. He could merely be plot context, or he could be a person. Showing us a face would tell us. Not showing us a face, kind of tells us too though, since they showed the faces of other team members, but it’s subtle and I missed it the first time.
I’m glad they cast this guy, he has deserved better roles for a long time. His agent must suck, he gets the worst roles. (Like Blackheart, omg the poor guy.)
“Everybody good? Plenty of slaves for my robot colony?” lol4r Seriously that just makes me giggle. “I have a cue light I can use when I’m joking if you like. (Human accepts offer.) Yeah, you can use it to find your way back to the ship after I blow you out the airlock. (Cue light comes on.)” ~TARS
Instantly likable. I haven’t liked a human sourced robot in a near future space movie this much since AMEE. And I have a feeling TARS/CASE/KIPP could whomp AMEE.
Docking in other movies is kind of a throw away thing but in this movie I think they treat it as properly harrowing. Imagine trying to poke a hole in your last two balloons full of oxygen and hook them together at the hole. That’s basically how amazing docking actually is when you think about it and how important it is not to screw up.
I seriously love this robot design. It screams utility.
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
I could not agree more. Though this movie does take a dump on people who like living individually. But hey, that’s pandemic Pro-aging trance for you.
I strongly disagree with her notion of nature not being evil. Setting aside the fact that nature clearly loves her. (She’s the prettiest woman in Hollywood imo, and thus very probably this whole fictional universe. Also apparently she’s an astronaut-grade save humanity genius, on the first lifeboat off the dying rock, one of the handful spared out of the billions with their lives coming to an end, so yeah, of course she’s thinks nature’s cool. She’s never left the pleasure garden until now.
Even she admits she wasn’t ready for reality when she gets back from planet tsunami.
To those of us with some perspective, the universe is quite obviously evil by every objective measure.
The shockingly vast majority of it is instantly lethal for a start, and on top of that there’s entropy and an obvious and complete lack of empathy. Simply see all arguments against intelligent design.
Ironically, this truth is actually good news because it means we are completely justified, when not outright compelled, to do what we need or want to do with it.
It only deserves, and only responds, to our actions. It doesn’t care about our feelings one way or the other, and it doesn’t care what we do to it or with it either. This makes all sentient life so precious, and everything else entirely ours. That is completely beautiful to me.
“Is a lion evil because it rips a gazelle to shreds?” ~Dr. Privileged
Uhh, yes actually. And so are we for permitting it. Indeed it’s infinitely more evil than some teenager torturing strays to death because at least the teen will out grow it or get stopped eventually, and can’t measure its victims by the million, and it didn’t create a self replicating machine that requires wholesale daily execution of torture and murder simply to keep breathing.
I mean think of the staggering malevolence of that. These prey animals are functionally toddlers, and even without lions, their life is hellish, and that’s just a tiny segment of the torture factory called life.
No, we need to cure this planet, not prolong its sickness and lethality. Nature is evil, and we need to face that fact, and we will or we’ll die, expressly because of that evil.
I love how he instantly jumps at the chance to free Murph of her school slavery. He made the decision faster than he could take the breath it took to convey the fact that he had made it.
His explanation of why the wormhole is spherical is both informative and elegant. The hole in the paper thing happens in other films, but this is the best version so far because it explicitly explains how a wormhole is faster.
The wormhole travel scene is just marvelous. Doing it all with morphing and lens effects (as in image transformations, not like camera lens effects) is just brilliance.
This concept of “the bulk” (space beyond our three dimensions) is nicely depicted here, but I imagine the real thing would look far more nonsensical, where as this looks like roughly the inside of a crumpled ball painted with moving star fields.
I think the inside of such a thing would defy visual processing for us and would look nonsensical and pretty much like an image processing artifact collection. Distance and depth perception for example would probably be very broken.
Thinking about that makes me think of the concept of truly toxic information. Like the trope in stories where seeing something from beyond can drive you mad. Well, if our senses are inputs, and our minds are processors, it should be possible to crash that processor with input only.
Beautiful. Also, is anyone else reminded of the laughing man logo? 😛 “I thought what I’d do is pretend to be one of those black holes for awhile.” 😛
CASE being super cool I love how their whole body is dynamic like that. Sharper and narrower, reconfigured as needed. Simply beautiful.
Sadly, the death and lost years because of this are due to refusal to obey orders, and really it’s unrealistic. The effects of the time dilation should have been anticipated, and the cached data would have made it obvious.
It’s harrowing and moving and important, but also an example of the idiot ball trope. How did CASE not notice and mention the waves? How did the telemetry not make the situation obvious? Do these things not have black boxes? It strains credulity.
CASE says “The data Doyle received was just the initial status, echoing endlessly.” And they didn’t notice the identical timestamps? The data didn’t have timestamps? Please.
Still, rule of cool applies, because holy crap waves, robot running/rolling, drama, etc.
Nope, you were never ready for reality. And frankly I’m pretty pissed that CASE didn’t simply throw her in the airlock and then grab Doyle. I think he would have. I think this is humanity injecting that typical sexist crap of male life being worthless intrinsically. Pretty sure plot wise CASE would have made a better effort to save both of them had they both be Anne Hathaway.
Anyway, they get back and they’re told they’ve got years of messages stored, but that apparently means like 4 messages total… Kinda skimped on this part too. I guess filming all those messages would have been like filming another movie. Still, this problem should have, could have, been averted at the script level.
Another problem with the messages thing is that they are insane and ignorant. From the farm guy I can kind of understand but from the physicist girl who literally lives at nasa? No. Also Doyle said they already knew what to expect navigationally, so they had to know about Gargantua. Someone in the years at nasa during the silence should have said “Hey you know, maybe it’s a relativity thing, what with wormholes and all.”
Coddling anger in perpetuity is another sexist problem in culture. It’s like at no point does society universally say to a girl “get over it” but is says that crap to guys Virtually instantly.
Like if I were in her position, if my dad were in space like that, and there was any chance he’d ever see the messages, I would transmit every week at least till I was dead for exactly the reason that time is relative. It’s wildly unrealistic that they didn’t psychologically, or at the very least betrays literally mind numbing pathology.
But again, it makes for good drama I guess.
I thought that they were going to play with the idea that time while paramount, is also meaningless. Though the movie didn’t go as far as I’m thinking, it definitely came far far closer to an actual understanding. (Kpax, Primer, and the HG wells the time machine remake touched on this indirectly.)
What I at first interpreted as a eureka moment, was actually her (finally) seeing through the greatest intellectual scam of all time and a classic argument against secrecy in any agency with decision making authority. There is no way he’d have kept everyone running in circles with a bogus math problem if more than like 10 people saw it.
This goes back to her not being a mutant. She’s smart but obviously not that smart. You can’t spend decades teaching a smart person how to be a carpenter and then sell them on the notion that a table just won’t work because you don’t know how to measure to get the legs even.
I like this idea that subjectivity matters. She said it in a kind of flowery monogamy rhetoric way for a scientist, but hey, writers are writers, and the point got across.
I like the idea that subjectivity has a merit that science ignores because it is by nature blind to it. The idea that the line between experience and events has some degree of meaning above and beyond what is the equivalent of an arbitrary decision or a delusion.
The impact isn’t enough to justify any dogmatic thinking, since prayer obviously doesn’t do anything to reality. But still, I have this nagging feeling that there is something to the notion that subjectivity is real in some way beyond ethics and experience and compassion.
She notes and asks that we love people who have died, where’s the social utility in that. The movie treats this like a good argument, but it totally isn’t.
Death worship is an evolution of basic corpse disposal. A disgust response leading to adaptive hygiene tradition.
Also it was critical for the development of culture, which is ultimately a shared behavior and perpetual memory system. Think about what we do with the dead. We idealize them. We in essence raid their experience for mistakes to avoid and successes to replicate. This is the nature of what we call legacy. Loving the dead makes perfect sense.
But the core point that love and presumably other emotional links to consciousness and qualia of experience have some objective future meaning stands as a possibility.
More petulant, literally incredible, narcissistic, thoughtlessness. To believe that her character could believe her father knew, when she herself missed it for 20+ years is completely insane. She would simply not actually think that way without a brain tumor or schizophrenia.
They speak of relativity and quantum mechanics being irreconcilable, again, I remember thinking that some future plot twist was going to be an assertion for time being an illusion and that you can reconcile them so long as you take time off the table.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I plan to one day have the AIs subtract time completely from the math of both and see if they can be merged as so many have tried to do after having done so.
I think our failure to sufficiently automate math is directly responsible for us not having the computational power and software flexibility to attempt this.
This is something all humanity should be given the tools to play with, without having to be lifetime code and sycophantic ivory tower specialists. The code is complicated, the ideas are not.
And our continued embrace of intellectual property law continues this drag on our advancement velocity.
I mean think about it. We carry around devices that can more easily plot a chunk of weather and render a false world in 3d in real time than solve for X when in point of fact the processing power could easily fit in calculator small enough to swallow.
Why? Because like my barely human cheating macro economics teacher once said: The world needs janitors too. This lack of processing democratization and automation is basically a math based religion. A dogma of what math means and who should have access to the tools to make it accessible.
I knew it was all bull the moment I saw KIPP in pieces. I don’t think any film fan failed to see that betrayal coming. More liberal use of the idiot ball to make us plebs feel smarter than the astronauts
They talk about having half the answer, and interestingly I think that’s somewhat close to the actual case.
I think humanity should try a brute force math attack on the theory of everything (toe.) Like decide on an arbitrary size limit on the final equation, fix the variables we know for a fact to be true, and simply generate and check equations till we get ones that fit. I find it hard to believe that humanity would be unable to check if a (or the) TOE was correct if it were printed on a tshirt from the future.
I feel like it could be done like bitcoin mining.
All meaning can be altered by context, and obviously QM and relativity aren’t actually mutually exclusive since we’re sitting here in them physically reconciled.
So then really it shouldn’t be any more complicated than generating that mathematical context, that key, that password, at random and test it until we find one that works.
Even if that definition or context adds up to the subtraction of one thing that allows GR to merge with QFT, it should still be possible to test and objectively exclude candidate solutions.
The top of the list of “passwords” I’d try is the removal of time, and the rejection of the notion of superposed states. The cat is either dead or alive. The math should proceed on the basis of it being one of the other. (Hidden Variable for the win.)
This is totally us. Altruism vs selfishness, fighting wastefully on a spec, in a frozen sea of death.
The robot at the last minute yells for the professor to step back, like only now does he detect a bomb, presumably planted by the lying scientist. (Named literally man, I might add, which is either sexist or misanthropic or both.) But why bother? Why not simply erase the incriminating data? Doctor the archives? Hell, order the robot to help you do it.
This whole thing is just silly. Frankly I think it’s because of a rather gross impulse to kill off main characters so that we can have a nice monogamous tied off “happy” ending.
TARS bookin’ it.
So TARS just saved all of humanity by not trusting all of humanity. Awesome
So this super genius astronaut is supposed to what, be so nuts that he forgot what would happen here? He remembers how to fly a space ship but forgot how sensitive docking is? Hell, even I knew and I didn’t need all the overt narrative clues.
Silly. Seems like a really simplistic way to continue the non-suicidal-men-are-bad shaming campaign. I’m tired of being told how expendable I’m supposed to think I am just because I have boy parts.
I hate when movies and people do this. When they talk about talking instead of talking.
“Listen to me” she says, but he is listening. He can’t help but listen. So instead of talking about talking why don’t you just say. “Hey psycho, you’re aware you’re about to blow yourself up and doom humanity right?”
Futility trying to reason with psychosis would have made for much better dialog. But no we have to have instance number fifty thousand of the pretty girl crying or almost crying.
This crap is not going to age well. I’m reminded of the difference between Barbara in the original vs the remake of night of the living dead.
“Docking.” Hehe. Awesome But if there was a second port, why not start by racing to that? I would like to assume he ran down the possibilities and concluded it wasn’t possible with opposition but given the other plot absurdities, I’m doubting anyone put that much thought into it.
“She’s got no heat shield.” Uhhh. Duh? It’s a mobile space station not a landing craft. What a dumb thing for an astronaut to say to another one.
It’s ironic that those flaps are there showing that the entire docking system could be made a lot more self aligning. It’s like the makers of this space station never saw a garden hose or air compressor quick connect, or mid air refueling interface.
The whole thing should be spinny, floaty, and self aligning to a reasonable degree. Like I said earlier, docking is already scary. We need not make it more so.
I mean come on, look at that. I can think of about a billion better ways to do that. Magnets and a steel ring come to mind. There’s no need for teeth there. Yes I’m aware of the need for torque. That can be dealt with also.
I like that she cares about the TARS’s life I also like that Cooper later proved to be perfectly willing to do what he is ordering the robot to do. So he’s not really being a jerk here
I totally fell for it too. I didn’t see it coming.
“See you on the other side…” Wait what? I finally started to suspect, a whopping 5 seconds before it happens.
Of course the whole probe in a black whole thing to me was crap, but I was delightfully wrong. Apparently you totally can safely enter the event horizon: http://www.quora.com/Interstellar-2014-movie/Why-does-the-concept-of-Spaghettification-not-apply-to-things-entering-the-black-hole-in-Interstellar
I wish they’d stop having her cry, it’s like the girl constantly falling while being chased through the woods. I’m not saying she shouldn’t cry. I’m saying a real woman of her context wouldn’t cry. If she was this prone to breaking down and sobbing under stress should would never have been cleared for the helmet. The math instruction alone for being what she’s supposed to be requires borderline pathological detachment. And that’s before being one of the anti-extinction team.
To be clear this whole thing wasn’t about mass, since they didn’t release the booster stages immediately before activating subsequent stages, it was about other resources I suspect, but mostly about doubling down on the quantum data hunt.
Good call imo.
I think they should have gone a different direction here. Like just silence and blackness and then wormhole. Have his whole ship (powerless if you like) trapped in the library tesseract, and he decides to EVA. There’s no plot reason to force him to eject. Frankly I think they just wanted to show him being all manly and screaming for the same reason they keep making the girl cry. Because sexist.
The library tesseract is cool. It reminds me of the idea of being trapped in a mirror.
It’s actually an awesome targeting interface for a gravity manipulation array. As neat as it is the first time, it’s really neat later thinking about it.
“…I don’t know but they constructed this three dimensional space inside their five dimensional reality to allow you to understand it…” ~TARS
“We brought ourselves.”
That bakes my noodle more than the vase.
He says “they” chose “her” but no. M ore likely there is no choice in play at all. More likely they realized that they had to act to fulfill their own timeline, and that action was encoded in that same time line.
It’s like a version of yourself appearing in your room from the future with plans for a time machine and instructions for when to go back and give yourself the instructions.
That’s the only kind of time travel that can work. Fulfillment actions and observation. Time doesn’t exist. What you did already happened.
“How do you know?” TARS asks, and Cooper says “Because I gave it to her.”
Like TARS said, they didn’t bring you here to change the past because there is no changing the past, the past, like the time machine, simply is. Time travel, like time itself is the illusion of power.
What happens now is we put you where we know you end up.
Path of least resistance.
“Auto self destruct, T Minus…” “Knock Knock.” ~TARS lol4r again.
I love all these robots. I bet poor KIPP was awesome. I imagine him as being awesome at the level of GERTY.
See Also: http://archiveofourown.org/works/300083
We have “cryo sleep” and we’re letting her die? That’s murder or suicide. Pro-aging trance indeed. Logan’s Run comes to mind. Same thing ethically, admit it or not.
Wait, if no body believed her when she said he’d come back. Then why are they reacting to him that way?
They built the house shrine thing… Yet the family is like they don’t recognize him? WTF is wrong with these people?
More robot awesome.
Yeah we couldn’t possibly let him live. That might imply a non-monogamous future. Can’t have that right? So I guess those 90 kilos of eggs are going to die in the fridge while adam and eve 2.0 play nuclear family on the space rock.
Which reminds me of the inexplicable future society. How are they still orbiting Saturn? Why aren’t they through the wormhole?
I’m starting to feel like that station is the leftover cultist boat and the bulk of humanity is long gone. Or something seriously disturbing and screwed up happened before the gravity station launch.
Doesn’t look like she’s “Settling in for the long nap” to me. If so all that stuff needs to go back in the box.
P.S. Love the monolith in there CASE for the win