Exposition and Emotion in Interstellar

Interstellar1

by Daniel Stidham

My first impressions upon leaving Interstellar were not gushingly positive. I almost tweeted about how full I felt from being spoon-fed by Chris Nolan for 3 hours, though I held off my quipping in order to give myself time to think about the film. Without giving anything away, I found a major third-act revelation in his new science fiction opus to be frustratingly over-explained. Something that ought to feel like a major discovery, a heavy realization about the very nature of time and space, quickly spills forth from two characters ill-equipped to diagnose or apply it. Before we have a chance to let it sink in, they are already using it to tie plot threads together and push the story forward to its resolution. The result is, ahem, a lack of gravity (I’m sorry). A feeling of weightlessness, if you will (I wouldn’t if I were you). It’s a sense that Nolan is interested in big ideas, but only as long as they provide “whoa” moments to audiences. READ FULL ARTICLE

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Godzilla (2014)
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen
Running Time: 2 hrs, 3 mins
Rated: PG-13


Review by Brother Reed

SPOILER WARNING: This review references the movie’s ending and other plot developments throughout. Read at your own risk.

The moment the screen went black, I threw up my hands in exasperation. It was an emotion that had been building slowly over the past hour. This was the first time that I, a lifelong Godzilla fan, had ever seen the King of the Monsters on the big screen. I should be ecstatic. The last time he came to an American cinema was a universally recognized travesty, disowned and dismissed by most fans as an affront to the character’s legacy; and this new movie is by all accounts a superior entry into the well-loved saga. So why was I so disappointed? In fact, disappointment is really the wrong word for it. I was angry. I felt cheated. Bamboozled. Snookered. Ne’er-done-well. I won’t reproduce here the exact comments I made in the theater but here’s a visual aid:
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Oscar Talk 2012

The nominations for the 84th Academy Awards were announced yesterday morning. As usual, there were some surprises. Perhaps most notably we have a strange number of Best Picture nominees : 9. Here is the alphabetical list: READ FULL ARTICLE

The results are in.


No, I’m not talking about awards. Although we’ll soon see the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Directors’ Guild, etc. honoring what they consider to be the highest achievements in film this year, the votes that really matter most – the ones that determine what kinds of movies will be filling our theaters in the next few years – have already been cast. You’ve been voting all year. Every time you walk up to a box office and say “One, please,” the studios listen. READ FULL ARTICLE

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LeBeouf
Running Time: 2 hrs. 2 min
Rated: PG-13


Indiana Jones: The Animated Adventures

How do you know when your movie franchise has really taken off? How do you know that it has mass appeal? That it’s really going to stick around? That it has something to offer every member of the family? Happy Meal toys are a great start, but sometimes they just aren’t enough for fans who have fallen deeply, strangely in love with your characters and their universe so that they feel the need to extend it in any way possible. Countless viewings of a sacred trilogy, for instance, will only take you so far. Sometimes authors will write expanded universe books on the subject, but honestly who reads books? This is the 21st century after all. FULL REVIEW

War of the Worlds (2005)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins
Running Time: 1 hrs. 56 min
Rated: PG-13


Review by Brother Reed

In grade school I read the book War of the Worlds, or at least a kids’ adaptation of it. I don’t remember a lot of details about the story, but I do recall some standout facts and I remember being enthralled with the tale H.G. Wells was weaving. The sketchy illustrations (I told you it was a kids’ version) depicted strange creatures with hooked beaks and tentacles crawling out of craters, and giant machines menacing a frightened populace. It was exciting fuel for my young imagination. What I don’t remember was having to put up with a grumpy dad and a rebel kid who hate each other’s guts. If you’re a big fan of movie family dysfunction, expect to be right at home for 2 hours with War of the Worlds.
FULL REVIEW