PHILIP HOLT ON INTERSTELLAR
Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.
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My dramaturgist pal and podcast co-host Philip Holt wrote a scathing set of points that tell what an awful movie "Interstellar" is.
So, special to ColeSmithey.com, here his Philip's assessment of this atrocious film.
By Philip Holt
The dystopian future world is in a deteriorating state where everyone lives on corn but they seem to get enough gasoline from somewhere.
They still drive the cars you and I see on the road every day. None of the models seems to have improved at all in the intervening decades.
The characters get a flat tire while driving to school — flat as a pancake —but they don’t have a spare, so they’re going to use some kind of a patch kit, even though you need a fairly substantial piece of shop equipment that bolts to the floor to get a full size tire off a rim.
A drone (UAV) flies over, and they chase it on the flat tire at high speeds through the corn fields, and the tire stays on the rim. Amazing. I’m assuming that they are driving at very high speed because a drone of the sort they were pursuing typically cruises at about 300 mph. For the sake of argument, let’s say that it was old and tired and only going half as fast—150 mph. How fast would they have to drive to keep up?
But keep up they do, and they eventually capture it using the laptop they keep in the car, and Cooper lets his young daughter bring the craft in for a beautiful and delicate landing on the hillside.
According to the movie, it was some kind of lost Indian drone that had been in the air for a very long time. I assume a long time because it got there from India. I recall some implication that it was solar powered, but the UAV had no evidence of solar cells whatsoever. They did manage to chase it, down it, disassemble it AND fit most of it in the bed of the pickup AND fix the flat tire AND get to school a little late.
At school, we find out the country is now run by totally stupid people who, for example, use textbooks that say the Apollo moon mission was all a big hoax. (I recall that in the film “Idiocracy” crops were failing because of being watered with a sports beverage, so I infer that might be the problem here, too.)
Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) sends from the future—but we don’t know this yet—the coordinates of the secret NASA space launch center a couple of hours away.
He takes off in his truck ignoring the big pile of blankets he didn’t put in the truck that includes his daughter. He discovers this while he’s still close to home, but decides to take her on this dangerously mysterious mission anyway.
They find the secret NASA space research facility right near their home and learn the following:
The stupid people who run everything have still been secretly funding amazing space research.
A brand new worm hole has opened up near Saturn, but no one but the people in the secret NASA research facility have noticed this.
The NASA scientists have sent several rockets’ worth of people through this wormhole, though no one has noticed rockets taking off.
The NASA scientists have managed to build a great big circular space-ship thing that looks like a Ferris wheel, and, of course, no one has noticed.
The chief NASA rocket scientist is an 80 year old Michael Caine who also happens to be a former friend and colleague of Cooper. He also has a beautiful daughter whom he would have had to have fathered when he was in his late 50’s.
On the basis of the past relationship and his numerous other manly qualities, Cooper is selected to fly the ship through the wormhole even though they have lots of computers who are smarter than all the humans we’ve met so far.
When Cooper leaves to save the entire population of the planet, his daughter is so mad she won’t speak to him.
The rocket takes off. No one notices.
They fly away in the space Ferris wheel vehicle. Everyone goes into wet hypersleep. Then they wake up.
Cooper flies the ship through the wormhole even though the computer would do a way better job.
Radio messages can get through the wormhole from earth but messages can’t go back. Inexplicably inconvenient.
They decide to check out the water planet even though it presents the greatest operational risk because of relativity. Cooper describes how he can do this by completely ignoring celestial mechanics and sort of “flyin’ over there.”
Cooper, Dr. Brand (Anne Hathaway), and crew member Ricky Fitts go to the water planet, and it’s an obvious bust. The previous craft was destroyed. Dr. Brand decides that the data recorder is going to be really valuable even though you can tell just looking out the window that this planet won’t work. The robot rescues her, but Cooper slams the door on Ricky Fitts, who’s left to float on the water planet forever. Was Ricky wearing a red shirt?
Meanwhile, back at the Ferris wheel vehicle, 24 years have passed! The black crew member is now an OLD black crew member who claims that he took a hyper nap or two but decided to stay awake and kill time for a couple of decades. I wonder what he did. He didn’t fly anywhere. He couldn’t send any messages. One of the computers was running everything. That’s a lot of food and water, too.
They debate and disagree about the next planet to visit. Cooper reveals out of the blue (or blackness of space) that Dr. Brand is actually in love with one of the scientists. She admits this and gives a dewy-eyed speech about how love is some kind of lost dimension in physics. Everyone (including the audience) looks at her with incredulity.
Cooper decides to go to the non-love planet, where they wake Matt Damon out of hyper sleep, and he tries to kill all of them for no clear reason. He blows up the old black crew member, and manages to wreck the Ferris wheel craft, killing himself in the process by not following instructions.
Meanwhile, back on earth, Michael Caine is now even more than 24 years older. We know this because even though he looks just the same and is wearing the same clothes, he’s in a wheel chair.
Cooper flies into the black hole. Then he ejects from his craft and falls into the black hole. He figures out that Dr. Brand was right and that love really is the lost dimension in physics, a force so powerful that the black hole of love spits him out next to Saturn just in time to be picked up by roving futuristic patrol of some kind. He does manage to send all the missing data for the anti-gravity formula via Morse code to his daughter’s watch, which she notices.
He wakes up on Earth 2, a big tube full of lawns and nice houses and no big dust storms like on earth. His now old and dying daughter admonishes him to go find Dr. Brand—i.e., unexplained love (Physics) interest. He leaves so that the now old daughter can die in peace.
Cooper walks into the elaborate space hangar wearing a space suit that fits him perfectly, and he absconds with an unguarded intergalactic craft of some kind that has no security and requires no instructions to fly.
Fade to amazing black with loud organ music.
Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.