Jump to content

Best movie of the year, - Interstellar or Gone Girl ?


mtheory

Recommended Posts

Ok, so Fincher started his film humbly with a simple setting and made a damn rollercoaster while Nolan started grand and crashed into boredom, banality and bad sound. Never expected that my fave film of the year was gonna be Gone Girl, as I waited for Interstellar.

 

I also find it interesting that both of these filmmakers stumbled with space/sci-fi genre, Fincher never went there after the Aliens 3 flop and I bet Nolan is gonna stay on earth for a while too...Cameron and Scott still heavyweight sci-fi/space champions?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 44
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I've been a film-nut since my teens and I'm in my 50s now.  Nine times out of ten, I now exit the movie theater wondering why I still bother.  In order to suspend my belief, the filmmaker can't dare m

Nolan made an embarrassingly pretentious movie with Interstellar, which imo renders all his not-below-IMAX attitude ridiculous.   The old films mentioned above may look outmoded in hindsight. But th

I watched a lot of things on planes this year. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was great, and also enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow more than I thought I would (in Japan they stuck to the original, and way bet

I've been a film-nut since my teens and I'm in my 50s now.  Nine times out of ten, I now exit the movie theater wondering why I still bother.  In order to suspend my belief, the filmmaker can't dare me to ignore the incongruous.  Like many of Tim Burton's movies, Interstellar came across as a movie made by a visually imaginative person with no interest in subtle character development and story-telling.  Am I just too old to get it?  What am I missing?  To put it bluntly, though the film was watchable, I thought it immature.  

 

Inazuma, what about Interstallar did you find incredible?  How is it a movie that defines moves?  Have you see the original "Day the Earth Stood Still", or "2001 A Space Odyssey" or even "GATTACA" or "Contact", which are fairly recent?    

 

There was only one thing that Interstellar got right.  The black character who waited 23 years, alone, in the ridiculous time warp remained cool, while the white one became a sociopath ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

We watched Interstellar at the IMAX 70mm TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Hadn't been there before (to watch a movie) and was impressed with the modern remodel while retaining a very cool ceiling and walls (beautifully elegant art).

 

That's the good part.

 

The audio was way too loud- painfully loud (I used the napkin trick to make earplugs after asking the QA theatre person if the audio was supposed to be that loud ("That's how the director wanted it")). The audio mix was the worst I have ever heard- dialog was impossible to comprehend in many parts. Hans Zimmer is one of my favorite composers, however the organ and low-frequency elements got old. While the IMAX 70mm projection didn't have noticeable jitter, the blacks were crushed and the colors were muted. At first I thought it was on purpose and later it would explode with color and detail for the space shots and alien worlds (didn't happen). Detail was relatively soft for 70mm sequences, and very soft for the 35mm DMR blowups. The digital 4K projectors, including on the massive (IMAX?) screen in Burbank provide much more detail, better color, and dynamic range. Part of this could be Nolan's grade, however the last 70mm IMAX I watched (Avatar) was soft as well (in Irvine). I rate sharp/soft relative to 52" HDTV at 8' playing a BluRay disk (e.g. The Last Samurai) or streaming on Apple TV (e.g. Oblivion). In other words, there's a sweet spot for detail, which 35mm film usually hits in the theater with a digital projector (decent with a 2K projector and amazing with a 4K projector).

 

Despite the audio-visual technical problems, I rate Interstellar 2 out of 4 stars. I had read about the math and physics used to model the wormhole and blackhole sequences, and these along with the alien worlds make up for the weak story/plot/AV-presentation. I think a much shorter re-edit (down to sub 2 hours from 2:45), improved audio edit (so dialog can be heard everywhere), and a less crushed, more colorful color grade would make it a much better film and experience (bringing it up to 3 stars; can't really change the story too much with editing).

Link to post
Share on other sites

My favourite film of the year is Two Days, One Night. It creates an amazing emotional journey from a very simple premise, and the handheld camerawork that initially appears simple or even lazy reveals itself to be beautifully attuned to the interior world of the characters.

I'm not usually one for social realist or minimalist cinema but this film is really special. 

 

I agree with maxotics above, Interstellar felt immature. 

Looking forward to Nightcrawler. Sadly missed 20,000 Days on Earth in cinemas.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi JCS, I can accept any fictional time-space theory.  It was the blatant small-science sloppiness that got to me.  When Flash Gordon became a hit, a long, long time ago, you knew it was inaccurate that rocket exhaust would flame upwards in level flight, but you also knew there was no other way for them to get the effect.  They created a model and put a Roman candle in it and filmed.  In Star Trek you knew it made no sense that the ship's phasers would each go at an angle to the target, but you also knew it would look stupid on your tiny little TV if they showed it as a straight line (unless it was a little blip of photon torpedo).  I'm sure you get my point.  Historically, the problem with special effects was they often just couldn't film what would be more believable (from a science point of view) in a visual fashion.  The tech just wasn't there.  But the filmmakers KNEW what they would have done if they could have.

 

Today we have F-35s with vertical thrusters, which were used in Harrier Jump jets beginning in the 1960s, and pretty much common knowledge by the 1990s.  Yet the design of the space-ships in Interstellar are 1930s.  If the water wasn't 1-foot deep on that planet, what would have happened then?  The whole movie I felt the director was saying "f-you I'll make my spaceships any way I want because I'm THE genius here.  I know that because my last movie made a billion dollars"  

 

The problem is rampant in movies, maybe always has been.  Like Redford's "All is Lost".  I'm no sailing expert but even I noticed all the unrealistic shots.  For example, if there is one thing marine electronics is, it is WATERPROOF.  Yet we're to believe they all short circuited.  It's the audience's vanity that they want to be part of something special so badly they can't say the emperor has no clothes.  My daughter says most of her friends would look at her as a freak if she said what she really thought about Nolan's movies.

 

As for Interstellar's cinematography. Again, I don't see anything special there.  The b-movie "Moon" was 100x more evocative of space and interstellar psychology.  There was one scene, in Interstellar, where the organ music is building and building and building and then they run out of fuel and it stops and the character says something like "we ran out of fuel" and I so badly wanted to turn to my movie companion and say, "no, they ran out of organ music".  It was SO obvious.  I almost laughed out loud.  An actor should have said what Bette Davis said in "Dark Victory".  "Max (Steiner), only one of us is going up those stairs."  

Link to post
Share on other sites

To me it seems Interstellar was not meant to be a very strong movie plot or dialogue-wise. There's so much exposition, too much perfect dialogue, too many 'convenient' events that happen to move the plot forward... and the deus ex machina at the end. It's all a bit much. 

 

However, it is visually quite stunning. I saw it project in 70mm at the IMAX in Melbourne, Australia (supposedly the world's third largest cinema screen). It was stunning. There was softness, though not from the projection. There were a lot of soft shots kept in the film. It surprised me really. The IMAX stuff I can understand, as you're working with insanely long lenses and super shallow Depth of Field just to get within a ballpark of a similar focal length to motion picture 35mm (you're looking at a 100mm lens on 15-perf IMAX to get a matching field of view to a 35mm camera with a 35mm lens). So I can totally understand when there's focus issues on IMAX.

 

I can't understand the softness on the 35mm stuff though (which is where it seemed to be more prominent). As a note, when you're watching 1.44:1 vision on a 1.44:1 screen, it's incredibly jarring when suddenly half the screen goes black to show the 2.39:1 stuff.

 

It was visually stunning, I certainly did not see any issues with colour, as some have mentioned here. Also, the sound mix was loud, sure - though not deafeningly so, and I can think of maybe two lines in the whole film that I couldn't understand because of the mix. There were a couple other times when I couldn't understand what was being said, but it was in 'panic' times when the emotion and feeling were important, not the words themselves.

 

Anyway, I thought it was pretty, and I also think 70mm is the only way to watch a film ;) I think it would've lost something if I saw it in digital projection (or on a smaller screen, probably). 

That being said, I saw 2001 projected on 70mm earlier in the year, and I did prefer that visually.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol maxotics on the organ comment. Also get the point regarding holding back on honest feedback after some movies depending on who you are with. Interstellar is a good movie with a few fixable problems. Maybe I'm not a Nolan fan- Inception was good but didn't live up to the hype either. I didn't realize I was a Wes Anderson fan until I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel and started looking back at his other films and found I had liked them too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked Gone Girl and Interstellar, but I didn't think that either one of them was spectacular.  Actually, Interstellar was spectacular in a lot of ways but the issues others have already pointed out (I found the sequence of events and dialogue a bit bizarre) kinda ruined it for me.

 

My favorite movie of the year was probably Grand Budapest.  I really loved Richard Ayoade's The Double, too.  Jesse Eisenberg was amazing and the mood and lighting were perfect.  Boyhood alslo stands out to me.

 

I did love the scores from Interstellar and Gone Girl though.  I haven't seen The Theory of Everything yet but I've been listening to the soundtrack and I love it, really looking forward to the movie.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was softness, though not from the projection. There were a lot of soft shots kept in the film. It surprised me really. The IMAX stuff I can understand, as you're working with insanely long lenses and super shallow Depth of Field just to get within a ballpark of a similar focal length to motion picture 35mm (you're looking at a 100mm lens on 15-perf IMAX to get a matching field of view to a 35mm camera with a 35mm lens). So I can totally understand when there's focus issues on IMAX.

 

I can't understand the softness on the 35mm stuff though (which is where it seemed to be more prominent). As a note, when you're watching 1.44:1 vision on a 1.44:1 screen, it's incredibly jarring when suddenly half the screen goes black to show the 2.39:1 stuff.

I think that's just a result of the IMAX process. I spoke to a DP who saw it projected in 4K and he said it was all tack sharp. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The minute I saw the Interstellae trailer, I thought yeah it has to be seen, but I also knew at the same moment it could also be dissapointing, as with most films that get a big splash of promotion, you see most of it in the trailer, the above comments seem to confirm that, but I'm still going to watch it for the visuals, If it has a story that will be a bonus.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that's just a result of the IMAX process. I spoke to a DP who saw it projected in 4K and he said it was all tack sharp. 

 

Having been a Focus Puller for a number of years (and now DP), I can tell you that what I saw was not simply 'part of the IMAX process'. 

 

I feel for the Focus Puller - pulling with that kind of miniscule DOF is hard. I always feel for them when soft shots are put into the final film sometimes it's chosen based on performance, sometimes things you can't predict or account for, or it's the DP choosing to shoot WFO on a 200mm lens (or in the case of Les Miserables - the camera not coming off the Steadicam; the focus was all over the shop on that). I bet in many instances there were sharp takes, but the soft ones were chosen for performance. These Focus Pullers are some of the best in the biz, and I know they, more than anyone, would hate to see soft shots in the cut. 

 

I'd be interested in knowing the size of the screen your friend saw it at, and where they were sitting - the issue become much less apparent, the smaller the screen gets (and the further away you sit). 

I saw TDKR and thought it was tack-sharp, but then realised a whole bunch of stuff was soft when I re-watched it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Inazuma, what about Interstallar did you find incredible?  How is it a movie that defines moves?  Have you see the original "Day the Earth Stood Still", or "2001 A Space Odyssey" or even "GATTACA" or "Contact", which are fairly recent?    

 

Ah, Gattaca was an absolute masterpiece with its mix of social issues, science and human drama. 90s was the last decade of intelligent movies it seems, 

 

Gonna watch Nightcrawler soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fury is my favourite film in the cinema at the moment. Intsteller? Quite bad.

 

I was certainly slightly underwhelmed by it all. I thought the focus on Dad-Daughter relationship was misguided and took the edge of the thrills and also "sci-fi" aspects. If you're going to focus on human relationships in those sort of "strange" environments, much better to focus on the interactions between the crew (which is what makes Band of Brothers so good). Also, bringing "love" into the cod-science was slightly embarassing. If I were making the film I would have focused on the dystopian elements a lot more in the beginning (rather than the previously mentioned Dad-daughter trype) and, at the end, would also have abandoned all that tosh. Fundamentally, if you're going to pose "big questions" you either need to go b*t sh*t crazy in answering them (a la 2001: A Space Odyssey) or provide some big answers (although that is neigh on impossible to do - look at the second and third Matrix films). They could have come up with some crazy world beyond the wormhole, or simply implied it was up to Ann Hathaway to save the human race (and I would have bene happy to ignore the huge issues with that). It was also strangely predictable. As soon as they landed on the first planet I thought "that's a giant wave in the background", as soon as they found Mann and the robot was broken up I thought "he's gone crazy" but it wasn't done in a good enough way to ratchet up the tension, I sort of knew Matt Damon would try to kill Cooper. Also not annoucning Matt Damon in the cast etc is a big mistake. As soon as he woke up I spent 15 seconds going "is that Matt Damon"? If you're going to have a "star" uncredited, it pulls people out of the film. It only works when they are cast hugely against type and have a suitable entrance (think Once Upon a Time in the West although, of course, Henry Fonda was credited) or, perhaps, when it is revealed that Arnie is the good guy in Terminator 2 (perhaps lost on us who weren't exposed to the advertising and potentially "knew" about the T1000 anyway).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...