Let’s Go To Space


By: Connor Lenahan

More than ever before it appears as though space is an appealing option for some of the higher profile directors in Hollywood. Last year Alfonso Cuaron released Gravity, a technical marvel that was nominated for 10 Oscars and won 7, including Best Director for Cuaron. Never before had movies ascended into space with the weightlessness, wonder, and terror that Gravity provided.

In terms of what was accomplished in terms of cinematic advancements in the realm of visual effects, Gravity is without a peer. You are in space. When I was in theaters watching the movie for the first time I felt as though I was floating alongside George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in their quest to repair the space station they were working on before evolving into a race against time to get back home. It’s an incredible cinematic experience.

I specifically shy away from calling it a great movie, however. The reality is that, upon the primary viewing, Gravity is one of the best films ever made. It brings feelings that no other film has brought before to the viewer and impacts like nothing ever has. Upon a second viewing or more it becomes clear that the story in Gravity is not terribly strong. There’s not really a need for a backstory to Bullock’s Dr. Ryan Stone, especially the semi-forced loss of her child, as we don’t need a reason to root for her. We already have it. She’s left for dead where literally no one can help her. She has our sympathy. The loss of the kid and the ending, which is over the top once looked at honestly, are unnecessary. Gravity deservingly won every technical Oscar last year and Cuaron was a deserving choice for Best Director. But there is a reason that Gravity did not get nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

Enter Interstellar. The trailer above is the latest and clearest look at the most recent offering from Christopher Nolan. That’s right, Christopher Nolan. As in The Dark Knight TrilogyMementoInception. The Christopher Nolan that has a more than credible case as “Best Director Alive & Working in 2014.”

Nolan throws his hat into the ring for this year’s Oscars, the first one AG (After Gravity), with Interstellar. The story is, presumably, about the search for a new, livable planet for the people of Earth to survive on. The movie stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine, with minor roles for Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, John Lithgow, and Matt Damon. The cast is unbelievable, and the director is a proven legend. There is a lot to like about these people working together. Add in the look above and things only continue to improve from there.

The calling card for Gravity was how realistic space appeared. Judging only from the trailer the visuals for Interstellar appear to be on the same level of Gravity‘s. That’s huge for Interstellar and movies as a whole. If we are not only getting to the point where visual masterpieces like Gravity can exist, but can be expanded to more movies, like Interstellar, we are all in for an incredible era of films. CGI has been a dominant force for decades now. It’s tough to think of a movie that took a larger step forward compared to their peers in the past decade than Gravity. Now it can only get better from here.

Early press on Interstellar has it pegged as incredible. Provided the only eyes to see it are the Nolan brothers – Christopher Nolan’s brother Jonathan co-wrote it – and the cast and crew, but it was praised nonetheless. The movie drops on November 7th and that cannot come soon enough. Much in the same way that Gravity became a cultural milestone for 2013, Interstellar looks to do the same. After all, this is the guy who brought us The Dark Knight. Not many movies have taken over the collective consciousness of my age group quite like it. Nolan has more than earned our attention. Not much longer until he brings us where we have never gone before. Or, more accurately, where we haven’t gone in quite a while.