Interstellar

Day 33. 77 pages, 36,815 words.

Well, I had a think about whether I was going to bother reviewing this one so late in the game, but what the heck, I’ll give it a go. I won’t go into too much specifics, though, since I really don’t have much to say.

This was a visually stunning movie, obviously, and the message – let’s get the fuck off this planet before we kill it or (way more likely) it kills us in self-defence – was pretty clear and something that has always been important to me. I would love to still be alive when we head out into the stars, even if I am John Lithgow-age and end up having to stay behind, or don’t live to see humanity arrive at their destination. As long as somebody is out there.

And that’s what this movie was really about. Forgetting the individual desire in favour of ensuring the survival of the species. And how we are very likely to fail that test at every opportunity. Indeed, the movie itself sort of failed that test, simply because it had to pitch itself to an audience of supremely selfish beings. So yes, it had to offer a bit of closure to the daddy-daughter story, even if in a more realistic movie daddy would have just been creamed by the black hole and humanity would have survived without ever knowing who had saved them. And without daddy and daughter ever reconciling. Because the universe just doesn’t give a fuck.

Doodads.

“Maybe if we stuck this doohickie to this doodad, and performed a slingshot operation around the n-dimensional event horizon of the whatchamajigger … yep, the universe still wouldn’t actually give a single fuck.”

I liked how the story was nice and non-specific about the way the world – or specifically humanity – was dying. Dust storms from over-cropping, this nitrogen-feeding ‘blight’ that sounded like a new ascendant form of life on the planet adapting to the atmospheric conditions and incidentally eating all the rest of the organisms … it was all very nicely done, leaving no doubt that we were in trouble. And, at the same time, not making it an immediate this-instant (or even this-generation) threat. It was very realistic, actually – the caretaker generation was a really nice idea, and the way educators and other officials were trying to sell the idea of people giving up and just working themselves to death for the next couple of generations, so their grandchildren could have a decent planet again. Turns out that probably wasn’t going to work for them anyway, but it was a really interesting look at a hypothetical downfall. It’s probably not going to happen overnight, asteroid impact notwithstanding.

I wasn’t at all sure about the five-dimensional bootstrap-lift that humanity apparently performed on itself, by sending info back through the black hole / wormhole thing in order to get humanity off Earth and give them a place to go to in order to develop enough to create a wormhole and provide a way for humanity in the past to get off Earth … and the less said about Cooper morse-coding “STAY” to himself when he knew that didn’t work … well, hard to say. Although obviously changing the past through five-dimensional wossnames did work, at least on a large scale, because the human race didn’t become extinct, right? That sent-back info did change the past. So what if Cooper had succeeded in not going out there, and the entire mission had failed vastly, or at least the “Plan A” aspect of it? Gaah.

But somewhere along the line you just have to go “meh, time travel” and let it slide. So they could only get out there in the first place if they were out there in the future sending info back and creating wormholes, so they should never have gotten out there. Big deal.

The robots were super-cool. They were beautifully designed – I was dubious about them at first, but all their different articulation settings were really clever. And it was a welcome relief to see the robot not turn out to be evil, despite the very cute 2001 references. They even looked like the monoliths from the books / movies.

The family relationship drama was – I suppose – vital, but maybe it could have been better-handled. Cooper could have just had one kid and had all the necessary issues, I think. The son and his suffering family, lost kid, and refusal to abandon the family farm was poignant – plus they got to have the ‘give up on your dreams and be a peon for the sake of the future’ side of it with him – but they could have worked all this into the daughter’s storyline. As it was, it really came across as Cooper only caring about his brilliant daughter and not giving a single crap about his dirt-farming clod of a son.

The psychedelia of the black hole and wormhole scenes, as well as five-dimensional space, were beautiful and rather more well-thought-out than their 2001 counterparts, but I like to think this is because we know quite a lot more about space than we did when 2001 was made, and have generally forgotten about the 1960s. It all hung together rather nicely.

There's ... someone next to me, isn't there?

Also, in the scene where Cooper was saying goodbye to Brand as he prepared to let himself fall into the black hole, I could have sworn there was somebody sitting in the co-pilot’s seat. Was that a subliminal time-travel overlap thing?

Anyway, a really excellent movie and purely brilliant performances from basically the entire cast. Damon was perfect, McConaughey made me seriously re-evaluate his acting chops, and Lithgow, Hathaway, Caine and (younger) Affleck were all excellent. All in all this was a solid and totally inspiring movie.

Let’s get a move on, shall we?

 

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40 Responses to Interstellar

  1. thelinza says:

    I had trouble believing McConeughahwgharhey as a genius pilot/engineer, because he’s from east Texas and he needs to lose his accent before I can take him seriously.

    I thought Cooper’s son was supposed to represent the human element of self deception and how we’re staunchly refusing to acknowledge the apocalypse. LALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU– GLOBAL WARMING ISN’T REAL AND GOD LOVES ME. MY IMAGINATION TELLS ME THIS WORKED FOR MY GRANDDADDY SO IT’S GOT TO WORK FOR ME. There’s a lot of those around.

    also father-daughter relationship is sacred so we’ll have to disagree about like all of that, except about the universe not giving a damn.

  2. stchucky says:

    I suppose, but Cooper didn’t put up much of a fight for his creative / individual / Saturn-space-station-whatchamajigger-building destiny.

  3. aaronthepatriot says:

    Cheers. If you had to say which time travel was MORE problematic, this or Looper, which would you say? NB: even if you say Interstellar was more problematic I’d still watch it.

    • stchucky says:

      Interestingly, I guess they both have the same problem, specifically paradox. But they’re opposite: in Looper, you had a man with a problem going back in time to fix the problem, so then why would he go back in time in the first place, thus perpetuating the problem. In Interstellar, you have a species with a problem going back in time to fix the problem, but how did they survive long enough in the first place to go back and help themselves?

      It’s also different in the sense that Looper is entirely about the time travel, it’s what the whole movie’s premise is based on, and yet they don’t explain it at all. They just say “it’s a thing” and leave it at that. Interstellar is basically about everything else, the time travel is just an added bit of n-dimensional messing around, and they explain it (or show it) in quite a lot of detail.

      So I guess in that sense, Looper is more problematic. But they’re movies with very different goals and sub-genres.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Well obviously I can’t comment on your analysis of the situation in Interstellar, but what you say here is both good and problematic for me, as I’m sure you know. Often I find I’m far happier with a movie that does NOT try to explain it, LOL. Because all explanations are going to fall short of my level of scientific understanding. Not that it’s towering or anything like that, but I’ve read a lot of astrophysics over the years. I kinda know what the science suggests might be possible and what it suggests will never be possible.

  4. dreameling says:

    Anyway, a really excellent movie and purely brilliant performances from basically the entire cast. Damon was perfect, McConaughey made me seriously re-evaluate his acting chops, and Lithgow, Hathaway, Caine and (younger) Affleck were all excellent. All in all this was a solid and totally inspiring movie.

    Very much agreed. Damon in particular threw a pretty goddamn chilling performance. And for more excellent McConaissance, see True Detective.

    I need to add that the music in Interstellar was awesome. It was loud and overbearing and seemingly constant, and so obviously emotionally manipulative, but it totally worked for me. The best piece was probably the one with Damon doing his thing:

    If you had to say which time travel was MORE problematic, this or Looper, which would you say?

    Interestingly, I guess they both have the same problem, specifically paradox.

    It’s a paradox, sure, but I wouldn’t call it a problem, at least not narratively in the sense that it somehow trips in its own timeline logic. It’s a neat closed loop: Everything will have always already happened. There never was no “survive long enough in the first place”. There was no first time, ever. It’s a nice, clean loop with no beginning or end. “Bootstrap” is a really nice term for it here.

    I’m guessing you guys like alternate-timeline / changing-the-past time travel stuff better than these closed loops where time is fixed / determined? (I’m a sucker for closed loops.)

    Did we already discuss this at some point? I’m getting déjàvuish.

    Btw., for another really nice recent time travel movie, see last year’s Predestination.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      I’m not exactly sure if I have a preference for time-travel movies. Either can be fine, but I do prefer if they keep away from explaining the science. That always gives me the shits.

      But as you say here, yes I do like a nice clean loop. The thing is, my current scientific understanding of the only form of time travel (into the past and “back” again, not into the future, mind you) we will ever achieve is one where going into the past puts you on a different historical timeline, and this will change with each difference you make in the world you traveled back to. Then, when you go back forwards you are in a world defined by the alternative timeline you create, but the other world you WERE in has spun off. To say you are returning to that original time and place is meaningless and incorrect.

      Just my 2 cents.

      • stchucky says:

        I should clarify a little (will get to the other comments later!), it doesn’t so much explain the science of it, as say “five-dimensional, black hole, time is something something,” and then show it, visually. Which was actually pretty cool.

      • stchucky says:

        Exactly. And if you do return to the original time and place, obviously the change you made in the past had no effect. Or it did, in that other timeline, but you skipped back to your original one where it turned out your change had never happened.

      • dreameling says:

        The thing is, my current scientific understanding of the only form of time travel (into the past and “back” again, not into the future, mind you) we will ever achieve is one where going into the past puts you on a different historical timeline, and this will change with each difference you make in the world you traveled back to. Then, when you go back forwards you are in a world defined by the alternative timeline you create, but the other world you WERE in has spun off. To say you are returning to that original time and place is meaningless and incorrect.

        Current science really allows that? I was under the impression that pretty much the only time travel — if you can call it that — today’s physics allows is forward via time dilation. Everything else is pure speculation or really creative math, even when you bring in the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Right?

        Anyways, for my money, the most “scientifically plausible” [1] form of time travel to the past is a neat, closed loop in a single, fixed timeline, since that retains causality (even when its circular) and you don’t lose or gain extra matter or energy (assuming the timeline as a whole is your system). If you want to change the past, then it’s gotta be alternate timelines, sure. Changing the same timeline is the sort of shit that just never makes sense (especially when you change the past so that you remove your reason to travel back in time in the first place).

        [1] Ironic quotation marks, since not a scientist.

        And if you do return to the original time and place, obviously the change you made in the past had no effect. Or it did, in that other timeline, but you skipped back to your original one where it turned out your change had never happened.

        The latter kind of solution never seems logical. If you did change the past, how did you end up back in your original present rather than the changed one? (And what was the point of the whole story then?)

    • stchucky says:

      I guess I do fall into the trap Cooper did, of trying to stop himself from doing something that he knew he already did. And therefore that he would always do, and always try to stop himself from doing. When you think of time as a dimension, it makes sense that you can’t change it (even if you can travel along it) any more than you can change how long 1 metre is by running your finger along it and shouting “two metres! Two metres!“.

  5. aaronthepatriot says:

    “Exactly. And if you do return to the original time and place, obviously the change you made in the past had no effect. Or it did, in that other timeline, but you skipped back to your original one where it turned out your change had never happened.”
    Precisely, sir. Precisely.

  6. aaronthepatriot says:

    “The thing is, my current scientific understanding of the only form of time travel (into the past and “back” again, not into the future, mind you) we will ever achieve is one where going into the past puts you on a different historical timeline, and this will change with each difference you make in the world you traveled back to. Then, when you go back forwards you are in a world defined by the alternative timeline you create, but the other world you WERE in has spun off. To say you are returning to that original time and place is meaningless and incorrect.”
    ‘Current science really allows that?’
    Ahh, no, we have a misunderstanding. Perhaps I should have written “might ever achieve” (and note I do mention forward is achievable. We are constantly moving forward in time and yes, as you say, time dilation is one way. Arguably, cryosleep *not the real term I’m sure* is another, technically.). Science allows the above travel to “the past” might be POSSIBLE. But it is always going to change the past no matter what you do, there is no pure observational way to be present in a situation. Quantum physics gives us a great example: observation changes the results. The fact of you being there will change how “the past” occurred the “first” time. I was not suggesting science has the answer to how we will do such travel to the past.
    ‘I was under the impression that pretty much the only time travel — if you can call it that — today’s physics allows is forward via time dilation. Everything else is pure speculation or really creative math, even when you bring in the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Right?’
    Right and that’s what I was alluding to. There aren’t speculative maths that show you can go into the past, change stuff, and come back to the same point in the same timeline. That’s all I was suggesting.
    ‘Anyways, for my money, the most “scientifically plausible” [1] form of time travel to the past is a neat, closed loop in a single, fixed timeline, since that retains causality (even when its circular) and you don’t lose or gain extra matter or energy (assuming the timeline as a whole is your system). If you want to change the past, then it’s gotta be alternate timelines, sure. Changing the same timeline is the sort of shit that just never makes sense (especially when you change the past so that you remove your reason to travel back in time in the first place).’
    I don’t understand this closed loop thingus nor how it is more scientifically plausible. You will indeed change something, therefore the loop will open.
    ‘[1] Ironic quotation marks, since not a scientist.’
    But surely you LOVE SCIENCE! That counts.
    “And if you do return to the original time and place, obviously the change you made in the past had no effect. Or it did, in that other timeline, but you skipped back to your original one where it turned out your change had never happened.”
    ‘The latter kind of solution never seems logical. If you did change the past, how did you end up back in your original present rather than the changed one? (And what was the point of the whole story then?)’
    My question as well. How does the above differ from what you refer to as a “closed loop”?

    • dreameling says:

      Dude, spacing! Also, get with the blockquote elements already!

      I don’t understand this closed loop thingus nor how it is more scientifically plausible. You will indeed change something, therefore the loop will open.

      The point is that the loop has always been open, and the change has always been part of the timeline. There’s no beginning or end, no first or last time, no opening or closing. It’s a paradox, circular causation, sure, but it’s closed and neat.

      And if you do return to the original time and place, obviously the change you made in the past had no effect. Or it did, in that other timeline, but you skipped back to your original one where it turned out your change had never happened.

      The latter kind of solution never seems logical. If you did change the past, how did you end up back in your original present rather than the changed one? (And what was the point of the whole story then?)

      My question as well. How does the above differ from what you refer to as a “closed loop”?

      Because, in a closed loop, there’s only a single, fixed timeline, where any “changes” are always already part of the loop. When you travel back in time, whatever you do in the past is already part of the history that created the present from where you left (and to which you can return, unless you die in the past). Everything has always already happened, if you will.

      In the above quote, I was talking about alternate timelines.

      • stchucky says:

        And if you do return to the original time and place, obviously the change you made in the past had no effect. Or it did, in that other timeline, but you skipped back to your original one where it turned out your change had never happened.

        The latter kind of solution never seems logical. If you did change the past, how did you end up back in your original present rather than the changed one? (And what was the point of the whole story then?)

        My question as well. How does the above differ from what you refer to as a “closed loop”?

        No, you’re right, in a “proper” time travel story of this sort that wouldn’t happen. You’d travel into the future where Biff Tannen used the sports almanac. I was just agreeing with Aaron that, technically, the original timeline (and infinite others) would still be out there. But to get to it, you’d have to basically just … do time the way you had originally. Stop Biff from using the sports almanac. Drop him in some manure so he becomes your dad’s butler. Whoops, still a different timeline, because of the interference. But better, because Biff butler and also Elizabeth Shue.

        Although to be honest I thought the original girlfriend was cuter. Shue obviously had more guts and staying power though, because they were still married today (ie. 2015, bitches).

        Anyway, I was just saying, if you got across somehow from the past you had diddled with into the future where you didn’t diddle, then you wouldn’t have diddled. Or only you would remember that you diddled and every other particle in the universe would be convinced that you didn’t.

        Different thing to a closed loop. Closed loop is total predestination with the illusion of free will. Like Neuropath, where one of the theories talked about was that the brain retroactively fills in your decision to do something after the fact.

      • stchucky says:

        Incidentally, I did say “do time” intentionally here.

        HACKING TOO MUCH TIME

      • dreameling says:

        No, you’re right, in a “proper” time travel story of this sort that wouldn’t happen. You’d travel into the future where Biff Tannen used the sports almanac. I was just agreeing with Aaron that, technically, the original timeline (and infinite others) would still be out there. But to get to it, you’d have to basically just … do time the way you had originally. Stop Biff from using the sports almanac. Drop him in some manure so he becomes your dad’s butler. Whoops, still a different timeline, because of the interference. But better, because Biff butler and also Elizabeth Shue.

        Yeah, no disagreement here. Parallel timelines, so certainly the “original” is around somewhere. Elizabeth Shue is hot.

        Although to be honest I thought the original girlfriend was cuter. Shue obviously had more guts and staying power though, because they were still married today (ie. 2015, bitches).

        You mean the original actor, Claudia Wells, who was not available for the sequels? Your paragraph kinda reads as though you’re thinking that the character’s look actually changed due to all the timeline shenanigans. 🙂

        Different thing to a closed loop. Closed loop is total predestination with the illusion of free will. Like Neuropath, where one of the theories talked about was that the brain retroactively fills in your decision to do something after the fact.

        Exactly. Determinism. Closed loops are to me the most “plausible” form of time travel precisely because they can be so rigorously logical and consistent: Everything comes together seamlessly. A puzzle where every piece fits perfectly. Clean and neat and simple. Like the laws of nature. When you have alternate or mutable timelines, to use Wikipedia’s terms, you need more elaborate (and therefore, to me, inherently less plausible) rules and explanations to make sense out of everything — assuming you bother to explain anything in the first place. (I’m certainly with Aaron in that the less you explain, the better, but shit still needs to seem consistent, as though there were rules.)

        For example, the live timeline changes in Back to the Future movies, Marty’s hand starting to disappear and the like, make no goddamn sense and actually conflict with the alternate timelines scenario supposedly at play. (I’m sure they added visual cues like that to make it clear to the audience what was going on and what was at stake, but the cues are nonetheless in the movie and are therefore part of the story world and its physics.) Come to think of it, live timeline changes where characters actually observe the changes (as opposed to the changes being a cinematic shorthand to signify a jump from one timeline to a changed one) are the stupidest, most nonsensical time travel gimmick I can think of. WHY WOULD A CHANGE IN THE PAST PRODUCE A LIVE OR GRADUAL EFFECT IN THE FUTURE, SINCE THE CHANGE HAS FUCKING ALREADY HAPPENED BY THE TIME YOU GET TO THAT FUTURE TIMEFRAME ALONG THE TIMELINE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? I guess you mostly get this crap in movies, for obvious reasons.

      • stchucky says:

        Oh, you’re not on board the crazy boat yet. There was an extended period after Doc Brown and Clara failed to get in the Delorean and before they showed up in 1985. During this time they went to 2015 and got the train fixed … and also went to 1955 to make Jenny’s mother marry a different father, creating a whole new Jenny who was a stabilising influence on Marty – and who he, never having been part of that adventure, never realised had happened. The reason she was the old Jenny in the first movie was because something something, five dimensional Biff Tannen, this is heavy, what are you – chicken?

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “For example, the live timeline changes in Back to the Future movies, Marty’s hand starting to disappear and the like, make no goddamn sense and actually conflict with the alternate timelines scenario supposedly at play. (I’m sure they added visual cues like that to make it clear to the audience what was going on and what was at stake, but the cues are nonetheless in the movie and are therefore part of the story world and its physics.) Come to think of it, live timeline changes where characters actually observe the changes (as opposed to the changes being a cinematic shorthand to signify a jump from one timeline to a changed one) are the stupidest, most nonsensical time travel gimmick I can think of. WHY WOULD A CHANGE IN THE PAST PRODUCE A LIVE OR GRADUAL EFFECT IN THE FUTURE, SINCE THE CHANGE HAS FUCKING ALREADY HAPPENED BY THE TIME YOU GET TO THAT FUTURE TIMEFRAME ALONG THE TIMELINE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? I guess you mostly get this crap in movies, for obvious reasons.”

        Dude you gotta Frozen that whole line of criticism, LOL. That movie was not a serious attempt to discuss time travel, and yes they were exactly trying to show the effects in a way the audience could relate. And I think our understanding and discussion of quantum mechanics etc. as it pertains to time travel is FAR more sophisticated than it was lo those 20-30 years ago!

        Though it may interest you to hear that, indeed, the changes you make in the past are hypothesized to make a “gradual” effect in the future. Yes! Indeed that is one hypothesis that makes a lot of sense to me!

        *pause for effect*

        OK it’s not quite as germane to the topic as I presented it there. This effect propagates from the space-time point of the changed event at the *speed of light*, so the use of the word “gradual” is relative, of course, hur hur. But it is indeed gradual!

        Just to nitpick. And yes of course this is just a hypothesis. Not even a theory like evolution, *snigger* (yes PC, I just wrote the n-word. Sort of.). But if you think about what we know about information travel in the universe, it makes a lot of sense.

        None of this rescues the hand, of course, mentioned above.

      • dreameling says:

        HACKING TOO MUCH TIME

        Coming to YouTube for free in March!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fury

      • dreameling says:

        Oh, you’re not on board the crazy boat yet. There was an extended period after Doc Brown and Clara failed to get in the Delorean and before they showed up in 1985. During this time they went to 2015 and got the train fixed … and also went to 1955 to make Jenny’s mother marry a different father, creating a whole new Jenny who was a stabilising influence on Marty – and who he, never having been part of that adventure, never realised had happened. The reason she was the old Jenny in the first movie was because something something, five dimensional Biff Tannen, this is heavy, what are you – chicken?

        LOL

        Makes seamlessly perfect sense.

      • stchucky says:

        She was always one person and then another.

      • dreameling says:

        Dude you gotta Frozen that whole line of criticism, LOL. That movie was not a serious attempt to discuss time travel, and yes they were exactly trying to show the effects in a way the audience could relate. And I think our understanding and discussion of quantum mechanics etc. as it pertains to time travel is FAR more sophisticated than it was lo those 20-30 years ago!

        Dude, shit needs to make sense in the context of a story. No excuses for medium!

        Though it may interest you to hear that, indeed, the changes you make in the past are hypothesized to make a “gradual” effect in the future. Yes! Indeed that is one hypothesis that makes a lot of sense to me!

        *pause for effect*

        OK it’s not quite as germane to the topic as I presented it there. This effect propagates from the space-time point of the changed event at the *speed of light*, so the use of the word “gradual” is relative, of course, hur hur. But it is indeed gradual!

        Yeah, I don’t think that quite applies to the kind of live-change time-travel scenarios we’re talking about here, like that hand. 🙂

      • stchucky says:

        Unless George McFly’s failure to punch out Biff made him into a bitter mad scientist type, who made himself invisible using gamma rays and then raped Marty’s mum numerous times, creating a family of freaky invisible-at-moments-of-tension hybrids.

        Only explains the end-state of the photo though (and the hand-fade). Not the actual photo-fade.

      • dreameling says:

        Your crazy version is starting to sound a lot better than the original movies.

      • stchucky says:

        What? This was the movie I saw. If you didn’t, that’s your fault!

      • dreameling says:

        You have a beautiful mind, sir. And by “beautiful” I of course mean batshit bonkers.

  7. aaronthepatriot says:

    I see. Yeah I don’t like that closed loop Paradox, and a strong hint of fate and predestination…no thanks. And about the formatting of my replies, dude don’t even start. I explained in email. When I’m working here, at this workplace, I get about 5 seconds to click that reply button before the whole page goes wonky (as it is right now as I type this). So, I guess MS Word formatting doesn’t carry over. Oh well. Gotta reply when I have time and things to say =D

    • dreameling says:

      *ring ring*

      Aaron: Go for The Patriot!

      2006: Hey, we want our Internet Explorer back. You really shouldn’t be using it anymore.

      Aaron: I can’t time-travel, 2006.

      2006: Don’t worry, we’ve arranged transport.

      Aaron: Won’t I change the past?

      2006: You mean the present?

      2015: Oh, zing!

      Aaron: Whatever.

      2006: No, it’s a fixed, closed loop. What you do here you will have already done over there.

      Aaron: I don’t like closed loops.

      2006: Cry us a fucking river.

      • stchucky says:

        LOL, have to award points.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        LOL, but see, why do I have to do it at all if it’s already done, if I do it? Do ya ken it? Does me fine.

      • stchucky says:

        LOL, but see, why do I have to do it at all if it’s already done, if I do it? Do ya ken it? Does me fine.

        Oh, they know you’re not going to upgrade your customer’s crappy Internet Explorer. They know the whole system sucks. But because this is a closed loop, they still have to ask. Always will have been going to have asked.

        This is how Red Dwarf handled black holes.

      • stchucky says:

        I’m awarding points purely on the mental image of Aaron answering his phone with “Go for The Patriot!” – Aaron, you need to start doing that.

        Everything else here was just gravy.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Finally saw this movie over the past 2 nights, wanted to vent (and praise). Replying to Timo in case he’s bored/lonely and wants to re-chime in.

        Now I see why we were talking about those damn closed loops! Argh!

        But let me take this in order. Yes, a visually impressive movie, as typical with Nolan films, and I’d say a good and thought-provoking film as well. Regardless of the issues I take with the science and the pseudo-science, I am mulling over quite a few things as a result of this movie, which in my opinion makes it quite a success. But more on that later. I am still hearing “MUUUUUUUURPH!!!!” in my head, hope that wears off. Ow.

        Yeah the message of get the fuck off this planet was good, but actually I DON’T like that it was non-specific. I think Linza touched on this, it’d have been braver if they decided to say “yeah, you did this to yourselves, thanks Global Warming!” But oh well, they chose not to. Moving on. And yeah the textbook editing of the lunar landing was really poignant for me, there’s a lot of that shit underway right now in this country of mine. That struck REALLY close to home, unfortunately.

        It was unspecific about the time, sure, except there was an early conversation between Matt and dad-in-law that did set a timeframe, if you assumed the dad-in-law was about 70. I forget the specifics but I think it made the year about 2060. So there. I did the math for the wife while we were watching, since she seemed to want to know what year it was. You’re welcome.

        Now, let’s talk about *this* particular closed loop. Utter bullshit as was said here. In order to have the wormhole, so he could get to the new galaxy so the human race could continue and eventually evolve to 5 dimensional wormhole makers, we needed the wormhole to be made. And if I understood it correctly, we made it, there were no “other” beings. Besides our descendents that is. I have 2 problems with that. 1, come on, there’s other life in this Universe, there just HAS to be. Let it be them, not us in the future.

        That solves the other problem, which is you can’t have a closed loop that is only enabled by events created within the closed loop. Then, it’s not a closed system because there’s no way to get INTO it.

        So, I’d be perfectly fine with the ghost communications, solving the equation, etc. etc. so long as the wormhole itself was not made by us. It HAS to be made by someone who already had the capability, or we’d never get inside the closed loop of going through it, going into the black hole, and then discovering how to escape as a race so we could evolve and MAKE the wormhole. Sorry. No can do.

        But that’s minor in the scheme of things. It was the PLANETS that really pissed me off! So, so utterly stupid. And even non-scientists viewers can use hindsight to see why those planets were HORRIBLE choices. I’m referring to the two that were orbiting black holes. That was confusing, too, because black holes aren’t THAT common…but there are bigger problems than that.

        OK, so let me list the general problems with this first, then I’ll get specific to the plot. See, I saw that really nice bright yellow star when they went through the wormhole, and I was like, ahh, the three planets’ sun. Excellent.

        Nope! Two were told to us as orbiting black holes, then the farthest was around a star but the signal had stopped. So, planets orbiting black holes are somehow being announced by the scientist who visited as being acceptable for life? Really?

        1. A black hole results from a supernova which would vaporize all life and water etc. off a nearby planet and leave it radioactive and barren for eons. Atmosphere? Gone.
        2. Where’s the heat source keeping the planet warm enough for our life, around a black hole? There is none.
        3. What gives day and night, where did that light come from, around a black hole? It wouldn’t look like that.
        4. Time dilation. They said 1 hour is 7 years in the “normal” parts of the universe (lower gravity wells). Why would you want your species to exist at that level of time dilation to the rest of the universe? That would be a monumental disadvantage to meeting and relating to any other life forms, or any other human colonies. A disaster.

        But the specifics are even WORSE.
        1. Those tides? Awesome, but TOTALLY predictable. The moon is the gravity source giving US tides. So of course a black hole like that would make INSANE tides, no scientist would fail to realize that.
        2. The time delay meant the beacon was only operating for a few hours planet-side, as they said. They should have REALIZED that going in, as they discussed the time dilation at the surface!
        3. Around a black hole you will be constantly bombarded by incoming matter, particles and larger. Very unhealthy for life.
        4. The tidal forces would wreck any structure you could build…honestly only an idiot would think that would be a suitable planet.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Part two, it was too long:
        As for Matt Damon’s world, as soon as they saw the upper mountains and upper atmosphere they should have known it was a lie. The air we breathe, O2 and N2, is relatively light compared to most gases, including the ones he named like ammonia (or somesuch). Therefore you wouldn’t have that poison in the upper atmosphere and then breathable air as you go down! Doesn’t make sense! Lighter elements rise!

        They should have gone straight for the third planet, and if any of those scientists knew their shit they would have. But why didn’t they? Well, because the movie had this black hole plot, as we saw near the end. So I get it, they needed him in that black hole for the ghost stuff. Plus they wanted the awesome filming on the first planet and the betrayal on the second, very poignant messages in that betrayal.

        So I get it. But you know, they could have run out of fuel any number of ways and had to do that slingshot maneuver. Including him thrusting off into the black hole to give the main craft momentum. Voila, you have him inside the black hole. No need for the scientists to be stupid, to accomplish it.

        I love what they did inside there, it really got me thinking. I mean, I’d have to ask a quantum physicist, but I think even Hawking has written that the tidal forces’ differential from just your feet to your head would rip you apart, but this movie really got me thinking. I mean, he’s accelerating, and nearly without limitation because there’s no friction or anything…because of the nature of a black hole you won’t collide with any other incoming particles. So…maybe you can live into the event horizon? I just don’t know!

        I mean, eventually you’d be compacted into the singularity, I don’t believe in an escape, no way. But the travel in would take an infinite amount of time, due to time dilation. So, what would happen, what CAN happen, inside there? Very cool, I like their speculation.

        I…think that’s about it. I wish he had not made it back out but as you said, they had to give us our selfish fix. So be it. I hope when he got to the new world he REALLY woke her up if you know what I mean. Because there’s some potential for real psychological trauma attachment between the two of them, now. Oh yeah, start that human race on the new planet a little early, you dog you!

      • dreameling says:

        Replying to Timo in case he’s bored/lonely and wants to re-chime in.

        Who’s Timo? There’s no Timo here!

        OMG I’m outed!

        Now, let’s talk about *this* particular closed loop. Utter bullshit as was said here. In order to have the wormhole, so he could get to the new galaxy so the human race could continue and eventually evolve to 5 dimensional wormhole makers, we needed the wormhole to be made. And if I understood it correctly, we made it, there were no “other” beings. Besides our descendents that is. I have 2 problems with that. 1, come on, there’s other life in this Universe, there just HAS to be. Let it be them, not us in the future.

        That solves the other problem, which is you can’t have a closed loop that is only enabled by events created within the closed loop. Then, it’s not a closed system because there’s no way to get INTO it.

        That’s why it’s a closed loop! It’s a paradox by definition.

        Seriously, watch Predestination, man.

        3. Around a black hole you will be constantly bombarded by incoming matter, particles and larger. Very unhealthy for life.

        Kip Thorne, the physicist they consulted for this movie, sort of worked around that by making the black hole’s disk “anemic”:

        http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2014/11/28/parsing-the-science-of-interstellar-with-physicist-kip-thorne/

        But as Thorne points out, that anemia would not last very long. 🙂

        They should have gone straight for the third planet, and if any of those scientists knew their shit they would have. But why didn’t they? Well, because the movie had this black hole plot, as we saw near the end. So I get it, they needed him in that black hole for the ghost stuff. Plus they wanted the awesome filming on the first planet and the betrayal on the second, very poignant messages in that betrayal.

        No, they went for the black hole because they believed in the by-all-accounts-awesome-and-brilliant person that was asking them to come (Damon’s dude). I thought that was a wonderfully human and, yes, rational choice. Good character motivation. In the movie, the third planet was painted as the “transcendent love” option, and I just loved the writers for not copping to that, as your average Hollywood AAA-crowd-pleaser would’ve. (Of course, they got to eat their cake too, in the end. Brilliant.)

        In any case, scientific (in)accuracy aside, you gotta give props for this movie for going more science-heavy than, again, your average Hollywood sci-fi flick.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “No, they went for the black hole because they believed in the by-all-accounts-awesome-and-brilliant person that was asking them to come (Damon’s dude). I thought that was a wonderfully human and, yes, rational choice. Good character motivation.”

        Never got that impression. There was a lot of talk about his data being the best, prospect-wise, and in hindsight that’s because he MADE it that way, too perfect perhaps, if they had been more suspicious. But overall the black hole planets were utterly stupid choices. I don’t care if Hawking himself were on one. But he wouldn’t have been so stupid as to have picked one of those. And if Matt Damon was so brilliant he wouldn’t have either.

        “In the movie, the third planet was painted as the “transcendent love” option, and I just loved the writers for not copping to that, as your average Hollywood AAA-crowd-pleaser would’ve. (Of course, they got to eat their cake too, in the end. Brilliant.)”

        Definitely props for that.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Also on the sickening topic of love (I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit), not only was she right about the planet, I seem to recall Matthew’s character acknowledged there was something bigger about love, as she said, near the end of the movie after the escape from the black hole. Didn’t he? So, really they DID go there, just not right away. LOL

      • dreameling says:

        Also on the sickening topic of love (I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit), not only was she right about the planet, I seem to recall Matthew’s character acknowledged there was something bigger about love, as she said, near the end of the movie after the escape from the black hole. Didn’t he? So, really they DID go there, just not right away. LOL

        Hence my earlier “got to eat their cake too, in the end.” And I thought that was kinda brilliant, because they didn’t cop to the romantic bullshit at first, but still delivered in the end (which, as a romantic, I digged).

  8. Pingback: Black Hole Sun | Hatboy's Hatstand

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