Review: ‘Interstellar’

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I'm a science fiction fan from way back. And I learned long ago that science fiction movies are best experienced as soon as possible upon their release, ideally on the biggest screen you can find.

And so I (hyperspace) jumped at the chance to catch a preview of "Interstellar," going in knowing nothing about it except that it involved an interstellar journey and starred a pair of recent Oscar winners.

In the interest of not taking away that option for others, I submit the following non-spoiler observations.

1. "Interstellar" contains a fight the likes of which hasn't been seen in science fiction since Capt. Kirk battled the Gorn.

2. Its script is dominated by endless dialogue where actors talk AT each other (for, allegedly, the audience's benefit) rather that TO each other. Seriously, we're approaching Saturn and someone has to explain to the ship's pilot what a wormhole is? To borrow from Ridley Scott's marketing folks: In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream But Suspended Animation Gets More and More Attractive the More Your Boring Crew Talks.

3. "Interstellar" offers multiple moments that I believe were supposed to be heart-tugging because I heard the pounding of Hans Zimmer's dialogue-covering music. Alas, my heart wasn't tugged as much as my eardrums.

4. There are some pretty cool backstory ideas that hint at a better film. And driving through a cornfield looks pretty scary and fun.

5. It's 2014: Do female science fiction characters need to be as cardboard as they were in the 1950s? 

6. "Interstellar" features the most impractical robots this side of "Saturn 3." Is there really room in a spaceship for a pair of refrigerator-sized walking letters?

7. Its climax makes "Contact" look like "2001."

8. Ellen Burstyn is always welcome. 

9. It occasionally tries but "Interstellar" has zero laughs. Of course, this isn't surprising in a Christopher Nolan film.

10. At twice the length, "Interstellar" doesn't have half the kick of "Gravity."

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