Popular Culture, Space, Technology and Society Interstellar October 1, 2014 Rand Simberg 25 Comments The latest trailer:
25 thoughts on “Interstellar”
Ok, so I fail to see what all the excitement is about when we have another film that appears to have wacko Hollywood premises, e.g. —
— “we ran out of food [on earth]” (yes that was in an earlier trailer)
— they launch on an apparent duplicate of the Saturn V and there’s a shot that looks like the 3 SSMEs at the back of the shuttle.
— “not only out of the solar system, but out of the galaxy” (i paraphrase) oh yeah, more of that old confusion btwn interstellar and intergalactic? or is that where the wormhole happens to go?
Or is there some secret reason for all the excitement?
“Or is there some secret reason for all the excitement?”
The director, pretty much. Christopher Nolan. He has had a very good decade of much better than average film with SF connections. (Memento, The recent Dark Knight trilogy, The Prestige, Inception, and so on…) You may not like some of them, but he is an accomplished film maker. And so the idea of him going “full SF” has a lot of people excited – myself included, even though I groan at the stupid bits in the trailer.
Yep. The earth is running out of resources, so we need to launch a high-tech, resource-intensive mission to find another planet to live on.
Obviously mining the asteroid belt was out of the question.
Reminds me of a terrible science fiction novel I read where the story starts with a hyper-environmentalist human race is barely surviving on a resource depleted Earth and will die out in 800 years. So do they loot their old garbage piles in order to build solar power air conditioners? Do they move to Mars, which is looking down-right hospitable at the moment? Or just build some space stations? No, they have this crazy scheme where they’ll turn the Alpha Centauri system into a black hole. That allows for a FTL travel scheme that you really need in order to um, flit around for the next 5,000 years.
Needless to say, it sparks an intergalactic war because Alpha Centauri happens to have a sentient telepathic race which tells the whole galaxy what a bunch of jerks humans are. Whoops. Cue the human diaspora. Humanity even destroys the whole Solar System in order to “hide”.
As it turns out, humanity is not in any particular danger as the rest of the galaxy is a bunch of incredible (and rather infertile as it turns out) retards. Lots of planets are blown up however.
There’s all sorts of terraforming and lots of people spending thousands of years living on spaceships. So one might be led to believe that the original humanity could have terraformed Mars or just lived on space stations without having to destroy star systems or start interstellar wars. Then they might have even terraformed Earth which even in its polluted state wasn’t half as bad as most of the places they ended up visiting.
I think this indicates the problem with a lot of modern science fiction. Rather than root around through a garbage pile or buy some air conditioners or maybe doing some geoengineering to keep Earth livable, the obvious solution to humanity’s no doubt dire environmental woes is interstellar travel because obviously moving to a shiny new home a zillion light years away at uncountable cost (not to mention all the usual terraforming and other make work) is the only possible solution.
Stupidity is because people will have been trained to look to govt.for answers and any independent thought will be illegal. You may now report to the reeducation camp.
I too am puzzled why our host posted this. If I understand the previous trailer correctly, the shortage of food was caused by drought (e.g. Global Warming) and that an engineered solution on Earth was not possible, the first premise at least I’m sure out host does not agree with.
I don’t plan on seeing this movie any more than I did for Avatar or Elysium.
The concept is bit wonky, agreed, but apparently the script also features some sort of virus/plague that disrupts most of our food crops. (I could be wrong)
I’m sure that won’t stop you from opinionating on the film, though.
Much of the stuff that others have commented on bugs me as well (really? no resources in the solar system? Saturn V launch?), but I’ll certainly see it. I’m a sucker for most SF related films. And I’m hoping against hope that the trailers are misleading – that it turns out better than it looks.
“really? no resources in the solar system?”
The only thing I can think of is with this third trailer and the downed drone-looking thing is maybe aliens or whatever are doing whatever’s going on to the earth and maybe everywhere else.
That attempt to help them out aside, while this trailer looks better than the first two, it still doesn’t grab me. Plus I still think the space ships are fairly ugly.
Judging by the cars and houses, it looks like it’s set in the present day, or very near future. I wonder how they discover interstellar travel?
Many Bothans died to bring us this information.
OK Darkstar, I must disagree with you regarding Avatar. I saw it, repeatedly. A feast for the eyes and the heart, I’m a sucker for that sort of stuff.
I’m open minded if I think the filmmakers are actually making an effort where they can, and presenting something truly unprecedented and beautiful (e.g. the amazing ecology of Pandora). Doesn’t look like “Interstellar” qualifies. So far.
Here you go, something along the same lines
I liked Avatar the first viewing but on repeated viewings it didn’t hold up as well. Too many cliches, plot theft, and not enough creativity. Cameron is a creative person, why couldn’t he come up with a better name than unobtanium? There are the typical contradictions too, like humans are evil war mongers but the natives are in harmony with nature and peaceful even though they have a warrior caste and live a violent life.
The visual effects were great and Cameron used 3D to provide depth and not just floaties. The acting was also excellent. All in all it was a well made movie and I look forward to the next three installments.
I thought Avatar was pretty. I also thought the plot was pretty…stupid. Whoever coined the phrase “Dances with Smurfs” had it right.
Avatar was “Dances With Wolves…In Space!!”
Visually, Avatar was a treat. Other than that, meh.
Rand, you should check out the CinemaSins critique of Avatar. Hilarious, as most of their stuff is, even with movies I like.
There are the typical contradictions too, like humans are evil war mongers but the natives are in harmony with nature and peaceful even though they have a warrior caste and live a violent life.
You mean like Star Trek? The Federation is peaceful and nonviolent, says so right on the label, but the Enterprise has “enough firepower to destroy half a continent.”
In contrast to the horrible Ferengi, who never seem to engage in combat but are so evil that they want to — “Gasp!” — sell you stuff. And maybe won’t honor the warrantee.
But… but capitalistic Ferengi can’t be good guys… the teeth… the ears… the feds are angels of light and don’t use such evils as gold pressed latinum!!! They have govt.. approved for the masses, replicators.
I started to watch Avatar. I thought the notion of inserting minds in a body so that the person can control it and move around was pretty clever.
But the basic story was boring and I didn’t finish watching it.
“Ok, so I fail to see what all the excitement is about when we have another film that appears to have wacko Hollywood premises,”
I think the first trailer created the interest. It was emotionally stirring and didn’t reveal anything so the audience had to use their imaginations. I imagined something awesome, perhaps more awesome than the movie will be.
I am a sucker for SF and will see it even if it is filled with cliche themes. It would be refreshing to see some SF movies that were not debby downers about the future, space, and humanity but I guess we have to wait.
Wodun, I’m a sucker for SF, too, but I don’t have the money to see a movie where I’ll be shaking my head in irritation or disgust every 10 minutes because of the silly assumptions built into the script.
Still, the FX looked awesome. 🙂
Yes, I think the trailers grabbed people emotionally. It did for me. I’ve looked up to the stars and wanted to go there since I was 7 or 8 yrs old. I would leave everything I have on earth to make that trip if it was possible. I also have three kids, a new spouse, a comfortable home, and a good job here on this rock. I’d leave it all to make that trip.
Anyone here ever lay awake at night building your own ship in your mind to take you on that voyage? Thinking what it would be like to pass by Saturn, look back to the inner solar system to our pale blue dot? ( thank you Carl S.) Would you still feel connected to everyone on earth who you love?
This movie may have many stupid and irritating science and logic flaws, but if it sticks to the human element of making such a voyage, it will do well, just as “Gravity” did, and for the same reasons.
I saw the trailer while waiting to see Guardians of the Galaxy. It was very much in the style of trailer where you mash all the exciting moments of the film together (with many many headache inducing fade-to-black cutscenes) in order to mask the fact that the three minutes of excitement you just saw in the trailer was pretty much all the film had. It was also fairly incoherent, looking like a bunch of random images stapled together. Maybe the movie is better, but I have my doubts.
Great SF is made by great story. Dumping truckloads of money on IL&M and asking them to make your scrod of a script look good isn’t the same thing.
I am groot?
We are ALL Groot.
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