Sunday, May 24, 2015

Interstellar (2014) - Explanations, Insight, Meaning, Science Bloopers and Review

It was good to see a science fiction movie about real science with fiction instead of fictional science! First, it was Gravity that showed us exactly what being an astronaut is like. Now, Interstellar has used exceptional story telling techniques to create a plot based almost completely on complex but very accurate physics. Actually, having watched these two movies, I feel that Interstellar should be called Gravity and vice versa, given how big a role of the force of gravity plays in Interstellar and how the movie Gravity is about being in space (even if not between stars, per say), but I digress.

Please don't get me wrong, I love a nice fun space flick and have enjoyed all variations of Star Trek etc. That being said, being a nerd (and having studied relativity and advanced sciences in school), it was very refreshing to see a movie that showed the true nature of space exploration, as opposed to just whooshing through the hyperspace. That coupled with the fact that the movie actually used relativity to interweave the various elements in the plot.

As most of you already know, I'm a big fan of Christopher Nolan and I eagerly await his movies. Inception had completely blew me away and I was really interested to see what Nolan does with a space exploration flick like Interstellar. Well, he didn't disappoint! That being said, Interstellar is no Inception or Prestige or Momento or Dark Knight. Interstellar has a brilliant script and story telling, but it suffers from the same problem that most such movies made today would suffer from. The problem being that the whole time travel stuff has been done way too often. Nolan didn't make it completely obvious by keeping the messages sent back and forth in time on the downlow until the very end, so the good thing was that I didn't really realize what was going to happen until the very very end of it. That's some exceptional movie making, right there. Talking about time travel etc, I wish Nolan had made a movie like Frequency (2000). It's not that Frequency is not already a fun movie, but I'd have loved to see the "Nolan touch" there. Anyway, I digress again. Deja Vu (2006). Ok, I'll stop now. Anyway, the science part of Interstellar was managed by Kip Thorne and was very rock solid for the most part, but there were things that I found worth mentioning (or completely absurd) that I wanted to explain in this post. Those and other insights and explanations below -

The Nature of Blight: First off, let me say that I kinda liked the simple reason for us to leave the planet depicted in Interstellar. No meteors are going to crash into earth in 21 days, no magnetic field reversals are going to make the earth implode in 3 days, nothing overly dramatic. It's simply that earth is running out of food and air. It's so simple that it's surreal. When I first heard that, I was like, "Can't they produce food/meats in the laboratories by now?" I mean, scientists are able to "grow" meats in labs today. Granted it's not production ready as of yet, but the major breakthroughs needed to get there are already in place. But then the movie clarified that the whole debacle is also affecting the production of oxygen. So, the majority will starve to death and then the privileged class will eventually suffocate. Now, with that explanation out of the way, let me ask you this - What is stopping blight to spread to the next world as well? For all we know, the astronauts sent to explore those new planets already carried it with them!! If we can't kill this blight on our own planet, how can we ensure the future of human race on a planet where we'll be beginning to farm from scratch? And if there are measures that can be taken to ensure blight doesn't spread on a new planet, arguably those measures can be taken on earth as well. Coming soon. Coming soon...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Hunger Games

This is the story of a girl who can't seem to decide whether she wants to be a rebel or a victim. Or maybe it's about and annoyingly whiny teen struglling to figure out her place in the world. Or maybe it's one of those love triangles where the girl just can't seem to make up her mind about which of the two guys she should hookup with. As you can see, I'm a little confused because the The Hunger Games book (the very first book in the series) was about a girl with wisdom ad maturity beyond her years, the girl who earned to feed her family possibly in her pre-teens, the girl who survived a literal deathmatch with a dozen of well trained opponents, and the girl who defied the Capitol to save her friend. I mean, what happened to the Katiss Everdeen of The Hunger Games?

Let me take a step back though. In The Hunger Games, I understood exactly what was going on - All the metaphors and social commentary aside, it was more or less an action-adventure story in a brand new setting and what all dangers the girl will have to face and things that she'll have to do to survive and come out as a winner.

More soon...