Thursday, November 20, 2014
Release Date: Nov 07, 2014
Runtime: 2 hr. 49 min.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, Wes Bentley, Matt Damon, John Lithgow.
When Christopher Nolan stated that "Interstellar" would be his most ambitious film to date, he certainly wasn't exaggerating. Dealing with space-time continuum, gravitational singularity, fifth dimensional probability, and the fate of mankind, the influx of information can challenge even the most scientific of minds. Yet through it all, he delivers another transcendent experience – one that truly captures the mysteries of the galaxies beyond our reach. Boasting an all-star cast led by Matthew McConaughey, the film probes the question of life after Earth. It's a meticulous exploration of human survival – one that takes ample years in the making, and hours upon hours of viewing. Nolan takes us on a spatial journey of unfathomable beauty, from our blight-stricken planet to otherworldly terrains. While the grand scale of it all is visually compelling, it's the small hope for humanity that ultimately shoulders the story. McConaughey gives an affecting performance as a NASA pilot turned farmer turned planetary savior. His personal odyssey is filled with tangible emotions, and draws you in much like the elusive black hole. To that point, the science is undoubtedly an impressive element of the film, based on actual research done by theoretical physicist Kip Thorne. With so much of the unknown still left to be discovered, it's a fascinating glimpse into the possibilities of existence. This, in turn, bolstered by the thunderous sound and score, makes it as much of a physical interaction as it is cerebral. But be that as it may, the film still has its minor eccentricities, specifically when it comes to interpreting the ending. There's a fine line between fact and fiction, and another between imagination and implausibility. With Nolan choosing to objectify the latter, it somewhat compromises the plot line from having a greater impact. Regardless, "Interstellar" is definitively a cinematic achievement, one to be fully appreciated in the grandeur of IMAX. Though the future of space travel is yet to be determined, the film's thought-provoking questions may someday lead to our answers.
Rating: 4 stars
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Release Date: Oct 24, 2014
Runtime: 1 hr. 41 min.
Director: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki, Alfie Allen, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, Bridget Moynahan.
Keanu Reeves isn't exactly known for giving scintillating performances – generally ranging from monotonous to befuddled to downright apathetic. But there seems to be one definitive state that suits him effectively and it's an all-encompassed rage as an accidentally-wronged assassin. Starring as the titular "John Wick," aka the 'Boogeyman,' Reeves marks a dynamic return as a legitimate action star. Former stunt coordinators David Leitch and Chad Stahelski make their directorial debut in this vengeance-themed rampage filled with satisfying brutality. Steeped in gun fights and head shots staged with rhythmic choreography, "John Wick" is simply and foremost an action film. Forget any character arcs, climactic developments, or even a dignifying motive, it's the full throttle fights that are the defining characteristics. Reeves ignites at procuring massive body counts – one shot never enough to take down an opponent. His meticulous nature is enhanced by his stoic disposition, for once playing more to his strength than his usual weakness. The world he inhabits is equally enthralling, a hidden society of killers in a posh environment. Not a minute ticks by without an energizing blow, or a lack of a corpse for that matter. Yet given the brevity of his return, there may be more to the story, as the doors are left open for a (potential?) franchise. Revenge comes in all shapes and forms but now most will know it by the name of "John Wick."
Rating: 4 stars