Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Interseller: A Trip to Nowhere

I'm not the kind of guy who hates a movie simply because it's overly long. I like, for example, “Gone with the Wind” and “Godfather II.”

However, when a movie drags on for hours just because a director apparently can't cut a second of it, then length becomes an issue for me. Such was the case last weekend when I rented the Blu-ray version of “Intersteller.”

Painfully drawn out, this thing went on for nearly three long, eye-watering hours. It's length caught me totally unawares. I popped it, the first of a two-movie double header I had planned, into my player at around 7:30. It didn't finally grind to a halt until nearly 10:30. I still had another 90-minute feature to go.

Co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan – best known for writing and directing “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Dark Knight” and “Batman Begins” – I expected more: not longer, better.

Here's the storyline: Earth is dying. NASA had been officially abolished (Art imitating life?) to save money and resources transferred to farming. But, hold the phone! NASA continued on in secret. Scientists discovered a wormhole through which NASA had sent several separate space ships full of people in search of a planet to send what was left of Earth's population. Suddenly, some unknown force reaches out to Cooper, who happens to be the greatest space-ship pilot of all time, but who has been farming for the last decade, and his daughter leading them to the secret NASA base.

With me so far?

Secret NASA's head honcho convinces Cooper to abandon his family and pilot a mission through the wormhole to check on any surviving ships, eventually returning – decades later – with the location of a planet capable of sustaining human life. Of course, the head honcho's daughter must accompany Cooper on the trip. From this point forward – more than an hour into the film – it's one big jumbled mess of time travel, conspiracies and implausible plot gimmicks. What a train wreck.

McConaughey and Hathaway on their mission to the outer reaches of boring.

By the time the mission finally lifts off, I was ready for the end credits. I still had almost two hours to go.

Admittedly, my patience, in part, was tested because Matthew McConaughey played Cooper. As with Will Ferrel, I can endure – and sometimes even enjoy – McConaughey in small doses. His less than five minutes on screen in another overly long film, “Wall Street,” is about all of old Matt I can take. Get him on, let him over act for a couple of minutes and then get him off screen. I'm down.

But three hours of McConaughey is like death from a thousand cuts for me. On and on and on and on.....

There are some big names in “Intersteller”: Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow (thought he was dead), Anne Hathaway, William Devane and Micheal Caine. None of them, save Hathaway, had more than 10 to 12 total minutes on camera. I could have done with more Devane and less McConaughey. Oh, and Matt Damon played a bad-guy space colonist.

I suspect I hold the minority opinion on both the movie and McConaughey, but I watch movies to be entertained; I wasn't.


  1. Is there no "eject" button on your Blu-Ray player? I have found that to be a great way out a couple of times, the last on "The Grand Budapest Hotel." That function also saved me on "Silver Linings Playbook."

  2. Why, yes there is an eject button. I just kept thinking it might actually get better. Plus, I had $2.19 invested in the rental. We will agree to disagree on "Silver Linings Playbook." I really like that movie, but I'm a big Jennifer Lawrence fan. Also, I can see how the initial 30 minutes or so could have people hitting the eject button. It does get much better.