Tag Archives: Interstellar

Why The Martian can never be an Interstellar or a Gravity?

Why The Martian can never be an Interstellar or a Gravity?

written by Souranath Banerjee

This article is only for those who have already seen The Martian OR for those who have no intention of seeing it in near future.

Yesterday i watched Ridley Scott‘s latest space adventure The Martian (2015) and the film made me love Interstellar (2014) and Gravity (2013) more than ever!

Well, that’s just another way of saying that The Martian is extremely over hyped.

martian-posterOf course I have my reasons for pillorying everyone’s favorite film (so it seems because of it’s box-office collections) but before that, let me put forward a few points which are actually pretty impressive in the film (unfortunately only a few).

Firstly, no doubt Matt Damon‘s acting skills!

He almost single handedly towed the film to stability; nothing extraordinary though but always up to the mark, he never gave anything for us (pseudo-critics) to complain about. 

The same goes for the entire cast actually – Jessica ChastainKristen WiigJeff DanielsMackenzie DavisMichael PeñaSean BeanChiwetel EjioforKate Marapretty stereotyped casting and everyone sleepwalked through their roles with distinction.

And then, the other thing that is unique about The Martian is the concept of potato-farming in Mars.

martian-poster3Yes, the possibility of a botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) to science the shit out and start growing his own food to survive in the red planet – now that’s something innovative and probably the one and only ‘wow’ element of the film.

They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it. So, technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!

Other than this, the script simply cannot be more predictable.

Within the first fifteen minutes the basic storyline is more or less visible to you – a man thought to be dead but very much alive, deserted in some lonely planet and now he has to survive through great difficulties until he is rescued.

And you won’t believe your speculation skills – absolutely no diversions, no surprises, no twists in the storyline – and yes, at the end he actually gets rescued!

martian-poster5US government has always invested and taken great risks to rescue Matt Damon, be it in Saving Private Ryan or in Interstellar. So The Martian doesn’t come to us as a surprise in that context as well. 

And thus, the whole film is about How astronaut Matt tries to survive and How NASA tries to bring him back – and then, even many of these ‘Hows’ can be anticipated.

For example in the middle of the film when everything seems to be suspiciously going fine; in Mars the potatoes are growing fat enough and in Earth the NASA rescue plans are looking possible, then suddenly Jeff Daniels (the head of NASA) looks almost directly to the camera and says something like ‘i hope nothing goes wrong in-between’!

And in the very next scene (as so expected) some accident brings death to Matt’s potato plants.

In several such occasions the film is too easy to predict and even the problems or the related emotions are too much on your face.

Visual effects was though pretty good over all, except for the titling- sequence-debris being unnecessarily noisy and jittery. And also the poorly mismatched shots of a body double being used to show the skinny version of Matt Damon towards the end of the film (before he finally does the long build up Iron Man stunt).

martian-poster6The comparison with the two earlier mega-space films Interstellar and Gravity are inevitable but unfortunately The Martain neither have the brilliant plot twists of Interstellar nor the innovativeness of Gravity.

Legendary director Ridley Scott has given us far better SiFi films earlier in his career, the likes of Blade Runner (1982) and Alien (1979) and thus our anticipations are always rocket high.

Anyways, let’s cheers to the discovery of water in Mars and to better Mars/space films in future!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

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Best of Hollywood 2014

Best of Hollywood 2014 (no foreign language films included in this list).

written by Souranath Banerjee.

2014 was one awesome year for film-lovers and thanks to Hollywood for such a balanced dose of entertainment; Thrillers, SciFis, Comedies, Love stories War Dramas, Horror flicks and lots of Biographies.

It’s the time to remember the best performances of this year, the awesome directorial ventures, those brilliant visuals and mesmerizing background scores – the films that touched your heart, amazed you and made you fall in love with Cinema (all over again).

But first a few honorable mentions (films that almost made the list) – WildInherent ViceThe Hundred-Foot JourneyPrideAmerican SniperCalvaryStill AliceCamp X-RayPredestinationKill the MessengerCake and Mr. Turner

And now the countdown begins.

10. Selma

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It was 1965 and Martin Luther King leaded the epic march from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama), a nonviolent protest demanding for the right-to-vote for all black men and women in the country.

(Click for the film review)

Such a powerful film evidently backed by some outstanding performances. A must watch.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic

9. Gone Girl

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Gone Girl is fast paced film that demands your full attention, a superbly crafted thriller that plunges into the depths of a psychologically twisted marital relationship.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performance by Ben Affleck but the real stunner is Rosamund Pike; she proves to be the perfect cast possible for the ‘gone girl’ character.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esGn-xKFZdU

nightcrawler-posterA dangerously realistic, gritty tale based on the concept of our unconscious satisfaction in watching other people’s loss and tragedy. Thanks to the news channels.

(Click for the film review)

Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) – is he a scavenger or a survivor, a psychopath or a potential businessman, a cold-hearted predator or an insane professional?

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1uP_8VJkDQ

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

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The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most stylish comedy I have seen in years.

(Click for the film review)

Wes Anderson’s obsession for perfect production design, bold color schemes, faultless framing and as always the cheeky humor brings out an unique creation. Simply wonderful to watch, probably his best work till date.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk

6. Interstellar

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A Sci-Fi starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathway and Jessica Chastain, Interstellar is a film about space and black holes, about dimensions and relativity; and then again it’s also about love and betrayal.

(Click for the film review)

By the acclaimed director Christopher Nolan and undoubtedly one of his best films ever.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSWdZVtXT7E

5. The Theory of Everything

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The Theory of Everything tells the emotional story of Stephen Hawking and his then wife Jane Wilde.

(Click for the film review)

Eddie Redmayne this year won the Oscar (in the Best Actor category) playing Stephen Hawking’s character with extraordinary authenticity and brilliance. A must watch.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Salz7uGp72c

4. Foxcatcher

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Foxcatcher is a film that tells the tale of two troubled souls, a multimillionaire and a wrestler, both disturbed and consumed by their own ambition and distorted personal lives.

(Click for the film review)

The film doesn’t fit the mainstream, melodramatic sport-movie pattern but after watching i am sure you will be thankful it didn’t.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8361stZ8n0w

3. Whiplash

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The intense story of Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a 19-year-old aspiring jazz drummer and Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), his brutal school music instructor.

(Click for the film review)

Whiplash is a gritty and uncompromising take on ambition and success – it stretches the boundaries of all previous student-mentor relationship based dramas.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d_jQycdQGo

2. Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and this year’s Oscar winner.

(Click for the film review)

Michael KeatonEdward NortonNaomi WattsZach GalifianakisEmma Stone and all others are magical in front of the camera.

The whole film is edited to look like one continuous shot, a tremendous effort and brilliantly executed.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJfLoE6hanc

1. Boyhood

boyhood-poster

A film so real and shot through such an unreal time-span that it gives you the feel of being a part of the journey with this boy Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who was 7 years old when Richard Linklater started filming and 18 when he finally felt it’s time to wrap up.

(Click for the film review)

Boyhood is something very special, a daring experiment and totally worth it.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-mbHXyWX4

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Imitation Game

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Based on the life of an unsung war-hero, a genius mathematician and a troubled soul who never got the recognition he deserved – Alan Turing.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley The imitation game is one of the best biographies made last year – a perfect combination of history and good cinema.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5CjKEFb-sM

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Interstellar (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5.

Interstellar is the latest by the acclaimed director Christopher Nolan.

Nolan is a genius, the guy who has been entertaining us with a string of amazing films like Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Night, Inception; he is undoubtedly one of the best directors of our times.

And over the years we, the audience have put such immense faith in him that we believe Nolan can never go wrong, he can never make anything less than a masterpiece. Though he tried to prove us wrong a couple of years back by making The Dark Night Rises but we still insist on claiming it as yet another Nolan-classic!

Well, now it’s Interstellar’s turn to take a dip in the Holy waters.

Don’t get me wrong here – honestly I liked Interstellar very much. It’s a great concept (writers Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan) – such level of imagination and so well executed.

interstellar 1A Sci-Fi starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathway and Jessica Chastain, Interstellar is a film about space and black holes, about dimensions and relativity; and then again it’s also about love and betrayal.

A town covered with dirt straight from the pages of John Steinbeck’s famous novel The Grapes Of Wrath, the film starts off growing on the general idea that our beloved planet may not be the permanent residence for us. The earth-resources all used up we need to find a new place, a new planet to survive.

And soon the expedition begins.

The first half of Interstellar is intense and full of adventure and then Matt Damon joins the party and make things even more interesting.

But the final Bollywood-touch of a father-daughter connection that miraculously solves all the mysteries of the universe is well a bit something to chew on.

But after all it’s Nolan and no one dares to complain.

interstellar-2Excellent acting by Mathew McConaughey (Cooper) and especial mention for Mackenzie Foy, a truly talented young actor playing Murph (Cooper’s daughter).

Great musical score by none other than Hans Zimmer and awesome visuals by Hoyte Van Hoytema.

Interstellar is a good film, actually a great film but the tremendous effort  to make it the ultimate classic – the best-space film ever existed – even better than Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey or Tarkovsky’s Solaris does make you fully aware of such dimensions like time and gravity and it’s a good thing they exist.

A must see especially for the Sci-Fi lovers. A lot of interesting and weird takes on relativity that will make you think and discuss about the film long after you are out of the cinema hall.

Even I am a Nolan-fan myself but a request to all you fellow film-lovers – please don’t judge a particular film by keeping in mind the past films of the filmmaker. That may bias your judgments a little.

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