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David Poland

By David Poland

Review: Interstellar (non-spoiler)

I don’t really want to write this review.

You see, Christopher Nolan is a profoundly talented artist and he is trying really hard to make a profound movie here. He hired excellent actors who give excellent performances. And not just the much-promoted 3 leads. The supporting cast and many of the surprising small roles are terrific. Much of the film is strikingly beautiful. And there is a lot of really good stuff in the film.


The dialogue – never a Nolan strength – is downright terrible through two acts. I mean, off-off-off-Broadway kinda stuff. Painful, no matter how beautifully delivered.

And it repeats the same ideas over and over and over again, as though we in the audience were too stupid to understand a science fiction movie.

I can say, to the film’s credit, the insufferable first act is only about 40 minutes long. It seems longer than the next two acts, which take over 2 hours.

But even the exit from the first act into the second is painful, not because it’s not well-executed, but because it feels like Nolan is desperate (I can’t say how he feels in reality) to make his mark, attempting a Lean-Kubrick-style transition into the second act that is not nearly as clever as it needs to be to be special.

This was my experience in the film, over and over again. There are so many parts of the film that, were they simply not trying so hard to be clever, would be so much better. Any time I am watching a film and there is a piece of stunt editing – say, paralleling two story elements that are not naturally synced – and when it ends, I don’t feel like I got anything out of the stunt and was beaten over the head by the story point, something is wrong. At least to my eye.

The third act, as you will surely read in many other places, is the best part of the film. But even there, the pieces never quite come together. I have promised a spoiler-free review in the title, so I won’t explain in too much detail. But if you are making a movie that screams that it is espousing a very well-considered philosophy and the story then turns on a series of extreme coincidences (however interesting or complicated by science, space, and spirit), then I say that the movie had better make a real case for the nature of the universe to be about fate. But I tried twice to find this in Interstellar and failed. And I am not an idiot.

Interstellar does have the nerve, to seem to suggest answers to some of the mysteries of 2001: A Space Odyssey in a veiled way. My instinctual response is “f*** off.” Nolan is obviously brilliant, but he is no Kubrick because he is, it seems, incapable of anything beyond literalism.

Actually, some of the “phone call” footage in Interstellar are my favorite moments in the film. Jessica Chastain lights it up, big time. But however much I liked those moments, they are not analogous to the phone calls in 2001, which were about things other than the calls.

Similarly, one gets the feeling that Nolan is one-upping the HAL 9000 by creating more realistic, reflective-of-some-kind-of-current-science mechanical support for the journey. The voices are not as distinct and unforgettable as HAL’s. Clearly, that is not the filmmaker’s goal. But in terms of the audience, what I am presuming to be the intended accuracy doesn’t mean much to an audience, which is trying to distinguish one voice from another without always having a face or name-tag in sight. We can’t build a relationship with the specific machine, even if we can remember some of the repeated conceits around said machines. Literal. But not good drama.

And the overall conceit of the film, which is to reduce a threat to the existence of all human life on earth to fewer than 2 dozen people… I mean, from beginning to end. I get the dramatic notion that sprouted this choice. You can’t tell a story about everyone on earth. Yes. I get it. But the myopia of the film – which only increases from start to finish – becomes a theme, whether intended or not. There is a line between a few people representing humanity and the entire value of humanity being reduced to a handful of people.

The Nolans’ screenplay is constantly telling us what big-picture thinkers they are. And as an audience member, I could easily imagine the deep, intense, months-long philosophical debates between the brothers and, probably, any other friends who would listen (and keep their mouths shut). But there is an odd shallowness that reduces all the intellectual power that is obviously brought to this endeavor to a “you mean… one atom of my fingernail could be an entire universe?” stoner joke.

I honestly think i might have been less anal about the whole third act had the first 110 minutes of the film not felt like water torture so often. I hate reading critics claiming that a movie should have been shorter. It’s usually a random comment that really means that the critic got bored and lost interest for a period. But damned if I didn’t feel that, literally, 40 minutes of this movie could have been stripped away and improved the final product by 60%/70%… not because I was bored, but because I was getting the same detail over and over. Do The Nolans understand E=MC-squared? Probably. I don’t. Not really. And Interstellar was not the place to try to teach me what I never bothered to learn in high school. But the repeated technical blather… oh lord!

And the score. OH MY GOD!!!! The score. I often love Hans Zimmer. I find myself defending his scores when others complain. He has done some truly wonderful work. And this film felt like being hit over the head with every instrument in the orchestra until unconscious. I don’t ever recall a more relentless or agonizing aural experience in a film. There is not a moment of drama that does not, apparently, require underscoring that makes it seem like Atlanta is burning. HEY! THIS IS IMPORTANT. But everything is important in Interstellar. That’s what the film tells me endlessly.

Except, of course, when there are cuts to the silence of space. Oy. Kill me now. Not new. Not special. And on the opposite side of the bombast of the score, it is almost comedic.

I guess I was less pleased with this film than I even thought…

But like I say… there are things to like. Some will love it. Some will go where Nolan takes them. And there are performance moments that are truly wonderful. The current incarnation of Matthew McConaughey could do this role in his sleep. He gets to run the gamut of emotions… but he’s not a trained monkey. He is an actor of control and discipline. You have to be to go as wild as he can go. There is a sequence in which his reaction shot ranges through a lot of emotions and, sadly, I felt like I was watching a bad acting class. Not that the acting was bad, but that the director, leaving a great actor in a position to just react, going through a list of intense emotions… ewww. Chastain did a lot better for herself. Anne Hathaway was wasted in a role that could have been played by literally hundreds of good actresses. She has one good dialogue run in the film. That’s it. (And the young Chastain looked, to me, a lot more like the young Hathaway.)

I won’t talk about the ending… but as I think about it, I just want to note that after all of the drama of the film – 2 hours and 30 minutes before the last 10 of screen performances – the idea that it is all reduced to something so small and carefully undetailed as the very ending is the final heartbreak of this film for me.

But like I wrote… that last act is, easily, the best part of the film. 40 minutes less movie might have made it all seem worth the journey.

The only memorable line in the film will probably become a punchline in future. I won’t tell you what it is, because it is a big spoiler. But when I think about memorable dialogue from Nolan films, there is none. Even the best moments of The Joker were silent.

Okay… enough… feeling bad, to tell the truth. The film is so steeping in good intentions, taking a bat to it (no pun intended) seems cruel. And it doesn’t take a bat to the audience. This is not “a terrible movie.” But I don’t know that it is a good movie. Certainly not a great one.

I look forward to discussing it, in detail, once readers get to see it.

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76 Responses to “Review: Interstellar (non-spoiler)”

  1. Landon says:

    Loving all the typos that came after “and I am not an idiot” in this review. Good job

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes a few typos is clearly the mark of an inferior brain. Just like the lack of punctuation at the end of a sentence is evidence of idiocy.

  3. eldrick says:


  4. Aaa says:

    You’re not an idiot yet you couldn’t even write the next sentence right?

  5. MarkVH says:

    Oh man, I love it when David posts his reviews to Rotten Tomatoes and all the Nolan trolls click over here and start losing their shit. This is gonna be so much fun.

  6. Sasha Stone says:

    God, seriously with the Nolan trolls. Yeesh.

  7. Michael E says:

    It’s going to be a rough few months dealing with the Interstalleristas.

  8. The Pope says:

    I’ve asked before, but whether this film fails or flops, the real question for Nolan is where does he go from here? You can’t get a much bigger theme than the end of existence and you can’t get a much bigger canvas than the edge of space. So… what next? That will be the real measure of Nolan. After that, the Nol-Trolls won’t matter.

  9. PcChongor says:

    The faults of “Interstellar” seem to closely echo those of “A.I.” in that the Frank Capra-esque sheen on the film felt like a worse version of the far more realistic and pessimistic future that Kubrick had originally intended on exploring.

    But aside from pessimistic films just not getting made at the studio level anymore, I don’t think people need any further evidence outside of the daily news at how bad our situation as a sustainable species is becoming, so maybe Nolan’s grossly sincere and marshmellowy view of the future is even more refreshing and reactionary than something like Glazer’s “Inside the Skin” was/is.

    Who knows. I just hope “Interstellar” makes some serious bank in the hopes that there’s at least always one filmmaker still out there who can get non-source material films made and released at the highest levels (although a part of me still hopes that after this Nolan will go back to making much smaller budgeted mind-fucks in the same way that Kubrick completely shifted gears in England after “2001” was released).

  10. YancySkancy says:

    At the end of A.I. (SPOILERS), mankind is extinct and the little Mecha boy gets to spend one last day with his beloved mother (or rather a clone of her). Regardless of how sweet that day may be for the boy, it’s not exactly the most optimistic ending in the world for the rest of us. If it’s Capra-esque, maybe it’s in the sense that the dark undercurrents of his work are often ignored, so that even at this late date many people seem to think that IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, for instance, is a simplistic story of sweetness and light.

  11. Brett S. says:

    I’ve read about a dozen reviews, both strongly favorable to lukewarm, but this is the only review where the writer seems to be borderline literate. Recommendation: Get another job.

  12. Alan D. says:

    This review is not in line with any other POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE reviews; therefore, I don’t know if this reviewer is profound beyond belief, or a simpleton. I’ve read 4 positive reviews and 3 negative (with this it becomes 4 and 4) and so far they’ve all shared the majority of pros and cons. However, the major difference is that negative reviews were not too found of the ending and how the movie came to a close. This reviewer seems more interested in making this Nolan vs Kubrick that he doesn’t realize this is simply a HOMAGE and not a contest. This is Nolan incorporating his own dogma and elements into the giant pool of science fiction. Some of the critiques in this review were extremely trivial and amount to very vague assumptions on what Nolan was trying to do. Also, the first and third act (minus the ending for non-fans) are actually what have been praised the most contrary to what this reviewer has been stating.

  13. Tuck Pendleton says:

    Of all the things I’m going in nervous about, the score was absolutely number one. Hans Zimmer’s scores have that affect on some films. They can elevate them to higher heights (Gladiator – best example) or provide a very, very annoying “let’s hammer in this scene is important” companion to the visuals. But I await and see. I’m sure everyone’s in agreement the Joker’s accompanying theme in The Dark Knight made the hair on the back of their head stand up.

    His score for RUSH, btw, has become on of my all-time favorites.

  14. MarkVH says:

    And here…we…GO.

  15. Sam says:

    “This review is not in line with any other POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE reviews; therefore, I don’t know if this reviewer is profound beyond belief, or a simpleton.”

    How come “a guy with his own perspective” isn’t an option here? One can have a different take on something without it being right or wrong, or more or less legitimate than anybody else’s.

  16. YancySkancy says:

    “I’ve read about a dozen reviews, both strongly favorable to lukewarm, but this is the only review where the writer seems to be borderline literate. Recommendation: Get another job.”

    If you mean “illiterate,” I think we have some irony going on here.

    I will never understand this phenomenon of assuming that you’ll disagree with negative reviews of a film you haven’t yet seen.

  17. sanj says:

    “Anne Hathaway was wasted in a role that could have been played by literally hundreds of good actresses.”

    yeah but she won the oscar. she got a role in a very big movie .

    the whole cast is nearly full of movie award winners. can’t get much better than this . then it all leads to the script.

  18. Kevin Stewart says:

    “I hate reading critics saying that a movie should have been shorter.”

    Then David you must NEVER read any reviews from Leonard Maltin. You’d swear he complains about a movie going on too long in every other review. To the point you wonder if he has ADD issues.

    As for Interstellar, it sounds like it’s one of those love it or hate it films. Can’t wait to decide for myself.

  19. Kate says:

    You seem more cool on this than even Prometheus, which seems nutty, considering that script. But maybe the script to this is bad in different ways? And I do think there was some elegant direction/acting to Scott’s film, whereas Nolan can sometimes be inappropriately bombastic. Maybe it’s just more obvious this time?

  20. palmtree says:

    Yancy, either that or Brett S just paid DP a great compliment. I wonder what the other job is that DP should be doing, writing a novel or poetry perhaps.

  21. YancySkancy says:

    The concept of “borderline literacy” is messing with my head. I guess if borderline illiteracy means you almost CAN’T read, then borderline literacy means you almost CAN.

  22. palmtree says:

    Well, “borderline literate” was the genius phrase used, and I was thinking of literate as meaning “having literary qualities.” So in short, DP’s review was almost like reading an epic poem.

  23. Pete says:

    Nolan has been nothing more than a mediocre filmmaker working with great cinematographers. Why is it a surprise that he delivers silly over the top garbage movies? He’s done it numerous times. Dark Knight Rises was his worst. This looks even worse than that.

  24. LexG says:

    He’s worked with one cinematographer his entire career, this represents his second cinematographer. (Unless Pfister didn’t shoot Following, I can’t remember.) Bizarre complaint.

  25. arisp says:

    I agree with almost everything in this review. This will be viewed 2 ways: the overblown praise (Variety) bc adult filmgoers are looking for something deep and meaningful (and fun) from one of hollywoods heavy hitters, so A LOT will be overlooked, and 2- disappointment precisely bc of those expectations as we see it fail in a number of important ways (horrible dialogue for one thing). It’s too bad. He does need to ditch his brother. And Zimmer – oy. (And this coming from someone who thinks the score from the Thin Red Line is the best ever recorded). Also all this Kubrick stuff should be taken out of the discourse completely. No one will ever make anything like 2001 for a myriad of reasons.

  26. Mockingbird says:

    Nolan himself has said in interviews that he wanted to make something that compares well with Kubrick’s “2001”, so an examination of how his movie measures up by comparison is not inappropriate.

    I don’t plan on buying a ticket to watch this movie, the trailers on Youtube, Nolan’s grandiloquent interviews, and commentary like this review are enough to put me off.

    “Heaven’s Gate” by Michael Cimino is the proverbial megabudget box-office flop. I suspect that within two weeks of “Interstellar”‘s opening, it will snatch that title away.

  27. Pete B. says:

    Just wanted to point out that it was ‘Pete’ that said Nolan was “mediocre filmmaker”. I’ve been looking forward to this movie since last year.

  28. palmtree says:

    A flop would be surprising. Nolan seems like one of the few directors these days whose very name carries weight for general audiences. But having said that, he’s certainly not immune…

  29. eldrick says:

    the imdb score for intersellar is currently 9.6. i expect it to come down as time goes on but i think it wont go lower than 8.5.

    i should also say i generally trust imdb scores more than critical consensus. thats not to devalue the work of critics. they are operating on a higher intellectual level. but i doubt most people who see intersellar are going to be looking to compare it to 2001. most are just looking for a good time and want to see what nolans vision of the universe and space travel looks like and on a huge scale. i can forgive it its flaws if it delivers on that level.

    ps. really, imdb is very accurate to me in terms of whether i will like a film or think it was at least worth while.

    and this is pretty much the case for nolan. his films always get humungus imdb scores but the only films of his i was fully satisfied with were memento and dark knight rises. dark knight, prestige all had coherency problems but i enjoyed them anyway.

  30. Ralphie says:

    Hmmm….too many comments by people who have not seen the film.

  31. R says:

    I have always hated nolan films and resented their popularity (I usually get asked to see one in the cinema with friends)

    However with every rule there is an exception:

    Rule – Nolan’s a hack with a case of the emperors new clothes and his films are all pompous trash.

    Exception – Insomnia was quite a good remake (but by no means a great film)

  32. arisp says:

    I wouldn’t say he’s a hack… He makes solid films IMO, but nothing that entitles him to the ‘brilliant’ label. Memento was a pretty cool/fun movie, Insomnia I liked as well (great atmosphere and acting). The Batman films are fun popcorn (taste good but empty calories), and Inception was great if you watched it with the volume off. We’re better for him being around for sure, but expectations are way overblown with him.

  33. PcChongor says:

    And how many people who already shit on “Interstellar” are now praising today’s Marvel press conference? I’ll take mediocre heart over corporate sequel bukkake any day of the week.

  34. That Guy says:

    All the reviews I’ve read about Interstellar make it sound like 2001: A Space Odyssey but an alternate version where Kubrick added in all the pedantic explanations from Arther C. Clarke’s novelization and kept the Alex North score.

    Anyway, given his reaction(has he ever liked a Nolan film?) I fully expect Poland to pretend its box office trajectory is much weaker than it actually is over the course of a couple months, with more and more people calling him on it until he snidely pushes back against the bias accusations. So, you know, same as it ever was.

  35. MarkVH says:

    Erm, David loved The Dark Knight Rises (which, incidentally, is a PoS). So there’s that.

  36. jepressman says:

    As for Poland’s views on Nolan’s film,well cavet emptor ’cause Poland’s taste is just so-so.

  37. AAA says:

    If TDK is the 2nd best movie by Chris Nolan, TDKR is definitely the worst.

    The guy making this review loved TDKR? We’re dealing with a retard.

  38. eldrick says:

    the dark knight returns was great. have no idea what the negativity towards that film was. it was coherent for starters.

  39. leahnz says:

    ‘the dark knight returns’ actually might have been good

    this ‘interstellar’ review is kind of hilarious, i prefer when DP pans something and then it snowballs into an evisceration (were you watching ‘she’s all that’ on cable or something? ‘and the dancing OMG the dancing!’). the trailers for this movie annoyed with all the boo-hoo so maybe the movie will be as annoying as this makes it sound. or not

  40. David Poland says:

    Ironically, Dark Knight Rises was by far the closest Nolan ever came to his ambitions for that series. But you guys hate it because it is so Nolan.

    My feeling that TDK didn’t live up to the ecstasy – though I did like it and said so a million times – was because the third act failed the ambitions of the first two acts. As great as Joker was, he was a means to an end, not the whole movie. And in the ambition to get into fate vs choice, which is such a Two-Face foundation, the film floundered.

    Batman Begins is wonderful. The action in the third act is deeply flawed and goes against the intimacy of the first two acts. But aside from that, really terrific.

    My standards for a filmmaker like Nolan, who is reaching higher, is how they fulfill their own clearly announced ambitions (announced by the work). Dark Knight Rises was Nolan reaching beyond the franchise… which assured that his run with Batman was over. There are all kinds of things one can bitch about in that film, but it is easily the most articulated political statement out of three films in which he was trying to be political with a comic book mask on.

  41. Bulldog68 says:

    “As great as Joker was, he was a means to an end, not the whole movie.”

    Not sure that the intent was for him to be the whole movie. It’s called The Dark Knight for a reason.

  42. Eric says:

    ya’ll motherfuckers sleeping on The Prestige, which is the best Nolan movie of all

  43. PcChongor says:

    “Interstellar” reviews aside, it definitely wasn’t a great week for optimism about space flight.

  44. Pete B. says:

    The Prestige is okay, unless you figure out the twist within the first act.

    I’m curious about the political statement David is talking about in TDKR. Please elaborate.

  45. Local 22 says:

    Nolan’s phony messianic and pretentious speeches about photochemical vs digital are tiresome, a cheap attention-getting gimmick to try and put himself in league with the big boys who once roamed this planet. The guy has only made superhero and twilightzone-like gimmick movies with hokey endings. His conceit has no end, including his career-long claim that he wears a suit out of “respect for the crew.” He wears a suit because it gives him the shoulders he doesn’t have and brings out his blue eyes. I’ve been a member of that “crew” he “respects.” It’s a one way street.

    His movies, whether “captured” using 70 or 35mm, ultimately have gigantic VFX work. Consequently, the negative is scanned and the resolving power limited to the same as digital “capture.” Nolan should climb down off his high-horse and concentrate on telling stories, preferably ones without dream sequences, flashbacks, capes or cowls.

  46. doug r says:

    2001 was great, if you like space travel in realtime.

  47. YancySkancy says:

    Or even if you don’t.

  48. munkee says:

    Just saw Interstellar at the Motion Picture Academy last night. The film might call into question whether The Grapes of Wrath and 2001: A Space Odyssey can successfully coexist within the same movie. The answer, unfortunately, is no. You get plenty of corn, but it doesn’t transcend the corny.

    I loved Matthew McConaughey’s recent down-home performances in Mud and Dallas Buyers Club. But his “rope ’em and ride ‘em” approach to navigating spacecraft through wormholes is out of synch with his mission to save the human race. Just throw a lasso around that black hole and you got yerself a fifth dimension! The rest of the cast is reduced to reciting cornball clichés that will make your eyes roll. If only writer/director Christopher Nolan and his brother’s storytelling and dialogue were as grand as the universe they attempt to occupy. They even manage to stomp the eloquence of Dylan Thomas into space dust.

    The film’s larger themes of mass extinction and the dream of interstellar salvation are important for humankind to grasp at this juncture of its evolution. And the final act’s exploration of time and space anomalies is interesting to behold. Nolan’s sense of visual grandeur is certainly up to the task of taking us out there. We do get a decent dose of Space Odyssey here, but ultimately, Interstellar feels like Slim Pickens riding a big bomb back down to earth.

  49. Pauol says:

    Today’s movies are essentially pathetic, at least the big budget efforts.

    Film makers either don’t care, or don’t know how to tell stories anymore. It’s probably a combination of the two. I haven’t seen interstellar, I’d love to see interstellar, but I probably will feel exactly the same way this reviewer does, because we go to see movies to be entertained by a story. Otherwise, I’ll happily watch an MIT lecture on gravity or what have you. But a movie? Come on, entertain us!

  50. Alboone says:

    This truly was one of the most disappointing movies I have seen in a long time. It looks gorgeous in 70mm IMAX and that Robot kicks all kind of ass, but on a storytelling level, epic fail for me.

  51. tbunny says:

    Dark Knight Rises was his best batman movie. Not an origin story. Not a movie all about the Joker. Old Batman with a nice hero’s journey. “I’m not afraid. I’m angry.” Finally some really good believable fight scenes. He’s got to get past being ready to die, has to want to live. I liked the evolution of Hathaway’s character. It had some humor. Good solid Batman movie, good story, good pacing, good character beats.

  52. leftnutright says:

    I read this review before and after seeing the film and agree with almost everything DP says.

    In Nolan’s defense, he was trying to make complex science reasonably accessible and clearly articulated …and I thought he came quiet close a few times.

    When Hathaway screams “everyone signed up for relativity,” it really underscores DP’s point about hammering one concept.

    I did learn a decent physics lesson and I had fun.

    Nothing stood out to me other than thinking if McConaughey hadn’t starred and imo carried that film, it wouldn’t have worked.

    I wonder what Spielberg’s Interstellar starring McConaughey, especially having tried his hand before with AI

  53. Christian says:

    munkee wins the INTERSTELLAR reviews.

    Staggeringly awesome space images – the SILENCE is actually the best thing about the film as my IMAX crowd were literally COVERING their ears at the single most obnoxious aural experience in my life – chunks of “important” dialog routinely drowned or subwoofed into dirt. The audience almost sighed aloud in pleasure whenever their was a pitch perfect silent space scene. More of that, less corn indeed. Still, McConaughey sells what he can.

  54. Grant says:

    Personally I thought this movie was the best I’ve ever seen. Now I’m not a critic and deffinitly don’t think like one, but if you look past all the minor details that everyone is complaining about and look at the big picture of what the movie is trying to serve you it is extremely good and really grabs you. This movie pulled me in so much that I felt like I was living inside the movie and it was almost a dissapointment to leave the movie theatre. It really just blew my mind and also brought me insane amounts of excitement. If you haven’t seen it yet you should because it’s such an incredible movie!

    Also unlike what some other people say I personaly thought that the story itself was the best part of the movie. It’s about the potential future and who doesn’t think that is exciting and intriguing?

  55. Christian says:

    I’ll give Nolan all the credit for at least reaching for big screen sci-fi. More from others please.

  56. David Poland says:

    I honor your feelings about the film, Grant. Anytime anyone can have that experience in a movie is a great time.

  57. PcChongor says:

    “Interstellar” felt a lot like attending Sunday School inside of a graduate level physics lab: unimaginably smart and laughably silly all at the same time.

    And for all the “2001” comparisons that this has been getting so far, it felt way more like “Contact” by way of Clifford D. Simak (who was the uncontested king of pastoral sci-fi).

  58. DRJ says:

    When this reviewer (Poland) writes, regarding the 3rd act: “the story then turns on a series of extreme coincidences” — he betrays an obvious lack of understanding of that 3rd act. Because there’s nothing coincidental in the plot there, at all.

    And if you don’t understand the 3rd act, then you don’t understand the entire movie.

    This isn’t a simple story. Some of the key elements and key players are never shown on screen at all. We only see their handiwork across space and time.

    All in all, this is a film that DEMANDS some thought. You gotta figure out what’s not spoonfed by the script — and there’s quite a lot of that in Interstellar. (I suppose that was done because it would have been overwhelming to explain all the details? Maybe.)

    So it’s not surprising that some reviewers just didn’t understand what they saw. Poland is one of them. The worst part is that Poland apparently doesn’t even understand that he didn’t understand the film. And it’s a real shame that he then actually PUBLISHED a review — one which now makes it very obvious that he simply does not know what he is writing about.

  59. David Poland says:

    DRJ… at times like this, I like to say… put up or shut up.

  60. Private Joker says:


    You are not alone brother. Keep fighting the good fight. The emperor has no clothes. That is unless they belong to M. Night Shyamalan.

  61. JS Partisan says:

    This movie reminded me a lot of Space Dandy, so it was pretty groovy, baby.

  62. Bulldog68 says:

    I think I liked this movie a bit better than David did, but I don’t doubt his lack of understanding of the film. Don’t know why people go to that overused and misused diatribe that because someone dislikes a film, or in this case, does not like it as much as others do, that it must be because the misunderstood it.

    It is absolutely possible to totally understand something and make salient points as to why it didn’t blow you way. Disagree all you want, and I have disagreed with Dave many times, but I’ve never thought him to be an idiot.

  63. DRJ says:

    To David Poland: I thought I did “put up.” So maybe I don’t know what that means….


  64. DRJ says:

    Bulldog68 — But I noted WHY I believe Poland didn’t understand the movie. It’s his statement, in the review, regarding coincidences. By writing that he makes it pretty clear that he didn’t get it at all — and just didn’t wanna put in the necessary thought, I guess.

    I didn’t write that he’s “stupid.” I have no idea about that, either way. But I’ll tellya this: if I were to PUBLISH my opinion about anything, I’d want to be very sure I at least understood the thing I was writing about.

    Okay, so if I’m wrong about the “coincidences” line — let him explain why he used it, in a way that does not betray what I think it does.

  65. leahnz says:

    er, i see the creepy paedo-perv comment about 14yr old mcKenzie foy by the resident ick stick has been sanitised from the hotblog — so much for the convenient segue into my thought on interstellar. (but always fascinating how every single commenter here has to live with what ever crap we say on this here blog BAR ONE, viva la censorship to protect the disgusting!)

  66. LexG says:

    I said she was cute. How controversial. She is cute. I’m sure this response will be banned too, but a) I don’t think it’s David, really, who “censors” any out-of-control posts, but rather Ray Pride, who seems to handle 99% of this blog’s duties nowadays (and who historically loathes my act.) I don’t think I’ve had an interaction of any sort with DP in 2, 3 years, so leahnz’s consistent fantasia that he’s protecting his alleged favorite son is so far off as to be hilarious. If you’re looking to have your old gems censored for some strange reason, I’m sure either DP or RP would oblige, though.

  67. Amblinman says:

    “This isn’t a simple story. Some of the key elements and key players are never shown on screen at all. We only see their handiwork across space and time.”

    Sure. Like the imaginary Future Space Humans. Very brilliant. And complex.

    I think people who keep insisting this movie is complicated are flattering themselves. The ending was the opposite of smart.

  68. storymark says:

    What, “Nuh-uh, you don’t get it!” isn’t a well reasoned argument?

  69. Christian says:


    The funniest thing is how the sad defenders of whatsisname hide in a corner whistling when the other side emerges. Over and over. Battered bloggers.

  70. David Poland says:

    Uh, Leah… you’re now complaining about us removing Lex comments?

  71. movieman says:

    Late to the party, but here’s my two cents worth:
    “Interstellar” has moments of greatness, but its Achilles Heel is overlength.
    Plain and simple.
    Somebody should have really taken Nolan aside and told him that his film is just too damn long.
    It strikes me as the sort of movie that will probably look better–less flawed somehow through the nostalgic prism of rose-colored glasses–in 30+ years.
    Not that I expect to live that long, lol.

  72. Christian says:

    Why don’t you at least stand by your man, DP?

  73. David Poland says:

    I don’t know what that means, Christian.

  74. doug r says:

    Flipside of your arguement, movieman-what would you cut?

The Hot Blog

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon