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'Do Not Go Gentle' - Alex & Mike Discuss 'Interstellar' with Spoilers

by
November 12, 2014

Interstellar Podcast Discussion

"Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day." So what does it all mean? Cooper, Amelia, TARS, Murph – what was Christopher Nolan trying to tell us? With Nolan's new sci-fi Interstellar now playing in theaters (here's our Sound Off) I decided to hop on a podcast with my friend Mike Eisenberg of Tall Tale Productions (known as @Eisentower30 on Twitter), a fellow Nolan nerd (his dog is even named Nolan!), to discuss the movie in-depth. We wanted to talk about all the spoilers, theories, Nolan's big ideas, the science fiction of it and compared notes on what we experienced. So here's a podcast-length recording of our Skype discussion on Interstellar, and don't forget this has spoilers! Enjoy.

To listen to the audio in full (length: 1:31:03) please download the .mp3 or listen via the player below. This podcast is only for those who have already seen the movie, as we discuss the story in-depth with spoilers.

Download our Full Interstellar Discussion MP3 Here or Listen Now:

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Thank you for listening to our podcast. Follow Mike on Twitter as @Eisentower30, and Alex as @firstshowing, plus we must give a shout out to the stellar Nolan Fans.

If you have thoughts of your own, leave them in the comments below or our Sound Off post here. As said best by fellow movie lovers on Twitter, Interstellar is "a film that generates discussion. Isn't that what's most important?" Yes it is. And that's why we want to continue to support it, because it makes us wonder what else is out there, and continues to inspire us with more questions than answers. I'm glad that we could record a discussion like this and delve into a number of various topics, including some of our problems with the film as well as everything we love about it. As always, there's more to discuss and we could go on and on so keep thinking and tell us some your own ideas about Nolan's Interstellar voyage. Do you agree with us?

Click below to view the infographic timeline made to help understand the entire plot of the sci-fi movie:

Interstellar Infographic Timeline

Interstellar is directed by British filmmaker Christopher Nolan, of the films Doodlebug, Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. The screenplay is by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, based on scientific theories by Caltech astrophysicist Kip Thorne and follows a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage. Matthew McConaughey stars in the film which Paramount Pictures releases on November 7th. For more information and to see a visualization of the stars, visit interstellarmovie.com. Or follow @Interstellar.

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  • DAVIDPD
    YES YES YES!!! The big man has come down from the mountain to speak to his people! AB!!! Thank YOU.~
    • Ha! You're welcome.... I guess? Just wanted to talk about the movie in an open, fun, entertaining way. :)
      • DAVIDPD
        I actually did get to see this one a day before it's US release, in an amazing Korean theater that had plushy arm chairs for seats and an IMAX projector. I agree with what you guys said in the podcast. a very, very good pod, AB. Please do these more often.
  • Al Apone
    I thought TARS was voiced by Damon for the majority of the movie too.
  • Eggyweggs
    In a world where films like Transformers 4 get made and a female version of Ghostbusters is going ahead, a film like Intersteller should be applauded, respected and cherished because films like this are what cinema was meant for.
    • ff
      Except it wasn't all that much better
      • Jon Odishaw
        I dunno what movie you watched
        • ff
          It was bare;y more believable than transfmorers of which I've only seen the first one. Damon blows up the orbiter and coop says-'we're gonna spin and connect to it!' Seriously so stupid. The dialogue was also atrocious. Every character says exactly what they're thinking the entire film, along with coop constantly giving everyone his little pseudo-philosophies on life. Not to mention what I wrote above-Coop follows a dust storm that leads him to NASA where he already knows the guy running it and 'you're the best pilot ever and we thought you were dead but now you need to leave your family and we take off next week'.... Really? That BS is hardly better than the transformers. At least Transformers, which I think is completely stupid, isn't pretending to be real science.
          • Jon Odishaw
            youre not talking about science, youre poking holes in the dialogue(which i thought was great) and human error.
          • ff
            Well I kinda am talking science. Tell me how when Damon blows half the orbiter with millions of pieces flying off into space Coop is gonna spin exactly along with it as it flies al over the place and connect to it, when Damon couldn't even do it with a mm being off? It's just dumb. And wasn't even necessary to the story.
          • Jon Odishaw
            Well everyone is entitled to their opinion, I just dont see how you can compare. Damon wasn't a skilled pilot. How was it not necessary to the story? even if it wasn;t necessary to the story not everything needs to be, I was gripping my seat when Matthew was trying to dock, it was suspensful and very well done if youask me.
          • Ryan
            Get em Jon! Inception was my favorite Nolan movie, and top 10 on my all time list, but Interstellar surpassed it. My room mate said it perfectly, people are judging this more harshly because it Nolan. If some random guy came along and made this it'd be regarded more highly. Phenomenal connections made throughout the movie. I cried a couple times, and not because of the Father-Daughter scenes, but the deep space black hole kind of stuff. The science was beautiful. It's hilarious that anyone would criticize the science. Real physicists collaborated in creating the ideas used in the movie. Obviously the black hole portion is going to have to be made up. But who can judge that. It literally could be anything. Possibilities are infinite if we're talking about black holes.
      • DAVIDPD
        I am still sticking with me 8/10. I would agree that the film did not live up to its potential. Just because something does something new and bold, does not mean it is genuinely amazing. The film was very good, but just got a bit wacky for my taste.
  • naundob
    INTERSTELLAR is suffering from the same sort of "Explaineritis" as INCEPTION did. People sitting/standing around in rather generic shots throwing the movies rules at each other - to a point where it feels more like a radioplay than a motion picture. The highlight: Toms son caughs and adds: "The dust." Just why? The whole movie was covered with dust! Does he underestimates the viewers interlectual capabilites or his own to tell a story by just showing it instead of this excessive talking? For me this is one of the movies hardest puzzles.
    • cuckoozey
      I found that frustrating as well, and even laughed out loud when his son said "The dust" after coughing.
      • ff
        I laughed out loud several times for how stupid the dialogue was and how many times the characters were so conveniently connected to the story. Coop follows a dust storm that leads him to NASA where he already knows the guy running it and 'you're the best pilot ever and we thought you were dead but now you need to leave your family and we take off next week'....so freaking stupid...
    • SmarterThanThisIdiot
      STFU moron
  • Armitall
    In my opinion it's the dumbing down problem Nolan faces every time he tries to make a smart, more complicated movie. All the sudden executives go, "people won't understand it." Therfore catering to the comercial appeal rather than being more experimantal and letting the viewers making their own minds about things. That is, at least I hope so, one of the major reason for all the exposition leading to negative criticism.
    • Jon Odishaw
      Nolan isn't making small art films, he's got a massive budget and he cant cater to a few people who want to leave scratching their heads. He always leaves the perfect amount of mystery, except for the prestige, I still don't know what the fuck happened in that movie.
      • Armitall
        Exactly, although he kind of has this quality of an art movie in it, but the big budget comes with strings. In my view the Prestige is his best film and one of the few that is more or less self explanatory and doesn't require the audience to decipher the meaning, but maybe just several viewings as it is all there.
        • Jon Odishaw
          It's my fault for only having seen Prestige once but if you look at Memento(my fav Nolan film, given a run for its money by interstellar though) Ive watched it ten times and I still catch things I didnt know with each viewing.
    • Very good point. Hard one to discuss, some will say that dumbing down is needed for commercial success, some will say it's needed to even make these movies, some will say it's bad, it's a hard one. But I agree with you, just worried there is no easy solution to this. However, I'm sure Nolan is happy he can go off and make the movies he wants the way he wants to make them (mostly practical). Visually they're still spectacular.
      • Armitall
        If he weren't so stubborn he could at least make a director's cut blue ray edition.
  • AwesomeWave
    I liked Inception a lot more; not sure if I'd watch Interstellar again. The AI robots were the best thing in it for me. Losing Wes Bentley early on was a mistake too.
    • Ah yes, I forgot to mention Wes Bentley! He did die rather quickly.
      • cuckoozey
        That was odd. His death was such a non-event, I kept thinking he'd return at some point.
        • ff
          I agree, and most character deaths in Nolan's movies are non-events. Even when Batman's girlfriend for life dies he cries for 30 seconds and moves on. That's one of the reasons Nolan's movies never really connect with me and transcend into greatness. He comes up with cool ideas and tries to add emotional depth to the characters but the horrible on-the-nose dialogue and lack of any real heartfelt feelings keeps me from actually ever really caring about any of it.
    • Jon Odishaw
      my GF thought she was hot shit for predicting his death, it might have been because I really wanted a solid amount of Wesbentley in this movie but I didn't believe her.
  • naundob
    (Exposition) “Interstellar is a film that generates discussion.” Right, that's excellent, let’s do it once more. But when debate one should not confuse the topics of the movie with it's crafting. I'm fine with it's general theme/plot even if I hoped it was more daring, spanning even more space and time and teasing my eye with even bolder images (yes, I know, that sounds fastidious). But by far more surprising than INTERSTELLARs ideas and images were the sloppiness of bringing them on screen.. NOLANHATERTROLL I hear them shouting, but really, there's no reason - at least for me - to love or hate Nolan. I really loved MEMENTO and THE PRESTIGE, admired him for the grim boldness of his trilogy, was excited and disappointed by INCEPTION, so there's no point to hate this man at all (as long as he doesn't puke in my car). (Even more Exposition) Six days ago I was coming back from my second watch within 24 hours (earthtime). It’s almost inevitable to miss something important the first time, there’s just too much going on. But the main reason I was twice: I had to figure out what went wrong with that movie (or with me while watching it.) This was by far my most anticipated over the last year. It just sounded too good to be true - Christopher Nolan doing a space epic called INTERSTELLAR based on physical theories including whormholes, relativity etc.. It gives me goosebumps remembering that very moment when I heard about it, it ignited my imagination immediately like it did for many other scifi devotees. Good scifi in a hard sense - emphasising the science, it’s edges and connecting those concepts with broader philosophical themes - is very rare these days, I guess it was all the way through movie history. Nolans endeavour finally gave hope for a little relief. The trailers were stunning (even if they gave to much away in retrospect), the whole marketing did a very good job. I liked much of the exposition of the film, it was consistent and had a good flow with some witty moments at the right places, but even from early on the dialogue showed the overall tendency of overloading it with meaning and cliche. And it was obvious that Nolan is not so skilled brushing convincing family relationships like Spielberg - no surprise, he really never had to in his other movies. Coop was introduced as a quite bright man of reason who doesn’t believe in the supernatural. Good. Then things became a little more bumpy, discovering underground NASA, introducing TARS. As original that cuboid robot might be (Jony Ive would praise it’s purity) as ridiculus it is as a real life concept. Especially when the production design insists on “function over design”. Yes, we understand, Nolan loves 2001 as we all do, and he liked to show that, but it just makes no sense. Period. Wasn’t those clumsy walks in spacecrafts, low waters and over glaciers and as convincing as R2D2 rolling over the sands of Tatooine? (Oh, understood, Nolan loves STARWARS as well). Beside that the clunky hardware just didn’t match the rather clever apps running inside. In such heavyweight stories some comic relief is very welcomed, but the unsubtle laughes induced by the machines humour circuits felt somehow out of place and distracting (STARWARS syndrome, again?). It just missed smartness - the kind the movie pretended to have. I don’t want to pick up every single flaw I stumbled over (it was all put on table before), but some of the big ones which led to my conclusion of an entertaining movie that failed at last. The poor qualitity of all those explaination dialogues (as mentioned in a post before) and the wooden way those moments were put on film really, really made me upset. It’s even more striking if you read them again on e-paper as I did. They would fit perfectly in a Bay or Emmerich flick. There was no special, hence deeper Nolan-notion about them. Most of it was just flat, a lot rather distressing. In the end the whole show felt that way to me, inconsistantly meandering between a lighthearted spaceadventure in the mood of (sorry to say that) “Armageddon” (which is fine to watch just for the fun of it) and the efforts to produce some sort of kubrickian meaning. But there was no. No deeper layer, noc philosophical issues to tackle, just an infinite timeloop trick just for the purpose of the trick. (Epilogue) At one point you say Nolan did all his decisions for a reason, so therefore they must be right and good and there’s nothing about them to question. That tastes a little bit like religion to me. “In Nolan we trust.” - Amen.
    • SmarterThanThisIdiot
      More proof you are the biggest fucking moron here

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