Happy to support Chappie
Is it possible to agree with most of the negative, thoughtful criticism a film gets and still like it, a lot? In fact, it is.
Like the recent beautiful, to some disastrous Jupiter Ascending, Chappie is far from a perfect movie. No one would even try to say it is. But what it does have in common with that Wachowskis film (besides the goofy villains) is a startling, compelling originality that too many major release films simply lack.
The Wachowskis and Neill Blomkamp are a great comparison to make, Josh. These are filmmakers who present outrageous content, earnestly and with (seemingly) no understanding that there are going to plenty of people who find these stories too weird to digest. For every Matrix, which taps into the public consciousness in such a way that it simply cannot be ignored, there are three Cloud Atlases. And yes, you can find other characters like the characters in these films, like you can in every other film ever. I am talking about concepts here.
Back to Chappie. Yes, I certainly wondered why anyone would cast those two permanently Halloween costumed Die Antwoord people as villains. But I’ll be damned if they didn’t start to win me over. By the time Yolandi (Yo-Landi Visser) reads Chappie a book, which leads to a discussion about “what is the soul?,” I was sold. I even eventually got a handle on what I thought Hugh Jackman was trying to do as the warmongering Vincent, one of the high points of the film, according to your review. But I get it. This is deeply polarizing stuff.
The ending was another point where I was fascinated, but YMMV, as they say on the Internet.
I just can’t write off these types of big, goofy fence-swinging science fiction pictures, if for no other reason than their fearless uniqueness.
Can’t wait to see Interstellar again
Interstellar blew me away. Pun intended. That early scene where they’re racing through the corn to the soaring music – the father with his kids. It’s beautiful. Oh, and they’re not “babbling” on as you say they often do.
How about that scene in the middle of space where you hear crickets. Crickets. This struck me because there was a silence – no dialogue just that sound.
This is what I thought about all the exposition (which never once bothered me). I’ve learned this a bit about storytelling. I’m not trying to sound elitist because I’m certainly not. But the audience out there who loves the big blockbuster movie is not as smart as you. They’re not. Most have never even heard of The Tree Of Life. People out there need explaining. I talked to lots of people who were still utterly confused after watching Inception. So the thought is probably this: if the masses are confused, they won’t be engaged and they’ll be having to think about things rather than feeling the emotion of the story. And Nolan wants you to feel things in this movie.
Look, Josh. Were you good at science in school? I wasn’t. I understand some basic concepts but still – I enjoyed some of the help.
But come on. The visuals. Seriously? Are you that spoiled? Hans Zimmer and the choice of music and sound – that’s a whole other discussion. I loved the choices they made. The different worlds, very much reminiscent of the different dream worlds of Inception. Even the acting worked. Jessica Chastain – she’s a brilliant but haunted soul. I’ve met some brilliant people. They’re not the best in terms of emoting. I think she toned it down because that’s her character.
The theme of connecting and love is central to the story. I feel that it was all leading to those very final moments – trying to break through. I think it shows that love is about determination and not giving up. It still exists even when time and gravity don’t.
I will admit – I know that one trick filmmakers use is when they have the old father-daughter thing. It really tears me up every time. And hearing that this in a way was a love letter to Christopher Nolan’s daughter even made me love it more.
I’m not a critic and could never out argue you. I wouldn’t want to, either. But Interstellar lived up to the stellar in its name. I can’t wait to bring my wife and then watch it again with a new perspective. I plan on tweeting you quotes of exposition from the movie.
Interstellar a singular achievement
(You) must accept that when Christopher Nolan makes a 3-hour film whose plot (and man there is a lot of plot) relies on an understanding of the Theory of Relativity, there’s going to be exposition in shovel-fulls. It’s simply a part of his craft and a complex film targeted to a very broad audience is going to require it. Further (and this is really just a nit-pick), you can’t fault him for employing Anne Hathaway, the queen of the emotional set piece (see Les Miserables, et al) to deliver a speech explaining the emotional through-line of the film. She simply does it better than anyone else in the room.
I’m sure that those who were disappointed by this film had their experience shaped by expectations to have the film surpass 2001: A Space Odyssey. And for those who did, they missed an opportunity to experience a film that delivered a gut punch of emotional truth.
I don’t mind admitting that the dust on Cooper’s dining room table found its way into my Imax theater and by the end, the movie left me with a very strong desire to get home and hug my children.
No other Nolan film has ever affected me in that way. For me, it marks a singular achievement for a brilliant artist.