Interstellar (2014)

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Interstellar, an outer space survivalist story directed by Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan, with whom he co-wrote the screenplay, is evidently a movie designed to challenge and explore the deeper meaning behind life. The Nolan brothers take the audience into the farthest of mysteries of space and time, where they assure us that love joins gravity as a force that operates across interstellar distances. The earth may die, but love will triumph.

Interstellar begins when the earth is deteriorating, nitrogen is increasing and oxygen is decreasing after a world-wide crop failure. The earth has been ravaged by an environmental disaster forcing humanity to abandon all dreams of discovery in order to focus on basic survival. Former NASA pilot Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, a widowed father of two, is now a farmer tasked with growing the last remaining sustainable crops – corn. When Cooper is reunited with Professor Brand, the commander of a hidden underground NASA station, he offers to send the favoured pilot on a mission with his ambitious crew, to retrace the flights of astronauts who were sent several decades ago to discover planets capable of sustaining human life. Cooper leaves behind his two children on earth to board the Endurance, in a final resort, large scale attempt to rescue the human race.

Interstellar is an imaginative, exciting and fast paced redundant puzzle of galaxies and dramatic tension. Interstellar is rooted in the love between a father and his daughter, but offers surprisingly spectacular high-minded science fiction scenarios and compelling visuals. But a heavy-handed mix of personal sacrifice and theoretical physics doesn’t leave much room for subtle storytelling or memorable action. Christopher Nolan relies on lengthy scenes where characters explain complicated physics and philosophical ideas to educate the audience and ruminate on humanity in the face of death and destruction.

Matthew McConaughey ensures his lead character is likeable as well as relatable and evidently manages to keep exposition-heavy scenes engaging throughout the entire film. The supporting cast, including Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck, drive the tension relief and draw focus towards sentimental values and emotions amongst the extravagance of space discovery and human survival. Interstellar’s storytelling masterstroke comes from adherence of relativity and the perception of time and space. Interstellar may not offer traditional entertainment value to balance the scientific theorising, however, the five-dimensional movie experience will leave you overwhelmed and thrilled the entire way through. Interstellar is a satisfying next instalment in Christopher Nolan’s well-respected career, and a very thought-provoking film masterpiece.

★★★★☆

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Iron Man 3 – Unleash the power behind the armour (2013)

Tony stark is now a shadow of his former courageous self. He’s struggling with reality, love and depression, obsessed with recovering from the circumstances he experienced during The Avengers. The third Iron Man installment relies more on character and irreverence, which makes this a better film, equipped with more surprises and fewer clichés.

Killian is a socially awkward outcast turned criminal billionaire that begins working on a human mutation project which seems linked to an exclusive terrorist known as The Mandarin. Tony Stark’s last adventure left him in a complete wreck. But as the past comes back to haunt him he’s totally unprepared – and when the world’s biggest terrorist threatens to attack and demolish America, Stark decides to reassemble his war machine and put up one last fight.

Robert Downey Jnr. once again charms the viewers as Tony Stark, the complex and egotistical superhero with no real secret identity. Gwyneth Paltrow returns as the elegant and overly stunning Pepper Potts, who is thankfully featured on-screen more than in earlier films. Kingsley brings full weight and gravity to his character The Mandarin, his voice portraying a creepy yet powerful intonation. Guy Pearce who plays the mastermind Aldrich Killian, is part slick businessman and part mad geek who handles conflict surprisingly well.

The film is given a potentially vibrant Tony Stark, an improved Mandarin, a fantastic cast, phenomenal special effects and a bland and uninspiring script. It was disappointing in comparison to the previous big-budget Iron Man films. On the bright side it was a great pleasure watching Downey Jnr. and his wonderful performance that really pulled Iron Man 3 out of full despair. It’s highly entertaining, full of unexpected surprises and pulled by a phenomenally talented cast.

Now You See Me – Look Closer (2013)

“The closer you look, the less you see” reveals Atlas, a professional magician who specialises in misdirection. This begins an unstoppable quest to uncover unique illusions, true friendships and unpredictable misjudgments. It might seem illogical with each passing minute but this fast and risky heist film is a tremendously clever and highly unpredictable story.

A mysterious hoodie-covered individual has assembled an incredibly talented team of magicians to unleash a large stage show that takes Las Vegas by storm. The Four Horsemen are most powerful when they mess with the minds of their oblivious audiences. Unexpectedly their signature trick is robbing money on stage in full view of their audience. Both the FBI and Interpol make it their responsibility to uncover the strange schemes of the quartet and capture them before they pull of anything too big to handle.

Director Louis Leterrier has collected a charming group of actors who perform exceptionally well in combination with humor, illusions and deception. Atlas is the unofficial leader of the quartet, an annoying control freak. Jessie Eisenberg plays the role of Atlas superbly under pressure with no noticeable effort. His former magic assistant Henley, played by the stunning Isla Fisher, is a famous escape artist who easily draws in all male attention. Merritt is both a clever mentalist and a professional brain drainer. Woody Harrelson is the best match, filled with wit and mental strength required for the role. Jack used to make a living off street performing however he now stands as the fastest man in the team. Dave Franco returns to the big screen with flying colours, proving that he’s capable to pull of a massive role with wit and ingenuity.

Now You See Me is a must-watch film filled with incredible stunts and performances that will have you constantly on the edge of your seat. Now You See Me is a cinematic illusion performed with much razzle dazzle and no regard for reality. The film is only increasingly better with the addition of a well-cast ensemble including Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Mark Ruffalo. Make it a priority to watch this film, it is spectacular from start to finish and the big reveal is guaranteed to blow you away!

☆☆

Catch Me If You Can – Ingenious deception (2002)

Spielberg’s supremely amusing tale of self-invention in the land of opportunity tells the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., a teenager from Rochelle, New York. Spielberg grasped that unique history and turned it into a superbly charming pursuit story precisely set in the sights and sounds of Abagnale’s 1960’s era. The film’s approach is cheerful and fun but maintains firm attention towards the dark side of characters pain and suffering.

Frank Abagnale Jr. was only 16 when he became one of the 1960’s most legendary con artists. The film opens with his home life; everything seems perfect for the teenager, whose parents are seemingly madly in love. But everything changes when Frank Sr. is investigated by the IRS and his dear mother files for divorce only to wed one of her husband’s closest friends. In hope of avoiding the confusion Frank Jr. runs away and begins a three year crime spree in which he successfully impersonates an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer and several other professions, and tricks various establishments out of $2.5 million before he is caught and condemned to serve 12 years in prison.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the young Abagnale with an effortless charm, and we never fail to forget that his character is still a teenager distressed for approval from his father. Tom Hanks is also fantastic as FBI agent Carl Hanratty. The guy is passionate, ambitious and strongly devoted to his profession. Christopher Walken is great as Frank’s father. You really believe the genuine bond between the two characters. Martin Sheen appears as the impending father-in-law for Frank and his reactions to Frank’s giant stories are priceless. Jennifer Garner draws one of the biggest laughs in the movie when she tries to fraud the con man.

Steven Spielberg is a leading storyteller who has a delightful sense of visual design. Though very visually appealing and entertaining, Catch Me If You Can establishes a cheap grace because the soft ending to the movie seems to excuse Frank’s adolescent behavior. The movie, therefore, values love, compassion and sympathy above repentance and responsibility.