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Thursday, November 20, 2014

"InterStellar" and The Printed Word

We just saw Interstellar. By far one of the best movies, let alone Sci-Fi movies, of the year - if you stretch your mind, you may consider it the thinking person's Guardians of the Galaxy.

There is balance in the universe.

Spoiler alert - sorta.

I could probably explain every scene I remember and NOT give away anything.  This is one of those movies that can't be spoiled.  I love viewing versions of future life, looking for the little details like how often the characters make copies or print.  It's a curse.

Perhaps it happens to a lot of people, we start seeing the same themes and images repeated in movies and TV shows - the older we get, the more often we see.

Interstellar, for all its original imagery and story-lines, paid homage to works of the past.

Here are a few:

Planet of the Apes - Charlton Heston version

The nose of the lifting body space craft can be seen poking out of water.  They crash land into a lake.

Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind -

Machines mystically return home, books fly off shelves and coordinates to a secret, government liar are revealed via morse code, leading our hero to the rings of Saturn.

2001 - A Space Odyssey -

Obvious reference as one of the robots discusses its 'sense of humor' setting.  The spinning ship and lights reflecting off of visors offers inescapable comparison.

For me, the master compare occurs when Cooper ejects and is alone in space.  Much like the ending scenes of Odyssey, man is alone.

The Perfect Storm -

Haven't seen a wave that big since Clooney and clan.

Batman & Inception -

Snow, rock and Ice.  Nolan loves those things.

Totally New Images -

Swinging seats in the Ranger spacecraft.  I don't know the exact functionality of a swing-chair cockpit - it all depends on Gravity.

Robot - fail.

I like the boxy, humorous robots except for one pivotal scene; when Cooper needs to get his craft spinning at the same rate as the out of control vessel, he recruits the robot, which in turn, extends an appendage to physically take hold of the stick.

No.  Like R2D2 on the Death Star, futuristic robots simply connect, digitally.  Hello, M2M folks.

References to print:

1.  A book at school.  It seems that missions to the moon are so not politically correct, "federally approved history books" explain the Apollo program never happened and the moon missions were all fake.  Another movie reference; Capricorn One, starring OJ Simpson.

Of course, Cooper's daughter brings in a pre-history-changing version and gets suspended for her efforts.  Cooper, an ex-NASA pilot, is not pleased with society or the evil education system, and explains how MRI machines are a direct result of those 'fictitious' trips to the moon.

2.  A Lab Book.  Notes are carefully jotted down by pencil into a common lab book.  A professor is also seen using a bank of chalk boards.

3.  Perhaps the best utilization of paper - explaining the wormhole.

In one scene, a scientist explains why the hole is a sphere by drawing on a slip of paper, bending it and sticking a pencil through.  It is a two dimensional circular hole.  In three dimensions, a circle represents what shape?

A sphere - physics lesson over, beer time.

Enjoy the movie.

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