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Top 10 Best Scientific Inaccuracies in “Interstellar”

Interstellar!

The stars of Zero Dark Thirty and Gone Baby Gone spent months crafting an accurate portrayal of apocalyptic farm life.

[Courtesy Spoiler Warning. Plot points ahead.]

So you and your friends have turned Interstellar nitpicking into your new favorite spectator sport? You say you’re not content with forgiving the movie its flaws, or with engaging in the more challenging activity of brainstorming reasons why they’re maybe not flaws? Or you’re possibly dissatisfied because Christopher Nolan’s new movie barely passes the Bechdel test and only scores 1/3 on the Blackdel Test. (The latter is of course rarer and tougher, requiring a movie to contain (1) at least 2 black characters (2) who talk to each other (3) about anything except race. And a 1/3 is an amazing score compared to most other major-studio films.)

Internet users have had no shortage of axes to grind over the movie, and it’s telling that Interstellar has pulled in over $120 million at the U.S. box office without winning the #1 position in its first three weeks of release. It’s on track to become Nolan’s lowest-grossing film since The Prestige, possibly because everyone has been quick to dissect it and find faults since it doesn’t meet their narrow expectations of what a film about spaceflight should look like. Or everyone’s still bitter about The Dark Knight Rises. Hard to say.

Personally, I liked what Interstellar tried to do and appreciated what it accomplished, even if it may not become The Film That Saved NASA. I embraced it despite its problems, theorized why some viewers may have been overthinking it, and thought that some of its errors, omissions, and outrageous fallacies were actually pretty cool.

From the Home Office in Indianapolis, IN: Top 10 Best Scientific Inaccuracies in Interstellar:

10. Tom eating a giant dust burrito and exclaiming, “Mmmmm, farm-to-table dust!”
9. The tap-dance shoe-clicking in Anne Hathaway’s zero-G musical number
8. McConaughey insisting he needs to lose forty pounds
7. The ship slingshots around the black hole and reappears in the Enterprise‘s 1986 humpback-whale tank
6. Waterworld suspiciously free of the wreckage of Kevin Costner’s career
5. Reciting the same poem three times somehow does not summon the ghost of Dylan Thomas
4. Fifth Dimension ruled by a black gay female Mr. Mxyzptlk
3. Rocket fuel magically synthesized from used copies of Failure to Launch
2. Matt Damon in a movie without top billing

And the number one Scientific Inaccuracy in Interstellar:

1. God appears to the crew; reveals His true name is Oscar Consideration.

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“Interstellar”: Space Enough at Last

Interstellar!

“Hey, kids! Wanna journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination?”

Not all of Christopher Nolan’s films are five-star masterpieces (here’s nodding off at you, Dark Knight Rises), but the foundation of new ideas that underpin each production guarantees we’re in for a unique cinematic experience rather than prefab Hollywood conveyor-belt product. Witness the debate-class spectacle that is Interstellar — one-half homage to 2001: a Space Odyssey, one-half admitted love letter from Nolan to his daughter bearing messages of hope, curiosity, science, human achievement, and the strength of intangible, immeasurable bonds that keep us connected even when we’re parsecs apart.

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Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar”: Big-Budget Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Blockbuster About Quantum Mechanics

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan, never one to keep it simple. (photo credit: charlieanders2 via photopin cc)

With the fabled Dark Knight trilogy firmly behind him, Christoper Nolan is well into working on his next major motion picture, according to a joint announcement today from Paramount and Warner Bros., who will be dividing the spoils and the world between them. With a scheduled release date of November 7, 2014, Interstellar is still in the formative stages, by which I mean we know next to nothing yet except for what Entertainment Weekly succinctly summarized:

Developed from a script by Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan, the sci-fi movie is a time travel epic based on scientific theories developed by American physicist Kip Thorne, who will executive produce. The press release announcing the distribution news describes the film as “a heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding.”

For now, that’s all we have. Collaborations between the Nolan brothers have yet to create dreadful results. Their track record tells us it won’t be a straightforward ninety-minute shoot-’em-up. Based on the precedents set by Nolan and Nolan’s innovative narrative explorations of dreams, memory, anarchy, class warfare, and Robin Williams’ serious side, I expect a time travel tale crafted under their watch to be a mind-bending reexamination of that sci-fi subgenre in a way we didn’t already see in Back to the Future, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the various conflicting Terminator products, and several hundred Star Trek episodes.

If the Nolans plan to incorporate the work of a real physicist into the script instead of borrowing from other time-travel films (which is typically how those films are made), you can bet that at some point half the audience will be lost, no matter how hard they concentrate, no matter how many pages of grad-school textbook exposition are seamlessly woven into the dialogue.

The proactive solution is obvious: if we intend to enjoy Interstellar to the fullest, then we have nineteen months to subject ourselves to as many intensive, self-taught science classes as possible before it arrives in theaters. Continue reading

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