Is Interstellar Christopher Nolan's Most Divisive Film?

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Steven Spielberg's BFG casts its giant star. Iwan Rheon talks about the slew of deaths that are coming to Game of Thrones. Robert Kirkman puts an end to a Walking Dead fan theory. And get ready for tonight's awkward double-date on The Flash. Spoilers now!

Top image: Interstellar

Star Wars

The John Williams Fan Club has a rumor that the teaser trailer for Episode VII will feature new music from John Williams. And they say it'll be recorded next month in Los Angeles:

A reliable source just said JW received a trailer from JJ Abrams on Monday, Oct 20. JW has already written new Star Wars music to accompany this trailer. This new trailer music will feature new music and will be recorded on November 15 in LA with full orchestra. Still determining if the score will be recorded in London due to advanced age of composer/conductor.


[Jedi News]


In truly excellent casting news, Tony Award-winning actor Mark Rylance has been cast as the titular BFG in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic. [Deadline]



More early reviews have been creeping out of the handful of pre-screenings that have been seen. Generally speaking, everyone's on board with the visuals, but the more emotional aspects of the film have been handled either brilliantly or disastrously, depending on whom you ask. From Slashfilm, we get:

Interstellar is ambitious, beautiful, Christopher Nolan's most emotional film to date. The story allows us to explore many big ideas we wouldn't normally see in a big budget studio film, but the ideas sometimes fly by at light speed, squeezed into popcorn cinema. The result is that the story is left with some holes of logic.


From Coming Soon is the revealing bit:

"Interstellar" is another one of Christopher Nolan's more personal mind-f*ck movies which he's done so well when not directing adventures of a certain cowled vigilante. While it may not be as immediate as "Inception" and it wears most of its most obvious influences on its sleeve, it's still very much the type of intelligent spin on a specific genre we've come to expect from the filmmaker.

... Even when the Nolan "Wow" factor transforms into a "WTF?" moment, it still gives you enough to work with that you realize that even some of the "Signs"-like moments from the first hour had a significant purpose. There is some stuff that sounds sillier when you try to explain it like there being some sort of "higher alien race" out there trying to help us.

As one might expect from Nolan, his film just looks fantastic whether it's the simple Earth setting or the fantastic other-worldly environments, as he switches gears by working with Swiss cinematographer Hoyt Van Hoytema, who has never shot a movie quite on this scale, but is still able to keep up with Nolan's grand vision. (I saw the movie screened in 70mm IMAX and there's really no beating that as the optimum way of watching it.)


And from Cinema Blend's 2.5/5 review:

"Predictable" isn't a word we'd expect to be uttered within 10 miles of a Christopher Nolan movie - and yet it's painfully necessarily in discussion of Interstellar, Nolan's aesthetically beautiful, large-scale sci-fi drama that is admirable in its ideas and style, but lacking in its storytelling and execution.


And here's The Wrap, utterly hating the ending:

In that respect, "Interstellar" may represent an apotheosis of sorts, as it illustrates the very best and the very worst of Nolan as a writer-director. On the plus side, there's a stunning portrayal of how far-reaching space travel might work, a glimpse at an apocalyptic near-future that's both brilliantly written (no year is mentioned, and we're left to glean together important bits of information that zip by in conversation) and designed (the clothes, the cars, and the tech are almost entirely late-20th century), and a vision of robots like nothing I've ever seen in a movie.

Weighing against that, without getting into spoilers, is a third act of staggering wrongheadedness, along with female characters whose intellect takes a backseat to their exploding emotionalism and rage. Nolan is, presumably, among a handful of filmmakers who gets to do whatever he wants with minimal studio intrusion, but the resolution of "Interstellar" feels so inorganic that you'd swear it was concocted by a Glendale focus group.

That ending feels like such a betrayal because so much of what comes before it manages to be truly stunning, particularly in the 70mm IMAX version, thanks to the art department, the visual effects team, and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema ("Her"). We open with interviews with elderly Midwesterners remembering crop failure and wind storms, and they would appear to be talking about the Dust Bowl of the 1930s until we see a table being set, where someone dusts off a plate, a glass — and a laptop computer.


Variety, on the other hand, is loving every emotional beat:

With each stop the Endurance makes, Nolan envisions yet another new world: one planet a watery expanse with waves that make Waimea Bay look like a giant bathtub; another an ice climber's playground of frozen tundra and sheer-faced descents. Moreover, outer space allows Nolan to bend and twist his favorite subject — time — into remarkable new permutations. Where most prior Nolan protagonists were forever grasping at an irretrievable past, the crew of the Endurance races against a ticking clock that happens to tick differently depending on your particular vantage. New worlds mean new gravitational forces, so that for every hour spent on a given planet's surface, years or even entire decades may be passing back on Earth. (Time as a flat circle, indeed.)

This leads to an extraordinary mid-film emotional climax in which Cooper and Brand return from one such expedition to discover that 23 earth years have passed in the blink of an eye, represented by two decades' worth of stockpiled video messages from loved ones, including the now-adult Tom (a bearded, brooding Casey Affleck) and Murphy (Jessica Chastain in dogged, persistent "Zero Dark Thirty" mode). It's a scene Nolan stages mostly in closeup on McConaughey, and the actor plays it beautifully, his face a quicksilver mask of joy, regret and unbearable grief.

That moment signals a shift in "Interstellar" itself from the relatively euphoric, adventurous tone of the first half toward darker, more ambiguous terrain — the human shadow areas, if you will, that are as difficult to fully glimpse as the inside of a black hole. Nolan, who has always excelled at the slow reveal, catches even the attentive viewer off guard more than once here, but never in a way that feels cheap or compromises the complex motivations of the characters.


And The Telegraph is a fan:

Unlike Inception, whose puzzle-box games with time felt like a bedazzling gimmick, Interstellar mines the same ideas with a much more deep-digging intelligence, as the primary condition behind everything we know of the universe. "I'm afraid of time", admits Michael Caine's character, a NASA physicist for whom this ticking clock is humanity's oldest and worst enemy.

Nolan has built himself a huge house here, stepping from room to room to talk about human loneliness, love, the survival instinct, quantum physics, relativity – all the big questions, in one blockbuster package. If the philosophy ever has a whiff of cod, it's very good cod.

Working with a remarkable new cinematographer, Her's Hoyte Van Hoytema, Nolan conjures the most eerily beautiful vistas he's ever put on screen, whether it's the bright speck of a capsule floating past the rings of Saturn, or the frozen wastes of a cloud-cuckoo-land planet which may or may not save us.


Whereas The Guardian's review, while mostly positive, points out some flaws:

Interstellar looks remarkable. It's the best introduction of scientific theory into blockbuster cinema since Nolan's state-of-consciousness thriller, Inception. Nolan never patronises his audience, yet – in thrilling at the potential of human endeavour – he often forgets them. The relationships (even the crucial one between Cooper and Murph, who is abandoned and bitter, back on earth) don't have enough pull. The characters got lost in space.



Iwan Rheon says that the movie version of the TV show isn't completely dead:

You've read the script for it then?

Yeah, a draft of. I thought it was really good.

Is it completely dead now, or is there still a chance for it?

I don't know. I don't think it's completely dead, but I have absolutely no idea where they're at with that, to be honest. I'm not in the loop.


[Den of Geek]

The Last Scout

Here's the trailer for this indie movie. [First Showing]


Exodus: Gods & Kings

Here are posters from the Ridley Scott Biblical epic. [First Showing]


The Hunger Games

Here are some shots of Katniss from the Empire cover story. [Empire]


The Walking Dead

Andrew Lincoln said that Rick's treatment of Gareth is an important plot point to keep track of:

It is dealt with... and it's a very interesting area. Bear in mind, not everybody witnessed it. That's an important story point. Those that did, some of them came with Rick. Rick is one of these people that we've seen throughout the years who's willing to step into the abyss. I think perhaps a lot of the story arcs this season for the rest of the characters are whether or not they're willing to go with him. That may cause conflict and opposition and stresses and strain and fear within the group.


More at the link. [TV Guide]

On this season's special effects, Greg Nicotero said, "I want the show to be real," he said, "I don't want to repeat gags." He also teased the 9th episode saying, "I think it might be the best we've ever done." [Atlanta Magazine]


At the link is a sneak peek at the opening of the next episode. [Spinoff Online]

Robert Kirkman responded to the fan theory that the whole of The Walking Dead was occurring in a comatose Rick's head. The tweet is below. [Comic Book Resources]


Game of Thrones

Iwan Rheon's interview contained this tidbit about Ramsay's season five arc:

You see at the end of the last season that he's been legitimised, so it's a big deal for him. He sort of embraces it in his own little way I think [laughs].


He added that they're in the middle of filming season 5 right now, and here's him talking about the feeling on set — now that the producers have said that they need to cut out some cast members:

It's funny when you're chatting to actors on set and they go, 'I die in this one. It's my last one, which is a shame' [laughs] and you think, 'oh man!' but we all treat it like professional actors in that it's out of our hands what happens to us in the grand scheme of things. We do joke about it, that anyone could go at any time, that's the thing about it, like, 'Oh, don't piss them off or you'll be...' [laughing] It's true though, it does happen. We all have a laugh about it, but there's nothing we can do.


[Den of Geek]

The Flash

Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries) has joined the cast as Linda Park, "a reporter for the Central City Picture News who will befriend both Iris and Barry." [The Hollywood Reporter]


Tonight's episode features an awkward double date with Barry, Felicity, Iris, and Eddie. And it's apparently a mess, according to Candice Patton:

Immediately, Iris can see that Barry and Felicity are both super nerds and they speak the same nerd language — so for them to be together just makes sense to Iris," her portrayer Candice Patton explains. "She sees Felicity and thinks, 'Barry, what is wrong with you? Why wouldn't you go after this girl?

And thus, Iris "is very adamant that Barry invite Felicity [to their get-together]. It is fun to watch them squirm with each other," Patton adds.

The outing was even a treat for those who weren't part of the moment. "Jesse [L. Martin] was actually sitting at Jitters — we have a balcony above — and he was watching the scene," Rick Cosnett, who plays Eddie, recalls. "Every time we cut, he just burst out laughing. 'Cause there's so much going on. From the get-go, it's just a mess. Some people are sweating, some people are flirting."


As for tonight's villain, Grant Gustin says:

The adversarial relationship between the baddie and the newbie superhero is not a pleasant one for Barry. However, "it's fun for Snart, and that's the whole thing that's driving him," Gustin says. "It's like, 'Oh, what's this new challenge?' And it's reenergizing [for him], trying to take his game to the next level. But for Barry, it's just a pain in the ass. This guy won't go away. And there are bigger things that Barry's trying to focus on, and it's hard to focus on everything at once."


[TV Line]

Here's a clip from "Going Rogue":

The Originals

Writer Carina MacKenzie described what's happening on the Kol webseries:

"When we found out we were going to get to do a web series, I immediately thought of Kol—because his mischief has always been part of the fabric of the city. We know from The Vampire Diaries that Kol has a history with the witches of New Orleans, and we've kept that in mind since the very beginning of The Originals," she said. "In the web series fans will get to see how some events of last season can actually be traced back to Kol, and we'll reveal some clues as to his current agenda with Davina. Thanks to some body-swapping hijinks, we've got Daniel Sharman playing the character on the show now, but we're always super excited when we can bring Nathaniel Buzolic in for flashbacks. I had a great time working with him— he's hilarious, and just steps right back into Kol so brilliantly. And he's a really, really good sport about getting positively drenched in fake blood."


Below is a shot of Kol from the webseries. [E! Online]


Sleepy Hollow

Matt Barr explained why Hawley keeps coming back:

I think that there's a mystery to Abbie that Hawley is really engaged by. Again, he does it for work and then in his personal life he's always trying to find that next great mystery or whatever that treasure is. Abbie's tough to crack. He keeps coming back, and whether he's bold enough or stupid enough, he keeps coming back.


[TV Equals]

Go here for more photos from episode 2.08, "Heartless." [SpoilerTV]



Here's a video interview with Robin Lord Taylor explaining how he wants to show all sides of his character, but not actualy have people sympathize with him. [BuddyTV]


Hilarie Burton (One Tree Hill) will play "Iona Payne, a dominatrix who becomes a murder suspect when one of her clients turns up dead. She meets immortal doctor Henry (Ioan Gruffudd) during the investigation, and the two soon start falling for each other." [Entertainment Weekly]


Here's a synopsis for episode 1.08, which is probably Burton's episode:

Forever - Episode 1.08 - The Ecstasy of the Agony

"The Ecstasy of the Agony" - Henry and Jo discover there is a fine line between pleasure and pain when the death of a successful businessman and devoted husband points to a form of ritualized punishment. Henry learns it may be all a question of trust. The man's "domination therapist" comes under scrutiny as a murder suspect, who also wants to help Henry work through his own issues. Flashbacks reveal Henry's emotional story of betrayal after he shares his secret with his first wife, Nora. Meanwhile, Abe is flabbergasted when the object of his intense passion —Maureen Delacroix — his two-time ex-wife, reappears with a tempting offer, on "Forever," TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

"Forever" stars Ioan Gruffudd as Henry, Judd Hirsch as Abe, Alana De La Garza as Detective Jo Martinez, Lorraine Toussaint as Lt. Joanne Reece, Donnie Keshawarz as Detective Hanson and Joel David Moore as Lucas.

Guest starring are Jane Seymour as Maureen Delacroix, plus others TBA.

"The Ecstasy of the Agony" is written by Allen MacDonald and directed by Brad Anderson.



Doctor Who

Here's the promo for the first part of the two-part finale:

Agents of SHIELD

Here's the synopsis for episode 2.07, "The Writing on the Wall":

The team discovers murder victims with the alien glyphs on them that Coulson's been etching. All of Coulson's secrets and lies come to a head.




Here's a clip from "The Magician":

Once Upon a Time

Here's the synopsis of this Sunday's episode:

"Family Business" - The race is on to track down the elusive Snow Queen, who was once a foster mother to a young Emma - whose memories of this event have been erased - in order to discover what her ultimate end game is for Elsa and the residents of Storybrooke, and unaware that she does not possess the real blade that controls The Dark One, Belle attempts to use it to get her reluctant husband to show her where the Snow Queen is hiding. Meanwhile, back in the past, Belle travels to Arendelle and, with Anna's help, seeks out Grand Pabbie to help her regain her lost memories in order to discover the fate of her mother, on "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.



And go here for promo and behind-the-scenes photos from that episode. [SpoilerTV]



Go here for photos from episode 2.06. [K Site TV]


Here's the synopsis for episode 5.12, "Chemistry":

When a trouble drives Haven's citizens to pursue their more primal desires, it takes everyone to keep Haven from coming unglued-distracting them from the menacing storm that is brewing.



Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Diana Biller