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Sturgeon's House

Interstellar Was A Sloggish, Babbling Lightshow


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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, but did Matthew McConaughey take his shirt off?  I'm pretty sure that is the standard by which most of his films are supposed to be judged. 


Having seen this film earlier today, I'm fairly certain he did not (not that I was particularly paying attention).


I'm going to commit heresy and say that while this film was by no means perfect, I did find it entertaining. Better than the short bits of Gravity I've seen in any case. While it is true that the movie gloriously shat all over scientific plausibility, I don't get the feeling it was trying be some sort of super-duper scientifically plausible thing (like Gravity claimed to be), so I can excuse that. The cliched message about love and/or environmentalism was also a bit annoying, but overall, I though the visuals were pretty good, so I managed to ignore that too. I wouldn't recommend actually paying to go see it, but if you're willing to abuse copyright law, there are worse things to waste a couple gigs of hard drive space on.


If somebody releases an edit where all of Matt Damon's lines are changed to "MATT DAMON", I would recommend at least seeing it on netflix.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...

Meh, I found it reasonably entertaining, but I also did not spend a dime on it.

The bit with the textbook revision was pretty amusing, having dealt with some lunar troofers before..

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It was okay, the effects were really good. The story has alright until the ending, in which it tried to shove the "love conquers all" prick down my throat without Vaseline.


My uncle really liked it, but he's an old softie.

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Nolan: "I want to make an inspiring movie about space exploration and the power of the human spirit."

Guy: "That sounds like a great idea! You're a visionary director who could really make that happen, and crowds love you for your Echolocationman movies!"

Nolan: "Uh, Bat-man, but yes, I also want it to reflect the visions of Aasimov, Heinlein, Clarke, and other science fiction writers. I really liked 2001: A Space Odyssey."

Guy: "Great, I'll get our scientific advisors on the line!"

Sciency Guy: "Oh hi, Chris, how goes it? Heard you're working on a new project - want to reinvigorate interest in space, eh?"

Nolan: "Yes, and I need you to advise me on some things I've heard about."


Sciency Guy: "Sure thing. Where do you want me to start?"

Nolan: "First, I need facts. Can you tell me about facts?"

Sciency Guy: "About..?"

Nolan: "Yes, what are they?"

Sciency Guy: "What are facts?"

Nolan: "Yes."

Sciency Guy: "Uh... Well, facts are sort of representations of pieces of knowledge that we have, like that the Pyramids are in Egypt. You really don't know what facts are?"

Nolan: "This concept will take some time for me to digest, but I don't want you to hold anything back. I need facts to make this movie!"

Sciency Guy: "Uh, sure, well we landed on the Moon several times from 1969-1972."

Nolan: "They used a soundstage for that, right? I remember eyetalking about this."

Sciency Guy: "No, that's a common myth. The Moon landings weren't faked, they did actually happen."

Nolan: "I didn't say they were faked. I said they used a sound stage. But that's a great fact I can put in my movie!"

Sciency Guy: "Speaking of which, I think you've got the wrong guy to advise you on this. I'm just a physicist, you might want someone know knows something about rockets or spacecraft design, you know, like Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation and delta-v"

Nolan: "Where would I find these Chall Koffski's Rockettes, and Dell Tavy?"

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I'd personally rewrite Interstaller and I think a very compelling space opera could be done within the context of very hard scifi.


First, we can straight up abandon earth as a setting. Fuck it, move this forward in the future, put humanity on the generation ship at the end as some kind of desperation bid as the starting setting. Make it quite plain - earth is dead and gone, and we fucked up, fucked up so hard that humanity is lucky to have the cold steel cylinder protecting them from the vast animosity of the universe. Man has no choice but to plumb the depths of space forever.


Instead of wormholes, instead focus on the long journey. Have two groups fight over the future of humanity - gravitywellers and travellers, who fight over whether the rest of humanity is colonists or if their home has already been found. Have the focus be on a resource expedition team to acquire what the generation ship needs, some of which is in desperate need to keep things running. Have the original exploration teams, instead of focusing on finding earthlike planets, tasked with finding the necessary resources - our protagonists are playing trucker to the others guys miners and prospectors.


Have things go terribly, maybe remake Dr.Mann into a traveller turned gravityweller, maybe have his expedition fail so hard he's convinced that a planet is the only longterm solution, convinced that mans greatest construct/endeavor will fail, that it's unsustainable. Maybe he did the math - attrition from expeditions is too costly, a single loss of a vessel is crippling, timing is everything, etc - but make his predictions extremely cynical and pessimistic. Dr.Mann then becomes more tragic than an asshole, his fears have real justification and are based less in selfishness and more in PTSD from everything going to hell. Make him fearless in the face of death or isolation because he sees his own sacrifice as necessary. Make him try to keep supplies away from the generation ship in the hopes of forcing it to abandon the ship to a planet, maybe lead them in using the protagonists communication device.


If that sounds like the movies Dr.Mann than they did an exceptionally bad job at portraying it. He just sounded like someone who couldn't accept the reality of the task and it's risks, and in his own selfish need, puts his survival over others and just chants to himself about a greater cause so he can justify those actions. Also, his deathscene is really dumb even if it sets up what is arguably the best scene in the movie.


In any case, make the focus then about humanity spirit, endurance and in the end show that humanity can overcome it's own petty differences and rise about what challenges it faces. Make Dr.Manns extremism force the gravitywellers and travellers together to fight to save the generation ship, make humanity disprove every last fear Dr.Mann has, and end on the note that humanity not only accepts the challenge of deep space but intends to prosper with a fade out of a second, half complete generation ship with implications of fleet building.


There is probably an under-appreciated author who wrote a book on this already.

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  • 3 years later...

Reviving this thread, now that we have actual images of a black hole.


From this paper, here's what *Interstellar* looked like;



Looks like they missed the doppler brightening/dimming of the rotating accretion disk, but otherwise not too bad.


For comparison, here's M87's central black hole, albeit not in an equatorial orientation;




And finally, a simulated image from 1979;



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