Google+ Followers

Monday, October 6, 2014

Is 'Interstellar' The Next Big Discovery?

     Recently, astronomers and scientists have discovered an asteroid with rings, new moons orbiting Pluto, extrasolar planets, a star that is 13.6 billion years old, and the God particle. But there's another potential discovery that could be bigger than all: Interstellar. 
     As important as directors are, most are still unknown to the general public. Spielberg, Tarantino, Bay, Emmerich, Zemeckis, and Burton arguably help form the league of A-list directors, but one visionary has skyrocketed into a household name in recent years as well: Christopher Nolan. Thanks to the massively successful Dark Knight trilogy, and Inception, Christopher Nolan is now a huge deal. Not only are his movies success stories, they're also good. No movie he has directed has received a "rotten" tag on Rotten Tomatoes, and The Dark Knight is considered one of the best superhero movies of all time, and was the highest grossing for 4 years. But this isn't about Christopher Nolan, it's about his new project, and why it could be the next big thing in cinema, astrophysics, and life.
     Interstellar has been in development since 2006, and it's so ambitious that Paramount, Warner Bros, Legendary, and Synocopy have teamed up to finance and distribute it. Interstellar tells the simple story of a widow living on a dying Earth, who partners with a team of scientists to find new habitable worlds after they discover a wormhole. There's a couple reasons why that simple story could be the years biggest.
     In Interstellar, the Earth has been depleted of natural resources and agriculture. Mainly corn. No more corn means no more gas, cosmetics, hand soap, tires, Windex, toothpaste, aspirin, spark plugs, plastics, diapers, and corn chips ala Doritos, Cheetos, and Fritos. How can we survive on Earth without any of these products? Especially the Doritos? Can you really imagine traveling to Walmart, Target, Kmart, CVS, Publix, Kroger, and every vending machine in the world and not being able to find a single bag of Doritos? You'd die. In Interstellar, they don't want that to happen so they have to find alternatives, and thanks to the wormhole discovery, they're able to transcend space in a fraction of the time it would take without it. Matter of fact, without the wormhole, they would die before they got out of our solar system. Fascinating!
     Plenty of innovative movies have been set in space such as Star Wars, Star Trek, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Gravity, and even though they provide inspiration, Interstellar is something not yet seen. Gravity was innovative in letting audiences feel what its like to orbit the Earth (minus the G's), but didn't go any further into space, 2001 was made before modern CG technology, and Star Wars and Trek are space operas. Interstellar is using real space travel, physics, and reality concepts, and with todays CG technology, Interstellar should be unlike anything we've seen. Gravity stayed contained with Earth's orbit, yet looked breath-takingly real; imagine Interstellar, that's going even further into the cosmos. We've seen time and time before that audiences love innovation and originality. In a sea of sequels, reboots, and remakes, original movies are a gasp of fresh air. If Interstellar's marketing can distinguish itself as that, it'll have no problem bringing in audiences. Much of movie was also filmed in IMAX, so that just adds to experience.
     The cast is also an A. Matthew McConaughey headlines, and he's hot off winning his first Oscar, and has lately been delivering acclaimed role after acclaimed role. Interstellar also stars Anne Hathaway, who won an Oscar a few years ago and is a household name, Jessica Chastain, whos been nominated 2 times since 2011, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, John Lithgow, Matt Damon, and the legendary Michael Caine, among others. All you're missing is Morgan Freeman and Marion Cotillard. Now a star-studded, Oscar-heavy cast doesn't always guarantee butts in the seats, see: The Counselor, but it doesn't help if your movie is also ebola of cinema. When you combine a good movie with a good cast, great things usually happen. See: American Hustle. Expect it here as well. 
     The fact that this is a Christopher Nolan movie also raises potential - and expectations. Because of Nolan's recent success, high-quality product is expected of him, and fanboys worry if this ambitious product could be an ambitious bust. But by what I've seen and heard so far of Interstellar, I think there's a better chance of Chipotle switching to an all-seafood menu, than Interstellar being a  fail.  Inception opened in 2010, featured an all-star cast, and an innovative concept, and went on to shock everyone and gross $825 million worldwide. A similar situation could be in store for Interstellar, but Nolan's name alone won't get it there. Warner and Paramount have to hook audiences with their marketing. Highlight the emotion, but dazzle us with shots of sexy Saturn. But, at the same time, Nolan's name will produce an awareness boost that a typical director doesn't have the luxury of.
      Marketing so far has been hot. TV spots have been airing since September, trailers have been well viewed online and in theaters, IMAX is being highlighted, and they're letting audiences know this is sort of Gravity Plus. Awarness is high, tracking is solid, and they show Saturn in every clip. All these factors can only help.
     Interstellar also has a prime release date: holiday season and Oscar season. It will have the Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, and Christmas season to buoy the gross. Interstellar will have to deal with the typical adult-targeting Oscar-hopeful competition, and there looks to be some good ones this year, but Interstellar still can set itself apart from the rest thanks to its concept.
    For it's budget, Interstellar is also putting emotion alongside spectacle, instead of giving it the backseat, which blockbusters typically tend to do. It's not just females that like emotion, we all do, since emotions is something we all feel every day. Having to leave your family behind to go transcend space? Having to deal with elements and worlds never before set foot on? Having to deal with the possible ending of the world? A world without Doritos? Yeah, this movie is gonna be hard-hitting. Even though it's a movie with wormholes and dried-up crops, it still has a human element, which is key.
    Early buzz has been good for Interstellar. Some critics and early viewers have gone as far as saying this movie will be one remembered for generations, like Jurassic Park, Jaws, and Forrest Gump. That's likely hyperbole, it's still pretty early, but the stars are still aligning for this to be a critical darling. Interstellar, though a blockbuster tentpole, will still rely on word-of-mouth to get the audiences coming. There's some big name stars and a big name director, but it's still not based on existing material, and the concept is still not a normal one. I personally believe Interstellar will open 60 million, but I think it's legs will chug on into the holidays. IMAX will be Interstellar's top hook to keep people coming through the fall.
    Interstellar may not be the "generational" event that some are hyping, but it should still be nothing short of (inter) stellar. Pun intended. Much of the movie was filmed with real IMAX cameras, and Warner Brothers has secured an exclusive IMAX deal, so that'll hopefully loft grosses for the studio, and put the audience in an immersive experience we may have never seen before on screen in modern times. It's still hard to predict this movie. It could finish with $250 million domestic and $800 million worldwide, or $150 million domestic and $400 million worldwide, or $400 million domestic and $1 billion worldwide, we just don't know.
    Either way, Interstellar looks to be shaping up to be a big discovery: a discovery for moviegoers and cinema. A reason why we go to the movies. Hollywood is not a fan of taking risks, but they took one here, and it as of now looks very well looks to be paying off. Let's see if it can be sustained. Interstellar starts next month. Order your tickets and stockpile your Doritos. Stay tuned to the news, because a new big discovery may have been made, and you don't want to miss it.

No comments:

Post a Comment