Category: Michael Caine

Interstellar (Movie 2014)

3 Kernels

Stars:  Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine

Above are three kernels.  What I really wanted to give is two but shouldn’t blame a movie for my inability to understand space, time, and relativity, as well as all those other scientific mumbo-jumbo references that fly right over my head.   If those subjects are of no interest to you, then you might want to pass on Interstellar.

Currently steaming on Amazon Instant Video for $4.99 comes this rather confusing and long movie with a runtime of 169 minutes (that’s 2.81 hours of your life passing through time and space).  Just like the astronauts who are put down into cryogenic sleep for years on end, you may find yourself dozing off in this rather scientifically slow movie.

As if we didn’t all know that it’s coming through global warming, the earth is pretty much ruined.  We’ve drained it of its resources and are faced with the extinction of mankind.  Unable to save ourselves, it’s time to look to the stars.  A team from NASA with a secret hideaway in the middle of no where have been planning our escape.  The problem is, where do we go?  We are lightyears away from planets that might be inhabitable.  Ah, but somebody out there in deep space has placed a wormhole just beyond Saturn for us to use and fling ourselves across galaxies in search of habitable planets.

Matthew McConaughey, known as Cooper in the movie, leaves his family and decides to take on the mission of finding habitable worlds. Other crews have gone before them, and they need to know if they’ve been successful or not.  Cooper wants his children to have a life and future, so without looking back he puts on that spacesuit and goes where no man has gone before.  Well, maybe he’s the third or fourth to take the trip, but you Trekkies get my drift.

What happens when the crew arrives on the other side is where my brain has been left behind at Saturn.  Stay tuned for confusion and a very weird ending.  It was so mindboggling, that I found myself searching Google for some explanation.  Thank goodness, I came across this article that explains everything or tries – Understanding the Movie. Dig the chart to the right and you’ll get my drift.

I can’t say that the movie was really exciting, well acted, or even engaging for me. Perhaps it’s not my cup of tea — all this interstellar travel.  Of course, I grew up in the generation of 2001 Space Odessy, which was filmed in 1968. In those days, a movie like that was cool, except for another ending that left you scratching your head.  And who can forget about Hal?  Interstellar has its share of interesting robots, but nothing like our iconic man-made machine gone mad.

Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
Dave Bowman: What’s the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
As for Interstellar?  Yawn.


Kingsman: The Secret Service (Movie 2015)

Kingsman The Secret Service - 2014 - tt2802144 - Poster2 Kernels, But I Should Have Walked Out

Stars: Colin Firth, Samuel Jackson, Michael Caine, and Taron Egerton
Everyone loves Colin Firth — at least those women who have followed his career after falling in love with him as Mr. Darcy.  I have seen a few of his movies of late, most of which were entertaining and some well done (such as The Railway Man).  Kingsman: The Secret Service is a whole other ballgame. Frankly, it’s a movie I would like to erase from my brain due to the gratuitous violence, unparalleled to anything I’ve seen lately.  Of course, I usually don’t see those types of movies, so maybe I’m just ignorant this stuff is on the big screen all the time.
The story starts out with a fairly good premise, a bit of humor, and the usual cool spy stuff — putting aside the first few minutes of killing. Colin Firth plays Harry Hart, a knight in the Kingsman secret service. He’s good looking, dressed in a fine tailored suit, but carries quite a few nifty weapons he can use.
When one of the Kingsman is killed all the other Kingsman seek out candidates to fill his spot. Harry seeks out a young man nicknamed Eggsy, who is the son of a former Kingsman.  The young lad doesn’t have a clue what his father did in real life. Eggsy, however, is the typical juvenile delinquent in need of  reform. He accepts Harry’s offer, and joins a group of other young men and women seeking the coveted position as the next Kingsman. They are put through a rigorous training, and one by one are eliminated down to the last two — Eggsy and another girl.
Of course, while all of this is going on, we have Samuel Jackson playing the typical psychopath out to murder millions of human beings to cleanse the world of an over-crowed population. He seems to think that will cut back on our environmental problems by eliminating too may people destroying the planet.  Everything is fine up to that point, and then the movie takes a sharp left turn into violence.
In one particular scene, Harry Hart kills an entire congregation of parishioners in a church after coming under control of the villain. It’s gruesome, graphic, bloody, and disturbing. The movie continues down the road of a world gone mad killing each other, including heads blowing like watermelons shot with a bazooka, and Eggsy fighting against some woman outfitted with metal feet with swords. Bizarre.
I really enjoy Colin Firth, but if you are thinking of seeing this movie to see the handsome Englishman in a fine dress suit to swoon over, put back those dollar bills in your wallet and run the other way.  You will never look at him the same again, which actually made me wonder why in the heck he chose to do this movie.  Believe me — Fifty Shades of Grey and Christian’s red room is a walk in the park compared to this carnage.
The movie had a few good laughs at the beginning, but my brain has been desensitized to the value of human life.  Frankly, it disgusted me in the end.

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