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Chef is a brilliant and refreshing film that’s wonderfully executed and ultimately has the ability to rekindle the human spirit. The film is written and directed by Jon Favreau. If you’re not familiar with Favreau’s vast body of work, you’ll undoubtedly recognize his star-studded and prominent cast of characters that inhabit this off-beat indie delight. While there is a respectable amount of iconic names that are integrated into the mix, we unfortunately only get to see some of them briefly as they pop in and out of the frame and then vanish from the film completely. Despite this, they all play a pivotal part in the grand scheme of things as the film progressively builds to the heart of the story. They almost feel like speed bumps along our journey of discovery, but essential ones nonetheless. Among some of the iconic names that pop in and out of the film are Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, and the man we’ve come to know simply as Iron Man or Tony Stark: Robert Downey Jr. Others that have much more presence as the story unfolds are Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) and Oliver Platt (X-men: First Class, 2012). Carl Casper (Favreau) a beloved chef in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles has one passion that keeps him moving forward – cooking. Casper may not be the ideal husband, seeing as how he’s divorced. He may not be the most suitable father figure, considering he only spends time with his son sporadically while putting his main focus into what he’s going to cook next at his restaurant. But one thing is for certain, Casper excels at touching people’s lives with his undeniable prowess in the kitchen. As we meet Casper, we discover that he’s in somewhat of a creative rut. He’s been cooking the same menu for the past five years at the restaurant he’s employed at. An opportunity of a lifetime arises as a world renowned food critic from Los Angeles, Ramsey Michel (Platt) plans on paying a visit to Casper’s restaurant. Casper takes the initiative to strategically plan a brand new menu for Ramsey’s arrival. Just as Casper rallies his cooking staff to brief them on how he plans to implement change, in walks Riva, the owner of the restaurant (Hoffman). Much to Casper’s chagrin, Riva illustrates his disapproval to cooking anything new. Riva proclaims that the customers love what he cooks and the current menu is the very reason they’re one of the most respected and prosperous restaurants in LA. After a brief verbal clash, Casper concedes and cooks the routine menu. After receiving a less-than stellar review by Ramsey on the routine dishes that were presented to him, Casper goes berserk. He invites Ramsey back to the restaurant for a second review on a new menu. When Ramsey returns, Casper trudges into the main dining room and goes haywire on the pretentious and arrogant food critic all while being captured on someone’s iPhone. Following the pandemonium, the video inevitably goes viral on the internet and Casper losses his job at the restaurant. In the midst of seeking out a new job, Casper’s ex-wife, Inez (Vergara) invites him to come to Miami with her and their son for a brief getaway. Inez wants nothing more than for Casper to be happy and to spend some much needed time with their son, Percy (Emjay Anthony). Casper although reluctant at first, eventually complies and joins Inez and Percy on the spontaneous trip to Florida. Once the estranged family arrives in Miami, Inez summons an old idea that she previously hounded Casper about when she witnessed his unhappiness at the restaurant: starting up a food truck and ultimately working for himself. While in Miami, Casper ends up meeting with one of Inez’s wealthy ex-husbands (Robert Downey Jr.) who graciously agrees to invest and back Casper’s food truck. After receiving proper consent from Inez who ends up flying back to California on her own, an unforgettable excursion is set into motion with Casper, his son Percy, and one of Casper’s old cooking staff members from the restaurant back in LA. The cooking staff member, Martin (John Leguizamo) winds up flying down to Florida to join them after hearing about the idea come to fruition. Together, the group travels back to California while simultaneously cooking and serving hundreds of happy and satisfied customers on their new food truck which specializes in Cuban sandwiches. The road trip ends up serving as a golden opportunity for Casper to rekindle his relationship with not only his son, but his love and passion for a craft that makes him happy: cooking. When skimming the surface, Chef has all the right ingredients to bare real fruit. After finishing, as the film fades to black and the credits begin to roll, you’ll quickly realize that this is one dish in particular that you’ll want to taste again and again and again. Chef is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, & Redbox!
THE NICE GUYS
Shane Black is no stranger to writing compelling and edgy material that captivates audience members that favor the action/thriller genre in particular. For those unfamiliar with the body of work from the writer/director of The Nice Guys, Black has had quite a reputable career when it comes to writing and selling screenplays; mind you, this endeavor has spanned three decades. The script that ultimately contributed to Black’s rise to prominence back in the late 80s was Lethal Weapon. Black would later go on to set a record in 1994 with his sale of The Long Kiss Goodnight for 4 million. Fast forward thirty years after writing Lethal Weapon and Shane Black is still proving to be a master of his craft with his latest writing and directorial effort. Here’s the interesting thing about The Nice Guys; what Shane Black has given us here is not anything particularly new or nothing that hasn’t been done before, but nevertheless the film still feels fresh and exciting because of the time that it’s made in. The Nice Guys is a wonderful reprieve from the agonizing onslaught of sequels, reboots, and superhero films that are constantly being thrown at us like bricks. To me personally, there’s nothing more exhilarating and refreshing than going to the movies to see an original concept flick that has been well received by both critics and average moviegoers alike. But the most wonderful thing about all of this is that The Nice Guys was given a wide release and was made readily available instead of being relegated to a limited release where any average moviegoer would be forced to venture out to a larger cinema in their nearest big city to even have a shred of hope of seeing it. Earlier this year, I found myself searching out theaters that were playing original concept flicks such as The Lobster, Green Room, or Sing Street because of their limited release status. Whereas with The Nice Guys, I was able to easily and conveniently view it at my local theater a few miles from my where I live. Please keep in mind I’m one of the unlucky ones who reside in a small town in central Massachusetts about an hour outside of Boston. I do miss the days of being able to see original concept movies in abundance at my local theater when I was a kid. I grew up in the 90s, when original concept movies like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective were thriving and making money hand over fist. But with movies like The Nice Guys being critically acclaimed and well spoken about during this sequel/reboot/remake era, it gives original concept enthusiasts a glint of hope. The Nice Guys is in the vein of a buddy-buddy cop movie that follows the unlikely pairing of two private detectives investigating the disappearance of a young woman by the name of Amelia. I can’t emphasize “unlikely pairing” enough, seeing as the characters of Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) are undeniably strange bedfellows. Jackson Healy is one these take-no-shit types who has no problem swinging elbows and using brute force until his target is lying face down in the dirt, unable to get up or even move. Contrast this with the complete idiocy and bone headedness of Holland March and you have the main formula that makes up the wild, eccentric but very well fleshed out ride that is The Nice Guys. There are a lot of fun and memorable moments throughout the film. One in particular, takes March and Healy to a party thrown by a rich and well known porn director. As March and Healy weave their way through the sea of partygoers, we as the audience really get a feel for the time period of the film. Songs such as “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire and “Get Down On It” by Kool and The Gang fuel the party with life. Everyone inhabiting the scene sports quintessential 70s garb and rocks various styles from the time period – we’re talking sideburns, plaid pants, flamboyant colored bell-bottoms, afros seen on both men and women, etc. By how goofy Gosling’s character is and how he reacts to certain situations, you would think the film would be in danger of entering the realm of campiness but is always cleverly swerved right back on track with the ruthless aggression of Crowe’s character, keeping the serious tone that the film is trying to achieve. This is where the chemistry of both Gosling and Crowe’s characters come into play and should be heavily praised for keeping consistency and one continuous flow that never seems to break immersion throughout the duration of the film. On top of the quick-witted and edgy dialogue delivered flawlessly by both Gosling and Crowe, the film is complimented by a few well executed action scenes that never get too over the top or have you questioning the viability of what’s transpiring within the frame of the scene. The action scenes seem rewarding after all the twists and turns that March and Healy are forced to go through and endure on their journey to discover the truth about Amelia. The Nice Guys feels like a light penetrating the darkness that is the overbearing regurgitation of remakes and sequels that Hollywood has been typically dishing out as of late. One can only hope from how well this movie has been received that it will encourage and perhaps even motivate the industry to not be so reluctant on pulling the trigger on original concepts rather than resorting to familiarity of pre-existing material. But much to my dismay, seeing as how The Nice Guys finished fourth in its opening weekend behind The Angry Birds Movie, Captain America: Civil War, and Neighbors 2; having original concept movies in abundance at the theater in the near future may be nothing more than a pipe dream. Nevertheless, I feel as though The Nice Guys will get treated with much more respect as it finds its rightful place on the DVD/Blu-ray shelf of film fanatics and movie buffs alike. I’ve been wrong in the past, but this seems like the type of flick that will become a cult classic overtime, like a perfectly aged bottle of wine if you will, that every group of best friends, whether it’s guys or girls, will undoubtedly be reciting line for line.
DON’T THINK TWICE
What would it be like if you were an integral piece to a much larger picture and then suddenly you went missing right before the puzzle was completed? No one would be able to admire the final product in all its glory. Perhaps there would be a sense of emptiness. Dejection would eventually overtake the other pieces of the puzzle from being so close yet so far away from accomplishing what they originally set out to do. When skimming the surface, we get the impression these pieces want to be connected and presented to the masses as a whole. But when delving into the true intricacy of this puzzle, we learn that’s far from the truth, as every piece of the puzzle yearns for its own spotlight. Learning how to suddenly deal with that missing piece to the larger picture is what Mike Birbiglia’s feature film Don’t Think Twice ultimately explores. The Commune, a fictional and tightly-knit group of improv comedians in New York City find themselves in disarray when two members of the troupe, Jack Mercer (Keegan-Michael Key) and coincidentally his girlfriend, Samantha (Gillian Jacobs) receives auditions for one of the most prominent platforms for any aspiring comedian: the infinitely popular TV show Weekend Live. Weekend Live is comedy’s version of sports as Miles (Mike Birbiglia) a member of The Commune, so eloquently puts it. It’s fast-paced, it’s exciting, and it’s what every true comedian strives to be a part of. When it comes time for the much anticipated auditions for the TV show, Samantha ends up flubbing her opportunity from a deeply rooted fear of performing on stage alone instead of with a group like she’s accustomed to, while Jack ends up excelling and earns his rightful spot on the TV show. All of this excitement is unfortunately happening in the wake of a car accident of Bill’s (Chris Gethard) father, another member of The Commune. Tragedy striking in one corner and opportunity presenting itself in another seems to be a common occurrence throughout the duration of the film which ends up giving the flick an impeccable balance between happiness and sadness amongst the characters. An important thing to keep in mind is that the comedy factor stems from both of these realms. We as the audience are not only laughing when the characters are performing on stage and doing what they do best as comedians, but we’re also finding a way to laugh at situations and predicaments that are rooted within the darkest corners of these characters’ lives. When it all boils down to it, sadness has the ability to draw some of the biggest laughs when you remove yourself from the scenario and examine it from afar. And the most brilliant and beautiful thing about Don’t Think Twice is that we as the audience are not only laughing at the sad predicaments, but the characters inhabiting the story are laughing right along with us at their own sorrow and doing their best to make light of their own lack of success. A perfect example of this is when Jack Mercer is no longer with The Commune and the group is finally doing sketches and performances without him for the first time in their routine venue. Jack’s girlfriend Samantha, typically always starts off their show by asking the audience if anyone in attendance has had a particularly bad day and encourages that person to elaborate on it. The Commune then proceeds to use this “bad day” as a vehicle to drive their performance. One of the first things that an audience member shouts when Samantha inquires about their day is that they wish Jack was still a part of The Commune. Mind you, at this point of the film, every member of The Commune has shown clear signs of envy towards Jack’s success on Weekend Live. As soon as this audience member alludes to the fact that the show isn’t as good without their former counterpart who is now on the rise to superstardom, the group quickly and cleverly latches onto this by summoning their jealously and putting a creative twist on it in the heat of the moment. A few of the members of the group make the cross with their hand across their chest, as if they’re praying. The group then proceeds to mourn Jack’s loss at a funeral and the group weeps for him, begging for him to come back to them. We immediately get a sense the group is poking fun at themselves in a really morbid way but ultimately they’re doing a superlative job at removing themselves from the scenario, examining it from afar, and simply trying to make themselves feel better or at the very least making peace and accepting the fact that they may never make it to the big-time like their fellow comedian, Jack. The most interesting thing about Don’t Think Twice is that instead of the focal point being this massive success story coming to fruition for this one lucky comedian, the film instead chooses to focus on how that success story is affecting those around him and how to deal with the backlash and jealousy of people you’ve known and have been close to for years. While Jack Mercer is attaining everything he’s worked so hard for, the foundation that he’s built with The Commune along his journey of discovery is crumbling before his very eyes. Jack is then forced with the decision of either picking up the pieces and putting them back together or leaving them entirely for his new life in the spotlight. Don’t Think Twice is a wonderful compilation of friendship, love, heartbreak and the cost of chasing dreams that is driven by an immeasurably talented ensemble of unknown actors and comedians. It’s undoubtedly going to be one of these “easy to overlook” flicks from this year. But, I’m here, standing on the highest pedestal possible, shouting to the masses and letting its existence be known. It’s naturally funny with a lot of spirit that has the potential to pull on your heart strings, especially for aspiring artists of any kind. Not just comedians. Don’t think twice about seeing Don’t Think Twice.
If there was ever a cohesive unit, look no further than Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. There’s no denying the chemistry between this inseparable duo. The two comedians, more popularly known as simply Key & Peele to their ever-growing fan base, are relatively fresh, new faces in the vast world of comedy. They have their own TV show called Key & Peele, a series of hilarious, crafty, and satirical sketches, illustrating their views on world events, political figures, celebrities, and life in general. But while their comedic sketches on television are succinct and to the point, the product that they’ve delivered to us here in their first full length feature film Keanu, doesn’t follow suit. Keanu starts off with an act of violence. Two masked assailants infiltrate a warehouse where an underground drug operation is being run. The two gunmen unload on the drug dealers and criminals with relative ease. In the midst of the pandemonium, an adorable kitten who clearly belonged to the criminal running this unknown operation, successfully escapes unscathed. The kitten then finds its way to the doorstep of Rell (Jordan Peele) a down-on-hisluck slacker who just got dumped by his girlfriend. The dejected Rell is suddenly fueled with new life as this small feline shows up at just the right time in his sad and pathetic moment of sulking. The kitten, which Rell ends up naming Keanu, is given a new home while Rell is simultaneously given a new purpose to go on fighting the good fight. But when Rell’s apartment is broken into unexpectedly and Keanu is nowhere to be found, Rell and his cousin Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) are forced to go on a ridiculous search and endure the unrelenting wrath of the criminal underworld if they have any hopes of ever seeing Keanu again. It’s not the movie’s absurdity that contributes to its failure to deliver but rather the inconsistency. After watching the explosive and exciting opening scene, one would naturally assume that the rest of the movie would have some type of consistent tone of violence and action, but it doesn’t. The next forty minutes slow down to an unbearable crawl that leave you desperately reaching for the fast-forward button on the remote. The only onslaught that ensues until the next action scene is the barrage of terrible dialogue delivered by our heroes that we, as the audience, are forced to listen to. Whereas everything is well mapped out and cleverly executed in Key & Peele’s short comedic sketches, the dialogue found in Keanu is not particularly clever or creative. It’s outright pedestrian. The course of the movie feels like one bad joke with no punch line or payoff. Sure, the characters that inhabit Keanu have clear motives, especially considering how overly simplistic the plot is, but the abilities that they magically possess are ultimately left up for questioning. We get it, it’s supposed to be a stupid movie where stupid things are happening out of seemingly nowhere, but a line has to be drawn at some point and there should be some logical reasoning why certain things are happening. But to our dismay, those explanations are nonexistent. Our two main protagonists are initially portrayed as dorky, repressed and non-violent guys that are suddenly doing back flips off walls, engaging in high speed car chases, and shooting up the bad guys in the heat of the moment. Rell and Clarence are completely out of their element when it comes to what they have to go through to get Keanu back, but it never appears that way. Some of these bad guys that end up being eliminated by these two untrained buffoons are the ruthless masked assailants from the opening scene of the movie. Two villains that were unable to be taken out by armed thugs are suddenly susceptible to being blood bathed by a couple of average, idiotic joes? As we’re dragged along through this ridiculous warpath, the film keeps finding ways to graduate from unbelievable to utterly preposterous. Mind you, my gripe is not with the genre of the film. There have been ridiculous action comedies this year that have pulled these types of antics off correctly whereas in Keanu it seems completely out of place and illogical, given the character’s backgrounds or lack thereof. In The Brothers Grimsby starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong, the high risk maneuvers and captivating aerial stunts performed by the characters that inhabit that particular world are believable because of the character’s background. Mark Strong plays an MI6 agent. So we tend to think there’s some believability behind him jumping from buildings and moving vehicles and sniping the bad guys from far distances. In Mr. Right starring Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick, Sam Rockwell’s ability to eliminate multiple targets in a few, well calculated moves, again, seems believable because of his character’s background. He’s a hitman, trained in the art of the kill. We know that. All of this information is fed to us right from the get-go. On the contrary, it’s nearly impossible to believe Keegan-Michael Key’s character, Clarence, in Keanu is able to perform a back flip off a wall like Neo from The Matrix to impress the villains of the movie, especially when just a few scenes earlier he was portrayed as a dorky family guy, being lectured by his wife about how he should stop trying to please others and just be himself. But that’s the issue. Who is he? What’s his background? Where does he come from? What are his skills? What’s his profession? There’s no basis behind what Key & Peele’s characters are able to do in Keanu which becomes not only problematic but just outright irresponsible on the writer’s part. Clarity in character is an essential cornerstone to any well told story but something that is clearly absent in Keanu, amongst many other things.
John Carney is at it again! The mastermind who brought us the indie delights Once and Begin Again, is back in the same vein with his third feature film, Sing Street. Sing Street is undoubtedly in the spirit of Carney’s first two films — an explosive and fun dramedy with a musical edge that explores relationships, love, and all the chaos that comes along with it. But unlike Begin Again, which had two main stars in Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley driving the movie, Carney goes back to his roots by using no-name actors to fuel the story of Sing Street with passion and fury; a similar approach to his debut film, Once. Sing Street is set in Dublin, Ireland and takes us back thirty-one years to 1985 when music videos were emerging for the first time and becoming a main aspect of pop culture while simultaneously dazzling music enthusiasts and artists alike. We find our main protagonist, Connor Lalor, sitting on his couch with his older brother Brendan early on in the film, watching and listening to a flashy and catchy music video called “Rio” by Duran Duran. While Connor’s parents are unable to grasp the video’s pizzazz factor, Connor is enamored by the images that flash by on the TV screen. Connor, who confides in his brother Brendan throughout the film, listens intently as he gives a perfect and concise play-by-play on the elements of the music video. “It’s art! It’s the perfect mixture of music and visuals. It’s short and to the point,” he bellows to their father who sits in the corner, continually questioning the merit of music videos in general. “Why can’t they just play live? What’re they trying to hide?” The father asks. “Music videos last forever! Everyone is making them nowadays!” Brendan fires back, defending the cause. In the midst of the bickering, Connor continues to watch the music video with a newfound vigor in his eyes. In this moment, we as the audience can easily discern that a light within the deep recesses of Connor’s mind has been lit. After being forced into a new school due to his parent’s lack of funds, Connor is befriended by Darren, another student who witnesses an altercation between the school bully and Connor. While Darren and Connor head to school one morning, they notice a beautiful girl perched atop a stoop, completely dolled up with a cigarette dangling from her mouth. This immediately triggers a response from Connor. There’s something about her that’s quite eyegrabbing, just like the women from the “Rio” music video. Darren doesn’t seem to know much about her besides the fact that she never talks to any of the boys from their school nor shows much interest. Connor changes that by courageously approaching her, inquiring if she would be interested in being in a music video for his band. A bit reluctant, she makes Connor sing for her, to ensure that he really is in a band. Connor belts out a few lyrics from a popular song on the radio, ultimately impressing the girl, Raphina. From here, Connor proceeds to start a band in hopes of winning over Raphina. Darren introduces Connor to his friend Eamon, who happens to play every instrument known to man. After convincing Eamon of their plan, the group sets out to recruit other members for their new “Futurist” Band, as Connor labels it. We don’t particularly know what constitutes a “Futurist” band from the get-go and neither do the characters of the film. But therein lays the beauty and adventure of the film as the band, through much experimentation and continuous guidance from Connor’s brother Brendan, starts to hone in on what they really want to achieve. Ultimately, this new dynamic that’s established between the group, sets into motion an ambitious sequence of events; making music videos together. This endeavor leads to the band’s birth and emergence while Connor simultaneously learns more about himself, how to survive at his new school, his dysfunctional family, Raphina, and the inner workings of love. The thing that sets Sing Street apart from Carney’s other two films is its ability to evoke a deep emotional response. The film presents many different ways to empathize with Connor. Perhaps you had similar feelings for a girl like Connor does for Raphina. Maybe you had trouble dealing with a relentless bully from school and adapting to a new environment. Or maybe you can relate to Connor’s struggle that arises from the dysfunction of his family, specifically his parents. For me personally, the film was able to transport me back to my days of youth when I first discovered the desire of wanting something bad enough and doing everything in my power to attain said desire. In hindsight, when I was Connor’s age, my friends and I did something similar. We didn’t explore music, but did seek refuge in the world of professional wrestling and created a promotion and put on shows for our friends and classmates in the backyard. In that sense, the film has the ability to tap into that teenage angst we felt at one point in our lives. It’s a familiar feeling of wanting to be a part of something large and creative and feeling on top of the world in the process of bringing it all to fruition. To quote one of my favorite songs by Against Me, “Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire?” Connor and his friends will. And I can say with absolute certainty that you will as well after watching Sing Street.
“Film is the best way to capture an image and project that image” – Christopher Nolan
Interstellar, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception) is a thought-provoking, ambitious, and eccentric journey into the unknown. Those familiar with Nolan’s work, will immediately recognize the undeniable beauty in the cinematography and the images creating this new and diverse world, acting as the foundation for Nolan’s newest story. For those that haven’t yet seen films like Inception, The Prestige, Memento or even Nolan’s debut film, Following, may not be acutely aware of how truly different and unique the flick really looks compared to others that you see on a regular basis in the theater. The key difference being, Nolan is one of very few directors that still film his movies on actual film. In this digital age, film is unfortunately a dying art that will inevitably and sadly vanish overtime. But Christopher Nolan gives his fans and avid movie-goers alike three different ways to see his latest film, on actual film. You can view it in 70mm, 35mm, or the preferred “top of the line format” 70mm IMAX which is an image that fills the entire screen and offers almost 10 times the resolution of standard formats. To put it in simple terms, the true cinematic experience with a film like Interstellar is in IMAX, both for its incredible image and sound quality. Aside from the overall look of the flick, Christopher Nolan is never one to disappoint with an iconic cast to embody his intriguing and gripping characters that fill his scripts. Along with the main characters that you see in the trailers like Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathway, and Michael Caine, are some really familiar faces, continually popping into the film, even if you have to wait an hour and a half to see them for the first time. Some of these faces include Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, and Matt Damon, both of whom give stunning and memorable performances, greatly considering they are only small slices of the overall whole. As the story begins, the earth is on the brink of destruction. The fate of humanity is in serious jeopardy as we discover very early on that an inexplicable catastrophic event looms in the distance. Despite the fact this apocalyptic event is never fully explored, (one of many loop holes throughout the film) Nolan nevertheless subtly alludes to its sinister presence from the get-go. Violent and raging dust storms sweep the land, destroying the crops, which undoubtedly are some of the last remaining resources in terms of survival. Cooper ( Matthew McConaughey) is one of many farmers, trying desperately to do his part for humanity and contribute to the agrarian society that civilization has ultimately regressed to. In the opening minutes of the film, McConaughey is awoken by his daughter from a dream, which briefly takes us back to his past life, before he became a farmer. We get a sense that his life had purpose and meaning back in that dream. The world’s brutal behavior has clearly taken that particular (and perhaps desirable) life away from him, the life of a NASA pilot. Cooper’s daughter, Murphy (Mackenzie Foy), an intelligent and motivated ten year old, persistently nags her father, claiming that her bedroom is haunted by a ghost. The next day, in the midst of one of the reoccurring and malicious dust storms that strike without warning, Cooper, his son, his father-in-law, and Murphy bolt home and seek immediate shelter. When Murphy runs up to her room to seal her window shut from the unrelenting gusts of dirt blowing into the house, she makes a startling discovery. Dust lingers in the air and slowly drifts downward, making prominent lines, both thick and thin as it hits her bedroom floor. Initially, Murphy insists that it’s her ghost producing the strange patterns on the floor. As Cooper examines the room, he presumably takes a more scientific approach and comes to the conclusion that it’s gravitational waves revealing binary codes in the dust. After the storm has settled, Cooper and Murphy translate the binary code on the bedroom floor into a set of numbers, which they immediately realize are coordinates. The coordinates end up leading them directly to a top secret NASA installation. Cooper is unexpectedly reunited with an old teacher of his, Professor Brand (Michael Caine) along with his daughter, Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway). Together, they present to Cooper the knowledge of a wormhole that has apparently been created by alien intelligence out near the edge of Saturn. The wormhole has been there for the last 48 years, allowing NASA to send astronauts as part of a top secret mission known as “Lazarus” into the hole, leading them to the vast outreaches of an entirely new galaxy. On the other end of the hole, Dr. Mann (Matt Damon), the leader of the Lazarus missions along with his astute colleagues, Miller and Edmunds, have discovered three potentially habitable planets for human life, named after each of them upon discovery. The three planets, Miller, Edmunds, and Mann all orbit a black hole by the name of Gargantua, unfortunately causing severe time dilation created by gravitational pull. After an exorbitant amount of persuasion and undeniable reluctance on Cooper’s part, Professor Brand is able to recruit Cooper to pilot a mission to retrieve the data that Mann, Miller, and Edmunds surveyed while on the three potentially habitable planets. This sets a historic race against time as humanity’s fate hangs in the balance for Cooper and his team, Amelia Brand (Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi), Doyle (Wes Bentley), and two artificially intelligent robots named TARS (voiced by Bill Irwin) and CASE (voiced by Josh Stewart). To give a little sense of how much time is manipulated beyond the wormhole, the first planet that Cooper and the team touch down on, Miller, is so close to the black hole Gargantua, that spending only one hour on the planet equates to seven years back on earth. The race against time to save mankind now becomes more evident and startling than ever. To say anymore, would be to give away the wondrous revelation of the film. In typical Nolan fashion, Interstellar (much like Inception) demands multiple viewings. Nolan continuously proves to be a master of his craft with his undeniable prowess in storytelling. He continuously produces material that is paced incredibly well, never taking us out of the moment. Many people make it a habit of pointing out the abundance of loop holes in Nolan’s material and treating it as a negative rather than seeing the purpose it truly serves. When it all boils down it, if certain things weren’t left open for interpretation in the types of stories that Nolan enjoys telling, there would be no such thing as “leaving the audience wanting more” – an element that Christopher Nolan has stood by and achieved more times than I can count. It’s important to be able to talk about movies after we watch them. It’s a privilege to discuss the possibilities or theories behind things that we’ve seen transpire on the big screen. Christopher Nolan gives us that privilege and for that, I am eternally grateful.