Blu-Ray Review- Interstellar
Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
Street Date: March 31st 2015
Technical Specifications: 1080P Video, Color, 2.39:1/1.78:1 Aspect Ratio, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Runtime: 169 Minutes
Few movies over the past decade have moved me as deeply as Interstellar did. I do believe that the film is a modern day masterpiece, flaws and all, and will be regarded as a classic work of Science Fiction in the years to come. The obvious comparison when considering the scale and sheer ambition of the film is Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, one that I’m sure Mr. Nolan is honored by, but the films unfold on two very different planes of thought. There is a human aspect to Interstellar that touches the heart in ways that Kubrick’s film never strived for (and didn’t need to). Nolan’s team delves deeply into actual scientific thought and probable scenarios that may one day affect the human race, even if we (as viewers) must make leaps in logic from time to time with specific events, these are minute holes that are overshadowed by an unbelievably entertaining film that will leave you overwhelmed with emotion.
In the film Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a former NASA pilot and hardworking farmer trying to care for his family in the desolate land of the not-too-distant future on Earth. Dust storms have covered our world in a thick blanket of dirt, affecting our ecosystem and risking the lives of subsequent generations. Cooper’s daughter Murph has been experiencing what she believes to be a poltergeist trying to communicate to her, which is quickly revealed to be a coded message made my gravitational waves containing coordinates to an unknown destination. The coordinates leads Cooper and Murph to a hidden NASA base deep below the surface, where NASA’s best have hidden themselves away in the hope of finding another habitable planet in our Universe for humanity’s survival.
Professor Brand (Michael Caine) convinces Cooper to utilize his NASA training once again to embark on an interstellar journey to save the human race. But there is a caveat to the trip, several in fact, which will cause turmoil for Cooper and his family. Because of gravitational time dilation (say that five times fast), Cooper’s journey through time and space will only take weeks (thanks to a wormhole that’s opened up just beyond Saturn), but decades will pass in the meantime on Earth, making for a lifetime of memories lost with his children.
I could continue further with my plot synopsis, but I prefer to let a film such as this to wash over the viewer, and I would hate to reveal any crucial details of Cooper’s amazing journey. I also won’t pretend to completely understand all of the science behind Interstellar, but it doesn’t matter. This is theatrical entertainment after all, and leaps in logic and suspension of belief are standard for science fiction fare, even if the film presents us with theories that are likely possible. In fact for comparison’s sake, it matters just about as much as understanding the fantastic light trip that Dave Bowman took in 2001. Interstellar is a captivating journey through our universe that showcases the courage and determination of the human spirit. I do believe that Christopher Nolan has crafted a masterpiece of a film that will be discussed and dissected for years to come.
This Blu-Ray edition from Paramount Home Entertainment features a jaw-dropping High Definition transfer of the film that will likely end up on many Best Blu-Ray of 2015 lists. The video presentation is crystal clear, presenting worlds that appear almost tangible for the viewer. Skin tones and textures appear as if you’re seeing them in real life, with pristine fine object detail to behold and a color palette that is pleasing to the eye. There isn’t a single instance of dirt, debris, or artifacts throughout, making for a true gem of a transfer. This is as good as it gets folks.
The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track for Interstellar is just as impressive as the video transfer. Viewers will feel completely immersed in this world, from the dust storms and debris spraying across the Earth to the stark frozen conditions on Dr. Mann’s planet, you’ll feel enveloped by the sound design throughout the entire experience. The track regularly balances dialogue, the amazing score, and background effects with ease, making for a terrific audio experience at home.
Paramount Home Entertainment has provided fans of Interstellar with truly groundbreaking bonus features to accompany this Blu-Ray release. Here’s a breakdown of what’s included:
- The Science of Interstellar- Running over 50 minutes in length, this fascinating documentary delves deep into the actual science and space exploration behind the concepts explored in Interstellar. From Einstein’s theories of space time to traveling via wormhole and humanity’s future on other planets to the probability of dust storms as toxins, there is an endless array of material that will engross viewers that loved the film as much as I did. Matthew McConaughey’s narration fits well here, and we’re presented with a fantastic crash course in space time, physics, and humanity’s theorized future on Earth. Brilliant!
- Inside Interstellar- 14 different featurettes are provided here, each diving deeper into select aspects of the filmmaking process. The total runtime for all of these segments is over 1 ½ hours! Segments include Plotting an Interstellar Journey, Life on Cooper’s Farm, The Dust, Tars and Case, The Cosmic Sounds of Interstellar, The Space Suits, The Endurance, Shooting in Iceland: Miller’s Planet/Mann’s Planet, The Ranger and the Lander, Miniatures in Space, The Simulation of Zero-G, Celestial Landmarks, Across All Dimensions and Time, and Final Thoughts. I especially enjoyed the featurettes on designing the space suits, using actual dust to create the dust storms seen in the film (as opposed to CGI), and the celestial landmarks segment. I’m having a hard time thinking of a recent Blu-Ray release with this much bonus content to peruse! It’s simply incredible, and fans of the film are going to really appreciate knowing the ins and outs of the filmmaking process from team Nolan.
- Trailers- The teaser trailer, along with three theatrical trailers are presented in High Definition as separate playable features.
As you can see from the “Unboxing” pictures below, this Blu-Ray combo pack edition from Paramount Home Entertainment features one of several pieces of artwork from the theatrical promotion campaign. The image of Cooper against the desolate frozen landscape of Dr. Mann’s planet is a captivating one. On the back of the packaging you’ll find a plot synopsis, a list of bonus features, and technical specifications for the discs. Inside of the case are a Blu-Ray for the feature a film, a Blu-Ray for the bonus material, and a DVD for the film. There is also an insert featuring the Ultraviolet HD digital copy code as well as a unique 70MM IMAX film cell for collectors. It’s important to note that there are several retailer exclusives for this release available, including a Best Buy version with more bonus material, a Target steelbook release, and a Walmart NEO-PACK edition (similar to Warner’s Diamond Luxe series).
Interstellar is a captivating cinematic journey through our universe that showcases the courage and determination of the human spirit. I do believe that Christopher Nolan has crafted a masterpiece of a film that will be discussed and dissected for years to come. Few movies over the past decade have moved me as deeply as this one folks, and I hope you walk away inspired. The Blu-Ray release from Paramount Home Entertainment is utterly fantastic, and will likely make many critics (including my own) Top Ten Blu-Ray’s of 2015 list at the end of the year. The video and audio quality is demo-disc material, showcasing true clarity and beautiful scenery with a sound design that completely envelops the viewer. The bonus features are outstanding as well, with hours upon hours of bonus material to peruse for fans of this masterpiece. Interstellar is an exceptional film with an exceptional Blu-Ray release, and receives my highest recommendation.
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