In the not so distant future, Earth has another serious problem to add to its list of serious problems: something called “blight,” which destroys crops and changes the atmosphere.  Within 20 to 40 years, people will starve, and the few who are lucky enough to survive will suffocate.  Ouch.  That’s like the movie “Spartacus” where the slaves who survived the battles against the Roman empire were crucified.

Things aren’t hopeless for our fictional descendants in the movie “Interstellar,” because NASA has secretly developed a plan to send astronauts through a wormhole (a shortcut in space) to seek out habitable worlds.  3 signals have come back — signifying viable worlds — and NASA will need to send a team of astronauts to these signals to rescue the original astronauts and confirm that the new worlds can sustain human life.

Enter Matthew McConaughey, former NASA astronaut/pilot who is chosen to fly the rescue/confirmation team to their destinations.   It’s a job that gives him mixed emotions, as he loves flying and exploring; but he will have to leave his children with the strong possibility of never coming back.   McConaughey’s leaving is especially difficult for his daughter, played by Mackenzie Foy, an extremely talented, young actor.  Earth’s time of being a bounty to its inhabitants is fast dwindling, and McConaughey is going for the slim chance of saving the people of Earth, and thereby saving his family.

One of my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when McConaughey is having a parent teacher conference, and he is told by Foy’s teacher that Foy got into a fight with a student because they were making fun of her reading an old textbook about space exploration, especially the part about the Apollo missions — you know, the trips to the moon and landing on the moon.  It seems the current teachings believe the moon landing was all a scam.   You should see the face on McConaughey when a teacher told him of this!  His eyes were popping out and his neck veins were bulging, and I could tell he was exercising every bit of self-control not to smack the teacher into the past.

Another memorable, movie moment of “Interstellar” is the scene when McConaughey and his team lands on a planet with very shallow water.  At a great distance, they see what appears to be mountains.   But quickly, those “mountains” come closer, threatening to destroy the ship and the astronauts in a few minutes.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Interstellar” is the scene when McConaughey is saying goodbye to his crying, angry daughter.  Nothing McConaughey says can console her.  An intelligent girl, Foy quickly discerns from what her father says to her that he has no idea when and if he will come back from his mission.  With no more time to stay, McConaughey leaves his daughter as he found her.  This may be their last moment together, and they parted with anger and guilt.

Don’t let the nearly 3 hour running time of this movie keep you from watching it.  “Interstellar” is a very good, sci/fi movie with enough action sequences full of suspense in the second and third acts to keep you guessing and wanting to know how it all ends.  Great acting, directing, writing…the movie deserved more financial success.

Before I go, here’s a couple of interesting things: a) Matt Damon gained so much weight I didn’t recognize him during the first minute his character shows up; b) the shots of the exterior of spaceships while in space is silent, to add to the realism (I believe it’s because there is no air in space, and without air, sound cannot travel).

— M