Film vs. Digital Presentation, where do I stand? In a movie theater I prefer seeing a movie that was shot on film. Those days are numbered. Sadly, what's gone completely is the sound of the projector . I miss it deeply. All the theaters in town have converted to digital projectors. Before the switch over one of my favorite theatrical activities was going to midnight showings of classic and or cult films. If a 35mm print of JAWS is playing at a theater near you, it's worth going! I hate nothing more than going to a midnight showing of say THE LOST BOYS and it turns out to be a DVD blown up on a big screen. Yeah, of course I don't have a theater size screen at home but DVD? Seriously? I can watch that at home, thank you very much.
Probably the worst experience to date with film vs. digital was a few months ago when I went to see a Duran Duran concert film at the theater. I know, I know you're probably thinking Duran Duran? Really Caleb? Hey, I liked them when I was a kid and plus the main draw for me was that the concert film was directed by David Lynch! Unfortunately when the movie started it was a blu-ray. The weird thing about it was that the concert was one of those via satellite performances. It was meant to be seen live. The lead singer even mentioned fans watching from movie theaters. So why are we watching it on a disc? I almost left to get my money back but was too lazy. Several others complained, mentioning they could have just watched this at home.
Now of course when it comes to watching movies at home I want the best presentation possible. Blu-ray all the way baby! If restored correctly a film can look just as good as it did theatrically. But the experience is not the same. It's hard to explain. I find it similar to the vinyl record vs. compact disc debate. They both sound good, but vinyl has a warmth to it that digital does not. The same with film, there's a (for lack of a better term) texture to it.
I remember seeing volume 2 of KILL BILL and there were “tricks” done with the print. Cigarette burns along with a beeping sound that complemented a reel change or splice in the film. All of that is non existent on home video.
Film will just always look better too. Digital almost made me stop the debate this year with the movie NIGHTCRAWLER. It looked so good that if it was indeed shot on a digital camera then I would stop being so hard on the format. But, what a shocker. NIGHTCRAWLER was shot on film.
Movies shot digitally tend to loose 35mm look if the filmmakers don't know what they are doing. Technology and technique are getting there, take Cinematographer Roger Deakins for example. He shot the latest James Bond film SKYFALL digitally, and the production looks like it was shot on 35mm. So it can be done, but Deakins is one of the best if not the best cinematographers working in Hollywood.
I think I've made my point. Time to move on.
So, this finally brings me to INTERSTELLAR in 70mm IMAX. Was it worth it? Yes, yes, a million times yes!
I really dig Christoper Nolan's directing style as of late. Location shooting, IMAX cameras, practical effects, and the art of miniatures. He is a epic filmmaker. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES may have it's problems but I love the movie because the scale of the movie is so huge. Everything about it feels grandiose. The same can be said for his new film INTERSTELLAR.
In the not so distant future, Earth is becoming a dust planet. The only sustainable crop/food source is corn. That's about to die off soon because nitrogen levels are increasing. So not only will humans starve to death they will eventually suffocate as well.
We meet Cooper, a farmer and father of two. He also just so happens to be an awesome pilot. After discovering some strange coordinates Cooper and his daughter Murph go see where they lead. Their discovery is quite cool, they find NASA working underground. For who knows how long NASA has been planing a mission to find another planet.
Cooper makes the tough decision to leave his kids and join the expedition to find a new home for the human race. Plan A, find a new planet in enough time that the people of Earth and travel to it and be saved. Or plan B, find a planet and populate it with test tube babies. Can Cooper and the team of scientists find the human race a new home in time? Or is time against them? More importantly, space time.
What lies ahead is a pretty epic space adventure. Just let the journey take you. There is something for everyone here. Science nerds will be pleased for the most part. At moments INTERSTELLAR gets knee deep in theories, gravity, black holes, and all that cool stuff. Philosophy isn't left out either. Characters get into discussions about good and evil in the cosmos and if love, if the power of love can factor in it at all. Second to the visuals, these discussions were my favorite thing about the movie.
My only gripe with the film was some pacing issues here and there. A lot of cutting back and forth during a pretty suspenseful and crucial moment. Cooper and his crew hit a major snag and time is of the essence, bet we cut to people back on Earth coughing up dust? That stuff is important but could have been edited somewhere else. The technique worked in INCEPTION, but here I just found it to be a major distraction.
So final thoughts, INTERSTELLAR is the movie event of 2014. Go see it and see it BIG!