From The Mailbag: Tarantino and Interstellar

Here at Ruthless, we love to get mail, especially hate mail. If you think our writing sucks, our movie reviews are off base, or that our site is worthless, tell us about it. This guy doesn’t like Quentin Tarantino…or my review of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Often, I will issue a challenge for the person to send me some of their reviews or writings. More often than not, nothing comes of this, but sometimes we get a response. First, the opinion of Tarantino

(He’s) Great? He has never even made a good film. The stories are outrageously absurd, and the hamfisted direction can not overcome the pseudo tough guy dialogue that reads like it was written by someone who has lived his life through a video screen.

Every aspect of Inglourious Basterds is contrived, [Matt Cale disagrees] including Brad Pitt’s bizarre accent. The title proves he can’t spell any better than he can write or direct.

His descent into what he thinks is a Western is no better. In Django Unchained , he apparently believes a bounty hunter ( a profession which did not exist at the time) holds a death warrant for a wanted man, if the Poster indicates Wanted Dead or Alive. (The) Hateful 8 is an exercise in rash vulgarity, made by someone who likely never saw a Western.

J.W.

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Editor’s Note: I really disagree with this, especially about The Hateful Eight


Now, here is his review of the movie Interstellar, which was reviewed by Sarah and Devon Pack

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A better title for Interstellar might have been, By His Bootstraps. Or perhaps, Love Conquers All. If it does, but why must it take almost three hours to do it?

It opens with testimony by “witnesses”, reminiscent of the finger-in- the-eye-of-audiences in a previous overlong movie, Warren Beatty’s tedious Reds. This opening does not bode well for the future of what remains.

We begin, as science fiction stories do, on the family farm, some time in the future. Earth has finally had enough of us and is attempting to force us off planet, or kill us, whatever comes first. With support from the supernatural in the form of a ghost, which haunts the bedroom of a little girl named Murphy, the action begins. (The first names of Sally and Mary have seemingly been abandoned. A good guess is she was named by her deceased mother after Murphy Brown, in which Candice Bergen shouted her lines through every episode.)

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A pointless scene about an Indian surveillance drone which had lost its way precedes a parent teacher conference reveling the all too smart Murph is suspended for spouting the truth about the moon landings. It seems the conspiracy kooks have won.

Coop, Murphy’s dad a farmer and former NASA pilot is the lead character in this drama, played by Matthew McConaughey. The location of a secret NASA lab/office building/launching pad/space habitat are reveled to Coop and Murphy after dust storm when gravity waves toss books off the shelves. When he gets there he learns NASA has been looking for him to lead an expedition to the far reaches of the universe. Not only that, but the whole show is run by Coop’s old teacher!? Prof. Michael Caine, who is fond of reciting Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, apropos of nothing, until the old gent is on his deathbed, when it counts.

Coop’s mission to find humanity’s new home requires him to pilot a space ship through a wormhole to another galaxy to examine three “suitable planets”, all in one system! Boy, that is what you call luck! It appears the wormhole was placed out by the planet Saturn by the same guys who put the monolith on the moon in 2001. Placed there by highly evolved humans, descendants of the present day schulbs. Folks with godlike powers.

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Which begs the question: why the odyssey? Why not just open a door on Earth so people can step across into their new home? For anyone with the power to control black holes it would be a snap, crackle and and really big pop. Yeah. Without the odyssey there would be no circular story. In a interview with John Ford about the film Stagecoach, Ford was asked if the Indians wanted to stop the stage, why did they not just shoot the horses? Ford replied,”Because then the movie would be over”. So, the god/humans from the future did not simply open a yellow brick road to the new home on a prehuman Earth-like planet for the residents of the dying Earth, because then there would be no film. It is called being lost in the concept.

Coop takes the left seat in the Ranger lander which will explore the three worlds. It requires big, multistage boosters to escape Earth’s gravity (gravity is a big deal in this movie. Prof. Caine is working to solve the gravity equation in order to boost the NASA lab/office building/launching pad/space habitat into orbit around Saturn as a big surprise homecoming for Coop and his three partners (two are what in Star Trek would be Red Shirts. One is the requisite pretty girl who just happens to be Prof Caine’s daughter, the fetching Anne Hathaway) Escape from the visited planets require no booster for the Ranger lander, oddly enough. There is a lot of talk about fuel, but the Ranger has no room for fuel tanks (I guess you’re not supposed to think about that).

Coop’s really interesting traveling companion is a box shaped robot with a great sense of humor. A more efficient Robbie and a much friendlier HAL. Although his voice should have been futzed so as better tell his speech from humans. We might get a close-up of HAL when he was speaking, no such luck with this robot. His voice boomed out godlike from nowhere.

The Ranger lands on a couple of planets. It is puzzling why Coop didn’t look down from orbit to see the first was covered by water under an unbreathable atmosphere. Might have saved a lot of time and trouble. Time, yeah, because of relativity, the first landing costs Coop and pals 24 years Earthtime (only a couple of hours, Cooptime), One of his pals remains. Red Shirt One down.

Planet number 2 was an ice-cube with an atmosphere like bottled bleach. That world harbored the evil Matt Damon, the stand-in for HAL, although Matt couldn’t open the pod bay doors either. He is a deeply troubled scientist with issues. Pal number 2 buys the farm here. Red Shirt Two down, Matt’s handiwork. Where is Jason Bourne when you need him?

Coop is left with not enough food and pretty girl, pal number 3. He makes the sacrifice, sending the girl to the good planet 3, while he surfs a black hole, which takes him back home to the farmhouse where he sends the gravity solution to Murph in her bedroom via a wrist watch. The was done at the direction of the godlike human descendants speaking through a robot, replacing a burning bush. who could have saved a couple of hours along with thousands of feet of film by just emailing the gravity solution through a Apple watch.

After completing the mission Coop ends up orbiting Saturn and is saved by the guys who do that sort of thing. He learns the secret NASA lab/office building/launching pad/space habitat is in orbit around Saturn. The elderly Murph shows up and she and Coop have a death bed reunion. Sniff. Her advice, Anne is on humanity’s new home, waiting for you. Go find her. He does.

In space no one can hear you snore.

J.W.


About Goat

Goat is Retired. He does come out occasionally to help Erich and to write Christmas Reviews.