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Interstellar/Rated PG-13 for language and sci-fi violence and one fight.

Last year’s best picture, despite what the Oscars proclaimed, was Gravity. This year gravity is back, but as an important part of the movie Interstellar. Last year’s Best Actor winner, Matthew McConaughey, has a great back up cast in Interstellar, including several vets, at least one of which has won a Best Actress award. Interstellar runs 169 minutes – close to three hours – and cost $165 million dollars to produce. Is it worth a million bucks a minute? Studios will be keeping a close eye on the opening weekend box office to know if a long journey is ahead to get their money back.

Speaking of long journeys, Interstellar is the longest ever. Not just in film length, but in distance traveled. The film is about Earth, 100 years in the future. The first thing you’ll notice is that today’s cars and pick-up trucks are still in use. This means that we Earthlings are doing something right. But other than our cars, we’ve mucked things up for the future.

All the food is dead except corn. But the good news is, there’s lots of it, not just on screen in Interstellar, but also at the theatre snack bar. The price has dropped from $6.75 for a small bag to “Free, please, take all you want.”

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It seems that dust storms have destroyed the food supply. For people who remember the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, this isn’t far-fetched. The dust clouds stop Little League games by the second inning. Dinner tables look like the Mojave Desert. Dust everywhere. MM plays an engineer and former astronaut. His 13 year-old daughter, Murph, thinks there’s a ghost in her bedroom because of the dust and things falling off shelves. Things move along slowly as people try to live life while running Dustbusters 24/7.

Then comes the big revelation: Mankind is doomed because now, even the corn is dying. Humanity must escape to another galaxy to live. This isn’t going to be easy. Why? Because of gravity.

Soon MM is on a spaceship with other astronauts in a search for astronauts who might have made it to another galaxy alive and discovered a new home for mankind. By now the theaters are paying people to take a bag of popcorn with their $85 small soda drink.

With the huge budget, the special effects are spectacular – at least when you can see them through all the dust. Unfortunately Hans Zimmer’s score is so badly mixed and loud, that it buries the visuals and interferes with telling the story. For example, in a death scene, a dying man faintly speaks his last words. You want to hear them, but the ominous organ music is cranked up to such an incredible volume, you wonder if the producers will also blow some actual dust into the theater so you can’t see what is going on, as well as being unable to hear it.

This film borrows heavily from a whole host of its predecessors. To name them all would give away the story. However here are the years several of them came out: 1968, 1984, 1997 and 2000. There are lots of others but you don’t need to read a longer string than that. It might give something away.

In the final analysis, Interstellar finishes with a family soap opera, turns down the music and shows off the space travel effects. In other words, it’s not a bad movie. But as soon as I got home, I took another shower. To wash off the dust.

Rated 3.0 out of 4.0 reasons they could have learned a lesson from the title of one of the films from which they picked up ideas: Silent Running (1972)

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