Last week was a big one: both Interstellar and Big Hero 6 on the same day. This week: not so much. I was on vacation last week but have since seen both movies and found them worthy of talking about, so… double review time!
In a last-ditch attempt to escape a dying earth, an ex shuttle pilot leads a mission through a wormhole to find a suitable colony world.
Big Hero 6
A teenage robotics genius teams up with his dead brother’s friends and a health care robot to bring down the villain who ruined his life.
You really can’t go wrong with either as long as you’re in the target audience. Those who don’t like science might be bored by three whole hours of Interstellar‘s space rambling while grown-ups who don’t retain much of their inner child might find the bombastic action of Big Hero 6 silly and forgettable.
In Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a single dad who used to be a shuttle pilot but became a farmer (along with everyone else) once climate change destroyed food security and turned everyone away from space exploration. Along with his father-in-law Donald (John Lithgow) he’s raising Tom (Timothée Chalamet), an unambitious teen destined to take over their Dust Bowl farm, and Murph (Mackenzie Foy), a ten-year-old genius.
See kids, this is what Dad used to do before he became boring.
Murph’s haunted bookcase (yes, really) leads them to a secret NASA facility where Professor Brand (Michael Caine) and his daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway) are prepping for a mission to save the world. You see, a mysterious wormhole opened up in the solar system that allowed them to send teams to a series of potentially habitable planets in another system, and now they need to go pick those guys up and choose a planet. They want Cooper to lead the mission, but he’s reluctant to leave his kids behind.
Ha ha! So long, little f***ers! This is amazeballs!
Relativity being what it is, Murph grows into Jessica Chastain while Cooper is away. Murph and the Professor work to make it possible to overcome gravity and take everyone into space while Cooper, Amelia, Doyle (Wes Bentley), Romilly (David Gyasi) and a sarcastic robot-wall named TARS (Bill Irwin) have awesome adventures on alien planets.
Okay everyone, spread out and try not to think too hard
about why this entire patch of ocean might be ankle deep.
Interstellar is part 2001 (though more like 2010 because 2001 was BORING) and part Gravity, with scenes tense enough to take your breath away interspersed with jaw-dropping high definition space scenery and science brain-twisters. It’s like the movie version of reading a Jack McDevitt book. Indeed, if it wasn’t for Matthew McSmarmyface, Matt Damon, and magic bookcases, it might have been my favorite movie of the year.
And now, Big Hero 6.
Big Hero 6 starts out with Obligatory Tragedy, but overdone. Fourteen-year-old robotics genius Hiro (Ryan Potter) doesn’t just have Dead Parents. He also has Dead Brother by the time the movie’s opening act is finished. Big brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) convinces hustler Hiro to apply to university, but Hiro’s application project, a series of tiny robots that can assemble according to telepathic instructions from the operator, is stolen in a fire that also kills his brother.
To be fair, the villainous potential for Green Lantern robots was high.
Luckily Tadashi leaves Hiro his university project, Baymax (Scott Adsit), an adorable inflatable medical robot with a compulsion to heal Hiro’s pain, and his four oddly nicknamed school friends: Fred (T.J. Miller), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez).
Who are like 25 and for some reason want to be friends with a 14-year-old.
Hiro decides that the best way to heal his pain is to make everyone super suits based on their science talents (chemistry, lasers, roller derby, and… fandom?) and turn Baymax into a rocket-powered revenge machine that will hunt down his brother’s murderer. Together they’re Big Hero 6, though they don’t explain that until the end of the movie. Hiro’s suit doesn’t do anything other than stick to Baymax, but when you have a flying, rocket-fisted karate robot at your command, you probably don’t need anything else.
I want one.
Big Hero 6 is a mishmash of Japanese and American elements. Despite its resemblance to a manga, it’s actually based on a Marvel comic. It’s set in the city of San Fransokyo, which terrain-wise is San Francisco but has architectural elements more similar to Tokyo. It’s cool, but obviously the best part of the movie is Baymax, especially when he’s low on batteries and sounds like he’s drunk.
BAYMAX: Hairy baby…
I also shed a little tear for Feast, the accompanying short film that tells the story of a slobby single guy falling in love and having kids from the perspective of his dog, whose happiness is dependant on his access to table scraps.
This dog should weigh 300 lbs
So go see them both! And Mockingjay Part 1, when it comes out. I’ll be busy all that weekend with mine and my mom’s birthdays, but you don’t need a review to tell you it’s going to be awesome.