Featured In Issue 196, April/May 2015

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Some intense perilous action and brief strong language
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Christopher Nolan
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Interstellar takes place in the near future in which Earth has been devastated by drought and famine. Scarcity is prevalent due to extreme climate change. As humanity faces extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, providing the opportunity to extend life on Earth. But to do so, a group of explorers must travel beyond Earth's solar system in search of a planet that can sustain human life. Ex-pilot-turned-farmer Cooper (McConaughey) leaves his family to lead the interstellar expedition into the unknown to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. During the expedition, Coop must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the extended cut of the broadcast special The Science Of Interstellar (HD 50:20); 14 featurettes: Plotting An Interstellar Journey (HD 07:39), Life On Cooper's Farm (HD 09:43), The Dust (HD 02:38), Tars And Case (HD 09:27), Cosmic Sounds (HD 13:40), The Space Suits (HD 04:31), The Endurance (HD 09:24), Shooting In Iceland: Miller's Planet/Mann's Planet (HD 12:42), The Ranger And The Lander (HD 12:20), Miniatures In Space (HD 05;29), The Simulation Of Zero-G (HD 05:31), Celestial Landmarks (HD 13:22), Across All Dimensions And Time (HD 09:02), and Final Thoughts (HD 06:02); theatrical trailers; and an UltraViolet digital copy. (Gary Reber)

The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed in Panavision with some scenes shot in VistaVision in the 1.44:1 aspect ratio. The film was released in a blown-up IMAX 70-mm 2.20:1 aspect ratio version as well. The Blu-ray version frames the IMAX segments in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio; otherwise, the frame is 2.39: 1. The transitions are unconsciously experienced, as they are well integrated with the storytelling and the visuals. The imagery itself projects realism throughout. The breathtaking filmmaking received the Academy Award® for Best Visual Effects. The contrast between the earthly farm segments, the claustrophobic space capsule interior, and the interstellar space environments is dramatic. The color palette is naturally hued, as exhibited in fleshtones (though, at times flushed toward red), earthtones, and imagined space settings. The color images of corn fields, faded vehicle hues, and even a bright American flag are highlights. Black levels are good, and at times deeply black, and shadow delineation is excellent as well. Resolution is excellent throughout, with fine detail exhibited in facial features, hair, clothing, and space suits, and object textures within and out of the space vessel. The imagery is spectacular and well integrated into the space of the storytelling. This is an impressively engaging cinematic experience that is mesmerizing. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is absolutely fantastic, and one can only imagine what a 7.1 or Immersive Sound version would be to experience. The soundtrack is perplexed by exceptional dynamics not normally encountered in a soundtrack. Hans Zimmer's orchestral score is barely apparent at times then builds to a full-blown powerful energy that consumes the soundtrack with deep bass and organ crescendos. The music's spread is wide and deep, with an aggressive surround presence that envelops the soundfield. Space perspectives are absolutely silent without the music, while the earth and interior spacecraft environments are presented with nuanced and powerful atmospherics and sound effects. Bass extension in the .1 LFE is extreme, extending to sub-25 Hz frequencies, yet never sounds unnaturally overpowering. Dust storms, as well as spaceship blasts, are finely evolved. Foley effects are impressive. Dialogue is intelligible and realistic, such as spoken within a space helmet, but due to the extreme dynamics, attention must be paid during the quieter moments. The soundtrack is an impressive holosonic® experience that aggressively engages the complete soundfield with dynamic energy, directionality, and excellent fidelity. This is a brilliantly executed reference soundtrack that will impress with its astonishing dynamics and sound design. (Gary Reber)