Thursday, November 27, 2014

Let's make some Justice Leagues, part 6

(Continued from part 5)

            The Justice League is a gathering of the top skills in the DC Universe, brought together to face things ranging from psychos out of Gotham City, Giant Robots from Metropolis, Mythic creatures like Cyclopes and Minotaurs, and Aliens with complex politics and strange ways.  But sometimes stuff gets really weird and suddenly you need access to a witch, wizard, warlock, demon, or angel to help plug up the gate to hell that has just opened.  Who are the best candidates for this roll?  I am going to introduce a lot of characters I imagine most people have never heard of.  Welcome to the world of the mystic.

5) The Mystic
            This character exists to hit on the occult side of magic.  While a character like Wonder Woman fights gods and monsters from mythology these guys fight demons, witches, vampires, and the like.  While there are dozens of these types of characters (though which ones exist in the 52 universe is anyone's guess), I think the obvious candidates would be Jason Blood, Zatanna, Zauriel, Raven, and Doctor Fate.
            Jason Blood was a knight of the Round Table (this is his origin story told during the cold open of an episode of "Justice League") and betrayed King Arthur for the love of a demonic woman who then killed him with a venomous kiss.  The Wizard Merlin was so hurt by the betrayal that he decided death was too good for the treacherous twit and bound Jason's soul to Etrigan the Rhyming Demon (though his rhyming is rarely played up outside of comics, it's hard to fit the rhythm of it into a fight scene, when it works though it really works).  This binding brought Jason back to life and made him immortal, he also has the unfortunate moral question of having to turn into the demon in order to try and fight greater evils, but since Etrigan is hard to control this is a gamble.  He is a frequent ally of Batman and has been on a Justice League before under the leadership of Nightwing.  "Gone, Gone, The Form of Man, Rise the Demon, Etrigan!"

Etrigan has tried and failed to conquer hell before.
            Zatanna is on the current Justice League Dark and has a long standing history of being in the Justice League, appearing as part of Batman's various love interests, and generally being a cool character.  Her gimmick, that she says words backwards in order to cast a spell really only works in a comic book, as reading the backwards speak can allow you to decipher what it is she is saying, "srewolf otni nrut snug" becomes "guns turn into flowers", but in my opinion it doesn't work in cartoons or audio because you could literally put any gibberish in there, and there would be no way to check the work.  Either way she is a strong character to be in there.  (She was also featured as a main character in the "Young Justice" Cartoon).

Much Like Power Girl, Zatanna's costume is sexy to the point of overshadowing her as a character,
but she is a good character.
            Zauriel is an angel that fell to Earth in order to date a woman he fell in love with, he also helped the Justice League stop an invasion of Earth by a legion of rogue angels who were preparing to pull a coup de tat on God.  Those angels failed to defeat the Justice League and Zauriel joined the team specifically to be the team's adviser in occult matters.  And when atomic war threatened to end Earth he called on the army of angels in heaven to stop the annihilation of human kind.  Zauriel has some things on his side, aside from being a romantic noble character with a an interesting look and a sort of distinct place in DC as the most Christian of all the characters.  He also has the distinction of being invented by my favorite comic writer, Grant Morrison.

He looks like the cover of an 80's rock album.
            Raven, being one of the core members of the "Teen Titans" hardly needs an introduction.  she is the half demon daughter of Trigon, one of the biggest bads in the DC universe.  Her powers manifest as a telekinetic shadow that she can shape like a Green Lantern construct, use to enter the neither world, or teleport around terra firma.  Her powers are controlled by emotion so she is constantly using meditation to keep them in check against her thinly veiled demonic rage which could crack the world.  She is a great kill-joy character and adds a unique character trait to a group she is on: sullen-for-a-good-reason. "Azarath Metrion...ZINTHOS!"

Also a character made famous by a well done cartoon, "Teen Titans".
            Then there is Doctor Fate, a character I both love and hate.  What and who he is varies based on what version of DC you are in, sometimes he is a spirit that lives in a helmet and takes over the mind of whomever dons the helmet, in other continuities the helmet is merely a tool that can be worn by any magic user of capable enough skill and allows them to access the knowledge and spell casting power of all those who have worn it.  Either way works for story reasons and since the helmet is more the character than anything else you could give it to a new character, hell finding a new Doctor Fate could be the first mission for the team allowing them to fight the numerous bad guys who want the helmet for their own use (or to put in a concrete box somewhere so they won't have to deal with Fate ever again).

I also think this is one of those slots that should be filled by a minority woman.
Cause there are not a lot of them doing stuff in DC.
            There is another guy, John Constantine.  He has appeared in live action mainstream TV and could be considered one of the most prominent characters in circulation, like Green Arrow and Flash.  In my opinion I was shocked they brought him into this universe.  His stories are more dialogue focused and I could more easily see him and Swamp Thing teaming up to call Neil Gainman's Dream an emo.  Rather than be on or lead a team with superheroes.  Then again, Justice League Dark never appealed to me, maybe his could be great, but I think that everything he does can be done by Jason Blood  who I am also not picking.

A guy who references felching shouldn't be in mainstream comics (IMHO).
            If I were to make a final decision, Zatanna, Raven, and a new Doctor Fate would be who I would go for.

(Continued in part 7)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Let's make some Justice Leagues, part 5

(Continued from part 4)

            Now that I have talked about the big three of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, I will continue into the other typical slots for the Justice League, and one of the big traditional parts of the group has been the inclusion of a Green Lantern, a space cop with a magic ring that can create green force fields in the shape of anything the wearer can think of.  They are chosen for their great willpower (courage) and are pretty cool in their own right, because rings of power are awesome.  Especially when colorful and worn to fight evil aliens.

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!!!

4) The Lanterns
            This is pretty easy, Earth has 5 Green Lanterns just pick 3 of them.  And let me bring up this gripe: Can we get a girl in this category?  Why is there no female Green Lantern?  And Aliens do not count.  Whatever.
            I find the latest addition to the ranks, Simon Baz to be 'meh'.  I have yet to really dive into his stories having heard that he was some kind framed for a crime and is now trying to clear his name... Which I would just show everyone that I have a Green Lantern ring and say something to the effect of, "I am gonna go play Captain Kirk, you all can stew in your Earthly bullshit while I bang beautiful blue skinned women out among the stars while kicking space pirates in the teeth with a magic force field.  PEACE."  But since Simon is a dipshit he decides to hang out on Earth for... Reasons.  His mask looks really stupid, and the fact that he carries a handgun is also stupid.  That being said he should probably be on team just to give him some time and space to develop in relation to other heroes.  I want to give him a fair shake, and a chance to not wear a stupid mask and carry a gun that would be meaningless to the sorts of alien monsters he fights with his magic ring.

I actually cited this guy's design as one of the big issues I take with New 52.  That being said, maybe he can be fixed.
            An obvious pick is Jon Stewart, who is popular from the "Justice League" cartoon that was on thru the 2000's.  I would go so far as to say that more people know of him as the Green Lantern than any of the others because of his involvement with the series.  While the comic iteration is very different and responsible for some of the worst decisions any superhero has ever made including the complete destruction of a planet (on two occasions) he shows remorse and aspires to be a better person, he illustrates some of the harsher personality types that get Green Lantern rings, will full to do good, but also hard headed and prone to catastrophic failure when that hard headedness picks the wrong plan to go forward with.  John has his own fan base, and is a good pick to be an icon of the DC Universe.

He is also a Marine, making him one of the very few superheroes with a military background.
            Now to pick between the other three: Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, and Guy Gardener.  Kyle, being my favorite should be the shoe in, as he is a young artistic character that started at the bottom of the hero latter, getting recruited in a back alley while his buddy was 10 feet away puking.  Kyle attained godhood and then used that power to remake the Green Lanterns and then joined back up as a rank and file member designated "Torchbearer" to mark his importance to the rest for his service... unfortunately DC turned Kyle into some kind of rainbow god, like he just unlocked the Elements of Harmony, so even though he was the last and greatest Lantern of the universe for decades, and was the only Lantern for a generation of readers (myself included) he is now kind of out of play for being too epic.

He actually had several uniforms while in service, aside from the wide mask his costume is most in flux.
Kyle is most known for his elaborate constructs.  The character was an artist and that allowed the writers and creators of the comic to justify massive and elaborate things from giant gorillas, to teddy bears, sumo wrestlers, power armor... it made the stories a lot of fun to read, and I imagine very fun to work on.  To see some examples, follow this link.
            On the other end of the scale is Guy, a hard drinking, thick skulled, and comically dickish character that is a hell ton of fun to have on any team because he adds to the dynamic, rather than filling a role.  He countermands orders, he questions authority, and he gets shit DONE.  He was a big wheel in the last season of "Batman: Brave and the Bold" and is mostly seen as the dirty cop who does the jobs no one else will take by the Guardians (the leaders of the Lantern Corp) so it tickles me to think of guy getting stuck on Earth while the other choice, Hal Jordan (one of the most boring characters in DC) is off in space trying to do... stuff, mostly politics involving the various other Lanterns, the Reach, and other space crap that no casual reader could ever hope to keep up with.

He especially doesn't get along with... Everyone...
            So we have Jon Stewart, Simon Baz, and Guy Gardener (who I like to think was sent to Earth by the Guardians with a note saying, "We hope he doesn't fuck anything up too much"). 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Let's make some Justice Leagues, part 4

(Continued from part 3)

            As discussed before there will be 3 teams, based around the "Truth, Justice, and the American Way (Liberty)" tagline used for Superman (and by extension the DC universe as a whole).  Since Wonder Woman has a lasso of Truth, she will lead the Truth Team.  Batman is always banging on about Justice, so he will lead the Justice Team.  Superman will be taking Liberty Team, because that is actually what fits him the best.  So each will lead their own team, but will need members to fill in for the others, Batman might need a flying super strong alien or a hero familiar with the magic of the Greek gods for instance, and Wonder Woman might need a ninja detective.  So we will need to grab characters that can fill these heroes roles and work well with others.  Today is the role of Wonder Woman.

I am actually not the biggest fan of this character, but I know that she is an important part of the mythos, and has a lot of appeal to a very wide audience.
3) The Wonder Women (Leader of Team Truth)
            This one I actually feel is less about the "Woman" part and more about the connection to mythic aspects, you know, the "Wonder".  To that end I think that Billy and Mary Batson, or as they are known Captain Marvel and his sister Mary Marvel should fill the role of super strong magical person who has access to Greek gods.  (I wrote a long blog explaining who the character was a couple years ago before he underwent a make-over for New 52.  There is also a video by internet personality, Moviebob on the topic).

He is probably the best metaphor for superheroes in existence.
            For those who do not know, Billy Batson was an orphan who was summon to the mythical Rock of Eternity by the Wizard SHAZAM, and given the ability to transform into the mightiest of mortals whenever he cried out the name of the wizard.  He later discovered his long lost sister Mary and she too managed to gain the power of the wizard (along with a whole cast of characters).  He is most notable for at one time being the best selling super hero in the world to the point his company was sued by DC because he looked too much like Superman (I even listed him as a Superman knock off above).  But really he is not all that like Superman in my opinion aside from design, and to be clear, cape and tights was pretty common at the time, and flight and super strength are so common that it is a running joke in the comic "PS238" (I consider "PS 238" to be a must read, the characters are rich and fun to read, almost all of it is online and hard bound versions are available for the collector, please do read it).

Mary is consistently one of the most fun characters around, and when she and the rest of the Marvel Family (a pantheon of Children and Teens) appeared in costume in the New 52 it was one of the coolest turns a story has taken so far in New 52.
            The Marvels connection to a broader mythic universe much like the Island of the Amazons for Wonder Woman is what matters.  There is another possibility if you wanted to play up the Woman aspect of this category, Power Girl, but she is not mythic, and does not exist in New 52 in the same way she did in the old universe, having replaced her keen scientific and business skills with... using her sexuality to seduce Mr. Terrific to steal tech from him; which is probably the most damn argument against the New 52 as they turned a fun and sexy super heroine into one that was more conservatively dressed, but acted like a floozy.

Shockingly, in spite of her costume being far more conservative, her character is much thinner and shit.
This iteration from the 2000's is a fantastic character.  Smart, funny, and with the wisdom of a leader.  Her comic was full of fun and adventure and strange space age concepts.  I am sad that she no longer exists.
            There is also Donna Troy, who used to be Wonder Girl and became a super heroine in her own right, she has Wonder Woman's powers, with a magic lasso that gives her mind control rather than truth powers.  Unfortunately like Power Girl her place in the New 52 is uncertain, she is alluded to but has made no appearance, even though she would have worked a lot better in some recent stories than other characters.

Goodbye other cool character.  I am sorry that the world seems to not long for your type.

(Continued in Part 5)


Monday, November 24, 2014

Let's make some Justice Leagues, part 3

(Continued from part 2)

            As discussed before there will be 3 teams, based around the "Truth, Justice, and the American Way (Liberty)" tagline used for Superman (and by extension the DC universe as a whole).  Since Wonder Woman has a lasso of Truth, she will lead the Truth Team.  Batman is always banging on about Justice, so he will lead the Justice Team.  Superman will be taking Liberty Team, because that is actually what fits him the best.  So each will lead their own team, but will need members to fill in for the others, Batman might need a flying super strong alien or a hero familiar with the magic of the Greek gods for instance, and Wonder Woman might need a ninja detective.  So we will need to grab characters that can fill these heroes roles and work well with others.  Today is the role of Batman.

You all know who this is.
2) The Batmen (Leader of Team Justice)
            Batman actually has dozens of Batmen operating all over the world as part of his private security company "Batman Inc" and most would be worthy candidates, but I think there are two that are ahead of the pack for becoming members of the Justice League alongside Bruce Wayne.  Nightwing, the original Robin who is arguably the coolest and most fun character in DC (and aside from Gambit is considered to be one of the most attractive comic book characters to straight females and gay men), the other is Batwoman, who I am partial to because of her involvement in "52" my favorite comic ever, and that she does well sustaining her own comic line just like Nightwing.

If there is an abdominal workout, I am sure he has mastered it.
Why they both have red outfits currently is anyone's guess.
            This is an easier category to solve.  The only objection people might have is that Batwoman is not Batgirl, Barbara Gordon.  Why did I leave out the most iconic woman to ever dress like Batman?  Because until the start of New 52 Barbara was a different hero, Oracle and was in a wheelchair.  Barbara was one of the few superheroes in DC comics that had a significant disability but still used her skills and knowledge to help people.  Oracle was a member of the Justice League in the late 90's and early 2000' and operated her own super team called the Birds of Prey; most notably she appeared in the Arkham video games.  In my opinion, Oracle is her most iconic role in the DC universe.  This regression is one of the bigger issues I had with the New 52 universe.  I don't want her to be Batgirl, So I am not going to put her on a Justice League.

Yes, I was shot in the spine by the Joker.  Now I manage my own superhero team.

Her being returned to active duty smacks again of Geoff Johns'-esc rebooting for no good reason.
(Continued in Part 4)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Let's make some Justice Leagues, part 2

(Continued from part 1)

            As discussed before there will be 3 teams, based around the "Truth, Justice, and the American Way (Liberty)" tagline used for Superman (and by extension the DC universe as a whole).  Since Wonder Woman has a lasso of Truth, she will lead the Truth Team.  Batman is always banging on about Justice, so he will lead the Justice Team.  Superman will be taking Liberty Team, because that is actually what fits him the best.  So each will lead their own team, but will need members to fill in for the others, Batman might need a flying super strong alien or a hero familiar with the magic of the Greek gods for instance, and Wonder Woman might need a ninja detective.  So we will need to grab characters that can fill these heroes roles and work well with others.  Today is the role of Superman.

1) The Supermen.
            Superman is one of the most copied characters in fiction, I can name 8-9 versions of the character off the top of my head (Sentry, Omni Man, Apollo, Gladiator, Mr. Majestic, Icon, Captain Marvel, Blue Marvel, Hyperion, Centurion, Samaritan, and arguably Thor and Martian Manhunter... 13) but since we already have Superman himself for a team now we just need 2 more.  So lets look at the 13 I picked and knock out any not from DC leaving us with Apollo, Icon, and Martian Manhunter.

In the New 52 universe Superman is much younger and more alienated from the rest of the world.
            Icon is an alien that fell to Earth back in the 1600's as was transformed to look like a human so as to pass in the world, he is virtually immortal and lived his life as a normal person until he was discovered to have powers by his current sidekick, Rocket, and convinced to be a hero.  He was also featured in the "Young Justice" cartoon show, which I love.

He was created by one of my favorite writers of comics, Dwayne McDuffie,
            Apollo is a genetic super being powered by the sun and was part of the "WildStorm" comics company and is not really tied into the regular DC universe.  His biggest feature was in a book called "The Authority" in which he killed super villains by the bus load and married his long term boyfriend Midnighter (who is himself a much more violent interpretation of Batman).

He would add some diversity in that he is a married gay man.  But since he uses lethal force regularly, he is not a good fit.
            Martian Manhunter was the last of the Martians, formally their societies version of a police officer he was brought to Earth by a scientist who was studying teleportation.  He is a shapeshifter, so J'onn J'ozz took on human form of John Jones and became a police officer on Earth.

He was a main character of the "Justice League" cartoon from a decade ago and was featured on "Young Justice".
            I think the best pick for this group should all be aliens because it opens up the story telling to include more extra-Earth threats, and allows for more general alien weirdness (though the New 52 has tried hard to make things very bland).  Icon, Martian Manhunter, and Superman are the 3.  Apollo will have to resign himself to the team he is already on, Stormwatch.

(Continued in part 3)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let's make some Justice Leagues, part 1

            Currently DC comics (which I remind you, the 'C' in DC stands for 'Comics') is in a bit of twist.  about 3 years ago they decided to do a bold reinvention of their old line of comics to bring them into the modern era, called "The New 52" drawing its name from my favorite comic series of all time "52", and is totally unrelated to that piece of art.
            In my opinion the New 52 was a terrible move.  It has done nothing to make DC more accessible.  It is a darker, edgier, more boring iteration of what had already been done.  With the exception of Batman and Green Lantern pretty much everyone was rest to their 60's self and vast amounts of history was confusingly rewritten.  Many characters I liked, Power Girl, Wally West, and the Justice Society were pushed out, and while there were some new takes on old idea "Demon Knights", "Dial H for Hero", and "Animal Man" all being good examples... I cannot emphasize enough how all of their stories could have been told without the New 52 rewrite of DC.  I dislike a lot of the costumes too.

I especially hate this idiot's mask and the fact that he carries around a gun.  He has a Green Lantern ring... and carries a gun.
            DC in many ways invented the classic and modern idea of a Superhero Team idea with the All Star Squadron/Justice Society in the 40's and Justice League in the 50's/60's.  The success of the later book spurred the editorial decision to create the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Avengers over at Marvel's house of ideas.  Currently in the New 52 universe there are 3 Justice Leagues, the classic which is made up of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and... Cyborg (because, and I am certain of this, they wanted a black character and due to the success of the Teen Titans cartoon he was the most known).  The other two teams are Justice League Canada, a publicity stunt by a secret organization so they could fight the main League should it ever come to it, and Justice League Dark, which as a lot of magical heroes and they fight magic things.  There was a 4th, Justice League International, but since it was about lesser known heroes, wasn't written by Geoff Johns (love him, really, but might be getting a bit too much of him), and JLI a lighter tone, so it got the ax after desperately trying to get attention by killing characters out of nowhere and failing to attain profundity for the cynical effort.

Also, for some stupid reason they spend agonizing amounts of time fighting each other rather than bad guys.
Cause... I don't know.
            I find this to be a strange mismanagement of the property, if you want multiple Leagues to serve as major titles for your books why not make them more deliberately and with less cynicism.  How would you do this?  I will show you.  The basic group should have 7 core members, any larger and characters will not have enough panels to tell their stories, or it becomes more of a FEATURING title which has a guest star show up each issue for an adventure (that title also already exists, it is called "The Brave and the Bold", and is now defunct for some reason).  The 7 members should try to capture a broad collection of skills, powers, and personalities.... What I am saying is, you need a Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman on each team, plus four others to round things out.

Truth, Liberty, and Justice.  They are the iconic characters of the universe, so we use them as such.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My thoughts on "Interstellar" (Spoilers-ish)

            In "Interstellar" aliens or highly evolved beings (think the Prophets from Star Trek) create a wormhole in our solar system to help humanity escape as ecological plague is destroying the Earth's ability to cultivate human life.  Using NASA's last hail Mary pass a crew sets out with an incubation system able to create hundreds of test tube babies on one of the worlds beyond the wormhole.  The movie is dense with character and motivation.  You see why these scientists need to go on what could be a suicide mission and I felt legitimately sad watching the hero, Cooper drive away from his home and family.

Also, I thought the score was great.
            In short it was great.  At no point did it feel its length, I was engaged throughout.  They dole out information in small enough bites that I never felt overwhelmed, while at the same time information is given out readily enough that I am never left questioning what is going on (this might be a side effect of having seen so many science fiction movies, read so many books, and so many comics, people less immersed in the genre might find the information coming too fast or not deep enough).  I have heard the exact same speech on how wormholes work in another movie ("Event Horizon") and as a kid watching "Star Trek Deep Space 9" I visualized how a wormhole would look to a human eye, envisioning tunnels, disks, cubes, and spheres.  I like science (especially astronomy) and "Interstellar" has lots of science.
            Much like "Man of Steel" there is an environmental message and a commentary on how the government lies to people to keep them from panicking, but that in turn only halts efforts to turn back the apocalypse.  I love that this movie has a sly sense of humor, lots of wisecracks especially from Case, one of the robots.  The robot's design is a really cool concept, maybe my favorite thing in the movie; an obvious homage to the Obelisk in "2001: A Space Odyssey" but able to unfold and move and communicate in such a way that makes them unique and full of character.  The fact that the robots are treated like members of the crew and people showing concern for them was great, serving to illustrate how to correct one of my biggest issues with "Prometheus" (which had a totally human android treated like dirt by crew members who acted less like scientists and more like impetuous asshole children).
            Scientists act like scientists, using rational thought to come to rational solutions, but at the same time they are people and they take actions out of love, madness, fear, or hope and rationalize them the best they can even if their actions are a huge danger to the mission.  I have heard people complain that the concept of capital 'L' Love being some kind of cosmic force that guides people is too irrational for a character like Anne Hathaway's, and that the idea is called back to in the climax betrays the hard science the movie is going for.  I disagree.
            Love is the explanation that is given, but as an audience member you don't have to accept it.  The aliens are time travelers, you can say that love is helping people navigate the time stream because love is so strongly keyed to memory, but at the same time the aliens could be responding to hormone levels that occur in a certain area.  Who knows?  Who cares?  It doesn't matter for the story it is just about a father trying to help his family live thru the apocalypse and in doing so becomes a ghost to them, vanishing from their lives when they felt all was lost.  But even if you take it as a canonical fact that Love is real and it is some kind of psychic force in the universe like gravity... Then that is just a sweet sentiment and the break with reality that makes this science fiction movie more fantastical in tone.  Why would that break the movie?  Doesn't for me.  (Not like there isn't precedence of love reaching across time, more if you include various movies I did not watch).
            The only real issues I had was two distracting choices in casting, Topher Grace shows up as a doctor in the third act, and Matt Damon as an astronaut with cabin fever who acts as the movies' second act complication/tension heightening device (like HAL in "2001").  Neither does a bad job with their roles, but seeing big name actors show up out of nowhere like that took me out of it a little.  But at the same time you need some big names because they are major characters in those sections of the movies, especially Damon's role (maybe we are supposed to act surprised to see Damon as the characters in the movie would feel a sense of awe at meeting a very heroic astronaut/scientist).  Not sure how to fix that complaint, but as I wrote the last sentence the issue bothers me less.

Kind of like Buzz Aldrin would be hugely recognizable to astronauts, Damon is recognizable to movie goers.
            People also seem to think "Interstellar" is too long, but like I said before it doesn't feel its length to me.  People complain that they explain too much, especially Matt Damon, but considering his character has been talking to himself for months and is a raving nut job I can't see an issue there either.  And this is a movie about explaining things.  What did you expect?  I think I will have to play the 'Robots in Pacific Rim' card, you have to accept certain things will happen in certain types of movies, you should have known that going into the theater.  Sure I heard a lot of it before (almost verbatim) but not everyone has, and imagine being a kid in the audience who has never heard a serious discussion on wormholes before, the last few "Star Trek" movies and shows were even less scientific than this movie.
            I also detect strange levels of vitriol directed at Christopher Nolan, who I find to be a fantastic filmmaker.  I haven't actively disliked any of his movies, and even his weakest ("The Dark Knight Rises") only failed for its ambition.  He has a distinct style, visuals, pacing, and dialogue scheme.  I found this movie to be a bit outside his comfort zone with the dynamics of parenthood which he only ever touched on in "Batman Begins" and as an afterthought in "The Prestige", but it is good to grow as an artist and he did.  Apparently "Interstellar" was originally intended as a Spielberg movie, and I can see it, but I am glad that they gave it over to Nolan, changed up the feel of what might have been too emotional a movie (Spielberg hits the parental issues a lot in his work.... almost all of it, "Minority Report", "Close Encounters", "War of the Worlds", "Jurassic Park", at least half of the Indiana Jones franchise, even in "Lincoln" there is a prevalent subplot about Lincoln's son)  This would have been another Spielberg science fiction movie, instead it is a broadening of Nolan's pallet.  That is good.
            I am actually liking the movie the more I think about it.  Yeah there is some stuff in there, like no one on the ship realizing how the time dilation would work on the first alien planet, but I write it off that they were experiencing tunnel vision because of the urgency of their mission.  Or the super nit picky: how in the world was that space craft able to go down to the surface of a world with such high gravity and then make it back to the ship?  Hell the extra gravity should have kept the landing gear from working, and landing in water would have caused them to sink into the ground unless they had exceptionally wide feet on the landing legs.  Escaping Earth's gravity is the big issue of the movie, let alone escaping the impossibly heavy gravity of tidal wave world.  Again: who cares?
            I also want to note this: it was better than "2001: A Space Odyssey".  "2001" is boring, soulless, and revels in its own dated special effects under the guise of letting the audience take it in.  While I respect the visuals (not really, the monkeys look fake even by the standards of the time, and the light tunnel to a nice apartment is lame) "Interstellar" has broader appeal, and is just as high minded without wasting my time staring at things.
            "Interstellar" is a movie.  It has a lot of science, a good bit of adventure, some high minded philosophizing about Love, and a very simple metaphor about how parents leave children behind and how those children grow into adults.