Interstellar appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc – most of the time. The filmmakers shot about 40 percent of the movie with IMAX cameras, and that used a ratio around 1.43:1. For those scenes, the 4K UHD expands to 1.78:1; it’s not the full IMAX image, of course, but it’s closer than 2.35:1.
Unsurprisingly, the IMAX shots fared best, as they looked simply amazing. The 2.35:1 material also fared well, so don’t expect notable degradation, but you should anticipate improvements for the IMAX material.
This meant impeccable sharpness throughout the movie. At no time did any softness interfere, as all shots seemed tight and concise.
Shimmering and jaggies remained absent, and I noticed no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.
In terms of colors, Interstellar tended toward a teal and orange feel. These tints seemed fairly gentle, though, so they didn’t overwhelm. A lot of white came through as well during space shots and on other planets, and overall, the colors appeared well-rendered.
Blacks were deep and rich, and low-light shots were fine. A few low-light shots offered a smidgen of thickness, but that stemmed from the source. Overall, this became an outstanding visual presentation.
Expect equal pleasures from the amazing DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Interstellar, as it used the channels in a dynamic manner. The film created a sense of location and action that involved us well, with material that seemed well-placed and engaging.
This proved true for scenes quiet and loud. During softer sequences, the track still put information in the speakers to create a good feel for the environment.
Louder sequences went hog-wild, as they immersed us in the action to a terrific degree. Space elements worked best, of course – such as during the launch – and the track filled the spectrum with a realistic sense of the situations.
Audio quality also satisfied. Music was bold and full, and effects followed suit, as those elements came across accurate and dynamic.
Speech seemed natural and concise, as even looped lines matched the material well. Bass response appeared tight and warm. This was the kind of soundtrack for which you spent a lot of money on a home theater – it packed a terrific sonic punch.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio remained identical, as both offered the same DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks.
Visuals showed improvements, though, as they demonstrated better delineation, colors, blacks and general impact. As great as the Blu-ray looked, the 4K topped it.
The 4K disc includes no extras, but the package provides bonus Blu-rays. The film appears on Blu-ray One, so all of the movie’s extras reside on a second disc.
Narrated by Matthew McConaughey, The Science of Interstellar runs 50 minutes, 20 seconds and provides comments from producer/Californian Institute of Technology astrophysicist Kip Thorne, writer/director Christopher Nolan, writer Jonathan Nolan, producer Emma Thomas, NASA Ames Research Center mission scientist Natalie Batalha, CIT theoretical physicist Sean Carroll, visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin, UCLA astronomer Andrea Ghez, CIT astrophysicist Fiona Harrison, CIT physicist Jamie Bock, UCLA geographer Greg Okin, former NASA astronaut Marsha Ivins, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
As implied by the title, this documentary tells us how Interstellar uses and reflects real-life science. This show works best if you’ve already seen the movie, of course. It brings us a nice overview of these areas and allows us to connect them to the film.
Under Inside Interstellar, we find 14 featurettes with a total running time of two hours, one minute and 55 seconds. These include “Plotting an Interstellar Journey” (7:49). “Life on Cooper’s Farm” (9:43), “The Dust” (2:38), “TARS and CASE” (9:27). “The Cosmic Sounds of Interstellar” (13:40). “The Space Suits” (4:31), “The Endurance” (9:24), “Shooting in Iceland” (12:42), “The Ranger and the Lander” (12:20), “Miniatures in Space” (5:29), “The Simulation of Zero-G” (5:31), “Celestial Landmarks” (13:22), “Across All Dimensions and Time” (9:02) and “Final Thoughts” (6:02). Somewhat annoyingly, there’s no “Play All” option for these.
Across the programs, we get notes from Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, Thomas, Thorne, Franklin, Ivins, producer Lynda Obst, production designer Nathan Crowley, director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema, executive producer Jake Myers, Sears Ranch’s Rick Sears, unit production manager Daniel M. Stillman, greens supervisor Dan Ondrejko, stunt coordinator George Cottle, SFX supervisor Scott Fisher, special effects foreman Troy Dederick, stuntman Mark Fichera, composer Hans Zimmer, editor Lee Smith, organ soloist Roger Sayer, costume designer Mary Zophres, first AD Nilo Otero, welder John Kelso, New Deal Studios VFX supervisor Ian Hunter, assistant pyrotechnician Douglas Ziegler, and actors Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Wes Bentley, David Gyasi, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway.
“Inside” examines the movie’s origins and development, story/character/screenplay areas and the emphasis on real science. From there it looks at visual design and photography, inspirations and influences, sets and locations, stunts and action, various effects, cast and performances, music and editing. After this we hear about costumes, faking gravity-free situations, the depiction of space, and valedictory sentiments.
While I’d prefer a more fluid documentary overview, “Inside” still manages to offer a lot of good insights about the film. It covers a broad array of subjects and does so with reasonable clarity and depth. The featurettes manage to tell us a fair amount about the movie’s creation.
Four trailers complete the package. We see one “teaser” and three ”theatrical” ads.
Few – if any – modern filmmakers “think big” to the level achieved by Christopher Nolan, and Interstellar once again demonstrates his ability to succeed with his grand efforts. Probably his best non-Batman film, Interstellar delivers a vivid, emotional and ambitious space epic. The 4K UHD delivers stunning picture and audio along with a fairly involving set of supplements. Interstellar remains an excellent film that fares exceedingly well on 4K UHD.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of INTERSTELLAR