Instant Gratification: “Interstellar” and four other good movies to watch on Amazon Prime and Netflix

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Pick of the week: “Interstellar” (Amazon Prime)My full review is here. Christopher Nolan’s latest film comes so close to greatness and just can’t quite grab it. The first third of the film is a plausibly realized version of a dystopian Earth, with humans just getting by as the planet seems to be shutting down all around us. It’s when a mission to save the planet takes flight that the film finds its most breathtaking outer-space visuals, but also its most misbegotten ideas, and the attempt to build an emotional father-daughter through line never quite materializes. Still, it’s a terrific attempt.

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“Interstellar”: A space odyssey that’s more ‘2010’ than ‘2001’

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“Interstellar” opens Wednesday in 35mm at Sundance, and opens Friday in digital and IMAX at Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema and Sundance. PG-13, 2;45, three and  a half stars out of four.

Part of me wants to write the most negative 3.5-star review ever written. Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic “Interstellar” soars so close to greatness, just almost reaches that the ambitious director of “Inception” and “The Dark Knight” is grasping for, that there’s an undeniable feeling of disappointment that it falls short.

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The five movies you have to see in Madison, Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2014

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1. “Nightcrawler” (all week, Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance) — Every generation gets the Rupert Pupkin it deserves, and ours apparently is Jake Gyllenhaal as a twisted freelance photographer whose thirst for grotesque crime scene photos takes him into some very dark places. No way he doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for this.

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