Saturday, 5 October 2013

Gravity



Science fiction thriller, George Clooney, Alfonso Cuaron, rave reviews: I had to rush out on opening night. But my expectations could not have been higher, which is the worst way to enter the cinema.

So let’s start with some griping: 3D! Yeah, I had to watch it in 3D. Supposedly, this is a film that absolutely requires 3D to be effective. Well, I’d have to see the 2D version to determine the accuracy of that statement. But to all those critics who say Gravity is such a beautiful film, I can only repeat: For me, 3D makes everything ugly and Gravity is no exception. 

Next gripe: I could also argue that, unlike Cuaron's Children of Men, Gravity doesn't really feel like a sci-fi or a thriller (though it’s certainly thrilling). 

Am I on my way to telling you how disappointed I was with Gravity? Let me answer that by summing up the film’s positive attributes: WOW!

Yeah, you know what that means. It means we have a winner. Gravity is not like any film you have seen before. I’m not sure it even classifies as a film. It’s more of a thrill ride, though not in an “action” sense (the action is so unique it doesn’t feel like action), because it makes viewers think it is happening to them (I suppose that's why the 3D is essential?). What Gravity certainly is is a work of breathtaking cinematic art.

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play shuttle astronauts who are doing repair work in space (in orbit around the earth, to be precise) when a distant explosion sends a deadly cloud of satellite debris in their direction. Bad things happen very quickly and soon their lives are almost literally hanging by a thread. The film has barely started, but I won’t say more, except that Gravity is both a very simple film and a very profound film. It's about what goes on inside a person's mind as much as it is about what's happening to her. It’s about life and death. It’s about God. It’s about being human. I would say more, but I’m thinking of writing a review for Canadian Mennonite, so I’ll save it for now.

I'm not a Sandra Bullock fan, but her performance in Gravity is flawless and part of what makes the film work so well. Another part is the excellent score by Stephen Price. 

Despite the 3D, Gravity gets an easy ****. Do not miss seeing this on the big screen! My mug is up and Gravity will surely be in my top ten of the year. 

2 comments:

  1. While I may not regret the lack of 3D, I think the lack of a big screen certainly took away the WOW factor for me. Maybe because of that I wasn't as able to get into the skin of the main characters to create that internal feeling that you talk about. Still - a very creative and entertaining film. I think some of the potential profundity of the ending (which I liked) is still percolating. ***+ from me and possibly rising as I ponder it more. Two mugs up.

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  2. This was my second 'SciFi' movie in 2 days. Yesterday's was Interstellar. While I always swoon at the sight of Sandra Bullock this movie wasn't in the same league as Interstellar. Sure it was exciting and touched with reality (the amount of space junk up there that's just waiting to cause a catastrophe) that Inter... went way beyond, it really didn't have depth.

    I'm not a fan of 3D and saw it on my big small screen which was impressive enough. I don't like being included in the movie which tends to happen with 3D. I'd prefer to 'watch' a movie. Still, the images were awesome.

    In the end I was glad I didn't have to pay to see it and in time will forget it, unlike Interstellar.

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