Gravity

Posted: October 13, 2013 in Movie Reviews

Sandra Bullock-George Clooney_Gravity

Space is a breathtaking spectacle to behold . . . while looking at pictures of it or viewing it from a safe distance, firmly planted on the ground. But space may not become quite as appealing to those who must endure its hostile environment; where life is completely impossible without human technology. The same can roughly be said about the sea: beautiful on top, but containing dangerous perils beneath the rolling waves. And more often than not, the dangers that remain unseen are the most perilous and treacherous of all.

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Summary: (Spoiler-free)

A seemingly routine satellite maintenance mission goes terribly wrong when debris from an exploded Russian satellite destroys the mission shuttle, leaving scientist Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) spiraling into the unknown black abyss. Her only hope of survival is from seasoned space veteran Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), flying on his last mission before retirement, who guides Dr. Stone back to the ruined wreckage of their shuttle, only to find that they are the only two survivors on their team.

When Dr. Stone eventually finds herself alone against the elements, with her oxygen level steadily diminishing by the minute, her stamina and endurance are put to the test as she must make her way to the deserted Chinese space station to get home. In an environment where every gulp of air could be your last and certain perils await around every corner, survival is the ultimate challenge.

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Sci-fi epics such as Star Wars and Star Trek have conditioned us to assume that space is this broad expanse of stars that would be relatively easy to live in with the right technology. But the stark truth is that space is a cold, bitter vacuum, ready to suck you out into the outer edges of the galaxy if you’re not especially vigilant. It’s gorgeous, without a doubt, but it’s not exactly what cinema plays it out to be. With Gravity, we are shown exactly what space is like from the viewpoint of the men and women who risk their lives to explore it.

Sandra Bullock_Gravity

 Basic Science 101: there is no sound in space, because there’s no air for the sound waves to travel on. Therefore, the aerial shots in space are completely silent, save the breathing, talking, and heartbeats of the astronauts. When they’re working on the satellite, instead of hearing the clanging and whirring of the tools you only hear the reverberations as if you yourself are in a helmet. And when the debris is tearing through the air at the speed of a bullet, ripping through everything in its path, there is no sound. This not only makes these situations feel genuine, but it also creates an indescribable sense of fear and dread, something that couldn’t even be accomplished with the use of clanging, screeching metal.

The entire film is essentially the Sandra Bullock and George Clooney show. While you do hear the voices of fellow astronauts and Houston ground crew, Bullock and Clooney are the only faces in the entire film, which is why strong actors who can solely carry their role are essential. Even though the last 45 minutes follows Sandra Bullock exclusively, in no way does it bring the movie down, because she is a top-notch actress who has the experience needed to carry an entire film on her shoulders.

Visually, this movie is a feast for the eyes. Beautiful cinematography and spectacular visual effects is the name of the game. The first 15 minutes is one continuous shot with no cuts, a ploy that places you in the center of the action and truly makes you feel as if you’re there with them in space. You can tell that great pains were taken in creating the most visually-authentic space opera ever seen on screen. Gravity  contains breathtaking shots of earth and gives you a front row seat to the most spectacular sunrise seen by us mere earthlings. In essence, if living on earth doesn’t give you an appreciation for it, then this film will.

George Clooney_Gravity

A side note: If you have the opportunity to see this in 3D, by all means do it! Unlike the vast majority of 3D films that plague the screen with unnecessary material, the 3D in Gravity  is crisp and clean and places you even more closely and intimately in outer space.  The film certainly benefits all the more visually from the added dimension.

In a nutshell:

Gravity  is the epitome of grand storytelling at its best. The employment of a seasoned acting duo, breathtaking cinematography, authentic settings, dramatic tension, an epic musical score, and the best CGI technology has to offer all blend together to make one of the most comprehensive dramas seen this year. Look for Gravity  at this year’s academy awards, because it’s sure to be nominated in several categories.

 

9 stars

 

 

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Comments
  1. Lori Rubringer says:

    Makes me want to see it! Well written review!!!

  2. NativePride73 says:

    Great review. So far its got to be the best movie of the year for me. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Sandra Bullock win best actress, or at least get nominated. And for sure see it in 3d.

    • davidc1776 says:

      As I stated in my review, I believe there are several categories that it’ll be nominated for. My predictions are:
      – Best Actress
      – Best CGI
      – Best Director
      – Best Sound Effects
      – Best Picture

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