Friday, October 4, 2013

Gravity - A Heavy Hitter

I've been looking forward to seeing this movie since I first heard of its existence. Space terrifies me but the cinematography in the previews, along with the promise of great performances from Bullock & Clooney drew me in.


Directed By - Alfonso Cuaron 
Written By - Alfonso Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron 
Top-Billed Cast - Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Ed Harris

Floating in the true last frontier are seasoned astronaut, Matt Kowalski (Clooney), and medical engineer-turned-astronaut, Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock). While performing some out-of-station maintenance, disaster strikes and they must fight to survive in a place not meant for life.

Pros -

* If I didn't start this with cinematography, this whole thing would be pointless. It was pretty intense at times (ok, the entire movie), but I'm fairly certain there were less than 15 cuts in this whole film. That's insane! It was just so seamless; using the drifting of the astronauts to change camera angles and the use of reflections was just brilliant.

* I don't know how they did it and I really don't think I really care (ok, I do, and I'll be buying the DVD so I can find out), but the weightless shots were just incredible. The use of the floating objects, both inside and outside the craft, was great.

* Thank you George Clooney for comic relief! This is an intense movie, to say the least, so there was def a need for some moments of tension release and Clooney delivered. His role in this movie is both heartbreaking and uplifting.

* Get ready for's rare but it's coming...the CGI in this was fantastic. Now, I did not see this movie in IMAX or 3D, so if you're going to see it on something other than the regular-sized screen, you might see something I didn't. But, from my seat? I had few complaints in this department, and we all know how much I complain about CGI!

* At the beginning of the movie, there is a choice made that I find just, brilliant. I won't spoil, but there is a moment that would have had much less impact had they opted for a...more visual and less auditory approach with a character.

* The score. I love a good score and while, yes, there were times that the plot was sort of "given away" by the music, it was still subtle enough and pretty enough for that to be overridden in my mind.

* I know I said cinematography first but...MAN. It deserves two asterisks.

* For this being (almost) "Cast Away" space, I was sort of expecting to get bored or tired of the silence. Didn't happen. Bullock's performance in this movie is incredible. I sort of feel like she probably won't get the critical attention she deserves, and that saddens me. The physical AND mental aspects of this role are spectacularly conquered.

* The writers of this movie do a really good job at telling a well-layered story. This movie isn't just about some people floating around in space, this movie is about who these people were before they left the planet and who they hope to be upon their return. There are some real tear-jerker moments in the performances and the levels of emotions in one particular scene, for me, was intense.

Cons - 

* There is a bit of CGI at the tail-end of this movie that almost ruined the entire thing for me. Ok, it wasn't that bad was close. I just start to question the meetings that took place to decide to add that bit in and it makes me sad that it was approved, digitized, and left in.

* Now, I fully understand that this movie is about space and that communications between people both in space and people on earth is hard, BUT, there were some minor sound issues that bugged me. I really can't put my finger on it and I honestly don't know how on earth (haha, see what I did there?) you would avoid it but, it bothered me and I feel the need to note it.

* Towards the end of the movie, there was an interesting bit that I felt would have been better as a deleted scene. I get what they were going for but, for me, it totally took me out of the movie. I think the same thing could have been accomplished without the total loss of reality but, I sort of understand the reasons why it was left in.

Now Mother..
This movie is rated PG-13 and it is really intense. There is some language, but honestly it's probably "cleaner" than any awards show you would see these days. Be prepared to discuss death, details about space, and margaritaville.

Overall, this movie left me speechless. I mean, there are only three cons and one of those I really stretched for. It is such a beautiful movie. I know that a lot of people want to go see movies to escape the stress of their everyday lives, so the thought of coming to see such an intense film isn't at all appealing but, I implore you to see this one. Yes, it is intense. Yes, you might get a tad motion sick at first (I did..). Yes, you're going to feel things that your average rom-com wouldn't bring out. BUT, it's worth it. If not just for the visuals, which I will be paying to see again, but also for the truly uplifting story. I give this movie 4.5/5 stars.