Saturday, October 12

Gravity (2013)

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

This has been a busy semester so far, filled both with professional duties and with personal stuff. I'm quite a ways behind in blogging, but I'm going to try to get caught up. I may end up having to resort to a “Quick Hits” post for some, but I really want to give this movie its own separate consideration, albeit not very long or in depth.

Last weekend, on the second day of its general release, my wife and I went to the matinee showing of Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. I'm always up for a realistic near-future space movie, and based on the previews I saw over the past few weeks, I could tell that this one would be about as realistic as they come, right up there with Apollo 13, and that if anything would be worth subjecting myself to 3D (a format I can usually do without) it would be Gravity. And the billed actors were enough to get my wife to go with me.

Neither of us was disappointed. I, for one, loved this movie. This is the movie that 3D has been waiting for. Forget Avatar. That's the only other movie that I've felt was visually worth the experience (The Hobbit came close), and unlike Avatar Gravity had a good story to go along with it. Not that that story was terribly innovative – it's basically just a disaster survival epic – but it is acted so superbly by Sandra Bullock. I'm never a good judge of acting ability (I just know whether I like it or not), but it would not surprise me at all if she gets best actor nominations and prizes out of her performance. In fact I will be disappointed if she does not. She carries the movie, much of it totally alone in a continuous monologue literally baring her soul (something to which her character has given little thought hitherto – her most memorable sequence being her cry of despair, “Who will pray for my soul? – I don't know how to pray … no one ever taught me!”) as she stares into the abyss of death against which she fights tooth and nail. George Clooney does a good job, no question, but frankly his is just a stock character and not the focus of the story, which is all about hers. The intensity is such that as we left the theatre, I asked my wife if she realized it was only about an hour and a half long. She was surprised. It felt longer, and I do not mean that in a bad way. Even at the 3D premium admission, I have no qualms that we didn't get our money's worth.

Visually, Gravity is spectacular. I can only imagine what seeing it in IMAX 3D would be like, but the regular 3D available in my small-town theatre made it as much an experience as a movie. I'll very likely go see it again on big-screen 3D just to try to capture that experience again, because I can not imagine that seeing it on smaller-screen or even big-screen 2D could be as awesome. Yes, there are some glaring scientific gaffes in the name of dramatic licence (have you ever seen nuts-and-bolts shrapnel flying by you at ten- to twelve-thousand miles per hour? – and you won't! – the human eye would never register it), but in all this movie draws you into the experience like no other I have ever seen. I've been recommending it all week to whomever will listen, and will continue to do so. Heck, I might even be tempted to get a 3D television just for this movie!

Cheers! – and Thanks for reading!

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