Friday, October 18, 2013

REVIEW: Gravity: The IMAX 3D Experience


Sandra Bullock,
George Clooney


October 4, 2013

Alfonso Cuarón

Warner Bros. Pictures

1 hour 31 minutes



From the film's 17 minute opening shot to its epic and intense 20 minute finale, "Gravity" pulls you into its clutches and never lets go in the slightest for the entire 91 minute ride.  This film comes from acclaimed director Alonso Cuarón, who is known for such films as "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Children of Men," the latter of which got major love in the awards circuit back in 2006.  It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts, one who is on his last mission to space and the other on her first.  Just when things could be running smoothly, the two get into serious trouble when satellite debris starts killing off their other crew members and starts making their options to get back home and survive scarcer by the minute.  What ensues from this basic plot is something you have to see to believe.  Seriously, find the biggest 3D screen playing this movie around you, preferably an IMAX screen, and just watch in awe.  "Gravity" is a technical marvel, a moving character drama, and quite possibly the best space movie ever put on the big screen.

"Gravity" may very well have the best visual effects I have ever seen put on a movie screen.  Every single shot in this movie makes you feel like you are actually in space and further immerses you into the tension that's going on between the debris flying and Bullock's struggle to get back to Earth.  The 3D is also stellar and is the best use of the format since last year's "Life of Pi." Every shot looks stellar and the big screen experience only adds to that.  If you can, see this movie in IMAX 3D, because this movie is something I believe you should see on the biggest screen available in your area.  I give props to Alfonso Cuarón's direction for keeping the audience invested and stunned while watching this thrilling space story unfold.  The opening of the film is a continuous shot that lasts around 20 minutes, and the effort put into that particular scene is just mesmerizing, showing how much of a genius he is behind the camera.  He is a man who understands how to tell a trilling story without exploiting the special effects to the highest degree.

Luckily with this movie, there is just as much substance as there is style, allowing the viewers to get invested with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney's characters while staring at awe at the visuals of space.  Bullock has really come to prove that she is one hell of an actress, with her role as Ryan Stone in this film arguably being her best work to date.  Without spoiling the details, let's just say that Sandra Bullock has to work alone throughout a good majority of this movie, and boy does she make the film her own.  There's one particular scene involving a family on Earth that really pulls at the heartstrings and makes you really sympathize with Bullock's character.  As for George Clooney, he is also great in this movie, but for the most part, he's playing his usual charming suave self, so it's nothing you haven't seen from him before. Overall though, both performances are great, with Bullock really proving that she's a force not to mess with.

"Gravity" is the type of movie that can just about please anybody who goes to see it.  There are so many comparisons to make to this movie that it's hard to name all of them at once.  I mean, it could be compared to "Jaws" in how it can affect its audience and the way they look at the ocean, or in this case space.  It can also be compared to "2001: A Space Odyssey" in the way of how it takes us on an extraordinary trip into the horrors of space travel.  Finally, it can be compared to "The Wizard of Oz" in the way the story of how one person must find their way home is told.  The acting in this film is fantastic, particularly from Sandra Bullock.  The script, while not perfect, manages to get us invested with these astronauts and sympathize with them when something awful happens.

Director Alfonso Cuarón has proven himself to be the next Kubrick or Spielberg with this movie, in the way where it's all about the telling of the story and the imagination behind it rather than the nice special effects or the added 3D gimmick.  Speaking of 3D, there is absolutely no other way to see "Gravity."  If you see this film in 2D, you are truly missing out on one hell of an experience.  "Gravity" is a tour-de-force of filmmaking, with great acting, fantastic direction, and is overall one of the best movies of the decade thus far.


Out of the Furnace

Thor: The Dark World

August: Osage County

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Captain Phillips

Ender's Game

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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