Gravity (2013)

I would like to mention that this movie has been on my must-see list since I first read about it at the beginning of this year.  When the trailers were first released, I knew I had to see it within the first week.  When positive reviews came pouring in, I said I would see it on opening day–which I inevitably did.  Yes, I took my girlfriend on a date that so happened to fall on October 4th, where I than convinced her to hope across the street to the movie theater from the restaurant.  –I say that last sentence sarcastically, of course.  It was a great date, and it ended with an excellent movie!

Gravity is a science fiction thriller and space drama film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and directed by Alfonso Cuaron, and written by Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron.  The film follows a medical engineer and an astronaut who are repairing a shuttle when an accident leaves them adrift in space.  The film also stars Ed Harris as the voice of Houston.  (Running Time: 91 minutes)(Rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language)

Ohhh…after Alfonso Cuaron’s last two films (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) that I rather enjoyed, he decided to go all out in order to have me hooked.  The film left me breathless in my chair, and although there are points in the movie that were literally too loud (which I am sure was meant to add to the intensity), I could not move.  The impact left me stranded in space within the movie, following the characters intently.  Just like Gravity’s tagline: “Don’t Let Go”.

Sandra Bullock’s performance was stellar.  It rocked.  Her career has been a steady one for almost the last twenty years, and just in the last few her place in Hollywood’s powerful female leads has been taken seriously.  The Blind Side (2009) gave her the Oscar for Best Actress.  But now with Gravity, she rightly deserves another one.  Without spoiling the plot, Bullock offers us a very human character, who guides us through the electrifying hour-and-a-half with nothing but her pure emotion.  I read that Alfonso and Sandra spent weeks before filming taking the time to look through the script and breathe life into her character, inch by inch.  The depth show on screen, even when most of her body is CGI in the space suit, but her face is always true and honest when the terrifying horrors happen in space.  If she does not get her second Academy Award this coming year, I am going to be very disappointed.  I may be sending a very upset letter to Mr. Oscar.

Astronauts and “space experts” (we’ll just round them up with that) were given special previews to the film before Cuaron had made a final cut.  The accuracy he was trying to ensnare was crucial to make the story feel as thrilling and deadly as possible.  The trailers for the film depicted sound effects, which disappointed a lot of on-lookers, because there is no sound in space.  But when you sit down in the theater, you discover the only sound heard the entire movie is astronauts breathing, heartbeats, and the intense music soundtrack pushing you to the edge of your seat.  The “space experts” concluded the professional realism to Alfonso Cuaron was striving for and gave him their blessing.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of the CGI movement.  Avatar (2009) proved how far computer graphics have come and how they can be utilized in feature filmmaking, but I can only take so many movies with THAT much special effects.  But with this movie, I can see the usage of CGI being a great tool.  Computer graphics have the ability to help transport us into a realistic space.  It offers to tell more of the story.  So for Gravity, the effects were exceedingly well done and used wisely.

I would just like to briefly state that the soundtrack was amazing.  Although nothing…special about the music, it was able to enforce the tension and intensity of the actors and their characters’ drama.  I especially like the piece that is used in the last ten minutes of the film–without spoiling the ending, which is pretty darn good!

The film has only been released for a couple of weeks as I write this blog post, so I cannot report what huge success it is going to become.  Critics have praised it, audiences everywhere are thus far loving it, and it has brought in over $200 million internationally from a budget of $90 million.

Nominations in the near future?  As I said before, I have to go for Bullock’s Best Actress as a strong contender.  Clooney did a great job as well, but Sandra definately stood out.  But I do not know what category will miss.  I wish the filmmakers all the luck in the world come awards season!

In the end, I will be fair and give this movie a (lower) 6 out of 7 stars!  The CGI was convincing, the music enforced the power of the movie quite well, the style was creative, and the acting was superb!  I am going back to theaters to see it again.  It is one of those films you have to experience on the big screen.  but I am sure it is equally convincing on any screen.


About Morgan

January 2016 Update: This blog is under reconstruction. Please be patient while we gradually remove old material, posts, and pages, and create new ones. Thank you.
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