I haven’t reviewed any movies in a long time; better yet, I haven’t felt the need to until now.
If you haven’t seen gravity yet, you’re doing yourself a great displeasure. I’ve seen a handful of space-based movies over the years. I wasn’t a fan of 2001: a space odyssey, I’ll be honest. I found it dry, overlong and emotionally vacuous. Not to say it was a bad movie; but, the movie’s philosophical motives eluded me. I didn’t know what was going on most of the time–perhaps the movie’s intent–nor did I get drawn to any of the characters. It was a critical success and one of Kubrick’s greatest feats. My opinion shouldn’t discount his work, so I won’t share a rating of it.
Apollo 13 was great. It was based on a true story; I am not sure which parts were fabricated; but, rest assured, I enjoyed it. Despite my prior knowledge of the ending, I was still constantly drawn to each character; awaiting their eventual safety and trying my best not to soil myself at times.
Subsequently, there were a plethora of space-based movies (apart from the star wars or star trek series’) that did little to pique my interest.
The last great movie was Moon. It had only one human character, but that was enough to keep me interested throughout. I can’t remember the details as strongly, but Sam Rockwell delivered the kind of performance that, in my mind, will forever be his best (and he’s had many great ones). There were questions posed about human nature and our ability to overcome some obstacles, through bleak and dim goggles. These are the kinds of movies, in general, that I long for. It takes a solid script to create something worthy, and Moon was able to do that.
That brings us to Gravity:
The movie features 2 characters (Clooney and Bullock) and 1 indian/pakistani guy; the latter who has maybe 30 seconds of screen time before his quick death.
Very little actually happens during the movie. We’re given a beautiful image of earth from outer space, a little dialogue and almost no backstory of the only 2 characters. We’ve got a bit of flying debris and an international space station. Some technical space jargon is exchanged between the characters; interspersed with sporadic communication from NASA.
Take what I’ve given you and for whatever it’s worth, it is probably the greatest space-based movie I’ve ever seen.
I was consistently filled with fear. I couldn’t breathe during some scenes; I became claustrophobic; was moving around my seat trying desperately to control my bowels. The moments created were epic. Alfonso Cuaron, having done Children of Men, Y tu Mama Tambien, Pan’s labryinth; 3 of probably my top 20 all-time favourite movies has done it once again.
The pacing was spectacular. It seems dry and slow at times, but a necessary slowness and the only dryness comes from gasping every 5 minutes. Visually, saying gravity was spectacular is an understatement. Very few movies have made perfect use of 3D technology, and even fewer have combined it with the perfect natural visuals one would expect to see in space.
What Gravity has brought to the stage, not unlike some of Cuaron’s other movies, is an unfettered display of why raw, natural talent should be a requirement to disembark from cinematic stagnation. Only a true visionary can make a movie like gravity and it’s more than refreshing to see that there is still a desired interest, both in the critical and commercial sense, to keep this kind of cinematic quality alive.
I can’t go into too much detail for those who haven’t seen it yet. It was the most tense movie i’ve seen since No country for old men. So much , yet so little, actually happens. Sandra Bullock gives the performance of a lifetime. I can personally attest to this as I’ve never liked any movie she’s made, but genuinely believe she deserves an oscar nomination for her performance.
There isn’t much else to say; but, please do watch Gravity. Thumbs way up!