Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Gravity

Release date: October 4, 2013
Running time: 90 minutes
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Basher Savage, Eric Michels
Who to see it with: Someone who's curious about space or likes great special effects.


If you're like me, you weren't expecting much from Gravity after seeing the trailers. It looked like an odd space movie with not much happening. Thankfully, the trailer simply tries to limit your exposure to what happens in the film. I won't elaborate at all, but the movie has much more substance than the simple trailers let on. The movie is set in space, so obviously the effects are an important focal point. And thankfully, the effects are gorgeous. Space is wonderfully rendered, with amazing views of the Earth and a sky full of stars. The characters realistically float in the environment with a convincing zero gravity effect. There are enough fantastic (but also believable) effects that you truly can get lost in the movie.

As good as the effects are, the sound is equally as impressive. As the movie tells the audience at the start, in space there is no sound, making for some very difficult sound design. The effects are realistically muffled and there are some scenes where the lack of sound is simply breathtaking. The music is subtle but contributes to the overall mood in the film when you hear it. If there is any complaint with the movie, it's that some scenes can seem overly dramatic. But, you go to the movies for an experience, and you won't have many experiences quite like this. This movie is made to be seen on a big screen, with the views of space filling your vision. Gravity convincingly puts you in space, and has the viewers float around an adventure that is literally out of this world.

See it.

3D Note - The 3D is a mixed bag. There are some cool 3D-style effects but then there are some scenes where the 3D distorts items in your periphery. If you enjoy movies in 3D, it is probably worth it but it's not a must have.

I mostly agree with David, though I had higher expectations for the movie. I thought it would be like 127 Hours or Cast Away (in space!) but, thankfully, it's a bit different. The stars of the movie are the great visuals and sound, but it couldn't succeed without Sandra Bullock and George Clooney's performances. Even when you can't see the actors' faces, you can hear the desperation in their voices. I don't think Gravity is overly dramatic considering the very dramatic nature of the situation, though some may feel that survival of certain situations is a bit too unlikely. The astronauts often remain relatively calm when events spin out of control and don't overact in hysterical ways. It's a straightforward survival story with no filler and a few unexpected quiet moments where the characters and audience can take a breath and appreciate the beautiful scenery.

See it.

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