Wednesday 13 November 2013


I think I’ll have to keep this review brief, as I don’t know how much an average viewer like me can say about an incredible and revolutionary movie like Gravity. I’m sure you were all planning on seeing it anyway, but in case you were in doubt, GO!

Gravity stars Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and… that’s pretty much it. But with two such brilliant actors, who needs anyone else? Sandra Bullock is exceptional. Like with all her characters, she plays Dr Ryan Stone as an astronaut with a big heart, a smart brain, and a huge amount of courage. And George? He’s George, which is fine by me.

If you’ve watched television recently, you will have probably seen the trailer for Gravity. I won’t be giving too much away by saying that the scene shown in the trailer is the opening of the film. Dr Stone and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney) are servicing the Hubble Space Telescope when they receive messages from Houston that debris from a Russian missile launch gone wrong is heading their way. In the chaos trying to save herself and her work, Stone becomes detached from the telescope and Kowalski, and when spiralling further and further into space, she begins to lose contact, and all hope.

The CGI used in Gravity are out of this world (pun COMPLETELY intended). As we left the cinema, I heard a woman turn to her friend and say, “Yes, well that bit was simulation”. Um, YEAH! I see now that director Alfonso Cuarón and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki have previously worked on a number of films together. What an incredible pairing of visions. Not only is the setting completely believable for every Joe Bloggs sitting in the audience, but I’ve heard that when viewing it, actual astronauts also agreed that it was as true to the real thing as you can get. You aren’t going to get slip-ups and bloopers like you do in other sci-fi movies (Apparently in Apollo 13 a NASA logo was used that hadn’t been invented at the time the film was set…). New technologies were created in order to produce Gravity, which is a brave move for Cuarón, but for Sandra Bullock too – she told Jonathan Ross in an interview that after filming a scene in a particular contraption, she was told that the previous test had been carried out by a crash dummy, who hadn’t ‘survived’ the experience…

Although Gravity is ground-breaking, it doesn’t need to be three hours long like Avatar to draw you in. The movie is half that at only 90 minutes, and I think, just as amazing. Probably one of the things that impressed me most, though it may sound insignificant in the grand scheme of things, were the small details, for one, the reflections in the astronauts helmets! If you’re someone who looks out for the stray cameraman in car windows when watching films, you’ll get me.

As a viewer, you really do feel like you’re moving with the actors on screen, which is emotive when they’re weightless in space. In one scene, it took me a good few seconds to realize we were watching Sandra Bullock floating upside down. You’re brought into the moment with them with little tricks like a splash of water landing on the camera, or there’s a lens flare. Also for most of the film you’re watching in real time. Of course it helps that the movie is in 3D, but you can always tell 3D’s at its best when you forget about it – then suddenly a piece of space-station debris causes you to duck!

Well, look at that. It wasn’t very brief at all. What an amazing film, I advise everyone to go and see it. The overall plot may be simple, but it’s a rollercoaster of a journey, and moving in multiple dimensions. I was planning on leaving the cinema, going back home, and watching all the behind-the-scenes clips, but to be honest, I haven’t - I wouldn’t want to spoil the magic for myself.


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