For our next review for this month’s Genre Grandeur – Space, here’s a review of last year’s epic movie Gravity by Troy from The Review Club.
It still isn’t too late for anyone still wanting to participate in this month’s Grandeur. Just send me your review by next Sunday, 28th September to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post it before the end of the month.
Take it away Troy!
I saw ‘Gravity’ when it first came out and ultimately saw it six times. Obviously this shows that I loved it. It’s a groundbreaking film in terms of CGI and the technology created over years to tell this story and also show Earth and space in a way that’s never been seen before is phenomenal to watch and believe.
The director Alfonso Cuaron has to be given praise in thinking up such a brilliant yet simple idea, the genius lies in his adamance to have the tech built to realise his dreams and luckily they waited for time and money to catch up with his dreams so we too, as an audience could see his ideas up there on the big screen as if were floating dangerously in space along with Ryan Stone. It was massively a film worth seeing on an IMAX scale or even in 3D (which I normally find a needless gimmick) as it utilises the extra dimensions to grand effect, with objects either serenely floating towards you or crashing into your eyes with worrying speed. It’s a film that showcases the danger and spectacle of space like no other and throughout Sandra Bullock’s ‘Final Destination’ esque trials we see beauty as terrifying. This movie deserved to sweep the Oscar board and Cuaron’s vision was rightly rewarded with a gong.
The score is one of the best, most spine chilling, haunting, beautiful perfect accompaniments to the on screen action I’ve seen in a long time. Steven Price who was in charge of the music makes the film what it is in my opinion, the tension is turned up to an invisible mightily suspenseful notch as space starts turning on Stone, and for that rising then soaring end track as Stone stands like a giant on Earth I can’t tell you how many chills that gave me. All 6 times that music made me feel something amazing.
Now against my will I shall go to that dark place and explore the negatives which have to be discussed when giving reviews; if there are any of course and sadly for all it’s visual grandeur and breathtaking finesse there are some downsides. Firstly the story; I liked it a lot but I guess I can see why people thought it was dumb and plain, however stupid they may be! They must have looked past its metaphorical ideas, the struggle and powerful ‘drive’ in space that Stone undertakes and see it as a simple space challenge movie, I honestly don’t see any real grit of the plot tossed aside as dramatically as some satellite debris but I know a lot of people viewed it that way. Also thinking down the line, it’s a movie that could be a cinema experience and that alone. I really can’t picture it looking good on DVD at home even if you do have a 3D TV, the film is made for that edge of your seat cinematic journey and so the shelf life is limited in that sense. I still haven’t got a copy of it, one of my favourite movies, almost a year later from initial release and I just can’t justify getting it in 2D format on disc, it’s a through and through cinematic whirlwind.
Sandra Bullock is an actress I’ve never been a tremendous fan of but here she flipped preconceptions on their head and stole the acting show. To work with all that technology and convince us she’s in those space stations or working on tightening bolts that are never there takes some doing and her fluctuating emotions from scared to crying, strong to accepting death are a roller-coaster ride of feelings almost like the film structure itself. George Clooney brings in the lighter tone with his handsome chops and boyish comedy, he is basically Clooney but his character is a helpful dude and a later scene with him in is a damn good moment in the story.
Overall the visuals are stunning, the soundtrack is tense and adds a hell of a lot, Bullock carries the majority of the film by herself to dizzying levels and this was my favourite movie of last year but it could be a dream too far in only thriving as a cinema going feature.
Thanks again to Troy for this review of my favorite movie from 2013.