Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Film Review: Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity

I am not one to lightheartedly recommend seeing a movie in 3D, when a perfectly fine 2D version is available just one screen over, but every now and again, it is something I am prone to do.  I did it with Scorsese's Hugo a couple of years back, and I did it with Life of Pi last year, and now here I am doing it for the new film from Mexican New Waver Alfonso Cuaron.  Gravity, seen in the proper 3D, is a gripping tale of an orbital space disaster that has Sandra Bullock floating around the ultra harsh environs of outer space. Seen in this venue, the film is quite exhilarating, and it had this critic on the literal edge of his seat. Seriously, I really was on the edge of my theater seat in many parts of this film.  Whether this veritable visual palpitation follows through to the film's eventual DVD and BD release, and therefore on a smaller home scale, is up in the air - though it is definitely leaning toward, not so much - which makes the old adage, "it's better to see something in a movie theater than at home" all so more true in this particular case.

Be that as it may, Gravity, up on that big screen (and in 3D, don't forget), is a remarkable looking film that keeps one's eyes glued to the projected images.  The story, of a pair of stranded astronauts (the aforementioned Bullock along with George Clooney), trying to make their way from their wrecked shuttle to an orbiting space station (or two), all the while trying not to, ya know, die a horrible death in outer space, is a story fraught with the possibilities of cliche after cliche, and even though such things do pop up now and again, the vastness, the epic visual background (my often agonized enemy, the dreaded CGI, has never looked this good) of Cuaron's film, make up for any storyline blips or bleeps.  Perhaps Gravity never delves into the inner depths of something like Cuaron's masterfully subversive Children of Men, or his brilliantly erotic Y Tu Mamá También, but the look and feel of the film, along with Bullock's rock solid performance (an easy Oscar nod should be coming her way in a few months), make this film one of those current must see type of cinematic events - especially since its impact will surely never transfer over to the small screen.



3 comments:

Dan O. said...

The visuals are absolutely stunning and will have you thinking for day's on end about how they did all of them. And yet, the screenplay sort of is a let-down. Good review Kevyn.

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The cliché 'edge of your seat' seems too mild for this exciting outer space thriller that combines technical magic with strong emotional pull.

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Gravity is what cinema at its best should be - an experience that makes you grip the armrests tightly and slide to the edge of your seat as you become completely consumed by the story on the screen.