There are infinite ways to describe Alfonso Cuaron’s newest movie, Gravity: breath taking, thrilling, masterpiece, state-of-the-art, intense, and the list goes on and on. Any of these descriptions are fitting as Cuaron was able to create a visually stunning and astonishingly detailed, ground-breaking, dramatic action/sci-fi film that allows the audience to experience the magnificent features of space as well as some of the more terrifying elements of this vastly unknown region. And if there were ever a film made for 3D/IMAX theaters, Gravity would be it.
When a rookie medical engineer and a veteran astronaut are interrupted by disastrous flying debris, their shuttle is destroyed, leaving them floating in space without any communication to earth and no direct way of getting home. Using their skills, knowledge, and the few resources around them, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) must work together to find the closest space station, attempt to establish communication with “Control”, and find a way of reaching earth.
To start, Gravity is visually one of the best films I’ve ever seen. The entire movie is set in outer space, and most of the time you feel like you’re actually there and experiencing everything. Oscar nominated director, Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men), appears to use a combination of live action, computer-generated imagery, animation, and other special effects to take us on an amazing journey. Cuaron seems to accurately depict everything from zero gravity, to the difficulties of no oxygen, to the way sound travels, to other features and dangers of space.
For the most part, there are only a few characters actually present in the movie. Aside from the astronauts, Ed Harris voices Mission Control along with a smattering of other voices used for space station captains, etc. One of the most extraordinary techniques used in this film is the variety of camera angles and perspectives the director uses to create any given scene. From a first person view of one of the characters, to the inside or outside of an astronauts helmet, to a flying piece of debris, to multiple shots of the earth and looking further into space – these vantage points make for some incredible action scenes, intense, emotional points, and incredibly overwhelming visuals. The great music score and soundtrack compliment these visual splendors.
With not much to complain, one possible flaw in Gravity could be the extremely deep and emotional background Dr. Stone is given. On one hand, this is in a way what drives Bullock’s character, but given the simplicity of the rest of this film’s narrative, this background may come off too sentimental or out of place to some. That being said, Bullock gives a good performance, playing a blend of a broken but strong character, and Clooney portrays a slightly comical, laid-back, experienced astronaut that keeps everything at ease in the time of chaos. There are only a few ways this film can go, but it still presents a few exciting twists and surprises.
In the end, Gravity is a thrilling, survival adventure, an imaginative, beautiful, cinematic triumph, and definitely worth seeing. The 3D is not overwhelming but instead compliments the visuals very well. I suggest seeing the film in 3D IMAX while you can, but don’t get too distracted by the scenery!
Gravity is rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language. Running time is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Rated 4.5 out of 5.
By: Hayden Pittman
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Tags: 3d, Alfonso Cuaron, astronaut, earth, Ed Harris, Film, George Clooney, Gravity, Hayden Pittman, IMAX, IMAX 3D, intense, movie review, outer space, Sandra Bullock, space, special effects, stunning, thrilling, visuals, youplusdallas