Do you have a movie shame list? You know, a list of movies that despite all the good things you’ve heard and or read about them you just haven’t gotten around to watching? Well, up until last week a 2006 movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron called “Children of Men” was pretty high up on that list for me but after seeing the 50,000th TV ad for “Gravity” also directed by Cuaron, I decided to finally sit down and watch it as kind of a primer. Now I know, this is a review for Gravity not Children of Men, but I gotta say I was an idiot to have not seen it sooner. If you haven’t seen it yet, do so ASAP! With that said, my expectations for Gravity going in were pretty high.
The movie takes place presumably in the present day where miles above the earth a space shuttle crew works to make repairs to the Hubbell telescope. The repair mission is abruptly cut short when they receive news from mission control that debris from a destroyed Russian satellite is heading their way. Mission specialist Matt Kawolski (George Clooney) and the software engineer (Sandra Bullock) are not able to return to the ship before the debris arrives and as a result find themselves adrift in space with no help in sight.
First off, this movie’s sound and visuals make the film immersive and just flat out gorgeous! The visuals of space and more importantly, earth are breathtaking, and Cuaron masterfully uses sound flipping back and forth from the noisy commotion aboard the shuttle and inside the crews helmets, to the deep silence that is the vacuum of space. I saw this movie in 3D which intensifies the experience and couldn’t imagine seeing it any other way–considering that the majority of this movie takes place in zero gravity.
Clooney, as the always calm happy go lucky veteran astronaut is nothing really new here, but when you contrast it with Bullock’s performance as the inexperienced over her head panicked engineer the movie sucks you in and doesn’t let go save for a couple of down moments that let you catch your breath. The movie only has four people in it and two whom we never see (Ed Harris as the voice of mission control and Phaldut Sharma as the third part of the Hubbell repair team) so Clooney and Bullock do all the heavy lifting with the lion’s share of that going to Bullock. I’ve never really been a fan of Sandra Bullock and I don’t think she deserved the Oscar for her role in The Blind Side, but her performance in this movie is outstanding and if she’s not nominated for an Oscar I’d be shocked. The only negative I can find with this film is that towards the end this movie seems to try really hard with its soundtrack to wring out every bit of emotion possible , which I found unnecessary since this movie had me emotionally involved almost from its beginning.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who ran to the theater to see this film, via Variety:
In a record-setting debut, Warner Bros.’ 3D space epic “Gravity” scored a starry estimated $55.6 million, of which mega-screen exhibImax — a significant partner on the film, considering the push the studio gave helmer Alfonso Cuaron’s cutting-edge filmmaking — contributed $11.2 million domestically. Both totals were records for October.
…Internationally, “Gravity” estimated $27.4 million from 27 markets, including Russia, which led with $8.1 million, followed by Germany and Australia, each contributing north of $3 million.
The overall three-day domestic gross for “Gravity,” boosted by a whopping 80% from 3D, eclipsed the month’s previous record holder, “Paranormal Acitvity 3,” which earned $52.6 million in 2011. (Interestingly, the 3D share was less overseas, at 70%.)
Overall, Gravity is a near flawless movie that must be seen. See it in 3D. See it in IMAX if it’s available to you. GO SEE IT AND BE AMAZED.