Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gravity: Is Wooorkiiin' Against Meee--Wait, Wrong Gravity...

Just for the record, the John Mayer song was stuck in my head for days after seeing this one. But, long story short, this was pretty deserving of all the hype it's been getting, especially for a Hollywood movie.

Remember the good ole days of disaster flicks in the late 90s? Volcano, Titanic, Deep Impact, Dante's Peak. So many choices! But they've kind of gone out of style in the past couple of years.

(God, doesn't this poster give you acute anxiety?)

Gravity is the perfect opportunity to bring them back. Instead of natural disaster (which may be a little bit too close to home after the extreme environmental crises of the past couple of years), this one takes place in space. Instead of volcanos and super storms, the initial accident that spurs the action of the movie is a missile launch gone awry. Hitting a huge satellite, the lack of GRAVITY (heh) sends a chain reaction through the world's many satellites, creating a technological tidal wave of sorts. The unfortunate victims of this chain of events are Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney).  Dr. Stone goes careening into space after the satellite shards hit their ship and the rest of the film follows her (and Kowalski) trying to find a way back to a safe spaceship/station.

And if you let go, you're doomed. No pressure.

The cool thing about this movie is how well it's set up. I know some people may be turned off from watching this film because of the small cast (I mean, you really only are exposed to Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalski). But that is what makes the movie so incredibly captivating. Instead of watching Houston trying to bring them back down or intercuts between space and Earth, they fix the camera on the two main characters and don't leave the realm of space for nearly the entire movie. And because of their interactions and isolation, you end up really bonding with their characters in a way that wouldn't work if the cast was bigger.


This movie also had some intense suspense. Watching this after seeing All Is Lost was really interesting because, despite their being a similar plot, Gravity really pumps up the drama. The relationships are stronger, there is a more dynamic denouement, and (to put it bluntly) the accidents are bigger. The vast openness of space creates a terrifying landscape in which all of these accidents happen. And the need for them to be as resourceful as ever is absolutely paramount.

Very, very well done, Hollywood. My hopes were not high but you proved me wrong. Good job.

8.5 outa 10. I liked that Dr. Ryan Stone talks to herself (and to Houston, who is offline) when she's alone as well. Keeps the movie from getting too boring.

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