Saturday, October 5, 2013

Movie Review: Gravity

Photo: The movie's poster, from its Wikipedia page.  Read that, too.  Interesting stuff.

Other than the incredibly obnoxious idiots talking and exclaiming behind me all through the movie, I have nothing but superlatives to say about the movie Gravity.  (Admittedly, the chatty a--holes behind me were not the fault of the movie.)  It is a very short masterpiece, a (mostly) one-woman show, a visual monologue.  Think a much-shorter, female version of Castaway, except in space, and you've got it.  Gravity, in fact, is a much better movie than Castaway--especially since they both shoot for the same themes: lust for life; appreciation; survival.

This review has to be much shorter than my usual, because to write too much about the movie will give too much away.  The special effects are great, as they must be since over 99% of the movie is in space.  The direction is super, as Cuaron seemlessly goes from a third-person POV, to a first person limited POV, to a POV from inside one of their space helmets, get the idea.  This is something agents and editors tell writers not to do, and it's pretty jarring usually when a director does it as well.  Here it isn't.  The timing is just right.

You'll be impressed by Sandra Bullock's performance here, too.  In a way, it's an uber-spunky version of Speed, but without the excessive cuteness she had at that age.  That's gone, but what's left over is a movie-appropriate, gritty self-determinism that I was surprised she could pull off.  If an older woman, now in her 40s, can be said to be spunky and cute, Bullock is that here.  But self-determined is probably a better term: in fact, through much of the movie, that's occasionally lacking, until she permanently acquires it (in a scene that shouldn't surprise you, though it apparently stupefied the idiots behind me) and uses it in a very MacGyver-but-in-space kind of way.  She doesn't have lots of socks and bandages on her, but she makes do, initially with the help of George Clooney, who was made for his role.

The self-determinism she holds on to is grabbed by this movie and used to transcend her own individual experience.  Ultimately, the movie tries to say that life is beautiful, though fragile, and that we can overcome almost impossible situations to survive.  It's a very cheerleading kind of movie, but only at the end, so don't be put off by any other reviewer who may say the movie does too much of that.  This movie is gripping and awe-inspiring throughout its entire app. one and a half hour run, which is a good thing, because I would have had to shout obscenities at the jackasses behind me otherwise.  But I didn't want to interrupt myself watching the movie, and you won't, either.

As another (paid and professional) reviewer put it, stop reading the reviews now and go see it.

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