I meant to blog about the movie Gravity right after seeing it. Unfortunately, a couple weeks have gone by and details have slipped away. But perhaps that’s for the better. Now I can focus on what stuck with me the most.
First of all, this movie is visually beautiful. The moviemakers took their time during the initial minutes to show you just how magnificent the Earth looks from above and what the stars look like without the interference of a smog-filled, light-polluted atmosphere. At one point, my daughter asked, “Do the stars really look like that?”
Yes, I’m pretty sure they do.
But is that reason enough to encourage my kid to jettison off into space? The remaining hour and fifteen minutes of the movie suggest maybe not. Because when things go wrong in space, they can go wrong in a big way.
And things go very wrong indeed. No sooner did I grow attached to astronaut Mike Kowalski and mission specialist Ryan Stone than a catastrophic event set off a domino chain of disasters that carried me through to the end. Between the action, suspense, and wonder at the amazing zero-grav special effects, it was hard to find a moment when it was safe to blink. Don’t even think about taking a pee or popcorn break.
Like the environment in which Gravity is set, the plot is stark. Stripped down. There were few characters with minimal backstory and minimal dialogue. This resulted in an intense focus on the circumstances, a chance to immerse yourself in the characters’ plight with no distractions. Indeed, I found the backstory dump for Bullock’s character to be a nuisance, contrived to generate audience empathy when the situation alone might have sufficed. (Perhaps the writing/execution was at fault here. I dunno. I don’t make movies.)
This was a short movie, clocking in around 90 minutes. But I’d much, MUCH rather have a short movie where every moment counts than have it stuffed with filler and fluff, dragging it out until I really do need that potty break.
***UPDATE: SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS***
**Note: Those of you who read my last review may be surprised that I saw Gravity in 3D in an IMAX. I am the ever-hopeful sort. I’m pleased to tell you that Gravity is spectacular on the super-big screen and 3D actually enhances the experience.
**Another note: WordPress is now including ads to help cover their costs. I don’t blame them. I appreciate the free blogsite. However, I do not endorse products appearing in ads on this page. I don’t necessarily even know what the products are. You are on your own.