Friday, October 4, 2013

Gravity Movie Review

Sandra Bullock & George Clooney (r) in Gravity

Houston in the Blind: What a View!

Space, the final frontier... and evidently not the ideal spot for a summer vacation: Temperatures in Earth's orbit hover between 258 and -148 °F, prompting an ominous "Life in space is impossible," at the start of Alfonso Cuaron's brilliant new film Gravity. And so it begins, "the best space film ever done" at least according to James Cameron and this reviewer. Forget all you knew about outer space: You're about to experience the ultimate spacewalk, courtesy of Cuaron, Sandra BullockGeorge Clooney and $80 million (minus a choice salary or two) of jaw-dropping CGI.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: GRAVITY, directed by Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuaron, stars Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney). But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone.

What’s Best: 3D, RealD... You name a D; and odds are, I won't like it. That said, Cuaron creates an impressive (often scary) atmosphere that literally catapults his audience into the fray. Best of all, it's original. Within the first five minutes, I was sitting on the edge of my seat, mouth agape. Once I heard, 'Mission abort!' I could literally feel my heart beating, as I muttered out loud, "Wow." Talk about tension. I even stopped taking notes: Now that's a movie.

Bullock & Clooney are terrific together... the quintessential Mr. and Ms. America. Bullock is especially impressive as a "down to Earth" (sorry, I couldn't resist) scientist-turned-astronaut. Six months of training isn't enough to prepare Stone for this kind of catastrophe; and Bullock plays her role with intense believability. I'd like to see what you'd do if you were spinning out of control into outer space without a jet pack.

On a side note, Bullock looks absolutely amazing once out of her spacesuit. She claims her prior training as a dancer, and carrying around her three-year-old son helped get her into shape; and even her character admits to feeling like 'a Chihuahua being tumble-dried.' Easy on the modesty Sandy, you looked A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

What’s Not: It's hard to poke holes at such an awesome movie, but there's a spot (just before the one hour mark) where the action grinds to a halt. I can't elaborate (without giving the story away) but suffice it to say: You're either bored a bit, or grateful  for the opportunity to catch your breath.

Best Line: 'Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission. Let me tell you a story...' For a guy who 'just drives the bus,' Clooney's Kowalsky puts Mission Control, Stone and the audience at ease with his tales of bearded guys and beautiful eyes (brown, not blue.) If you have to be stuck in space with just one person... Clooney's the guy.

Overall: This isn't the kind of movie that you go into great detail about, in a review: Besides, online trailers show plenty enough already. Gravity is both exhilarating and terrifying... a roller coaster ride through outer space, perfectly timed at 90 minutes. Bullock & Clooney are sensational, and Cuaron takes 3D effects to a Cameron-like level. Easily one of the year's best films, Gravity is one ride you don't dare want to miss.