Friday, March 14, 2014

Gravity

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Next summer...Gravity 2:  The Pull.  Shit's about to get heavy!



Gravity – 5 out of 5


Even after watching all the trailers, seeing Sandra Bullock walk by me at Comic-Con last year and hearing from all my buddies how great the film was, I just couldn’t bring myself to go to the theater to see Gravity. It wasn’t that I thought it would have been stupid, I just wasn’t sold on spending the small fortune it now costs to see movies in the theaters…and my attempts at sneaking in were thwarted by the theater usher (someday…you will pay, sir!). However, once it hit Blu-Ray, I sat down to watch it and, even though it blew me away, I regret not selling the kidney needed to see this on an IMAX theater in 3D…but even at home, it was still awesome!

I think I want to watch it again...in SPACE!


Based on the theory from NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978, Gravity shows the horrifying outcome of the Kessler effect—a threatening and orbiting debris field that, once in effect, will grow and pose serious danger to anything or anyone in its way. After Russia mucks everything up when they try to blast one of their satellites, the Kessler effect comes into play and threatens the lives of three NASA astronauts. One is instantly killed by the approaching debris field and the other two are separated. Now, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) must try and save themselves while the debris field orbits Earth and grows in size. However, when the trouble proves more than they can handle and Kowalski is lost, Stone must now try and get back home before the debris claims her life or she is lost in space.

Eh...you'll be fine.


How do I even begin with this film? The movie is amazing, emotional, visually stunning and absolutely horrifying! I was told that watching it outside of a 3D theater causes the magic that is the film to disappear and that it is only meant to be a spectacle to see on the big screen but watching it at home was something amazing and an experience that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Having Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck trying to stop a killer asteroid at the same
time was just poor planning.


First off, the visuals are unbelievable! If you spend anytime on the internet, we are suddenly in an era where hating computer effects are the norm. People are suddenly nostalgic for old style, practical effects. While I don’t hate practical or computer effects (I appreciate them both), there is just no way this movie could have been done practically and look as frighteningly realistic as it does. My mind was ready to be blow out of my skull as I watched the debris field rip apart the International Space Station...and then the mind-blowing process was completed as the movie progressed. Then there’s just how real the planet looks below Bullock and Clooney the entire movie…if I was a moron (and there’s going to be at least one commenter that will say I am and think he’s cool and the wittiest man in existence), I would almost believe the film was really done in space because they made it look that convincing. 

The illusion was so real, conspiracy theorists believe that it WASN'T filmed
in a movie studio.


Holding with the realism, the movie went as far to keep all sound effects out of the airless darkness of space. The debris field hits with no sound of impact or roaring flames from explosions. The only sound is some amazing mood-creating music from Steven Price and the panic in Sandra Bullock’s voice...and it is way more effective than hearing chunks of metal ricochet off of satellites and space stations. This dynamic is not only a reflection of how it would play out in real life due to sound being unable to travel in space (especially your screams, no one can hear that), but hearing the sheer terror from Ryan Stone during this made for some very scary, very intense moments.

And, boy howdy, this film is fucking terrifying!

The calm before the deadly debris storm.


As technically brilliant, wonderfully acted and as amazingly entertaining as Gravity is, it scared the crap out of me…literally. My girlfriend and I are currently searching for a new couch because of it. Thrillers about the natural world and how it can kill us are nothing new. Jaws made us scared of the ocean, numerous thrillers have made us terrified of deserts and the trench coat-ed hitchhikers that seem to be hiding out there every few dozen miles and who doesn’t think about the terrors of freezing to death out in the cold thanks to a tundra-heavy movie they watched? Usually with films in space, it’s an alien threat that is scaring us or the idea that a ship capable of trans-dimensional jumps accidentally jumped through hell and now a supernatural being is using Dr. Alan Grant as a vessel is trying to kill the crew—oh sure, occasionally we get a film about a crew being marooned in the blackness of space but the only real taste I’ve ever got of a film using the threat of being outside a vehicle and drifting frighteningly through the black realm was Space Camp—and I haven’t seen that movie in years.

"Remember me...for my ridiculously handsome features..."


Gravity feeds off our natural fear of being lost and alone in a hostile and foreign environment and what could be more hostile than a place where you literally need to depend on technology to maneuver and freaking breath? Watching Bullock and Clooney bounce and fly past satellites, desperately trying to find a hold to grab onto and prevent themselves from sailing out to nowhere where all that awaits you is a debris field rushing up to rip you to shreds, burning up in the atmosphere when your orbit decays, suffocating in your own suit or possibly aliens who will beam you up and promptly probe you in your anus made my palms sweat like crazy and made my heart race (and fear butt probing aliens) . I didn’t need to be in the theater to feel the anxiety this movie was capable of inducing.

"Houston, we have a problem...we're having too much fun!

Also, we might die."


Finally, Sandra Bullock is amazing in this film. I’ve never been her biggest fan in the past but she was incredible in this movie and it was very easy to sympathize with her and cheer for her survival. I’ve never felt she was a terrible actress, just one that didn’t really come off as memorable for me. However, seeing her in Gravity, she commanded attention…even if it was just watching her trying to overcome one of the worst situations you can find yourself in.

"I shouldn't have ate that garlic spaceman paste!  This day can't get any worse."


Alfonso CuarĂ³n really directed the ever loving fuck out of an amazing movie. The opening sequence alone to when they discover that a debris field of murder is flying their way and have to try and get the hell out (Spoilers: They fail in getting out of the way), was this amazingly long, single shot sequence that just hovered around the characters in a fluid dynamic way that made the camera feel like it too was in space. The way the camera would move around Bullock during the entire ordeal not only created some amazing visuals (that were very effectively highlighted with killer effects) but they helped to sell the illusion that they were in orbit around the planet. The angles and movements of the camera made it feel like it wasn’t bound by Earth’s gravity and the constant rotating and sweeping movements of the shots made the action come to life and it threw the viewer into Stone’s battle for life or death against an uncaring cloud of junk that will indiscriminately rip her to shreds.

"Perhaps we should consult our new computer system...Hey Hal 2000, what
should we do about this debris field coming to murder us?  Why are you singing that song?"


Gravity, without a doubt, will be a movie I will come back to often in my life because it is just perfectly put together.  I have not a single complaint about it. The story is a simple one of survival that goes to a whole new level thanks to the inclusion of space, the acting is amazing, the visuals are breath-taking and the film is capable of being a satisfying experience but a completely terrifying one as well.

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