[Movie Review] Gravity Takes you to Space

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Ever wanted to go to outer space? There’s more than a few folks I see online who talk about going up there should the chance present itself. Even the Axe brand talks about sending people to space. We’ve seen several movies show how space could be and all of it has to do with being in a Gravity-less environment with floating stuff. Armageddon did it, Apollo 13 also did something similar. Superman seems to not care about gravity. So here’s Gravity, a movie about being in space and doing Gravity-like shenanigans.

There wasn’t much story or preview of what Gravity was about before it showed. The trailer was always about astronauts getting hit by debris while they were doing some space work and it alludes to horrible stuff happening afterwards. So I was excited to watch it on IMAX since I had zero expectations going in apart from being happy to see Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

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Plot

Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), which is as generic of a name as you can get, is an astronaut who is doing some space work and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), which is a more awesome name, is her space chauffeur. Everything seemed ok until director, Alfonso Cuaron says, “nope, let’s make horrible stuff happen”. So they end up with a messed up shuttle and stuck in space. The rest of the story tells about what they do to try and survive the ordeal. Of course there are also resource problems like oxygen running out so as to add to their time limit.

Characters

This was one of the brilliant parts of the show. I counted less than 10 people on the cast of Gravity and that’s perfectly fine since it gives the added space solitude feel. So Sandra Bullock was great. She had that “While you were Sleeping” character here of doing what she needed to do but not really liking it and having that panicky attitude. George Clooney was George Clooney. Come on guys, anything he plays is awesome. The more dialogue they give him, the better he gets. Ed Harris’s voice was also cool. He has that I’m-panicking-but-you-can’t-tell-from-my-voice-so-calm-the-f-down tone. The other guy on screen didn’t even have a face… literally. So I’d say the casting was done really well.

Story

The pacing of Gravity was very good. I never felt bored while watching. It starts out already with a lot of tension because you already know what’s about to happen, it’s only a matter of when it will happen. Then things start to go wrong one after the other and you’re stuck with these characters trying to survive based on what they know. In terms of depth, there’s really not much to it. Which is not a bad thing because that’s not what Gravity is going for. This is about astronauts trying to survive. So no twists and turns here. I thought that everything got wrapped up properly, everythign checks out and there are no loose ends.

Effects

I have to mention that a lot of the tension and feel of this movie comes from the fact that it has awesome sound effects and music… or lack thereof. Sometimes it just gives you plain silence, which it also explains why it’s so quiet up there. The music during the action scenes are also great. What I enjoyed is also the heartbeat effect where during all the silence, all you can hear is the heartbeat. Another thing I sort of liked was the way that the movie sometimes takes you into first person view then back out then back in again. It could get a bit confusing for the folks who are not used to seeing stuff in this perspective though.

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IMAX 3D

I thought the implementation of 3D for Gravity was done appropriately. There was at least 1 scene where I involuntarily tried to avoid some stuff flying towards me. Apart from that, the additional depth perspective gives a minor enhancement to the experience.

Overall

I liked Gravity. It’s short but it’s great while it lasts. I recommend watching this movie in an IMAX theater or somewhere with good sound system and good acoustics. I thought that a lot of parts felt like playing a video game like Dead Space because of the shifting to first person view. That might have increased my enjoyment of it. If you have a few hours to spare, watch Gravity.

Gravity comes out on October 4 in Philippine theaters and is from Warner Bros. Pictures. The photos from this post also came from them.

Score: 4 out of 5 (Exceeds expectations.. slightly)
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