Review: “Gravity” is perfect for 3D and IMAX

October 11th, 2013 at 7:26 am by under Entertainment
"Gravity" poster courtesy Warner Bros.

“Gravity” poster courtesy Warner Bros.

“Gravity” (2013)
Rated: PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language
Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Genre: Drama/ Mystery/ Sci-Fi

My spoiler-free review:

You don’t just watch “Gravity”… you experience it.

Especially if you can see it in 3D or IMAX 3D… because this is one of those movies that is worth the extra dollars to see in the enhanced formats!

With amazing visuals, an incredible story that keeps you immersed for 90 minutes, and strong performances, its a movie you NEED to see in theaters… I give it 9.5 out of 10.

(Warning to parents: with its nightmarish intense situations and disturbing images plus some strong language… this movie is clearly not for the little ones)

The look and feel: ”Gravity” puts us right in the middle of a space shuttle mission to fix the Hubble telescope hundreds of miles above Earth… we see the beautiful sights and experience the eerie quiet of floating in space.  The views are incredible.  The point of view shots give us a first hand look at the wonder of floating in space… and the terrible tension of being stranded in the vast death trap that is the work environment of astronauts.  The visuals go to amazing extremes of calm and beautiful as we float in space during Commander Matt Kowalski’s (George Clooney) spacewalk with a new jet pack… to wild and violent as our main characters (including Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) struggle to survive the ordeal.  The sound is vibrant and immersive … but like space, sometimes absent of any sound at all… and that’s a beautiful little piece of brilliance from Director Alfonso Cuarón.  He also makes great use of tracking shots … and continuous shots (one shots).  All of this is incredible in 3D and further enhanced by IMAX.  There are no gimmicks to his 3D either… the characters only reaching at/away from camera for plot… not as a 3D ploy.

The story: From the trailer we know that there is an accident during their mission… but we don’t exactly know what causes it… and what happens next… and that’s a great thing!  Not giving too much away may have had you cautious,  wondering how that story could go on for 90 minutes.  Trust me it does… it was so tense it took about 30 minutes to unwind from the movie that takes us from one perilous situation to another until we reach the end.  There are several plot devices that Cuarón uses in addition to the natural built in restrictions of space: weightlessness, need for air, extreme temperatures, etc. that he uses to amp up the intensity from scene to scene and one cliffhanger to the next …. keeping us glued to the screen.  We spend most of the movie in space… Cuarón doesn’t use any forced flashbacks or anything that would needlessly take us away from the stunning story in space.  The movie makes you very uncomfortable… what “Jaws” (1975) did for swimming: “Gravity” does for going in space.

The acting: Bullock is relateable as the non-astronaut with only 6 months of training to help on this mission.  Her character is not just a one note cliche, Dr. Stone is layered and we get that depth and understanding during our time in space.  Its a strong performance from Bullock that keeps us on edge and watching what sometimes feels more like a one person documentary and less like a scripted drama.  Clooney is solid with his calm veteran spacewalking demeanor… he’s confident and charming but has the experience and leadership you want during a crisis.  While the rest of the supporting cast does a good job in their roles, this is clearly a two person movie… and its almost perfect.

But… there were a few moments where the CGI isn’t perfect and I’m reminded I’m watching a movie…. there are also a few bits of dialogue that were a little over-the-top – more “Hollywood-ized” than what might actually happen.  But that’s splitting hairs… this is a great movie… just not a perfect movie.

MORE INFO (possible spoilers):


Cast: Sandra Bullock (Ryan Stone), George Clooney (Matt Kowalski), Ed Harris (voice-Mission Control), Orto Ignatiussen (voice), Paul Sharma (voice), Amy Warren (voice), Basher Savage (voice)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón ["Children of Men" (2006), "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004)]

Writer(s): Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón

The Plot: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

So what did you think?  Please post a comment!

Subscribe to my blog (get email updates whenever I post a new blog):

Laff at the Movies

Follow my updates on twitter:
Check out my YouTube page:

Add me to your RSS feed:

My Top Movies of the 2000s:

Laff’s Lists:


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply