Gravity (2013)

Gravity

Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, Christopher DeFaria, Stephen Jones, David Heyman, Nikki Penny, Gabriela Rodriguez

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón, George Clooney

Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Voice Cast: Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen, Phaldut Sharma, Amy Warren, Basher Savage, Janis Ahern

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

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language

Simple yet satisfying

Space...the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship....oh wait, I forgot I'm not reviewing a "Star Trek" film today. However, the movie I am going to review does have a lot to do with space. As many of you might've heard, the new "Gravity" film is a huge hit, with good reason. Although the story itself is rather simplistic, the movie's main focus is about the survival of the protagonist, who fights against isolation and the vastness of space to get back home.

The film is set to be more of a character study, with a "man vs. nature" type concept; in ilk of other movies such as "Buried" and "127 Hours." Like those previously mentioned features , this one centers around a single protagonist trying to survive the odds against nature itself to get back home. However, "Gravity" takes place in the vastness of space.

Although it's been no secret that we've often sent various astronauts into space, but we seldom ever appreciate the sacrifices they've made for us over the years. How many of them could easily end up getting killed. Yet they put their lives on the line to help humanity grow by exploring the vastness of space. Although I'm not going to sit here, and say that "Gravity" was by far the best movie of 2013, it still manages to capture the fear and dangers that makes you can't help but appreciate the hard work these astronauts go through.

Don't get me wrong, I would certainly never say any movie is a hundred percent realistic, as "Gravity" is certainly no exception. However, the film does manage to capture the feeling of being in that kind of environment up in the cold vastness of space that it can seem quite scary.

Sandra Bullock gives a very stoic performance in this movie, as she's able to pull off her character quite convincingly. Definitely deserving of her Oscar nomination earlier this year, as her performance alone carried the film. As far as George Clooney goes, he plays his part rather well. Although, I wouldn't say this is his best performance, as that honor still goes to "The Descendants." However, for the part he's required to play in "Gravity", he isn't half bad.

The story essentially follows two astronauts working in space. Things seem to be going well at first. Sadly, due to a series of events, Ryan (Sandra Bullock) and Matt (George Clooney) soon find themselves struggling to survive in the vastness of space. Although I can't say too much without giving away the story, but I have to admit that the film sends the audience on an emotional thrill ride like no other. One minute, it seems like Ryan is going to make it, but at other times, it seems like she won't. Almost keeping you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

The CGI, cinematography and direction of this movie were nothing short of amazing. If you have a chance to see this in 3-D, then it's definitely worth seeing. The cinematography along with the CGI literally makes the viewer feel as if they're actually there, as it's almost all too realistic to watch. Heck, I'm still surprised to have learned that the space suits in the film were completely CGI, as they look too authentic to be.

As for the cinematography itself, you have to love how the film shifts camera angles during various scenes to create the feel of weightless in this harsh environment in space. Not to mention the sound effects were a nice touch as well. Indeed, I can see why this film won so many technical categories at this year's Oscar race.

Although I wouldn't call this Alfonso Cuarón's best work, but he definitely did a great job with this movie; especially with all the visual effects that were in play. Sadly though, the movie does feel a bit rushed at times, and like I said earlier, the story isn't really that complex in terms of it's narrative. However, for what the film is trying to go for, it's not really that bad.

Overall, I wouldn't call "Gravity" one of the best movies of last year, but it's definitely worth seeing on the big screen. Or if it's already on DVD/Blue Ray, then it's definitely worth checking out. In the end, I would have to give this movie a three out of four.

© 2014 Steven Escareno

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