Gravity – 4.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

GravityGravity IMAX 3D – 4.5/5 – In the very essences of any movie, is the experience.  Within this, there is the reality of the situation, soothing of sensations, and that raw feeling of the moment.  For anything and everything, good and bad, that experience is what draws all kinds of emotions out for the audience, regardless of what you’re watching.  With that being said, that experience you get in a film like Gravity goes beyond the simplicity of the setting (as it is set in space).  The atmosphere created within the characters, combined within a scenario that seems lost, creates that moment.  Gravity, for its minor misgivings, is by far one of the best films of the year.

Premise: In the vastness of space, there is no sound, no life, and no chance to live.  This is last frontier for two astronauts.  As they drift further into space, together they must find a way to survive not only the darkness, but their own personal demons.

In the main two roles in this film, we have Sandra Bullock as Ryan Stone and George Clooney as Matt Kowalski.  Both characters are introduced as astronauts on a typical space walk, to perform some standard repairs to the Hubble telescope.  Within the two, you have distinct and different backgrounds.  In Matt Kowalski, we are shown that he is a veteran astronaut.  He has been on plenty of mission, and this is his last one in space.  He is the guide for the new comer, Ryan Stone.  She is a medical engineer who is on her first space walk.  Once we get definitions of both characters, we don’t see their true nature until all hell breaks loose.  In this, we begin to see the riveting of each character’s own personalities come through.  You realize the direness of the situation as it is created so pristine from both these characters own reactions (mostly from Sandra Bullock).  The isolation of space brings out the best and worst of each other.  As all hope seems lost, we watch as Ryan Stone begin to reach into the darkest parts of her personal life.  Through those dark memories, those issues begin to ripple through the isolation she is experiencing, as it brings her to question life, existence and everything that you would feel in the surreal.  With the complimentary of space, that isolation brings a dark dagger, as it draws a range of emotions.  Within these layers of both the situation and her memories, she struggles to find purpose, even if there is a slim chance at surviving.  Sandra Bullock does a marvelous job in creating a humanistic quality to this abstract situation, bringing the audience to feel her pain.  Opposite her, in a supporting role, George Clooney does well in creating Kowalski.  In this character, he helps create a person with degrees of wits, charm and shades of a moral rod.  He provides a comfort for Ryan Stone, both in dealing with her personal demons and the situation in space.  This is both admirable and endearing, as it helps add to the realness to the film.

The direction of the film is straight forward.  There isn’t anything elaborate to the film, as you’re thrust into space, following two characters trying to survive a ‘worst case scenario’ situation.  This is basically what you see in the film, from the beginning till the end.  Even in the simple tone, the film has deeper motives and themes, which starts in the beginning.  When the film begins, you are enveloped into the ‘vastness’ of space, as you watch the panning from the director’s camera over Earth.  This helps bring you into a breathless composure, as it creates an allure of the surreal.  We are then introduced to each character (Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalski) as they are performing normal routines.  It isn’t long before that normalcy flips, and the ‘worst case scenario’ kicks the film into high gear.  From the first amazing set piece of calamity and craziness, the tension stays strong, and becomes a force of intent.  In this, you’re on the edge your seat playing a guessing game in your head of ‘if they will survive or not’.  The action set pieces are gorgeous, and the resounding effect of watching everything break apart and crash is darkly romantic.  That eerie sensation is created by the fact that there is no sound in space.  As you watch everything unfold, you begin to latch onto the characters, because they must be as calm as possible, even when it seems like they should give up.  These events draw deeply into each of the characters, helping pull out there personal demons, especially the ones within Ryan Stone.  As everything unfolds visually, you begin to see how the ‘subtle’ action sequences are a blessing and a curse to Stone.  She feels hopeless in space, but also senses relief it has created.  That irony of tranquility gives you a sadden feeling, as the audience feels the pain of her past.  You feel hopeless yourself as you watch her let the isolation of space take her to question worth, purpose and personal drive.  This wall of facing personal demons helps add layers of characterization to a sci-fi film, drawing a complexion of flavor that there is color in the canvas.  The art of the web created by the director is fascinating, as you begin to fall to the experience being created.  As the film continues at a slow and methodical pace, Ryan Stone starts to realize that, even as dire as the situation may be, she must find a way to get back to Earth.  From here, some convenient situations happen, and predictability unfolds through the bulk of the second half.  Even when you see the typical ‘A to B/ connecting of the dots’, the film never lets off the pedal.  The tension stays strong through the thrilling set piece, and the characterization continues to unravel as it parallels the anxious moments.  As the film hits the climax, the realization of space reflecting themes of humanity preys on the conscious of the audience.  That parallel is wonderful, as it creates an experience that shows you why the simplicity of the direction was needed.  No matter how many times you see a character evolve, the familiarity in the creation (even if you know the outcome) is what makes a film a thrilling ride.

The visuals are, without a doubt, breathtaking.  I can honestly say that this is the best movie I have seen in IMAX 3D.  From the creation of the space shuttle Discovery, the International space station and all the action set pieces are encapsulating.  The way the world is created, you never question the fact of all of it being CGI.  In that lack of questioning, you really believe, you’re in space.  Through the sweeping camera angles, to the ‘first person’ perspective, you begin to feel what you see.  This helps create the helplessness in the intensity.  You are lost in the imagery, forgetting the fact that you’re in the theater and feel as if you’re in space watching it unfold.  The score is another great addition to the film.  The fact that there is no sound in the space helps create a score of emotional precise value. Through this, you get a ghastly scope in both characters.  Beyond the irony of no sound, the music helps add to that pulse of your heartbeat, adding to the question of will or won’t they make it.

Gravity is a film you would call an artistic masterpiece.  From the acting, the story, the visuals and the score, there is enough here that will be lead you to having an amazing experience at theaters.  If you’re a fan of sci-fi films or character pieces, this is a film to check out.  You will not be disappointed.

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