Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gravity - Doesn't fall flat

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Written by Alfonso Cuarón and Jonas Cuarón
Released Oct 4, 2013

Reviewed by Ann Wilkes

Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney was much better than I expected. Honestly, after seeing the preview, I expected something like Castaway with Tom Hanks. One of those soul-searching, endlessly long waiting games. The trailer doesn't leave much to go on.

Debris hits the International Space Station after the Russians decommission one of their own satellites with a missile. Two astronauts, who were EVA, Ryan and Matt, survive the accident, but with the ISS trashed, they're on their own. Mission control, due to a chain reaction from the debris hitting other satellites in the same orbit, has gone silent. Matt and Ryan, stranded in space, with no help from below, did anything but wait for rescue. The suspense in this flick was non-stop.

Though there were a lot of "no way" moments, the story was a good one and the acting drew me in and made me forget the plot holes. But I'll still list some. ;) I didn't buy Matt's rationale for letting go when he did. Maybe they only paid Clooney for x amount of scenes. Seriously. Don't want to spoil it for you, but when you get there, you'll know what I mean. In fact, if you want to talk more and don't mind the spoilers because you've already seen it, or you just don't mind spoilers, read more in my comment below.

It was also way too full of coincidences, but I'll let that go for the sake of a good yarn. The distances seemed a bit far-fetched, or rather, not far enough fetched. Also, I wanted to yell at Ryan to calm down and quit using so much oxygen. Don't they teach astronauts any meditation or other calming techniques for when they need to reserve oxygen? And then Matt should have been making sure she's conscious now and then, but not making her talk more. Yeah, maybe that was to calm her down, but she still used more oxygen doing most of the talking.

Sandra Bullock delivered a believable, touching performance of an IT specialist on her first space mission. Though she admitted to being close to losing her cookies most of the mission, when spun at high speed in free-fall, she amazingly held it together. Hmmmmm.

Clooney played the cool veteran, enjoying tootling around with his suit jets, making fun of their fellow space walker (before the accident, obviously).  Post-accident, he kept Ryan focused and remained calm, if not a bit too lackadaisical. Stereotypical hot-dogging pilot, only in space. Not sure he was the pilot, but you get the idea. Not too complex. Ryan, on the other hand, has an interesting backstory.  I won't spoil that for you.

In the final analysis, I'd say this is a worthwhile movie and definitely one to see on the big screen. Don't forget to check out my comment below if you don't mind spoilers. I'm hoping to actually get a lively discussion going on that point. Come back here after you've seen the movie and weigh in.

1 comment:

Ann Wilkes said...

As I mentioned in the review, Matt lets go. So, he says he has to because he's pulling her away from the ISS. She's held there only by a rope caught loosely around her foot. She's holding his tether and he unhooks it, supposedly to save her. Now, he's the veteran astronaut and I don't see how he has enough momentum to keep her pulled away. Seems to me she could have kept her foot rigid, so as not to let the rope slack and pulled him in. Or he could have come in hand over hand. She didn't have enough slack to reach her foot with him hanging on, but she could have stayed hooked till he reached her, then he could have grabbed the rope for her while still attached with the tether.

She needed his expertise and experience. He basically abandoned her for no good reason. Two heads are better than one, and he had more oxygen than she did, which could have saved her life later. Maybe I'm just missing something. You tell me.