Gravity in the Age of Transformers IV

gravityNormally reviewing a movie that’s been in wide release for 5 weeks would seem late. But it’s come to my attention that some of you have not seen Gravity yet.

You really need to go see it if you haven’t, and consider seeing it again if you have. There’s more at stake than just the profitability of another George Clooney movie.

Alfonso Cuaron’s space survival masterpiece is the surprisingly simple tale of a pair of astronauts who get stranded outside their ship and must try to survive. Sandra Bullock and Clooney play the astronauts, led by the voice of Ed Harris from mission control.

You get to play the part of the hyperventilating audience.

I’ve enjoyed Sandra Bullock in other movies, recently in The Heat, but felt the level of adoration she commands to be a bit puzzling. But she’s strong in the lead role here, and Clooney supports her with an entertaining turn as a space ne’er-do-well.

Aside from the acting, the incredible direction by Cuaron is the real star that will almost certainly have this film in the running for best picture at the Oscars next spring.

As they say in overheated quotes that make it on to the DVD box, “Riveting! Spine Tingling! Edge-of-your-seat thrills!” And other clichés… this movie is all of those things. (Psst… Warner Bros. Holler at me for the Bluray release…)

The sure handed direction that made Children of Men and Y Tu Mama Tambien excel is on display as Gravity makes you feel like you’re choking, slipping, grasping, and screaming for every last breath. The sequences with Bullock outside the shrapnel and scraps of what used to be her ship are equal parts haunting and terrifying.

But again, the story is rather simple, and though it was not cheap to bring to the screen, with a budget of a hundred million dollars, it is threatening the hegemony of the CGI blockbuster.

The conventional wisdom in Hollywood is that a project like this needs some roots in the consumer conscious. Gravity isn’t based on a comic book, or a children’ book, or even a book without pictures. It’s not the true story of a spunky American hero, and it’s not an epic reimagining of a “classic.” It’s not carried by or sold on the insane effects (though the effects are subtly brilliant).

It’s a scifi film without aliens or time travel.

But it is still filling the fall theaters with butts like it’s the middle of summer. And like it’s a movie about robots with talking dogs.

But it’s not. It’s a tense atmospheric thriller that is actually worth the cost of the ticket and (for once) actually looks great in 3D.

I need your help in making it as successful as possible, so more films like it are made. It’s up to you people.
Gravity is still showing at the Carmike 12 on Circle Blvd.

by Ygal Kaufman

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