Space! I wanna go to space!
…Oh wait was that joke already done before?
Even if you aren’t onboard for the story in a movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron, no one can deny the skill he has pulling shots together and creating his infamous “one-takes”, where all the action of a scene (sometimes going on for minutes) is all captured at once with no breaks.
Here, all that practice is put on display in one of the most gripping movies about trying to open a space door since the opening of Apollo 13.
Sandra Bullock is Ryan Stone, a medical engineer tasked with designing new technology to the Hubble telescope. What no one told her is that she was going to have to go up in a space shuttle to attach it all. Partnered with Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), and some guy (some guy), she works on the aging telescope until the debris from an unknown explosion in space tears through the ship, the crew, and the telescope; leaving Ryan and Kowalski stranded in the outer skirts of the Earth’s gravitational pull. Their only hope? Find the nearest space station, get inside, and hope that an escape pod is still there to jettison home in.
There’s a lot to love about this movie. The acting is good on Sandra Bullock’s part, but George Clooney plays another role where his character is essentially George Clooney in space. The special effects are amazing, especially when you learn that a whole bunch of stuff was invented in order to make this movie. Some elements might seem a little forced, with the only thing missing from a scene being the word “SYMBOLISM”, written in big, red letters blaring over the screen. When you are into the movie, you are engulfed, and the two hour running time seems like nothing despite the majority of the time being devoted to Bullock flailing her arms around and spinning.
The problem is that this was a movie made to be seen in theaters. To be overwhelmed by the expansive nothingness that surrounds the characters (and in turn the audience), like a ride at Universal Studios. What can be said about the average 48 inch television set that it would do justice to this movie? I honestly don’t think this movie will be able to retain a lot of the substance it had in theaters simply for the fact that it’s being shrunken down. That isn’t to say that it isn’t worth watching, but it’s likely that in order to appreciate it the same way, you’ll have to watch it at night, sitting close to the screen, hoping you don’t damage your eyes in the process.
Gravity is a movie not just for moviegoers but for people who love movies in general. Despite the science in what is supposed to be realistic depiction of space also being quite wonky, the film strives to entertain people not just with the final product, but also with the route taken by the creative teams to get there. It’s certainly worth watching in that respect and for those of you who didn’t see it in theaters (and who probably never heard the end of it from their friends) this movie is certainly worth tuning into on Saturday night.
Gravity premieres on Saturday, July 12th on both HBO and on HBOGO beginning 8pm. Here’s a short preview to hold you over until then: