Friday, October 4, 2013

"Gravity" Grave But Beauiful


“Gravity” a Visual Thriller

By Skip Sheffield

“Gravity” is a science-fiction space-adventure thriller, not a romance. It is grave but beautiful.
If any of you movie fans were thinking there may be some outer space hookup with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, think again.
Alfonso Cuaron co-wrote, co-produced, co-edited and directed “Gravity,” but it is really Sandra Bullock’s one-woman showcase.
She is Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer on her first space mission. George Clooney is Matt Kowalski, a veteran astronaut on his last mission.
The film is visually astonishing and four years in the making. Mexico’s Alfonso Cuaron, who wrote the story with his son Jonas, 30, first stunned the world with his comic erotic masterpiece “Y Tu Tambien” in 2001. He followed with the visually arresting “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” in 2004.
If anything “Gravity” is anti-romantic. It is about survival, pure and simple.
Matt and Dr. Stone are somewhere in outer space with a commanding view of Planet Earth. She tinkers on a Hubble Telescope. Matt frolics about in the weightless vacuum.
A dire message crackles over the earphones of the helmeted astronauts. Houston Control warns that debris from an exploded Russian satellite is heading their way, and they must abort their mission immediately and hightail it back to Earth.
Too late, a barrage of glowing particles hits their space shuttle and disables it, killing a fellow astronaut in the process. Matt and Ryan are tethered together, but something happens and Matt’s line breaks and he is off into space. Matt and Ryan maintain radio contact for a while, but both their oxygen supplies are running low. Ryan’s only hope for survival is to board another Russian satellite, and pilot its space capsule back to Earth.
“Gravity” is tense, harrowing and quite a physical workout for Sandra Bullock, who has gotten her lean body into buff muscular shape and chopped off her hair for the role. If you want to watch Sandra Bullock sweat and grimace, this is your movie.
Due to a visual impairment (blind in one eye), 3-D does not work for me in movies or real life for that matter. I am told the special effects are spectacular. Cuaron spent a year alone in editing.
I really wanted to like “Gravity” more,but it is a bit too grave for my tastes, bred by corny low-budget science fiction thrillers of old. “Gravity” is wonderfully artistic, but I missed the thrills.

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