Gravity is a odd film to talk about. You try to put it into a genre, but it can be difficult. It works off of tension, and has many elements of a horror film, but it obviously is not one. You could call it a drama, but in my mind that doesn't really fit it either. It is being called Science Fiction, but that is usually reserved for the more exotic titles. Stuff with aliens, or some form of paranormal, this is all presented to you as a possible event. It tries to work off of actual science and technology, though it does not do that well. It does however do quite a bit right. The plot is based around 2 people. Ryan Stone played by Sandra Bullock, and Matt Kowalski played by George Clooney. Stone is a medical engineer on her first mission, who is trying to set up some new equipment she developed in a hospital. Kowalksi is in charge of the mission, and is on his last outing before retirement. While they are working with the rest of their team, they get word of a Russian satellite that has been destroyed. The debris is spiraling outward and causing other satellites to explode as well adding to the shrapnel. They determine their ship is currently in its projected path, and try to escape the destruction and make their way back to Earth. Obviously that does not go well, or the movie would be 10 minutes long. This is also where the movie begins to get silly, but more on that later.
Let's start with the movies high point, the visuals. I saw this in 3d, on one of the Sony 4k screens. Basically what the means, other then $15 a ticket, is the best quality visuals and sound that can be offered....according to Sony. And to be fair, this is one of the only movies I can think of that greatly benefits from that treatment. Who ever did that score for this film deserves some sort of award, but the people behind the overall look of it deserve far better. Space is presented to you in a way I had not seen before. It was like looking at NASA photos and footage for 2 hours. Everything looked so crisp, and because it dealt only with the areas around the planet and not some huge system, it really does come off feeling like something you have not seen before. The way they shot it though is what really sets it apart from other films. They use some creative shots and angles to make you feel like you are there, or to make you understand the empty void they are in. Seeing a backdrop of nothing, while a distraught Sandra Bullock slowly spirals into it while there is no sound but her screaming....well it really does sell the moment and creates a very unsettling feeling. I feel I can easily say that this was one of the most Visually appealing movies I have seen.
Now for the music, or sound in general. In Space there is no sound, or so I am led to believe. This movie takes place in space, and as such they do try to replicate that. There are portions of the film where you really don't here anything. The 2 astronauts do talk quite a lot, but that is to help the pacing and narrative. There is rarely back ground music though, which allows it to be used to better effect when it does come in. The opening to the movie is just them talking. You can hear some music being played by Clooney over the com system, but you can not hear anything else. It really does set a mood of unrest, and whether or not you have a quiet theater, or one filled with obnoxious people, will greatly effect how you experience this movie.
I usually talk about acting, and how well people did with this role. However this movie is pretty much just Clooney and Bullock, and chance are you already have a opinion of them. They both do very well with it, and are able to carry the entire film by themselves. Zero complaints, They both did great jobs.
When I saw this movie, the idea of the debris made no sense to me. So of course I google it when I get home, and I see others agree. The debris from the satellite is spiraling in a pattern so that every 90 minutes it circles the Earth, and hits what ever the teams next objective is. Other then the idiotic notion that everything is spaced out perfectly, so that the 90 minutes period works every time, there is another issue. I have a limited understanding of orbits, and....vectors....and space stuff....but in my mind, the debris could not hold that same velocity, and path. It would slow down without some form of constant power, and would begin to fall or lose its path. Turns out people much smarter then I, and who actually understand this stuff agree. The movie works off of Convenient for the plot science, instead of actual science. If you can ignore that, you will be better off.
This is one of those movies you see once, and you are good. It is fueled by the simple fact, that until the very end, you don't know what is going to happen. Will they live, will they die? And while the story is rather simple, it works because of that tension. Clooney is very likable, and Bullock while lacking in that area, is the more relate-able. You really do want them to make it, and the movie thrives off of that. If you can get past the whole, this could never actually happen this way mentality of it all...there is something very interesting and unique here. While I do say I would never buy this movie, or probably even see it a second time....I do feel it is worth seeing that one time. And if ever there was a movie that demands to be seen on the big screen, with a awesome sound system, this is it. Heck I'll even tell you to see it in 3d, which is something I usually can't stand. At the very least though, you should rent it when that becomes a option. It really is worth you time.