You can be sure I began this experience with zero expectations, given all the reservations I had at the outset:
- I don’t like space movies, except for the original three Star Wars films.
- I’m not a huge Sandra Bullock fan. (George Clooney saved the day, however.)
- Annoying liberties that filmmakers have to take with the science part of space movies is, well, annoying.
So, I wasn’t expecting much at all. Imagine my delight at being pleasantly surprised.
“Pleasantly” is probably a bad word choice. There are very few pleasantries in this story. Clooney and Bullock play astronauts on a repair mission, when their shuttle (their ride home) is completely obliterated by flying space debris from an exploded satellite, leaving them stranded in the abyss, the sole survivors of an already-dangerous undertaking gone horribly wrong. They must make their way to the Chinese space station a hundred kilometers away if they are to have a snowball’s chance of making it back home alive.
Bullock is damaged goods, having lost her four-year-old daughter to a head injury. Clooney plays the heroic, country-music-lovin’ space cowboy to perfection. Their interactions, however borderline silly at times, don’t seem to stand in the way of the plot, which at *all* times, reeks of impending doom. Kudos to the producers, too, for casting Ed Harris as the voice of Mission Control in Houston. Well played.
SPOILER ALERT – DO NOT CLICK THE UPCOMING REVIEW LINK IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING.
There was some bad science, although there just about has to be, in every space movie. The Thriller and I almost simultaneously asked the question out loud, “How can they grab onto something going 17,000 MPH and hang on, when they’re obviously just floating about at orbit velocity?” We don’t know anything about astronomy, so maybe we’re mental on that score. But the folks at Bad Astronomy know all about it, and their (SPOILER!) review pointed out several interesting breakdowns that were, again, necessary in order to make the movie palatable for an audience, and indeed, worthy of an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
Still and all, we were riveted from the get-go, and I can guarantee you won’t want to look away for one moment. The special effects guys alone should (and likely will) win an Oscar; the portrayal of depth and enormous expanse — even in a 2-D viewing — was magnificent, and often unsettling. Completely entertaining. That, to me, indicates a great movie experience, and beyond worth the $7 to rent it from the On Demand menu.
On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give Gravity:
Coolness on the review and timing, Ms Liz and I were going to rent this evening on Pay-for-view…definitely will now.
We do movies in spurts so, in the last week we watched “Mr. Phillips” (we loved it); we then watched “Dallas Buyers Club” (which I had zero expectations I would like and we loved that as well); “Gravity” tonight.
Kudos, great review Finkster! Stay warm and safe!
You must watch it! You will like it.
Over the last couple of months, I tried to watch all of the nine nominees for Best Picture before the Oscars show tonight. I got to seven. I’m glad I saw this one last night. Let me know what you and Miz Liz thought about it!
I think of all the seven nominated movies I saw (complete list is here), Dallas Buyers Club was my favorite!
Hugs to you out there in sunny AZ!
I have to agree with your assessment, Fink. While Heffe and I had our mouths open the entire time — there were at least three moments, without spoiling it (since I imagine you can guess), that we simultaneously “lol’ed”. Space hop-scotch, if you will, cracked us up. While it was terrifying at the same time, I just couldn’t help but laugh. “Really?”… and then rinse and repeat. I realize it’s fiction (and I haven’t been able to read a fiction book in two years pending my non-fiction degree completion), so I should just shut up. The movie was quite enjoyable and unique; there haven’t been too many of those coming out lately…
Right? I guess it’s all in our perspective. “It is what it is,” and that’s a fantasy story with some power (and a lot of scientific liberties) behind it. Definitely not a waste of 2 hours, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t come near winning Best Picture.
So glad you’re nearing the end of the degree trek! I remember those days well. What’s after that? PhD?
HA. Oh, suuurree.