Add a huge exhale of bated breath, and that’s pretty much the feeling I walked out with after watching Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi and hugely action-packed ‘Gravity’ starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. If you’re looking for a movie to scare your pants off, leave you in dumbfounded awe and maybe even make you shed a tear, this one will do it. Reviews of of this blockbuster can be found abound, so I’ll spare you the intelligent breakdown of why and why not everyone succeeded to deliver a great movie and just tell you my thoughts walking in, watching and walking out. No spoilers, promise.
My Expectations of ‘Gravity’
When I first saw the trailer for ‘Gravity’ a couple of months ago, I was skeptical of how good the movie was going to be. The entire trailer was action-packed, and there didn’t seem to be any build-up to the plot. It was made pretty clear early on that the main characters suffer some catastrophic event in space that leaves their lives in peril — but that was pretty much it. No back story, no ambiguous reference to the outcome, just — boom — the thick of the plot. The grave state of things actually seemed a bit melodramatic and cheesy at first. But what did pique my interest were the names behind the movie. With only two main actors, and they being Sandra Bullock and George Clooney — two people who are synonymous with acclaimed performances in serious roles — I was definitely interested. They wouldn’t just sign on for any old cheesy sci-fi flick. And then another name grabbed my attention: Alfonso Cuarón.
Now, I’m not going to lie — the first thing I thought when I saw his name was ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’, but let’s not forget that this was a pretty big hit. My interest rose even more. This was indeed a really unexpected mix of people behind a movie that could totally be super sensational movie about getting lost in space. But you had me at wondering, ‘Gravity’, you had me wondering!
The Experience of Watching ‘Gravity’
After hearing pretty good reviews about the movie and reading the reports of its opening success at the box office, I thought I’d finally go see what the fuss was all about. And if I was going to see an sci-fi movie taking place in space, I was going to do it right and watch it in IMAX 3D.
Best. Decision. Ever.
It made all the difference to watch something so heavily packed with special effects, beautiful cinematography and action sequences on a huge screen and in 3D. Watching ‘Gravity’ like this was truly an experience right off the bat. Being in space with Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kalowsky (George Clooney) was more like actually being in space with them — or as close as you could be, anyway. For a space nerd like me, it was hauntingly beautiful and a little frightening at the same time. The action sequences are just so larger than life with the surround sound and floor-to-ceiling IMAX screen that I don’t think watching the movie any other way is even doing it justice.
What you should know is that if you’re faint of heart, this really might not be the movie for you (especially not in IMAX 3D). The reason the trailer jumps straight into the plot is that the movie does too. There’s not a lot of guesswork here as to what the movie is about — pretty much from the get-go you know that shit just hit the fan in space. I was on the edge of my seat for almost the entirety of the 90 minutes with bated breath just waiting for the next succession of catastrophic events — and they are all pretty intense.
Also, Cuarón seemed to have really wanted you to “experience” this movie whether you watched it in IMAX 3D or at home on DVD because when I say you’re in space, I mean you are in space. Don’t expect the camera angles to adjust for your viewing pleasure when the characters are spinning around in weightlessness and doing things upside down and all topsy-turvy due to the lack of gravity. Your tolerance for motion sickness might also be something you should definitely take into consideration before buying a ticket.
Walking Out of ‘Gravity’
When I left the movie, I honestly felt like I had spent 90 minutes in another world. The entire movie takes place in space, no flashbacks to their lives before the mission, nothing. It was honestly the most overwhelming and unexpected feeling to be a little disoriented standing up and walking out with — well — gravity. It sounds bizarre, but try being completely lost in space with no one else for hours (like Bullock and Clooney pretty much are), and having the lights turn on to a theater full of people will feel a little strange to you too.
If you’re hoping for a more well-developed story plot, you may be disappointed. This movie is what it looks like: an action-packed, sci-fi thriller. Not to say that there isn’t a secondary story, but it’s pretty much about surviving in weightless space. You will walk out with an immense appreciation for the special effects teams and Cuarón’s imaginative storytelling though, not to mention a mix of awe and deathly fear of space beyond Earth’s pretty blue skies. If there’s ever been a time when I felt completely at a loss for words for the mystery and magic that is the universe beyond our atmosphere, it was after watching ‘Gravity’. If you’ve ever even gandered a speculation as to what it would be like to really be “lost in space,” this movie will give you a pretty hair-raising scenario.
All in all, I really liked ‘Gravity’. I can’t say enough that it was definitely something you have to experience to really enjoy, and I highly recommend watching it in IMAX 3D if you have the option to really do the movie justice. Sandra Bullock’s performance is one for the books, and George Clooney does what he does the best — plays a good role and makes you fall in love with him. Definitely a movie worth spending a few extra bucks on to watch it right!
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