Gravity (2013) Review

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Gravity (2013)

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón

Starring:
Sandra Bullock
George Clooney
Ed Harris
Orto Ignatiussen
Paul Sharma
Amy Warren
Basher Savage

Running time: 90 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Two astronauts fight for survival and a way to get back home after an accident leaves them adrift in space and without communications with Earth.

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My Opinion:

Gravity has been out for ages everywhere other than the UK, it seems, so there have already been plenty of reviews telling us all how great the film is. Now that all the hype has died down a bit, I’ll try to review this as best I can and decide if it’s worth all the praise it has received.

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First of all, I’ve said it plenty before but I better say it again: I know nothing about filmmaking. All I know is when something looks good or looks bad. Gravity is beautiful to look at. I saw it in IMAX 3D as the recommendation seemed to be to see it this way if at all possible. It was worth the extra cost – And this is from someone who does NOT like 3D. When there’s the option, I rarely choose to see a film in 3D. It looks blurry to me and I usually just find it too distracting. Gravity was the kind of 3D I like – I forgot I was even watching a 3D film most of the time. It was subtle & not “in your face” (I don’t want things jumping out of the screen at me). So the film looks great and I’d recommend seeing it in 3D if you can, although I’d be interested in seeing the 2D version now as well.

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To my hubby’s annoyance, I kept saying “this better be better than Avatar!”. I did fear that, because the film was meant to look lovely, that it would have no substance otherwise and wouldn’t be a very interesting story. I didn’t really enjoy Avatar as a film so I didn’t care that it “looked nice”. Luckily, this wasn’t the case with Gravity.

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I know nothing about space travel or science so can’t say if all of that was accurate but who cares? If you’re one of those types who can never suspend disbelief and just enjoy a movie, this MAY not be the film for you. I don’t know. It’s just a movie and it’s meant to entertain us. Clooney’s & especially Bullock’s backstories are… well, I don’t want to use the word “contrived” because that’s not really fair as it’s a very good film. What stories in films AREN’T? What matters is if you buy into the characters & their stories and I definitely did in Gravity. Both Clooney & Bullock give great performances and I very much felt for Bullock’s present (and past) situation. Her story worked and the backstory, to me, felt necessary to have a better understanding of her character. But as the film has so little dialogue, it was nice that we were only given as much information as we needed about the characters in order to know them. It’s impressive that Clooney & Bullock were able to make us care so much about their characters – top notch acting on their parts. This is what “makes” a film for me – not impressive CGI or 3D stuff (although it’s nice when these things work as well).

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As for the “action”, this film was much more exciting than I’d been expecting. We’d all heard about how there are so few people in it & not much dialogue so I wasn’t expecting a ton of action even though it’s obviously about an accident that occurs while these people are in space. Gravity is very exciting! Heart-pounding action at times and the great kind where you feel like you’re almost a part of it and are experiencing it with the characters instead of just watching them on a (very big in my case) screen. I suppose this may lose a little something for those who decide to watch this on their TV for the first time. I’d be interested to see this at home when it’s out on DVD & see if it has the same effect on me. I’ll still enjoy the story but I wonder if you’ll be able to “lose” yourself in the film in the same way. So, yeah – try to watch this one in the cinema (or theater if you’re American).

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Is this film for everyone? No. This is why I’m enjoying this blogging thing – I know you’re all true film lovers (it takes commitment to run a movie blog!). Will the 22-year-old I work with who loves Michael Bay movies & only ever watches illegal bootlegs because the cinema “costs too much” like Gravity? Extremely unlikely. I’m already trying to prepare myself for the day he comes in & says something along the lines of “I watched Gravity. I didn’t like it. I was bored”. It will happen. Gravity wasn’t made for him. It was made for “us” – all us lovely movie blogger types who are maybe a little misunderstood at times because we really REALLY like movies and perhaps talk about them a bit too much when in the presence of those who don’t quite understand our fascination. Gravity is the kind of movie we wait for. We wait for movies like this while we sit through endless sequels and remakes because it’s all that’s usually on offer and because we forever live in the hope that one of them may actually be good. We suffer through these mediocre films because we’re sometimes given a pleasant surprise when one of them ends up being okay. And we sit through them because we know that sometimes, just sometimes, we’re rewarded with something like Gravity.

My Rating: 9/10

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Where does it rank?:

Movies I’ve Seen In 2013

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73 thoughts on “Gravity (2013) Review

  1. My favorite part besides Sandra Bullock’s shorts was when she was hurtling into space by herself when the initial disaster happened, and for a moment she was spinning against darkness and stars in the background and the IMAX 3D made it seem like I was looking at someone on stage hanging by wires, in a good way. Very cool.

  2. I love Cuaron – I’m so glad this film is being well received. I’m desperate to see it, but space totally isn’t my Wife’s thing so I’m doing some pitching to convince her to go for it this month! Cheers for the review.

    • You’re welcome! 🙂 I really hope you manage to see it. Have to admit that I loooove sci-fi and any movie in space is going to appeal to me so I’m not entirely sure how those who don’t like space may feel about it. :-/ I thought the story was good, though. I liked the characters. If she likes those sort of things, MAYBE she can look past it being set in space?? 🙂

  3. I’m glad that Curron made this movie for us and not the 22 year old at your work. If there is one movie I’m glad I saw in theaters it would be Gravity. I would love to watch it again(Maybe in 2D like you mentioned)

  4. This makes me very happy that you liked it like I did!! YAY!! HIGH FIVES!! LOW FIVES!!

    I too hate 3D and not just because it’s so gimmicky – I ten to tilt my head when I watch TV / Movies (like Forrest Gump) so not only is everything blurry but the effects are all off and it gives me a headache. I think it worked so well in here because there’s nothing linear and horizontal to restrain our eyes.

    Bravo!

  5. Wow, terrific post! I love the last few lines there, it’s certainly true of my experiences doing this whole film reviewing thing. I’m such a newbie!!! 😀

    But yes, I wholeheartedly agree — slodging through months and months’ worth of decent-to-crappy offerings is so worth it when you get to a film like this, a film that knows how good it looks and how realistic it is. I must admit that it is perhaps better enjoyed by film buffs, but I think it’s got a decent range of appeal as well. . . hence the casting of George Clooney (methinks. . . they easily could have put someone else in this role who would have done a decent job as well. . . )

    • Thanks! 🙂 Yeah – I think they tried to make it a little more “mainstream” with the stars and with the stories of the characters. I know this film will definitely NOT work for everyone, though. I fully expect things like the imdb rating to go down once this is released on DVD and more people see it.

  6. Very good review. Agreed that the main character’s backstory works for this movie. It is why we feel like we are watching a woman in trouble, instead of a movie star pretending to be in danger.

  7. Good review. The look of this movie really got me involved. However, once the characters started talking, I couldn’t help but be taken out of the story and the overall atmosphere. Obviously the weakest-link in a pretty strong movie.

    • Thanks. 🙂 I think there will definitely be people who don’t buy into the characters and their stories and that will hurt the film for them. For me, though, it was all good. 🙂

    • Thanks. 🙂 It is true! I get days where I want to throw in the towel because I think I’m not very good at this blogging thing but I love the interaction with all these people with similar interests.

    • I think we’re not the only ones who weren’t crazy about Avatar. 🙂 I agree Gravity goes a bit Hollywood and I can understand some people’s issues with the characters and their stories. But it all worked for me! I’m happy with that. 🙂

  8. Love the director, don’t usually care for this type of movie but one of my coworkers mentioned that her husband dragged her to see it and she ended up enjoying it. Angie Harmon also tweeted a picture of her reaction to the movie, lol, she looked totally stunned.

    I think I’ll wait for the DVD and I have a feeling it’s going to be one that I always bring home but never watch.

    • Well, it is an excellent film but it probably certainly helps if you like space/sci fi (I do – Sci fi is probably my favorite genre). I hope you give it a chance! It’s beautiful to look at and the performances are great. 🙂

  9. Completely agree! I was well and truly impressed, and enjoyed the review. I’m reading loads now after avoiding them before seeing it, and it’s great to see a film get such a lot of praise.

    • Thanks – Yeah, it was a great film & I love reading all the positive reviews (and getting mad at the negative ones. Lol). I totally avoided all reviews beforehand too so I’m just catching up on reading the reviews for it now. 🙂

    • Thanks. 🙂 I’d say it’s definitely very tense but it depends on what you actually find stressful. I can’t stand the thought of being in one of those suits and not being able to breathe. For others it will just be the thought of being so alone & adrift out in space. For others it will be the action scenes, which were more intense than I was expecting. Yes, for me, I found the film very tense. But very good! 🙂

  10. Love the ending paragraph, so true. I started blogging about ¾ years ago and I couldn’t be happier about my decision to make this blog. I don’t feel so alone anymore. 😀

    And Gravity was truly remarkable, an unique experience, and it came to Norway later than anywhere, so I know what you mean, so I feared for the hype a bit, but actually… Gravity deserved it. I thought it was tense, too, kept holding my breath and holding on to my seat.

    • Sorry I’m so late replying to this! Thanks – I had fun with that last paragraph. I’m just coming up to one year doing this blogging thing & I’m glad I started it. It’s great being able to chat with other movie lovers. 🙂

      Gravity really IS one of those movies made for movie lovers. 🙂 I know there will be those who don’t like it…

  11. You’re totally right. This made Avatar’s use of the technology look childish. My only thing is, how can you possibly ever watch it at home and get 10% of the experience? But Cuaron put on a clinic on how to use story and tech as partners to create the ultimate immersive film experience.

    • Oh, this movie will definitely lose something when viewed at home. I totally bought into Bullock’s character & her story so know I’d still like it at home. Those who didn’t like the characters so much (and apparently plenty of people didn’t), won’t want to watch this at all on a TV screen I’m afraid. :-/

      • That’s my fear too. It’s not a wait and see it at home movie. It’s a movie that earns your money for a theater ticket. Bullock, to me, is the frontrunner for Best Actress right now and I’m not even a fan. She carried that movie. I give her huge huge props.

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