Let me preface this review by introducing myself. I am a 2009 graduate of the University of Nick Saban with a degree in film. I host/cohost two podcasts on movies and pop culture. I grew up a total barner, until I actually understood the rules of football. Then recognized Alabama as the superior team to pull for in my home. My name is Caleb. Let me be your movie date tonight, I can’t promise not to get frisky.
There are several things that intrigue me about space. The annoying people around you are smarter than the annoying people on earth, so putting up with their shenanigans is a little easier. Drinking water is now more fun because you can pull off super cool tricks. My favorite part about space though? No matter how fat you are, you weigh exactly the same as your anorexic cohort. That’s right, gravity.
There are several movies you could choose to see this Friday night before your beer and rotel dip induced acid reflux attack (football coma) on Saturday. Sure, if you’re an Auburn fan, you could go see Runner Runner (which currently has an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes) or you could do yourself and your date a favor and go see Gravity.
Gravity is a film that took a while to make. Between it’s weird casting changes and the unique way Alfonso Cuarón went about shooting the movie, it took a while to see the surface. The original actors that were going to play Clooney and Bullock’s roles were Robert Downey Jr. and Angelina Jolie. After seeing the film, I can’t imagine it with Salt and Iron Man or any other actors for that matter.
Bullock is outstanding. This is her Rammer Jammer. She beat the hell out of this role. I’ve always been a fan of hers and this movie has made me an even bigger fan. Being alone in space would be scary as hell. Being alone in a space movie with no help from another leading actor would be even scarier. She totally nailed it.
The mid 90’s brought us Apollo 13. At the time, I’m sure we were all wowed by the weightless environment the movie portrayed. Take that movie and multiply it times a thousand and you’ll have Gravity. Not only do we see our main characters floating around in zero g, but 90% of the movie they aren’t even encapsulated, just floating hopelessly around Earth’s orbit.
Go see this movie multiple times. I normally never say this, but shell out the extra dough and also see it in 3D. It’s outstanding. 3D movies are normally the Lane Kiffin of the Hollywood movie scene. They’re always there, getting money, and pissing everyone off while not giving a damn. That being said, give Kiffin a break this go around. He did however piss a lot of Tennessee fans off a few years ago, and that’s something I’m okay with. Before I get into spoilers, if you haven’t seen this movie and plan on going in blind with no idea what’s about to happen I’d suggest you quit reading now.
THE BACK ROW:
Welcome to the back row. If you’re reading this part, I’ll guess you’ve either seen the movie or you kill kittens, because it’s about to get all spoilery up in here.
After discussing this movie on the latest episode of InFocus Filmcast, the host Josh Frost brought up the fact that this film is about being reborn. In an artsy fartsy sort of way, I totally agree. At one point in the film we see Bullock shed her suit and ball up into the fetal position. When her capsule lands, she has to again shed her suit and swim to surface only to struggle to stand up from the effects space has on the human body.
Big spoiler here, but when Clooney’s character is floating off into space with no hope but to just die and hope aliens one day find your frozen corpse, was very eerie. The whole movie was so surreal, in that it was almost like a space simulator. There wasn’t much backstory or character development involved because it wasn’t needed. The only emotional attachment we have for Clooney’s character is the stories he tells and the only emotional attachment we have for the other astronaut that has 5 minutes of screentime is after he dies. As an audience we don’t care that the third person on Bullock’s crew dies until we see her look at a picture of him and his family. The low amount of investment we have in these characters is what makes this a perfect space simulator. It’s cold, empty, and when someone dies what can you do?
Things are going smoothly in this movie until satellite debris starts orbiting the Earth at bullet speed (thanks a lot Russians). The debris destroys everything in it’s wake, including an actor’s face, his ship, the Hubble Space telescope, and every last sense of hope of returning to earth in one piece.
After all hell breaks loose we have a space adventure with Bullock and Clooney. It’s mainly Bullock’s show, but Clooney has a very important role. After he dies, Bullock imagines him coming to her rescue. After she wakes up, she kind of gets nice little swift kick to keep fighting and try to make it back alive.
Another valuable life lesson this movie teaches is to always have a fire extinguisher. I won’t spoil the reason why, but when you see the scene I’m talking about you’ll chuckle. This was the only scene I rolled my eyes in. The other 89 minutes they were wide open as I was dodging debris flying at the screen. Like I said, see this in 3D and thank me later.
Follow me on twitter @calebhawk and let me know what you thought of Gravity.