In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage - a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.
The world is shocked by the appearance of two talking chimpanzees, who arrived mysteriously in a U.S. spacecraft. They become the toast of society; but one man believes them to be a threat to the human race.
Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone - tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. Written by
Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón developed the script at Universal Pictures. Universal hoped to attach Angelina Jolie to the project, but decided the film was too expensive, and put the film into turn-around. The film spent four years in development hell because the cinematography, visual effects, and realistic "story atmosphere" of vacuum were too challenging. Alfonso Cuarón had to wait for technology to catch up to his vision. That finally happened in 2009, with James Cameron's Avatar (2009). See more »
Houston tells the astronauts that debris from a Russian missile strike on one of their satellites has caused a chain reaction, destroying other satellites, and a huge debris field is heading toward them at high speed. NASA: "Multiple satellites are down and they keep on falling." Kowalski: "Define multiple satellites." NASA: "Most of them are gone. Telecommunications systems are dead." There are a great many problems with this, made all the more important because point is so central to the plot. First, an explosion, collision, or anything else that happens to an object in orbit is unlikely to "knock it down" or cause satellites to fall. The only way an object "falls out of orbit" is if its orbital speed is slowed enough to make it lose altitude until it contacts the atmosphere. The situations as described would simply destroy the object, but most if not all of the mass would remain in orbit, with pieces detaching and shooting off in relatively random directions. Second, communications satellites aren't in low-Earth-orbit ("LEO") like the Shuttle & Hubble Space Telescope. LEOs are at an altitude of roughly 200 miles, whereas communications satellite are in geosynchronous orbits (so-called "Clarke Orbits" in honor of SF author Arthur C. Clarke who first proposed them) about 22,240 miles above the Earth's surface. It is virtually impossible for a non-nuclear explosion to send debris 22,000 miles up even in airless space, never mind put pieces on an intersecting path with satellites that travel above the equator. Third, NASA didn't always use communications satellites to reach the Shuttle. If the Shuttle was above America NASA could use microwave, telephone and other methods to send voice to the appropriate ground station, which would then beam the signal directly to the Shuttle (and vice versa). Ground stations in Europe could be reached by NASA via the telephone & data trunk lines under the Atlantic Ocean. In the worst case Ham Radio could even be used to communicate between NASA and the various ground stations. Even if none of this was possible ground stations are manned by communications people during Shuttle flights, and they could have talked directly with the Shuttle even if they had trouble reaching NASA immediately. See more »
Please verify that the P1 ATA removal on replacement cap part 1 and 2 are complete.
DMA, M1, M2, M3 and M4 are complete.
Okay. Copy that, Explorer. Dr. Stone, Houston. Medical is concerned about your ECG readings.
I'm fine, Houston.
Well, medical doesn't agree, Doc. Are you feeling nauseous?
Not anymore than usual, Houston. Diagnostics are green. Link to communications card ready for data reception. If this works, when we touch down tomorrow, I'm buying all you guys a round of ...
[...] See more »
The director thanks his mother during the end credits, in Spanish: "a mi mamá, gracias". See more »
The intensity of the experience covers up for the weaknesses in the events and writing
I am really not a fan of 3D; I dislike that everything seems darker and a little bit harder to see and even for the big banner 3D movie (Avatar) it seemed like an unnecessary gimmick that didn't do enough to cover up a not particularly good film. Add to this the number of films that are cheaply retrofitted with 3D for the sake of money and I really have no interest in seeing anything in 3D if I have a normal option. Gravity was the exception since from what I heard it was probably worth seeing in 3D and from seeing it I can agree with this.
As a piece of technology, Gravity is really impressive. I always think that the absolute best use of special effects in films are those where you forget how impressive they are because they really don't stand out as different from everything else but are just part of the construct. That is the case here as space just feels real and the huge amount of work to make it happen isn't made a fuss of and doesn't get in the way of enjoying the film. Helping you forget this is the fact that the film is a real experience in terms of the story as a ride. Within a few minutes you are in the middle of the experience and it really doesn't stop until the end. Visually I did still feel the 3D made the images darker than they should have been and reduced the clarity of my whole field of vision, but in this case the feeling of being "in" the film really work and aside from one or two "thing coming at you" moments, it really worked. For me equally impressive was the sound engineering; most sound effects are given a really satisfying "via contact" sound the sound where the vibrations come via water or another material like they vibrate through your body rather than in the air. This was done so very well and helped me get into it as much as the visuals and effects.
The one thing to say though is that all of this probably only applies if you see it in the cinema and with the full experience because this is what it is about and it would be wrong to get sucked up in the experience and not see the weaknesses within this film. Specifically these are in the content and they will be more apparent on a smaller screen. The events within the film are so unlikely that without these strong aspects drawing you in, they will probably be more likely to push you out of the experience to question what you are watching. Attempts to add character and back story are OK but only as part of an already engaging experience mostly they are only so-so and one or two rather clunky bits of symbolism really don't work. That said it is not down to the cast. Clooney may be very much about his calmness under pressure and his great presence but Bullock does a very good job to be vulnerable and fighting to survive and just like the effects do, her performance draws you in even if the material she sometimes has to deliver has the potential to do the opposite.
Gravity is only 90 minutes and it moves with intensity and urgency that is effective and greatly helped by how great it is as an experience. As such it will work best by far with a large screen and those silly overpriced glasses on because it is all about this and in this context the weaknesses are less impacting but there are weaknesses and they do have an impact and I suspect that as the film moves onto smaller screens, these will be more apparent.
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