Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (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
To prepare for shooting, Sandra Bullock spent six months in physical training while reviewing the script with Alfonso Cuarón. Cuarón said, "More than anything else, we were just talking about the thematic element of the film, the possibility of rebirth after adversity." They worked out how she would perform each scene, and her notes were included the previsual animation and programming for the robots. Cuarón and Bullock zeroed in on Stone's breath, "and how that breath was going to dictate her emotions," he said. "That breath that is connected with stress in some instances, but also the breath that is dictated by lack of oxygen." Their conversations covered every detail of the script and Bullock's character. "She was involved so closely in every single decision throughout the whole thing," Cuarón said. "And it was a good thing, because once we started prepping for the shoot, it was almost more like a dance routine, where it was one-two-three left, left, four-five-six then on the right. She was amazing about the blocking and the rehearsal of that. So when we were shooting, everything was just about truthfulness and emotion." James Cameron, best friend of Cuarón and a huge fan of the film, said "She's the one that had to take on this unbelievable challenge to perform it. (It was) probably no less demanding than a Cirque du Soleil performer, from what I can see. There's an art to that, to creating moments that seem spontaneous but are very highly rehearsed and choreographed. Not too many people can do it. ... I think it's really important for people in Hollywood to understand what was accomplished here." See more »
When Kowalski asks Stone to let go of him because the rope will not hold them both, that could never happen because they are both in the same orbit around the earth. A short simple tug would have brought him back to her. Additionally, once they are drifting away from the ISS, disconnecting from Kowalski would not cause her to rebound back toward the ISS unless another force pulled her back in its direction. At most she would stop when the ropes reach the end of their slack, in which case Kowalsky would also have stopped. 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 drinks.
[...] See more »
The credits end with the sound of a radio transmission and a man counting down: "Three, two, one, mark." See more »
In my opinion, the key to making special effects convincing on screen is designing the effect to look somewhere between real and unreal. When the audience can't figure out what's real and what's not, they will believe it. This is what happened to me during Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity.
Since Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón takes his love of the long take and brings it to new levels. I couldn't figure out how these long shots were accomplished. The camera floats freely around the astronauts in space in long takes, occasionally shifting from third person perspective to first person. The camera loops, twirls, corkscrews around space, completely forgoing the human sense of up and down. It looked like the cameraman was really floating around with the actors. I knew that wasn't possible. But eventually I tapped out and let the movie spectacle just wash over me.
As science fiction thematically explores the extreme potential of mankind, awe is an important component to every science fiction story. I was in sheer awe through the entirety of Gravity. Firstly, outer space and the beauty of Earth from a distance awed me. Then there was the solemn beauty of witnessing the space stations being decimated in space. I began to marvel at the destruction and momentarily thought deep thoughts. It was as if for a second I was watching waves wash ashore on a beach while reading J. Krishnamurti. Finally, I was awed by the fragility of human life. After all, all astronauts are just little fishes trying to survive out of their own habitat. The experience was otherworldly, self-reflective and dangerous all at the same time.
I walked into Gravity mistakenly thinking it was a George Clooney vehicle. To my surprise, it's a Sandra Bullock movie. Sandra Bullock has always had a natural personable quality on screen. Whether it was pining for her crush to awaken from a coma in While You Were Sleeping or driving a bus that's primed to explode in Speed, she's always able to draw the audience into her plight with vulnerability. Bullock's characters never feel above the audience. Often this quality of hers get overlooked from having to play cheerful funny characters in romantic comedies.
In Gravity, that quality is used to its full extent. We watch as she struggles to survive a series of obstacles. Her performance is as immersive as the special effects. She draws you in completely into her plight. I wish more depth were given to her character. By the beginning of the third act, the film starts to run low on its spectacle and it came to the moment where more character was needed for a bigger statement. Gravity elected to stay with its spectacle and jetted for the finish line. It had a good ending, but it was missing that final thematic punch that answers, "What is this story ultimately about?" and "Why am I watching this?"
And for that, Gravity is a great gem and one exhilarating thrill ride. I am even happy that it was a great role for Sandra Bullock. I just do not know if the thrills will be as compelling on subsequent viewings. So in the end, it is not a masterpiece, but a very awesome movie nonetheless.
For more reviews, please visit my film blog @ http://hkauteur.wordpress.com
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