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Great Visuals, Weak Script overall
vikascoder4 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Visually, Gravity is unlike what we have seen on a cinema screen before and arguably it has one of the best uses of 3D in a movie. The setting is spectacular and the premise is inventive.

On every other front,the movie falters badly. Once you get over the initial wonderment surrounding the beautiful visuals, the chinks start showing up. Overall the script is very weak. Apparently the Russians bomb their own satellite by mistake and the debris is flying around at bullet speed, smashing everything in its way. Now upon hearing an emergency evacuation request, Kowalski (who has been wasting his precious thrusters all this while, floating around, spouting inane dialogs) orders Ryan (Bullock) to disengage from whatever she is repairing. Apparently Ryan has six months of training (only) and fails to be responsive and then the trouble starts.

We come to know that Ryan has some head issues surrounding the death of her daughter as the writer felt a dire need to give Ryan some sort of existential problem in her head to make her character feel more human. Apart from this minor bit, nothing is presented in terms of character development for any other protagonists. Who is Kowalski? Who are the people who died in their space pods? No idea.

Then the whole manufactured sense of suspense. Every time Ryan gets anywhere near the Air Lock (she does it three times), the debris presents itself like on cue every single time. Then a fire in a space station, then running out of Oxygen, then something then something. It's fine that they used some standard tricks but it all seems so manufactured and mechanical by the numbers suspense.

Also at times I couldn't shrug off the feeling that what they are showing on screen is not actually factual. Do the controls on various international space stations have their national languages on them? Really? Maybe they do but seems hard to believe when 20$ phones are built with custom User interfaces with changeable languages, why have your billion dollar space stations with Russian or Chinese characters on your buttons totally beats me. Oh manufactured suspense owing to the whole can't-understand-this-thing machinery.

The the dialogs when they come are nothing to write home about. Ryan has a hallucinatory moment when she talks to herself following some Mandarin Chatter on the radio which is cringe worthy. I wont even mention the in-your-face allegory about rebirth which is there for to make the movie seem deeper than it is.

So what works for the movie? It's a cross between an IMAX documentary with some suspense elements thrown it which makes it look path breaking.

But it's not. Not a bad watch but nothing to rave about either.
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Super special effects, weak story and dialog
junkmail-3856 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
In segments, Gravity has marvelous special effects--truly a remarkable achievement. The weak parts of the movie are the contrivances that link these segments together, along with unbelievably bad dialog. (Maybe someone will be brave enough to register the contrivances formally as "goofs" here on IMDb?)

No way could astronauts from the shuttle ever reach the International Space Station, but Gravity asks us to believe both this could happen and that an astronaut could then go on to reach a Chinese space station, too. These objects just don't orbit anywhere--ANYWHERE!!!!--near close enough to each other to make these events even remotely possible. Not only are their orbits vastly different in altitude and trajectory, it would be highly unlikely for them all to be near each other in the same orbit. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Gravity also asks us to believe that the orbit of the space debris intersected with that of the shuttle and was synchronized with it.

No way could Ryan Stone figure out how to operate a Soyuz capsule in a few seconds of reading the manuals. No way could Ryan Stone figure out how to operate the Chinese capsule just by poking around.

Of lesser failures: Space debris traveling 20,000 miles an hour relative to an observer is not going to be visible except *possibly* as an indistinct cloud that passes by so fast the "observer" won't know what hit them.

For all of the CGI effort, I had hoped the Earth would look more realistic and (naturally) beautiful.

In closing, the special effects were great but the weak story relied on too many absurd contrivances and the script contained no redeeming dialog (sorry, George). On balance: 7 stars.
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Lost in Space
BKTrayner8 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The big "spoiler" is that this is a big budget Hollywood move with a preposterous plot and lots of special effects. The problem here is that nobody could possible survive through any of this, and the special effects become a substitute for any meaningful plot. Even taken on its own terms, the movie makes no sense. Sandra Bullock has become an astronaut but lacks even the basic skills for that occupation. She tells us she always crash landed the flight simulator, and we find her thumbing through an instruction manual about the size of the instructions for a DVD player to figure out how to safely pilot a space craft back to earth. She even picks the buttons eeny, meany, miney, mo style. Add to this the contrived scenario that she has not only lost a child but also is "revived" and given a reason to live by the now dead George Clooney appearing in a dream sequence. And how great a movie can it really be where there is only one character (and almost no dialog) on camera for most of the film. The special effects are impressive, but what they've obviously done is use computer graphics to create all the weightless effects. As such, things remain weightless even when they shouldn't be, and you eventually become more interested in looking for the screw-ups than watching the movie. Please, please, please. Will someone make a movie with a clever plot that keeps you guessing to the end and with interesting and passably believable characters.
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Gravity is Weightless
tcara1116 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Did those who've written glowing reviews of Gravity see the same movie I did? Look, I wanted to like this flick, I really did. And I don't want to rag on it, but if you're going to make a dramatic science thriller, you had better get it right or expect to catch it from the smart people. Despite the cosmic setting, the only star I can give Gravity is for the computer generated graphics.That said, this is not a movie for intellectuals and those of a scientific bent will be sorely disappointed. What made Ron Howard's Apollo 13 so gripping was its dramatic realism and superb acting. Unfortunately, none of those adjectives applies to Gravity, with the possible exception of some drama. However, for thinkers, effective drama requires an intellectual investment in the credibility of the story, the characters and the interaction between them. Intelligent humans need to believe that what is being depicted could actually happen. Unfortunately, the events depicted in Gravity are likely to alienate anyone with an above average IQ. Once one has acknowledged the impressive graphics, any anticipation of emotional investment is quickly dashed to smithereens by the unbelievably vapid and inane dialog. It is painfully obvious that someone with a double-digit scientific IQ appears to have awoken one morning and haphazardly decided to write a "space movie". The physics are off, the events highly improbable. The entire story demands a suspension of belief in reality. Worst of all, the dialog and interaction between the characters is so juvenile that anyone with a brain gets the immediate impression that the project is the product of sophomoric show-biz types who think that the way to move the product is to recycle hackneyed clichés, shiny objects and big explosions. Bullock's character, Dr. Ryan Stone, is so unprepared and emotionally disabled by adversity that it is impossible to believe that she would have been selected as a mission specialist. Yet, she manages to flit from one space wreck to another and yet another. She consults operation manuals in Russian and, later, Chinese, yet she is heard muttering "eeny meeny miney mo" while haphazardly pushing control buttons like some clueless chimpanzee. The space vehicle's communication equipment fails to pick up "Houston Control", yet, miraculously, is able to receive a bizarre Chinese comedy and howling dogs, which Bullock's character feels compelled to imitate. Clooney's character, Matt Kowalski, is such a clichéd hero that he is depicted as nonchalantly jesting with the hysterical Dr. Stone while he himself is drifting into a desperately life-ending situation. We are expected to believe that, despite having trained intimately together for this mission, these characters address each other by their formal titles and make clichéd announcements back to a non-responsive mission control. Kowalksi has waited until he's drifting to his death to ask where Dr. Stone is from and if she has any kids. Finally, director Cuaron makes a supremely lame attempt at cinematic iconography depicting Bullock floating in a fetal position, a la Kubrick's Space Odessey. And after having had such a bad day and having plunged to Earth in a flaming meteor-like reentry, Stone emerges, unscathed and barefoot mind you, from the ocean onto an idyllic, uninhabited beach like some primal human emerging from the sea. Now, I feel bad about feeling bad about this movie. And I respect Ms. Bullock and Mr. Clooney as actors. However, it is my humble opinion that actors must assume some responsibility for the roles they accept. This movie was so cringe-worthy that the only reason I sat through it was to see how ridiculous it would get. Alas, other than the black hole into whose abyss was irretrievably sucked away any hope I once had for discovering intelligent life in this movie, "Gravity" lacked gravitas.
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In Space no one can hear you – "ask for your money back!"
shuttlealmanac3 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
In Space no one can hear you – "ask for your money back!"

Disclaimer: Spoiler Alert - its horrible.

I just left the movie theatre angry. I cant think of a time that's ever happened to me.

Yes I may know more than the average Joe regarding manned spaceflight, after 30 years of writing about it. That doesn't mean the movie makers have to insult movie goers with the lack of any sense of reality. No wonder people don't think man landed on the moon.

From start to finish there were blatant factual errors in everything from the laws of Physics, Engineering and Orbital Mechanics to the unidentifiable views of the earth. I recognized two views of the earth, one of Florida and Cuba, the other the Nile in Egypt. It seems the producers decided to mess with those as well, good luck recognizing them.

I stopped counting errors after 50, by that point I was considering leaving the theatre, a few others managed to escape.

I know at least one NASA Astronaut bragged about making a contribution to the film as a technical adviser. I wont name her because its embarrassing enough for her to know she did that. I always wonder why movie makers use Astronauts as tech advisors when they have no intention of actually using their contributions.

Im not going to quote any of the script, why waste your time. It's a ranting monologue from an Astronaut with all of six months training at NASA to conduct an EVA at Hubble and who addresses her crew mates by their formal rank and last name only. Oh and magically during her six month training to fly on the Shuttle she managed to get a little Soyuz pilot training under her belt, very fortunate for her.

Finally, the movie is poorly written, almost ad-libbed, poorly researched, with a story line that has no connection to reality. I wouldn't watch this a second time if I was paid to. At the end I was expecting to see a 2,000 year old arm from the Statue of Liberty on a beach, seriously.

For a more representative vision of Spaceflight you may choose to watch the Simpsons episode where Homer and an inanimate carbon rod, save the Space Shuttle.

I highly do not recommend this movie unless you download it for free off Pirate Bay or get someone else to pay for you.

FYI – Im not a movie reviewer and I typed this out in five minutes, because I want my money back.
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A contrary view to the popular acclaim
arathorn3576 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The box office takings and the almost universal acclaim from the critics for this movie - see eg would suggest that this is a must see - well here is a contrary view.

This may be from an age perspective (I was at school watching TV when that Armstrong guy sang 'I was walking on the moon one day' in July 1969) - and for the first 20 minutes we have a similar light hearted banter from G. Clooney, who while being highly space savvy is, unlike that original space larrikin, just plain annoying as he tries to emulate past heroes as he calms and guides S.Bullock through a predictable and ongoing series of high impact incidents. A handsome show off, with a serious penchant for rescuing damsels in distress, sits naturally with our George, whatever the state of his pulse.

But the movie is really about Bullock's character, and she is an actor capable of both great comedy and feeling (often within the same work) but here she is just not believable with the exception of the initial panic scenes that do get everyone's heart racing for a short time. In dealing with loss she has suffered on earth and in facing eternity in space, neither portrayal is credible.

Weaver in Aliens or Hanks in Apollo 13 - those were stories that really got to you (well, me anyway) but at the end of this its all a bit so what?

A very honorable exception for the cinematography, especially if you see it in the IMAX or 3D versions which really do give you a new perspective on space - but well deployed technology alone does not a movie make.

I give it 4 out of 10 - slightly disappointed at something that could have been so much better. I appreciate most of the world seems to disagree with my view.
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Gravity isn't just a movie, it's an experience
cricketbat21 September 2018
Gravity isn't just a movie, it's an experience. It's an experience of sight, it's an experience of sound and it's an emotional experience, as well. This film makes you feel like you are drifting among the stars, instead of just showing you a story set in space. The visual effects are unique, awe-inspiring and terrifying, and while the plot is simple, there is beauty in its simplicity. I've never seen a movie quite like Gravity.
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Impossible to sympathize with the main character
daniellecaddy-971-82026421 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Most of the other reviewers who gave it 1/10 have already nailed it. Yeah, the CG was beautiful, but the story and physics were awful.

But also, what was up with the "woman of science" going all religious when faced with death? "oh lord if you are up there... oh wait". What's more she always seemed to need a man around to tell her what to do. What does she do when she doesn't have his guidance? Tries to kill herself. Great.

Sandras character just spent the entire time messing things up. You could cut together her bumbling about, add yakety sax and a laugh track, and title it "Sandra Bullock is a klutz in space!"

And don't get me started on the imagery. They were really trying to hit home on that fetus thing... that shot went on forever. How dumb did they think the audience was? Pretty dumb I'm guessing if they all believed the reviews and threw their money at it. Yes we get it, she was reborn and overcame the grief of losing her daughter. But now we're secretly hoping she gets eaten by a camel or something. That would have made it worth the 90 minutes.
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The Most Visually Stunning Film Of 2013
CalRhys27 July 2014
Truly epic in scale! Whilst 'Gravity' falls short against films like '2001: A Space Odyssey', it is a tense and visually stunning thriller from Alfonso Cuarón. Cuarón is one of my all-time favourite directors, and this CGI-heavy project just boasts skill and ingenuity from the director, DOP and VFX artist. The critics stated that you would be gripping to the edge of your seats, this is true in every aspect, the film is full of intense and thriller situations with amazing performances from Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Just shy from winning Best Picture over '12 Years a Slave', 'Gravity' left the Oscars with 7 Academy Awards to its name, and it deserved each and every one of them. A masterpiece that allows the viewer to become immersed within the scene to often thrilling effect.
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What the heck did I just see?????????
watchtiger117 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
First of all there is NOTHING I repeat NOTHING that warrants the cost of a 3D ticket.

Second, this movie is boring and overly predictable.

Third, there is nothing in this movie that makes you want to care that suddenly this "mission specialist" played by Bullock is stuck up in space alone.

Fourth, where points could have been made to make you want to care about anyone in the movie they don't bother. Clooney's character keeps telling "Mission Control" stories for the most part that they've heard about his life. We haven't heard them and you never do. His character is only concerned about getting a record for the longest un-tethered space walk.

Fifth, Bullocks character acts like a buffoon. She "claims" to only have had 6 months of training. Based on what she says she would have been disqualified due to her questionable mental state after (years before)her daughter dies from some play ground accident at her day care. Now I like Sandra Bullock, but this performance is not worthy of an Oscar at all.

Sixth, She "magically" makes(this is because she spent over 5 minutes breathing in pure carbon monoxide, if this had been real she'd be dead) it to the Russian Soius Space capsule. She then using pictures in books can magically use buttons in Russian capsule to make it work, though claimed she trained on the simulator for them, she still needs the books to operate these things. She then "magically" get an empty fueled Soius capsule over to the Chinese station. Which is identical to the Soviet but in Chinese instead (this is probably fact as China bought their space station tech from Russia)and again using picture books she gets the thing to work.

Seventh, Drama and suspense, WHERE, you are told that the satellite debris will be around ever 90 minutes, the astronauts set their timers for the count down so again that's NEVER a surprise not only that, it's camera shot debris coming, look at watch. NO suspense.

Eighth, The ending, Specialist Ryan escapes in the Chinese capsule and gets back to earth, crashes in to the water and you are left with her walking on the beach. That's it you just wasted 100 minutes for this pointless that could be done in 30 minutes.

NOT worth your time or money.
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don't waste your $$
bberger6-816-33191412 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The short version: Gravity is a real stinker ... what's all the hype? Clichéd, BORING,technically lame, not worth 3-D, and beyond Bullock's abilities ... Don't waste your $$.

The longer version: WHY is this movie receiving so much hype? What a LOSER! Not only is it BORING, but dishonors the brave men and women who are REAL astronauts. Sorry, Neil Armstrong ... not even a BABY STEP for mankind in this stinker.

Every possible cliché is at work here: the damsel in distress, the "strip" of the damsel, the depression of the damsel, the refusal of the damsel to obey orders, the damsel repeatedly wailing "what do I do nowwwwww?", etc. How this lame-o "brilliant medical engineer" EVER qualified to be an astronaut is not explained (must be due to all the budget cut-backs).

Similarly, the other "astronaut," George Clooney, a know-it-all wise guy, suicidally releases himself into deep space early on for no good reason ... so we're stuck with Ms. Lame-o and weak special effects for most of the movie ...

Said damsel is the flyweight actress Sandra Bullock -- whining, preceding every other line with a snurfff (Best Boy! get that woman some Benadryl!), and heavy breathing sum up her portrayal. You wouldn't want HER along as a member of the team, well, anywhere ... even Disney World ...

WhyEVER would George Clooney lend his name to such bunkum?

Don't waste your money ... and the 3-D ... laughable -- not EVEN worth it ...
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GRAVITY - In space, substance doesn't matter
writer10-15 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The critics who drool over GRAVITY must be as oxygen-starved as Sandra Bullock's character. Visually arresting, yes. But GRAVITY is a triumph of style over substance, and fantasy over plausibility. (Many spoilers ahead.) Leave aside for the moment the utter implausibility of the chain reaction of satellite disasters. (Satellites orbit at different altitudes. That's space 101.) In my former life as a journalist, I wrote a long article on space junk. A collision with one piece of flotsam would have plausibly sufficed. A fusillade of space junk is overkill. And Ed Harris's alert about the first mishap was a clumsy telegraph of the crisis to come. Would that the director had invested one-tenth the attention he gave the pictures into the plot. Also ignore Bullock's out-of-control Chinese capsule surviving re-entry into Earth's atmosphere ... or landing within a dog-paddle to shore on a planet that's 70% covered by water. Oh, and space capsules are DESIGNED for water landings, which means they DON'T flood when the door opens. Forget all that. Instead, focus on character, which is what movies are all about -- or should be. The actors can't be faulted for the sins of the writers: Clooney is written as a one-dimensional, wise-cracking Danny Ocean. Bullock sounds like her character from SPEED, not a brilliant Harvard Ph.D. In one of the hoariest moments of the film, Bullock actually PAUSES in her tortoise-like race to safety to listen to Clooney's pep talk (can't we drive a stake through that cliché?), then gets a second wind -- while breathing Co2 -- and sprints the final yards to safety (another cliché). Upon reaching the Russian capsule, she wastes time stripping and napping -- for the sake of the director's silly rebirth metaphor -- while Clooney waits to be rescued. Again, the actors are doing the best they can with the material they have. But the only Oscars this film deserves are for the visuals. Certainly not for acting, writing, or music. (Composers: The single, sustained note that slowly builds to a thunderous crescendo is a cliché. Oh, and you just telegraphed the outcome.) Which brings us to dialogue. To quote one screenwriter, "Why does every director assume he can write?" Anyone who's been in a life-or-death moment knows that people just don't engage in serial wise-cracking or kill time with long anecdotes. The sheer silliness of some of the lines undermined the spectacle of the images. As for Bullock's monologues (e.g., the baby broadcast, the ode to Clooney) -- well, the writers wrote themselves into a corner there. As a writer, I appreciate the challenge of putting words into her mouth when she has no one to listen. What came out rang false.... Want a good film about a disaster in space? Watch APOLLO 13. Enjoy -- or try to -- GRAVITY for the 3D spectacle it is. But don't let it go to your head.
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Great effects - horrible runtime
noelmckeown5 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I don't understand what all the hype is about this movie, I went expecting great things!! I'm big fan of the sci-fi genre and and avid space enthusiast so its usually something I would of though i'd like.

To start, the visuals and effects are pretty amazing. It executes the realism of space well. Thats where it stops, you get used to the shots over earth after a few minutes, then it just goes from one ridiculous disaster scenario to another for good aul sandra who seems to know Chinese and Russian by the way!! George Clooneys character is very annoying, never shuts up, must get in lots of pub fights if he was real.

From a movie that tries to use the present space tech, BTW CSS does not exist, its a joke how they use it....the crash landing at the end laughable!!

All in all, very average movie, I know its not really in same category as sci-fi i.e. no aliens, crazy future tech but I could list ten better movies that have lower score on IMDb, i'd even rate disneys blackhole better than this, haha

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vonskippy4 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was so very excited to see the movie, especially after seeing all the glowing reviews.

Are you people nuts? This movie sucked. Didn't anyone explain basic physics to Cuaron, or how simple orbital mechanics work? Next time hire a first year physics student from any university to explain how things in space work.

Stop reading if you don't want to know about the easily predictable and totally not a surprise "spoilers".

But lets ignore all the "it could never happen that way" stuff and just look at the movie. This had all the excitement, tension and emotion of Jar Jar Binks.

Even at a mere hour and a half, and lets all thank our lucky stars they didn't drag this dish rag out any longer, it was BORING and PREDICTABLE. Clooney was smart, he got his character killed off early on, so he could collect his paycheck and leave orbit before people with a couple of brain cells watched and labeled this a stinker.

I can't believe all the drooling reviews - did we watch the same flick - or are the rest of the reviewers publicly educated dolts that are easily distracted by shiny objects? The CGI is good, which is why I can't imagine that not one of the CGI geeks didn't speak up and say "Hey, you do know this sucks asteroid balls right?" since most computer geeks are at least familiar with basic astronomy.

Of course they threw in that whole dribble about how Bullock's character lost her child - sniff, I'm over it - that was important - except for wasting like 12 boring minutes of time - how? The delusional, dream, obi-wan back from the dead, moment where Clooney climbs in and didn't immediately kill her with explosive decompression was another ginormous Huh? moment.

And on and on and on (can I please have the fire extinguisher of infinite delete vee please).

Wait till this lemon is out on Blu-ray so you can ooh and aah over the space CGI for a couple of minutes and then fast forward thru the astronomically high number of improbable, yet boring, scenes.
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Gravity -- much more than a space movie!
aquaphoenix15 April 2016
Gravity pulled me in right from the start!! The cinematography of Earth and space is stunningly breathtaking!!! The CGI was flawless, lending the impression of actually being there. I can't remember ever being pulled into a film so completely and thoroughly.

Gravity is a film that takes place in space, but it is SO much more than just a space movie. I identified with Sandra Bullocks character on a couple levels and I felt like I was in her place at the final scene.

Gravity. It pulls us down. It places us solidly where we are. It defines us. There is no escaping the reality...although sometimes we try. Sometimes all we need to do is let go and let gravity bring us home...

Questions that the film conjured in me: Where do we escape? What causes us to awaken? How do we pick up ourselves against the weight of the world and learn to walk again? Who are we really when we are stripped down to our core?

To feel the pain, the fear, the loss of dreams amidst each breath. To try again. To never give up. To heal. To dare embrace life. To love...
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Outstanding Sci-Fi Film
LetwitJr10 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Big science fiction films are all the rage this year (Oblivion, Elysium, Pacific Rim...) and Gravity is finally one worth watching. From the trailers I had no idea what to expect. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock floating around in space for two hours eventually became my best guess. I rushed the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and when someone said they were showing it in 3D, I was half tempted to leave the line. I hate 3D movies, they give me awful headaches and I don't see the point of them. As soon as Gravity started, I changed my mind.

The 3D definitely adds something to the film. The opening shot of earth and space is absolutely beautiful. The film starts up fast enough. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are both out doing repairs on the spaceship when Houston warns them the Russians blew up their own satellite and accidentally destroyed every other satellite there is. Debris is coming their way and they have to get back to earth as soon as possible. Of course, from the trailers we see that debris does his them, and without a spaceship they must find another way home.

George Clooney basically plays George Clooney in a space suit (a funny self-loving character also often played by Robert Downey Jr) and Sandra Bullock plays a doctor who was trained a few months for this mission only. George gets very little screen time but Sandra shines throughout the whole film. Despite her being alone, I would say there is quite a lot of action in the film. She's alone out there and you feel you are too. The film takes you in space and it feels claustrophobic to be there. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Throughout the film, you see Sandra's character growing as well. Not only is she trying to get back home, but she's finding the will to do so as well.

The film is a visual masterpiece. Yes there is a lot of CGI of course (basically everything you see on screen is fake) but it never felt like it. For once, the 3D definitely adds something to the experience. You get the depth of field you need to truly experience the movie and feel as through you're right there with Sandra. She gives an absolutely stunning performance, acting to absolutely nothing, yet always being right on the spot.

If you get a chance to see Gravity in theatres, go for it, especially if you see it in 3D (even if you usually hate 3D, believe me, it's worth it.) Alfonso Cuarón has outdone himself with this film, it's definitely a must see for sci-fi lovers.
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The most visually stunning movie I have ever seen
Beju-lakhani9 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is absolutely stunning from the get go. I can't remember ever being pulled into a film so completely and thoroughly, and I don't think I've seen a more beautiful film. Its a pretty intense ninety minutes, with Bullock's character constantly battling one catastrophe after another, and all of it is amazing to see. The plot is pretty straight forward (see it, I won't talk about that), but its the way they pull it off that makes it absolutely worth seeing. Thanks to some incredible CGI, great direction, and solid acting, the movie is an absolute must see. I'm normally not a fan of 3D movies (I hate wearing the stupid glasses), but this movie uses it wonderfully and to great effect. I would strongly recommend seeing it in an IMAX theatre if you get the chance - if there was ever a movie made for 3d IMAX, this is it.
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Gravity hurts the genre.
N_ig-matk31 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is yet another movie demonstrating space for many new viewers, IN THE WRONG WAY. If you set aside the horrible acting and the obviously written-in-a-day plot, all you have left is a steaming heap of special effects and sound editing that is designed to rope in young or stupid movie viewers, these days they are synonymous. This is essentially Sanctum(2011) cloned, set in space, with worse acting, and less intelligence. This movie had it's accurate moments, a rarity among cinema, but the creators also dropped the ball hard on many of the physics in the movie. Any of you that have studied physics and understand the concept of a vacuum, please stand up.

Spoilers ahead!~~

This genre is very hard to get followers as it is, but why oh why would you cast two of the worst possible people that could portray astronauts and then proceed to have them read lines that are most likely written by some guy that has absolutely no knowledge of internal conflict. Okay so here we go. -Does anyone truly believe that, during a SCHEDULED maintenance mission to a prestigious satellite like the Hubble, Russia would have been operating in the same level of orbit? OR if that doesn't hit it home, detonations are not executed in geosynchronous orbit EVER for fear of permanent debris OR how about did the engineers of either Russia or America randomly think that," hmm so we are going to blow up something in orbit(to reiterate this does not happen) and there absolutely won't be a chain reaction that causes the I.S.S. or the future C.S.S. to receive damage" NO because this just won't happen ever. -Why would NASA, assuming this is our time line (she mentions Huston, which is mission control) have authorized this woman(Bullock) for space operations if she is so prone to be mentally disabled in a crisis?(loss of child, apparently no significant other or family, seems depressed so the psych. eval. would have failed) -Why if after being approved for a mission to orbit(which requires ridiculous amounts of training), would this certified astronaut and specialist(most likely an electrical engineer, which happens to be my profession), be so idiotic in a situation as grievous as this. I mean there are well over a dozen times that she seems to have the capabilities of a high school dropout. -I know this is a movie but damn, the cliché's are killing me softly. Ripley is the only solo-heroine of the space genre, sorry Sandra. Also the hallucination cliché ,cough, movie isn't over, cough, she gets away unscathed,cough.

In conclusion, yes the special effects depict earth well and the debris/fire-in-zero-g was pretty good, it is clear that the budget went to the cg. The downfall is that space is big, this genre NEEDS exploration, not just our atmosphere! There is a big reason why media like Star Trek has staying power, and why many of the viewers and readers can obtain a lasting memory by stopping by NASA's website and read testimonials of astronauts and see pictures from satellites etc. This movie is just a hyped up 1.5 hours of cg with a terrible script and bad acting, that has nothing to give to the space genre. Sorry Hollywood, but until you give us the desire, you won't get viewers hooked on bad space movies. Sincerely yours, concerned techie.
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Stars in Space
littlemartinarocena13 October 2013
Visually stunning. A real first in the technical department and presumably that was the extent of its intent. None of the great themes of Kubrick's 1968 masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey", are present here. This is a superlative, 90 odd minutes of remarkable beauty but the 90 odd minutes become really long because, just like the heroine we have so little to cling on to, story wise. It seems petty to criticize a film of this kind for whatever it doesn't accomplish because what it means to accomplish, it does in spectacular fashion. I just felt that I was served a glorious appetizer without a main course. Two huge stars in space Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Why? If the idea was to dazzled us with something we had never seen before, great unknown actors would have added an extra something. Kubrick used Keir Dullea in "2001: A Space Odyssey", yes, Keir Dullea, or as Noel Coward put it, Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow. We know that if Sandra Bullock was in charge she, one way or another, will land safely. She's terrific, don't get me wrong, but I wasn't as worried about her as I should have been. The last problem was the score. Why? A standard horror/action flick musical score with cheap shots here and there. I think the purity of the work needed to be extended on every department. Now, putting all that aside, director Alfonso Cuaron must be applauded and I strongly recommend you to run and see it in the biggest screen you can find and in 3D.
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A stellar space film that is literally about space and vertigo and survival--fiction, but not science fiction
secondtake19 October 2013
Gravity (2013)

A ridiculously visual movie. The photography is astonishing. Astonishing. Add to that a story that never relents with suspense and emotional intensity and you have a remarkable movie.

The idea of being under constant stress, worrying for your main characters, should not be new if you know the director Alfonso Cuaron's previous major film, "Children without Men." And like that film, he works with his same cameraman, Emmanuel Lubezki, who has become a co-conspirator in his films. That's a good thing. This movie is a visual stunner. Yes, it has a lot of "effects" if you can call them that, but that have such visual coherence they remain logical and reasonable, even as they tip into the fabulous. It's an achievement.

Sandra Bullock is the main character here, even more than her co-lead George Clooney. And she's pretty amazing. You might think she doesn't get much room to stretch her abilities, trapped in space the whole time, but this is exactly where it shows how good she is. Even when she's talking to herself she makes it real, and moving, not a canned or cheesy sentimental or filler kind of moment. Clooney is also strong, playing the more experienced astronaut to a T, including his enduring calm in crisis.

Once you are done watching and leave the theater (or stand up from your couch) you might actually feel disoriented. Certainly in 3-D (and I saw it in the IMAX version) the effects are visceral. But looking back in the light of day you might also ask what the movie was about. Or rather, if it was about anything more than the one, relentless trajectory of surviving a series of near-death mishaps.

The answer is no. And that's a strength. It's definitely good that the writers (including the director) did not push the sentimentality too hard (there's a little). And there is no great sense of finding God or discovering your inner self. No, this is a survival film as gripping and down to earth (haha) as the vivid "Grey." No distractions here.

Except the visuals. Even in 2-D this must be something to marvel at. The 3-D was really really good, and this might seem odd to say given the theatrical mechanics of the camera and exploding spacecraft, but it's also really subtle. There are few moments (memorable ones, like Bullock's tears) where the dimensional aspects come forward. But the film basically uses the 3-D effects to enhance what is already there, nothing more. This of course, enhances a lot, but in respect to the story.

The photography is remarkable for the long takes at work, including the almost laugh- out-loud spectacular first long scene where Bullock and Clooney are doing spacewalks. The intelligence of how the camera pulls you into the scenes, with fluidity and without breaks (no edits, no cuts), is both beautiful and effective. There are even moments that are so virtuosic you wonder how they even thought they could do it, let alone then do and succeed.

The best example for me was watching Bullock spinning against the fixed starry sky, then the camera pulls closer and seamlessly starts to spin until the spinning becomes the same as Bullock's. The camera continues its approach, getting in on her helmet with reflections, and her face, and then finally her eye (yes that close), and with an incredibly deft wide angle swing we are in her head, looking out at the spinning universe, listening to her panic. Then the camera reverses and undoes all of this, step by fluid step. It takes a really long time, it happens without a single break (which means you are given no emotional escape), and it's both gorgeous and taut with terror.

There have been some questions raised about the feasibility of the various events--the different orbits of the real shuttle and space station, or the high speed of the spacewalker in a jetpack, or getting a visual on a space station 100 miles away--but you have to just let all that go. It doesn't really matter. It's not about likelihood on any level. And the movie is so accurate in so many ways it will seem very conceivable.

It's hard to imagine not liking this movie on one level or another. No, it isn't crazily imaginative like a Tarantino or Coen film, and it doesn't work its way into social or psychological significance, but what it deliberately does focus on is flawless.

a postscript: be sure to see the Cuaron directed parallel short film "Aningaaq" which is recently posted all over. Google it.
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Did the producers of "Gravity" pay for glowing reviews?
jbhellier6 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When I saw the film in IMAX, the reviews on here were 98% positive. Hmmm...

Six things in honor of my six score:

1. I should say from the get-go that I'm a product of the 80's, so I have a different impression of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney than most people. To me, Sandra Bullock is a clumsy and silly lady who can occasionally drive a bus at high speeds. And George Clooney is that guy from "Facts of Life". They can act in other films, but some early work set their images in my mind. Sandra was a medical engineer? I think not. Why not Rachael Weisz or Tilda Swinton? How about Cate Blanchett? And for the guy, how about someone who seems like he can focus for longer than a minute or two?

2. The cinematography is wonderful, and it does get very suspenseful. I found myself holding my breath at times.

3. It goes from dead silence to eardrum-piercing in 2 seconds flat throughout the movie.

4. They spent over four years on this movie, and yet some things seemed incredulous. George was supposed to know so much about motion and gravitational pull, but couldn't be bothered to take of his backpack (or anything) and propel himself backwards towards Sandra even though he was at a dead stop. He didn't even attempt to use the propulsion to show that it was out.

5. The Chinese craft was already heading toward

6. They kept banging into things very hard. This never seemed to modulate. Wouldn't somewhat smart people begin to learn to lessen the propulsion? Or did the guy who figured out that special effect go overboard in his demands for scenes? When Sandra would open a door to the crafts, she'd be thrown very hard against the side of the craft, and yet at no time did she let go...couldn't she have attached herself and then get thrown beyond the door and have to pull herself back? It just got repetitive and ridiculous.

But it's still a 6!
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a dream! she had a dream!
christopherwilliammann14 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
So the useless woman who admitted she had crashed every flight simulator she was asked to do - by NASA, by the way, and they still passed her - decided to kill herself, turned off all the oxygen in the Russian spaceship (with buttons in Russian which she can't understand!) - and then had a dream, A DREAM! A F&*$@!G DREAM! And George tells her what to do! A DREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then suddenly remembering she knows Russian, she pressed all the right buttons to get to the Chinese spacestation.

Then, when she gets there, she reads no Chinese! But plays "eenie-meenie-minie-mo!" to press the right buttons to get back home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a great movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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1/10 a bad way
doorsscorpywag10 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Hollywood could have probably made 100 decent movies from the money they wasted on this garbage. The film should have been called drudgery not gravity. A 3D extravaganza that delights you with flying pencils, fire in zero G and Bullocks arce but is devoid of any sensible story and utterly empty of any acting from the two leads. We start on a NASA mission to repair the Hubble and are introduced to the most unprofessional team of astronauts NASA has assembled since Armaggedon. Bullock, a medical doctor ???? with 6 months training, is repairing a complex piece of equipment in the void of space while the mission commander Clooney does loop the loop around the shuttle and another of the crew does some kind of space dance. Ignoring the glaring plot chasm in that why would NASA use an untried doctor of medicine to repair space telescopes we have two astronauts playing like school kids in the scariest environment known to Mankind. At the very least they should have been keeping an eye on the rookie. Then the Russians blow up space to save money on decommisioning a satellite and the story hits rock bottom as a very unprofessional NASA start a general panic and the crew get killed. Bullock is drifting in a ridiculous way screaming her butt off as Clooney jets in like someone off Star Wars to save the day.

The rest consists of some nonsensical Perils Of Sandra situations and the most stupid scenes which exist for no other reason than to look at Bullocks skimpy knicker clad bony ass in 3D. The question has to be asked what does Sandy do when she feels the urge to go to the loo as it's hardly the 'you should have gone before you left the space ship environment'.

The end is too ridiculous for words and would have been much better if a couple of Gorilla's riding horses and armed with rifles had hoven into view.

The worst movie of 2013. 3D crap to take the audiences mind away from the fact there was no money for a script and any decent actors.
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moagueus13 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I had high expectations for this movie. It started out interestingly enough, I suppose. The problem is, very early in the movie we get down to the movies central core: all sizzle and no steak.

The whole movie was full of physics blunders, explosions, fires, debris storms and one inconceivable escape after another. I don't understand why they had very little character investment before the explosions started. I have a hard time caring about any of the people since I don't really understand why they are here, or anything about them. Clooney's character seems to be obsessed with winning a space walk...fine. He is a major character who is relegated to being a one dimensional (although certainly crafty) character. Bullock does become a bit more balanced when she talks about her daughter, so she does feel like a person briefly during the journey to the ISS with Clooney. Why didn't we get some more of this? I guess so we could blow some more stuff up with that persistent debris storm...UGH.

Her character does have an amazing arc. She goes from this space-sick scared little girl to supergirl who can pilot modules, time space jumps, etc. perfectly. I think the problem is TOO MUCH arc in this case. I did give it two stars instead of one since they did include some character development, even if it was ridiculously over-the-top.

Additionally, it seemed to be s special effects extravaganza, so there was little emphasis put on things that could have added tension. I think some first person shots from Sandra B. would have made her alone time in space more tension building. Instead, we often seem to be beside her, next to her, etc. This makes it seem like we are with her, and kind of detracts from the isolation dread that could have been developed in a better way.

Of course there are a bevy of 3D parlor tricks in the movie. They look great in 3D but are just silly. I am not gonna get into the stuff flying, floating, drifting into the third person camera. You know what they are and just what sort of cheap showmanship they are.

I will explain my two biggest issues with the physics of this movie. This is by no means a comprehensive list!

(very early minor SPOILER) It was after the debris struck the shuttle that I became concerned at the poor attention to physics this movie was playing. Once this happened, I can't help but look for more physics shenanigans! Sandra Bullock's character was sent spinning on some part of the ship into space. She was urged by George Clooney's character to disengage her lanyard or she would go too far away. What on earth was stopping her momentum once she separated from the debris? She would just keep right on moving into space with the debris, only once she let go, she would be a smaller object which would be more difficult to find. So he gives her bad advice and she follows it. It doesn't matter, because somehow he ends up finding her anyway.

(SPOILER!) The most egregious and annoying example was the incident where Clooney cuts himself loose, after they were stopped at the ISS. This one really bothered me. What on earth was pulling him (and her) away from the ship once they stopped at the end of the ropes/cables around her feet? What made him magically float away once he cut his tether? C'mon guys, make this happen some other way!

Since Clooney is just some one-dimensional glory hound, I just don't care very much when he dies. Why should I? Heck, he won the space walk! I suppose he was happy about it when he inevitably ran out of air floating in the emptiness of space.

A badly constructed story with boring characters which is obscured by spectacular effects. Many people loved this movie. Good for them. It was a disaster in my book.
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Good, but let's not say it's completely realistic...
nmstormchase4 October 2013
The visuals for this movie are impressive. The story line is enjoyable, and it leaves you appreciating your place on Earth. The characters also provide some good laughs.

It was one of the better 'space' movies. However, as a geek (I know, I know it's a movie) the orbits are all wrong for some of the events to even remotely take place. So if you know anything about space travel, as usual suspend disbelief for the moment. It at least stayed largely true to the no sounds in space thing, and provides some good lessons about linear and angular momentum. The fact I even get to bring this up, means I give the film makers some serious props... I wouldn't go so far as some of the reviews where they says the movie is creating a whole "new genre". The reviewers and movie makers just never realized, until now, what us geeks knew all along... space is much more awesome and frightening if you portray it more realistically.

Hopefully the movie also provides a good reminder about how special this little rock is, and how unforgivable the rest of the universe is. Let's try and keep our planet that way! At least I was reminded of this when I left the theater.
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