Gravity review

Director:
Alfonso Cuaron
Cast:
Sandra Bullock
George Clooney
Ed Harris
Rated: PG-13

Like most kids growing up, I thought about the idea of becoming an astronaut, this movie makes me happy I never followed through with that.

“Gravity” takes place in the Earth’s orbit, following the story of a NASA shuttle crew doing repair work. The crew includes an engineer named Ryan (Bullock) and a veteran astronaut named Matt (Clooney).

The mission seems to be routine and all is going well until space debris in the orbit comes hurtling at the crew, causing severe damage to the shuttle and sending both Matt and Ryan into the never ending vacuum. Fortunately, Matt has a suit with built in thrusters which gives the two a chance to maybe get to a space station, giving them a sliver of hope.

The run time of “Gravity” is rather short, only being about one hour and 30 minutes, and it really helps as the film doesn’t have much going on in terms of story and there’s really only two characters to follow. The plot does have some flaws in that there are a few coincidences that keep things going.

That being said, what “Gravity” may lack in overall story, it makes up for greatly in thrilling suspense. The clock is ticking in many scenes and Bullock’s character never has much time to breath before more disasters strike. Every part of the movie just continues to build and there is never a sense that the hero is safe.

This is backed up by Bullock who gives an award caliber performance, more so than what she delivered in “The Blind Side.” Bullock shows her fear and at the same time her continuous will to live which leads to a very inspiring portrayal. Clooney is also good as the side character, as he takes on a sort of mentoring role here. He doesn’t have the most screen time, but every scene he’s in, the performance is at a high level.

What really makes this an absolute treasure of a film to watch, though, is the technical aspect. The cinematography and the usage of sound absolutely immerses the audience into space with the characters on screen. The first scene of the film is one long tracking shot, which if I had to remember was about 10 minutes or so, and it is literally breathtaking.

There were so many moments throughout this movie where I was asking myself, “how in the world did they do that.” The camera work captures so many views of what it looks like high above the Earth, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Not only that, but the way the camera moved around giving so many vantage points added another dimension to the entire picture. As the camera continued to capture more of the action of what was going on, the tension multiplied.

In terms of sound usage, the film was able to capture just how empty space is. The only thing we as an audience hear of course is the sound of the characters speaking, otherwise, besides some musical cues, there is dead silence, which adds to the terror that one would have in that sort of situation.

“Gravity,” may not have the most in terms of a typical story, however, multiple other aspects make up for it. The characters feel real and relatable and the performances capture the emotions of the situation very well, especially Bullock. On top of that, there are the perfect technical aspects which not only capture the thrilling moments, but also add a touch of symbolism. The film is without a doubt worth a persons time and money and should be watched at a movie theater. 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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