Sunday, October 06, 2013


Once again, we are behind in our movie viewing. 50% for the year. However,  more than 75% of the year is gone.

Last night, we saw Gravity.

Touted as a great movie - maybe it is, perhaps not, - but it's very good,

It's rare there is a movie that has two, and only two, characters. Almost unheard of - and even one of them is not all that present.

Simple in some ways, complicated in others.  And silence.

In space, no one can hear you scream - not that there was much screaming. But with little or no way to communicate, there is an underlying tone of solitude, reflection and survival.

When you look at it that regard, it isn't anything you haven't seen before, but director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) makes it look like you haven't - though some of the movie feels very Kubrick from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Gravity is both reflective and adventure-based, but as 710 pointed out, while there was obviously CGI stuff, it's not the unrealistic over-the-top stuff that a Thor type movie would put out.  Sure, there is dramatic stuff, but based in reality.   Sure you have to suspend your disbelief to a degree - and you know how difficult that is for me.

Granted, during the movie, I kept wanting to say about Sandra Bullock's character, "man, she cannot catch a break!".   Gob, from Arrested Development, would be heard saying, "C'mon!"

That said, Bullock did a good job when she wasn't out in the depths of space. Two scenes in particular showed her range of talent. I hear the buzz on Oscar nomination, and I'd assume she would get one, but I'm not sure it's that good.  ...but you know my thoughts on that - they pass 'em out like candy to many undeserving folks.  But overall, the dialogue is fair.

While I won't give spoilers - you have two possible outcomes, one the audience wants to happen and one that is more realistic even for some of the non-realism. I'm happy to share my thoughts on the ending off-line - but I wouldn't have been shocked by either finale.

I had a not quite silent groan in the flick:  while aboard a space station from China, you see a ping pong paddle floating in zero gravity, you know, because everyone in that country loves their table tennis - especially in space!

I'm sure I'm not smart enough to tie in a shot of Bullock floating in a capsule, in almost a fetal position with part of her tether still near her, looking very much like a child in the womb. I would guess some smarter movie reviewer will say something about rebirth - and it's possible if that were shown later in the movie, but............what the fuck do I know?

The movies is relatively short - maybe 90 minutes (all the previews were bad except for maybe the Hobbit II). We viewed it in IMAX 3-D. This is my second movies in IMAX (not on a true IMAX screen).  While Cuarón did a great job with the 3-D, the IMAX is really not worth the extra money.

Not important to some, but the score is good and the sound was really good - but maybe that was because we were in the 5th row in a jam-packed theater.

I'm glad we went.  It was on our short list, so it works for us.

I love at the end of the movie, there was a disclaimer that the events were fictitious and any resemblance to real life or characters are coincidental.   Nooooooooooo!!!!!

Of course the big problem was my candy selection:  I opted not for my usual Milk Duds and went for some Nestle Crunch bites.  BLECH.  They seriously took on the taste of the cardboard box of which they resided.  Not that it stopped me from eating the entire thing, but I was not happy about it.

2013 Movie Count / Goal:   6 of 12. 

Song by:  Alison Krauss + Union Station


Ur-spo said...

This looked too nerve wracking for me.
While I don't like these tension type movies, I am usually keen at hearing 'how does it end" - but people won't 'tell me !

Raybeard said...

It looks good from the trailer and I shall be seeing it. But like very nearly ALL space-based films, even though the tag-line of this is there being no sound in space, sound is exactly what one gets - i.e. of the impact of objects crashing into each other. Why, oh why do they constantly do this? I don't mind hearing sounds from within one's space helmet, but even the wearer cannot hear sounds outside of it unless relayed through their communication devices. I've only ever seen 2 films in my entire life which show the reality of soundless space - one of which you mention. Sorry, but it's just one of my greatest bug-bears - and totally ruined the entire Star Wars films for me, even the 'Alien' films.
But visually it does look great, I must admit.
We don't have IMAX in this locality but, with your recommendation, I think I'll pay the extra to watch it in 3D.

cb said...

I went and saw it last night too. I thought it was really good-- mainly because it did make me tense and anxious the entire time.

And I thought she was pretty darn good in it.

Did it live up to the hype? Not quite. But there was so much damn hype, how could it?

cb said...

Raybeard... don't worry. They do the silence of space quite well.

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing about the ping pong paddle. What about the subtle message of the possible mass destruction of most of our satellites? While the plot was totally predictable, especially the part with Clooney, it was all the small details about life in space and all the technicalities put into the spaceships that really captured my attention - this movie will make kids want to be astronauts again.

The movie is supposed to be 1.31 hrs longs but if it was 1.10 I'd be shocked.

Anonymous said...

You are far ahead of me in my annual movie count. I always have ambitions of seeing a movie a week, or at least a month. This year, I think I've seen maybe 2 or 3. Ugh! Some year, I will make it a point to see all Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. I've only been saying that for about twenty years.

Raybeard said...

Thanks cb (above - re noiseless space). I'm only going by what's in the trailer, which seems to depict the same old refusal to acknowledge reality, in this matter at least.
But I'll still see the film, which opens here in a few days time.

Brettcajun said...

Hmm... I want to see it....

Dith said...

Norman tried to get me to see it. I could not get "Pigs in Space" out of my head. I'd rather watch The Muppets than Sandy and George.

Blobby said...

well no one - and i mean NO ONE - is ever going to be First Mate Piggy, Link Hogthrob or Dr. Strangepork.