Gravity - The Review

Gravity (2013)
A Review By Ben Hunter
3½ Out Of 5 Stars
October 4, 2013

“GET TO THE POINT BEN!”

The visual effects and cinematography are down right AMAZING!  But it becomes smoke and mirrors that mask a not so amazingly written story, why? CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!!!


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Earth, in all its glory fills the screen to its max or its IMAX.  We hear only what one would in space, nothing.  Faint sounds of mission control slowly come into recognition, as a small ship slowly becomes a big one to take up the IMAX.  Director Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mama También, Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) raises the bar of filmmaking with his classic style of long takes and holding to cut as we become introduced with veteran astronaut George Clooney and the newcomer, medical engineer Sandra Bullock.  For the next 15 minutes, roughly, Cuarón takes us on an unbroken, uncut shot; all in one length as we circulate the ship and follow the astronauts as they work, chit-chat and find out a little about who they are.  Sandra Bullock is extremely nervous and doesn’t want to ruin the mission. George Clooney is his charismatic self that he is in real life, as his character needs to be this way because he’s the veteran and this is all normal.  Trouble soon strikes and the crew separates, leaving only George & Sandra due to debris.  Tethered together, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock now must fight for survival and make it to a nearby space station before they run out of oxygen.  Dazzled up with some of the greatest special effects and cinematography mankind has EVER witnessed. Cuarón has definitely raised the bar of filmmaking and I’m happy he’s done such, taking Clooney & Bullock with him for the wild and adventurous ride that is Gravity

George Clooney and Sandra Bullock made a great team … … George Clooney and Sandra Bullock … … … wait, what were their characters’ names again?  … Oh that’s right, Matt Kowalski (Clooney) and Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock).  I felt a little too disconnected to their characters, especially Bullock the lead, that I kept calling them by their real names … as that’s who I saw on screen, sorry about that.

In a better sense, when I viewed Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), playing the part of Chris Gardner, I cheered for him when he found joy, I felt sad for him when he couldn’t find a proper place to sleep for his son, I darn near cried when he did when he genuinely found true happiness (little did I know I’d embark on a similar journey myself a couple years later); in fact, all throughout the movie I kept going “come on Chris, you can do it, come on Chris … I know you can make it! …” not ONCE did I call him “Will Smith”, but Chris Gardner.  I was engaged into the story, rooting for the hero.  A well developed character, say what you will about the movie. 

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Detrimental to a story’s success or failure, without it, I’m either ROOTING for Chris Gardner or OBSERVING Sandra Bullock (instead of rooting for Ryan Stone).  Character development, just like withInception (2010), was my problem with Gravity and ultimately why I feel it subdues to the gravity of overall, true, cinematic accomplishment. 

Gravity
Sci-Fi, 91 Minutes, PG-13
Written by: Alfonso Cuarón & Jonas Cuarón, and George Clooney (collaborator)
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Cast:  Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, & Ed Harris

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