One of the best movies of the year...
, 21 Nov 2013
Me and 3D have never really got along. There isnt a lot of love there. When choosing between watching a film in 2D and 3D, Ive always chosen the former, and always will do. But, sometimes, films come along that force you to choose 3D. Avatar for one I fell asleep halfway through. Life Of Pi pretty but needless. In short, Ive never been blown away by it. IMAX is the future, in my opinion, but bloody expensive. 3D? its a fad that will go away, just give it a few years. But, I implore you. Go and watch Gravity. And make sure you watch it in glorious 3D. Gravity, for those that dont know, is the new film from Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron. Truth be told, I wasnt too aware of the name, but he has made some fantastic films in the past (Y Tu Mama Tambien; Children Of Men; Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, to name a few). All of his best films have the same thing in common visually, theyre a treat to watch. One of the most powerful moments of Children Of Men, for example, is when blood splatters across the screen and just stays there on the lens. With this new film, though, Cuaron takes that talent to a whole new level. The film is unlike any other I have ever seen. Visually and viscerally, from the very first scene, its a stunning watch. Very many excellent films have been made in the past about space, but Gravity is the first time that a movie actually takes advantage of the sheer distance and nothingness that space provides. Its full of beautiful long-shots, moving over the Earth, the stars, the space stations and debris around the place, and the people themselves. Its jawdropping; but as beautiful as it is, its amazing just how terrifying it also becomes. As Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) hurtles helplessly through space, spinning uncontrollably and screaming for help, I was frightened. That fright was heightened by the use of 3D; this wasnt just objects needlessly flying off the screen at me; the 3D tricks were in context and meant something. Thankfully, what Cuaron manages to do very well is supplement the visuals with a very solid and emotional story. Bullocks character has gotten literally lost in space and is desperate to get home. But this is not just your usual sci-fi adventure flick this is an emotional tale about hope, faith and (beyond all) the idea of letting go. Whether its letting go of a traumatic experience, or simply letting go of a wire, its a theme that runs throughout the movie and eventually sets us up for the exciting final third. At the heart of it is Sandra Bullock herself as Ryan Stone, the veteran actress provides yet another excellent performance. You quickly forget that its Bullock, so immersed she becomes in the role. Once again, the 3D plays a big part here; as she floats through space, we become her eyes, therefore creating a bigger bond between actor and audience. But while one actor enhances the film, the other one did a helluva job trying to bring it down. Thats right George Clooney. Now, I love Clooney, I think hes a wonderful actor and you cant help loving that Hollywood charm. Gravity, however, was not the vehicle for this charm. I found the character irritating and completely out of place. I understood the need for the role of Matt Kowalski, but perhaps with a different personality. The one-dimensional supporting character was made even more irritable because of the unintelligent script. A lot of the dialogue here was hokey and full of cliché, which was a little bit annoying. It wouldnt have been so annoying, had the other facets of the film not been so brilliant. They were, though, and I wish the script had been too. However, overall, Gravity is still a fantastic film. Clooneys performance really isnt that important in the grand scheme of things, and youre not going to watch this film for the great script. You should be watching Gravity for its ground-breaking use of special effects, its changing of the way science fiction and 3D will be viewed in the future, and its engaging story and strong central performance. Gravity is one of the best films of the year, and one of the best sci-fi movies in the last five years. Watch it. In 3D.
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