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Gravity: A Cinematic Visual Dream

October 23, 2013

Gravity movie poster

Gravity is a visual masterpiece that sets a new bar amongst modern day auteurs (Li, Cameron, Boyle, Scorsese). The 3D rivals Hugo, Life of Pi and Avatar. The visuals match 2001 and Sunshine. Alfonso Curan (Children of Men, Harry Potter 3) has proven to be a visual maestro who makes other visual maestros jealous.  All of these auteurs have adapted the impossible (Life of Pi, Trainspotting), Excelled at creating new worlds (Avatar, 28 Days Later) and most importantly directed memorable films.

Gravity won’t draw you in to it’s characters/story but it will drop your jaw with amazing visuals. Everything is beautifully seamless and sequences stretch out to 13 minutes. The amount of care, precision and time needed to create the world of Gravity is mind boggling (many many years). There are several moments that feel like showing off (3D teardrop so detailed you see reflections in it) but they are earned. Cuaron had to wait years for the technology (Great article about that here) and deal with a revolving door of actors (Natalie Portman, Angelina Jolie, Robert Downey Jr.). The finished product was worth the wait because Cuaron has created a meticulous exploration of space survival.

Gravity tells the story of a routine mission gone terribly awry. Cuaron wisely combines the helplessness of space with an inexperienced astronaut on her first mission. The two elements give us an intense exploration of the will to survive. Much like 127 Hours, Jurassic Park, Life of Pi and Terminator we witness good people doing everything they can to survive against great odds.

The A-list performances add credibility to the space chaos but are never flashy. Bullock is saddled with an unnecessary back story that raises the question of how she was allowed in space. Her performance is good but her character is nothing more than two-dimensional. She is so likable and gives everything to the performance (months spent alone in a green screened studio) you wonder why she had to have the troubled history. I understand the cinematic tool of creating an apathetic person and giving them self reliance and a reason to live. However, Sigourney Weaver wasn’t saddled with depression in Alien and her character Ripley became a classic science fiction character.

If you look at the classic trendsetters (2001, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2) there are visuals that withstand the test of time. Twenty years will pass and the movie will not look dated. Cuaron infuses the film with genuine awe which is lacking in today’s cinema. When was the last time your jaw was dropped in the last few years? Imagine 90 minutes of stuff this beautiful. 

gravity photo

Watch Gravity on the biggest screen possible. Immerse yourself in a cinematic treat. Appreciate the years of hard work and see how it influences the great directors. Watch Sunshine.

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