(3.75 out of 5 Stars) – Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock as Bio-medical engineer Mission Specialist Dr. Ryan Stone on her first space shuttle mission and George Clooney as Matt Kowalski, a veteran astronaut who is commanding his final expedition. Spoilers will come later so beware. Without giving up to much about the story, first the good stuff. The Cinematography is outstanding. There are many IMAX 3D worthy scenes in this film. The views as they orbit Earth are simply breathtaking. Also the shots from the inside as well as the outside of the space stations are equally well done. From a realistic point of view this looks as good as any movie I have ever seen. It may actually be one of the best. Among other good points is the acting. With two stars like Bullock and Clooney how can you go wrong? One also has to say Sandra Bullock has always been one of the more stunning looking actresses in Hollywood and she has been doing something right, she looks fitter and more gorgeous than ever. Now to the not so good.
The plot reminded me of a car chase in space. It was a bit thin in this area and basically amounted to Bullock in a constant run for her life for the entire movie. Also when watching science fiction sometimes when physics laws are suspended or some other blatantly unrealistic act is performed it tends to take you out of the movie, there were a few times that happened in this movie. SPOILER ALERT. Don’t read any more of this paragraph unless you want to know specifics about the movie. The movie takes place on a Space Shuttle mission which has the Hubble Telescope being serviced in the shuttle bay…well of course the Space Shuttle is now retired and there are no more Hubble missions. So you have to believe we use the shuttles again in the future, not likely. The ISS is also in the movie. and it was very well done but there is a Soviet Station as well as a Chinese Station, both of which were rather impressive…of course they don’t really exist but I guess mixing past and future technology is allowed with artistic license. One of the most important and dramatic moments happens when two astronauts are tethered together, floating free in space trying to grab on the the Soviet Space station so they don’t drift off into orbit. One of them manages to get tangled on some lines from the station stopping their trip into infinity but the other seems to continue falling away…even after they have both stopped moving. The rope remains taught until one of them sacrifices themselves and floats off. As soon as the release the tether it goes slack. It was more like they were hanging from a cliff rather then floating in space. Well it was dramatic, but totally unrealistic. When they both stop moving there is no more momentum so there would be nothing to make the astronaut drift away..Being such a critical part of the movie you would think they could have done something a little more realistic. I am sure I am not the only who who noticed. On the other hand they way they handled sound was excellent. You heard sound the way the astronauts would. Muffled sound through the space suites as they used tools on the station and Hubble, silence in space. This was the first, and most realistic use of sound in this way I have seen. I loved it. It was somewhat like the sound in 2001 A Space Odyssey but much better (the breathing in Space Odyssey got rather annoying) . There also was a seen that looked like a tribute to 2001 when Bullock collapses during a lull in the action She curls up in the fetal position floating in space. You can judge for yourself if it was meant to remind us of 2001.
On the whole the movie is good. The beauty of the scenes orbiting the Earth, the sun rises and sun sets, along with the excellent rendering of the space stations alone is worth the price of admission. This is also one of those movies where the 3D is worthwhile and does not distract from the movie but actually adds to it. Two great actors add to the mix, he only down side a somewhat thin plot and some stretching of the laws of physics. It’s a good movie, and one you should see on the big screen.