“Gravity” Takes Off At Pacific’s Janet Leigh
For a movie that is set in space and only has two actors appear during the entire film, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is an incredibly well-done piece of filmmaking.
Gravity’s cast composes of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. That’s it. There are five other actors whose voices are heard as Mission Control, a third astronaut and others, but whose faces are never seen.
Bullock gets the leading nod as Dr. Ryan Stone, a no-nonsense bio-medical engineer who is on her very first space shuttle mission as a mission specialist.
Clooney plays Matt Kowalski, a talkative and playful veteran astronaut who is on his last expedition and hopes to break the all-time spacewalking record. Both have been sent as part of a crew to fix the Hubble Space Telescope.
Trouble starts after Mission Control gets words of a Russian missile strike on an old satellite that has caused a chain reaction of debris and destruction that is heading their way at near-light speed.
The debris destroys the Hubble Space Telescope and their shuttle, as well as killing the rest of the crew and knocking out communication with Mission Control.
Stone and Kowalski must navigate through the vast emptiness of space to reach an adjacent station and get back to Earth before the debris laps the planet and returns.
The first word critics and audiences have said about the film is “intense.” Those opinions are definitely valid. Gravity is a thriller similar to playoff hockey — you pay for the whole seat, but you only need the edge.
The cinematography and visual effects are, to use another solitary word, stunning. Last year’s Life of Pi blew away the competition with its incredible effects.
However, Gravity takes the visual stimulation to a whole new level, using camera angles, perspectives and techniques not often seen used. It is certainly a beautiful film.
Throughout the film, Stone and Kowalski bounce off each other, even though there’s a Mrs. Kowalski back on Earth.
Clooney is as Clooney as ever, as Kowalski’s cocky and playful attitude is used with the affirmation of his knowledge, experience and calmness in dealing with dilemmas.
Stone, though as seemingly solid and grave as her name alludes to, is exposed when her inexperience shows after the disaster. Stone’s character development really makes the film, which was needed, as there are only two characters outside of the first 10 minutes or so.
If possible, check it out at an IMAX theater. The massive screen more than adds to the overall depth of the film and space.
There’s a reason Gravity was carrying a ton of hype out of the Venice International Film Festival in August. Gravity is a great film, which is a powerful statement considering that only two actors appear in the entire 90 minutes (short for a mainstream film).
Critics are telling the Academy to save time and give Sandra Bullock the Oscar for “Best Actress” already.
The film will clean up at the Oscars, so take advantage of the chance to see this intense, beautiful and stunning film on the big screen at Janet Leigh on Friday, Feb. 27, Saturday, Feb. 28 and Sunday, March 1 at 8 p.m.