Thursday, October 17, 2013

3 Thoughts on Gravity

1. The experience - If you are questioning whether it is worth seeing in IMAX 3D, trust me, it is.  I'm not a fan of 3D (although I love IMAX), but Gravity uses this technology in a very subtle way. I actually forgot that I was watching a 3D movie, instead it felt like an interactive experience. I felt like I was part of the movie - alone and terrified, barely able to catch my breath.  It's not a perfect movie; the dialogue is stiff, the story is simple and the ending is predictably uplifting, but it's an intense and exhausting ride into space that you'll likely never forget.

2. Sandy & George - How do you create a movie in which there is no time for character development, yet you need the audience to care about the main characters within the first five minutes? You cast Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.   We don't need to know anything about them. They are Hollywood royalty, charming and charismatic to a fault.  It's clear even before watching the movie, that Sandra is the "star" - her performance is garnering a lot of attention and Oscar talks.  She did a fantastic job, but I've always been a fan of hers, so it's not a surprising performance for me, at all. Of course, I will have to mention how refreshing it is that an action/sci-fi movie features a strong and smart female lead.  Won't it be nice when that becomes "normal" and it won't even be worth mentioning?  In general terms, it's been thought that male audiences relate to male characters, while female audiences relate to both, which is why we are bombarded with male lead characters - it's nice to see the shift happening (this shift has been "happening" for well over 30 years, I would say since the introduction of Ripley and Sarah Connor). I'm not just talking about movies with female leads, which is also a nice shift, I'm referring to female lead roles that aren't "feminine".  Characters that don't use their sexuality at all during the course of the story (think Maya in Zero Dark Thirty, or Olivia from Fringe. It's worth noting that both of these characters have been criticized as being "boring").  In Gravity, Ryan has certain female traits (emotional, apologetic) but she has to overcome these traits in order to survive.  There is also a scene where she strips down into her underwear, yet instead of it being a sexual scene - it's raw and intimate.  Even, her name, "Ryan", is referred to as being the name given to her because her dad wanted a boy.  It felt like Cauron's way of saying "yah, you wanted a male character, but fuck you.".  I just noticed that I labeled this paragraph "Sandy & George" and then spent the entire paragraph talking about Sandy's character.  That's actually kind of awesome - so I'm going to keep it that way.

3. Horror story? - During the month of October, most film geeks spend their days watching horror movies, but I have to admit - it's not really a genre that interests me.  I love to be scared, but it's rare that a "traditional" horror movie scares me.  I can still enjoy some of them, but I'm more keen on movies that keep me up at night - that affect me psychologically.  Someone on twitter asked if Requiem For A Dream would qualify as a "horror" movie and I thought "hell, yes!" because that movie did serious damage to my sleeping pattern.  Gravity, to me, is a movie that gets in my head because it's about loneliness and the will to survive. There doesn't need to be aliens lurking in a spacecraft; instead there is NO ONE! As someone who prefers to be alone, you would think the thought of being trapped alone in space wouldn't be so terrifying but I would liken it to being buried alive (with a much better view).  This movie, for me, is much scarier than any "horror" movie released in the past few years.

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