Barton’s Movie Reviews – Gravity

I have always thought of going to the cinema as an experience. There are films you just see at the cinema but then there are experiences you have at the cinema. Gravity is one hell of an experience.

Starting with a beautifully constructed 17-minute-long-take, director Alfonso Cuarón delivers a non-stop thrill ride that is more tense than anything I have seen before and will probably ever see again.

Gravity tells the story of Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a medical engineer on her first mission in space, and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), a veteran astronaut on his last mission.  They are fighting to survive together in space after a Russian missile strike on one of their own satellites causes debris to inflict catastrophic damage to Stone and Kowalski’s shuttle, the Explorer.

The story sounds simple but that’s all it needed to be. They keep the focus on the fight for survival and don’t dwell on anything else. It would have been a mistake to do so. In fact, at just 91 minutes, it is the perfect running time.

For 91 minutes no one spoke, no one moved from their seat and not one phone was taken out to send a text. Everyone was just so engrossed in the film from start to finish.

I saw the film in IMAX 3D and the opening shot was just jaw-dropping.  My eyes were fixed on the screen the whole time. If you get the chance, see Gravity on the biggest and best screen possible. Visually it is just stunning and the special effects make you feel as if you are up in space with Stone and Kowalski.

Mention the use of 3D to anyone at the cinema and they will most likely sigh and moan about its overuse. However, 3D works wonders for Gravity and, if anything, I think you will be missing out if you go and see it in 2D. It is the best use of 3D since Avatar and shows that when used in the right film, 3D can add to the cinematic experience.

Alfonso Cuarón and his brother, Jonas, wrote the film together and spent years bringing their idea to the big screen. It is refreshing to see such an original blockbuster and I hope that films like Gravity will inspire other filmmakers to follow suit.

Amidst all the special effects there is a fantastic performance from Sandra Bullock. We spend most of the film with her, sometimes from her point of view, which makes it even more impressive. George Clooney plays Kowalski with all the cockiness of a veteran astronaut.  But, when things get serious, he is the calming influence that reassures Stone, as well as the audience.

Steven Price’s score kept my heart racing throughout and definitely played a major part in the whole experience. The highlight from the score was when the debris is falling into Earth’s atmosphere. The music made the scene feel magical.

I cannot think of anything I didn’t like in Gravity and that is why it is my film of the year so far. It is a film that will be spoken about for years to come and rightly so. Quite simply, Gravity is absolutely breathtaking cinema.

Verdict: 5/5

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