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Published October 7th 2013
Great movie to leave you gasping
Gravity image from Imax which is one of the venues where you can see this movie in 3D
Gravity is being hailed as the best movie of the year and the best space movie since a 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Yet there were a few moments at the beginning of the film when I wondered what all the hype was about.
Here were two people drifting in space, in their Michelin-man like space suits with heavy helmets on. Not the easiest way to establish connections with an audience, when viewers can't even see facial expressions.
Then the movie took off like a space rocket.
The story is of Matt Kowalski, a veteran astronaut played by George Clooney, and Dr Ryan Stone, a medical engineer played by Sandra Bullock.
They are on a routine mission to fix outside panels on the Hubble telescope.
Kowalski is a veteran and it is his last mission and there is mild humour as he quips back to NASA while Stone, the newbie, is quite rightly totally petrified by her first experience in space.
Image from Imax
A Russian satellite (shades of the space race here) explodes hurtling huge chunks of debris at them, which kills the other crew members. Kowalski and Ryan are left alone and in space, floating in their inflated space suits.
The film then becomes Stone's journey, her fight for survival against the odds of space.
There are some totally amazing unique moments in this film but enough scientific geekiness to appease the scientific minded.
Director Alfonso Cuarón, who has been fascinated with space since he saw the televised moon landing as a child, has taken great pains to create the actualities of space, from the equipment, to the shuttles, to the sensational scenery.
Perhaps our own world has become overdone and this is the new filmmakers' venue. The scenes of earth from above, the sunrises, the cloud formations are achingly beautiful.
While there are some inconsistencies, these are caused mainly by the plot line rather than any desire by Cuarón to get things right.
If you don't scoff at the added cost of getting 3D glasses then it really is worthwhile, as it is as if you are in space with the floating duo, with out of control and dangerous objects hurtling your way.
Sandra Bullock is amazing in her role as a frightened but resourceful astronaut.
In her intellect and spirit there are shades of Sigourney Weaver when she played Ellen Ripley in the first momentous Alien movie. Although Bullock's role is sans the bravado and monsters.
It is really hard to marry the rather stupid roles she sometimes plays, such as FBI cops in films such as the recent 'Heat" with this role, which will possibly anchor her another Oscar (she won the Best Actress trophy for "The Blind Side" in 2010.)
The Americans in particular are going to adore this movie. The importance of the American exploration of space is one of the kernels of the movie.
If I have a quibble, it is rather that the Americans in this film go in and use China's spacelab Tiangong 1 and Russia's Soyuz spacecraft as if they really do own the heavens -- as if everything in outer space is at their damn disposal.
With that in mind, go see it. You will not be disappointed by Bullock's moving portrayal, the special effects and the uniqueness of this adventure into space.
Various cinemas are offering 3D glasses - although obviously the full throttle experience will be on the giant screens at IMAX.
This movie is a must see but in 3D. I literally couldn't breathe when Sandra Bullock couldn't breathe. I ducked when the rocks were coming her way. The graphics were superb. My head was spinning by the end of the movie as if I had been on a roller coaster myself, but that is a compliment to the movie-makers, and I much appreciate gravity due to which we can walk and keep our head upright! Loved the movie!