posted by Joe Anaya on October 21st, 2013

Male Pattern Madness is not really a movie blog, so sometimes we pass along things to watch when we find out about them. This weekend I saw Gravity and was blown away. From start to finish, it’s a fantastic piece of film-making. The look, performances and the story, all top notch.

The director, Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) worked closely with Director of Photography, Emmanuel Lubezki (Y Tu Mama Tambien, The Tree Of Life) and Visual Effects Supervisor, Tim Webber (The Dark Knight, Avatar) to create an opening shot that lasts about 15 minutes. There are no cuts, just the camera floating from place to place, image to image essentially taking the audience into space drifting weightlessly like it’s protagonists, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney). Really the best use of 3D since Avatar. (I’m calling an early Oscar win for Best Visual Effects.)

While the audience acclimates to space, it’s treated to stunning visuals of the earth, a sunrise, and outer space. It’s all beautiful, until the inciting incident occurs and the tranquility is broken into a million pieces, the way a nearby satellite is smashed by a Russian rocket, creating the crisis and propelling the story on it’s way through the harrowing adventure.

The cast, well Bullock and Clooney are the only actors who appear on screen. Ed Harris makes a nice “appearance” as the de facto actor in space movies, (The Right Stuff, Apollo 13). But really Bullock is the star, who capably carries the movie. She appears in almost every moment of the movie showing fear, resignation, vulnerability and determination.

The story is pretty straight forward but in a good way which clocks in at a tight 90 minutes. The hero has a dilemma, makes a plan, overcomes obstacles. No wasted space. The rocket fast start and sequences of incredible tension are perfectly balanced by personal revelations that let us care about the characters and give us a chance to catch our breath before launching into the next harrowing sequence.

Find it in 3D, it’s well worth the time. Enjoy the ride. (See what I did there with all the space references?)

File Under Mr. Cool