In space, no one can hear you scream. Thankfully, you’ll be safe and seated in a cinema where everybody can hear your uneasy gasps for air and your inability to rustle through your bag of lollies quietly.
But these first world problems are nothing compared to the out-of-this-world disasters Sandra Bullock and George Clooney have to deal with in Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D outer space masterpiece Gravity. Hurtling satellite debris, spaceship fires, zero oxygen levels and uncontrollable spinning are just some of the death defying moments you’ll witness in this suspenseful sci-fi thriller.
Unlikely leads, Bullock and Clooney, play two astronauts whose space shuttle Explorer is hit by debris from a destroyed Russian satellite, leaving them stranded in orbit. What follows is an extraordinary tale of survival, and a landmark in modern filmmaking that will literally leave you breathless and on the edge of your seat (I have the aching lower back to prove it).
The aspect of this film you’ll hear most about is the jaw dropping cinematography and CGI, and let me tell you, it is everything it is cracked up to be. It is visually stunning, and the 3D element is so enthralling it will make you feel like you are actually floating in space/preparing to die. As a filmgoer who doesn’t normally enjoy or fully get the extra dimension, Gravity has completely changed my view and is an exciting step forward into the future of filmmaking. It plays out like one of those incredible IMAX documentaries that mainstream 3D has never quite captured the magic of.
Cuaron wrote, produced and directed Gravity over four and a half years of development, and is a filmmaker I really only associate with the third Harry Potter movie. But like the unbelievable long shots he used in his most recent Children of Men – this film’s opening scene is spectacular. Gliding alongside space shuttle Explorer with Miss Congeniality, listening to George Clooney make George Clooney-like wisecracks over space’s eerie silence and experiencing the astonishing galactic backdrop in all its beautiful, yet horrifying glory is unmissable.
The team-up of Bullock and Clooney in a sci-fi thriller was hard to get my head around at first, but it’s easy to forget what great actors they can be. As the only two on screen cast members, it’s theirs for the taking and they do a mighty fine job of steering the whole film.
If anything, Bullock’s self-motivating talks and questions of mortality towards the end are a little trite and overdone, but it’s a minor criticism of an otherwise brilliant spectacle. It’s not just an amazing film, but a true cinema experience that nowadays are few and far between. Definitely see this on the big screen and catch a 3D session if you can, and prepare to be immersed in one of the best films of the year.