Saturday, March 15, 2014

Movie Review - Gravity (Spoiler Alert)

                                                         (Photo credit:  Screen Rant)

This afternoon I watched the film Gravity with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

Even though there were some scenes of decent acting and some very impressive technical  aspects of the movie, it just wasn't my cup of tea.  I'll get to my reasons for that in a minute.   The first beef I have, however, has less to do with the movie itself than many of the comments and reviews I've seen about it.  I keep hearing this film described as a sci-fi movie. In my mind, it is NOT in any way shape or form science fiction.  Yes, there is a lot of science.  Yes, it is a fictional drama.  That does not make it science fiction.

According to,

 "Science fiction is a genre of fiction in which the stories often tell about science and
technology of the future. It is important to note that science fiction has a relationship with
the principles of science—these stories involve partially true-partially fictitious laws or theories
of science. It should not be completely unbelievable, because it then ventures in to the genre
  The plot creates situations different from those of both the present day and the
known past. Science fiction texts also include a human element, explaining what effect new
discoveries, happenings and scientific developments will have on us in the future.”

The technology depicted in this movie is absolutely possible today.  Some scripts have to do
with hospitals  and/or medical community.  Some are cop shows.  Some are college life.  This
happens to be a drama that unfolds in space.  That does not make it sci fi.

That detail aside, I just didn't like the movie that much.   At first I thought what put me off
about  it was that  the bulk of the movie is carried by Bullock with no interplay with any other
actors.  George Clooney's part is relatively brief.  Some people just don't like her style of
acting.  I actually do.  Still, I do generally prefer movies with more interaction between charac-
ters. But then I started thinking about the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks.  That movie dealt
with an individual in  a life threatening situation where one actor carried the main story.
 I REALLY liked that movie.

Here's where I see the main differences...Castaway takes more time building character
development.  The experience of that movie goes on over a long period of time and we
see a wide range of emotions as Hank's character, Chuck Nolan, has to deal both physically
 and emotionally with surviving on the island where he gets  marooned.  Also it closes with
several scenes that explore the impact that experience had on him when he  returns to his old
life. In Gravity the time of the events is very short, so the main focus in on adrenaline charged
emergency with less nuance.  Sure, there is a scene where Bullock's character more or less
comes to terms with things - but it's a flash in the pan compared to Castaway.
Also, this movie does not give us any information at all about how her life  is when she returns.  
That was a big disappointment to me.  We can speculate, but they don't show us at all.

As with a lot of 3-D movies, a big piece of the movie seemed to be to set up scenarios where
various objects  could come zooming toward the camera.  Special effects can be an enhance-
ment to the film, but in my way of thinking if they become the dominant focus the movie suffers.

I did like some of the cinematography.  Some nice photos of space.  Also, I liked the
interplay between Clooney and Bullock during the short time they have together on screen.
But overall, I was just not satisfied with this movie.  It may have won a bunch of awards and
gotten great reviews.  It did not make my hit list.

No comments:

Post a Comment