04th Mar2014

‘Gravity’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris | Written by Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón | Directed by Alfonso Cuarón

gravity-bullock

There is no doubt about it at all, the best way to see Gravity is on the big screen and in 3D but a truly great movie cannot be restrained by a statement like that.  For the film to truly hold up to its achievements then it has to hold up on a smaller screen and not in 3D and that is one thing I had in my mind once I started.  I knew from that feeling of dread as the space debris hit Explorer for the first time though that yes, Gravity was going to be as effective as ever.

Gravity starts with Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) making upgrades to the Hubble telescope with the aid of veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of the mission.  While the spacewalk to make the upgrades is fairly routine, the sudden destruction of a Russian satellite is not.  With debris making its way towards them they soon find their shuttle destroyed and the rest of the crew dead, leaving the two astronauts floating through space looking for a way to make it back to Earth.

The first thing you realise about Space is that it is a very lonely place and when contact is lost to Earth it’s even lonelier.  The only way back to Earth are escape pods on space stations that are floating around the planet, but actually managing to find a route to these stations is one thing, the bigger question is what destruction has the space debris caused?  In a way you could argue this is a fairly simple premise for a movie, but Gravity with its seven Oscars isn’t just any movie and it deserves all the awards.

What makes Gravity interesting is that at times it’s a roller-coaster ride, which does look amazing in 3D but is also effective in more regular 2-dimensions.  As the viewer you are pushed into going along with the ride with Bullock’s character Dr. Ryan Stone and there are times that we even see the action from her viewpoint to further bring the danger home to us.  We constantly feel the ironically claustrophobic nature of space, and see the beauty of the Earth which may look so close but is still very far away.

Gravity is a complete audio and visual experience that truly immerses you in Space.  What makes it truly effective though is Sandra Bullock’s performance and the character that has been written for her.  Created as probably the least experienced of the crew she has to learn quickly, this is not to say she is not knowledgeable about what she has to do, but experience accounts for everything.  This is probably why Kowalsky, a far more relaxed character is so important, and George Clooney’s laid back approach to the character is there to put us at ease as we can trust him to get us out of danger, right? I won’t spoil the movie but the very fact that he should be the safety net does crank up the tension at times and is also used at a pivotal scene to get things back on track.

In conclusion when you hear people say that you must see this in 3D and HAVE to see it on the big screen, yes I agree.  What I don’t agree with is when there is an insinuation that it’s the only way, because Gravity is a very good movie that works not only on the big screen, not only in 3D but in any form you wish to view it.  I’ll say that you should watch it on the biggest screen you’ve can and turn off the lights, turn up the volume and immerse yourself in the experience, but that can be done in your living room not only in a cinema.

Gravity is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com
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