Monday, March 3, 2014

15 Thoughts And Reactions to Gravity

While Gravity did not earn itself the Oscar for Best Picture last night, it has still gotten a lot of hype this year.  I watched it, and I can see why people keep talking about it.  Here are 15 of my thoughts and reactions:
  1. Alternate titles: Alarms & Timers Everywhere, What We Saved In Costs For Extras We Made Up In George Clooney, The Mom From The Blind Side Goes To Space, But The Russians Started It, Let's Blow Up Every Single Major Piece of Space Technology We Own, There Actually Isn't Much Gravity In This Movie
  2. Oh, you always dreamed of being an astronaut?  NOT ANYMORE. 
  3. I want to see the screenplay for this, because I feel like half of the things that happened were written as "Alarm beeps.  Something blows up.  Science happens, so the escape pod does X."  A semester of astronomy and 2.5 semesters of physics do not an astrophysicist make, but you can't tell me everything in this movie is scientifically accurate.  Then again, accuracy is not necessarily what they're going for.  If it looks vaguely sciency, it works for me.
  4. On the dead astronauts: I was a bit worried that those particular images would become a regular occurrence throughout the movie, and I was thinking, "Wait, I didn't sign up for this!"  I was glad that wasn't that case.
  5. It has a lot of lens flare for a non-J.J. Abrams movie.  Not that I've seen many Abrams movies--I just know the reputation and I know how many Star Trek lens flare supercuts are on YouTube.  Maybe lens flare is a space movie thing.  
  6. It's so seamless.  The first half of the movie had few, if any, noticeable breaks in camera shot or position.  Smooth seems like an odd word for this movie, but it fits.  You don't pay attention to how many of these little breaks are in movies until you spend forty-five minutes with almost none.  
  7. How do you even film a movie that has no gravity?  I want to be in a zero gravity movie.  It would be even cooler than getting to run around in Inception's rotating hallway, which I want to do.
  8. I have never before described anything in a review as "atmospheric", because it's a hard term to define and few things have evoked that reaction from me.  Still, I'm going to go ahead and call Gravity atmospheric.  Haha, atmospheric.  I actually didn't realize that I'd made a bad pun until I was proofreading this post.  The entire thing evokes a sense of danger and intensity that feels very real.  
  9. This movie stars a strong female character that does not have to prove her strength by punching dozens of guys around.  So many so-called "strong female characters" are strong only physically, which means little.  They're just females displaying traditionally masculine traits.  Ryan Stone has physical strength, but she's more notable for being able to figure out how to survive and work all of the space technology.  In the end, that says far more about her than muscles and masculine aggression ever can.
  10. It does not let up.  Intensity, whether emotional, external, or both, wears down on the viewer.  Many movies give people a break by throwing in some comic relief here and there.  Gravity has some tiny moments, but mostly, it's just not going to give you that break.  It doesn't care about letting the viewer rest or catch their breath.  It just keeps barreling along like a freight train followed by an avalanche.     
  11. There's almost a bizarre slowness to it.  I can't put my finger on what I'm trying to describe, but somehow, the structure of the whole thing is odd.  There's no shortage of things happening, which typically makes for a faster-paced movie, but Gravity has this weird simultaneous slow and fast pace.  Part of this is probably due to the fact that it's repetitive.  A bad thing happens; she fixes the thing and barely escapes; a worse thing happens; lather, rinse, repeat.  And yet, it's not a boring slowness, because you can't look away from it.  It's an odd effect, and I like it.
  12. Showing me cool images of space is an excellent way to grab my attention.  I think space and cosmic things are cool.  My laptop background and iPad wallpaper are both pictures of a nebula.  My phone wallpaper was the aurora borealis (before I recently changed it to a picture of Toothless).  Gravity has some cool shots of the Earth.  Even besides the visuals, I will always be more interested in something labeled as "space thriller" than just a normal "thriller".     
  13. This would be spectacular and terrifying in 3D.  If this was intense on a home TV screen, I can imagine how awesome it would be on a huge 3D screen.  It might actually be scary in 3D.  
  14. This was my thought process at the very end when she comes up onto the beach: "Oh good, she made it.  What is she doing, still holding part of her body upright?  If that were me, I would be doing a faceplant in the sand right now--wait, there she goes.  If anyone ever earned a faceplant in the sand, it's Ryan Stone."
  15. I've had Ryan Tedder's 'Gravity' demo song stuck in my head this entire time.  Here, have some Ryan Tedder.
Have you seen Gravity?  What did you think?  How much do you not want to become an astronaut right now?

PS: If you liked this post, I also have one for Catching Fire, Thor: The Dark World, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
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1 comment:

  1. Hi :) I know people who worked on Gravity so I can confirm for certain that practically all of the sciencey stuff was accurate (they actually contacted real astronauts to make sure XD)
    Incidentally, if you wanted to know how they filmed it so it seemed like zero gravity, they suspended the actors on machines and used an infinite amount of CGI (as in, in some shots, the only thing that was real was Sandra Bullock's face XD)
    Gravity was probably the tensest film I've ever seen in my entire life XD

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