So, I’m a little late to the “IMAX party” but I cannot think of a better first experience than ‘Gravity’ for my first IMAX 3D.
‘Gravity’ is not only a technical marvel of modern film, it is an intense and suspenseful story about inner strength and the will to survive.
Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’ is truly unlike any film in recent memory. Its tale of a scientist and astronaut “marooned” in space 500 miles above the Earth is both harrowing and heartfelt.
In our preview of the film, I noted the powerful movie trailer. The full impact of ‘Gravity’ in its entirety, is something truly special to behold.
When a team is sent into space to repair the Hubble telescope and another satellite, debris from a Russian satellite explosion threatens the lives of Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), astronaut Lt. Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and those of the space shuttle crew along with them.
Once all hell breaks loose as the debris field wreaks havoc upon the NASA team, the action and human drama that unfold create a truly immersive film-going experience.
The will to survive in the face of the depth of the dangers which unfold is essentially what ‘Gravity’ is about. That such a simple story is framed by visuals that range from the subtle to the sublime is a testament to having a director in Cuaron who understands and has mastery over the achievements made in special effects since the advent of CGI.
Cuaron’s casting further demonstrates his ability to draw the audience into Stone and Kowalski’s life-or-death struggle by casting Bullock and Clooney in the lead roles.
‘Gravity’ mostly transpires in real-time, which conveys an exaggerated sense of immediacy to the danger but doesn’t allow much room for creating characters that we fear for and care about.
George Clooney is perfectly cast as the veteran, cocky astronaut on his last mission. And while I don’t think Sandra Bullock would have been my first choice initially for the role of Dr. Ryan Stone, I can’t think of another actor playing her part, either.
Bullock’s likability works, and she handles the role well. With the bulk of screen time devoted to her character, Cuaron’s calculated choice of casting her pays off for the audience.
And Ed Harris, as the voice of Houston’s Mission Control, is a welcome cast addition to any movie. Even though we never see him on-screen, Harris brings an added layer of credibility to the film. Maybe I was flashing back to him in ‘Apollo 11,’ but Harris’ screen cred in astronaut films dates back to ‘The Right Stuff’ as well.
The IMAX 3D was incredible. The additional dimension seamlessly adds depth to ‘Gravity’ and isn’t simply for cheap thrills. With the scope and grandeur of ‘Gravity,’ both in subject matter and in terms of visual storytelling, IMAX 3D should be your first choice if it’s available in your area.
Simply the best overall movie experience that I have had this year. And in terms of raw visual impact, the best movie I have ever seen in a theater.
‘Gravity’ in theaters now, is a must see film. You could not possibly appreciate nor enjoy the film, as its creator intended, on a smaller screen at home.
Skip it to wait for DVD and you’ll kick yourself for not enjoying a true feast of visual achievement and the power of cinema in the hands of a masterful director.
‘Gravity’ is a spectacle for the senses and is not to be missed.
Flixnerd Rating: ★★★★★