Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Man on Film: Gravity

With the Oscars coming up this weekend, I'll be putting up the Man on Film entries (both old and new) for this year's big nominees. Here goes.

If there is one thing that Alfonso Cuarón is inarguably capable of doing, it is making a film that must be seen on the big screen. In the case of Gravity, that means IMAX and 3D because no one maximizes the medium of film like Cuarón does. Unlike any film that's come before it, Gravity manages to use the scope and technology at today's filmmaker's disposal to its fullest potential. While I would still posit--even after having seen Gravity--that 3D simply doesn't add enough to the experience, Gravity is definitely worth the price of admission if only for the spectacle of the IMAX presentation.

Yes, Gravity is worth every penny paid to see it. The film is an event that warrants seeing it on the big screen. Unfortunately, the simplicity of the narrative finds a way to wither in the majesty of the presentation. That isn't to say that the film isn't emotionally affective. It is. Over the course of the movie, it is nearly impossible not to feel for Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) as they are left adrift in space without contact to the outside world. Cuarón masterfully builds the characters and the suspense to keep you engaged. Both of the film's stars are everything you would want them to be.

It is just strange that the film's story is so intimate when cast against the magnitude of the film itself. It's a brilliantly conceived vision; it's just that the contrast in scopes of narrative and mise-en-scène is so drastic as to almost be distracting. Obviously, this was Cuarón's intent, and really, who am I to question a man as brilliant as he? It just seems that this film was all about the spectacle, emotional as it may have been, while failing to stay with you once you left the theater.


Fireblossom said...

I haven't seen this movie, but I am excited about it nonetheless. The chance to see Sandra Bullock spin off helplessly into the endless void is something I have dreamt of ever since 28 Days. If only Keanu Reeves could go with her.

Wait! Is that a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my airlock door? Sandra? Keanu? Let you in? I can't do that.

As for George Clooney, do you mean to tell me that he does movies without "Oceans" in the title? Do you mean to say that he dons a space suit and stops channeling Ol' Shut Eyes? Paging Dr. Ross! To the set, stat!

All right, all right. There really is something about a well-done space movie that's especially appealing. "Moon" took me by surprise. Maybe this one will, too.

Josh Duggan said...

You're really bringing it on the comments, in the best way.

I liked Moon quite a bit. Gravity was good, and if it had been a director without the loftiest of expectations, I'd probably have loved it. I mean it's much fucking better than Avatar or other such nonsense. It was better than the new Star Trek (or the one that preceded it). If you're looking for good sci-fi, I highly recommend Primer assuming you've not seen it.

Fireblossom said...

I haven't, but now I will!

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