Review by Jude Felton
When it comes to 3D movies, I can generally take them or leave. I’ve seen some that were a terrific viewing experience, and on the other hand I’ve also left the theater wondering why on Earth the filmmakers bothered. With Gravity, I did not have the pleasure of seeing it in three dimensions on the big screen, nor do I have the hardware in which to watch them at home, which is a shame, but not the end of the world.
The reason for it not being the end of the world, as we know it, is that it is a truly wonderful film to watch in just the old fashioned two dimensions. For those that did catch it on the big screen, or those that want to experience it in 3D, the film has also been released in that format. I can only imagine that it is something to behold.
Enough about 2D and 3D though, and more about the film itself; which for the majority of its running time focuses on Sandra Bullock’s character, Dr. Ryan Stone. She’s up in space, working on the exterior of the space shuttle, under the careful eye of Matt Kowalski (George Clooney). Everything is going swimmingly, when out of nowhere they are ordered back to the shuttle itself, as trouble is heading their way.
Without giving too much away, as I think the trailers, word-of-mouth and the cover art have done that well enough, Stone is left stranded in space.
Oxygen is at a premium, and the only way out of this situation is to try and make it to a nearby (in space terms; a bloody long way away) space station, and then hopefully back down to Earth. This is a film that relies on tension, just as much as it does on its gorgeous visuals and wonderful special effects, and it’s that tension that will keep you gripped to the screen.
Director Alfonso Cuaron really has delivered a quite wonderful movie, with Gravity. There’s a terrific script that is brought to life by some great rapport between Stone and Kowalski, with Bullock and Clooney both being in terrific form. Sure, the film does head into a syrupy quagmire, in the very latter stages, but all that has gone before make this quite excusable.
The special effects, as you may have gathered, as utterly were spellbinding, with a true sense of actually being out there in space. The camera is constantly moving; as if on an incredibly smooth rollercoaster, and it’s here that I imagine the 3D would really come into its own. Regardless, this is still a visually sumptuous film and after your initial “damn!” you will soon get sucked into the story, with the effects only serving to bolster your viewing experience.
Truth be told, Gravity is the first film I have seen that has made me actively want to upgrade my TV and Blu-ray player, as yes it does look that good. Regardless, the regular Blu-ray still delivers a quite beautiful viewing experience, which just so happens to be part of a great movie. Top performances, great visuals and top-notch direction, all in one package? What more could you ask for? Okay, so a slightly better final 10 or 15 minutes, but aside from that Gravity was, and is, an absolutely fantastic film.
Gravity is released on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on February 25th by Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.