Mittwoch, 9. Oktober 2013


Last Saturday, inspired by several glowing reviews, we went to see “Gravity”. If you haven’t watched it yet, you probably at least have heard about it – George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are astronauts; when a shower of debris from a blown-up satellite destroys their station and space shuttle, they have to find a way to get back to Earth. By some reviews it has been billed as a ”new Science Fiction Classic”. So, does it measure up?
A nitpick first - can a film be Science Fiction just because it is set in space, even if what is shown is the contemporary workday environment of space missions? OK, there's a Chinese space station, but there don't seem to be any technologies that don't exist or aren't applied in space missions today, and the problem of space debris is already an acute problem, even if up to now no serious accidents have happened. But we can let that slide.
One important feature the reviews mention is that it’s a film where 3D is done right and used for more than gimmickry. I must admit that I cannot say anything about this, as due to my bad left eye I don’t have spatial vision and 3D glasses don’t work for me. But I can say that the film offers quite impressive views even in 2D.
The film offers lots of motion action, mostly trying to move towards an object and get a hold on it in order not to drift off into space, dodging space debris, and trying to get technology to work before debris, gravity, or lack of oxygen kill our protagonists. The film does that well, with the right tempo, but the film is not an end-to-end roller coaster – there are quieter scenes that concentrate on the background and fears of Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and her interactions with co-astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney). There was not a boring moment. So, the film is good entertainment. On the other hand, most of the thrill of the film comes from the motion and the suspense – will they make it back to Earth? Now that I know the outcome, the suspense is gone, and for me, there’s not much in the film that would reward a second or third viewing. Yes, there are some nice vistas of space, and a few emotional scenes well played by Bullock, but it’s not a film I’d want to watch over and over again, so “new SF Classic” it is not. But if you haven’t watched it yet, I can recommend going for the ride.

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