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Gravity [Film Club Extra]

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Gravity

Gravity

About

  • Released


  • Rating


    7.2
  • Genre


    • Science Fiction
    • Thriller
    • Drama

Overview

Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first Shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The Shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone-tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness of space. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.


Trailer

Credits

  • Sandra Bullock
    Sandra Bullock
    Dr. Ryan Stone
  • George Clooney
    George Clooney
    Lt. Matt Kowalski
  • Ed Harris
    Ed Harris
    Mission Control (voice)
  • Orto Ignatiussen
    Orto Ignatiussen
    Aningaaq (voice)
  • Phaldut Sharma
    Phaldut Sharma
    Shariff (voice)
  • Amy Warren
    Amy Warren
    Explorer Captain (voice)
This page uses the themoviedb.org API.
LimeGreenLegend

For those of you who wanted a second monthly slice of film club pie, here it is.  @Con whittled down the nominations from this month to those he hasn't seen/finds most interesting and randomly selected a companion film to our main Film Club film, Aliens.  That first selection is Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity. 

Vfkwk4N.jpg

Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, this is a story about isolation.  Cuaron started off wanting to make a film about adversity and survival in hostile locations, and decided that space is the ultimate hostile location.  

The most startling thing about this film, for me, are the long tracking shots, unbroken sometimes for minutes, that really take in all of the majesty of space, coupled with incredible cinematography you have one of the most beautiful films that has been set in space.

This film cleaned up at the Oscars, winning for visual effects, sound mixing, sound editing, score, film editing, cinematography, and director.  It was also nominated for production design, best actress, and best picture.

sandra bullock gravity GIF

Don't let go...

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Con

I'm a huge astronomy fan. I followed the Cassini project from launch until its Final Voyage into Saturn's atmosphere, yes I shed a tear during the final live NASA stream. So you would think as soon as this came out I would have rushed to the theater but I didn't because this came across like Titanic in Space and I'm also not the biggest Clooney fan so I put it off and now is the perfect time to watch it so I cant wait. 

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LimeGreenLegend

This is nothing like Titanic in space, don't worry, you won't be getting a cheesy romantic drama :D

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pete2581

The opening 10 mins of the movie is all one long shot I believe.  Masterful directing.

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Fido_le_muet

Titanic in space ! #facepalm

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Squirrel

I’ll be passing on this unless I’m allowed to watch it with the sound off. The trailer annoyed me enough. 2 hours of Sandra Bullock in peril without Keanu Reeves to help is too much for my mind to cope with. 

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Beez

Are you kidding @Squirrel, this film is fantastic!

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The_Lady_A
4 hours ago, Squirrel said:

I’ll be passing on this unless I’m allowed to watch it with the sound off. The trailer annoyed me enough. 2 hours of Sandra Bullock in peril without Keanu Reeves to help is too much for my mind to cope with. 

It's probably the most realistic depiction of space ever put to film. And yes, I am including 2001 in that. Plus it's only 90 minutes long. No faffing around. Worth it for the scenery porn and the soundtrack if nothing else. Although for a lot of people this was the movie that made people go "huh, she really can act".

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Wish you luck but you're not bringing us down!

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Spinnaker1981
1 hour ago, The_Lady_A said:

It's probably the most realistic depiction of space ever put to film. And yes, I am including 2001 in that. Plus it's only 90 minutes long. No faffing around. Worth it for the scenery porn and the soundtrack if nothing else. Although for a lot of people this was the movie that made people go "huh, she really can act".

A quite believable duo of astronauts... 😂😂

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Squirrel
1 hour ago, Beez said:

Are you kidding @Squirrel, this film is fantastic!

In the words of Sandra Bullock....

No no no no no no no no no....(repeat for 90 minutes)

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Spinnaker1981

This movie just happens to have one of the best sci-fi pictures ever. It is absolutely breathtaking when seen on a big screen! Though its story is too much soap opera for my own taste, it is all forgiven with those shots of earth taken from orbit. 

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Con
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Spinnaker1981 said:

This movie just happens to have one of the best sci-fi pictures ever. It is absolutely breathtaking when seen on a big screen! Though its story is too much soap opera for my own taste, it is all forgiven with those shots of earth taken from orbit. 

My review will be posted tomorrow and as an astronomy geek, I also enjoyed feeling like I was really in orbit. I did laugh during the resolution cause my brain is silly. There was one moment where I almost threw my laptop across the room in anger. :D  I also instantly fully regretted not watching this in IMAX 3D when it was available. 

Edited by Con
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LimeGreenLegend

I’ll be watching this tomorrow, will get my thoughts up then :) 

Should have my Aliens notes written up today.

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Fido_le_muet

Haven't found the time to watch this one yet. Should be crappy weather tomorrow so maybe I'll watch it. 


 

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LimeGreenLegend
6 minutes ago, Fido_le_muet said:

Haven't found the time to watch this one yet. Should be crappy weather tomorrow so maybe I'll watch it. 

Same here.  Have a week off work now though, so plenty of time to get it done.

Will probably do these extra films every other month, depending on the demand.

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Con

It’s one of the shortest films I’ve watched in a long time. My review will be up in a few hours. 

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Con
Posted (edited)

Gravity

Warning: Incoming Spoiler Debris (so watch the film first)

I occasionally have a recurring dream that I'm stuck high above some trees and jumping is the only way down...feeling that hopeless in a dream is awful and I'm always glad when I wake up and realize it was just that silly dream again and am glad I'm on the ground in my bedroom. I would dread ever finding myself in that situation in real life and that fear is also why I prevent doing activities such as being far out at at sea, cave exploring, or deep sea-diving....you won't ever find me volunteering for those types of activities and hence why I admire people that love that type of risk...astronauts being the most extreme of those people because its one thing to get stuck on Earth and a whole other thing to be stuck 254 miles above the Earth. That is where this film captivated me to no end...mainly because I had my dream in the back of my mind as I watched Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) fight for her life in one of the most hostile environments a human being could EVER find themselves in.

As a space junkie, I have a pretty good idea how dangerous the conditions in outer space can be and how much intelligence and training is required to qualify to get a job as an astronaut. I really loved the underlying reason Dr. Stone wants to be up there in space.....when my 2-year old Yorkie passed away suddenly, I was devastated. I didn't want anyone around me. I didn't want to hurt by watching people smiling and laughing, people walking their dogs and people mistreating their dogs, entire societies eating dogs, it just made me wish I wasn't on this planet. I wish I lived on a planet where suffering only comes to those that make others suffer. I wish I wasn't on Earth and this is how I saw the character of Dr. Stone, a woman that carried so much loss and profound hurt that being on Earth sucked as she did not know what to do with her time outside of work, hence why she tells Astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) that back on Earth she works and then just drives and drives to nowhere....she seeks isolation on Earth, which honestly, can be very difficult if you live in a busy city or town or if you are hurting and just want to be alone. Space work was more than just a job for Dr. Stone, it was a full on escape. I did like that we don't learn about her daughter until after Kowalsky and Dr. Stone have to reach the International Space Station (ISS) but I had a feeling something was going on with Dr. Stone before the shit hits the fan, or should i say, before the shit hits the Hubble and Explorer, because she seemed so cold and distant compared to Kowalsky, Astronaut Shariff Dasari (Phaldut Sharma), and Mission Control (Ed Harris), whom all seem to be enjoying themselves and using humor to pass the time while Dr. Stone is focused and in no mood for jokes, so that told me there was inner turmoil and before I could start guessing what her issue was...BAM...we get word that they need to abort the mission ASAP!!! Cause space debris was coming at them like speeding bullets. 

The debris destruction looked very good, although I couldn't help but say, "man they are too lucky" since there were thousands of pieces of debris and only Astronaut Dasari gets hit (and its an awesome shot if you don't miss it, I had to rewind it to see what happened to him). The CGI really was worth the price the filmmakers paid...I mean, every piece of debris and particle is convincing and really sold the illusion. But this is also where I found the sound design to be absolutely brilliant and on top of that, this is where we hear the astronauts on ISS being told to initiate emergency evacuation. I read in some reviews that people wanted to know why the other space stations Dr. Stone arrives are all abandoned or that the astronauts all just disappeared and all those folks had to do was pay attention when "Houston" is elaborating on the warning and wouldn't have been confused about those scenes. Another great visual is that blue marble they are floating above, the shots of the Earth are nothing short of amazing, we see our little blue marble from so many angles that any of the shots are pause-worthy. The Earth takes on a character of its own as we know that is Dr. Stone's sanctuary, a place of safety, the same place she was avoiding turning into the only place of survival...seeing the Earth come into view in every shot in the last two acts just added more anxiety and hopelessness since the Earth is so close but so damn far away, it seemed to cruelly tease Dr. Stone. 

The film is directed expertly and those trademark long shots really add to the suspension of disbelief needed to sell the illusion of space. I don't recall any shots where I felt I had lost the immersion and really liked the disorienting shots because they were mainly done in POV enhancing the feeling of being out of control but can understand people hating those shots if they made them feel sick. Dr. Stone arriving from station to station was a bit repetitive but I mean, what other options did she have.... and what other things could they have shown us besides important tools almost floating away and her almost missing holding on to stuff for dear life.

Yes, the dialogue is one of the weak points, I don't think it ruins the film but could have been more entertaining and I think what happened was that the director/writer was thinking in his native language and translated the dialogue into english and you lose nuance in the translation and the dialogue comes across a bit clunky and poorly ad-libbed. Another thing I disliked was not giving George Clooney better lines, his lines sound like stuff he would say during a real-life interview. I wish they would have made him sound more like an astronaut and less like himself. It was hard to distinguish him from his real life persona. But the moment I almost threw my laptop across the room was when Kowalsky reappears to Dr. Stone, as soon as he knocks on the door, I was saying to myself, "Oh man, no they didn't go there did they?, how did he find his way to her?!". But then he starts to open the door and i thought, "Oh fuck, they're a going full stupid, he is actually opening the door and coming inside, he is going to kill her, what an idiot!!!". What I expected to see happen to Dr. Stone doesn't occur right away, which is what would happen the moment Kowalsky would have even slightly cracked the door open, for a second I was seriously questioning my space-science knowledge but then we see that she is frozen when he gets in and I was like, "What an asshole!!! is this movie about him sacrificing her? that's some controversial shit!!!" and then she unfreezes and I'm like, "What the fuck are they doing? Alfonso, what the fuck is this? How could you betray science like this?? Please let it be a dream sequence...". But the scene kept going and i was feeling cheated but thankfully he begins his very real Clooney pep talk and only then I knew it was a dream sequence and decided not to throw my laptop in anger. Phew....back to real science as she decides she wants to live. Something else that bothered me was when Dr. Stone is running out of oxygen and for some reason is engaging in conversation with Kowalsky time and time again. The story of how the daughter died, another place were the script left a lot to be desired. 

I did find myself laughing when she lands back on Earth and is facing death AGAIN and as she is swimming to the shore, I chuckled and thought, "Don't tell me an alligator is going to show up now. You might as well, Alfonso." When she reaches the shore and waits for her body to adjust to Earth's gravity and finally stands up and looks up at the sky, it was great, I could finally take a deep breath. We made it! Wow! What a ride!! 

Final Verdict....4/5...The only reason I cannot give this a perfect score is because there was so much potential for better dialogue. While I appreciate the film's theme and message of never giving up hope, for me Gravity was a thrilling film about escaping space through amazing risk and incredible chance. I enjoyed Gravity a lot for its amazing space cinematography and attention to detail and realism, actual astronauts all approve of the space walking that is depicted in the film and that says a lot to me.  I loved the hole in the head moment, it was spectacular as was finding the rest of the crew, they were just very haunting moments that were the highlight for me. Some people don't want to give the Director full credit because the film relies heavily on CGI....but honestly, how else could you pull those images off? Critics are silly. :D 

Edited by Con
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Fido_le_muet

Just watched it this afternoon. It wasn't in the conditions I hoped. Baby was awake for the first tier and I was eating at the same time. I could watch the last half alone though but not in the dark like I wanted. At least it's a rainy day.

The silence. That's the first thing this movie shows us. No sound at all and a magnificent view of planet Earth. Like Con said, the views of Earth in this movie are absolutely gorgeous and our planet is indeed a character. I'd say it is the third main character with Dr Stone and Kowalsky. So, the silence. I loved that cause it's exactly the way it is in space. Deep scary silence. It's so weird to think about an environment so huge and yet so empty and silent. Gives a sense of awe and claustrophobia at the same time. I wish there was no sound at all during the movie, except for the dialogues and Kowalsky's country music. Could have included music only at the end when Stone gets up after finally getting back to Earth. Now that I think about it, it's funny how this intro is similar to the Aliens one, with Ripley's ship slowly coming into view. Same thing here with the camera slowly closing in on the Explorer shuttle and its crew. 

Second thing I loved is the realism. I'm no space expert like Con but I consider myself a space enthusiast and it is exactly how I picture a space walk. I watched a few bits here and there on YT and it is very very real. I haven't researched how the movie was mad but it's very well done. Our crew seems to be on a regular mission, like many other before them, doing some maintenance work on the Hubble telescope. Kowalsky, Shariff, the shuttle pilot and Ground Control are light hearted and relaxed. It's not their first rodeo. But it is for Dr Stone and she's being very careful and focused on her task despite all the talking happening in her ears. She's 'different' from her crewmate. I thought that was because of her inexperience but now I agree with Con's view about it. It's because of her story and the loss of her daughter. She's absent, disconnected from the others. She's still grieving and hopes to find some closure or at least some peace of mind in the void that is space. 

Houston mentions an on-purpose satellite destruction, nothing to be afraid of. But we know that it's gonna be hell soon for our heroes. They keep doing their business and soon enough, Houston urges them to get back to Explorer and to get the hell out of the area. They order ISS to evacuate. Kowalsky and Stone start to go back but it's too late. Before we know it, the debris are on them and the shuttle is destroyed. I like how the debris are barely visible, just like dots of light many kilometers away. But when we see them it's because they're already colliding with Explorer and Hubble at incredible speed ! It makes for a real sense of danger that suddeness. The worst is inevitable. Nothing they can do. they can only suffer from the event and hope to stay alive. 

Stone gets sent to the emptiness of space in an uncontrolled spin. The camera work here is wonderful as it makes the scene very claustrophobic by focusing only on the face and helmet of Stone. Feels like we are inside the suit with her and there is nothing we can do to save our lives. Kowalsky tries to keep her from panicking by telling her calmly what to do but it seems to be too late. She disappears into the night side of Earth, persuaded that she's gonna be forgotten forever. Like she never existed. Eventually he manages to catch her and bring her back to Explorer when all hope was lost. Kinda incredible but also inevitable for the story. 

Not everyone is that lucky obviously and Shariff dies instantly. I didn't catch it at first, had to watch the scene again after reading Con's review. I saw him fly in the debris scene but he was attached to his tether so I didn't really pay attention to him. But when they reach him and we can see through his skull, we find out how unforgiving the collision was. Very gory scene ! 

They go back to Explorer pretty easily I must say. Like Con, that was the aspect of the film that bothered me the most. How easily they navigate through space to Explorer, then to ISS and then to Tiangong 1. Didn't seem very realistic to me. These shuttles/stations are moving at incredible speed. Maybe the astronauts are moving at similar speed ? Don't know if space physics work like that. I also wonder if it is possible to bring back a spinning astronaut like that. I know Kowalsky has a jetpack but that seems far fetched. I'm gonna do some research about the science behind the movie. I know most of it is very well done and real but don't know about this specific thing. Maybe they answer that in the Blu-Ray bonuses. 

The shuttle is destroyed so they decide to go to ISS who is conveniently in the vicinity and on the same orbit. How lucky they are ! Could have been on the other side of the planet :D Of course they reach ISS despite the jetpack being almost out of fuel. They bang into everything possible and Stone gets her foot in the Soyuz parachutes and miraculously doesn't go spinning into space again. Kowalsky is not that lucky. Stone grabs him but he's pulled by space toward the unknown and he sacrifices himself to save Stone. Again, I don't know how physics work here but since she was holding him with the cable, shouldn't his speed towards space slow down and eventually became null ? Then they could have pulled on the parachute to get back to the station ? Anyway, Kowalsky disappears slowly into space and Stone manages to go to the airlock at the last second, just when her O2 is completely depleted. 

We then get a definitely gratuitous shot of Bullock in her underwear. I know, I know, it's meant to show her being reborn after almost dying in space. She's in a foetal position with the cable looking like an umbilical cordon. She slowly comes back to her senses and starts to navigate through ISS. At one point we see a few tiny floating flames and uh oh, that's probably not a good thing. She goes to the other side of the station to do something but soon enough, we hear a fire alarm and the entire corridor is in flames. She rushes to the Soyuz to escape and detach from ISS but it's stuck because of the parachute. And soon enough the debris are back and the entire station is destroyed in a glory of CGI. That scene was incredible. Beautifully done, no sound from the debris impacting the station. Silent explosions and destruction. Very cool. All of it with the camera spinning along with Dr Stone, giving us a FPV of the events. Very immersive. Loved how this film does that. 

After that she's drifting in Soyuz, certain of her impending death. She 'makes contact' with someone on Earth and hears a baby. I interpreted that as a sign of hope. Another sign of being reborn. A sign of life. She's going to make it. She still decides to kill herself by sucking out the oxygen but Kowalsky knocks on the door ! He's alive ! Of course not, it's a dream sequence. He motivates her to keep fighting so she does just that, and start to search for a way back to Earth. She reaches the chinese station but it's on an uncontrolled descent directly back to the ground and will definitely be destroyed in the atmosphere. She goes to the escape pod Shenzhou or whatever and thanks to dreamy Clooney, succeed in safely landing on our dear planet. 

When I first saw the movie years ago, I thought that was it. Happy ending after an insane chain of events in space. And that was the ending I was expecting. But then Stone becomes incredibly stupid and opens the hatch whil she's on water. OF COURSE the water floods the module and it sinks. OMG she's gonna die stupidly after surviving incredible stuff ! But of course not. She manages to escape the pod and FINALLY reaches shore. 

She takes a moment to adjust to the gravity and gets back on her feet in the last shot of the movie. Dr Stone standing up, looking at the sky. She beat space. 

I LOVE THIS MOVIE. Yes, the course of events seems a little over the top with her surviving incredible moments, which is probably impossible IRL. But the movie needs a story otherwise it would have been a short about a shuttle hit by space debris. The end. Not very interesting. 

Highlights are the space porn (those auroras ! ) and the oppressing silence. Definitely an ode to space and to our home. 

9/10 ! Will watch again ! 

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