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(Film Critic) SDG Reviews 'Gravity' (for National Catholic Register)
NC Register ^ | October 3, 2013 | STEVEN D. GREYDANUS

Posted on 10/04/2013 1:47:26 PM PDT by NYer

Sandra Bullock shines in Alfonso Cuarón’s mesmerizing action thriller in space, a rare Hollywood spectacle with a touch of spiritual awareness.

We see so many big-budget science-fiction spectacles —  so many painstakingly realized fantasy worlds and lavishly rendered alien landscapes and environments, inhabited by extravagantly imagined extraterrestrial species, with fantastic spacecraft and starships traveling through hyperspace and all manner of wormholes, nebulae and so forth.

Yet simple weightlessness, though no more exotic than the space shuttle, remains among the most fascinating, captivating effects in any Hollywood production of recent years.

It’s an effect put to mesmerizing use by Alfonso Cuarón in his action thriller Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts on a space walk that goes terribly wrong.

Gorgeous, nerve-racking, literally awesome, Gravity takes us to a world much nearer in both time and space than Duncan Jones’ Moon; nearer even than the layer of satellites that our mobile phones and GPS devices talk to every day: only about 350 miles away, in the low Earth orbit of the Hubble Space Telescope. Roughly the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco — but oh, that’s far enough.

Far enough for the Earth to be, not a location, but a silent third character in what is largely a simple, relentless two-character survival story. The familiar blue-and-green orb looms large in the background or reflected in space-suit visors. It is home, a place of life, of human connection — so close, yet so inaccessible.

(Excerpt) Read more at ncregister.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: gravity

1 posted on 10/04/2013 1:47:26 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...
Very few effects-driven movies in recent years have offered anything visually groundbreaking or novel. The ones that have — Avatar, Inception, Life of Pi — have done so through fantastic or surreal imagery. Gravity is something almost unheard of these days: a Hollywood spectacle that shows us something new, set in the universe we live in.

Ping!

2 posted on 10/04/2013 1:48:27 PM PDT by NYer ("The wise man is the one who can save his soul. - St. Nimatullah Al-Hardini)
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To: NYer

I want to see the movie badly, but one thing hit me as I
watched the trailer:
Even though I like Sandra Bullock, she is a poor choice for
this move, as you know they cannot kill her off.
So all the suspense is gone because you know for certain
that all will be OK with her getting rescued.


3 posted on 10/04/2013 1:54:38 PM PDT by Verbosus (/* No Comment */)
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To: Verbosus

And I still want to see it badly.


4 posted on 10/04/2013 1:57:28 PM PDT by Verbosus (/* No Comment */)
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To: NYer

Clooney? Ick.


5 posted on 10/04/2013 1:58:32 PM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: NYer

Sandra Bullock, aye.

George (C)looney, nay.

The latter cancels out the former and I’ll wait for Netflix.


6 posted on 10/04/2013 2:11:48 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: NYer

I love science fiction, but I won’t queue this one up on Netflix ever, George clueless? yuck. No such thing as a movie with him that is worth watching.


7 posted on 10/04/2013 2:17:13 PM PDT by rigelkentaurus
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To: Verbosus
Even though I like Sandra Bullock, she is a poor choice for this move, as you know they cannot kill her off.

No, I did not know that. Why can't they kill her off?

8 posted on 10/04/2013 2:21:47 PM PDT by NYer ("The wise man is the one who can save his soul. - St. Nimatullah Al-Hardini)
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To: Verbosus

LOL

that’s great you jerk.

Ruined the ending for me....


9 posted on 10/04/2013 2:26:24 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: IronJack

naw. you can’t wait for Netflix.

This film is clearly Big Screen.

Love stories and comedies are for home.


10 posted on 10/04/2013 2:28:35 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: NYer
largely a simple, relentless two-character survival story

Bleh. If I want simple, relentless survival, I have real life.

11 posted on 10/04/2013 2:34:00 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("The heart of the matter is God's love. It always has been. It always will be."~Abp. Chaput)
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To: NYer

I can’t imagine a more unappealing movie than this. A woman floating around in space through the whole thing? Ugh! I’ll pass.


12 posted on 10/04/2013 2:48:34 PM PDT by FrdmLvr
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Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiTiKOy59o4


13 posted on 10/04/2013 3:21:30 PM PDT by Rio (Proud resident of the State of Jefferson)
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To: Verbosus

Chick Flick, with metro Clooney. Sound like a rip-off of a great space movie, Space Cowboys.


14 posted on 10/04/2013 3:28:24 PM PDT by PhiloBedo (You gotta roll with the punches and get with what's real.)
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To: Vendome
Love stories and comedies are for home.

I don't do love stories and most comedies are vapid gutterfests. I've got a 72" HiDef home screen with everything but scratch-n-sniff.

I'll wait for Netflix.

15 posted on 10/04/2013 3:32:27 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: NYer

Saw it today. Well done. Find the critiques here interesting from those who did not see it. Also why Netflex if Clooney is really that disgusting to you, why bother at all. Sounds more like a pocket book issue. Thanks for thread NYer!


16 posted on 10/04/2013 3:40:42 PM PDT by DollyCali (Don't tell God how big your storm is... tell your storm how BIG your God is!)
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To: IronJack

Kewel. you got the right size...


17 posted on 10/04/2013 5:36:28 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: NYer

Just saw Gravity. Wow! Very symbolic as to the struggle of life and the inner force to survive. There was a moment in this movie when I could not help but equate this to the battle of an unborn child, fighting against a force intent on ending its life. I doubt Clooney realizes he starred in an extremely pro-life movie.


18 posted on 10/04/2013 7:19:44 PM PDT by Toespi
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To: IronJack
I don't do love stories and most comedies are vapid gutterfests.

Three romantic comedies worth seeing:

  1. It Happened One Night — Screwball comedy: invented the genre, directed by Frank Capra, won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress & Best Screenplay. Inspiration for Bugs bunny. Invented the show some leg trope. Caused a crash in sales of t-shirts. My favorite line: "Excuse me lady, but that upon which you sit is mine." The writing alone is worth it.
     
  2. Roman Holiday — Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn won Best Actress, Eddie Albert, movie won Best Costume Design and Best Writing. My favorite line: "Did you lose something?"
     
  3. Romancing The Stone — Parody of romantic comedies. Tight directing, not a wasted moment. Director Robert Zemeckis has a great acting part as Juan, the drug-runner. My favorite line: "What did you do, wake up this morning and say, 'Today, I'm going to ruin a man's life'? "

19 posted on 10/04/2013 10:14:32 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.' Matthew 5:37)
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To: NYer

Heard from a friend today that it’s spectacular in 3D.

I wonder though: Is this basically a retread of “The Cold Equations?”


20 posted on 10/05/2013 2:32:59 AM PDT by Hetty_Fauxvert (FUBO, and the useful idiots you rode in on!)
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To: IronJack
If you're going to see it, you must see it in a theatre...period.

I feel it will lose a lot on a small screen. Of course, if you have a 60” sitting on the TV stand at home...well.

Small spoiler ahead!!!!!

Visualy this movie was a masterpiece. The directors style was very different, and that gave it some variety. Not all may care for it. A bit plodding and overly faux suspenseful at times as we all know Sandra will no die. Not much plot, you just bounce from one crisis to the next, rinse repeat.

As an avid space/NASA buff, and as an engineer, I despised it. It was chocked full of “Hollywood Physics”, that made me want to scream, since it could have been made more that exciting enough without resorting to this, including the old “two climbers hanging from a single rope not strong enough to hold both of them for long” trope. Ug! YOU'RE WEIGHTLESS MORONS!!!!

And there are some nice shots of Sandra as well. Nothing with a lot of skin, but very nice none the less. I believe they tried a bit to hard to write that long pause with her in the back light (you'll know it when you see it) into the screenplay. But I suppose they had to given who it was. But it realy needs to be seen on the big screen.

21 posted on 10/05/2013 3:21:04 AM PDT by Jotmo (Whoever said, "The pen is mightier than the sword." has clearly never been stabbed to death.)
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert
I wonder though: Is this basically a retread of “The Cold Equations?”

Not at all.

22 posted on 10/05/2013 3:22:45 AM PDT by Jotmo (Whoever said, "The pen is mightier than the sword." has clearly never been stabbed to death.)
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To: Toespi; little jeremiah; narses
Just saw Gravity. Wow! Very symbolic as to the struggle of life and the inner force to survive. There was a moment in this movie when I could not help but equate this to the battle of an unborn child, fighting against a force intent on ending its life. I doubt Clooney realizes he starred in an extremely pro-life movie.

Thank you for your review. I had not considered such an equation but that makes perfect sense. Thanks again for the post and ping.

23 posted on 10/05/2013 7:50:21 AM PDT by NYer ("The wise man is the one who can save his soul. - St. Nimatullah Al-Hardini)
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To: Jeff Chandler

I’ve seen them all. In fact, just watched “Roman Holiday” on Netflix. Saw “Romancing the Stone” years ago. Too bad it’s Michael Douglas, but yeah, it was a fun romp. And “It Happened One Night” is a true classic. Bawdy without being dirty, and funny all at the same time. Capra was a genius.


24 posted on 10/05/2013 9:10:53 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: NYer

Too cute and sweet.


25 posted on 10/05/2013 2:02:07 PM PDT by Verbosus (/* No Comment */)
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To: Jotmo
I agree, the movie is a must see on the big screen. In general it was very well done, and very pro-human life.

To be sure, there were definitely some doubtful physics, but some of it made more sense than I expected -- there were elements of "hanging on to the edge of a cliff with one hand" and then getting badly shaken (but not letting go). Totally fake looking (how strong a grip does she have??) until you realize that everything is weightless. Then it seems to make sense. But, yes, in some ways it was very much "Hollywood".

I thought it would have been nice if they had referred to the Kessler Effect, which is basically what the movie is about. But I suppose no one cares about terminology. Bottomline: space debris is not a minor problem.

26 posted on 10/05/2013 6:28:07 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (21st century. I'm not a fan.)
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To: NYer
I just got back from seeing it. See it!! My theater was showing it in 3D and that was an extra treat for me.

Also, Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman is the best drama I've seen in a very long time.

27 posted on 10/05/2013 6:41:10 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: Verbosus

I highly recommend it. It reminded me of Apocalypto, which was all about a guy running through the woods, but what a journey it was. This was the same way for me.


28 posted on 10/05/2013 6:50:33 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: Toespi

Heh. Well said.


29 posted on 10/05/2013 6:52:50 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: rabidralph

I might have to go see it. I saw three of the big sci fi blockbusters over the summer — Man of Steel, Republicans in Space, and the one with the giant robots — and nearly fell asleep in all three. Maybe this one can redeem them.


30 posted on 10/05/2013 7:04:34 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

Go see Prisoners, as well.


31 posted on 10/05/2013 7:33:06 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: NYer

Enders Game comes out next month. Can’t wait for that one....


32 posted on 10/05/2013 7:36:13 PM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: Yardstick

Republicans in Space? Which one was that? I missed Europa Report, if that’s the one you’re referring too.


33 posted on 10/06/2013 7:32:55 PM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: BradyLS

I saw it. I won’t say much about it except that I enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun to see a movie with a shuttle and the ISS (for starters) in a disaster/survival film. For me, it seemed to be a fictionalized summary of several real-life events that have occurred in since the 60’s.

I’m reminded of the astronaut, several years ago, that lost a very expensive tool kit in space because the astronaut forgot to secure it before letting go of it.

I’m going to have to make an effort to enlarge my collection of hard-sci-fi films. There was one movie I saw as a kid about an American stranded on the moon. At one point he finds a dead cosmonaut. At the end, he finds an empty return ship that he can use, IIRC. Anyone remember that one?


34 posted on 10/06/2013 7:47:09 PM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: IronJack

Everyone I know says it MUST be seen on a big screen, the bigger the better. Ain’t gonna get the same effect from netflix.


35 posted on 10/06/2013 7:50:17 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: BradyLS

It was the one with Matt Damon about a future where the wealthy had moved to a space station leaving the poor to live miserable lives on Earth. It was billed as non-political but was in fact overtly, boneheadedly political. I’m blanking again on the actual title.


36 posted on 10/06/2013 8:07:01 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

Elysium.


37 posted on 10/06/2013 8:13:44 PM PDT by Vermont Lt ( 1-800-318-2596, Mr President.)
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To: Vermont Lt

That’s it.


38 posted on 10/06/2013 8:17:23 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

Ah, yes! “Elysium!”

No, I personally called that one “Idiocracy: the Prequel.” Now that you have me started, I must explain! Feel free to laugh!

That movie had Matt Damon begging to be allowed to work on a factory floor with a broken arm while his boss kept saying, “I can’t let youse woik like dat!” But, being a movie, he relents and then, naturally, Matt finds himself in a dangerous, work-related situation and needs help. Boss doesn’t care, “Ay! If youse don’t ged in dere and figs it, I’ll finds somebuddy WHO WILL!” Which leads to all the high-action shenanignas because Matt is nearly killed.

For their part, the people on Elysium basically took all their marbles and went home into space. “There! The earth is yours! ALL YOURS! Make the best of it!” But of course, they’re the big meanies because they the have magic beds that heal people miraculously and instantaneously. But, strangely, many of them still have to work on earth and, if they have a life-threatening owie where seconds count, the goodies are 20-30 minutes away. Because the big meanies wouldn’t have any of those devices on earth! NO WAY!

Stupid from beginning to end.


39 posted on 10/06/2013 8:20:08 PM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: BradyLS

Yep, that’s it in a nutshell. A few freepers made the good point that the unspoken (and possibly unconscious) premise of the film is that the 99 percent are complete idiots who can’t manage their own lives, making it a perfect expression of the liberal worldview.


40 posted on 10/06/2013 8:30:42 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: EDINVA

Pass. George Clooney isn’t going to get a dime of my money.


41 posted on 10/07/2013 5:05:32 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: rigelkentaurus

Two of the three Coen Brothers films he was in were terrific.


42 posted on 10/07/2013 7:48:45 AM PDT by Borges
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To: IronJack

I’m pretty sure George will get a dime or so when you opt to watch his film on Netflix. Certainly not as much as if you went to a large screen movie theater, but I’m pretty sure he will get some royalty.


43 posted on 10/07/2013 8:10:07 AM PDT by EDINVA
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To: EDINVA

I doubt it, but if that’s the case, I’ll pass on seeing the movie. I don’t feed my enemies.


44 posted on 10/07/2013 8:27:23 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: rabidralph

Saw it. Really liked it. A simple premise executed to near perfection. The space environment they created is totally believable; they got the physics of it all exactly right. My biggest complaint would be Bullock’s obviously silicone injected lips. There are lots of close shots of her face so they’re always right there. They kept pulling me out of the story and reminding me of the vanity of Hollywood. I thought Clooney’s character was a little too cartoonish. And I have mixed feelings about what could be seen as a universalist religious message. But the most obvious message of “don’t give up” was very inspiring and in a way very American.


45 posted on 10/15/2013 3:41:45 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

Yeah, Clooney was a little too silly. They tried too hard to make him seem like a regular guy. I didn’t notice Bullock’s lips as much as I noticed her overall facelift. Which was tastefully done but I didn’t think it was necessary. I guess all movies gloss over the religious stuff because they are so ignorant, but the message of never giving up came through loud and clear and I really liked that part of it.


46 posted on 10/17/2013 4:11:59 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: Yardstick
Saw it. Really liked it. A simple premise executed to near perfection. The space environment they created is totally believable; they got the physics of it all exactly right.

Well, I don't think so! I just saw this tonight, and I did like it, but I was hesitant to go see it because I had read a complete spoiler rundown, and it seemed like there were some annoying implausibilities.

Those were there, for sure ( ... the coherent debris cloud and the survival trek from Hubble to the ISS to a Chinese SS, ) but when I saw it, all this seemed tolerable in the realm of moviedom.

There was other stuff that bothered me, like the "look" of the earth, which was kind of fifties-ish with the light blue ocean, but there was one incident that really hit me in the face, and this was a big plot driver.

In the initial catastrophe, the co-stars are tethered and he is trying to manouver them both with his jet pack. They showed a lot of examples of the tether going tight and giving a jerk, then going slack as they rebounded towards each other along the line of tension. Very plausible looking, even if I couldn't vouch for the entirety of the resulting motion. It was enough to "pull me in" ( ha-ha. )

But then at the crucial moment, we see them tethered and accidently hitched to the ISS, and the tether goes tight and it just keeps pulling! What the heck! It made no sense, and obviously physics was overruled for the sake of the plot here.

So anyway, they were trying, so there was a high degree of verisimilitude ... i.e. it did seem very real as I watched it, for the most part.

BTW, I thought Clooney was great, and I loved the visitation scene.

47 posted on 10/18/2013 8:05:54 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: dr_lew

Just saw it. What a film. I hate 3D and actually think it did work for this movie. I was on the edge of my seat. Some of the story or back story may have been unnecessary but it didn’t detract enough from the amazing overall effect of this suspenseful movie. The effects were phenomenal. There is a news story today where a reporter asked the director what it was like to film in space. Lol. It really was convincing.

And Sandra bullock was totally without makeup and I think she is just beautiful. And I’m a girl. I’m wondering what the other women this year have to do to beat her out for the oscar.


48 posted on 11/03/2013 12:41:24 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Borges

I liked him as the Doctor who replaced Kenny’s heart with a baked potato in The South Park Movie.


49 posted on 11/03/2013 12:46:49 AM PDT by dfwgator
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