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Strap in and don’t let go. Gravity is a thrill ride unlike any other from revolutionary director Alfonso Cuarón. With breathtaking visuals and an almost unbearable amount of tension throughout its lean 90 minute runtime, Gravity is a film that demands to be seen on the largest possible screen. Don’t miss your opportunity to see this landmark, cinematic event.

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalski, two astronauts serving on the space shuttle, Explorer. Stone is a researcher who is adjusting to her first expedition in space, while Kowalski is a veteran astronaut on his final mission. While running a routine spacewalk, they are hit with debris from a Russian satellite, destroying their space shuttle and their communication with Houston. Stuck out in space with no one but each other, they must rely on their courage and their will to live if they hope to ever make it back to earth.

The majority of Gravity was made using digital effects and they look fantastic. Poor visuals could have easily ruined the entire film, but the visuals work seamlessly with the actors to create an environment that feels incredibly realistic. For an hour and a half, I no longer felt as if I was sitting in a theater, I felt as if I had been transported to a place above the stratosphere.

Great visual effects don’t always add up to an engrossing film (*cough* Avatar *cough*), but luckily Alfonso Cuarón, working from a script that he wrote with his son Jonas Cuarón, has created some of the most dizzying and breathtaking action sequences in years. Even though the film is created mostly through visual effects, Cuarón chooses to simulate long takes instead of rapid editing and frantic camerawork. The first fifteen minutes of the film are a beautiful and astounding long take that culminates in a brutal sequence of destruction. From here, the intensity only continues to increase as the film progresses.

The characters of Stone and Kowalski are essentially the only characters in the entire film and their character development occurs very smoothly. Viewers will find themselves invested in these two individuals and our investment in them only adds to the stomach-turning intensity. When things start to go badly, you will actually feel the fear that these characters are experiencing. Performances also help in this regard, with George Clooney being as charming and suave as ever. But it is Sandra Bullock’s performance as the inexperienced researcher that truly resonates. She never overdoes it and her sadness and desperation to survive truly resonates.

If you have ever wondered what it feels like to be in space, Gravity might just be the closest you ever come to actually experiencing it. Aided by a beautiful score from Steven Price and fantastic sound design which proves that silence can sometimes be more effective than constant loud noises, viewers will feel as if they have been dropped directly into the chaos enfolding before them. It is a bold and beautiful picture that will leave you slack jawed, gaping at the screen. This is not just a massive leap forward for the sci-fi genre; it is a massive leap forward for the art of film itself.

 

Gravity receives 4/4

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