Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Gravity

I've watched two Sandra Bullock movies this year: The Heat and Gravity.  Guess which one is my favourite movie of the year.  To be fair, we turned off The Heat half way through.  Maybe that last half was epicly hilarious.  But I kind of doubt it.

This movie, on the other hand, is just plain epic.  It is an hour and a half of clenched sphincter.  Things go wrong for the characters in the first couple minutes and the tension doesn't stop until the final scene.  It is a remarkable film making achievement.

And it is an utterly gorgeous film.  I really wish we'd seen it on an IMAX screen.  The camera work is completely unrestrained by convention and does everything to put you into the bewildering disorientation of zero gravity.  The visuals alone make this THE definitive space movie.

The director is Alfonso Cuaron, the same guy who did Children of Men.  While I consider Children of Men to still be his masterpiece, this is a remarkable follow up.  It lacks the message and extraordinary world-building of his previous film but Gravity removes any doubt that this guy is a film-making genius without peer.

So, needless to say, I recommend it.  And I was very excited to call up my parents to give them this recommendation.  It's not often I run across a movie that I think both of my parents will enjoy.  But they'd already seen it.  My dad's review?  An enthusiastic "Meh".

I was dumbfounded.  Our movie preferences don't always line up but I couldn't conceive of a single issue somebody would have with this one.  I demanded some sort of explanation for his luke-warm ambivalence.  And he starts picking on the technicalities like whether they had an accurate time for debris to orbit the earth and in which direction it would be orbiting.  These quibbles from my dad.  My father, who would rank Face/Off and Con Air in his top 10 movies of all time, had issues with how realistic the physics were in Gravity.

Unbelievable.  I'd heard that internet darling, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, had raised some stink about some of the technical flaws in Gravity.  Here's a recap of some of his tweets.  Please don't read it before watching the movie.  These are things that I would be the first to jump on with a lesser movie.  But it just doesn't matter in the face of the beauty and drama this movie delivers.  See it and tell me you disagree.

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