A land forged from the fires of strife, blood of heroes, and touch of the gods.
Where deeds of great valor, vile evils, and blazing passions intertwine
to shape the course of elven and human history within.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Gravity of it all...

Went to the movies yesterday.  Saw Gravity in IMAX 3D.  Pretty good flick.  

Who am I kidding?  It's a marvel to behold.  A simple story of survival, basically a two-person play (the others are all minor support, nothing more), it's tight, taut, really about as minimalistic as you can get in dialogue and still have discourse and meaning.
If you've been away from the planet (the only reason you couldn't have read/seen/heard the hype about this movie over the last six weeks), I'm not gonna repeat what the internet already has in droves.  Check out rottentomatoes.com or any of the major film sites; you'll see what I mean.
OK, so what, right?  I've been mulling the movie in my mind and find a number of things very similar to those of writers (see how neatly I lead into that?).
Dr. Ryan Stone (not only does Sandra Bullock's character have a man's name, she has a REAL man's name), is brilliant, driven, and completely walled off from emotions.  We eventually learn why, and its a heart-wrencher. Kowalski (George Clooney, with charm so thick it drips from his every line), is the senior of the mission, completely at ease in the environment of space, and a bit of a clown when things are going smoothly. When the situation turns critical, he's the voice of reason, logic, and a great hand to hold.
Stone reminds me of many writers I've known and read about; aloof, emotionally distant, focused on only the job at hand, nothing more, and a bit of a bore outside their expertise. Kowalski is just the opposite, and he'd probably be just at home in the midle of a party while Stone sits over in the corner, nursing her first (only) drink of the evening.
So we have polar opposites in the cast list, but they're both professionals doing their jobs; the friction is minimal and the "cool" is layered.  Very nicely done.
Too many stories I've read try to make the characters the proverbial "bigger than life"; and my humble opinion is, when a writer does that, the result is simply "bigger than believability".
Adventure is often described as "somebody else a thousand miles away, having a really tough time."  OK, so Stone and Kowalski are only about 250 miles away, but you get the idea.  
Gravity is not an adventure story, it's not a super hero story, it's not a conventional thriller or SF story. It's a tale of two superbly trained astronauts caught in a hopeless situation, trying to keep their sanity and use their brains to survive. Rather refreshing in these times of (a) summer blockbusters and (b) silliness in our government.  
But you knew that. 

See it on the biggest screen you can.  And the 3D isn't distracting, it's well integrated into the film.  
I give it an A-.  If you'd like to know why, go see it first, then we'll talk.


Kristin McTiernan said...

When I saw the preview, somehow I knew it would be a tremendous movie. And the fact that it was designed for 3D (as opposed to a sloppy post-production conversion) makes me want to see it even more.

Dennis Young said...

See it in a true IMAX 3D theater and you won't be disappointed.