Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Please copy...

Jason Voorhees is not scary. He's killed countless people in countless ways, but it's all kind of silly. What I saw last Thursday? Now that was terrifying. The thing is, Jason should scare me more. Easily. I mean, at least Jason is possible. The deaths, as ridiculous as they may be could happen. I could have sex in a bunk bed. Unlikely, sure. But it could happen. And after that, an arrow could be jammed through my neck from below. Yeah, it would suck, but I'd manage. At least I'd die in a bed. In a house. On Earth. 


With all due respect, f--k space. F--k everything about it. Those serene shots of the sun rising over Earth? Bullshit. That shit ain't peaceful. That's certain, quiet death. 

I loved every minute of Gravity. Well, not while I was watching it, actually (you can't love something that's choking you), and not immediately afterward, either (my equilibrium was f--ked up). But the next day? Very much so. And while its box-office success is bringing out more and more detractors, I am obviously not one of them. Gravity is a cinematic experience unlike anything else I've ever been a part of. The film literally took my breath away.

From a technical perspective, the film is unquestionably brilliant. But while numerous films have stunned me visually, few, if any, have also packed the emotional weight of director Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity. Not only did I want everyone to make it home safely, I needed them to. 

The story is actually quite simple, and takes place in what feels like real time. After surviving an accident in outer space, astronauts Ryan Stone (a never better Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney, consistently perfect) must improvise a plan to stay alive and get home. The challenges they face are relentless, and the overwhelming emptiness of space exacerbates everything. And making things somehow even worse (though, ultimately, great), the whole story is presented so seamlessly, in these fantastically long shots, you can't help but feel a part of every decision, every catastrophe.


And while the titular gravity surely applies to the weight and force of each decision, let alone something Stone and Kowalski are longing for, the film could have easily (though foolishly, I'll admit) been called Momentum, too. Each and every movement creates a trajectory there may be no coming back from, not to mention how everything goes from bad to worse to no f--king way to please-let-me-die in an instant. I'd love to go on and on about damn near every minute of this one, but I'd like this post to intentionally remain as spoiler-free as possible. The logic-free component? Well, that's a bit more unintentional.

Weightless and often spinning uncontrollably, here are the Yays and Boos for Gravity. We caught this one in the same IMAX 3D theater as Pacific Rim [review]. Turns out saving Earth isn't nearly as compelling as quietly floating away from it.

Yaaaaaaaay!

  • It's incredible how death and destruction can somehow appear so quietly beautiful, too. The first impact scene is utterly incredible on both fronts.
  • If I'm ever slowly dying, I'm pretty sure George Clooney's voice is what I want running through my ears. I'd say God's voice might be a solid pick as well, if I thought they might actually sound, you know, different.
  • Even though I'm clearly never going to amount to anything near the level of astronaut, I was happy that even for a minute, I could relate to Sandra Bulllock's Ryan Stone. At one point, she lowers herself to my level and, get this, actually curses.
  • On that note, here's my f--k list
    • F--k space.
    • F--k body recovery.
    • F--k parachutes.
    • F--k space fires
      • Despite the fact that I hated all these things, I actually loved the overwhelming peril associated with each.
  • There were so few (obvious) cuts in this movie. Brilliant.
  • I don't care if they were obvious, I loved the shot of embryonic peace. But even better, was the sort of re-evololution of Stone at the end.
  • And even though it's likely unnecessary to the overall enjoyment of the film, the IMAX 3D aspect was 900% worth it. It's certainly not gimmicky here. $15 well spent on my end.
  • And finally, even though I loved George Clooney in this movie as much as I loved him anything, this is fully Sandra Bullock's show. She completely blew me away with her dignified vulnerability and uncertainty. Stone is clearly an intelligent person, she just feels like she has nothing to fight for anymore. But when she gives up on giving in, she's truly a force.
Booooo!
  • Shariff. Damn, dude. That's gonna leave a mark.
  • Marvin Martian. Hey, that's cool. The little toy is floating away and HOLY F--KING SHIT IT'S DEAD CARROT TOP! I think I just soiled my spacesuit. 
  • Guys on the other end of the radio. First up: Houston? Houston in the blind? What the shit, Houston? Answer me, dammit. Second, and worse: Random Guy. Who is this Chinese a-hole and his f--king dogs and his awful singing? We've got no time for this, man. No time.
  • The fact that I'm stupid. There was one scene where I literally didn't know what the Hell was going on. And, and!, I thought someone's face was going to be all hollowed out at the end of it. Yes, for a second, I forgot I was at Gravity instead of a much-delayed imaginary sequel to Event Horizon.
  • And finally, my sister. This chick had the nerve to call Bullock's character incompetent. Really, sis? Really?  I've seen you too scared to successfully play a video game. How about we cut Stone some slack, okay?
Last Halloween, I tried to only review horror movies in October. While I've clearly dropped the ball this October, I think Gravity is a step in the right direction. Turns out, outer space is as terrifying as any traditional horror movie, even the aforementioned Jason Voorhees. Jeez, imagine if they combined Jason with outer space. 

That would be the scariest movie ever made.

5 comments:

  1. LOL at your F--k list. If I were in Ryan's situation, I would've used that word more than once. Gravity could easily pass for horror - I sure as hell don't ever want to go to space. (Not that I'm even qualified to)

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    1. Seriously... if that's me, I start and every sentence with an f-bomb. If I could manage to stop shitting myself long enough to compose words.

      If being consistently terrified = horror, then yes, this counts as horror. For me, anyway.

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  2. "I'm pretty sure George Clooney's voice is what I want running through my ears. I'd say God's voice might be a solid pick as well, if I thought they might actually sound, you know, different." - oh yeah :P I was so sad for Ryan on missing out what would probably be an amazing zero gravity space sex with Matt. I literally gasped with the biggest admiration when he went back for her and grabbed her after she was spinning in space.

    Dude they combined Jason and space and it was hilarious - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_X :P

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    1. Even though I own it, I refuse to acknowledge the existence of Jason X. I remember working with this dude that fully vouched for its greatness. I mean, gave me his word.

      I bought it, watched it, then began my plan to take that guy to space and chop his f--king head off.

      On topic, sort of, is your proposed zero gravity sex. While I would have been all for it, it could have been way hardcore in IMAX. I think tears were enough, in the ol' 'floating secretions' department.

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