In recent years I’ve grown tired of movie trailers. They run on too long, they give away too much of the plot, and when theaters tack 5 or 6 on to the beginning of a movie it can delay the actual start time by a good half-hour. And trailers aren’t nearly as special as they used to be now that you can access them anytime on the internet.
But every once in a while one will hit you in the face like an errant asteroid and remind you of how great trailers can be. Several weeks ago I was in a theater and there’s Sandra Bullock in space and BAM! something hits the space shuttle and WHOOSH! she spinning off into space and HOLY CRAP this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. What is this? And as quickly as it hit, it was gone.
That’s how you make a trailer. I didn’t know anything about “Gravity” at that time other than I had to see it immediately.
It’s been a long wait but “Gravity” is now in theaters and boy, does it live up to the hype. All the ridiculous hyperbole that movie critics love to use that usually make me shake my head is actually legitimate this time. This movie really is astonishing, amazing, a masterpiece, etc.
Sandra Bullock stars as Dr. Ryan Stone, an engineer on her first mission in space. She’s as much a newbie as the mission commander, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), is a veteran. While Stone is trying to keep her lunch down while attaching a new gizmo onto the Hubble space telescope, Kowalski is cheerfully zipping around with his jetpack and telling old stories to Mission Control.
This routine mission turns into a nightmare when debris from a damaged satellite crashes into the shuttle and sends Stone somersaulting out of control. Kowalski manages to catch up to her but now the duo face the seemingly impossible task of getting back to Earth. And they’re on the clock because oxygen is limited and the debris field will circle back around every 90 minutes.
As stories go, “Gravity” isn’t really anything new. We’ve all seen stories of people facing difficult situations, with more problems turning up after each obstacle is overcome. And let’s be honest, there’s no way a person with Dr. Stone’s limited background in space could do half the things she does — especially under these circumstances.
But none of that matters, because director Alfonso Cuarón has crafted such an incredible visual spectacle with plenty of personal drama and thrills and tension. Bullock’s and Clooney’s performances keep pace with the outstanding special effects.
If you’ve ever wanted to go into space but didn’t have the time to become an astronaut or the money to hitch a ride with Virgin Galactic, this is probably as close as you’re going to get. Go see this movie. Immediately. In 3D. In IMAX. Take out a loan if you can’t afford the tickets.