Blu-ray review: Gravity
(Warner Brothers, M)
I really wanted to agree with Time's assessment of Gravity.
Time called the film, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, "the best movie of the year" before it won seven Oscars.
Gravity was visually and aurally stunning, but I am not convinced it deserved best visual effects, best sound editing, best sound mixing, best cinematography, best film editing, best original score and best director.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Star Trek Into Darkness both score higher on all fronts, in my book, but the academy has already lauded Sir Peter Jackson aplenty and never given anything to the magicians on the Star Trek, or for that matter Star Wars, franchises. That's just snobbery.
My problem with Gravity is its story, or lack thereof, coupled with characters I know nothing of and learn almost nothing about before tragedy strikes their space shuttle mission in Earth orbit. Why should I care about this crew, the director Alfonso Cuarón gives me no reason to?
James Cameron's Titanic was the opposite and also won multiple Oscars. Unlike Titanic Gravity is a short film, running at 91 minutes, so there's no time to get to know Bullock and Clooney's ill fated astronauts. One is inept, the other is all smarm, so it's amazing NASA allowed them onto the launch pad. It's also amazing that their training didn't seem to kick in when things went wrong. For a story so close to real life this seemed totally unreal. That ruined it for me, and the completely inexplicable destruction of every satellite in Earth's orbit save for its natural one Luna.
Another 30 minutes of story to introduce the film might have made Gravity a better film, but only if it included plenty of character moments. More gee whiz special effects would have made this more mind numbing.
Give me 48 year old Star Trek, with its now ageing effects but intelligent story telling, above this unchallenging, pretty looking, blockbustter, any time.All that said, I will give it another viewing to see whether I change my mind. I somehow doubt it.