Tag Archives: 2001: a space odyessy

Review: Gravity – “is working against me…” you got that right Mister Mayer











Waited to see Gravity, worth the wait.  This is a movie truly worth seeing in IMAX 3D.  See it that way and see it often, well maybe not often cause it’s already made $50 million on its opening weekend.

The short of it, astronauts on a routine expedition get caught in a debris storm that leaves them stranded in space, dun dun dunnnnn…

The good; the visuals are amazing. the opening shot goes on for what feels like forty five minutes.  Technically stunning.  This is how filming a mostly CG film is supposed to be, not like those Star Wars prequels.

The only two on screen actors you have are Sandra Bullock, who plays the bio-medical engineer Ryan Stone, and George Clooney, who plays veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski.  Other than that, everyone else is a voice over.  It’s compelling that all you have on screen are these two actors and you’re still right there with them.

The soundtrack is amazing, very driving and atmospheric, pun intended.  With a film like this where they do portray space as the vacuum it is, there’s no sound, leaving a lot of room for the soundtrack.  It’s booming, almost deafening, and yet can be triumphant and moody.

Gravity leans more to the scientific aspects of what would happen in a space disaster.  Reminiscent of movies like; The Perfect Storm, Open Water, Castaway, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.  In its leaning to the hard science stuff, the film uses imagery from 2001, but doesn’t attempt to touch the philosophy aspects of it.  An example is the shot where Bullock is curled up in the fetal position while in zero gravity, the tether line is the umbilical cord and the craft is the womb…  I like the nod to 2001.

The bad; you should see this in IMAX 3D, there’s no way about it, seeing this film in regular 2D isn’t worth it.  Allow yourself to be immersed completely in a movie.
The trailer… it portrays the film as more high octane action by using sound effects in space, the marketing is mis-leading here.  Those morons expecting a big explode-y type movie shouldn’t be watching this film, so why market to those cavemen?

There isn’t much to put here, but I’ve got to put something.  If anything, the story is nothing new.  But it’s so well done.

Overall, Gravity is one of my favorite movies this year.  It should be nominated for best picture as well as all the technical nominations that it’s eligible for.  This is basically a disaster film but set in space, it’s man against the elements, in this case the lack of elements.  It’s another technical feat brought to us by Alfonso Cuarón.  Bravo!

Review: Oblivion – obliterates the competition

I went to see Oblivion last night.  Didn’t get to see it over the weekend, apparently everyone else did…
It’s about Tom Cruise as the last man on earth, sort of, the planet is ravaged and he his mission is to repair the drones that repel the alien presence.

The good; I love the premise, it reminds me of all those post-apocalyptic movies before the eighties, the ones that immediately come to mind are; Planet of the Apes, Omega Man, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running and Damnation AlleyThen more recently Moon.

The production design in creating the world is great.  Everything is a variation of white, the equipment, living quarters, clothing… all white.  But Tom Cruise plays tech Jack Harper who goes out in to the wasteland so his white uniform is grayish from all the dirt and grime.

Oblivion is directed by Joseph Kosinski, who previously did Tron: Legacy. It’s nice that he got a second chance to direct a movie with a stronger story.  This film really feels like a lover-letter to all those previously mentioned movie in the seventies.

The bad; the film does drag in spots, but there’s something about Cruise, he can carry a movie, much like Mc Queen in Bullitt.  So I was able to forgive the pacing in areas.

The story is nothing new, there’s a lot of aspects of other movies and stories that we’ve seen here.  I know I mentioned this above as something I liked, but it felt more like here’s this movie and then now here’s that movie, the melding needed work.

*SEMI-SPOILER* There’s a twist/reveal at the end.  Basically if you’re an uninformed movie goer (a Michael Bay fan *ahem) then you’d be gasping when this plot point reveals itself.  I could see this twist coming a mile away, and again, it’s nothing new that we haven’t seen, so I guess I was just predisposed to expect it.
When the revelation hits Harper I find that he buys in to it way too easily.  Some might say that was already fighting mentally with what he was doing, so when the truth hit him, it was always something he knew but could never see or hear.
At this point in the movie taking more time to explain the “truth” of what’s going on wouldn’t have been so bad, cause they did take their sweet time getting there.  Just felt weird, why take your leisure and then when something important like this comes up we speed right through it?  It’s basically told in exposition, which felt very lazy.

Overall I enjoyed this movie more than I thought it would be.  The visuals are great and Tom Cruise, luv him or hate him, he can certainly carry a movie.  Viewing this movie made me want to watch all the other movies that I thought of, so I know that the filmmakers’ hearts are in the right place, cause they like some of the same movies I like.