Gravity (2013)
June 30, 2023 8:32 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a brilliant medical engineer on her first Shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The Shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone-tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness of space. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

The only other actors in the film are voices on communications. They are played by Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen, Phaldut Sharma, Amy Warren, Basher Savage.

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Additional directing by Stephen E. Hagen, Josh Robertson, Ben Howard, Marcia Gay, Toby Hefferman, Edward Brett. Produced by David Heyman and Alfonso Cuarón. Written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón. Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki.

96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Max. Also available for digital rental on multiple outlets. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (24 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As requested!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:34 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]

This was really compelling in the theater, and the only movie I've ever seen that justified the use of 3D. I feel like it would lose a huge amount of oomph on a smaller screen. I don't remember much in the way of story beyond the moment-to-moment rollercoaster. But it was well paced enough with small moments of safety before the next "oh shit!" to work, and just plausible enough that I never felt pulled out of the movie. But again, I think a lot of that derives from being big enough and loud enough and dramatic enough that you don't question it in the moment.
posted by rikschell at 9:39 AM on June 30 [7 favorites]

Ouch. Gravity was a handsome film, but the "realism" is something short of Star Wars. Phil Plait's (Bad Astronomy) take.
posted by SPrintF at 10:36 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]

I saw this in 3D on IMAX and I can't imagine seeing it any other way.
posted by Superilla at 10:39 AM on June 30

I also saw this in 3D IMAX, and I have zero desire to see it again. I can't imagine it playing as well on my television. I did enjoy it. It was an incredibly immersive experience. It really felt like I was floating around in space with her.

The older guy sitting in front of me in the theater unironically clasped his hands to his head in amazement at two separate moments during the movie. I've never seen anyone do that in real life.
posted by mrphancy at 12:23 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]

I guess I'm the only one who HATED this movie. Clooney was sleep-walking through his part and Sandra Bullock was pretty meh. It was all effects and no story (and bad science).
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:39 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]

I saw this in first release with the only geekier space geek than I that I know. After SBull goes through her scientifically dubious travails, she returns to earth and lands in a small lake or swamp. My pal and I don't talk in theatres, of course, but at the same instant turned to each and muttered a single word: "Gators."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:49 PM on June 30 [9 favorites]

want to see it again, but the evening summer sun is still very bright at a late hour here in Denmark. I always see this when it is dark to immerse myself in the imagery and sound. Am lucky enough to have a large OLED and 7.1 sound in our CPH apt.
posted by alchemist at 12:58 PM on June 30

I also saw this in 3D IMAX, and I have zero desire to see it again.

I really wish I could see it again the first time.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:02 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]

I forgive a lot of the bad astronomy because they’re choosing their battles. Yeah, they didn’t have time in a tight-focused one-hander thrill ride to teach the audience orbital dynamics, but someone held the line and made sure action-reaction and fire-in-freefall were handled right. AND the basics of actors moving in free fall, orbital sunsets and sunrises, comms…
posted by sixswitch at 1:46 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]

And if you can’t orbit-hop to something with a reentry vehicle, there’s no movie
posted by sixswitch at 1:57 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]

And if you can’t orbit-hop to something with a reentry vehicle, there’s no movie

I guess that's what I found off-putting. Once you allow a little real physics to creep in, there's literally no place for this story. It's ironic that a film named Gravity completely fails to understand gravity. Really, if you accept this story, then why didn't the astronauts just jump down to Earth? It makes as much sense. You can't just dismiss it as a "technical error" when it's the foundation for the entire story.

I'm OK with Star Wars spaceships banking into turns, guns blazing pew-pew as they roar past in space. But no once confuses Star Wars with reality and Gravity made a serious effort to convince the audience that it was real.
posted by SPrintF at 2:17 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]

There’s so much real physics in this story though! They shaded the edges on, like, the most impossibly counterintuitive stuff, and held the line on everything else.

Not fighting, I get what you mean. But this is not a movie that could have accommodated a sufficient education on orbital dynamics.
posted by sixswitch at 2:25 PM on June 30

(And plenty of people confuse Star Wars with reality 😂)
posted by sixswitch at 2:26 PM on June 30

Like, they built a 4K LED wall from scratch, when those were not yet A Thing, just so they could get orbitally-correct optical reflections and ambient lighting on the actors. That’s physics too (and it’s the kind that actually shows up onscreen).
posted by sixswitch at 2:27 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]

Ok sorry I’m taking a break from stanning this amazing film 😂
posted by sixswitch at 2:28 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]

I also saw this in 3D IMAX when it came out, and that experience really was amazing. On a regular television, it's fine for what it is, but really lost so much of that original wow factor.
posted by Pryde at 2:41 PM on June 30

I really like Gravity. It looks amazing and as other have said, it is the only film where the 3Dness really works as the bright object really pop against the blackness of space.

However, the only way it make an sense is if you assume that the main character dies about 15 minutes in and the rest of the film is her continuing to hallucinate as the oxygen slowly leaves her bloodstream.
posted by AndrewStephens at 5:53 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]

Agreed, that was my interpretation when I saw it in the theater. Her somehow surviving and returning to Earth seemed like An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:33 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]

I liked this movie. It’s a movie, not a documentary, so I can forgive the lack of strict adherence to reality. I had no idea it was in 3D. I saw it on streaming and thought it worked just fine.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:20 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]

I liked the movie. I'm into space movie so it hit for me. But a few years after that, there was a thing going around the internet to describe movies in reverse and this one was: "A woman learns to walk and then flies away" and I can't not think of that every time.
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:19 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]

My wife and I went to see this, but had to leave after about 20 minutes because she got vertigo and motion sickness.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:11 PM on July 4

However, the only way it make an sense is if you assume that the main character dies about 15 minutes in and the rest of the film is her continuing to hallucinate as the oxygen slowly leaves her bloodstream.

It also works for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
posted by zamboni at 1:08 PM on July 7

Bad astronomy, shmad astronomy, the Kip Thorne movie came out the year after.
posted by rhizome at 1:33 AM on August 4

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