Cinematic Releases: Gravity

Visionary director Alfonso Cuaron returns to theaters with the stunning visual spectacle, Gravity......

Cuaron has been missing since the 2006 film Children of Men, but comes back even stronger with a tension filled exploration of space that is absolutely thrilling from the opening sequence. Gravity is a taught, edge of your seat piece of modern cinema that serves up a healthy dose of realistic scenarios, perfectly rendered graphics, and Sandra Bullock shedding her comedic skin to deliver one of the most emotionally expansive performances of her career. Gravity is not just a motion picture. It's an experience. This is Cuaron's love letter to the beauty of earth and the cold hard realities of space.

While Sandra Bullock gets some minor support from the always witty George Clooney, she is the main star of Gravity. Her performance here is gripping and undoubtedly profound. She carries the weight of this film on her shoulders while finally portraying a character that audiences will feel a strong emotional connection with. There's a distance in her eyes and a sorrow that is not only slightly apparent but can be felt from beginning to end. Clooney is good in his supporting role but tends to fall back on his typical line delivery while Bullock continues to grow as a dramatic actress. It will be highly shocking if she doesn't get an Academy Award nod for Gravity. She's that good.

As Gravity would be considered science fiction, it's not your average movie set in the reaches of space. There are no aliens here and there aren't any space battles. This is a realistic presentation of the nightmare scenarios that could actually happen. However, Cuaron goes a little overboard at times. Much like Armageddon (no real comparison), it's astounding how many bad things can happen in a 90 minute film. Yet, it's easy to forgive this one minor infraction because there is an actual story here and the chain reaction of events only adds to the tension while Bullock's character is put through hell.

Seeing Gravity is a must for any fan of film. It's a visual feast that never lets up for a second. From beginning to end, audiences are treated to a realistic vision of space exploration and the possibilities of human error or disaster. As a second film, Gravity further proves that Alfonso Cuaron has a firm grasp on thought provoking cinema that pushes the limits of standard science fiction as a delivery system for character driven stories that can offer more than just battles and explosions. If this is where sci-fi is headed, I'm all in.

-Review by Chris George