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Old October 31 2013, 10:03 PM   #107
Rear Admiral
Re: Gravity - Review and Discussion Thread

I saw it a second time and just keep reveling in the visuals. Most of the time even I can't tell what is practical and what is CG, and I can't think of any movie ever that could make such a claim. Every time I see a foreground piece of equipment I think set-piece, but then remember that even the spacesuits are CG. CGTALK has a couple of VFX guys on it who mention even Bullock's bare legs are at least partly CG in some scenes. It's a real kick to being able to see VFX as magic again, after decades of writing about same and being pretty jaded the whole while (2001, CE3K and parts of BLADE RUNNER and SPACE COWBOYS being major exceptions.)

There are a couple too many perilous escapes for my taste, which reeks of SPEED IN SPACE, but man, when the show is in LEO, it really sells the environment like gangbusters.

It just occurred to me that this could give the Tom Hanks MAJOR MATT MASON project a real kick in the pants. Here you have something with a major star that evinces the 'can-do' 'tude in manned spaceflight, and there is already a finished script.

It's not the RIGHT script, mind you -- that's the one I've had in my head for the last decade, in which Mason discovers his reality -- in which technological tools usually gets BIGGER (i.e., lots of reel-to-reel TIME TUNNELcumTHE PRISONER-looking computer banks -- and in which it IS possible to actually solve a problem without bureaucratic interference), is actually a universe in the process of dead-ending, and he must commit one last great bit of heroism in order to allow the proper universe -- our own -- to survive. I've thought of it as YESTERDAY'S ENTERPRISE meets THE GODS THEMSELVES, and it seems like it would be a good way of treating the differences between the MattelApollo/space odyssey vision of the future with what we actually got stuck with. Or they could have done it as a straight alternate reality and adapted Ben Bova's MILLENNIUM, which would have been a dynamite film, one I have imagined in my head for about 35 years.

As is, the Mason script is apparently some kind of disaster on the moon a la Clarke's A FALL OF MOONDUST, so it could be an ideal cash-in to GRAVITY's surprise popularity. Then again, this could fall into the 'nonrecurring phenomena' niche, when Hollywood sees a success and can't explain it well enough to rip it off or duplicate it (I think LIFE OF PI is probably an example of that.)
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