Gravity - Review and Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by ElimParra, Oct 2, 2013.

?

Grading

Poll closed Jan 10, 2014.
  1. A+

    42.7%
  2. A

    34.1%
  3. A-

    12.2%
  4. B+

    7.3%
  5. B

    2.4%
  6. B-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. C+

    1.2%
  8. C

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. C-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. D

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. F

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    I can't imagine why Bullock's legs would need to be CGI.
     
  2. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Probably some subtle zero gravity effects on the skin and muscles.
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the past you motion controlled the models and let the actors be free range as it were. Now it is the other way around. A CGI spaceship needs no armature and has complete freedom of movement.

    It is the actors that are motion controlled now. You can do all cgi of a woman inflight from the rear--no uncanny valley that way--the face is kept organic.

    But to do that, it makes the actor miserable--they have to be positioned ram-rod tight so everything connects point to point. Clooney's suit was only real when he was a ghost.

    We actually saw a little bit of this back in 2000 in the movie Space Cowboys, when Clint's face was popped into a suit he was likely not really wearing, except for some collar bits.

    That and CGI helmets won't fog--that might be the only give-away in coming years, that and the sheen on fabrics...

    CGI legs, being virtual, don't move the same way real legs do--even if youput CGI bones in them. But the diffeence in motion may allow floating scenes to be more fluid, elegant.

    This is space ballet remember--this is Sandra's Swan Lake. In reality, look at how chunkily people move in the vomet comet. No poetry in motion there.
     
  4. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was disappointed. Not hugely - I certainly enjoyed it, but I was hoping for more - I'd give it a solid 6 or 7 out of 10, and gave it a B here.

    I was hoping for Apollo 13 with more spectacle but got an upscaled Space Cowboys. Even leaving aside the orbital mechanics, much of it was just way too stupid (mind you, that's stupid in lower case as opposed to STUPID in large capital letters such as Armageddon). Also the performances, whilst somewhere between good and very good wetre not Oscar nomination class.

    Spectacular it certainly was, but, heeding arch critic of 3D Mark Kermode's grudging 'if you are ever going to see a 3D movie, it should be this one, on the biggest IMax screen you can', I went Imax. The 3D demo reel before the movie was stunning, but as for the movie itself, I can't see that it would have suffered any in comparison had I seen it in another 3D format. As for Imax, what is the point ? The allegedly 'pinpoint sharp' images are projected onto a screen that seemed to be covered in tiny dots. It turns out that they are small holes in the screen to let the sound through. I could see them before the film started and I could see them while the film was playing. How is a grainy (dotty ?) picture crystal clear ? I won't bother again.

    Don't let me dissuade you from going if you haven't seen it yet - it's a real rollercoaster ride, but don't go expecting some hard sci-fi masterpiece...
     
  5. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In terms of her instantly removing her spacesuit, as well as the psychological desire to get the hell out of what nearly became her tomb the suits on the ISS in the film seemed to be of a different design to the one she was wearing, if the air tanks* weren't compatible she'd have had to take the one off for the other at some point anyway (or if they are the same, would it be easier to just strip and put a fresh suit on rather than fiddle about trying to change her own air tank?).



    *Possibly not the right term...
     
  6. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Caught this at the matinee this morning and happened to watch ST:TMP last night. I realize that's a lot of why I like TMP is that it conveys much of the same feelings as Gravity where things are cold, lonely, scary and alien. It plays in many ways like a standard escalating disaster movie but the performances and visuals are top notch. Didn't realize it was Cuaron until the end but I'm not surprised. I'm glad I'm ignorant enough of physics and space exploration to not distract me horribly during the movie.
     
  7. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Saw it the second time and man, would I have loved to see Kowalsky return for real. I really liked the character. Actually, it would have been fun to see just 90 minutes of hubble repairs while he tells his stories. Beautiful vistas and charming humor. Would have been something as well.
     
  8. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    I agree, it's entirely plausible that she'd have to change suits, eventually. However, I think that the de-suiting scene shows her acting in a way that isn't optimal (I think it would be more optimal to wait until actually getting a new spacesuit), although it's for the sake of advancing the rebirth theme, as Gaith put it, and which you also seem to be picking up on there ("get the hell out of what nearly became her tomb"). Furthermore, choosing to de-suit then and in that way defines her character. All of that is more than perfectly fine in film, and so that's not a negative criticism I'm making here.

    Almost losing her tool was also not optimal, it defines her character, and I'm certainly not faulting the film for putting that in.
     
  9. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Here's a short film called Aningaaq that serves as a companion piece to Gravity. It was directed by Jonás Cuarón, son of Alfonso Cuarón and features the guy who responded to Ryan Stone on the radio.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo2j5ziXtws[/yt]

    Read more about it here.
     
  10. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    Aug 18, 2007
    I felt it was an enjoyable sci-fi pic, albeit the story and character development were thin. It did get silly toward the end. I pretty much got pulled out of it by the time of the hallucination, and the Wall-E-esque fire extinguisher bit made me chuckle out loud. In order for that to work at all, she'd have to pinpoint her exact center point of mass, otherwise she'd just be spinning herself in oddball directions

    Still, they had the cast to carry the movie, and keep me watching, I couldn't help picking up the mission control transmission being voiced by Ed Harris', who apparently can't let an astronaut movie go by without getting involved

    I'll give it a B+, most of which is for epic FX
     
  11. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I finally saw it last night, in 3-D no less. And it was fracking amazing. And as I left the theatre I realized that I was feeling something I rarely feel leaving the theatre these days, at least after watching a big budget action film: the simple, uncomplicated joy of having watched an action movie that was well-made in every way.

    What did it do that I liked? What it deliver that I had been missing, or restrain itself from delivering that I really didn't want?

    It wasn't obsessed with momentum at the expense of everything else.
    Gravity's story unfolds simply, as a series of action rushes interspersed with more peaceful and introspective moments. It's striking how few action films these days allow themselves that kind of "breath" in the proceedings, and it's striking how much more forceful and gut-wrenching the action sequences become by contrast. It also has other benefits, like providing the time for Bullock's incredible performance to flesh out a satisfying character and her arc; and giving us leisure to really feel the vastness and power (and terror) of the setting.

    Because the director isn't constantly trying to compress any sense of time and distance out of the narrative, Gravity's little region of orbital space feels in some ways far larger, and its stakes higher, than the planet-smashing settings in Man of Steel or the "galactic" setting of the Trek reboots -- I've never felt more vividly immersed in a character's terror, and the possibility of horrible death that attends the slightest mistake in space, than when Bullock's Dr. Stone is sent spinning out alone into space in the movie's first action sequence.

    It wasn't self-consciously trying to play up a style of camp, kitsch or schlock.
    As one of a small club of Hollywood films today which isn't trying to exploit nostalgia, Gravity was free of the temptation to "cleverly" camp anything up. The result was a straightforward, riveting story of survival which had a coherent narrative, logically consistent science and technology, likeable characters who are believable in their respective roles, no need for a leering villain or save-the-planet stakes, and no need (indeed no room) for obligatory romance. The action, and the fun, was all the better for it... something it would be nice to see more SF properties embrace.

    It wasn't trying to pummel my senses into submission.
    The effects were amazing, but they served the story. I didn't get the sense that the director was trying to deafen or numb me with frenetic effects shots and explosions -- something too many action movies are currently prone to do in an apparent effort to keep the viewer distracted from shoddy plots.

    In a way, despite its cutting-edge effects and small cast, Gravity is a rather old-fashioned, back-to-basics bit of movie-making, delivering spectacle without discarding craft. And it's nice to see this rewarded by over $640 million in box office revenue worldwide. (Next time you hear someone defend schlocky plots and writing in SF as a necessity for making money, Gravity is a good one to remember. ;) )

    It gets an A+ from me.
     
  12. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This was the sci-fi movie of the year for me. Great performance by Bullock, which is not something I often find myself saying.
     
  13. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair, the fire extinguisher bit was way too over the top. I already know that part won't hold up to repeated viewings.
     
  14. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hah yeah, quite a lot of it was scientifically silly, just the notion that they would have been close enough to the ISS to jetpack there is bonkers.

    It was one hell of a thrill ride though.
     
  15. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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  17. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And not forgetting his role in The Right Stuff.

    After a year of high-profile disappointments (for me, anyway), including MOS, Star Trek ID and most recently the second Hobbit movie, finally a movie that lived up to hype and expectations. I can't add much to what's been said other than this film gripped from start to end. There wasn't a wasted moment, much less a wasted scene or sequence.

    I think many film makers could learn from the high ratings for this 90 minute film which packed in as many thrills as most 2 - 3 hour films (Peter Jackson, take note). It was a masterclass in brevity, tautness and efficiency. It also helped that it had two of the most watchable lead actors of the last 20 years, even if it's really Bullock's film. But the credit is really with the writers and director for turning out such a tense, gripping and thrill-packed movie. Don't miss.
     
  18. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Question that came to me recently on this movie:

    Wouldn't a LOT of things have to go precisely correct for Bullock's escape rocket to settle into a proper rentry corridor as opposed to coming in too steep and burning up or coming in too shallow and skipping?
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  19. Rowan Sjet

    Rowan Sjet Commodore Commodore

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    Probably, but then a lot of things did go precisely wrong for her to end up in that situation so it evens out a bit! :p
     
  20. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The whole business of navigating from one object to another in orbit and then improvising a reentry is arm-waving; IRL that kind of maneuver would be impossible even in full contact with thousands of technicians in mission control and without your shuttle being destroyed. But suspending disbelief for part of it makes it possible to suspend for the full ride.