|An untethered Sandra Bullock tumbles through space in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity.|
I have now seen at least three Alfonso Cuaron movies -- Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and now Gravity (2013) -- and I'll be damned if I can find any thematic connection between them. The guy gets around, that's for sure. As I'm writing this, I've just come back from the experience of seeing Gravity in IMAX 3D, mainly because this review in the AV Club told me to. (What can I say? I'm a mindless sheep sometimes and can be easily led by just about anyone who sounds even halfway convincing.) The movie couldn't be any fresher in my memory than it is now, so I figured I'd write about it sooner rather than later. As you may notice, most of the flicks I review around here are 50 years old or more, so this is a rare occasion indeed.
I suppose I wanted to write about whether or not Gravity can be truly considered a "great" movie. Matt Pais, the often-contrarian critic for Chicago's feisty Red Eye, made a special point in his three-star review to declare it "not a great film." Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern has been making the rounds to discuss his review in which he declares Gravity to be unlike any movie that has ever been released before, a true landmark in cinema. Obviously, the greatness or not-greatness of Gravity will be decided by history. In our instant-oatmeal society (thanks for that analogy, Lisa Simpson), we're often too eager to rank every new movie that comes out and determine its place in the pantheon. Cuaron's picture has been out for about three or four days now. All we can do is guess. History makes monkeys of us all, so we should prepare to be wrong whenever we start prognosticating.
|This still from 2001 clearly shows its influence on Gravity.|
|I thought about Dark Star while watching Gravity.|
By the way, if you're wondering whether it's worth the extra dough to see this flick in IMAX 3D, I'd say sure. Visually, it's trippy and transportive, and it's worthwhile to see the film in the immersive surrounding that an IMAX theater can provide. But, if you're running a little light on cash this month, you can live without it. The AV Club says that, if you don't view this movie on the largest-possible screen, you're not really seeing it at all. But I don't necessarily agree with that. You can see Gravity in a regular theater, and you'd still get the film's single-best element: a career-best performance by Sandra Bullock, who spends a great deal of screen time alone and conveys a lot of her character's emotions not through words but through facial expressions. You don't need IMAX or 3D for that.