Postby CAP » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:34 pm

That’s actually how the title is spelt or spaced. What I liked about it was the stripped down, minimal story. Just a stranded astronaut trying to get back to earth and all the technical obstacles when you lose radio contact and your spaceship in a furious shower of space debris. The visuals are pretty good – all that CGI. But I’m not a 3D fan and always find that layered depth to objects kind of hokey. The best bits are when the high speed space debris smashes into the space station and it silently disintegrates and sends stuff flying in every direction. It’s a bit like a computer game.

Apparently they wanted Robert Downey Jr and Angelina Jolie for the lead roles but ended up with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, not even as second or third choice. Ah guys, guess the A-List standing is slipping with the years… But they’re OK. We all know you can be middle-aged and still an astronaut these days. I didn’t have a problem with it, although looking around the web, others did. They also baulked at the physics that sees George drift off into space, after he has been caught by Sandra. There’s something about him pulling her away while she’s ensnared by loose cable but I didn’t really see the slippage. So anyway about a third of the way in, the story is just down to Sandra, playing Dr Ryan Stone – and she might as well be a guy actually. Probably why they had Angelina in mind. The rest is technicalities, ingenuities in accessing an abandoned space ship, trying to get the tiny escape pod to work, making it to another space station – also abandoned, going through the whole deal of accessing it, finding a working pod, trying to re-enter the atmosphere, praying for a safe landing. Good old Sandra, who knew she was this gutsy? Could carry a whole movie like this?

But it’s pretty much a guy’s movie – very task orientated – minimal interpersonal stuff. I wisely saw it alone. I was a bit surprised that Clooney (playing veteran Matt Kowalski) gets killed off, but afterwards it makes sense, when she sort of dreams he makes it back to the first pod and tells her how to get it to work. That was enough.

It’s directed by a Mexican, Alfonso Cuarón which might explain how it can be both Hollywood and sort of radical or interesting. Apparently he’d done a Harry Potter and Pan’s Labyrinth – which was Spanish and awesome! – as you know. He also did Y Tu Mamá También back in 2001, a kind of Mexican threesome road movie, so the guy is nothing if not versatile. If he doesn’t win something for it, his DP Emmanuel Lubezki probably will.

See it and space out! :D
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