new space film “Gravity”was made to be seen and experienced on the big screen.
We attended an early IMAX 3-D screening of Sandra Bullock’s new movie Wednesday evening, and it left us blown away.
If you’ve ever been on a 4-D theme park ride sitting in a motion simulator, “Gravity” is about as close to strapping into one of those seats and setting out on a dangerous mission.
When we say 4-D, we’re not talking about those rides you go on that spray you with water and bubbles for cheap thrills.
No. “Gravity” is something completely different from anything we’ve ever seen or experienced. It’s an extremely immersive film that puts you right alongside the lead actors in space.
From the moment the film starts and we are introduced to Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) a veteran astronaut, and medical engineer (and space newbie) Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) it’s as if we’re a spectator, another astronaut suiting up to ride along for the adventure.
Like any 4-D motion ride, you first are introduced to your surroundings: you’re familiarized with your fellow space crew, are informed of the mission you’re on — what should be a simple routine — so there shouldn’t be anything too extreme to worry over … except we know things are about to get bumpy.
The moment NASA informs us a cloud of debris flying at 20,000 mph is hurdling toward Kowalski and Stone, we know we’re in for a thrill ride.
Just like that, we go from swimming through space watching the engineer tumbling and spinning head-over-heels during her first mission to experiencing the scene first hand from inside her helmet.
As Bullock’s character is gasping for breaths, thrashing about, we feel as claustrophobic as her as we watch oxygen levels reach critical levels. At this point, it’s not just Stone fighting for her life and to get home, but ourselves as well.
Your heart feels as if it’s in your chest every time a high-intensity moment like this occurs — and that’s often.
Without sound in space, Cuaron manipulates music to his advantage. The director effectively juxtaposes loud and soft music to build intensity. Any time music reaches a crescendo, you’re on the edge of your seat.
It’s not just the high-action scenes but also the calm, quiet moments that pull you in.
As we’re exploring our surroundings with space newbie Stone, we’re more than eager to take in the scenery.
When Bullock is reaching out for a tool in space, it’s like you’re right in front of the tool waiting and you physically want to reach out and grab it.
At another point, while we’re being pulled along with Stone through passageways of a space station, the camera simultaneously turns to show the scenery — a notebook, scissors, small flames — and we found ourselves turning our heads to look around on the giant IMAX screen. It’s that specific attention to detail that made us get lost in the film, forget where we were, and feel as if we too were in space.
And that’s what a film is supposed to do.
There have already been ventures into 4-D on screen — but with smell-o-vision and strobe lighting.
However, when people discuss 4-D in theatres, this is how it should be — breaking the confines of the screen and the theatre goer in a seat to seamlessly blend the two into one.
Granted, this isn’t anything like a virtual reality headset — so you won’t feel your stomach drop or feel weightless and you don’t feel dizzy at all — but Cuaron’s film uses the technology that maybe will one day help get us there.
Overall, Cuaron’s journey into space is a great achievement, pushing the limits of what we can do with technology on screen and hinting at where it can go in the future.
“Gravity” is in theatres Friday, October 4.
Check out a trailer below:
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