The movie Gravity came out 10/4/2013 and I was unable to see it until now. Also, as an avid movie goer I am always looking for a good deal. And if you love movies like I do, you take advantage of things like this too!
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Gravity is directed by Alfonso Cuaron (Black sun and Believe). Written by our director and Jonas Cuaron (Year of the Nail).
We begin our journey with a little information on space. Such as there’s no oxygen or air pressure. Little warnings most people already know about space but it really helps set the tone of the movie.
We begin by seeing three astronauts working on Hubble Space Telescope and we meet Dr. Ryan Stone (played by Sandra Bullock, The Blind-Side and The Heat), Veteran of space Matt Kowalski (played by George Clooney, Ocean’s Eleven and Up in the Air), and Shariff (played by Phaldut Sharma, Silent Witness and Hunted). This is Stone’s first time into space and she is installing some new control boards into the Telescope. Kowalski is on his final mission to space and he is trying to break the record for most time in space.
While they are installing the new parts into the Telescope, Kowalski is communicating with Mission Control in Houston (voiced by Ed Harris, Stepmom and Man on a Ledge) and telling stories. While they are almost complete with the installations, Mission Control warns the team that Russia got a little crazy and decided to strike down on of their defunct satellite which has caused a huge chain reaction of problems and fast moving clouds of debris. They want to abort the mission immediately and for them to return to the the Explorer. Mission Control also warns that communication will most likely be lost given that the debris is taking out other satellites in orbit and causing massive power outages and communication problems back down on Earth.
And right after the warning, communication is lost with Mission Control. Even though they can’t hear from Mission Control, they continue to transmit all of the information necessary in hopes that they can still hear them. The debris soon comes into the line of sight and all hell breaks loose. Stone is detached from the shuttle and is sent rolling through space. She tries to communicate with Kowalski where she is at and he soon recovers her.
“I know I’m devastatingly good looking but you gotta stop staring at me.” – Matt Kowalski
Kowalski calms down Stone who is burning through her oxygen levels too quickly because of her panic. He ties her too him and they slowly make their way to the Explorer in hopes of finding other survivors. They set their watches to 90 minutes, the next time the debris will be flying through.
When they reach the Explorer, they discover it is completely destroyed and the crew that remained have all died. Kowalski and Stone attach Shariff to them and make the decision to head to the International Space Station (ISS) in hopes of finding a shuffle back to Earth (it’s about 60 miles from their current location). They use the thruster pack attached to Kowalski to travel through space.
As they make their way to ISS Kowalski is still trying to keep Stone calm and begins to ask her about her life back down on Earth. Stone tells him she works in a lab and does the same routine every day. She keeps is this way because of the death of daughter when she was very young. She enjoys going for long drives for the silence and no need to think. The thruster pack is running very low on fuel and they only have one last chance to make it. When they do finally reach the ISS, they see it is also damaged but the crew has managed to get a shuttle back to Earth.
The second shuttle (Soyuz) has the parachute launched even though it is still attached to the space station. This makes is useless for returning to Earth. They need to use the Soyuz to get to the Chinese space station, Tiangong. It has a similiarly designed Soyuz (called the Shenzou) that could take them back to Earth. Stone is almost out of air and when they try to grab the ISS, things begin to go wrong. Stone matches to get her foot caught in some of the paracute cords and grabs the now loose tether attached to Kowalski’s space suit.
Stone is able to get grab the tether in time to stop Kowalski from flying off into space but the tether is pulling Stone free of the parachute cords would would send them both flying into space. Kowalski tells Stone she needs to let go of the tether. She instantly protests and says they can both survive they just need to trust that it’ll hold. Kowalski knows that Stone isn’t going to let go and ends up doing it himself to save her. She is instantly pulled back towards the ISS and Kowalski talks to her through the communication radio.
“You’ve got to learn to let go.” – Matt Kowalski
Kowalski is floating farther away from the station but he is still giving Stone the encouragement she needs to get inside of the station through the airlock port. Stone gets inside of the station just as her oxygen runs completely out and she takes a moment to calm herself and try to get a hold of anyone down on Earth. A fire has broken out inside of the ISS and she has to quickly go to the shuttle pod. As she detaches the pod and tries to drive away from ISS, the parachute becomes tangled to the ISS and she is stuck. She is forced to put on another space suit and go outside to detach the parachute from the Soyuz. Just as she is about to complete the detachment of the parachute, the 9o minutes are up and the debris returns to destroy the ISS. It also damages the Soyuz that Stone has safetly managed to get back inside of.
Stone follows the orders of Kowalski, who is no longer communicating with her and continues to talk through the communication headset, unsure if anyone is really listening. She aligns herself with Tiangong and tries to make her want to the station. She soon discovers there is no fuel in the engine and she has no way of making it to the station. The radio begins to work over an AM frequency and she begins to talk to a man from Greenland and his cooing baby. Stone decides she can’t do this anymore and that she is basically stranded waiting for the debris to come by and kill her. She shuts down the oxygen supply to the cabin in order to kill herself and slowly starts to lose consciousness.
Suddenly Kowalski appears outside of the pod and opens the airlock. This would normally kill anyone inside of the pod but Stone manages to hold her breath and he enters. Kowalski begins to scold her for giving up so easily. He tells her she isn’t completely done, she can use the landing rockets to get the pod to Tiangong.
“I get it, it’s nice up here. You could just shut down all the systems, turn down all the lights, just close your eyes and tune out everyone. There’s nobody up here that can hurt you. It’s safe. What’s the point of going on? What’s the point of living? Your kid died, it doesn’t get any rougher than that. It’s still a matter of what you do now. If you decide to go then you just gotta get on with it. Sit back, enjoy the ride, you gotta plant both your feet on the ground and start living life. Hey, Ryan, it’s time to go home.” – Matt Kowalski
Stone quickly realizes that Kowalski didn’t appear and she has been reminded that hope isn’t completely lost. She has found a new strength to continue. She turns the oxygen back on in the pod and quickly finds the book on how to use the landing rockets (which she has never been able to complete safely in the simulations). She is able to get the pod as close as possible to the station and she is forced to enter space once again. Having no clear way of reaching the station safely, she uses a fire extinguisher propel herself to the station and manages to grab on just in time.
She enters Tiangong through the airlock opening and soon realizes no one is on the station. There is one pod left and it is safe to take to Earth. She realizes that the debris has knocked the Tiangong from it’s orbit and it is quickly falling back down to Earth. She quickly makes her way to the Shenzou and locks herself in. As the station begins to fall back to Earth, Stone realizes she will either survive this or die if the station burns up.
“Never mind, Houston, never mind the story! Ah. It’s starting to get hot in here. The way I see it, there are only two possible outcomes. Either I make it down there in one piece and I have one hell of a story to tell! Or I burn up in the next ten minutes. Either way, whichever way… no harm, no foul!” – Ryan Stone
As the capsule detaches from the station, it begins to burn. Stone closes her eyes and opens from the best. When the pod reenters the Earth’s atmosphere, she is able to hear Mission Control over the radio. They are tracking the capsule as it falls and they will rescue her as soon as possible. The capsule lands in a lake and a fire quickly stares inside. Stone is forced to open the airlock and water begins to come pouring in. She is forced to wait for the pod to sink in order to escape and does manage to do it. However the space suit she is wearing quickly starts to pull her down and she has to get out of it before her quick breath of air is gone. She swims away from the suit and capsule and reaches the surface just in time. When she reaches the shore she takes a moment to absorb the sand and the fact that she is safe. She slowly rises on shaky feet and takes in the gravity of Earth once again.
“Thank you.” – Ryan Stone
Overall the movie is one of the books. The movie is basically led by Sandra Bullock’s character Ryan Stone and for one person to truly hold a movie is no easy task. Sure we have commentary from others in space and voices from Mission Control but truly Ryan Stone is the only one controlling the tone and plot of this movie.
I have to say I am very impressed with no only the casting choice of the movie (I love Sandra Bullock) but the entire story as a whole. It really takes on the full effect of the worst case scenario of space and how one person could manage to survive. It also shows the steps of how people come to accept the fact that they are dying and if you have a chance to change it, what you would do. Another amazing thing about this movie are the small little details that you would probably over look but they didn’t. Tears drops coming out of Stone’s eyes when she thinking all is lost and floating around her. The frog swimming in the lake when she is heading to shore. Simply stunning.
I give this movie a 10 out of 10 stars. I really enjoyed the entire thing and I can’t find anything I didn’t like about it. The entire length of the movie is perfect and the visuals are simply wonderful. All of the possible nominations that are rumored for this movie are greatly earned and I hope they win big for them. And you really need to see this movie if you haven’t, don’t miss it!