I’m going to have to assume that Gravity – which received rave reviews from critics – is a film that reminds people who still go to see movies on the big screen why it’s worth the time and effort vs. waiting to catch it on Netflicks, Sony Home Entertainment or a BlueRay disc on a small screen.
I say this because, with the exception of Marvel’s big screen movies, it’s rare that Debbie and I go out to see a film. In fact, it’s even rare for us to see most of the major films at all, big screen or small. However, Marvel will debut its latest with Captain America, The Winter Soldier this weekend so you can bet your boots we’ll be headed to the Cinema. Actually, I wanted to go last night once I confirmed it would be playing a night ahead of the advertised debut: this has become something of a habit once I realized that most new pictures can be found on the marque the day before their official ‘coming out’ dates.
Unfortunately, with it being a weeknight, Miss Debbie wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of going out to watch a show that ended at 10:15, knowing she had to be up and getting ready for work around 5:30am the next day.
Since I had already gotten myself in the mood for a “major motion picture” I decided to pull down Gravity from Sony for $3.99 – gotta love the convenience – and see if it lived up to all the hype. Debbie saw the previews from kitchen and decided to join me to watch it in the family room, as we’ve both enjoyed many of the films that Sandra Bullock and George Clooney have appeared in. Sadly, we were both underwhelmed.
Gravity just didn’t “work” on the small screen for us. Then again, I’m old school and always thought the key to a great movie was a great story, good acting and some element of surprise. I’m Ok with works of fiction that stretch the laws of physics too, so long as it’s pretty clear we’re talking fiction. But, Jeez-o-Pete, I hate it when history or science becomes blurred by works of fiction, you know… kind of like what you find in 99% of the content on the Internet. But I digress.
Gravity on the small screen without the spectacle and sensory-overload of the big screen, 3D, huge sound systems and the pulse of a large audience meant the true substance of the non-technical wizardry of the script and acting had to be captivating… and it was anything but. We learned very little about the characters before the drama began and what glimpses we were given from then on were hardly compelling or lucid; if you blinked you missed them. The dialog was a collection of one-liners. There was a total lack of credibility in the science and physics that created the disaster, never mind the ability to play hopscotch between space stations as if they were small islands near Key West. Case in point, Clooney wasn’t going anywhere when Bullock “caught him” while tangled in the parachute rigging of the Soyuz capsule at the International Space Station: once he stopped moving, he stopped moving! He, Bullock and the ISS would have all been in the same geosynchronous orbit. That was a mild example, to say the least.
Bottom Line: I don’t think I’ve ever been so bored, disinterested and less caring about characters in a movie than I was with Gravity. The ONLY thing about that movie that made me smile was hearing Ed Harris as the voice of Mission Control!