FILM REVIEW: GRAVITY (aka The Taint Tingler in IMAX 3D)
First off let me admit something: I’m Acrophobic…I’m afraid of heights. I get seriously scared shitless from being more than 20 feet off of the ground. Looking down over the ledge of a tall downtown office building gets my heart racing more when a discreet gay guy sees a photographer at a gay club. Its not so much of being afraid of the height as the picture of falling that my brain automatically creates from being high up in the sky. What makes things worse is that I keep putting myself in fear inducing situations as if it would somehow cure my affliction.
It was this time last year that myself, Ocky Williams, his boyfriend and a friend of theirs traveled down to Six Flags Amusement Park for a day of roller coaster riding. I freely jumped on just about every ride that had a short enough line for us to enjoy. For all you men who don’t fear heights, let me explain what happens. Your taint tingles uncontrollably, and not in a good way. The “taint” is the region between your testicles and your anus.I think its your bodies way of telling you, “You’re gonna bust your ass if you don’t get us back on the ground!”
So with each roller coaster ride, my taint and testicles were tingling like a mofo every time the rickety cart inched up the rails higher and higher. But I’m a man. So I thugged it out and got right back in line to do it all again. Every ride, no matter the height or loops.
Fast Forward to me sitting in the theater during an advanced screening of GRAVITY. The film opens high above the planet Earth in the darkness of space. A low level tingle begins. Nothing I can’t handle.
Turns out we’re roughly 350 miles high with one of the NASA space shuttles and the Hubble telescope. We see George Clooney casually floating around the other astronauts in his jet pack as if he was the Rocketeer. Sandra Bullock’s character is the newbie of the crew, brought on to make modifications and repairs to the Hubble.
Through radio chatter with “Houston” aka NASA, we quickly learn that the Russians have destroyed one of their defunct satellites and the debris is causing a chain reaction of all of the other orbiting satellites being smashed to pieces. The problem is that multi-sized debris is now hurling at Clooney and Company at the speed of bullets. As the team quickly tries to get the hell out of dodge, writer/director Alfonso Cuaron deftly films this pivotal sequence without any obvious cuts into the action. We float around the action (in one seamless shot) just as fluidly as George Clooney with the jet pack.
Seriously, what a great freaking sequence. Especially on the big screen and in IMAX 3D. That turns out to only be the beginning of the thrills. The whole time, our home planet Earth can be seen off behind the characters in stunning detail.
Just so you know: This is not a movie where the first 15 minutes are action packed and the rest is just George Clooney and Sandra Bullock floating around in space talking about their lives until someone rescues them. There turns out to be a serious ticking clock involved for these characters. They must find a way to get back to Earth on their own before the growing debris cloud circles the globe and hits them again.
I’m purposely leaving out a lot of details because the beauty of the film is not knowing how they will survive this impossible situation or if they will survive at all.
This film met all of my expectations. While it may not be as dense in story as a scifi film like Inception, this simple tale more than makes up for the price of admission in solid action, a lean screenplay with sold directing, atmospheric music and jaw-dropping special effects. This is not just a movie, it’s a ride at Six Flags without the one-hour wait in line.
As we all know, Cuffing Season Has Begun and this is a perfect date movie to share an experience with someone the other person will not soon forget.
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