Technically, “Gravity” Is The New “2001”

It’s an expensive 2013 production, so naturally it’s the best-looking space movie I’ve seen.

The zero-gravity condition in various spacecraft spots in 2001: A Space Odyssey becomes dizzying zero-gravity spinning and ceaseless floating in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity.  The striking outer hardware of spaceships in 2001 becomes an ugly jumble of fascinating hardware, lengthy cables and all, in Gravity.  It’s certainly a technical improvement on Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film.  There is also a bit of Alien-style violence (a dead astronaut with a big hole in his face) and a shot of a space technician played by Sandra Bullock shedding her astro-suit a la Jane Fonda’s Barbarella (ugh), revealing a pair of shorts but without getting topless.  Thus Cuaron was influenced by several other sci-fi pics, yet Gravity is indeed its own movie, a singular achievement.

I don’t know why so much goes wrong for Sandra as she struggles in the heavens, but it’s quite a spectacle when it does.  And I saw the film in 2D, not 3D—surely even more enthralling.  There are terrifically vivid closeups of Bullock, and blunt, beguiling cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki.  Enjoy.

Weightlessness Tests
Weightlessness Tests (Photo credit: San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives)

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