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GRAVITY defies all the rules.

By Kevin J. Johnson

GRAVITY

GRAVITY is the latest from director Alfonso Cuarón, the auteur behind such works as CHILDREN OF MEN, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN and A LITTLE PRINCESS. In this film, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play two astronauts fighting to survive after a repair mission goes awry. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Every year, we get a film, usually just one film, that justifies the continued existence of 3D cinematography and presentation. LIFE OF PI. HUGO. GRAVITY. This movie has the best 3D I’ve seen in a narrative film; only IMAX documentaries surpass what’s done here.

Cuarón has taken his penchant for unbroken shots, all in one take, and applied it to 3D. He lets the depth sink in, informing our surroundings and geography. The result is a true example of new film language, better suited for stereoscopic and digital cinema. It’s a proscenium effect, leaving you with nowhere to run or hide. You’re in the chaos, and it’s harrowing and intense.

None of that matters without the performances Cuarón gets out of his two leads, making us root for them in a very short amount of time before all hell breaks loose. And Emmanuel Lubezki? Can I talk about Emmanuel Lubezki for a moment?

I take my hat off to Mr. Lubezki (“Chivo”). I then proceed to eat my hat. The harsh, unforgiving rays of the sun; the elegant darkness of the void of space; Lubezki captures all of it. The film is poetic and brutal, apocalyptic and intimate. A quest for life amongst the beauty of desolation.

Cuarón has been a personal favorite of mine for quite some time. He spent four years working on Gravity, and it shows. Every detail of the spacecraft and spacesuits, every single nut and bolt and solar panel has been realized in hyper-real fashion, making it all the more mesmerizing to watch these vessels get obliterated in silence. The effects, the zero-gravity work, everything is seamless.

You have to see this in 3D. You have to see this in 3D. And you have to see this in 3D. The film is relentless, and you may find yourself exhausted afterwards. Then again, your mileage may vary. It’s the best science fiction movie I’ve seen since Children of Men. I found it exhilarating, and I can’t wait to see this sucker for the second time.

You have to see this in 3D.

Rating: [IMAX/matinee/dollar-show/redbox/netflix/skip-it]