Nothing Lasts Forever or “Why Age of Ultron compromised me emotionally”

(This review contains SPOILERS. For a spoiler-free version, click here.)

I think I have never been so excited about a sequel as I have been about AoU. 142 minutes written and directed by Joss Whedon – it’s going to be awesome!

And it was. Eventually. At first I was too emotionally compromised to see the beauty of the ending, but it is actually perfect. I have already listed several positive moments in my spoiler-free review, but I wanted to take a closer look at why the film is so awesome and why I wasn’t cheering immediately after the credits rolled.

The Starting Point

The first sequence shows the Avengers in perfect unity fighting Hydra agents near Strucker’s base, which we saw at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The most striking thing about this for me was the cinematography: the camera flies through the action, alternating between which Avenger it focuses on, just like in the first film where it ended with the famous Avengers Assemble shot.

What I took from this was that they basically used the most amazing sequence of Avengers I to start off Avengers II, setting the bar incredibly high for the things to come. It also functions as a wonderful attention-grabber, immediately sinking hooks into the audience, plus it establishes the team as a harmonious group.

Broken Equilibrium

The Avengers rescue the sceptre that Hydra stole and celebrate in the remodelled Avengers Tower, which for me was heart-warming because it held so many funny and character-defining moments, from Tony and Thor not-so-covertly comparing whose girlfriend is more badass to every male specimen trying their hand at lifting Mjolnir as seen in the promotional clip. No one is worthy of the hammer, though.

Knowing Joss Whedon, I was sure that even though this looked like a gratuitous fan-pleasing sequence, it would in fact carry significance later on – which it did. Once Vision is born, no one really trusts him (it?), Thor most of all. Then Vision hands him Mjolnir, picking it up effortlessly and thus gains the trust of the team, which I think is a brilliant bit of storytelling and also hilariously executed. (The reaction shot of Vision handing over the hammer shows every Avengers’ faces in focus with the hammer being offered in the foreground, out of focus… Gotta love that!)

Of course, then Ultron happens because like 99% of AI scientists, Tony Stark spares no real thought for the possible repercussions of creating an artificial consciousness without having a way to contain it. I’m a bit of an AI geek, so I loved the way the film handled the dilemma and showed the intelligence explosion and Ultron apparently killing Jarvis. (Which was awful! You can’t simply kill Jarvis!!! Reason #1 for my state of emotional compromise.)

Mind Games

As hinted at in the trailers, Wanda Maximoff uses her powers to mess with the Avengers, first with Tony when he finds the sceptre by showing him a vision of his future where he is to blame for the death of every single one of his teammates and the end of the world (which spurs Tony into creating Ultron in the first place), then by undermining the Avengers’ attack on Ultron.

We get a glimpse at Natasha’s backstory, Thor seeing something related to the infinity stones, and Steve gets his dance with Peggy but he is not at all at ease. I love how they all set up for different sub-plots: Natasha’s backstory defines the way she approaches her feelings for Bruce, Thor solves their problem near the end and also gets the dramaturgical equivalent of an open door for Thor 3 (which I guess will deal with Infinity Stones in the build up for Infinity Wars) and Steve… Oh, Steve. His vision helps him realize that he is not the same man who went into the ice 70 years ago, that he does not want a quiet life. He is a soldier and he always will be, which finally answers Sam’s question from CA2, “What makes you happy?”, to which Steve responded “I don’t know”.

The Road To Civil War

It also sets up Steve’s “dark side”. After they contain the Hulk who caused a lot of mayhem and destruction and get to their safe house, Tony explains he does not trust a man without a dark side as he and Steve argue – but we simply haven’t seen Steve’s yet.

Tony and Steve continuously tear at each other’s throats throughout the film, mostly because Tony does things like create an AI without conferring with the team or thinking it through and Steve takes issue with him. Eventually they find a way to work together again and save the world, but in the end Steve stays at the New Avengers base and Tony drives off into the sunset, filled with guilt about being the one who started this mess in the first place.

At first, I hated that ending. I want our heroes to live happily ever after in the Tower and have movie nights on Thursdays. But without conflict, there is no plot, so I guess I’m all out of luck… Besides – do you see how BRILLIANT this is??? Tony is disillusioned, believes himself to be a danger. Of course he will support a law that forces the enhanced (coughs mutants coughs) to register! And of course Steve will oppose it because going against pre-emptive means of potential threat control is his MO (coughs Project Insight coughs). OF COURSE they will clash epically because they have been doing so since the very first part of Avengers! And it’s going to be horrible and I’ll be dreading this movie until it comes… (#2 of why I just want to curl up underneath a blanket when I think of the MCU right now…and #1 reason for why I started writing fic as soon as I left the cinema.)

How To Handle Romance, or: I see what you did there

First of all, I am a vigorous Clint/Phil and Bruce/Tony shipper, so I met the Bruce/Natasha moments that filled the trailer with bias-induced scepticism.

However, after seeing the film I have to admit Joss and his crew handled that pretty well, with a lot of unresolved tension and Steve acting like Nat’s older brother – minus the “If you break her heart I’ll end you, Banner” talk, probably because Bruce spends the entire movie resisting the pull of romance. Which I found incredibly powerful: While the Hulk has become an integral part of the team and Natasha has developed a way to put the Hulk to sleep after missions, Bruce is still so filled with self-loathing that any advance on Natasha’s part falls flat.

The farm functions as a foil to them; Bruce makes a point of never being able to provide an idyllic house or even kids. Cut to: Natasha’s revelation that she has been sterilized. Personally, I found the moment a little heavy-handed, but I have never had the wish to have children of my own, so I fathom a lot of the drama of that scene is simply squandered on me. At least it helps Bruce take tentative steps towards making this thing an actual thing – he saves Natasha from Ultron near the end and they share a Big Dramatic Kiss… Though that is all they get.

I was extremely curious as to how they would solve this and it works so well I can’t even be sad about it: Bruce just hulked out on a city, causing lots of damage and probably killing people, so of course he is going to take an unlocatable Quinjet and get off the grid because removing himself from civilization is what Bruce has always done. Natasha is heartbroken and BAM, here we have great plot potential for the Black Widow movie! If Bruce doesn’t make an appearance in that one, I’ll lose my faith in Marvel’s storytelling abilities, seriously.

But a short note on The Farm or: WTF CLINT?! What the trailers hide is that Clint actually has a pregnant wife and two kids. I was shocked and didn’t want to believe it, just like Tony who kept insisting the wife and kids are agents. I was irritated as well, to say the least – just like Steve who took issue with Clint keeping such a big secret from the team. I’m still pissed, but as a die-hard Clint/Phil shipper I am heavily biased against any woman Marvel could pair Clint up with.

From a narrative point of view, the wife was a tad boring. Her major purpose was to serve as a foil to Brue and Natasha, which means she lacked a lot of substance. I only saw the film once, so I might be wrong, but we don’t get any backstory about her, other than the fact that they were already together when Clint joined SHIELD. sighs As much as I liked the Bruce/Natasha angle despite everything, this entire thing with Clint still doesn’t excite me.

The Ending aka Nothing Lasts Forever

It is a storytelling convention to state the theme more or less explicitly somewhere in the movie and it took me a while to realize which moment that was in AoU.

“Nothing lasts forever,” Natasha says once and it sums up the film perfectly. Where the Avengers are a great team at the beginning, they fall apart because of Wanda, then get it together in time to safe the world, only to disband eventually.

Which shocked me and irritated the hell out of me at first until I started thinking about why they would do something like that to us. Without conflict, there is no plot. If AoU had ended with the Avengers united and happy, then staging sequels for single characters would have been extremely difficult to pull off. Like this, Thor is off to Asgard to investigate his suspicions, Natasha and Bruce are apart despite their feelings for each other, Tony leaves significantly chastised and ready to defend a law that will divide our beloved heroes, and Steve has recognised he needs a war to fight and freedom to defend to feel whole. Plus, we have a new team of Avengers to play with.

It might hurt right now and it will most definitely hurt in the future, but we’ll be happier for it because it gives us more films to anticipate with bated breath (let alone great potential for fix-it fics!).

More Reasons To Love This Film

… which don’t have an overall theme and no particular hierarchy.

Clint not being manipulated: I was rather worried that they would make Clint another one of Wanda’s victims and was so happy when they didn’t. Clint has had enough people mess with his mind for a lifetime and including it again would have been dramaturgically redundant.

Science Bros: Tony and Bruce have a LOT of screen time together and do touch quite a bit. As an ardent member of the Science Boyfriends squat, that made me incredibly happy. I expect a ton of fanfic, okay? [Side note: I also expect at least one fic in which it is not Clint’s wife but Phil who awaits the Avengers at the farm. Don’t disappoint me, fandom!]

Sam Wilson is back – Thor and Steve’s epic bromance: I loved Sam in CA2, especially because he made me enjoy Steve whom I had found to be incredibly boring as a character prior to that film, but give him a great sidekick and everything’s awesome! Sam only appeared at the beginning and the end during AoU, so he couldn’t help make Steve funnier. This time this task falls to Thor, whom I like for being comic relief but not for much more. He simply bores me, I’m sorry. Not this time around, however – Steve and Thor’s one-liner exchanges were definite highlights in AoU and I bow to Joss Whedon for coming up with that and giving them such a brilliant dynamic.

What is up with Bucky: It’s just a small exchange, but we do learn what is going on with Bucky. Apparently he is still MIA even though Sam kept looking for him after Steve had to go back to avenging.

Pietro and Wanda Maximoff: They are great characters, period. I loved how Pietro developed a filial dynamic with Clint and was incredibly sad to see Pietro die but thankfully we get to keep Wanda around.

The Action: Let’s not forget, this is primarily an action blockbuster, and they did this justice. I found the action sequences to be engaging, innovative even, and a LOT OF FUN.

Summary:

While the film could have been a little more fast-paced in the middle (the second act is dragging, Mr. Whedon) and despite a few minor points of criticism, it is yet another amazing Marvel Movie that paves the way for whatever they want to throw at us next.

PS: It also compelled me into writing some angsty fix-it fic that is going to be Steve/Tony of all things… You can read it on AO3 if you’re interested!

Age of Ultron Review [spoiler-free]

I had high expectations when I walked into the cinema today and Joss Whedon and his band of actors did not disappoint

Things that I absolutely loved:

  • The initial sequence – the film simply takes the impressive camera work of the final fight of the first movie and starts with that. The result is beautifully thrilling!
  • Bruce and Tony’s bromance – they had a lot of scenes together, mostly in the lab, and it is awesome!
  • Sam Wilson is on board and we get a hint about what’s going on withthe Bucky situation.
  • Steve and Thor’s interactions – as evidenced in the promotional clips, those two have a few hilarious moments together.
  • Steve and Tony’s interactions, but for entirely different reasons – they are not best buddies all the time and while it hurts my fangirl heart like hell to watch it, it lays fantastic groundwork for Civil War.
  • Wanda and Pietro – great moments and engaging development in the course of the movie.
  • Maria Hill – she gets to be the BAMF she truly is!
  • Bruce/Tasha – I was extremely skeptical at first about this, but it works the way they portray it.
  • The Storytelling – Joss Whedon simply is a master of producing compelling narratives and this one is no different.
  • The Production Design – everything’s so pretty!
  • Ultron – he is smart and incredibly dangerous, just like one wants a villain to be.

So yes, the film is great, but a few things still irked me slightly. It really should have been called “Nothing lasts forever” instead of “Age of Ultron” because that is the one big theme I take from this movie.

At first, I was a little disappointed (not to mention emotionally compromised) at the ending, yet after thinking it through once more, it really suits perfectly. They are laying the groundwork for the next phase, for Thor 3 and Civil War and it’s all going to be horrible on our feelings…

Also, having the people in Slovakia speaking their own language instead of English would have been a nice touch. And we got a bit of Clint’s backstory which is so different from what I know from fanon that I was extremely irritated at first, but at least some level of alienation was intended.

Apart from that, I can only criticize that there was a bit too much romance subplot for my tastes. I don’t particularly like romance subplots in action movies since they tend to be rather predictable, so I’m extremely biased. A lot of people will certainly call it a perfect mix, yet I would have cut a few moments had I been sitting in the editor’s chair.

Nevertheless – I cannot wait until I see it a second time!

A.I. or I Just Don’t Get It

I finally re-watched Spielberg’s A.I. for my essay and seriously, that movie just jumps from one plot hole to the next, doesn’t it? I mean…

  • Why build a child robot that cannot grow?
  • Or if it cannot, then why not build it to be reprogrammable since robots don’t die? Shouldn’t it be in the interest of the corporation’s capitalist interest to make as much profit out of that product as possible?
  • Why can’t David eat spinach without breaking, but is able to submerge in the pool without any problems at all?
  • That’s just awful and flawed design, really.
  • Where do his tears come from? Why can he cry but not eat spinach?
  • How come David has no idea about how the world works? He is scared of the moon coming towards him and does not seem to get that if you put a human under water that he will drown.
  • Also he cannot read social clues. Other than shitty programming the only explanation would be the authors forcing the world to fit their contrived plot…
  • And why does only the mother imprint on the child? Why not two parents?
  • Seriously, I do not want to delve into Spielberg’s psyche and Daddy issues. Like, at all. David’s phantasy at the end was fatherless.
  • Dr. Know is like google without the internet. Why, though? Humans can build robot children but no wireless network??
  • And one more thing: the entire middle section, humans are portrayed as the moral catastrophe above all, and the viewer empathizes with the robots. But 2000 years later the next evolution of robots (which I seriously did not understand at first viewing bc they used the iconography of aliens) seems to think humans were the best thing ever. What the actual fuck.
  • It’s also hilarious how pseudo time physics that have never been hinted at in the previous 2 hours prevent the aliens from bringing Monica back forever, so David can only be with her for one day. I mean, never mind that the aliens can read his mind and construct illusions and build spaceship boxes that dismantle themselves and then fly off in pieces. Successful cloning is obviously beyond them, makes perfect sense.

Seriously. I have no idea if it doesn’t make any sense because it was originally Kubrick’s idea and Spielberg adapted it, or if the film was always intended to be this contradictory, but it actually doesn’t matter since the viewer is the one to construct meaning with films and…. I’m just not getting it.

[Also this was written late at night and in a state of exasperation, so please forgive any blatant errors or typos…]

I had Three Problems with “Kingsman” [spoilers ahead]

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVED the first two thirds to death, seriously. There were so many amazing things about the film, like the general premise, the aesthetic, the setting up of the plot, Gazelle or the entire Valentine character… but I left the theatre with a bitter aftertaste. And here is why:

  1. Harry’s death – and him staying dead: Given that his character was the catalyst for the entire plot, I was rather surprised when Valentine killed him. Even more surprised when he did not, in fact, come back and go all BAMF over the big showdown. However, in the light of the entire “It’s not that kind of movie” theme, I understand that the lack of resurrection did serve a function in the overall structure of the film – it just left me deeply disappointed. I could have overcome this one, mind you, if it weren’t for the ensuing last third…
  2. The chauvinistic male power-fantasy ending: I understand that the entire film is a male power phantasy and basically the male version of Jupiter Ascending in terms of wish fulfilment. And I mean, Kingsman did pull off a great female character – then why do they have to ruin it with the anal joke at the end? Eggsy getting the princess after everything would have been just fine – why portray anal sex as the ultimate price in such a crude way? What I’m taking issue with here is the “if you save the world you’ll get to fuck me from behind” line (not quoted verbatim, though) and the last image Merlin sees through the camera, where the princess is wriggling on her stomach in front of Eggsy on the bed. I cannot put into words exactly what it was that disgusted me exactly, but it lies within these two images.
  3. The way they handled the violence: Don’t get me wrong, the aesthetics up until the heads explosion scene were awesome. Especially Gazelle’s scenes were incredibly well done in terms of cinematography and generally made me really happy. Even the computer-game style POV shots added to the aesthetic… However, when the heads started exploding and it was all colourful smoke and fireworks…

Granted. Valentine can’t see blood, so it makes sense that he designed the chips in a way that would keep the red stuff to a minimum. But what the utterly unrealistically shaped clouds of smoke and brain matter made me realise was just how overly glorified violence was in this film.

I love action movies. I have nothing against mountains of corpses piling up behind a protagonist. What Kingsman did that I do not agree with, is take the finality out of violence. It’s all very nicely staged, makes you go “wow” and “ahhh” with awe, though not once does the film actually portray, let alone pay any heed to the incredible scope of death and destruction that was left in its wake. I’m not advocating a long philosophical discussion of the ethics of killing for the greater good, though declaring “Everyone is saved!” while half the world has just bashed each other’s heads in and the world’s leaders are all lying in a mountain bunker with exploded heads… That is sending the wrong message for me.

There was no reflection on the millions that surely died during the time the sim cards were active. There was only a celebration featuring anal sex of having saved the world, without acknowledging that said world’s future probably lies in anarchy with a lot of the leaders dead and who knows how many officials more.

So, yeah. While the film delighted me for the first two thirds, it left a very bitter aftertaste. It all does make sense within the world the film created, so I totally understand that not everyone will take offense like I did, but… yeah. I just can’t think fondly of this film after the ending.

Utterly Biased Oscar Predictions

For the first time since I started watching the Academy Awards – so just about ten years – I managed to watch all films nominated for best picture. Yay me! So maybe this time around my predictions will be more precise…

Then again, the Academy and I have never really agreed on much. Let’s see how it goes this year, shall we?

  • Best Picture: Whiplash
  • Runner Up: The Imitation Game / American Sniper

Why? Because Whiplash is perfect on every level – it has great story telling, appealing cinematography and I still have no words to describe how awesome the ending is.

I loved The Imitation Game and conceived American Sniper as an anti-war character study of a flawed soldier with severe PTSD, not as a picture glorifying war and killing. However, TIG played it too safe, was too polished and clever, and while American Sniper is a good film, it won’t stay with me for years like I’m certain Whiplash will.

  • Best Actor in a leading role: Eddie Redmayne
  • Runner Up: Benedict Cumberbatch

Why? I’m a card-carrying member of the Cumbercollective but I’m sorry, Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Hawking impressed me a tad more than Benedict’s did. He was a close second, though.

  • Best Actress in a leading role: Felicity Jones / Reese Witherspoon

Why? I only saw The Theory of Everything, so I can’t really judge this one. My therapist says Reese Witherspoon was amazing, though.

  • Best Actor in a supporting role: J.K. Simmons
  • Runner Up: Robert Duvall

Why? Yes, Edward Norton was great, I’m sure Mark Ruffalo as well (though I fell asleep halfway through Foxcatcher so that’s just personal bias) but J.K. Simmons impressed me the most in Whiplash. And Duvall was equally brilliant in The Judge.

  • Best Actress in a supporting role: Keira Knightley
  • Runner Up: Emma Stone
  • Unrivaled: Meryl Streep

Why? I am hughly biased against Keira, so I tried really hard not to see how brilliant she was in TIG, but yeah. She’d deserve that Oscar. Emma Stone was remarkable as well, though I don’t know how much chance they both have when nominated in the same category as Meryl Streep…^^

  • Best Cinematography: Birdman
  • Runner Up: Whiplash, even though they didn’t nominate it

Why? Birdman is a two-hour planned sequence. I mean, hello? Of course they need that award!

  • Best Writing – Original Screenplay: Nightcrawler
  • Runner Up: Birdman

Why? Actually, I’d like them both to have the award equally much. Anyone who has seen Nightcrawler will probably know what I’m talking about. That protagonist. That ending. That plot. Yeah. And Birdman was of equally high calibre! second thought, As long as no one gives any trophy to either Boyhoodor Foxcatcher. Gosh, how boring can storytelling be???

  • Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay: The Imitation Game
  • Runner Up: Whiplash / The Theory of Everything / American Sniper

Why? The script of TIG is dramaturgically perfect in my opinion, so my vote goes to Graham Moore. As evident in the “runner up” line above, I also respect the other nominated scripts (though I have yet to see Inherent Vice) and would understand if one of them won.

  • Best Directing: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Runner Up Who Will Probably Win: Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Why? Birdman required great attention to detail and a lot of planning, so Iñarritu deserves recognition. Then again, Linklater’s film was produced over the course of several years, yada yada yada and so forth.

  • Best Film Editing: Whiplash
  • Runner Up: American Sniper

Why? Whiplash was incredibly visceral and had a great impact on my physical experience while watching it, which is for the most part due to its editing. AndAmerican Sniper simply was great filmmaking, especially for a war movie.

  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Guardians if the Galaxy
  • Runner Up: Foxcatcher

Why? Gamora’s makeup alone should be reason enough. Although everyone who dares to give Mark Ruffalo such an ugly beard should get something for the mere audacity to rob viewers of his handsome face.

  • Best Music – Original Score: The Theory of Everything
  • Runner Up: The Grand Budapest Hotel / The Imitation Game

Why? Of all the films, the only score that still rings a bell (ha^^) is that of The Theory of Everything. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen Budapest Hotel(Berlinale 2014), but I do recall that the music was remarkable.

  • Best Production Design: The Imitation Game
  • Runner Up aka The One That Will Probably Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Why? Everything looked so authentic in TIG and added a great feel for the time period(s). Of course, Budapest Hotel is something else entirely, but my fingers are crossed for the team of TIG.

  • Best Sound Mixing: Whiplash
  • Runner Up: American Sniper

Why? I’m not a sound person, so I won’t even try to guess Sound Editing, butWhiplash is nominated in this category and on a sound level it blew me away, seriously. Also I have great respect for the Sound Crew of American Sniper for mixing such thrilling combat scenes.

  • Best Visual Effects: X-Men Days Of Future Past
  • Runner Up: Guardians of the Galaxy / CA: The Winter Soldier

Why? They should ALL win! But X-Men is my favourite because of the amazingly animated mutations… #sighs

CONCLUSION

If I were the Academy, I would reward Whiplash a lot more than critics have so far. And give Graham Moore an award for his Imitation Game script! Also, and at the risk of incurring scathing criticism, no matter what you personally think ofAmerican Sniper, seen as a film it is incredibly well done in my opinion.

PS: If you are on Tumblr, pick your own selection and enter my Oscar Competition! You can win fanart, fanfic or an edit 🙂

What I loved about “The Imitation Game”

  • the a-chronological structure of the plot
  • Joan and Allan’s epic bromance
  • the large amounts of situational comedy largely due to Alan
  • the cinematography, for example the combination of black and white archive footage with diegetic footage
  • how Alan spied a small boy immersed in a puzzle on the train in the very first sequence – great way to highlight character traits
  • that they didn’t bury the audience in technobabble and kept it all pretty basic
  • how Alan’s backstory was woven into the narration, highlighting certain aspects
  • also, the Christopher story arc is heart-wrenching
  • really, I must have gone “awwww” about fifty times
  • how Christopher taking Alan under his wing is contrasted with Alan looked after Joan
  • Keira Knightly’s performance and how she actually managed to impress me and not annoy me despite my inclination to the contrary
  • Benedict’s performance as Alan, respectively Alan’s character in general – I found that the viewer undergoes the same change that Hugh and the others undergo, from laughing at Alan’s peculiar nature to actually caring about him and, if not understanding him, at least accepting him
  • how the film did not shape Alan Turing to be a particularly likable character – in fact they made no secret about how unlikable he could be
  • how after the audience witnessed all that Alan Turing did during the war, the filmmakers emphasized how little his country cared for him afterwards and how insanely daft homophobic laws are and how angry it left me
  • also, all the actors were amazing, from Benedict and Keira to Mark Strong and Matthew Goode and Charles Dance and …
  • He’s from MI6 – But there are only 5 divisions of Military Intelligence! – Exactly. *chuckles*

And, maybe most of all, how many themes permeated the film from start to finish:

  • How far should we go for the Greater Good aka ‘The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.’ *hugs-Peter-Hilton*
  • Information is power – as John Cairncross has shown so expertly by blackmailing Alan into keeping quiet
  • Normal does not mean good or better: “It is the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.” – Joan Clarke
  • Being different means you have to adapt, act differently, because the world is unfair: “I’m a woman on a man’s job and I don’t have the luxury of being an arse.” – Joan Clarke

I’m sure there’s a lot more that I could name but I’m still emotionally compromised by this cinematic experience…

Gravity – pretty pictures, little else

I finally watched the much praised film “Gravity”. I didn’t go to see it in the cinema because I took one look at the trailer and thought, “nope, I’m already bored”, but a friend of mine lent it to me so, well, I had to see it to finally have an opinion of my own.

I didn’t see it in 3D but I can imagine that the cinematography will be even more impressive on the big screen. Space is pretty after all.

However, you can summarize the plot in a heartbeat: Astronauts in space, repairing stuff, when debris hits and knocks them off their space station. Weathered astronaut George Clooney saves rookie Sandra Bullock, tells her how to get back but himself floats away into infinity. Sandra Bullock starts her journey back and while she’s cutting it close, we never one doubt she will find gravity again.

Surprise, she survives^^

And while I’m not saying Bullock and Clooney aren’t great actors who can totally carry a movie on their own, I am saying that the plot left much to be desired. I wasn’t pulled into the story, I didn’t really grow emotionally attached to the characters… but what could the screenplay have done differently? There aren’t many potential plot points in space, at least without adding aliens or physically questionable maneuvers.

I haven’t researched the director’s and writer’s intention, but I guess they wanted to make a great 3D picture set in space with stars to draw the crowds. And they did manage that, very well actually. For the first time I really feel like the content has been designed in a way that 3D makes sense and isn’t just a fancy effect. 

Yet pretty pictures aren’t enough to keep me entertained. Maybe for five minutes when I’m generous but not for one and a half hours.

*

Gravity on imdb