Gravity (2013)

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón , George Clooney (un-credited)

Starring: George Clooney, Sandra Bullock

Rating: ★★★★½

Visually breath-taking and flawless. Gravity is easily one of the “Best Picture” candidates for the Oscars as director Alfonso Cuarón’s special effects allows for one of the best cinema viewings in recent years. The film in simple terms can be described as Cast Away in space, but this isn’t at all flattering towards Hollywood’s new in the spotlight master-piece. Gravity is more than about the battle against isolation and survival, but a story showing the power and strength the human mind can possess even in the darkest of times.

There is little neither introduction nor an easing into action as we begin our experience mid-way through what seems to be an expected routine operation for a space team. Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is an attending her first space mission as a medical engineer whilst her company is in the form of a composed, laid-back veteran Kowalski (George Clooney) attending his last space mission before retirement. Their simple objective of repairing a broken telescope however is quickly abandoned as a flood of fast coming debris smash into their shuttle flinging them into the wilderness and emptiness that is space. Separated, alone and in shock a frantic Ryan spins away. Joined by the comforting voice of Houston and Kowalski, Stone eventually gets instructed and locates a nearby station that could lead her homebound and to safety. However after contact is lost and another wave of debris soon approaching, Stone has to decide whether to simply let go and float away, or to hold on with passion and grit to find a solution.

Sandra Bullock presents the performance of her career, capturing a highly believable and realistic display despite being in a very drastic and hyperbolic situation.  The pain that’s afflicted on Stone whether emotional, mental or physical leaves you sympathetic and sweating; this is significantly down to the amazing mastered performance. The absolute mental torture that Stone goes through takes us on an adventure of our own allowing us to feel the extreme loneliness and pain alongside Bullock’s character. Bullock will also be proud to be associated with such a prestigious film in terms of Gravity’s use of 3D and visual effects.

The use of 3D in Gravity is astonishing, showing just how fast the popular modern-day feature is being developed.  There are many scenes that use 3D to amazing effects, my personal favourites occur in the scenes where Stone is in the pod. At one point we see her painful teardrop float up and away from her cheek towards our jaw-dropped and trembling faces. It is not only the 3D in this film that makes Gravity visually flawless but the use of shooting all digitally allows a much more defined quality. The element that separates Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity from the other space sci-fi films of this year such as Pacific Rim, Elysium and Oblivion is the cinematography and unbelievably scenery displayed throughout the film. It’s the small things in this film that really do add up to make perfection; the opening scene is breath-taking as we see an establishing shot of Earth as George Clooney’s character rather causally floats by.

The story to Gravity is simple but it is that very same simplicity that makes the film so enjoyable and such an amazing visual experience. Finding faults is rather difficult, there are areas where the story lacks depth, and in a personal perspective I would have much preferred more closure in the final scene and much more of an introduction to characters at the beginning. However the lack of these elements only emphasises and highlights the quality of others. I can predict now that Gravity will win many awards and possibly one or two Oscars. It’s a highlight film of 2013 for sure and one that advertises cinema as the beautiful art form it is. It was very hard deciding what rating Gravity deserved, many times I have considered it to be a perfect five stars but it is one nevertheless to view, to appreciate and to enjoy.

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Most Overrated Film Of The Year- Oblivion 2013

KA OblivionThe ratings. the reviews and even more the surprising nominations for this film have bizarrely baffled me. To say I was not a fan of this film is an understatement, with a running time of 126 minutes I found myself looking at the more entertaining fire exit door picturing my escape. When you talk about Hollywood stars showing off this is the film that highlights that. The film had more Tom Cruises in it then it did action scenes, there was even a “Tom Cruise-off”. The story of this film doesn’t have a flow, it doesn’t introduce itself very well and it only becomes clear at the end but even that doesn’t make you appreciate the film. It has pointless narrative objects and situations and mistakes. There’s even a part when Tom Cruise fixes a droid with a piece of gum. I could rant about this film all day long, but I’m not going to. I was going to write a review on it but It would only stir my hate for Cruise up even more. When people will talk of big film flops like “Movie 43” and “After Earth” it will anger me that Oblivion will not be mentioned. So here, I have, Oblivion with 5 months of the year left Is my worse film of 2013 and I’m sure come the end of December it still we be.

Have you say of what film you think is the worse of 2013

 

 

My Top 5 Actors Of All Time

#5 Bruce Willis: Born March 19, 1995 he’s currently 58 years old and has been in the film industry since 1980. He features in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts made. Most known for playing hot-headed, wisecracking and hard-edged characters he has his own franchise that is Die Hard where he plays officer “John Mclane”.

Die Hard (1988) is rated just outside the best 100 films of all time, and has brought along sequels of Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard: With a Vengeance and more recently Die Hard 4.0 (2007) and Die Hard: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013). The franchise has made $502,440,899 in lifetime gross being one of the most successful set of films of all time.

Bruce Willis isn’t just an action-hero, he’s played roles in dramas, thrillers and sci-fi films. Most popular playing the lead role in The Sixth Sense (1999), written and directed by at the time brilliant M. Night Shyamalan it got nominated for a staggering 6 Oscars and is rated 143rd best film of all time. He has also worked alongside with possibly the best screenplay writer and director of all time Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction (1994) and finally he played lead role as a taxi driver in the brilliant The Fifth Element (1997) and starred alongside an all-star cast in Twelve Monkeys (1995).

 

Staring as lead role in an amazing amount of award-winning successful films he definitely deserves to be on this list. For me he is the best action actor and my favourite. His roles in the Die Hard films are amazing and they are one of my favourite sets of films. He is a truly talented guy too also writing, producing films and occasionally making soundtracks. He’s had a stunning career and is still going strong to date, well done Bruno.

#4 Morgan Freeman: Always playing “God” in films he has established a very godly prestigious role in the film industry and Hollywood. Known for his calm, and authoritative voice and demeanour he is possibly one of most well-known actors to date. Born June 1st, 1937 some would say he’s been around since the Stone Age but with those years he’s featured in some of the best films ever made, on the way winning an Oscar and a further 55 awards.

Playing one of the lead characters in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) voted the best film of all time, his role as Ellis the prison “getter” will be remembered for a very long time. He also played alongside Brad Pitt in the hugely successful Se7en (1995). Total gross of all of Morgan Freeman’s films stands to a staggering $4,003,514,144 with films such as Deep Impact (1998), Robin Hood (1991) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989) providing a big lump of that sum also not forgetting the Batman films.

He finally won his much deserved Oscar in 2009 for Invictus where he had the honour of playing the character of Nelson Mandela in his first term as president of South Africa in a battle to win the Rugby World Cup. In his career he has also been on set with David Fincher, Clint Eastwood to create amazing films.

For me he’s an outstanding, talented actor and without him some of my favourite films wouldn’t be as good. His presence is unique and his ability to draw you into a film is unbelievable. I think he no doubt deserves the credit he gets and of course the spot on this list. Although old he’s still going but you have to admire his fantastic career in film whether it be acting, producing or writing.

#3 Brad Pitt: A name that everyone knows and an even more popular face. Brad Pitt born December 18th, 1963 started his quest to Hollywood fame in 1987 in “Hunk” as an un-credited character of a guy with a drink on a beach. A further 67 films later he has been nominated for 4 Oscars and has won 37 awards, featuring in possibly some of the best films made.

The film that everyone will remember is Fight Club (1999), he played alongside Edward Norton in a film rated 10th best film of all time, but shhh we’re not allowed to talk about it. He has further acted in films such as Se7en (1995), Twelve Monkeys (1995) where he got his first nomination for an Oscar, furthermore and more recently films such The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011).

Moneyball a film that is personally one of my favourites, Brad Pitt played lead role as well as producing. About an underdog baseball team with a low-budget huge success it’s an incredible film that got nominated for a huge 6 Oscars. The total Box Office for Brad Pitts films stand  worldwide at 3 and a half billion dollars showing he’s a top actor in top films.

He’s an actor that brings a certain style and “coolness” to his films that no one else does. His outstanding acting and a relationship with Angelina Jolie he is probably the most famous Hollywood actor and is one of the highest paid A-Listers. He’s certainly a talented guy and with only being half way through his career we’ll definitely see more of Pitt, definitely deserving his place as #3 on this list.

#2 Leonardo DiCaprio: Just missing out on top spot is the heart-throb born in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio. Born November 11th 1974, he started his acting career with minor TV series but after making the world flutter as his performance of Jack in Titanic he cemented his position as an all time great.

In my opinion Mr. DiCaprio hasn’t done a bad film, from the likes of Catch Me If You Can (2002) and more recently The Great Gatsby (2013), he is one of my favourite actors making and performing in some of my favourite films. The world of cinema must think so too as he’s been nominated for 3 Oscars and a further 31 award wins.

Titanic (1997) being his most famous film alongside Inception (2010). In Titanic he played the character of Jack in a romantic drama that swept the nations heart. Although not featuring as frequently in films as other actors every film he has done has been hugely successful. Django Unchained (2012), Shutter Island (2010) and The Departed (2006) all sweeping in awards. His total box office for films standing at an almighty impressive $5billion.

With his unique charm and class alongside be innocent child like look there’s no wonder he’s a popular man. With his extreme talent there’s also no surprise he’s #2 on my list. He has featured in some of my favourite films and played some of my favourite characters, in the words of Jay Gatsby well done old sport.

#1Tom Hanks: top of my list and I’m sure many others is the great Tom Hanks. Not only has he featured and played the lead role in a number of timeless classics unlike most actors he has played in every genre of film, from comedies, dramas, war to romance, each giving an amazing performance. Born July 9th, 1956 in Concord USA Hanks started his career of acting in the 1980’s with various TV series to then play in films such as Big (1988), The ‘Burbs (1989). He is now known for much bigger classic films, all time greats and he is known for his amazing acting and unique voice.

Tom Hanks has played lead roles in films such as Forrest Gump (1994) and PPhiladelphia (1993) that both won him Oscars. Two more of my favourite films of his and of all time, Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Cast Away (2000) also got nominations for Oscars. It’s safe to say his films have had huge success, and no surprise his performances in both Forrest Gump and Cast Away are my favourite and deserve huge credit.

Over the course of his prestigious career Hanks total box office for films is just over $6billion, more than every actor accept Samuel L. Jackson. Over the last decade  he has also shown his talents as he has started to produce and write films such as Polar Express (2004) and Larry Crowne (2011). He’s my favourite actor mainly due to his appearance in a number of amazing films from the Toy Story series to You’ve Got Mail. I guarantee if you ask people they’re top 10 films Tom Hanks is lurking in there somewhere.

 

Tom Hanks tops the list for his unbelievable amount of amazing films and his all round nice guy personality. A truly talented guy responsible for some of the best films and performances in the last 30 years truly deserve top spot.