Five Stars (out of five)
2013. Rated PG-13. Warner Home Video. Running time: 91 minutes. Special features on the Blu-Ray include extensive behind the scenes features. This was reviewed on Blu-Ray on February 26, 2014.

Hey, I can see my house from here! When somebody you love dies, you are stuck in a morass of grief, and everybody tells you that it will eventually be over. "Don’t worry," your well-meaning family and friends say, "it gets better." But the fact is it doesn’t get better for the grieving survivors, it just gets different. They struggle to find a way to continue on while dealing with the large hole in their life which was once taken up by their deceased loved one. It’s a quandary that all survivors must deal with, and some handle it very well, while a few manage to just hide their grief from others while they privately struggle in the morass. The latter best describes Ryan Stone, the astronaut at the center of Gravity who is played marvelously by Sandra Bullock.

How do you jumpstart this sucker? On a routine assignment to repair the Hubble telescope, Ryan’s mission is cut short when warning comes from Houston of a flying cloud of debris that’s headed their way. Unlike Star Trek, where they simply would raise the shields whenever a threat approaches, Gravity deals with the real life space program, which has no such protection for micro-wreckage that hits with the intensity and devastation of a bullet. When their space shuttle is destroyed, killing the other members of their crew, both Ryan and Matt (George Clooney) must fend for themselves in the harsh environs of space.

Hello? Anybody home?! Gravity is technically brilliant, with director Alfonso Cuaron (Children Of Men) pulling out all the stops to effectively convince the viewer that they’re really in outer space with these characters. The effects are so seamless you forget that you’re watching actors set against computer-generated backdrops. The camera seemingly flies around everywhere—through the glass plate of Bullock’s helmet, where we hover alongside her face, and then back outside in space. But Cuaron never forgets the human element, and he effortlessly pulls you into the story of a woman’s fight for survival in the most vicious arena ever: space.

Zzzzzzzz.... Sandra Bullock really shines here, it’s really her show, and she does a wonderful job carrying the film on her shoulders. Her Ryan character has lost her young daughter, and the struggles she goes through to survive reflect the inner struggles of every single person who must try to make a life without a loved one. This film touched me in ways I can barely explain. While it’s certainly enjoyable on the surface as a fight to stay alive in a hostile environment, the underlying message it projects--that its worth dealing with every obstacle in life, because life itself is worth it--makes it a wondrous modern day classic. --SF

If you enjoyed Gravity, then check out Europa Report

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