Tag Archives: earth

Movie Review: Gravity

Just like the title, this movie will suck you in and not let go

Alfonso Cuarón said he’s always wanted to do a movie about space. 

Well, did he ever do a movie about space.

I’m going to say, flat out, right now, that this is the best movie I’ve seen in a while. It’s visually breathtaking, mind numbingly expansive and edge of your seat intense. 

It boasts an extremely small cast for a movie nowadays, with a total of seven actors/actresses in all and only a mere three are actually seen.

This flick is all about the visual and it does it just as well as any other movie you’ve seen; yes, including Avatar. The effects are so difficult to describe as they are something that need to be seen to be fully appreciated, but when I say they are the best part of the entire thing, trust me, it’s true. 

And that’s impressive to say the least, because both Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone and George Clooney as Matt Kowalski were brilliant. Cuarón had a lot of scenes that were single, drawn out shots; almost Kubrick-like. There is one scene where Stone is in a space shuttle, listening to a radio link to Earth, and the scene lasts a good couple minutes. Her speech and acting in general are displayed at full force in this long shot and for anyone who appreciates the highest level of acting, it’s fantastic.

Clooney too, while not in the film nearly as much as Bullock, pulled off a great performance as the confident and kind Kowalski. He made you completely believe in his character right from the get-go and somehow got the audience trapped in liking him well within the opening minutes.

The story was great, as always. No aliens. No other spaceships coming for them. Just one woman trying to survive the shards from a Russian satellite that come whizzing around Earth every 90 minutes. As expected, there are tons of trials Stone has to overcome and nearly everything that can go wrong does, bringing her to her breaking point a few times. But she preservers and shows the power human resolve can truly have.

One of the best parts of the film is how Cuarón made the entire thing so realistic. Not only were his visual effects done to a tee, but his sound effects were spectacular as well. So many movies have things exploding in space and such, with the normal sounds it would make if it occurred on Earth. 

Not in this movie.

Things are done right and there is zero sound in space; save for the music of the movie. Anything that happens in space is soundless. It’s strange too, when the characters touch a space station or try to hold onto something, because you hear a muffled sound come out of it and realize that it must be what they’re hearing inside of their spacesuits. 

It’s the first film in space where I’ve seen the sound done so well. 

Gravity will be at the Oscars, no doubt. I hope to see Bullock nominated as well because she was really that good; the peak of her acting abilities. If you’re considering see this film (I myself went and chose it over Runner Runner and Prisoners), do.

You won’t be disappointed.

Howe to Houston; take us home.

Rating out of 100: 93


Movie Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

Try not to freak out now, Trekkies...
Try not to freak out now, Trekkies…

Captain’s log, stardate 6833401.342. It has been four long years since J.J. Abrams released his first reboot smash hit called Star Trek. Many have waited in anticipation for the coming of his newest creation.

And finally, it has arrived.

Star Trek: Into Darkness is an emotional and action filled roller coaster that takes the audience through the movie at warp speed, rarely pausing for breaks to breathe. The pace of the film is great, never keeping one waiting very long for the next action scene while also leaving room for the intense intimate conversations.

This version of the classic franchise delves deeper into the characters themselves as well as the plot that involves new villain, Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch). Most importantly, Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) are the two that the audience gets to learn more about and see in a different light.

Kirk’s maverick-style personality gets exposed and shaken when he sees his friend, (and somewhat of a mentor) Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), get killed by Khan after never even having one of his own crew members lost before. This traumatic event forces the young Kirk to become slightly more level-headed even while retaining most of his maverick-style. He appears to grow up a little throughout the course of the movie and becomes a better leader and captain as a result.

Spock too, deals with his mental capabilities being tested. As a half-Vulcan, he rarely shows emotion and prefers to keep them hidden; especially after seeing the destruction of his home planet. But as the movie progresses and Spock has to deal with more and more intense issues, he finally lets loose after he loses Kirk (who Spock comes out and says is a true friend to him) to an overdose of radiation and his withheld emotions turn into a raging fire of pure anger. 

Personally, this was my favourite part of the film; when Spock becomes enraged and goes to hunt down Khan immediately. It’s very rare that fans ever get to see Spock act in such a way and it was a neat character development for such a well known figure. Oh, and be sure to note…

Don’t ever piss off a Vulcan.

The film had very good acting, with all of the characters being played well and Khan being done very well as an intelligent, sadistic villain. The music was just as good as the first movie, with classic stuff such as the original (slightly altered) Star Trek theme used in the appropriate areas. 

There were lots of tidbits for hardcore Trekkies as well. I didn’t quite catch all of them, but there are many that those who love the franchise will enjoy. And even for those who don’t, it doesn’t really matter as the film is just a fantastic movie in itself. 

The Klingons were finally introduced in this flick, during which there occurred and epic battle scene that is one of the best in the entire thing; Khan does a lot of eye-popping acrobatics during this fight. It’s cool to finally get to see the Klingons and what they look like in Abrams’ world. Needless to say, they’re done pretty darn well and there is even a bit of Klingon that is spoken, so for the people who took the time to learn the fictional language, there you go. I guess.

The comic relief supplied by Scotty (Simon Pegg) is entertaining as always and has to be one of my favourite things about this movie too.

The special effects were done extremely well and everything looked fluid and jaw-dropping (I saw it in 3D), keeping the audience glued to the screen for every single photon blast and phaser beam. 

And let’s face it, seeing the Enterprise take up the entire theatre screen while epic music is playing just never gets old.

Finally, I’m glad they ended the film like they did the first one and like they did every episode of the original show, with someone (previously old Spock, this time Kirk) saying: Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the star ship Enterprise. It’s five year mission; to find strange new worlds, to explore new life and civilizations, and to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Yeah. Classic stuff.

Anyways, that’s it for this time around. Howe, out.

Rating out of 100: 85