Gravity

First of all, I’d like to apologise for the lack of posts – they’ve built up quite a bit and life’s been a bit hectic the last couple of weeks, mostly with work. Whilst I hold down the Blonde & Brunette fort, Kat is busy training to be a teacher, and does apologise for her absence. Hopefully we’ll both be back up to full speed soon – for now though…

Earlier this month I went to watch the movie Gravity directed by acclaimed visual director Alfonso Cuarón. I saw this movie previewed at Comic-Con and since then I’ve wanted to see it; starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, it’s 90 minutes of them and space. To some it may appear boring, but to me it was tense, powerful and breath-taking to watch.

Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) enters space on a mission after six month intense NASA training, and after the first 10 minutes it all goes horribly wrong when debris from a crash crashes into their shuttle and sends Stone and her space lead astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) battle for survival, drifting through space. Whilst the film is pretty much devoted to these two actors, Bullock is in about 95% of the film, carrying it beautifully and this film is really about her character.

First of all, Bullock and Clooney work wonderfully together; there’s a lovely chemistry between these two characters, and the two actors have been friends for years. Even though we don’t find out much about Clooney’s character, we warm to him instantly, due to his charisma, charm and his stories, gaining a number of laughs from the audience. You imagine his character to be potentially what Clooney is like in real life, but with more ego-faced humour such as when he states “I know it’s difficult to stop looking at me”.

Sandra Bullock however steals the show and gives a beautiful performance Ryan Stone; her character is drifting through life affected by the sudden death of her daughter. She comes to space to escape the life she now had – her description of her daily life sounds as if she’s merely existing, rather than living. Whilst Stone starts off as someone existing, by the end she’s fighting for her life to survive. It’s a powerful metaphor of the rebirth of someone’s life.

Cuarón also creates a film that visually, is beautifully stunning – you could sense the loneliness leap off-screen but also the utter peace and tranquillity it could bring. The visuals of space are so realistic and the intensity of the situation that the two characters are in – drifting, lost in space with no one to hear them but themselves – is a striking situation to be in.

The film has award season contender written all over it, particularly for Bullock who gives a breathtaking performance as Ryan Stone. You leave the cinema feeling inspired and exhausted after the intense visual experience.

Matt: Is there someone down there, looking up thinking about you?
Ryan: I had a daughter. (Gravity)

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The Vault – Ocean’s Eleven

oceans11

Last night I had the house to myself so thought it was only right that I browse the endless shelves of our DVD collection to find a film that I probably should have watched a very long time ago. With that in mind I stumbled across Ocean’s Eleven, having no idea of the plot or even the meaning behind the name of the film, I thought it was worth a shot.

It’s very rare that I have a shuffle of my top 10 films, but Ocean’s Eleven shot straight up there! I’m probably even going to go as far as top 5. It was brilliant and to be completely honest I’m pretty gutted I’ve only just seen it considering it came out back in 2001, I feel like it’s been a missing part of my life for the past 12 years.

It seems I was quite naive about this film, as I’m guessing it is pretty well known, probably by those who haven’t seen it as well, but my naivety only added to the joy of watching the film for the first time. I was a bit worried when George Clooney’s face appeared on the opening sequence, (I didn’t even know he was in it – I know what was wrong with me?) but the moment he opened his mouth he immediately rid any anxiety I had.

The meaning of the film soon became clear, and one thing I really enjoy is when a title has a relation to the film, and this couldn’t have been more perfect – I think finally understanding why the film was called ‘Ocean’s Eleven ‘ also cleared a cloudy area my brain has been struggling with.

Clooney and Pitt in one film – now that is a lot to deal with. In terms if hotness it’s like an olden day collaboration of Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum. The only difference is that Clooney and Pitt scream MAN while the others scream more boy. However, the pair worked fantastically together, their chemistry with each other was clearly evident throughout the whole film, even the young Matt Damon did a cracking job up against such a high end cast. Other actors on the bill included Elliot Gould, Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts.

I found Julia Roberts an odd choice for the female lead, every time she was on screen all I noticed was that she wasn’t walking well and it put me off. I also think my lack of fascination for her may have had an adverse effect on the charm she brings. I would have much preferred to see someone else as leading lady – although at present I can’t picture who.

Apart from my dislike of Julia Roberts in this role, I couldn’t criticise anything else. The film was easy to follow, if you listened well you would get the full enjoyment but I imagine if you only tuned in half way through you would soon pick up what was going on.  An aspect which did make me laugh however was how short the film was; with a tiny running time of only 116 minutes, these days that could be classed as a short! – Okay well maybe not quite but pretty soon I’m sure it will. I was worried that if I didn’t start watching half seven I wouldn’t be done, but no I was done by half nine and that had included a few toilet/drink breaks!

So it seems a good film can still be shot in a reasonable amount of time; good actors will timeless; and meaningful sequels do still exist. Now I need to watch Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen – watch this space.

 

Danny: Ten oughta do it, don’t you think?

Rusty: [Stares of in silence, not looking at Danny]

Danny: You think we need one more?

Rusty: [Silence]

Danny: You think we need one more.

Rusty: [Silence]

Danny: All right, we’ll get one more.

Rusty: [Blinks]