IMDB Score – 6.5
Rotten Tomato Score – 50%
Directed By – Michael Bay
Starring – Marky Mark, The Rock, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris
I can’t believe I watched this movie. I hate these kind of people. I’m not talking about the murderous criminal people. I’m just talking about people who live for fitness. The size of The Rock in this movie is almost against nature. I skipped this film in the theaters due to the still horrible trailer and notion that it was going to be a weightlifting comedy. There would have been no amount of money in the world that could bribe me to sit through that. Although, a funny thing happened when watching this film…
I was entertained. I laughed. I ended up enjoying it.
This is in no way a good film. It is in the strictest sense a very entertaining film that never gets too stupid. The film centers around the true story of three meatheads who kidnap a wealthy man and extort money from him. After that initial crime, the movie just gets absolutely bonkers while still holding true to the actually events that happened in real life. Michael Bay didn’t do anything special here and the film was actually devoid of his usual musings of car chases and explosions although there is a good deal of action. The Rock was particularly funny as he played a very troubled and confused beast of a man following orders for no apparent reason other than he wants to please Jesus and make a better life for himself. Yes, all three are that stupid. The supporting cast was great as Shalhoub played a very despicable man who is supposed to be the victim but really at the end of this film we realize that all these people are horrible and that we should just enjoy the ride.
I enjoyed the ride. It’s worth the rent.
IMDB Score – 8.8
RT Score – 97%
What can be said that hasn’t been said already about Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece Gravity? First off I want to make an urgent plea for anybody reading this review to see this film in theaters, not only a theater, but a nice one. Go see this in an AMC with fake IMAX or travel and see it in the real thing. I’m going to be dishing out a lot of dough to see this in IMAX multiple times. It’s a theater experience you really CAN NOT MISS. That being said let’s get to the review.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is my film of the year. This is arguably the most visceral theater going experience I’ve ever had as well. I forgot to breathe through the entire film. You may look at the run time of 90 minutes and feel sad that it isn’t longer. I couldn’t sit through a two and a half hour film like this. I would have a heart attack. From the absolutely stunning 12 minute first unbroken first shot to the rolling of the credits I couldn’t catch my breathe. I was in a constant state of intensity. Did I mention that there are only two actors in this film? TWO! It’s am achievement unlike any other to make such a flawless film with only two people. Cuarón steps in front of James Cameron for creating a world that we have never seen before but guess what…actually exists. Have you been to space? Yeah me neither. Well, this film takes you there. It’s the most realistic portrayal of space I have ever seen and according to most space people, is very accurate in depicting what would actually happen during a disaster like the one occurring in the film. Cuarón took a huge leap of faith by making a film with no explosion noises in the background. There is no sound in space and Michael Bay can suck a fat one after seeing this film. What was thought to take the audience out of the fear of doom actually made it that more horrifying. It’s a film that utilizes silence as a tool and utilizes it well. The film though is not completely silent. There is a wonderful booming score to really lift the dread through the roof. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was wonderful.
The acting is also very good. I’m not even talking about Clooney. George hams it up the only way he knows how and while it was wonderful to watch, it wasn’t a stretch from his normal screen personas. This is Sandra Bullocks movie. I’m not fan of hers. She’s always fallen into the category of “I don’t mind them as a person but holy shit do they annoy me on screen”. Bullock hasn’t been that annoying but she has had her moments. Not in this film. She carries it. From start to finish she does a fantastic job portraying a person in utter peril. I believed she was in danger and I was strung along wishing and hoping she’d be okay. The transformation she goes through in this film is outstanding and a great piece of writing.
Don’t let the state of the art visuals and camera work fool you. This is an art film. It’s got this deep theme of rebirth and meaning of existence and a hint of religious overtones that make it more than a thriller in space. I obviously can’t go into much without giving away spoiler points but lets just say that Sandra Bullock goes through many stages of emotions that are artistically crafted through images.
Speaking of images, I can’t say enough how floored I was by the look of this film. I’m a camera nerd and the shots in this thing are nothing I’ve ever seen. There are shots going through space and into helmets and back into space without cutting leaving me to wonder what kind of sorcery Cuarón concocted to pull these shots off. This is why it’s so utterly important to see this on the biggest screen possible. It just isn’t justifiable to see it on a small screen.
This is my film of the year. This is the best action/thriller/sci fi movie I’ve seen in forever and I’ll be damned if something else comes along knocks this off as my number one film of 2013. When awards season comes around if this film doesn’t sweep the technical awards then they have no meaning anymore. There has never been a film like this and unless Cuarón decides to devote another seven years of his life to one project then there never will. Here I come Gravity. Prepare to take a lot of my money in the next two months.