Top 20 Films of the 2010s–#8

22 Dec

By Tanner Smith

Continuing my countdown of my top 20 favorite films of the decade, here’s a recap: 20) Mad Max: Fury Road, 19) Fruitvale Station, 18) Hugo, 17) Parasite, 16) Spotlight, 15) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, 14) Midnight Special, 13) Take Shelter, 12) The Spectacular Now, 11) The Social Network, 10) Frances Ha, 9) Get Out

8) GRAVITY (2013)

“I hate space.” Yeah, I’m not too fond of it either.

Can you imagine being stranded in SPACE? I try to. Completely lost in empty oblivion with no hope of rescue or resource? It’s terrifying to process. I can’t imagine I’d be as lucky as Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity”–but it’s a movie, and if you don’t go along on this extremely treacherous journey for her to find her way back down to Earth, you’re not going to like the movie as much as you appreciate the utterly convincing visual effects. And you’re not going to root for her to try something that may be totally improbable in order to get out of her horrible situation.

Well, I did, and I loved “Gravity” as a result.

For about the first hour in this hour-and-a-half long survival flick (in SPACE), “Gravity” works wonderfully as an experience–at one point, Cuaron even puts us in the eyes (and helmet) of Stone as she helplessly wanders through space uncontrollably and we wish for something–ANYTHING–to stop her or slow her down. Bullock’s acting is always convincing, and we really feel her anxiety and terror as it overflows through this horrible ordeal and she tries to figure out what to do next in order to stay alive. And probably the most important factor of it all–it FEELS real. If you had told me this was literally, physically filmed entirely on location in space, I would have believed you. (I would’ve had SO many questions, but I would’ve been gullible enough to consider it.)

I saw this film twice on the biggest screen with the greatest sound system (not IMAX, but close enough)–it’s the best way to see it, to say the least.

The final half-hour or so is more “movie” than “experience,” as Stone ultimately decides to try something outrageous to bring herself back home in order to fulfill a redemptive character arc set up before and continue living a new life if she survives this whole thing. But it’s still a gripping movie with emotional complexity. I wanted her to keep going, not give up, and be able to come back as a brand new person.

People will complain that “Gravity” works less on the small screen. Maybe it does. But I still watch it (on a regular TV screen) every now and again, and the effect isn’t COMPLETELY lost on me. I can still admire the marvelous effects and get into the story/experience at least almost as much as I did on the big screen.

“Gravity” is a unique film experience that can be enjoyed no matter how big or how small the screen it displays upon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: