Around 35 years ago, my brother, my father, and I went to the movies. These were simpler times, most movie theaters had only one screen, no big lobby, the ticket booth usually was outside. As we walked up to the ticket booth my father saw the price for an adult ticket. He said the price out loud with the same tone and inflection you would have used if let’s say, someone told you that you had 3 minutes to live. He yelled “THREE-FIFTY!!!”
Dutifully, without discussing it or looking at each other, my brother and I, in perfect unison, turned on our heels and walked back to the car. Dad needed a few more seconds to stare in disbelief.
No big deal, we just drove to another theater, and saw the same movie for $3.00. Problem solved. $3.50 = BAD. $3.00 = ACCEPTABLE. Simple math.
That being said, with the price of movies today, we don’t make many trips to the theater. Most movies are what we call “DVD movies”. We can wait the 25 – 40 minutes it takes before they release movies to DVD.
Most of the movies on this blog, in fact, are perfectly fine on the small screen of your TV or computer.
But not Gravity.
It would still be exciting on the small screen, of course. Just watching the trailer makes you grit your teeth and clench the arms of your chair. But, if possible, Gravity deserves to be seen on the biggest screen you can find. Preferably IMAX. Preferably 3-D. Preferably at night (there’s something that feels wrong about seeing a movie in the theater in the daytime). By the way, that’s a parentheses and a period. It is not a one-eyed-frowny emoticon.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney portray the only survivors of their team when the space shuttle is struck by debris. Director Alfonso Cuaron (who also wrote the script with his son, Jonas) keeps the story at 90 minutes. No twenty minutes of background needed, no complicated back stories, the story begins with them, and us, floating in space.
The film opens with a 13-minute shot with no cuts or edits. Unbelievable. And unlike some directors who have action scenes that are edited as if the camera were thrown down a staircase, Cuaron freely pulls the camera for some longshots so we can clearly see the amazing sequences before our eyes.
After watching the film, it should come as no surprise that of the four and a half years it took to make this movie, two and a half years of that was just putting together the filming techniques needed to make this movie possible.
In another amazing scene, the camera travels from outside Bullock’s helmet, then goes inside to see her point of view, again with no cuts. Not since Alfred Hitchcock put his camera through a window pane (without breaking it) has a scene been so impressive.
So go ahead, break down and see Gravity on the big screen. If after seeing it you disagree and think it was a waste of money, put your ticket stub in an envelope, mail it to me, and I promise I will say to myself “What is wrong with this person?”
At the end of the movie, Jenny (who appreciates a good movie, but is not usually as passionate about them as I am) said two things as she wiped away some tears: “That was AMAZING!”, and “I’ve got to go on a diet!”. See the movie, and you’ll understand why we both started Weight Watchers the next day. Really, we did.
Ironically, we went to see this in a theater, where, the last time we went, Jenny was lamenting about the high prices to the girl behind the Snack Bar (or, as the theater chains call it, Fort Knox), and the girl volunteered that she could get us free tickets next time. She remembered us when we went to see Gravity, and viola! FREE TICKETS!
See Dad, things have a way of working out!