“Space is the place, in your face” – Sun Ra
Let’s face facts – it’s been a very dismal summer for movies, which partially explains my absence from blogging. I’d like to say that I was going through my Binx Bolling phase or that I was in a state of dissociative fugue. Truth is, I was seriously considering giving up the ghost. But Gravity has brought me back down to cyber space and happy to report that the only thing I can hold against this amazing movie is that initially Alfonso Cuaron had wanted to cast bumptious Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr.
Though at first I was up in the air about Sandra Bullock, considering her most dramatic oscar driven role was The Blind Side (which I will never fucking see), but I haven’t been so intensely engaged in the plight of a woman astronaut since Lisa Nowak drove 900 miles like a bat out of hell in diapers. Of course there was never a doubt George Clooney wouldn’t be cool.
The reason why I can’t rate this 100% is because 2001: A Space Odyssey is still the ultimate space sci-fi. Especially when dealing with the whole rebirth theme, where at times in Gravity was more suffocating than Sandra’s lack of oxygen – as Kubrick dealt more abstractly and cosmically. I do admit Sandra looked fit in her undies all curled up in a fetal position and when she was crawling out of the water to dry land like bipedal fish.
But nothing compares to the heavy handed CGI frog, except maybe Malick’s dinos, I suppose both representing the symmetry of human struggle for life. Tree of Life not so coincidently Emmanuel Lubezki also shot, but this time around, along with visual effects supervisor Tim Webber, they were able to deliver something so innovative it actually convinced me 3D IMAX is not a total sham after all. Even that cunt, Rex Reed, had something nice to say for a change.