Friday, November 1, 2013


Alfonso Cuaron did one hell of a job with this movie. Set almost entirely in the region of space just above earth's atmosphere, Gravity is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat kind of movie with an intensity that holds the audience from start to finish. Some might call this movie a "thriller", and I almost agree... but not quite. It isn't an action adventure, nor is it a drama. It's actually really hard to place. Any review or description other than this one will call it a drama thriller, but I can't really agree to either of those. 
Onto the filming: Gravity is filmed in such a unique way that almost flawlessly seems to put the audience in space with the characters. Each and every shot of it is taken sparingly, so as to increase the effect of each one. It takes a good observation to notice, but the entire first scene, amounting to about the first 10 to 15 minutes of the movie, is filmed in entirely one shot, yet it so wonderfully captures the whole setting of the first scene with the shuttle. The entire one shot is filmed so that the audience gets the sense of weightlessness by having the camera almost "drift" into the view of things, and feel like they are in space themselves, which I certainly felt throughout most of the movie. Nearly the entire film is done like this, using few shots where needed to achieve the desired effect, and more shots where needed to contribute to the feeling of panic that takes up a big part of the movie. So overall, amazing job with the camerawork. 
Now for the actors: Sandra Bullock does a superb job. I honestly don't really know how she could have done much better. She's one of those rare actresses who can give more emotion through their eyes and face than through their words. Next is George Clooney. I don't think I've ever seen him in a role as good as this one, yet again I haven't seen very many of his roles at all. He is an extremely likable astronaut who serves as the funny, smart guy on the mission. He puts in the perfect blend of humor, concern, and smarts to make the role shine. He also proves to be an extremely respectable character through his selflessness, a trait that he demonstrates about halfway through the movie in a way that I am afraid to mention because it might spoil it for those of you who have yet to see this amazing movie. 
Special effects: there is not a single special effect in this movie that is not entirely believable. For me at least. The gravity of space, which is nonexistent, is very well demonstrated in intense nerve-wrecking scenes in which the laws of physics are portrayed brilliantly. 
Additional details: the movie's message is brilliant. I interpreted it as this: life is a ride. You need to push your limits, because you can do a lot more than you think you are capable of. You need to plant two feet on the ground and live to the fullest. 
Im sure there are numerous other themes in it, but that was the one I interpreted the strongest. 
I also loved how they gave earth kind of a personality. For example, when the two survivors are making their way to a nearby space station, they engage in a discussion of back-at-earth related topics. Through these come happy and sad things that are mentioned. Whenever something joyous is brought up, the audience notices the greener side of earth and the luscious life it holds. When the topic of death comes into it, the characters pass over the dry, dead-looking desserts of earth. This I found as an extremely interesting way of showing emotions through the environment. 
Overall, Gravity is an excellent movie that gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. If you haven't seen it, you definitely should. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a teen comedy. The only things keeping it from being a children's comedy are the occasional but minor sex references and curse words. But as a comedy, it's done very well. The actor who plays Ferris, Matthew Broderick, has the role down completely, fitting into his character with ease (or at least he makes it look like he does), and giving the lines as though they were the most natural thing in the world. It's like this for most of the characters, who make the film funny through their actions and dialogue instead of relying on bang and buck to pull the audience towards laughter, something that modern day comedies have way too much of. Aside from the great actors, the movie itself is very well organized, keeping the audience just where it wants them. The movie's combination of camera-work, sound, and facial expressions are more than enough to humor just about anyone, and I found myself bursting out laughing so many times just because an actor pulled a certain face when a certain song/piece was playing (then again, I laugh at almost anything).
Aside from a great take on the film, the movie also has its lessons to give. One such lesson is the importance of enjoying life (while still focusing on what's important). The main character, Ferris, is one who seeks out nothing but what there is to enjoy, a mistake that many adolescents make these days, as they ignore or turn away from what matters in where their lives will lead. The other main character, Ferris' friend Cameron Frye (played by Alan Ruck), lives on the opposite end of the spectrum, where he gets almost no enjoyment out of life due to his parents and their abuse towards each other as well as him. This has caused him to also turn away from any forms of enjoyment as he convinces himself that he doesn't deserve any of it, or that enjoyment simply does not exist for him. His internal struggle may relate to other adolescents who feel that their life is being pushed entirely against them, ruining all their chances or happiness or success. It is for this reason that the two friends, Ferris and Cameron, make such an interesting, connectable, and entertaining pair: their near opposite personalities. But despite this, they both find that they need one another... or at least Cameron needs Ferris, because he's the one who changes the most by the end of the movie as Ferris hardly changes at all. Ferris is constantly having fun, playing around, and getting the most out of life while Cameron slumps, mopes, and remains in a constant state of depression. Ferris' charismatic and daring personality is what eventually encourages Cameron to take a stand in his own life and fight for his personal needs of happiness (unfortunately the movie ends before you get to see him act on this).
Overall, the movie is a funny, highly entertaining one to watch, and is highly recommended by me and so many others (I learned of this film through so many positive and delightful reviews I found on various movie review websites) for its hilarity and inner messages. Well done, John Hughes.

Note: the plot was not given away in this review because I don't want to spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it.