I'm not sure whether it was the IMAX theatre experience, or that Sandra Bullock is a favourite actress of mine. Perhaps it is that this movie really is truly gripping, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff, but I suspect it's a combination of all these.
While I love science fiction, I rarely enjoy a plot that is supposedly plausible yet defies belief. This movie could easily have fallen into a tragic attempt at a suspenseful movie, however my experience of it today was far from this.
The movie opens with some statistics about space. It very clinically tells us that "life in space is impossible", this simply sets the scene for the movie. Doctor Stone played by Bullock is repairing something on the Hubble telescope, in an orbit around the earth, everything is peaceful, the view of the earth is amazing, and to quote "The Castle" you could "feel the serenity" of it. Next disaster ensues, and we are flung into scenes from the trailer. Suddenly she is detached and spinning out of control.
A series of plausible yet gut-wrenching scenarios follow and I found myself on a roller coaster ride between relief one moment and terrifying concern for this poor woman who although completely brilliant has been emotionally stuck in the one place for years. Will she ever learn to let go? Will she learn to grab a hold of a new life or will she give up and die? These are options actively explored within the plot.
Bullock holds he majority of the screen time in this movie, and convincingly distracted me from plausible yet, unbelievable circumstances her character endures.
I found myself sitting there, wondering "is anyone else here as convinced as I am? Will Pete think I'm silly for actually being sucked in by this movie" ... Turns out, Pete, the kids, and I all felt the same hold-your-breath suspense, that I haven't come across in a movie for the longest of times.
The scenery is convincingly set in space, I cannot tell you much more without giving away crucial plot points, suffice to say the anti-gravity was well done, bar one point that made me wonder about what suspension she had on her hips (couldn't find it). The physics in space is different than on earth, and as Gravity is non-existent things that start spinning NEVER stop, unless something else interferes with it, and I found myself being reminded of this time and again throughout the movie.
Costumes were correct as much as I can tell, one space suit pretty much looks like another to me. Since Clooney never wears make up there's not much to say about his, Dr Stone wouldn't have been wearing any in space, and for the most part Sandra looked remarkably natural which is also very nice for a change.
Overall I was surprised by this movie, as I did not think it would be something about which I would have much good to say. I wouldn't go see it again any time soon however due to the slight motion sickness I found myself experiencing from some of the scenes. If you usually find yourself experiencing this sensation then I suggest waiting for the video. However, if you've got the spare cash and can get to IMAX where it is still playing, go...and let me know what you thought. :-)