October 4, 2013


An outstanding cinematic achievement and a gripping thriller, and a powerful feminist hero to boot! There have been movies with stranded astronauts, the perils of weightlessness, and the vacuum of space (2001 and Apollo 13 spring to mind) but none have dared, or attempted, to address the certain death of NASA astronauts and catastrophic disaster in orbit for a premise. One critic compared it to a Jack London story, and I agree- Alfonso CuarĂ³n could have directed an adaptation of To Build A Fire with the same emotional whallop, but he chose to also rewrite the moviemaking playbook while Sandra Bullock's rookie astronaut faces near-certain death.  I strongly recommend Gravity in the theater. 3D is not necessary, but I felt it worked well. My Grade: A (A-plus movies have less cliche'd dialog.) This movie is gonna win Best Picture and/or Best Director; Bullock will be nominated and could easily win; Gravity will win all the technical awards, and they should invent some new awards to give them too.

Theater Notes

Is this a plush modern hotel, or a movie theater? There used to be a movie theater at Chestnut Hill; I hadn't been there in 25 years when my wife took me on a date night to the new Showcase SuperLux. We sat in cushy leather seats with (basically) unlimited legroom while a waitress brought us drinks and popcorn. In the back of the theater the high-rollers sit in recliners. The sound and picture were excellent. The lights were left on very dimly; Emily complained that they interfered with the 3-D experience for her (I was wearing my Sox cap, so I was shielded from the overheads. PS: The Sox finished off Game 1 of the ALDS over the Rays 12-2 while we enjoyed our movie) The audience was mostly very quiet, the food noises were minimal, and the waitstaff barely blocked my view.