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Screening Room: “Gravity”

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What did Russ and Shawn think of Gravity?

1. GRAVITY

PG-13

Warner Bros.

RUSS

Question: So what were big screens created for? Answer: “Gravity.” An expertly crafted and brilliantly realized space adventure, “Gravity” is an edge-of-your-seat thriller, an immersive movie experience that stands as one of the most impressive examples of purely visual storytelling that you’re likely to see.

SHAWN
That's the problem. It's all show and no story. Director Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi survival drama is a technical and visual achievement. But for all of the the film's "how did they do that" effects it's sorely lacking emotion. The movie feels cold and distant most of the time failing to connect in a meaningful way.

RUSS

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in this epic about two Space Shuttle astronauts who are stranded when a disaster strikes that wipes out most of the Earth’s artificial satellites. Bullock’s convincing performance is almost as remarkable as the seamless and spectacular special effects.

SHAWN

Sandra Bullock does hold her own. Props to her for surviving the silly script. George Clooney is a waste delivering his lines like Frank Sinatra pretending to be Buzz Lightyear.

RUSS

While Bullock and Clooney pull their weightlessness, the real stars of “Gravity” are director Alfonso Cuarón, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and special effects supervisor Tim Webber. Thanks to their efforts, you will feel like you’re stuck in Bullock’s space boots, experiencing every harrowing moment of her ordeal.

SHAWN

"Gravity" feels more like a ride in Disney World's Tomorrowland than a movie. That's good and bad. The greatness exists with the stunning visuals. The movie's mortality is its lack of character development and clunky dialogue.

RUSS

I can't agree. While "Gravity” is essentially a single extended action scene, it has moments that touch on some spiritual and psychological issues, adding to the movie’s forward thrust. I rarely recommend 3-D, but in the case of “Gravity,” it’s definitely worth the up-charge, especially in IMAX.  It’s a gorgeous looking white-knuckle action flick that’s as good as eye candy gets.

SHAWN

In a year with so many important and socially powerful films it's silly to believe that "Gravity" will win Best Picture. But in terms of spectacle and entertainment value the movie is a must see.

RUSS: 5 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week:

-“Runner Runner” is a suspense drama starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck that was hidden from the critics…always a bad sign.

-“Good Ol’ Freda” is an award-winning documentary about Freda Kelly, the longtime secretary for The Beatles.

-Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton and Paul Giamatti star in “Parkland,” a drama about the chaos that occurred on the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

-“Haute Cuisine” is a French comedy based on the experiences of the Presidential chef.

-"Metallica Through the Never" is a hybrid concert/narrative film featuring the iconic heavy metal band.

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