Posts Tagged ‘Jonás Cuarón’

Astronauts in peril: ‘Gravity’ soars through danger above the Earth

October 8, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
Oct. 8, 2013

As the new feature film Gravity opens —

Actually, before I complete that sentence, a caveat. I walked into the screening about 10 minutes after the scheduled start. I’m accustomed to the lights first going down 10 minutes after the ostensible start time, which is followed by one or two theater promotions and at least three movie trailers. Instead, when I entered the theater on Saturday night, Gravity had already begun. Based on the expository dialogue that I observed, I’m pretty sure I missed no more than five minutes of the film. But in fact, this write-up will be based upon a partial viewing.

As the new feature film Gravity opens, medical engineer Ryan Stone is adding a device to the Hubble Space Telescope. Matt Kowalski, commander of the space shuttle Explorer, observes. This is Kowalski’s last flight, and he restlessly circles the scientific satellite with his jetpack, tracking how much time remains until he breaks a record for space walks.

The equipment Stone is installing malfunctions. But moments later, the Explorer and its crew learn that they have much more serious issues. An incident involving a Russian satellite is spreading a vast array of deadly, fast-moving debris. NASA mission control orders the Explorer to break orbit immediately.

Seconds afterward, a zooming piece of wreckage knocks Stone loose from the space shuttle. She flies into the dark void, tumbling wildly. Kowalski maneuvers to intercept her.

What follows — the bulk of this intense 90-minute movie — is the story of the pair’s struggle to survive the swarms of debris that are wreaking havoc above the Earth. They must also contend with dwindling oxygen and fuel supplies as well as the naïveté and negativity of Stone, who is on her first trip into space.

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