Lots to get through this week, including the Robert De Niro/Zac Efron comedy Dirty Grandpa, Oscar-nominated financial comedy The Big Short, Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton in Our Brand Is Crisis, Feng Xiaogang in mainland gangster drama Mr. Six and Japanese musical shenanigans in La La La At Rock Bottom.
This week on Radio 3’s Morning Brew, I talk to Phil about Pierre Coffin’s new animated prequel, Minions, as well as the Sam Raimi-produced remake of the Steven Spielberg-produced horror flick, Poltergeist. I also give Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The Young And Prodigious T.S. Spivet a brief mention.
Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical specialist on her maiden space flight when disaster strikes and threatens not just her own mission but the lives of all her crew. She must rely on the experienced astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) if she is to stand any chance of survival.
By way of narrative, Gravity gives us very little beyond this setup. Once disaster strikes, early in the film, we are simply along for the ride. It is quite literally a breathtaking experience.
This film is a technical marvel; from the truly immersive CGI, to the brilliant sound editing, liberated and fluid camera work and precise score Gravity is testament to director Alfonso Cuarón’s unique cinematic sensibility.
Gravity completes its story in a taunt and sinewy 91 minutes. The fact this film manages to evoke the vastness of space and the fragility of human life within it in such a short span of time is testament to how well constructed and relentlessly edited this work is. There is nothing extraneous or unnecessary in the crafting of this film and everything works to create a complete cinematic experience. One of the best films of its kind ever made.
Overlong but consistently funny, Paul Feig follows up the hugely successful Bridesmaids with another female-centric comedy, this time turning Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy into action heroines. The plot is cliched, rambling and largely inconsequential, but the film gets by on strong chemistry between the two leads and the fact that Sandra Bullock, who is now just shy of 50 years old, remains so gosh-darned adorable.