Movie reviews: Gravity and About Time

ABOUT TIMEWell, the weather is starting to turn all summery so of course the good movies start coming out 😉 Part of it is the ramp up to Oscar season and part is I guess the weather turning more movie friendly for our American cousins. A slew of great films are coming our way in the coming months (Thor 2! Hunger Games 2! Some others that aren’t sequels to anything!) and some are already here. Today I will review two of the current offerings – one which is definitely baiting Oscar and one which isn’t, but is well worth a watch anyway.

Gravity: If you have been hiding under a rock for the past month or so then you may not know anything about Gravity. And to be honest, that is not a bad way to go into this film. Mind you, there isn’t too much to know. The plot? Some astronauts tending a space station are set adrift in space when some space debris hurtles through the air at them. And what happens next? Well, that is why you see the movie.

Obviously if you are going to be stuck in space with anyone, then George Clooney and Sandra Bullock would be fairly well up the list. Both are on top form here – and Bullock especially gets to show she is more than just a one trick Oscar pony. I would argue her performance here is far more deserving than The Blind Side. It will be hard for viewers to imagine her Miss Congeniality days which watching this flick.

Mind you, if you are anything like me, you won’t be thinking much beyond what is unfolding in front of you (and around you if watching in 3D which is a MUST if you can). This is pure, intense, full on, no holes barred film making of a type I have never really seen before. I came out of it kind of exhausted – like it had been me lost in space for 90 minutes. And that is what you want at the end of a film really – to feel like you have been through something. And you really do here.

For those worried about there not possibly being anything that can happen with a plot like this – fear not, it never gets dull and keeps you entertained throughout. Not for the faint of heart for sure – but thoroughly rewarding for those willing to take the risk. And if you can do it in IMAX then definitely do. 5 solid M&Ms for this one.

About Time: for something a little less full on, Richard Curtis – he of Four Weddings, Love Actually and Notting Hill fame – has a new film out next week – About Time. It tells the story of a young man (played by Domhnall Gleeson – you might recognise him as one of the Weasley clan in Harry Potter) who finds out that the men in his family have the ability to travel in time. They can only go to places they have been before, and can only go back. So, they ‘can’t kill Hitler or anything’. As a result, their use of their abilities tends to be a little more self-absorbed, but it is used to amusing and heart warming effect here.

This film has everything a Richard Curtis film has – a fumbling English lead, a stunning American love interest (the always reliable Rachel McAdams), beautiful and quintessentially English settlings (Cornwall and London) and a colourful array of supporting characters. The show is stolen here by Bill Nighy as Gleeson’s Dad – playing pretty much the same awkwardly loveable character he plays all the time – but to devastating effect.

The movie, like Gravity, will (unless you have a heart of stone) ensure you walk out of the cinema with something in your eye and with a slightly different perspective on things, for a wee while at least. It isn’t a straight down the line rom-com – the romantic elements are pretty much done and settled by the half way mark. It is more to do with family – in all its guises – and how we maximise the time we have with the ones we love (and the ones we don’t). Not too sugary but with sufficient cheese to make you happily content, I give this a multi-coloured 4 M&M rating.

Get thee to the cinema (after the beach maybe…)!

 

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