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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2014

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 "Gravity" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-february-2014-gravity

Synopsis

Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer and flight specialist on her first shuttle mission.  The sotry opens with her and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney) in the middle of a spacewalk repairing a satellite.  They are suddenly alerted that a Russian satellite has exploded in orbit, hurdling a trail of debris right at them.  With no time to react, they can only watch as the shuttle is destroyed.  The debris also takes out the rest of the crew wnd numerous communications satellites so Bullock and Clooney are left alone in spece with very limited oxygen supplies.  That's when the real fun starts. 

Specifications

  • Warner Brothers
  • 2013, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 31 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS HD Master
  • Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and Ed Harris
  • Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

This is an amazing work of cinematic art that had me on the edge of my seat throughout.  There were some points where I questioned the physics of space and the efficacy if the characters' abilities to move about, but that did not detract from the film in any meaningful way.  I was entertained and plugged in the entire film and the acing was top notch just as much as the special effects.  I predict Bullock will get Best Actress this year but the Best Picture award will probably go to "12 Years a Slave".  Be that as it may, "Gravity" gets my highest recommendation for the entertainment and as demonstration material for your system. 

Technical

The picture quality on disc is first-rate.  I got the 2D Blu-ray to review and the detail was amazing.  This is a movie that could have been plagued with black crush but I didn't see any signs that would have me beleive I wasn't getting all I could get from the picture.  Some of the digital effects were not entirely convincing, but I still give this one 5 stars.  

The audio is equally impressive.  Since I've never been on a spacewalk, I can't comment about the accuracy of the various sounds at play (some deep bass impulses sounded more than a little trumped up), but the entertainment factor was high.  The effects were enveloping and were seemingly true to each environment.  Meanwhile, the music was pulse-poundung, clean and open.  

Extras

This is a two-disc set with the Blu-ray, a DVD and a Digital HD Ultraviolet code.  The extensive on-disc extras are some of the best I've see - Gravity: Mission Control (behind the scenes documentary), Shot Breakdowns, Aningaaq: A Short Film by Jonás Cuarón and Collision Point: The Race to Clean Up Space.