With Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, the voice of Ed Harris
Written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón
Walking off with many awards including 7 Oscars, this engrossing film is a survival drama in outer space, not exactly science-fiction – but the horror of the situation is all too probable.
Dr. Stone (Bullock), an engineer on her very first shuttle mission, is on a repair space walk (two other crew members also outside incl. Kowalski, played by Clooney). Space debris shreds their shuttle and sends her hurtling into the abyss. Saved by Kowalski, as the only survivors they try to make their way to a Russian station in time as their oxygen depletes, with many more perils and obstacles to overcome in the hope of making it back to earth beyond that.
The tension and breathless moments are calculated and perfectly timed to successfully keep the audience gasping and on the edge of their seat.
The technical execution is amazing and at times awe-inspiring, from the weightless effect and the disaster sequences, to the view of earth from outer space.
For all of its highs, there are some elements of the script that bugged me, like the over-exaggerated “whoop-whoop” space cowboy personality of the one disposable character, and forced personal plot exposition in the shape of questions and conversations between Stone and Kowalski one feels would've been asked before leading up to them dangling between earth and the universe – but that's just me.
The Blu-ray release contains both the regular and 3D versions, plus around 3 hours worth of engrossing extra features, including the intensive labour that went into making this a believable experience, from cast to crew.
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished