“Gravity”: A Movie Review

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Hello everyone,

So I just came back from an advanced screening of Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Before I knew what this movie was about, I thought that this was going to be some sort of romantic comedy, simply because of the cast. Show how quick I am to judge.

So what is Gravity?

Gravity focuses on Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan Stone, who is a medical engineer sent to space for the first time. She is accompanied by two other astronauts, one of which is George Clooney’s character: Matt Kowalsky. As she’s fixing something during a spacewalk, they get notice that Russians crashed a satellite, leading to a chain reaction of other satellites and structures to be destroyed from the debris. They had to get out of there. Quick.

Of course, not everything goes according to plan. We see Dr. Stone left adrift in the vast emptiness that is space. She starts to panic, but soon enough, Matt comes to her rescue and tethers her to him. Together, they try to return to their space vessel. This is only one of the first problems to come their way as they desperately try to find a way for them to return to earth.

I watched the whole thing feeling like I was going to have a heart attack at every scene. It was very stressful, but that’s not to say it was at all bad. If I had to name a movie you had to watch in 3D, this would most likely be it. Zero gravity and 3D works amazingly well together.

Asides from visuals and acting, the story itself made you ponder on how small you are. You are so insignificant, especially when compared to the huge unknown void that is space. What is the point?  We see Sandra Bullock’s character going through the same process, and well, I guess you’ll have to see how it ends for her.

Gravity comes out October 4th! If you’re okay with watching something pretty heavy, go watch it. Be prepared though! It’s a beautiful movie, with suspense around every corner.

– Karen

“Iron Man 3”: A Movie Review

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My friend and I managed to get tickets to watch Iron Man 3 one day before it is supposed to come out, so here is my review (spoilers free of course).

The movie takes us back into Tony Stark’s past– back to 1999 to be exact. We once again see Tony in his partying days, where he basically pisses off everyone he meets by being an arrogant, stuck up billionaire. Here, we meet Aldrich Killian, who tries to get Stark’s attention as he has an idea he wants Stark to help fund. Of course, Stark brushes him off, and in anger, he decides to seek revenge, working with a mysterious character who calls himself The Mandarin. I must say, I love Pepper more than ever in this film.

That was an overly simplified version of the movie, but I will say that it was very funny. There were lots of laughs throughout the film and I enjoyed it. One thing I really liked was how they humanized Tony Stark. Sure, he is Iron Man, but following his encounters with aliens back in the Avengers, and the knowledge that there was so much more out there, we now see Tony getting panic attacks because of his experiences. Really, this is to be expected for anyone who has to go through such a stressful experience, but we usually forget that superheroes can be affected by stuff like this. It really helps us relate, even if just a little, to these big guys. So huge props to whoever made that part of the story.

I wonder what will happen with Robert Downey Jr’s contract, as it expires after this movie, but I am sure they will work something out with him for the Avengers 2. This movie also leaves a little to be questioned… and I will leave it at that since I do not want to spoil anything.

Iron Man 3 comes out tomorrow, and I would recommend seeing it for some light superhero action, coupled with some great laughs! Plus, Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow are beautiful people. Stan Lee’s cameo was funny as well!

And yes, stay after the credits for a little Science Bros action (Tumblr reference, sorry!).

-Karen

Movie reviews: week of February 20th

Hey guys!

I went to the cinemas with my friends on Tuesday and we ended up watching three movies! Here is my two cents on them!

1) A Dangerous Method

I was not really prepared for this film, mostly because I did not read up on it before going to the theaters. However, after settling down and getting into the movie, I found it really interesting. I am taking psychology in university right now, but I was watching the movie with two friends who wanted to major in psychology and cognitive systems respectively. So I feel like this movie should have been pretty well appreciated by us!

A Dangerous Method explores two great figures of psychology: Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Jung can be seen to be the more central character in the movie. He starts off tending to Sabina Spielrein’s (another great psychology figure– the first female psychoanalyst) problems, as she appears in the beginning of the film to seem psychotic and very troubled. It is revealed to the audience that she was frequently beaten by her father in the past. However, Jung does his job and Frauline Spielrein is well on her way to recovering. At the same time, he takes her under his wing, helping her pursue a career as a psychologist. Along the way, Jung has a relationship with her, meaning he was, in modern day terms, cheating on his wife. It becomes clear that Jung is not the perfect psychiatrist the audience was originally introduced to.

Freud, meanwhile, had great aspirations for Jung to take his place in the world of psychoanalysis after his death, but came to realize the fact that Jung had other ideas about psychology. Their conflicting ideas causes a bitter row between the two. The rest of the movie follows on this idea and depicts how the world of psychology is affected by this conflict.

I personally really liked the film, but that may be because I had low expectations for it.

2) The Secret World of Arrietty

The second film we watched was The Secret World of Arrietty. Unlike the first movie, I had really high hopes for this film because it was by Studio Ghibli, which I loved! I think that is why I did not think it to be as amazing as my friends thought. Nonetheless, it was still a good movie.

The audience is introduced to Arrietty and her family, who are all Borrowers. Borrowers borrow from things from humans that they would not miss (e.g a piece of tissue paper, a cube of sugar) for their survival. I guess it is a lot like stealing, except they call it borrowing throughout the whole film (it is, after all, a children’s movie). Arrietty and her type are also very small. Think Thumbelina. Borrowers must carry out their borrowing in stealthy operations, making sure they are not seen by humans. However, Arrietty gets spotted by Shawn, a sick boy who moved to the countryside to rest and relax before getting his heart operation. This means that her family must move to a new home, as is the custom for all borrowers when they are spotted or else bad things tend to happen to them.

This animated film had beautiful scenes, many of which showed how small Arrietty’s world is: She was the same size as crickets, a basil leaf could last them for a month, and many other examples. Overall, it was a beautiful movie about friendship, with plenty of colourful scenes! It was also a sweet story, but not overly sweet!

3) The Artist

This was the movie I really wanted to watch. For those of you who read my blog, I have posted earlier that I was contemplating going to the cinemas alone so I can watch it since I doubted anyone would want to watch it with me. Surprisingly, I did manage to drag my two friends into watching it as well! They both liked it, so that is a relief!

A silent film. Black and white. Set in the late 1920s. These are the basic ingredients one must first be acquainted with before explaining this movie. I wanted to watch it because I wondered who would dare make a black and white silent movie in the middle of our modern age! After watching The Artist take home awards at the Golden Globes, then hearing about its’ ten Oscar nominations, my curiosity only grew. Keep in mind that I love old films, so I did not mind the black and white bit at all. The silent part, however, was going to be new for me.

This movie begins by introducing us to George Valentin: a famous actor, well loved by everyone for his silent films as well as his charming personality. In comes Peppy Miller, an adoring fan of his who gets pushed in the spotlight after an accidental encounter with Valentin. With a boost of confidence after showing up in the papers, Peppy decides to pursue an acting career. Coincidentally, Peppy’s first time acting was in a new film starring George Valentin! The two hit it off and Valentin finds himself messing up a scene over and over again due to his enchantment with Peppy.

Time passes and Al Zimmer, a studio boss, proposes the idea of talkies (films where actors talk) to Valentin. Frustrated and angry, Valentin stubbornly sticks to silent films and goes off on his own to produce such films. As time passes, the audience realizes that Valentin writes cheque after cheque to fund his movie and suddenly, the Great Depression strikes. Valentin’s movie gets released and barely anyone watches it. Peppy Miller’s movie, on the other hand, which was released on the same day, had lines of people queuing to get in. Valentin becomes a broken, financially troubled man. Of course, him and Peppy gets reunited along the way…and well, I guess I will leave the rest to you so I do not spoil anything.

One of the main characters in the film was George Valentin’s dog. I thought this was a great way to convey information to the audience. Dogs are mostly understood through their actions anyway, so it made certain scenes easier to understand due to Valentin’s canine companion. Out of the three movies I watched I would recommend this one the most. It was interesting to see such a classic storyline made in our present time, as well as the producer taking a risk to make a silent film.
Out of the three movies I watched, my order from my favourite to least favourite would be:

The Artist > A Dangerous Method > The Secret World of Arrietty

The Secret World of Arrietty is only the third because I had very high expectations for it. On the other hand, A Dangerous Method I had no clue as to what it was even going to be about, so I was pleasantly surprised. Hope this little review convinces some of you to watch at least one of these movies! Let me know what you think!

-Karen