There are countless films and television shows that have taken place in outer space. Often, many of these shows are very similar to each other and lots of them, not all of them, are cheap and awful.
Most science fiction shows take place in outer space at one point or another. As a general rule, I am not a big fan of the science fiction genre. There are certain aspects of science fiction that I love, but for the most part, I cringe when I first hear mention of a science fiction film.
What don’t I like about most science fiction movies? There is usually one aspect of the film that is way too unrealistic. The unrealism spreads like a cancer and attacks the credibility of the rest of the movie. This causes me to lose interest because what I am seeing on screen is too bogus for me to attempt to believe my own eyes. Things are hard to enjoy when they seem completely fake.
Over the years, special effects have been the root cause for me not liking science fiction movies. At first special effects were so cheap that they would make everything look phony. Eventually technology got better and better until finally, filmmakers could make almost anything that was super outrageous look unquestionably real.
So, what changed? Movie makers felt that they had to outdo one another. Special effects became so real that they made everything look like a counterfeit copy of reality. If you know that a hundred dollar bill is a counterfeit, than it is no good. But, if you can’t tell that the hundred dollar bill is a “fugazi”, than you might be able to pass it off as legitimate currency.
Occasionally a science fiction film will boast legitimate special effects and those are the ones that I seek out. It’s best if I stay away from the rest of the “fugazi’s” because they only cause disappointment.
I was a little unsure of Gravity before going to see it because for a change, the trailer did not give away too much. The trailer only showed legitimate special effects.
Gravity is about two astronauts who must fight for their own survival after an unfortunate accident causes them to be stranded in outer space a long way from their ship.
The trailer tells us that Bullock and Clooney are in for a wild ride on the gravity train. What the trailer does not tell us is that the film is an insane trip.
The trailer only showed legitimate special effects, because there is no other kind of special effects in Gravity. The film has the best special effects that I have ever seen in a movie. It is the most realistic that outer space has ever looked on a screen. Both of those facts are a big deal. On top of that, the extreme intensity and suspense will blow your mind and the phenomenal performance by Bullock makes Gravity an extraordinary journey that doesn’t stop until the credits roll.
Gravity is a must-see. It’s a top notch science fiction movie (because of the outer space aspect) that has Oscar written all over it. It should be nominated for an Academy Award in almost every category and it could win most of them. It is easily one of the best movies of 2013.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
The Heat (2013)
The Heat is about a hard-working, by-the-book, know-it-all FBI special agent (Sandra Bullock) who is reluctantly partnered with a foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, Boston police officer (Melissa McCarthy) with a knack for breaking the rules. The completely mismatched pair work together to try to stop drug-runners in the Boston area.
The movie was written by Katie Dippold and directed by Paul Feig.
This movie showed shades of Miss Congeniality (2000) where Bullock played a very similar type of FBI agent. The main difference is that The Heat is way raunchier, obscene humor, mainly due to McCarthy’s character.
The pairing of Bullock and McCarthy is what really made this film work. Their personalities were so different from each other that they absolutely clashed. This resulted in roaring laughter. But, what really made the film was when McCarthy’s winning personality began to rub off on Bullock. Bullock has forever been known to take on the classier, more wholesome roles. Her comedies usually go as far as PG-13 rated humor. Seeing her in an R-rated comedy just made her part even more hysterical.
I will admit that I have only seen Melissa McCarthy in a few movies. She was pretty funny in the parts that I have seen her play. She reminds me of a female more vulgar version of Chris Farley. She is a bigger person like Farley and she always brings a ton of energy to her characters like he did. For a bigger guy, it was always surprising to me how Chris Farley was always all over the place bouncing around with tons of vigor. McCarthy is the same way. Throw comedy into the mix and it’s inevitable that you are bound to laugh uncontrollably. Her character in The Heat was no exception.
This is the best Melissa McCarthy movie that I have seen and perhaps Sandra Bullock’s funniest movie yet. I had expected basically another Miss Congeniality, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much funnier this movie was than that one.
In this world of endless number of sequels and remakes, it is no surprise to me that a sequel to this film is already in the works. Hollywood knows a goldmine when it sees one. They are cashing in while the getting is good. This is one of those instances where I don’t mind. Bring on a sequel. This movie was good for tons of laughs. The next one is bound to be almost as good.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
The Heat (2013) (click on the title for my full review)
Another comedy for Sandra Bullock. This movie looks suspiciously similar to Miss Congeniality (2000). In fact, it could just be part 3 without the oficial title. Everything about The Heat looks similar to Miss Congeniality. We have seen this movie before, twice. I’m sure it will still have its moments of humor, but I think I’ll wait for the DVD.
The movie is directed by Paul Feig and is set to release on 6/28/13.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a tender, heartfelt drama about a boy (Thomas Horn) who tries to keep the memory of his father (Tom Hanks) alive for as long as possible. The boy is completely devastated after his father dies inside of the World Trade Center during the attacks on September 11th, 2001. He finds a key to an unknown lock that belonged to his father and he is prepared to search all of New York City to find out exactly what the key will unlock.
The pace of the film was pretty slow and it allowed for the development of the main characters. It did not have to rely on special effects or action, just actors acting and telling a story.
Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock both give charming performances in the film, as they usually do. But, their roles were miniscule in comparison to the breakout performance of 14-year-old Thomas Horn. Horn came out of nowhere. He did an excellent job of acting in his first movie ever. The young man was able to carry the majority of the film on his back. Thomas Horn reminded me a little bit of Haley Joel Osment. It will be interesting to see what Horn does next.
Max Von Sydow did a great job with his supporting character.
My only complaints about the movie are that it was maybe a little too slow during some parts and it was a little bit predictable. It would have been more beneficial to the film if Hanks and Bullock had a little bit more face time.
It is hard to get excited to watch a movie that has anything to do with the attacks on the WorldTradeCenter on 9/11/2001. That is the reason why I did not rush out and catch this movie in the theatre when it was out in 2011. I’m glad that I did take the time to finally watch it because it did turn out to be a pretty touching story.
I rate this movie a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.