If ever there was a movie that could convince you the moon landing was staged, it is Gravity. Science fiction in the most literal sense, Gravity stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts who are lost in space. Debris floating around at high speeds has messed up their mission and made returning to Earth a death defying chore. There are no aliens or exploding suns and for ninety insane minutes they are the only two actors whose faces you see on screen, but even with those actors being conventional movie stars this is honestly like no movie i have ever seen before.
It is the simplest plot, get yourself to safety, but for once in a big budget movie the special effects service the story. If you’re befuddled by how these computer whizzes make monsters look so life-like in other movies, you’ll be dumbfounded by Gravity’s depiction of weightlessness.
Similarly I remember being blown away by 2001: A Space Odyssey. Even though it came out 25 years before I saw it, the way it depicted people in space looked more genuine than the special effects of movies coming out in the nineties. Later I learned there was a school of conspiracy theorists who believed 2001’s director, Stanley Kubrick, filmed the phony Apollo 11 moon landing, which seems like a more rational explanation for 2001’s special effects than the idea that Kubrick could have been that much more cinematically innovative than his peers, without financial contributions from NASA.
By that line of thinking if any eerie space video comes on news outlets in the coming years Gravity’s director Alfonso Cuaron might be behind it. Sandra Bullock at one point does give her Sanra Bullocky teary eyed moment and he does in the final scene put her through one booby trap too many, but beyond that he crafted an entertainment that is as unique as you could hope. It shows you a new reality while making a case for 3-D still having some life left in it.