Thursday, October 2, 2014

Special effects keep this movie in Gravity

A Chris Pozzi Critique
              Every once in a while, there is a movie that comes out that blows people away.  This movie does that….literally.  Gravity presents a movie that is very different than any other movie anyone has ever seen.  This movie is about two astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) who go up into space and must learn how to live in zero gravity.  However, when their mission gets compromised by everything getting destroyed, the two must figure out how to survive in space with almost nothing to hold onto (physically and emotionally).  While the story line is very interesting, the most fascinating part of this movie is the special effects that go along with this movie.  Gravity truly has done something that has never been done before, bringing the audience to space.  This movie is made to bring you to a magical place, and these effects truly do help bring someone to space with the characters. 
            The way that this movie makes the special effects that it does is much different than many other movies.  In order to make the astronauts look like they are spinning or falling all over the place, the have cameras that are constantly spinning.  While it may seem random, the way that they spin the actor and the camera are both in distinct, certain ways to look like they are really drifting through space.  With that, the actors are also always moving.  They are attached to strings to make them look like they are floating, and it is the actor’s job to create the appearance that they are weightless, not just on strings.  This is demonstrated in the scene when Sandra’s character is in a tight-knit ball and she has to float her way through the tunnels of the station she is staying on.  She trained a ton in order to make it look like she was not on strings, which most definitely came off well.  In addition, they have a “light box” that gives certain affects to the cameras that cause a certain effect.  Some critics think that acting with the entire movie being special effects is a great thing.  However, some think that acting to special effects can hurt the film and how the actors interact: “Some critics have complained that such acting is often cold and mechanical, with none of the human subtleties that can be found in scenes where performers are actually interacting” (Special Effects 34).  Lastly, after they film these specific sequences, they plug the filmed scenes into the computer and use specific programs to make the special effects that looks like space, major explosions, etc.: “Computer-generated images can be stored for future use, when they can be digitally altered with new costumes, new backgrounds or foregrounds, or with a totally different atmosphere…” (Special Effects 33).
As all movies do, Gravity’s effects influence the movie’s ethos, pathos and logos.  The ethos that makes this movie credible is that the production team brought in real NASA astronaut consultants that worked on the film for upwards of three months in order to make sure the effects and feelings of being in space were accurate.  In an interview on set, two of these consultants said that the movie did a great job of bringing space to the big screen.  In addition, pathos in this movie is brought out because it “transports” you in the shoes of the characters.  Every emotion that these individuals face in their situation, the audience feels.  This is through Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s performance in conjunction with the effects that bring you in.  Lastly, logos is shown in this because all of the parts of the movie that occur are very real issues that an astronaut constantly faces.  These issues are directly inspired by actual events, and are brought to life to make them seem legitimate by the types of effects and cameras that are used throughout the film.  
I would rate this movie 5 pickles because it demonstrates special effects in a way nobody has before, while still being entertaining and successful.  

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