I just watched this on my computer. It was, in fact, my first ever downloaded movie from the Internet. I guess this is now the wave of the future, what with Blockbuster being out of business, though I will still miss going to the video store and browsing through thousands of movie selections, often not having a clue in advance as to what movie I was going to rent.
Anyway, on to the movie. Visually, it’s great, and probably its best feature by far. The effects are so good you don’t even notice they’re effects, it looks like they actually shot this movie in real outer space.
As for the rest? The best I can say is the story is competent. For those who don’t know, it’s about two people standed in space after debris from several exploded satellites has taken out their space shuttle (didn’t the filmmakers know the Shuttle is now retired?). They are literally marooned with just their space suits for protection. The question then is: can they get to a nearby space station (in this case, Chinese) in order to find a capsule that can take them safely back to Earth?
The plot makes some technical errors, but you can mostly ignore those and just enjoy the drama and the great visuals. There’s no need to spoil the plot, since there isn’t much of one. Either they get back to Earth or they don’t. Sandra Bullock does, I think, a pretty decent job, although she really doesn’t come across as a real astronaut but more like a Damsel in Distress set in space. Although she’s competent enough when she has to be, she’s much too emotional most of the time to look like someone who’s gone through the rigorous training and psychological screening given to real astronauts. And Clooney isn’t really acting at all, he’s just playing himself (wise cracking, obviously thinks he’s God’s gift to all women, etc.) only he’s doing it in a space suit.
This has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Will it win? Should it win? On the first, I doubt it, since space/Sci-Fi movies almost never win Best Picture. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 didn’t (and it’s much better than this film) nor did any of the Star Wars flicks. Should it win? Probably not. The amazingly lifelike visuals (again, they really look like they’re in space, but then, so did most of 2001 and that was filmed in 1968) simply can’t make up for a pedestrian plot.