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Tuesday
Feb182014

Gravity - Blu-ray Review #72

4.9 Stars (out of 5) - Rated PG-13

Synopsis

Dr. Ryan Stone is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski in command. But on a seemingly routine mission, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the darkness. (Buy Now $22.99)

Starring:

Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris

Director:

Alfonso Cuarón

Blu-ray Release Date:

February 25, 2014

Subtitles:

English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Rating

Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 4.9 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison 

  • Subwoofer – 4.5 Stars
  • Dialog – 5.0 Stars
  • Surround Effects – 5.0 Stars
  • Dynamic Range – 5.0 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1,

Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Some movies would say, in space no one can hear you scream. However, in this movie you understand your fear can be easily heard and understood. In large sweeping terms, Gravity has a minimalistic sound design that is emotionally driven. Surround effects include, communications from Houston, creaking and moans from crumbling space stations, communications from other astronauts, upset computers, and eerie silence of space. The low end does not have many opportunities to show off but, vibrations from suit touching anything, ambiance sounds, and the minimal thumping bass of the soundtrack bring ample bass to the party. It’s not enough to vibrate the couch, but its enough to make you feel the director’s vision. Gravity is difficult to judge in words, one major factor is you notice what’s missing. There is no swelling musical score or sounds of explosions. The effects seam scientifically real and remain unsettling.

Video  4.9 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

  • Color Accuracy  - 5.0 Stars
  • Shadow detail – 5.0 Stars
  • Clarity – 4.8 Stars
  • Skin tones – 5.0 Stars
  • Compression – 5.0 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1.

Gravity does not have much of a color pallet, but that’s not a negative trait. Most of film is shown in tones of black and white. The only time you really notice color is when you see skin and when Earth is in the background. By the way, Earth looks beautiful from space. It’s looks like a huge marble filled with a blue water, white clouds, and brown land formations. City lights seen on the dark side of the world looks so distant it somehow brings a sense of aloneness to the emotional plot of the film. If you want to test your black levels and contrast this is the Blu-ray you should use. Space is empty and black without signs of compression or shadow issues. The pristine white space suits glowing from the light of the sun really help illustrate the stark differences between light and dark in this movie. Clarity is great and the sharpness is really noticeable when seeing menacing high speed flying debris, and distant stars twinkle in the background.

Bonus Features 4.8 Stars (out of 5)

  • Gravity: Mission Control (HD, 107 minutes): A long behind-the-scenes split up into 9 segments which include:
  • It Began with a Story (16:21)
  • Initial Challenges: Long Shots and Zero G (10:12)
  • Previsualizing Gravity (11:38)
  • The Hues of Space (10:41)
  • Physical Weightlessness (7:48)
  • Space Tech (13:02)
  • Sandra and George: A Pair in Space (9:37)
  • Final Animation (15:01)
  • Complete Silence (12:13)
  • Shot Breakdowns (HD, 37 minutes): Has 5 different breakdowns of the following:  
  • Behind the Visor (6:50)
  • Fire in the International Space Station (5:42)
  • Dr. Stone's Rebirth (7:54)
  • The Sound of Action in Space (7:55)
  • Splashdown (8:24)
  • Aningaaq: A Short Film by Jonás Cuarón (HD, 10 minutes): Gravity co-writer Jonás Cuarón's created this short film that really has nothing to do with the movie.
  • Collision Point: The Race to Clean Up Space (HD, 22 minutes): Actor Ed Harris narrates this documentary about the very real looming crisis that inspired the film's centerpiece disaster.

Movie – 5.0 Stars (out of 5)

Review 

Gravity is an astronaut film that isn’t really about space exploration. It’s about being isolated and confounded by life changing events alone and without confidence. It’s a weird emotion to capture on film, but Gravity does an outstanding job of doing it. I guess when you are alone in space with true cold and darkness the only thing left is the human spirit. This movie stars two Oscar worthy actors, but the true star of the movie is the director. There are scenes that shouldn’t be so tense, but are because the director was able to squeeze out every ounce of emotion on the screen. You could even watch the film at a technical level and marvel at how the film was made, and how some scenes last several minutes without cutting. If you have an emotional connection with Gravity it easily becomes more than a film and becomes a work of art.

 

 

Download Gravity Review

Reader Comments (2)

Awesome movie!!
Regarding the thing you guys comment on at 18:50, I definitely heard it in the background.

March 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMovieBuff

This is a BIG SCREEN movie and I wished I had seen it at a cinema in 3D-ed, IMAX-ed and ATMOS-ised.

It gave me screen envy....for the first time I wished that I did have a REALLY BIG screen. Even Life of Pi never made wish for something bigger - I am inclined to say it was over-hyped but I still got a lot out of it watching it at home but I have seen better HD space stuff.

Gravity for me, went from Great to Good and I bought the Blu-ray.

For one thing I discovered Arvo Part as a composer ( the piano bit is called Spiegel im Spiegel and he has some other wonderful stuff) strangely this piece runs with the promos but not in the soundtrack published on MOG but you would recognise it. If you like the piece also have a look at the soundtracks from Beasts of The Southern Wild ( Particles of the Universe (Heartbeats) makes a great wakeup alarm) and the original french version of the TV show The Returned "Les Revenants". The show is better, subtitles aside and the music by Mogwai (particularly "Hungry Face" makes a great ring tone).

I also agree that the surrounds did a bit of work on this film. In one scene when Sandra B reaches offscreen to flick a switch the "click" happened right behind my right ear (her left hand). I wished I could have ramped the sound up a bit more for the last 20 minutes but small kids, unsympathetic wife and long suffering neighbors.

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGary From AUS not USA

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