I went to see Gravity in 3D at Glasgow’s Imax Cinema last week – Scotland’s largest cinema screen and now under the new management of Cineworld.
I’d enjoyed The Dark Knight in Imax previously, and while I was wowed by a couple of specific scenes (the opening and the hospital explosion), I had never been fully enough impressed to want to pay the extra money to return. My favourite films would be my favourite films whether seen on Blu-ray on a projector with a bucket of buttery salted popcorn or on a grainy VHS copy on a 14 inch telly with a slice of toast.
But there are some films that just have to be seen on the big screen. 2001: A Space Odyssey was not meant to be seen on an iPhone; Inception was not meant to be seen on an airplane TV screen; and Gravity was not meant to be seen on a dodgy download copy.
Gravity is 100 % a cinema film. The biggest cinema screen with the best sound system is THE only way to see this film. It is absolute event cinema. Forget narrative, forget dialogue, forget having two of world’s biggest movie stars; this is about being out there in space and being part of it all – where the farthest outer reaches of your vision are in space, where your eardrums are in space, where your heart is pounding like you’re in space. It’s a visual treat and, at times, a visual assault, as you feel your head jolting backwards as space debris hurtles towards you in 3D. And complementing the cinematography is a stunning and reverberating score.
When viewing Gravity as simply a film, it is a basic high concept premise of two astronauts battling against the odds to get home to earth, with ‘danger alert, danger avert’ on repeat, and competent but unremarkable dialogue. However, we don’t even need to go into any of that, as it is all secondary to what is an all-sensory breathtaking cinematic experience.
Oddly it’s a film that I don’t imagine I’ll see again. I feel like I could never get more out of it than I did on that first viewing. The shock, the fear, the tension, the mesmerising immersion – could a second viewing capture all that again???
So it comes down to this – Gravity is a very good film, but it is an exceptional experience. For my friends who love film but don’t go/have the opportunity to get to the cinema – on this one occasion, do your damnedest to get to the cinema. See Gravity big and see it loud!