Andy's Review of Gravity
Many blockbusters, no matter how good or bad they are, rarely feel at all personal. Gravity, however, is different. It's a feat of technical wizardry, of course, but setting the film in space was quite possibly the only way for director Alfonso Cuaron to tell the story he wanted to tell.
Cuaron doesn't present space as a place of infinite possibility like Star Wars. He doesn't define it by the danger it might hold, like Ridley Scott did in Alien. Instead, he does something ingenious: he uses space as a blank canvas; a completely neutral background on which he paints his characters in vivid detail. After a while, the fact that the characters aren't even on Earth simply stops registering, and elegantly gives way to various situations that test the astronauts' capabilities to their limits.
Gravity is a remarkable achievement, and one of the year's best. There are more technically advanced movies in 2013. Some are also smarter. But none have yet achieved such a perfect balance of the two.