Superheroes, Kaiju, and other fantasy creatures hogged the spotlight at the 2013 Comic-Con, but one film that quietly made a huge impression on attendees was Gravity. The sci-fi thriller co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) stars Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer/astronaut who is undertaking her first shuttle mission when disaster strikes: space debris crashes into the shuttle, tearing it to shreds and leaving Dr. Stone flying out into the vastness of space, with little to no hope of getting back to Earth.
WB's Comic-Con presentation for Gravity included a new trailer (in the form of an extended clip), which is now available online for viewing. Cinema buffs have known for some time that Cuarón's film is an exercise in sheer moviemaking virtuosity - mixing complex sequence shots and long takes together with Avatar-levels of CGI (necessary to create the vacuum of space) - but this new trailer will quickly inform those who were previously unaware.
The latest trailer also successfully breaks down the film's terrifying premise, in addition to introducing the two main characters and showcasing one of the many uninterrupted high-tension action sequences. In a matter of two minutes, we come to appreciate that Dr. Stone's peer, in the shape of veteran space explorer Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), is a clear-headed and experienced professional, while Dr. Stone is the rookie who's unprepared to deal with her life-threatening situation.
UPDATE: WB has unveiled a third Gravity trailer, which is another uninterrupted sequence from the film:
Dr. Stone is the more relatable character (hence, she's the protagonist of Gravity), yet her journey in the film appears to be more significant that just a (wo)man vs. nature tale set in space. In the new trailer, the emphasis on Kowalsky telling Stone (repeatedly) to detach - lest she fly out of visibility range - calls attention to what are central themes of the story (according to early reviews/reactions): the dangers of disconnection and isolation.
Gravity uses the concept of free-floating in the vastness of space as an analogy for the modern lifestyle, according to the early descriptions from those who've seen the film. Cuarón's movie may be a non-stop ride (once the main conflict is set in motion), but the film also sounds like more of a meditative viewing experience - dependent on the constant sense of danger to keep people interested - punctuated by scenes of pure visceral storytelling.
All things considered, Gravity has the potential to be this year's Life of Pi. Cuarón, like Ang Lee before him, recruited a small army of visual effects artists to produce a sophisticated 3D environment, in order to tell an intimate story: an isolated protagonist finds their purpose for existing in the greater scheme of things (albeit, Bullock's character is operating on a shorter time limit than Pi). We'll find out if the film can live up to the high expectations soon enough.
Gravity opens in regular and select 3D/IMAX theaters on October 4th, 2013.
Source: Warner Bros.
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