It’s taken two whole years, but it’s been worth the wait. While space in cinema has moved on since Gravity‘s 2013 release, this special edition Blu-ray provides a timely reminder of just how impressive Alfonso Cuarón’s achievement in making this was.
While the film’s impact on home entertainment ultimately depends on how effective your surround sound system is (there’s no escaping the fact that this is far better as a cinematic spectacle), the home entertainment format somehow manages to draw out even more of the film’s strengths.
Admittedly, the claustrophobic sense of helplessness is lessened, but the very human story at its core is more than ample. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a lost soul even before entering space, with the film serving not only as a parable of the growth of humanity, but of the gradual return of her desire to live, helped along the way by her guardian angel, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney).
From start to end it’s a feast for the senses, painfully aware as we are that this could all end horribly at any moment. Gravity is Cuarón’s most personal film since Y Tu Mama Tambien in 2001, with the time in between punctuated by blockbuster series highlight Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban in 2004 and involving dystopian drama Children Of Men in 2006. It may also be his best.
The accompanying bonus features provide a welcome context for the film’s journey to the big screen, showcasing both the camraderie of the crew and Cuarón’s own meticulous filmmaking style. Among the highlights are ‘Gravity: The Human Experience’, in which both the filmmakers and former astronauts discuss the real-life inspirations behind the film’s story; and Looking To The Stars: The Evolution Of Space Films’, in which filmmakers like Ron Howard, Joe Dante and Cuarón himself look at the gradual evolution of space movies, from A Trip To The Moon and Frau im Mond to Star Wars and Apollo 13.
Best of all is an option to watch the film without the soundtrack. It’s very 2001: A Space Odyssey, and somehow all the more terrifying at key moments as a consequence. Oh, and short film ‘Aningaaq’, which details Ryan’s space interaction with a bemused eskimo from the Earth end, is another nice inclusion.
This special edition Blu-ray’s appeal will ultimately depend on how you found it first time round. If it’s remained lodged in your memory, then you should definitely add this to your collection.