Valdosta Daily Times


October 11, 2013

'Gravity' soars



Oscar recipients Bullock and Clooney play their parts well. Bullock is especially convincing. Their characters exist in the gravityless, cold confines of space. One cannot call 911 out there. In a harsh environment, Bullock and Clooney effortlessly make their characters rewarding.
“Gravity” has some scientific quirks and could have used some more runtime, but it is an intense photoplay. The special effects are keen. The images of Earth and a star-filled space, via special effects, visual effects and computer-generated imagery, are mesmerizing, and the plot is original. The result is fine entertainment.
Hats off to the Cuaróns, Bullock, Clooney and production teams for this stimulating tale. It is a truly magnificent experience.
Grade: A- (Gratifying.)
“Runner Runner” (Crime/Drama: 1 hour, 31 minutes)
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and Gemma Arterton
Director: Brad Furman
Rated: R (Profanity, sexual innuendo, sexuality and nudity)
Movie Review: As a crime drama, the excitement value is low. This screenplay is comparable to observing a sporting event where no team has scored a point after two hours. You stay with the game hoping it becomes better. “Runner Runner” never reaches a state where it could be considered better.
The film follows Princeton University graduate student Richie Furst (Timberlake). He pays for school through online gambling. After losing thousands of dollars, Furst realizes the site is rigged. He travels to Costa Rica to confront Ivan Block (Affleck), the owner of the offshore gambling website. Block is intrigued by Furst and invites the young man to become part of his operation. Furst accepts Block’s offer. Soon, Furst is neck deep in the illegal operations of Block’s enterprise. All is well until FBI and local law enforcement in Costa Rica also try recruiting Furst.
Furman (“The Lincoln Lawyer,” 2011) directs this misguided piece. The plot is not compelling. From the start, it is not believable enough to draw and keep one’s attention from drifting.   

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