Regardless of how strong or weak Gravity’s story (or scientific accuracy) may be, there’s no question that it’s a visually stunning cinematic thrill ride. Director Alfonso Cuarón and his team created a jaw-dropping vision of calamity unfolding in microgravity, and its spectacle demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible. (It’s even one of the few movies for which I’ve actually paid extra to get a 3D ticket ever since Avatar resurrected the format.) Today Gravity is arriving on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital formats, and while I’m sure there will be plenty of people whose first experience of Gravity will be on their TV, I really wonder if the movie will retain its adrenaline-fueled appeal when it’s no longer unfolding on a screen the size of a billboard.
If you are considering adding Gravity to your home collection, one of the bigger selling points is the bonus features. The flick is a technological marvel, and the extras will explore just how Cuarón and company transported Sandra Bullock and George Clooney into outer space without, well, actually transporting them to outer space. There’s no audio commentary, which I’m kind of annoyed about, but there are multiple features vying for your attention. Check out the full list below, as well as a preview video focusing on the flick’s impressive visual effects work.
- Gravity: Mission Control (HD, 107 minutes): Gravity‘s supplemental package opens with a terrific, wonderfully extensive and revealing behind-the-scenes documentary that touches on every aspect of the production, from the original script to the various previsualization stages, the shoot itself, obstacles and difficulties encountered along the way, and the delicate marriage between editing, performances and visual effects. Segments include:
- It Began with a Story (16:21)
- Initial Challenges: Long Shots and Zero G (10:12)
- Previsualizing Gravity (11:38)
- The Hues of Space (10:41)
- Physical Weightlessness (7:48)
- Space Tech (13:02)
- Sandra and George: A Pair in Space (9:37)
- Final Animation (15:01)
- Complete Silence (12:13)
- Shot Breakdowns (HD, 37 minutes): Calling this series of scene-specific featurettes ‘Shot Breakdowns’ is a bit of a misnomer. While they do indeed break down key shots in the film, each one is more of an extension or addition to the ‘Mission Control’ production documentary than a simple FX short. And each one is as fascinating as the next. I only wish there were more. Breakdowns include:
- Behind the Visor (6:50)
- Fire in the International Space Station (5:42)
- Dr. Stone’s Rebirth (7:54)
- The Sound of Action in Space (7:55)
- Splashdown (8:24)
- Aningaaq: A Short Film by Jonás Cuarón (HD, 10 minutes): Gravity co-writer Jonás Cuarón’s intriguing but ultimately rather inconsequential short film focuses on the Inuit fisherman Dr. Stone (Bullock) inadvertently contacts while aboard the Tiangong‘s escape capsule. The short also includes an optional introduction with the father and son filmmakers.
- Collision Point: The Race to Clean Up Space (HD, 22 minutes): Actor Ed Harris narrates this smartly produced and edited documentary about the very real looming crisis that inspired the film’s centerpiece disaster.
Face Off (Syfy, 9/8c) — “Open Sesame”
The artists visit Magic Castle in Hollywood for inspiration to create original wizard characters.
Person of Interest (CBS, 10/9c) — “Last Call”
Finch goes undercover in an emergency call center to protect a 911 operator, but it soon becomes clear that the threat reaches further than the team could have anticipated.
Today’s Home Video Releases
Mr. Nobody (Blu-Ray, DVD & Digital)
MR. NOBODY tells the life story of Nemo Nobody, a 118-year-old man who is the last mortal on Earth after the human race has achieved quasi-immortality. On his deathbed, Nemo shares his life story with a reporter and reviews the choices he made along the way. Yet even with his last breath, a pivotal decision awaits to conclude his destiny.
Thor: The Dark World (Blu-Ray, DVD & Digital)
Worlds collide when a powerful ancient enemy threatens to plunge the cosmos into eternal darkness. Experience this action-packed adventure featuring exclusive bonus content, including a gag reel, deleted scenes and a new Marvel short film available on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack.