There are a few movies that must be seen in a theater and in 3D if that is the chosen format. These films are the equivalent of seeing a live theatre performance. You will only truly see it once. Gravity is one of those rare movies where the form is more important than the story, yet the 3D special effects seem to blend into the background.
You will never truly see Gravity if you watch it on DVD in your home or when it inevitably airs on TV. Or, God-forbid, when you watch it on your phone. That’s because the only real way to experience it is the way director Alfonso Cuarón intended. Cuarón utilized 3D technology in a way never captured before, not even by James Cameron’s Avatar or Ang Lee’s Life of Pie.
I saw Avatar in the theatre in 3D and haven’t seen it since. The magic of fiery ash floating past my eye has stayed with me unlike any other moment in that film. Watching it at home would never again capture that feeling of wonder and excitement.
I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey once, in LA’s ArcLight 70mm Cinerama Dome, just like the original format. It was perfection and I refuse to lessen my memory of the film by watching it on my small television.
A few weeks before I saw Gravity, I saw Hubble 3D in Imax as the California Space Center. The film shows real footage of astronauts fix the Hubble Telescope. Watching Gravity so soon after was astonishing, as it felt like a continuation of Hubble 3D. It is a beautiful and surreal film and a feat of technological filmmaking.
If you only seen one film in the theater this holiday season, make it count. Go see Gravity.