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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Film Reviews: Gravity (2013) and The Wolverine (2013)
Gravity (2013). Co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The film starts with the shuttle orbiting around the Earth. Two astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) are repairing the Hubble Space Telescope. They are warned of a large debris cloud approaching them, caused by damage to other satellites. As they abort the task to return to the shuttle the debris cloud hits. Gravity does a wonderful job of creating a very real feeling space scenario. The effects are mostly incredible. The story is mostly involving. There's a great soundtrack which blends both music and sound effects. My only niggles were that the story drags a bit, is overly sentimental, and at times sacrifices fact for artistic license. Also, I'm not convinced either Clooney or particularly Bullock were great casting choices, neither feel particularly believable as astronauts. I would have preferred some harder science and characters. For those who enjoy realistic space drama. 5/5 (Excellent)

The Wolverine (2013). Directed by James Mangold, and based on the Marvel comic. The story jumps between two timelines. In the first, in 1945, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is being held in a prisoner of war camp near to Nagasaki. When it's clear there's an air raid the Japanese guards free the prisoners, and Logan saves one of the guards from what transpires to be the atomic bomb. In the present day timeline the guard that was saved is now an elderly man running a huge corporation, and he offers to save Logan from his immortality. The Wolverine is an OK action film. The theatrical cut clocks in at 2 hours 6 minutes, and I watched the extended cut which was another 12 minutes. That isn't to say there isn't plenty of story to fill it, albeit none of it was particularly enthralling for me, and condensing it would have helped pick up the pace. There are plenty of action sequences, and all the things we've come to expect from comic book conversions. If you can't get enough of comic book stories and/or the X-Men then you'll want to watch it. 3/5 (Average)