Whether real or fictional, a character’s fight for survival is one of the most enthralling experiences to witness in the cinema. In Gravity, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney), is left stranded after disaster strikes on a routine spacewalk. Tethered to nothing but each other and spiralling out into the blackness, the deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left.
To celebrate the release of Gravity, on digital download March 2nd and Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD March 3rd, we delve into some of the most gripping survival movies ever to hit our screens and make us glad that we only ventured as far as the cinema.
1. Cast Away (2000)
Cast Away tells the story of Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks), a FedEx employee who, on the way to a business trip in Malaysia, becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash. Finding himself on an uninhabited island, he slowly learns techniques which keep him alive until he summons the strength and ability to attempt his escape.
Hanks’ performance of a man juggling a rollercoaster of emotions as he comes to terms with his situation is a career highlight, and you’ll be right there with Chuck sharing in his despair when Wilson falls from his makeshift raft.
2. Into the wild (2007)
Indie favourite Emile Hirsch takes on the journey of a lifetime as he plays real-life adventurer Christopher McCandless during the two years he spent travelling the American wilderness after rejecting his privileged background.
Hirsch portrays his character’s resentment towards the modern world and subsequent longing for freedom convincingly, while the supporting cast playing the various walks of life who shape McCandless’ expedition are also very strong.
3. 127 hours (2010)
This incredible true story of a mountaineer who spent five days trapped in a canyon by a boulder before sawing his arm off in a desperate attempt to free himself was portrayed by the versatile James Franco.
Carrying much of the film alone, much like Hanks in Castaway, allowed for a fascinating character study and Aron Ralston, the actual climber that Franco plays, even stated that the film is “so factually accurate, it is as close to a documentary as you can get and still be a drama.”
4. Buried (2010)
The psychological thriller Buried finds Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) trapped in a claustrophobic death trap after waking up in a coffin buried underground. With only a lighter, knife and mobile phone handy, he tries to negotiate with his captors, whilst also desperately attempting to identify his location to the State Department for rescue.
Reynolds showcases his range exquisitely in this tense race against time, which has been likened to classic suspense movies, akin to Hitchcock.
5. Gravity (2013)
The visually stunning, edge-of-your-seat experience Gravity throws audiences right into outer space mere moments before disaster strikes, and doesn’t let up until the credits roll. Charting the story of a pair of astronauts who are left completely cut-off from communication and hopes of rescue after space debris destroys their ship, Gravity is the ultimate fight for survival in an environment for which life is impossible.
Sandra Bullock gives the performance of her career as one of the astronauts stranded 372 miles above earth and the film sets the bar for future survival movies to follow in its wake.
Gravity lands on digital download March 2nd and Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD March 3rd
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