Alan Dee’s movie preview: Gravity all set for blast off, and there’s little else in the movie orbit this week

Everyone’s been talking up Gravity, and now here’s your chance to see whether it justifies that heavyweight hype.

It’s fair to say that the two stars are not best known for sci-fi – Sandra Bullock had to drive a bus at a steady speed once, but she has rarely, if ever, ventured into outer space.

Sandra Bullock stars in Gravity

Sandra Bullock stars in Gravity

And although George Clooney was the big name above the title in Solaris a decade ago, the movie men obviously reckon that both are better served by vehicles which don’t expect them to take second billing to the special effects, or have their good looks obscured by giant space helmets.

But here they both are, cast adrift in space in what’s billed as an intense 3D sci-fi thriller!

She’s a medical engineer on her very first mission aboard the space shuttle, he’s a veteran space jockey on his final flight before retiring.

But what looks like a routine spacewalk ends in disaster when satellite debris ploughs into the shuttle.

The ill-fated duo are catapulted into the unforgiving blackness, they can’t get in touch with Ed Harris – of course – back at Mission Control and their oxygen isn’t going to last forever.

Their only hope of survival, they realise, is to work together and travel further into deep space to try to find an alternative way home.

Director Alfonso Cuaron, who hops between arty hits like Y Tu Maman Bien and Children Of Men and mainstream projects such as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, keeps it tense and taut, and the space scenes have been hailed as the nearest thing to being really out there yet seen on screen.

Both James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino loved it – make of that what you will.