Hope for the best, don’t expect the worst. It’s my movie criticism mantra, but as the lights darkened at the Princess of Wales Theater for “Gravity’s” Canadian gala, already hailed as a masterpiece following a Venice Film Festival Premiere, it wasn’t just the fact that I was way up in the rafters wearing 3-D glasses over my already thick specs that was making me queasy. Early on, watching the oh, wow, visuals and the echoey emptiness of what it must be like to be doing routine maintenance in space (I so wanted “Pink Floyd”), I became bothered by narrative claustrophobia. Can one smell bullshit in space?
Despite all the gravity of Alfonso Cuaron’s 3-D space chamber opera, the story, co-written with his son, Jonas, reveals holes as gaping as those on any space station station ripped by the debris of an accidental explosion beyond the earth’s atmosphere.
In brief: Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a testy medical engineer pursuing research in space. George Clooney is Matt Kowalksy, the cheery professional astronaut on, yes, his last run. When space junk from a Russian mishap destroys their mission, their Harvard-educated brown-skinned colleague, their satellite, their station, and that of the Russians and, possibly, the Chinese, the pair struggle for survival, often tethered by a white umbilical cord.
The problem begins, but doesn’t entirely end, with Bullock’s character. She is nervous and brittle: but who isn’t? Okay, Clooney’s Galahad in a spacesuit isn’t. He wisecracks and story-tells and Cloonies to give “Gravity” its much-needed warmth and comic relief.
Dr. Stone (sinking like a ….) is just not a woman (or even a man) that could have passed the rigorous training process that NASA inflicts on its candidates. I don’t know the statistics, but even among the thousands or tens of thousands that want to become an astronaut (include me not!), less than one hundred achieve that vaunted status. Life is hard, becoming an astronaut nearly impossible.
When we first encounter Stone and Kowalsky while she repairs some failure like a nearly hired tech from the Geek Squad and he marks time, their dialog speaks of people who hardly know each other, not members of a small elite team that have trained, lived, flown and, likely, vomited together. They could be on a bus, polite strangers, two people at a wedding, one on the bride’s side, one on the groom’s.
Disaster, inevitably, strikes. Dr. Stone freaks out, spinning, spinning, spinning, hyperventilating and banging against satellite and space station and colleague corpse. Like a tumbled stone, she gradually reveals the tragic nugget of her neurosis. All anybody who knows NASA can say is “next candidate, please!” She would never have made the cut. So her arc from a professional woman emotionally untethered from her own life, that ultimately fights to survive and get her feet back on the ground, is baloney. Or space baloney, on sale at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in shiny packages.
The set-up resembles “Open Water” in space. The nifty little seventy-nine-minute 2004 thriller written and directed by Chris Kentis about a cute scuba-diving couple accidentally left behind by the tour boat in shark-infested waters. Adrift, the pair go from hoping for rescue, to fending off sharks, hypothermia and exhaustion, all the while treading spiritual and emotional water.
Yes, it’s a trick, a movie incredibly intense because we are in the water with this man and woman as they struggle to survive, and every strength and weakness of their romantic bond, and personal character, reveals itself as they swim in the ocean’s fatal flush. They should be back at the harbor drinking Mojitos. They’re not. They never will be.
At the Princess of Wales screening, Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield attended and tweeted the next day: “Good morning! Gravity was fun last night. Fantastic visuals, relentless, Sandra Bullock was great. I’d fly with her.” Well, who wouldn’t fly with Bullock? She’s such a good sport. But, really, never in a million missions would Commander Hadfield place his life, or that of his crew, in her incapable hands.
I respect Hadfield’s gallantry, and “fantastic visuals” rings true. The visuals are fantastic. It’s also a safe reaction to another Hollywood fairy tale that fails to understand the incredible craft and skill of having “The Right Stuff.” However finely wrought, however mind-blowing the seventeen-minute takes, the revolution in 3-D technology, the movie misunderstands the incredible craft, physical stamina and mental acuity of those who go into space.
That’s not to say astronaut’s can’t and don’t crack. But when they do, they break in a control-freak, OCD way. Take the astronaut-turned-stalker Naval Captain Lisa Nowak. She flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2006. The following year, she was arrested in Orlando for attempted kidnapping after pursuing a romantic rival from Texas to Florida, allegedly wearing disposable diapers so that she would not have to stop during the 900-mile car trip. Maybe you’ve seen the “Rocket Man” episode of TV’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”
Nowak might have been a crazy stalker, but she had wanted to become an astronaut since she was six. And she massively trained for her opportunity to leave earth’s gravity in a souped-up tin can, logging 1,500-plus hours on thirty different aircraft, and multiple spacewalks during her 13 days on the shuttle. But the brittle but buff Dr. Ryan, with her panicky refrain that she repeatedly crashed her simulated escape pod during training, would never have made it out of the parking lot and onto the flight deck.
What a crap review this is. You are hung up on the notion that Ryan Stone could not have passed the rigorous training to become an astronaut? Why do you go to movies let alone review them. If you cannot suspend judgement and go on a ride without having everything spelled out for you I would think you don’t like many films. Perhaps you were just looking for an excuse to give a marvelous achievement like “Gravity” a negative review. I suppose your need for exacting facts is as good an excuse as any.
I was looking for the most realistic movie out in cinemas a couple months ago. I went to see Gravity. One of the most realistic films besides Captain Philipps and Twelve Years a Slave. Think of all the other movies out there, I’m sure the reviewer must have loads of complaints concerning realisticness. Hehe just joking. I understand what the reviewer is saying about some factual errors in the film. But what do you care when you’ve seen movies with talking animals. 😛
Glad you are an expert on how astronauts “crack.”
The thing is though, “Gravity” is supposed to be so great because of how real, how close-to-life it is. It looks great. But if it’s still unbelievable, I won’t be as immersed, and it’ll fall short of perfect.
If it had something other than the “realism” to go back on, then this wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem, but it doesn’t, so this is.
You’re so right. There were so many factual issues too… First of all, that debris field would NEVER have been so discrete, even if she was miraculously in its path; if it really was due to an explosion, debris would have been flying every which way at many different velocities. It shouldn’t have hit so abruptly to start with and every time it orbited the Earth it would have become much less coherent. Also, *potential spoilers*, but when Clooney has to let go of that cord so he doesn’t pull both of them into space, that whole premise is bs! They’re not moving relative to the ship and neither they nor the ship are changing speed. There is also no drag since there is no air. Therefore, there should be no force on the cord! They both could have held on just fine, and a light pull would send them both back towards the ship.
yeah funny she is an expert based on one astraunaut cracking and still weaing diapers
James C says
The premise of your diparaging critique is the fact that Dr Ryan Stone would not have ‘made the cut’ as an astronaut! Wow, get a life and just enjoy the movie!!!
“Wow, get a life and just enjoy the movie!!!”
Gawd. The whole world’s reaction to Hollywood. I actually liked “Gravity”. But the reviewer is dead on. It’s great to watch, but from any other perspective than that of a disney kids’ movie, it is indeed Bullshit.
Don’t think: just eat the turds Hollywood gets you to pay for again and again and again and again…
Oh – and shame on the reviewer for having an opinion different from nearly Everyone Else.
Get a life James…
Mike R. says
“from any other perspective than that of a disney kids’ movie, it is indeed Bullshit”
Yeah, I’m 100% certain you liked Gravity…
James C says
Quote: Gawd. The whole world’s reaction to Hollywood. I actually liked “Gravity”.
Well you liked the movie too, so there is a start anyway!
Quote: it is indeed Bullshit.
Yes, it is just a movie, so if it’s not factual, then it is indeed Bullshit, fantasy, escapism etc.
However, I’m starting to notice discrepancies in your analysis—You liked it but it is bullshit!!!
Seems like you don’t know the difference between ”your arse and your elbow” (An apt British saying for your analysis)
I enjoyed the movie too but I could also point out a few errors that occurred.
Finally, I don’t pay to get into a cinema (any cinema), so you can eat your own turds!!!
Best Wishes, James C
How I found this site was through Rotten Tomatoes. I was scrolling through the list of reviewers at the bottom of the page with Gravity. One reviewer caught my eye as it was the only one with a mushy tomato in the left hand corner. I came to this site. The reviewer’s defense to having just about all other top critics oppose her view of this film might be to simply say that they are all blind to the errors of the film. Perhaps. But I’m not going to say much more. I’m just going to say that Gravity is the only film where you can genuinely yell “HELL YEAH!” and leap up from your seat at the end of the movie and not give a crap about what anybody else thinks. At least that’s my point of view for the film. No offense to anyone who hates this movie. I’m just going to say that I do not understand you. Ta ta! 😛
Gary Wilcox says
The reviewer is dead on? The film received a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, leaving the reviewer far from dead on. Clearly the reviewer is in the wrong profession.
Well having a different opinion is definitely not a shame but having a different opinion for the sake of ” standing out of the crowd” is definitely a shame.
PS: If you’re wondering ; Just becuase she was the only reviewer with a mushy tomato try to comprehend how many views her website would’ve attracted. It’s simple , it was just her stunt to advertise her blog.
sci stu says
Sci-fi but without the sci. Some pretty scenes for the sake of ‘cinematography’ but shows limited understanding of the lack of gravity in space.
For your information, you uneducated ignoramus, there is gravity in space. Gravity is what keeps Earth in orbit around the sun, the moon in orbit with the Earth, and satellites in orbit around the sun!
*satellites in orbit around the Earth
Excellent, YOU calling someone-else uneducated. What keeps Earth in orbit around the sun is the gravity emitted by the sun, you dunce.
mike w says
Seems you don’t do well with reading comprehension, Regan.
On a more on-track note—
Gravity was, hands down, a fantastic masterpiece. Every detail that a layperson (and perhaps astronaut) could suppose about an in-orbit situation was masterfully reproduced, down to the approaches to/departures from/proportions of the space objects and vehicles, the loss of control from weightlessness and the floating objects (those tears!). The diminishing volume of Stone’s call for help while the view distanced from her enclosure was inaccurate, but how else to artfully represent the waning hope that she was facing? Within the constraints of cinema and human perception, the whole deal was breathtaking and had me on edge for the entire ride. 🙂
The sun doesn’t ’emit’ gravity, it exerts it. It emits light. Basic terminology, you dunce.
I hate the word “dunce.” Can’t you make the same point without it?
The film did an excellent job on creating an environment to immerse you in the weightlessness of space. Have you seen the footage from NASA space walks? It was quite similar. I felt as if I was floating around myself. Sorry if I misunderstand anything, I just disagree by what you think of the lack of understanding concerning actual gravity in the movie. Anyhow, the film was amazing and probably the most imax-worthy movie of all time.
I think you’ll find that most sci-fi does without the sci. I’m so glad the ‘realists’ weren’t there to decide whether Star Wars, Star Trek, Batman, or just about any other scifi movies should be cancelled due to lack of accurate sci. I find the whole concept of saying fiction should always be realistic totally baffling.
But it’s not like Star Wars or Batman; this is supposed to be realistic. It’s like doing a Vietnam war film and having Toby Maguire showing up as a US special ops marine. If you do a realistic film the character is probably one of the most important parts. Her character wouldn’t have been important in a sci fi such as Star Wars where there are different rules, different sciences.
This was meant to be realistic. So you need realistic characters.
Thanks, I agree with your comment and just wanted to say that the reviewer isn’t alone in her opinion about the highly overrated movie. 🙂
Can’t agree more. It was a fun movie but don’t go in with the expectation of a realistic scifi movie. definitely had a very hard time suspending disbelief. Btw sad to see the lack of tolerance for differences in opinion — if I don’t agree with you, you got to be wrong…
Wow. I guess my comment was too much for you. I am still astonished with your review. Your main concern is Sandra Bullock’s character could not have possibly completed training as an astronaut due to her crashing a simulator. Her job was to complete a specialized mission. Not to land the spacecraft. If having all the facts of a film be exact it would be a documentary.
Did you never hear of the premise that movies are not actually real, they don’t have to depict reality, in fact part of their power is in providing a welcome relief from it.
Try suspending your disbelief once in a while. By the way, following up your point that bullock’s character would have been too neurotic to get to be an astronaut, with a story of an actual astronaut who turned stalker doesn’t really make sense – or should I be suspending my disbelief to give credit to your review?
Bullock’s character held it together just fine. The average joe would have been unable to stop hyperventilating and ran out of oxygen in that first few minutes of the story… Perhaps your endless movie-watching has led you to genuinely believe that so-called “elite” people are superhuman, as they are so often portrayed in hollywood. I can assure you that is not the case.
Steven Badall says
Michael hit the nail on the head here. This is an awful, awful review that is based on a completely ridiculous hang up and blathers on about real astronauts that she has read up on. I didn’t even think any of the science was real when I first saw Gravity (turns out a good chunk of it is very,very accurate), but rather saw this film for what it was: an ethereal, beautiful, melancholy and pitch perfect masterpiece, that also happens to have some of the greatest action sequences ever put on film.
Francisco Navarro says
I got here to your full review on Gravity, knowing there’s something I dont get. Your short review at Rotten Tomatoes shows a “Rotten” icon there, but why on Gold Derby website you are one of the few critics that has Gravity movie on Top position in different Oscars awards predictions?..
I must tell you I didn’t read your review here except for a few lines on top, and there’s maybe some sort of explanation about my doubths.
Maurice Grobeisen says
You review is very weird. It’s like before seeing the movie you knew you would give it one star, and after seeing the movie you just tried to figure out what to say to justify your beforehand one star.
Simon Greening says
Please do not watch Jurassic park, it will destroy your mind.
Independence Day would drive you to suicide
So absolutely true, Simon!
Hmmm, Thelma Adams. I will make a note of that name for when I want to read absurd movie reviews in future.
Don’t insult the reviewer. Everyone has their own opinions and views of each film. Even though mine contradicts this review. Not exactly a thorough enough review, but good enough to let the view of the reviewer be known through it. Anyhow, don’t insult Thelma. We don’t all share the same mind, you know.
Maik Bane says
This movie is super overrated.
Well now I know not to ever waste my time in considering whether or not Thelma has her finger on the pulse of a good movie. Thanks for making it clear.
Phillip Rose says
How dare you hold an opinion contrary to 97% of the critics on Rotten Tomatoes, not to mention the intellectual giants who have posted comments here?
How very dare me!
Were there a few too many convenient coincidences and “are we really supposed to believe that could happen” moments in the story line? Absolutely.
That Bullock’s character navigated through 3 different space station complexes and operated the escape pods in two foreign ones so easily was, to be fair, a little hard to believe.
But that flaw in the story line does not make this movie as bad as Thelma makes it out to be. Frankly, the review above reeks of pretentious snobbery. There are just some people who choose to see only what they perceive as bad and refuse to see the good.
The special effects and cinematography in this movie are beyond compare and deserve to sweep every award they are sure to be up for. But as I was driving home and thinking about the movie, the thing that stuck with me was Bullock’s performance. For more than half of the movie she was alone with no one to act with or react to and yet every emotion her character went through and every character trait she displayed – panic, fear, desperation, confidence, resignation, triumphant – were all astonishingly believable.
I am sorry if you found that this review “reeks of pretentious snobbery.” I sat down to watch the movie in Toronto, open, hopeful, ready — and couldn’t get over holes in character and story that kept me from suspending disbelief and oohing and ahhing over the fireworks of the special effects. And, so, since I cared enough to be bothered, I wrote toward that, toward the part that didn’t work for me. If my tone was too emphatic, my take too strident, I’ll own that. But I wrote about “Gravity” to release me from my concerns. And since 97 percent of the critics on Rotten Tomatoes are in your court, i think I’m not threatening the consensus as a dissenter. In fact, I think that’s what I’m supposed to be doing, not being pretentious but writing toward my subjective truth.
Did you pay any attention to the film’s dialogue?
She was trained for 6 months, and both scape pods are exactly the same as the training simulator, the only differency is the language. That’s why she only needs a quick check on the manual to get the russian pod working. When she uses the chinese pod the commands are exactly the same but with chinese characters, that’s why she pushes randomly some of the buttons because she can’t remember the exact position and there is no enlish manual (the station is chinese, not international)
dave hahano says
crap. utter crap review.
Owning the subjectivity of your own experience is important, however you don’t properly frame your opinion. When you make correlations about Dr. Stone’s fitness for her position as a specialist in space against others who train to be astronauts their entire lives you lessen the structure of your vantage point.
I get that you felt robbed by the experience, but make correlations within the film, don’t look for contrived comparisons in the real world to pad your word count.
I appreciate the edit, but padding the word count was not my intention. If I drew a comparison that wasn’t fair, or enlightening, in a rhetorical sense, I appreciate your critique.
Just because there is no (little) gravity, doesn’t mean there is no physics. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If she pulled Clooney, they Clooney pulls her.
Learn stuff before you make remarks.
SPOILER ALERT This movie WAS very disappointing. So many many plot holes. Some movies call for the suspension of disbelief (aliens, superheros), other movies pretend to be based in reality, then insult you with lazy script writing. The death of Clooney was like titanic all over again- there was space on the wood for both of them – Sandra Bullock could have pulled Clooney towards her- surely one little tug would have sufficed given the lack of gravity.
So I guess I’m not entirely alone in space with my opinions. Thanks for climbing on board.
Andy in the UK says
You’re certainly not alone in your thoughts on the movie Thelma. I love sci-fi films, but honestly though this one was meant to be at least plausable as it’s set in the present using today’s technology, but I found myself laughing out loud at how stupid the story was. Apollo 13 it certainly wasn’t.
God. I would have paid to see Bullock give Clooney a little tug… but I think that is a different film.
If tears can escape an astronaut’s eye in zero gee, there is no way that Sandra Bullock can functionally save George Clooney while both are moving at the same speed away from an object.
That is to say the movie only pays attention to physics when physics work in the story’s favor.
Exactly Kyle. It seems that many people who complain about the lack of realism doesn’t even know how physics work. If she pulls him towars her, she will be also pulling her away from the Station. Newton’s laws for god sake!
I feel like the only people who make remarks about physics are the people who know the least physics (physics student). And no, you cannot simplify Newton’s Law by ignoring every single BIOLOGICAL force produced by our bodies. Even Neil Degrasse Tyson will tell you that if Bullock just pulled the rope, or Clooney tugged the rope, they both would have floated back to the ship safely.
It seems that many who complain about the lack of realism have at least a basic understanding of how physics works. Not you.
If she tugged him, even a little, she would have flown off toward him at the same rate he came toward her (See Newton)
You fail physics. What happens when a rope goes taught in zero g? They spent 20 minutes showing it. It springs back. Bullock reached the end of the rope and continued to pull against it. Thats the bullshit. When she reached the end of the rope the tension of the rope ITSELF would have pulled BOTH of them all the way back to the station. There is no friction and functionally negligible gravity. What you have is a function of tension and inertia. Pressure from inertia builds tension on the rope. The rope releases tension by springing back.
Thank you kindly for your physics lesson. Appreciated.
actually in the movie they were still decelerating and not at a standstill.the parachute rope was still slowing them down, but (becuase it was loosely attached to her foot) it would not of been able to come to a complete stop with the inertia of two people, though maybe one
People. Stop un-educating us.
“We see quite a few worst-case scenarios in the film. George Clooney ends up untethering himself from his crewmate and literally floating away into space. Is dealing with that scenario part of your training? Or does that not even come up?
Actually, I really couldn’t understand the tension there. Sandra has her leg caught in some parachute rigging, and she’s holding on to George by his hand. I think all he would have needed to have done would be to crawl up on her, and basically rope-climb up toward the space station. Or just lightly pull and he could have flown himself up to the space station. There would be no continuing motive force to continue to pull him away. So that physically didn’t work for me.
This review completely echoes most of my sentiments. There are many, many tests astronauts go through to test their poise under duress. Amazingly, there wasn’t a sense that Bullock was even TRYING to keep composure. Astronauts are typically very stoic.
The vast majority of the comments disparaging Thelma here are ironically vapid. I give most of your critiques of her critique 2 thumbs down.
Andy Roxbury says
What a bizarre review. It’s like you saw a different movie.
Just a pathetically bad review, period.
I hope you are wrong about the people we send into space. In the 1960’s our astronauts were indeed “super-jocks” with the ultimate physical and emotional resilience, readiness, toughness.
Do we still want that? Or do we want the most creative and brilliant people to go?
Creative, brilliant, or only the “jocks?”
I don’t think it is an either/or choice. There are brilliant jocks and there are emotionally stable doctors and scientists.
Just got back from watching the movie and I’m pretty disappointed too. That’s partly because it’s been talked up so much, of course, and if not for the hype I’m sure I’d have enjoyed it more. But it’s mainly because Cuarón’s earlier Children Of Men is one of my favourite films, and for me Gravity – ahem – falls short of it in every way except pure spectacle (which, to its credit, it delivers in spades).
Children of Men was so gripping because it all seemed incredibly real – the flawed ‘hero’, the messy violence, the documentary style. By contrast, just about the only aspect of Gravity I did find convincing should have been the hardest to pull off – the cinematography and CGI.
It’s all very well to say that a cinema audience has to be willing to suspend disbelief, but I do sort of rely on the director to help me do it. Like Thelma I didn’t buy Bullock as an astronaut, but nor did I buy her as a bereaved mother, or as someone who’s just lost all of her crew mates in horrible circumstances. And if Bullock’s character was too ditzy for the job then Clooney’s was too far off the other end of the scale – I’d like to have seen him put just slightly on the back foot, even for a moment. I also wanted him to be a little more upset at the prospect of drifting off into the void to his certain death (while apparently unable to decide whether he’d prefer Bullock to use her last 0.0009% of oxygen to get to that all-important airlock, or to hang around and chat about how pretty the Ganges is looking).
The dialogue was for the most part clunky and exposition-heavy, and dear God, the SCORE – again I can’t help but go back to Children of Men, which put some of the most exciting action ever on screen without so much as a backbeat. In Gravity we were continually bludgeoned with SIGNIFICANT MUSIC. It was like having the person in the next seat yelling in your ear ‘this part is super-exciting, huh?’ or ‘wow – is this uplifting, or what?’
I like Cuarón, I like Clooney, I like Bullock, and I really, really wanted to love Gravity. But as the lights came up and the end credits rolled, the woman next to me told her companion ‘It’s just not really what I was expecting.’ And given its pedigree, that made two of us.
I appreciate your points. Appreciated your observation that you wanted to see Cooney on his back foot even just for a moment. And that SIGNIFICANT MUSIC. I so appreciate movies that allow me to think and feel on my own. Thanks for your lengthy comment.
Of all the comments here I disagree strongest with the one you’ve made about the music. I think the music was nearly the best thing about the movie and if Gravity deserves any oscars it deserves best original score and visual effects the most. Ive been listening to the soundtrack at home and it is a masterpiece.
Your life must be miserable.
I totally agree with this review. The visuals are stunning. And I can even overlook the fact that you can’t actually just travel from space station to space station even with the help of a fire extinguisher (ha, ha). But if we’re going to spend the whole movie with mostly one character, it would be nice if she was believable.
Very few major stars are believable as a brilliant scientist. An exception – Russell Crowe was believable in “A Beautiful Mind.” Sandra Bullock doesn’t come close here.
The bit about Ryan Stone being a single mother who’s daughter died feels contrived.
Also, after watching the independence of Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games”, Ryan Stone seems like a sad caricature of a weak minded woman who needs George Clooney (or his spirit) to give her the mental and emotional strength to rescue herself.
The bit about her being a mother whose daughter has died is what this movie is actually all about.
The emptiness she has felt in her life since her daughter died is paralleled by space itself. It’s really a movie about someone coming out of the depths of the abyss and fighting to find life again.
I dig. I got that — and still felt it was more a screenwriter’s brush stroke, than an in depth character. And that would have been a red flag on those psych tests!
Absolutely spot on review. The visuals are sensational, the physics model absolutely spot on. It is as realistic a space simulator as you will ever get. Then why spoil the realism with an unrealistic cast and dialogue? I think that is the essential point the review is trying to get at and i agree it is what stopped it becoming a classic in my eyes. If a film is going for realism, then make it realistic in every way. If they are going for hollywood, then make it hollywood. But don’t mix the two it just does not work.
I’m sure people here have seen Prometheus. Fantastic atmosphere, let down by an absolutely ridiculous script and casting. Where the crew just seemed to have been thrown together who had never met before. But the difference there is it was never meant to be realistic, therefore that ridiculousness could be forgiven (and hence why i really enjoyed Prometheus).
The same can’t be said of Gravity. A potential opportunity to make the most mind blowing space film ever. They partly succeeded. But the patheticly unrealistic nature of Bullocks character spoilt it for me. But an Oscar please for the special effects and physics team (and sound effects dept) for developing something so amazing. Shame it was let down by the human actors.
I am totally with you, both on “Prometheus” and “Gravity.” Thanks for taking the time to understand and not just take-down.
Whether you agree with her or not, I can tell you that Thelma is dead on in her review. In fact, I said much of the same thing in my own review. Bullock and Clooney are both all world, but their relationship rang false to me. After all, space crews work and train with each other for months, sometimes years, before they go up on a mission. Bullock and Clooney’s characters sound more like they met on launch day. The orbital mechanics, too, were way off. HST, the ISS, and Tiangong are not in the same orbital plane. So there’s no way the debris is going to get all three of them.
To Chris Hadfield’s credit, he also notice something I completely missed. He said that Bullock actually had on the wrong underwear to be doing an EVA. And if anyone would know, it’d be someone who’s actually been up in space.
Bullock’s character was chosen for her expertise on fixing the broken panel. I believe it was mentioned that she had only 6 months of training. It makes her character (and the film) more interesting that she isn’t some stoic figure that doesn’t get phased by things going wrong. Oh, and if we’re concerned about the underwear not being authentic…then we need to get a life and only watch documentaries from now on.
Andy Roxbury says
If you rate films based on how realistic they are (down to the level of the type of underwear an actor is wearing), perhaps you should stick to documentaries?
Forget the undies: the core issue is script and characterization. If it doesn’t bother you, then enjoy.
After reading the reviews I was really looking forward to seeing Gravity. Sadly, I found it really dull!! Yes, the effects at times were impressive, but the storyline was totally uninspired. Astronaut survivor stuck in space makes it home… wow!
I was falling asleep half-way through. For me it was really disappointing.
It needed a crocodile at the end to put Sandra Bullock’s character out of her misery as she staggered out of the water!
Cue the Croc!
Jane Lott says
Colin, obviously, you have no idea what mourning is. You really have no clue. That’s the way it is when you mourn the death of a loved one. You shut down your emotions to survive. That is what the entire orbit situation is about. This level of interpretation clicked early on for me, and I found this movie really engaging and deep.
This movie was a bore and the review was spot on. Bullocks lines at times were beyond cheesy and ridiculous. Seems like the movie falls apart after the half way mark. Way over rated.
Sadly, this isn’t a review of the film.
I think it’s a critique, not a thumbs up or down. And there’s not really anything sad about that.
It’s very clever to draw attention to your site by posting a negative and irrelevant review simply to attract people’s eye by standing out from the crowd of positive reviews. It also makes you rather pathetic, but I doubt you care about that as long as you get your moment of attention. This film certainly has its flaws, and can be honestly critiqued in a negative fashion, but your review is simply built around taking a (wrongly) perceived flaw and then hammering it to death with wikipedia’d clarifications to make yourself seem smarter. It’s embarrassingly transparent that you disliked this film just to get people to notice you. So congratulations.
That’s not the way I operate. If I’d liked the film I would have written that. But I always welcome congratulations.
Bloody Hell. Democracy is alive and well here. Disagree with the majority and you’re in for some roasting.
I suppose at a time like this, when virtually every professional critic, and movie-goer, has little but good or great to say about the movie, you probably wonder what exactly it is that makes you different. What it is that makes you see the most visually stunning movie since–well maybe ever–and instead focus on the possible implausibility of being on a space shuttle after failing a simulation for an escape craft that isn’t even associated with a space shuttle or likely to be during a normal mission.
Did it not occur to you that perhaps there was a hint in the script? That when she said she had taken only 6 months to train it was because she was selected for skills associated with the panel she was working on, not astronautical?
I sense from your attempt to obviate criticism of criticism, by evidencing a point at which an astronaut has cracked in real life, you suspected your complaint was groundless, but you were already committed.
Reminds me of the time I had a new Ferrari purchased for me, but I refused to take ownership because its cup holder wasn’t in the ideal location.
Steven Badall says
Damn…you are tough to impress. I got sucked in to the space ride completely. Literally one of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had. Patton Oswalt said something like, “TV was winning and Gravity said, “nope…Movies.” Couldn’t agree more…Gravity is why we go to the movies.
Karen Black in “Airport 1975” updated to Sandra Bullock in outer space. I don’t get the rave reviews either.
Sometimes it’s OK to be in the three percent.
also RIP Karen Black. Loved her in “Trilogy of Terror” — an evil doll movie that could even scare Chucky.
Thank you for a truthful and negative review of this movie. My adult daughter and I saw it recently and thought it was awful. She likened it to a Disney thrill ride. Very little character or plot development. Predictable. Bad stuff happens . . . again & again & again. Like you, I found the Sandra Bullock astronaut character & her relationship with the George Clooney character to be unbelievable. If you want to go on a thrill ride with Sandra Bullock, it’s great. But we wish we had skipped it.
That trill ride would have been “Speed” (just joking with you). Always welcome some good folks who feel empowered to express the minority opinion in part thanks to my truth telling.
Thelma and the 5 other reviewers that panned the film should form a support group to develpo emotional and esthetic clarity, and retrain for another occupation. (I note that ALL of the 48 “top reviewers” deservedly gave this fine film rave reviews.) The only question remaining: does the Academy have the integrity to award Cuaron, Bullock, and Clooney for their achievements.
That final question is a good and fair one: I think that Curon will be recognized for his achievement. As for a support group, as I must keep reminding commenters, the true beauty of America is that dissent in print is encouraged. I feel no need to seek a support group, although I saw Armond White twice in the last two days and we had a laugh both times (once at a breakfast for Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron!).
Michael Byrne says
Spot on. It was beautiful to watch awful to listen to: the dialogue was I have to say pathetic. I could ignore the scientific inaccuracy of the film but not the implausibility of plot and character.
I’m with you, Michael.
Brian Walker says
Totally disagree with your review. However, totally agree with your right to have an (different) opinion and do not understand (nor much like) the aggressive rubbish being thrown at you. For me, this was the best film I’ve seen since Schindlers List (I don’t say that lightly). It obviously was not for you – but wouldn’t life be boring if we all thought the same…
Amen to that
Have to agree with the majority of comments here. Would be interested in what your favourite films of the last 10 years are. From the review my guess would be documentary films
That’s easily a Google project — my name top ten. And not all that many docs, probably too few given how many great ones there are now, particularly this year. I’m guessing i will have the most docs on my top ten in 2013: “Blackfish,” “20 Feet From Stardom,” and “Stories We Tell.”
Theresa Neville says
I have heard so many people say they were underwhelmed by this movie. IMO, in the trailer, Sandy sounds like she is still trying to control a bus. There could have at least been believable actors chosen for this movie. I am sure the space scenes are incredible in this film but I can get equally brilliant viewing on Nat Geo.
I think this is a bad review, because you have no respect for the basic focus of the film.
Criticizing character history is for films which are driven by the motives, plot & dialogue. They wanted in the first place make a film in which characters reveal themselves mainly from responding to events. Characterization is only sketchy deliberately.
This film for me is very avant garde, very “european”, disguised as a pop corn block buster. Thus the thin plot. (key words of “absurd” and “existential” should be there).
Convince me that this Gravity’s art-film core is BS and then I am with you.
Good review, I am another 1/100 people that didn’t particularly like the movie or the character Sandra Bullock played.
I am bias though, because I don’t think Sandra is A grade, despite winning an oscar.
I am happy for a film to have some hollywood unreal moments if the film is portrayed as a hollywood movie. But if the movie is telling us it’s like real life, keep it real…
I simply loved Gravity, then headed out to Rottentomatoes to see how others had experienced it and happened to stumble upon your review.
(sorry for my bad spelling btw)
First of all, I just feel sorry for you not to be able to enjoy movies for what they are, and in this case a masterfully composed symphony of thrill and suspense, horror and beauty.
I know there are lots of people who indulge themselves in the tiniest of details and sit around watching all movies thinking (often out loud!) “oh, that’s not real, that’s not right, that’s not realistic etc.”.
I for one hope I never lose my ability to lose myself in a story, because that would be just sad. You get enough of reality in reality.
As with all films that seem to happen almost in real time you simply can’t expect diverse plot developments, and if you still do, you’re whacking your plunger at the wrong sewer rat.
Judge a film for what it is, not by what you think it should be.
No need to feel sorry for me. Have you seen “Happy Go Lucky?” Or “20 Feet From Stardom?” Or “Philomena?” Many films bring me joy. And some offer many other emotions.
I don’t know about space, but I can smell a lot of bullshit in here missy.
I totally agree. I surely hope she is not getting paid to write all this BS.
I think she wanted to stand out by putting down then movie since as a writer, she is pathetic.
Both ways, you lose…still pathetic and as stupid as it gets.
Ever heard about suspension of disbelief. You aint got any clue. oh my freakin GOD
I’ve heard of it. Doesn’t mean I have to do it.
I like to hear dissenting comments, especially when everyone raves about a movie. So that I can hear a differing opinion. Reading the comments though was not what i expected. What happened to critics being critical???
I’m starting to wonder if every industry from news to music to anything that is profitable pays people to make consumers think whatever will make said business thrive.
I came here to read a review and was disturbed by how agenda-like these comments sounds.
I’m starting to think that ancient people used their brains much more than we do today. Why do so when industry forms your opinions for you.
I sigh, too. What is freedom of expression if you aren’t free to express?
I’m sorry – i’m fundamentally confused by these two comments. Surely if you’re free to express critisism in the form of a review, other people are able to do the same in the form of comments. Or can you give out critisism, but then not take it… And as for ancient people using their brains more than us? errr.. why? Are you basing this on the movie reviews of Ancient Greece?
The guys at whom this is being directed want to ask you the same.
Well, I kid.
I agree on freedom of expression and the right to express your thoughts and ideas, but when it comes to critiquing, there’s always a line (just about fine) between putting your thoughts across in a mannered way and serving up scathing disparaging comments.
But it’s all under the same freedom of expression umbrella, so you really shouldn’t be asking the question in the first place, unless you believe that freedom to expressing oneself pertained only to you.
‘What happened to critics being critical?’
Then what about being critical of those very critics?
Surely it’s a two way street.
I agree everyone has their point and to each their own.
I’m all for fair criticism.
You say that you like to hear dissenting comments and different opinions but the comments over here were not what you expected.
Well, I could say the same. I’d love to hear what the critics didn’t like in a movie.
But reading this review, it was not what I expected.
But that would make me look stupid.
I enjoyed your review and my wife and I both felt exactly the same. I was actually astonished at all the positive reviews. The review and dramatization of the physics of space was great, but can’t see the rest of the carrying on. I will not bemoan having gone but it all reinforces a fair degree of leeriness (for me) of the general hoopla with many movies these days.
Lets be honest it’s fuckin shit
Could you possibly refine your commentary? Honestly why?
And could you refine yours?
Apart from your immense displeasure that Ryan Stone should never have made it to space in the first place and your psychological review, please do enlighten me as to why this movie didn’t do it for you.
I’m suprised how so many people seem to have got upset simply because you gave your honest opinion.
If you care about Sandra Bullock, you may find the film suspenseful but if, like me, you couldn’t give a toot about her, the film’s a bore. Visually, it was superb but I saw no reason why Bullock and Clooney were acting as the astronauts. The plot was simplistic and relied too much on the CGI. At halfway, I was really getting fed up and annoyed, now I’m just glad it’s over and I’m wondering what all the hype was about. By the way, I love space and I’m quite happy to suspend criticism and just drift along but I didn’t get the trip I wanted.
Just to clear up the plausibility of Ryan Stone as an “astronaut,” I think she is either a Payload Specialist or a Mission Specialist. The Payload Specialist is someone with specialized expertise for a mission, who is not trained to be an astronaut. A Mission Specialist is an astronaut who specializes in the mission, not in piloting the spacecraft. I know someone who trained to become a PS. Like most who train, he never got to go on a mission, but I am sure he gained only limited knowledge of piloting. As far as I’m concerned, it’s entirely plausible that Dr. Stone was aboard due to her speciality (hence the PhD or MD, not sure which). We needn’t subscribe to the stereotype that they’re all “cool as an astronaut.”
Oh, by the way, I really enjoyed the movie. Disagree with the review.
“brown skinned Harvard educated colleague”? I thought he was Russian and white. I think I must have missed that detail (I think I looked away briefly when they were heading for his corpse.) Awful that hollywood always does that to nonwhite characters (assuming you’re right and I missed it.) In any case, yeah. I don’t know about the point about bullok’s character being unrealistic for a nasa employee, but there were some definite flaws that everyone is turning a blind eye towards.
The soundtrack was generic hollywood orchestral noise. Rather than supplement what you feel, it felt like an overly sentimental reminder to feel. Too loud, too generic, started up too early, lingered too long. Not very subtle, kind of clunky. Couldn’t stand that. Also *spoiler* that scene where clooney’s character dies was so frustrating to watch. The physics behind him drifting off didn’t make any sense. The station is not being propelled away from him. It is not accelerating. He would not float off like a balloon. He would have hovered more or less there after Stone grabbed the tether and stabilized him. The scene would have been way more effective if Dr. Stone just missed her chance to grab his tether, and had to watch him float away, but instead they pulled that bs hollywood noble sacrifice moment. I felt insulted–not just because of the bad science–that I can forgive in most sci-fi movies and there were other instances of it in this flick anyway–but at the triteness of that particular scene. They could have done the scene effectively without breaking basic laws of motion, but they didn’t. They broke basic laws of physics for the sake of something *so insultingly cliche and trite* and they decided it made for a better story. That’s what gets me. Thinking of what could have been.
I thought the movie was okay otherwise. Not Alfonso Cuaron’s(sp) best film, but better than most of the mainstream movies these days. I was entertained (but the frustration lingers after viewing.) It definitely has more flaws than most reviewers have let on.
Thanks for your comments and perspective. Love to hear more from you.
Thanks for posting a major plot point and spoiling the film for me any anybody else that hasn’t see it yet. A tiny easily missed one work spoiler alert is not good enough. Well done you! 🙁
A lot of people mentioned that scene in this comments section. I’m the only one with a spoiler warning at all.
Let this be a lesson to you not to read through internet comments that you know are discussing movies you plan to see.
That’ll teach you for not reading thoroughly, won’t it?
Can one smell bs in space?
The question I want to ask you is,can you smell it on earth if you wanted to?
Because you found no joy in this film, absolutely nothing.
You have a grouse about Bullock’s character and that’s about it. You certainly are hard to please.
So again I ask, can you?
Well, I for one echo the review. I’ve just seen the film and it was neither well crafted or technically outstanding.
the 3-act play shines through like a skeleton climbing out of a corpse and the writing is thin, thin, thin.
The audience-cries scenes are premature and overblown and the cliches mount up faster than space-junk.
There is a silver lining: it wasn’t as bad as Prometheus.
The more I live the more I see people performing jobs they have no business doing. Not that I think film critic is a job but Thelma, find a new hobby.
Also, you might be too old to be seeing films in IMAX 3D. Stick to the regular screen and just wear one pair of glasses.
James J says
The only interesting lines by Bullock come when she speaks of Clooney’s ghost, her dead daughter, and the lost shoe(s). I’m a grown man with a daughter and those lines nearly brought me to tears. That and the end of Captain Phillips.
I agree with your critique of the film. Movies like this aren’t asking you to suspend belief. There are no vampires or magic. It is supposed to be based off real science. To do so and then expect “suspending disbelief” to cover up lazy writing is cheap. Overall the movie was enjoyable but all time great? No. Not for me. Captain Phillips was so much better.
First of all, good for Thelma to have a contrary viewpoint.
I’m a mechanical engineer, I studied space flight briefly in college, but went on to do other stuff, though I was actually lucky enough to get to be in microgravity for a few brief 20-second cycles. (aboard a NASA/Air Force airplane, like the one they used to film Tom Hanks in Apollo 13). I would never, ever make it as an astronaut though. They’re all highly focused type-A over-achievers. You probably would NOT want to see a movie about their personal interactions.
Anyway… Suspension of disbelief has to be a given. Of course the movie isn’t going to hold up to detailed technical criticism.
Ones that broke thru the veil for me: Orbits of the different space stations, surviving a microgravity fire in the cabin, space-suited humans absorbing brutal impacts against hard surfaces, flying to another orbiting object, using one blast of propulsion from far away, without any guidance systems whatsoever).
But they did a good job just the same. I’m willing to accept it. The level of detail is spectacular. The terrifying image of massive objects entangled like they aren’t supposed to be (imagine diving under a large sailboat flipped over, partially wrecked, lines swinging around everywhere with masses and sharp edges attached to them, that could move suddenly or entrap you if you disturb the wrong one…)
I actually even liked George Clooney. He is perfect as someone you sortof love to hate, the cliche’s are playful. Buzz lightyear chin. He was great.
Now Bullock’s character… well it all has to do with how you want to view women. Beautiful (thanks, Director man!), intelligent. Out of control emotions. There we are- is it good, bad? Sexist? A perfect feminist role model she is not. Not at all. But I’m ok with that too.
Oh and the bereaved mother thing was typical Hollywood bash-you-in-the-face-overkill just to make sure you feel what they want you to feel. whoever wrote that bit should be blacklisted from ever working on film.
But…. I’ll forgive them, Hollywood scriptwriting is, as a result of the corporate production environment, developmentally retarded when it comes to subtlety or artistic taste. It isn’t fair to hold these things against them, and that moment passed quickly.
Anyway, I enjoyed this review just like I enjoyed the movie. I’m going to take this review as saying, basically, they had the ingredients for an A+ movie but blew the part that costs the least- script and dialog. That’s all right, the result is still far better than what we usually get from a big budget job.
Very well put. I am glad I provided the forum for your comment.
Thelma ; the criticism provided by PeebandJay was a good criticism . I enjoyed it even though I’m a fan of the movie and since he constructed his comment in a well mannered sense I support his views and comments regarding the movie. But on the other hand your method of criticism was totally biased , ignorant and erupting with a mundane overflow of lack of commitment to your job. And i think you should start censoring the comments to display only the ones you support so that you wouldn’t have to go through the tedious process of Thanking everybody who shared your opinion. And you should replace your criticism with PeebAndJay’s.
Thanks for the honest review, Thelma. I thought I was the only one who didn’t like it. Love Bullock and Clooney but in believable roles. Jump from spacecraft to passing spacecraft as easy as playing Frogger? Read a few pages out of a manual in Russian or Chinese and hit a few buttons to go where you want. Can’t be any harder than driving a bus, can it, so Sandra has experience. And funny how astronauts have to be carried away after being weightless and losing muscle mass. Why can’t they be more like Sandra, the bunch of sissies? Again, thanks for your courage for bucking the mainstream.
Thanks for your comment.
eric diamond says
Thank you for risking being honest. The other reviews seem oddly inflated about this film. Yes, it’s unique, but the plot and dialogue are mawkish and downright silly in spots. SOme implausibility in film is OK, but some is just laziness in plotting. The notion of pulling out a manual (under duress) written in a foreign language and piloting a spacecraft may resonate with tech-phobic folks, but it’s ludicrous. The entire back story was syrupy even by Hollywood standards. Let’s bring back intelligent dialog and plot.
I’m with you, Eric Diamond. And, yes, I was rhetorically over-emphatic but in service of a larger point.
Damn, if you’re not going to pay attention to a movie you’re later going to review, then don’t even make the effort of getting into the theatre. All of that what you call your “critic” to the film, lies on an assumption that Sandra Bullock’s character wouldn’t get greenlit as an astronaut, because you think so. Well, big news, in the movie they alays make clear that she’s a researcher that got a special training and permission to go on an assisted walk for an experiment. That’s the reason she’s not everything you would expect from an astronaut, and where the survival plot takes it’s interesting side.
Of course, a researcher getting such clearence is not very believeble in real life, but I’m sure you didn’t got confused by the visuals to think it was a documentary, and did actually realize that is a fiction film (altough is not by any means sci-fi, because all the science it shows actually exists and everything could happen whithin certain conditions; as a sidenote, appearently you’re not aware of all the advice it had from NASA specialists and other scientists).
Beyond that and all of your other beliefs on how things work in space and zero gravity, I don’t see you make any other arguments that justify your critic. Besides the amazing visuals,I found to be exciting the way it actually utilizes them as a resource to the storytelling, as I believe is a visual and metaphorical experience that doesn’t relie heavily on dialogue (altough it does feature some great interactions between characters) to set an emotional journey. It’s really sad when people have the idea that a script it’s just pages and pages of dialogue, when this is one of the best scripted movies I’ve seen in a while.
I don’t think I could say I’m surprised that you’re review doesn’t go that far from the one-line abstract shown in RT.
For everyone that claims that it isn’t meant to be realistic, I wonder what the point of the film is if not to try and convince us, to try and suspend the reality?
I find her comments on character quite astute, Die Hard wouldn’t have worked if John McClane had been a librarian. And surely, if you’ve gone to the trouble of ensuring that the space physics are accurate (which, I found fairly impressive), why wouldn’t you go the lengths of making a character that could have believably taken part in the sort of arduous training that space programs require? It seems like a fairly unfortunate oversight, one that is easily remedied.
I do wish the reviewer would have spoken about more than just the character though. Bullock was fantastic. The acting was very thorough, even if the script left me wanting.
Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the film. The visuals truly are fantastic. The acting is fine. But for me, I felt no wow factor. The tension peaked early and entered a pattern of tumble helplessly through space, get to the next station, and watch on as the debris totally destroys everything around Bullock. It lacked, sadly, in my opinion, a real crescendo, and the ending was inevitable.
A third of the way into the film there was one character left. She couldn’t die. What has a watcher got to invest? What’s at stake? This woman has nothing to lose.
I admit this was more a single-minded piece of criticism than a typical balanced review. There was a pea under my mattress and I was trying to figure out why. I frequently write that kind of general review for public consumption. I guess this one was just a piece I was writing on my site to unravel why I didn’t go with the film the way so many people I know did. And, because so many had written the other side, I did not feel the need. But it is a flaw in my ointment.
Well the character implies that even the most arduous space training programs aren’t flawless , we’re human beings and no matter how technically advanced we are , we are still far away from perfection.
It’s acceptable that your not fond of the movie but generalizing your opinion in a way which conveys that everybody who watched the movie resonates your opinion is somewhat ignorant. Because Gravity is a movie ‘liked’ and accepted by majority of it’s audience as an exceptional movie.
Therefore the reviewer’s views are arrogant to an extent that it’s comprehended by majority as a publicity stunt.
I’d say it implies that they sent someone who couldn’t handle space travel into space. Talk about trying to fit the cube through the circle hole.
I don’t really want to dwell on that though, I think Thelma has done that enough for everyone.
I’m not sure if this part of your comment was directed at me, but I’ll respond all the same; I don’t think I generalised my opinion in a way that it resonates with everyone. I’ve attempted to be objective as a storyteller and look at reasons I think the film didn’t resonate with me. I’m not as ignorant as to believe that it isn’t a popular film. I just didn’t like it that much, I felt there wasn’t a moment that left my skin crawling. To be subjective, I felt it was overblown and the script lacked any real investment.
Objectively I can’t see a reason for a watcher to invest in the character when there is nothing at stake. I presume that people have become lost in the story enough to believe that she might not make it, but I guess my belief simply wasn’t suspended on this occasion; I don’t see that as a flaw on my part, as I’m often engrossed in films.
I think it’s sad to think that disagreeing with the majority makes you arrogant. I don’t like Top 40, I find most of it meaningless and trite, I like to think that I’m not arrogant because something doesn’t sit right with me. People just have different tastes and opinions.
If it IS a publicity stunt, it’s a poor one. I’ve no reason to read anything else by Thelma, I was simply intrigued to see that someone shared my views.
Damn, if you’re not going to pay attention to a movie you’re later going to review, then don’t even make the effort of getting into the theatre. All of that what you call your “critic” to the film, lies on an assumption that Sandra Bullock’s character wouldn’t get greenlit as an astronaut, because you think so. Well, big news, in the movie they alays make clear that she’s a researcher that got a special training and permission to go on an assisted walk for an experiment. That’s the reason she’s not everything you would expect from an astronaut, and where the survival plot takes it’s interesting side.
Shoot, it was a far larger comment I had written, but for some reason it got cropped.
Try to investigate a little about the process of making this film, all the advice they got form specialists; and really pay attention to what you’re watching (and listening) on screen next time you go see a movie, don’t expect all films to have the same intentions towards the overall experience. This in particular is an emotional journey, and to tell you the truth one of the best scripted ones I’ve seen in a while (because not everything in a script is dialoge).
Well, it’s really sad that your “critic” doesn’t go that far from the one-line abstract shown in RT. Seems now-a-days everyone tries to get visits by writing very unprofessional “revews”.
Elderly Ted says
Thelma, don’t let the brickbats hurt you. Your criticism and cynicism were spot on. However, as a very old male, I must admit watching Sandra floating around in her skivvies was well worth the price of admission. At almost age 50, she’s still a very beautiful, youthful woman.
Another observation is that George Clooney was probably grossly overpaid for what amounted to a bit part. Even tho he spoke for awhile as a spot in the sky and reappeared briefly as a ghost, his role was tiny for a star of his stature.
I am a big Sci fi fan and usually enjoy space films. This however was just ok and I feel the story was at fault. Far fetched drivel bought back to ok-ness with cgi graphics.
So how many mistakes does a movie get before becoming “far-fetched drivel?” The character of one character being wrong for the astronaut selection process, while being correct, certainly didn’t strike anyone I know as a significant problem, much less some kind of a deal breaker. It seems unlikely that a single imperfection should doom any otherwise amazing movie to the status of “far-fetched drivel.”
Is it your usual practice to judge movies so harshly and obsess over one thing?
And where is it written that the primary purpose of this film is to be perfectly realistic? I thought it was to entertain.
I guess sci-fi isn’t usually far-fetched then. What is this weird obsession with ‘realism’?
I don’t think it’s an obsession, I just think if you’re going to make a “realistic film” you should do it properly. This isn’t like a sci fi/fantasy with aliens etc, this is based on a hypothetical situation. It also makes a bloody good metaphor. The character is just out of her depth. I think if you’ve gone to the trouble of making everything else realistic, character is the easiest thing to fix.
“I don’t think it’s an obsession, I just think if you’re going to make a ‘realistic film’ you should do it properly.”
Perfectly, it seems.
Well, yeah. If you’re going to spend that much on a film, if you’re going to go to the effort of making it, it makes sense to clear up the few little details that sort of make it less believable.
It’s not written anywhere that it has to be believable, but that is the impression the film gives. From the very beginning it suggests that it’ll be a scientifically accurate film, and for the most part, it doesn’t do such a bad job.
I think Thelma did focus on one element of the films downfall, but it wasn’t it’s only issue in my mind. For me it just never got going and I went in with the intention of enjoying it.
“Although Gravity is often cited in the media as a science fiction film, Cuarón told BBC that he sees the film rather as ‘a drama of a woman in space'”.
That’s why we have a weird obsession with the realism of this movie.
k film – boring, unrealistic characters and behaviours – the review is absolutely correct – watch Apollo 13 if you what to see real responses to space disaster.
I agree & Apollo 13 was boring too
Astronauts used to be gung-ho test pilots, tough as nails and all that. Now astronauts are teachers, scientists, etc. The story may seem unlikely, but it works.
Respect to Thelma for holding to her opinions, but I think she’s seized onto the wrong details to avoid getting drawn into a marvelous but disturbing movie. (I do that occasionally.)
I hate it when a movie seems fundamentally dishonest (that’s why I can’t stand those “Love Actually” romcoms), but dismissing Gravity because the main scenario would never have come together? You might as well say that Charles Foster Kane wouldn’t have owned a sled.
not a critique says
To all the people who are saying this reviewer is wrong are wrong. You love bullshit movie like gravity thats your problem, but the movie is a average movie and nothing praise worthy
Could you remind me which other space-technology drama is better acted or filmed than this? Or which depiction of the Earth from space in a movie is better than this? I’m interested to know what makes this average. Average in relation to what, exactly. You honestly think they could have rendered this film better? How?
I wrote this piece to work out my reaction on my website. Later, when I put up a number of reviews, I put this one up, too. I do not mind the attention but that was not my intent.
lol , Thelma ; Your a joke.
The reviewer seems completely unaware that Ryan Stone was hired to fix the hubble. It’s a “what-if” scenario. “what if an inexperienced tech geek was hired to fix the hubble and the whole operation got blown to bits by debris”
-don’t complain about plot points if you don’t even grasp what happened in the movie you just watched
I was very surprised that rotten tomatoes had only this single review as “rotten”. Why is this movie rated so high, beats me.
It has fantastic visuals – of the type teenagers are fascinated with. And nothing much more, really. Is that what makes movies 97% fresh nowadays? Plot is thin, no, vapid. Sandra (with all due respect and admiration for her previous work) was too old for the part. Kate Beckinsale might have done the job well (at least with all the undressing). And yes, the leading lady is freaking out all the time like a tree huger with a horrible ugly terrifying caterpillar crawling up her arm that just keeps coming back.
What got me annoyed in terms of promised realism – it has just too many collisions. Some object exploded far away, ok. The pieces will spread out with distance quickly. How far was the original explosion? They should be lucky if just a piece or two zoomed anywhere nearby. But we get a full blown shower. What are the odds? As if someone was using a gigantic shotgun aimed at them, repeatedly throughout the movie. That plus what all the previous comments mentioned, like Clooney character’s incomprehensible decision to let go.
Can one smell bull* is space – exactly!
Ah, to turn 40 and feel like a teenager again…
Because I myself was fascinated with visuals (and direction), after I thought I’ve long seen it all. And for this kind of film they are way more important than the plot nuances.
You’re right about the dynamics of the debris in space, though, but that derision via “teenagers” is smug, pretentious and unwarranted.
Maurice Grobeisen says
Because it’s popular.
Here’s how it works – some people need attention from others so that they can define themselves, because they don’t have a firm grasp of who they are. It’s a bit like the craving to be famous. This manifests as people over praising lesser-known new films, then hating on the same film when it becomes popular (as well as any other popular film).
In their craving for identity, they’ll deliberately counter mainstream culture, to prove they’re not sheep. Needless to say, it’s all about them, and their emotional needs, and seldom about the film in question.
Hope that helps 🙂
So in your mind, no one genuinely dislikes something that has mainstream popularity? They just do it for attention? Got it. Sounds legit.
In his mind , this particular piece was constructed to bath in attention. That’s legit.
Such a bad reviewer. If this reviewer seriously goes from one film to the next discussing whether every character or event in the movie ‘would really have happened’, I am baffled as to why she is reviewing fiction at all. Or has any appreciation at all for the art of story-telling. It’s really low-brow thinking arrogantly masquerading at something superior; heckling without substance.
It would be annoying to be a movie critic, having to sit through the same film over and over. I thought her review was too kind.
I just would like to point that while Kowalski is a veteran astronaout, Ryan is a rookie. It’s her first mission after only 6 months of training, and being in the space is not quite like training in a water pool. The point of the movie is to show Bullock’s character transformation, by demanding a much more stoic and experienced main character you are missing the point of the movie.
I do not believe that she would have passed muster even as a rookie.
The only winner here its the critic, she is trolling the movie so she can get clicks in her blog, nice move.
Nah, really it wasn’t that memorable.
I agree with the reviewer, this movies dialogue and story are crap aside from stunning visuals. Perhaps the most ridiculous and unrealistic thing is Clooneys titanic-esque selflessnes ” oh let me go, save your self” and then even in death coming back and saving her as some kind of hallucination. Not to mention hollywoods cliche last second survival of dangerous situation which keeps on keeping onr through out the entire movie.
There is only one way to enjoy this movie and thats by turning off the volume and letting pink floyd play in the background as you enjoy a nice stout beer (or whatever your poison may be)
How many of you have ever taken a university-level physics course? I’m pretty sure Georgy-boy weighs significantly more than Sandra Bullock. F=ma. Look it up.
then think about it.
but yes, the score was tragically Hollywood. Kinda ruined a lot of moments. Btw, did anyone catch the religious theme?
Thelma was this your professional assessment from your years as a former NASA instructor? LOL! Come on. Keep in mind that the last several space shuttle missions have had recruits from the private sector and not military.
To Associate/Friend/Fanboy Paul Toby Maguire showing up as a US special ops marine. Why not Paul. Special ops marines are all 225lbs, square jawed and sport a cool 5 o’clock shadow. Now that’s pure holly-wood fantasy.
To Andy in the UK. Yes Apollo 13 was realistic. It actually happened. Pretty well documented. All personnel military. They kept pretty well to the story. Gravity not a true story. Events that unfold are far more extreme and catastrophic. Sandra Bullocks’ character civilian.
In my opinion the reviewer is nitpicking at a very vague point in the sky. If the character was replaced with a G.I. Jane hard ass soldier type it would have sucked the heart right out of this movie. Hollywood executive are more than capable of doing that on their own. No help needed there.
Jane Lott says
Great movie. Thelma is just jealous because Bullock looks young again, after the face lift 🙂
Last night I started watching Gravity, and fell asleep.
Having seen the plot before in “Open Water”
So far there was nothing new to the actual story.
Visually stunning and all that but it failed to keep me engrossed.
It would be like the next NEW movie “Racing to Mars” where stranded ‘nauts, a Chinese and American must put aside personal and political views, language probs etc and co-op in order to survive, ala hell in the pacific & Enemy Mine”.
Will pick up where I left off tonight and see what evolves. Not expecting much more than a visual experience.
In space is there anything original left?
pretty much the same as my own review.
I actually got around to watching the whole movie, it did get better and less predictable after a certain point,,,,,
> but just a little better.
Sure she may get a few hits from this, but the review itself clearly shows how bad a reviewer she is. I suggest people reading it write to the review meta sites and request her removed from future inclusion as a professional reviewer.
In such a simpleminded way, the reviewed has attempted to pull down the main character by attempting top discredit ability for one such person to pass through NASA training, at the same time using an example of a clearly psychologically unstable NASA astronaut as the way in which ‘true’ astronauts crack?
The idiocy of this immense, one wonders what ‘crack’ is actually going on here with Thelma.
She is not done yet though, as she additionally attempts to discredit the opinion of real life astronaut, Chris Hadfield.
Being fair, there are certainly some dramatization here, but it’s tempered by the incredible situations that are placed before the characters, and works to communicate those situations and feelings so very well.
Thelma, this is disrespectful to the film maker, because you don’t criticize the movie, you just attack things a character for… being a character…?
No amount of buddies writing in your comments will help you get respect for this review.
Well, the film maker wrote the script, so I’d say they had a large part to do with the character. If you think character has nothing to do with movie making you might be in the wrong place.
Additionally I’m not Thelma’s “buddy”, fortunately I have a mind of my own and also have the ability to dislike the film.
I agree – nothing new here at all. Your typical overcoming adversity Hollywood blockbuster starring Bullock & Clooney as “Stone” and “Kowalski”.
Yeah it looked good, but thats poor consolation if you’ve got dialogue like “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
Entertaining I guess but don’t go to this movie expecting big ideas or anything memorable.
The Rotten Tomatoes reviews will come back down to Earth in a few months.
The fact is that the story is lacking. You can argue that it doesn’t matter, but you can’t argue that it isn’t lacking.
For some people, the screw-ups stick out, disappoint the viewer, and ruin the movie. For some others, they don’t. But what are people doing acting offended that someone has said as much?
This isn’t supposed to be Jurassic Park. It’s not a complex plot, it is grounded. It’s not an adventure of continual twists, it’s a conscious and semi-serious focus on realism. So as much as anyone might have enjoyed the film, how hard is it to accept that the mistakes did indeed hurt it for some? There is little plot to feed off and it’s trying to keep things hard and realistic, so when something mucks up it sticks out. Is that too much to acknowledge?
For me, the rope part damaged the movie. As soon as that happened I was interrupted by myself, right in the middle of the film, asking “Why am I watching this?” That point was too convenient, too unexplained, too little effort by the script.
Overall it’s a shame, because it’s a gorgeous movie. It’s a standout among sci-fi for its visuals and atmosphere and should be seen. But those visuals and atmosphere are certainly the only stars in Gravity.
Well, apart from the literal stars. 😀
Just out of interest which bit wasn’t predictable?
There seemed to be a pattern that emerged…
the visuals are super – the acting/writing is low B grade drive in movie stuff – pure campy comic book dialog – not for one minute does either actor make me feel that they are astronauts. like most modern movies, there are hundreds of millions for the special effects team and about $1.95 spent on the writers.
The Film is a visual tour de force but with a sketchy main character who is so frustratingly inept I didn’t care if she survived or not, this antipathy towards her was exacerbated by the character giving up and turning of her life support only to be rescued by a hallucination of George Clooney.
I watched this movie last night after hearing what a terrific movie it was. I was underwhelmed and I was curious to see what the reviews said so here I am.
First, whomever wrote THIS review does seem to be OBSESSIVE about their criticism. It wasn’t that bad. Really, I hope you have other ways to make a living because you are clearly not an impartial reviewer, you have an axe to grind!!!!!
The movie was great in the first half, I was jumping and screaming and really into it. Around the midpoint I caught myself thinking, “just hurry up and get home already so I can go to bed!”
I too found the relationship between Clooney and Bullock very odd. There is no way he wouldn’t have known that basic information like her hometown waaaaaay before they stepped out in those spacesuits.
The ending was a foregone conclusion so it made watching the movie a bit of a bore for me. Lol, I was expecting a crocodile in the water too though! THAT would have bee a great ending to leave us guessing. 🙂
The whole scene where she was singing with the Chinese guy and trying to kill herself and then Clooney’s ghost shows up was so Hollywood and completely unnecessary.
I wouldn’t watch it again and I don’t think anyone deserves an Oscar for acting, are you kidding me? This was not a revolutionary movie at all.
How old are you,Lena?12?
This is absurd. It’s the one bad review on rotten tomatoes and it’s substantiated by a premise that’s false. I might expect people’s opinions to differ on a subject, but there’s a substantial factual error about the movie here.
Ryan Stone _is not an astronaut_. She is a payload specialist. She did not have experience being an astronaut, she was only familiar with the device being attached to the ISS. This is explained in the film.
Justin Swanton says
The fundamental weakness of the movie (which at the level it intended I enjoyed) is its attempt to incorporate scientific near-realism into what is really an action movie in space. The main protagonist escapes death by the skin of her teeth not once, but several times. There is movement, excitement, fire, things blowing up: basically a setup in which no-one would survive ten seconds in, never mind an hour and a half.
It is this fundamental unreality – which audiences accept in its context (think of The Fast and the Furious) – that is wedded in an unhappy union with the realism of the visuals. We are expected to suspend disbelief on two levels and cannot quite manage it.
This movie should have been either Apollo 13 or Armageddon. Its flaw, amid it great strengths, is in trying to be both.
My complaint is not that Gravity is unrealistic. I absolutely forgive the main characters not an astronaut behavior. Let’s just assume that space work has become so routine that some folks get up there because they are scientists and the real astronauts will take care of them. My problem is this movie has no story. It is a series of narrow escapes. Why do we care what happens? We know nothing about the main character or her life. This is more like a NASA training film than a movie. Where is the story???
I agree with you. This is one of the main points that made me dislike this film. While the cinematography was indeed breathtaking, I didn’t feel connected to the story of Dr. Stone, and just that fact bored me. I also didn’t feel any major character development either, and that is usually what I expect from films because they create an interesting journey.
If this movie had anything to do with “being an astronaut” I’d agree with you.
Unfortunately, it’s a movie about a woman coming to grips with extreme loss & finding herself again.
I give Adams’s review a 0 out of 5 for completely missing the point.
My sincere apologies, Thelma. I had just finished watching the film and thoroughly enjoyed it (obviously) when I came across this review via rotten tomatoes. I wrote what I though without pause to edit or reflect…and as soon as I had sent it…I realised that it was a vitriolic laden spiel purely designed to make me feel better or more important by criticising your views. I just became one of those keyboard warriors that I absolutely detest and I feel ashamed. Please ignore my above post and do not post it. You are allowed your opinion and have made numerous insightful observations on issues within the film. If I was to write a post disagreeing with you, it should not have been in the fashion in which I wrote the above post. I should have written it as a mature adult…not as a immature boy behaving like a twit. So, again, my sincere apologies.
I totally agree with the reviewer. It’s no way worth the 8.4 in imdb.
I also came here because of the squishy tomato on Rotten Tomatoes. Finally, someone who thought the film was a load of rubbish. I was actually laughing out loud at the dreadful script and the amount of cr*ppy coincidences we were expected to swallow. Maybe if Id seen it at the cinema in 3D it’d be a different story. As it was, it was a huge waste of time and I can’t get those hours of my life back!
Thelma, you did your job for me. You got me here and I read every comment. Fascinating contrasts, and all I needed to know to confirm that I don’t need to spend on this one. I believe already that men can sacrifice their lives somehow (like our volunteer military), so I don’t need to see that. They can really shine, but it breaks my heart that it’s happening many times every day.
I thought that Bullock and Clooney would be doing a lot of talking and giving us profound philosophy. I thought I’d be crying the whole time. Turns out it’s a special effects movie…with questionable effects. I’m sure it is beautiful, and I like the comment about muting it and listening to Pink Floyd.
Thank you for this delicious and honest review – I read it out loud to my partner. You may be a lone voice crying out in the wind, but I agree with all your points. It’s unfortunate when a movie this visually beautiful lacks so much in terms of plot. I was mesmerized but oddly detached and don’t get me started on the daughter who slips while playing tag….Thanks Thelma!
A very thin review. If your only insight into the film is that you don’t think Bullock’s character would have passed astronaut’s exams I shouldn’t have bothered writing the article.
I’m afraid I didn’t like “Gravity” all that much, either. Yes, the cinematography and effects were spectacular, but if this is going to be a drama and not a documentary, you need more than just breath-taking visuals.
Several people have mentioned the implausibility of some of the place-to-place jumps in space, and I have to agree with these criticisms. The film makes it seem that all you need to do is look at your target, give a blast on your EVA rig (or fire extinguisher) and bingo! There you are at your planned destination. I also had difficulty with the repeated impacts with hard, sharp objects, none of which seemed to jeopardize (or harm, or even bruise) the space-suited characters.
My greatest disappointment was with Ms. Bullock’s role. Not that she is a bad actress, but her script for this movie must have been all of 15 pages long, most of which was the direction “[breathes heavily]”. Clooney’s character warns her near the start of the film that heavy, rapid breathing will use up her oxygen faster, but this caution seems to go entirely unheeded. Yes, she was a payload specialist and not a fully-trained astronaut, but surely she would have been educated about the dangers of hyperventilating when you are reliant on a limited air supply.
When, late in the film, our intrepid heroine had a visit from the Ghost of Spacewalks Past, I more or less gave up on the plausibility of any of this film. However, with that said, I really would like to see a “making of” documentary showing how they filmed those really impressive-looking space scenes.
Thanks for the honest review, Thelma, and “Illegitimi non carborundum”. Sometimes the Emperor really is under-dressed!
100% agree with this review. Those who love Gravity, did we watch the SAME movie?? I am flabbergasted.
There is no such a thing as bad or good reviewer. She is expressing her point of view. I happen to totally agree with her 🙂
This review is right on the money. While the effects are spectacular, the cinematography is brilliant, the dialogue *is* bullshit and the whole thing felt contrived. Anyone with an ounce of intellect would agree that Bullock’s character wouldn’t have made it past training onto the shuttle.
I partially agree with Thelma, but I also feel this review actually centered a little too much on the discussion of why Sandra Bullock’s character wouldn’t make it as an astronaut.
That said, I must add that altough I like Alfonso Cuarón, I like Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and I really liked Children of men, I felt a Little disappointed by this movie. I still liked it more than hated it, but I feel is a missed opportunity.
First of all, I want to mention what I liked about the movie: I really liked Sandra Bullock’s performance. I completely loved the astounding visuals, I like the fact that the story is really simple. Something that I also loved, was the feeling of isolation and despair. I also found ok the analogy between her situation in space and her feelings for the death of her daughter and the need to find the willl to live again even if I felt it was a little bit contrived, but I buy it for the sake of the movie.
What I just cannot buy, are some things that totally broke my suspension of disbelief, like George clooney’s character, or the way she escapes on the last second not only one but three times.
Sepaking of George Clooney’s character, I think he is more bothersome than Sandra Bullock’s allegedly impossible astronaut. In the first sequences, he’s just childishly playing (flying in circles meanwhile the rest of the mission happens) like all the charming, wisecracking cool heros from Hollywood, which feels too “movie-like” for my taste.
Later in the movie, he doesn’t seem affected AT ALL by the fact he’s going to die. I know that most astronauts must have accepted that it is a dangerous job and that every mission might be their last, but anyway this bothers me. Instincts usually kick in, but instead, he just tells Kowalski to let him go, in an impossibly calm manner. It just lacked him calling her ” kiddo”.
It also bothered me that this scene is almost an exact copy of a scene from the awful “Mission to mars”, when Tim Robbins asks his wife to let him go. Couldn’t they do something more original than recreating a situation that we already saw in a terrible movie almost in the same way?
Wouldn’t have been more effective, if he felt he was going to die, lost (even a Little), that uber-coolnes and composture and asked her to help him, but she lost him anyway? This scene was SO predictable! I expect that from Michael Bay, not from Cuarón.
I think the movie is gorgeous and well acted and directed, but I can’t shake the feeling that it seems a little as if this was a Stanley Kubrick film, with a few sequences inserted by Michael Bay. Just remove the Michael Bay parts, and you have a beatiful, moving, thrilling film.
your review is way, way better than the one from the original poster
I would like to review Thelma Adams.
She should not be reviewing movies.
Her reasons for not enjoying the movie makes no sense.
It is not supposed to be a true life story.
It is a movie, which has drama and science fiction.
I hope people do not pay her to review so badly in the future.
Just another dumb critic who thinks every movie should be a real life documentary. You know its a good movie when critics hate it, Thanks for letting me know I should see this movie.
David vd Merwe says
Disclaimer: I have not seen the film. But like many of the readers I suspect was lured here by the only rotten tomato Gravity received. I would however like to review the said review.
According to the Oxford online dictionary a review is: “a critical appraisal of a book, play, movie, exhibition, etc,. published in a newspaper or magazine.”
Granted, a review is solely the reviewer’s opinion, but there are certain aspects to which a review should conform to ensure that it is credible.
The first mistake I noticed is the discrepancy in Thelma Adams opening paragraph: “Hope for the best, don’t expect the worst,” versus “it wasn’t just the fact that I was way up in the rafters wearing 3-D glasses over my already thick specs”.
Clearly by the time the film started, the writer was already expecting worse, not to mention the fact that she was not reviewing the Princess of Wales Theater but the film “Gravity”, or should that be “Gravity’s”. I know English is my second language but surely that should have been “Gravity”’s or just plain Gravity’s if you find quotation marks confusing.
Secondly, the writer refers to the film as a “3-D space chamber opera” and then continues to bemoan the unrealistic performance by the female lead character. So in which category should this movie fall according to Adams? A dramatization of imaginary circumstances or a documentary study of a space mission gone wrong? Including wisecracks and comic relief.
The third and most glaring mistake is that the writer obviously does not know the difference between a review and a précis (a summary or abstract). Not only does she give a précis of Gravity, she then also gives a précis of Open Water and low and behold she goes on to give us another précis in the form of Naval Captain Lisa Nowak’s life. Which for some reason I fail to see as relevant, unless there is some Fatal Attraction subtext to Stone and Kowalsky’s relationship, but of course I have not seen the film. So comparing the pursuit of a romantic rival in disposable diapers with an unexpected never before experienced life threating situation in orbit could be a valid way for showing that the writers did not understand what it takes to be an astronaut.
Evidently Adams, with her “(include me not!)” (no need to shout, or was that the intention when using the exclamation mark?), does know what it takes to be an astronaut even if she admits to not knowing the dropout statistics.
This review then, in my opinion gets a thoroughly rotten tomato. In closing I would just like to know what exactly a “nearly hired tech” is?
I’m glad so many people enjoyed it. I had the same problem as the reviewer. Just too unbelievable for me throughout. Didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
If the film had taken a “realistic approach” to Stone’s character (a calm, collected woman at home in the stars), then the film would have come off as robotic and also severed ties with the themes of “Birth, Death and Re-Birth” which are heavily evident throughout the film. The purpose of Bullock’s character is to show the progression from being born (in conflict) to her ultimate re-birth and death (which I will not disclose due to spoilers). Thematic imagery such as her suspended in the capsule with wires around her (and she is tucked in the foetal position), are obvious moments when we are meant to see this correlation that Cuaron is trying to convey. And if her character was altered or made more confident in any way, this thematic would have been dissolved and you would be left with “a NASA training video,” as you stated.
Overall, the film is a successful and deliberate. Nothing is included into this film without meaning and intent. Unlike other films that drone on for 3 hours and accomplish nothing, I honestly feel that Gravity has shown us what can be created when we cut out the unnecessary filler; both in CGI and dialogue. As for its competitors; 12 Years a Slave is an excellent piece and Captain Phillips is overrated, sub-par Tom Hanks with too many repeated lines/close ups to “force-feed” us drama. Sorry, but watch it again. Take a shot every time the pirate repeats a line.
Thelma, you just did not get it; so leave it alone.
Appalling, over hyped, unrealistically unrealistic, Hollywood rubbish, missed opportunity, applaud the reviewer for being honest – don’t understand the attacks on the reviewer, the movie was bad, simply as that!
Well my goodness. Of course it’s not realistic. I mean what we see looks real, but they all would have been cut to ribbons by that first pass of debris, for that matter NASA would have aborted the mission they were on as soon as word of the Russian satellite explosions became known. It a movie for goodness sake. If we are going to enjoy the escapism of going to the picture show we can’t keep score of what would really happen. If that were the case there would be nothi g but documentaries to see. It’s ok to relax and buy into the premiss and enjoy the ride. Ryan would have died in the fire in the space statin because it would have consumed all the oxygen but she didn’t becaus —- it a movie. Geesh! 🙂
Also get a good seat next time so you can enjoy the movie!
The science in this move is extremely flawed and the movie itself is boring. Most other reviewers must be on LSD.
Thank you Omar for highlighting that excellence in script writing does not necessarily mean pages of literary sounding dialogue (which actually is the only clunky dialogue there is). The sad thing is that film watchers usually have very conventional views on what a script should be.
People here have cursed the Hollywood hacks who have made the simplistic script. Actually the guy is director’s son. (Untrained of course and a Marvel comics lover, being endowed with the duty only because of some uncalled-for nepotism. Warning sarcasm alert!)
I suggest a crash course on the art of contemporary script writing with this guy’s companion short to Gravity. I believe it is still online:
After you’ve watched it, think about difficulties of creating something like it in a script form. How would you indicate everything which appears inside the framework of shot scenes? How would you pen down an exchange of words which is basically non-communication? It’s not the easiest job to do so fluently.
Can you smell bullsh** in space? I don’t know. Why not launch this article up there and see?
So, astronauts can’t have break downs because they’ve been through all that in simulators? Since when are simulators and a real life-threatening event, where you know you really may end up dead any second, the same thing?
This review is a one trick pony, knocking the entire movie based on one single nag. And it’s a completely wrong detail to pick on, making this review pointless. Maybe the author felt that was the one thing that took her out of the suspense and enjoyment. But I think it was her “thick specs”.
I forgot to clarify that it’s perfectly good thing to have a different opinion. I’d be the first to jump out of any band-wagon myself. But it needs to be more than half-baked one, especially if it’s branded as a “professional” opinion, otherwise it’s just contrarianism for the sake of it.
I was expecting to hate this movie myself, but I can’t – the “good” in it far outweighs the “bad”.
What a negative review. I realize that there are plot holes in this story, but I am willing to suspend disbelief because it’s a movie! I am sorry you could not enjoy it like the rest of us.
I agree this movie was a huge disappointment, but it has little to do with realism. The “action” was boring and predictable..
The script seemed like three mini-scripts all the same and devoid of any creativity. Work on Shuttle, it is hit and explodes, narrowly escape… Go to space station, it explodes, narrowly escape… Go to Chinese module, reenter/burn-up, sink in water, narrowly escape… Lather, rinse, repeat.
When the movie ended I was shocked, thinking “that’s it?”.. Everyone who loved this movie should see it on an airplane like I did without all of the visual effects played out on a huge screen in front of you… I think the visuals seduced many into not noticing the plot was so simple a high school student could have written it. I’m sure the visuals in IMAX were stunning, no doubt, but without them this movie was a stinker!! All sizzle, no steak.
She´s great, i mean you Thel.
I’ve been a regular filmgoer since Mary Poppins in 1964. I’ve been a sci-fi fan for many years. After half an hour of Gravity’s formulaic, emotive button-pushing, cliché-ridden crap, I turned it off. Mary Poppins defies Gravity any day. This is the best film review I have ever read.
I agree..it is a good review.
You can’t smell bullsh*t in space, but you can smell click bait over the internet.
Sometimes something that someone really feels passionate about, and writes about from an honest place, can also function like click bait.
You could definitely see your enthusiasm within the work you
write. The world hopes for more passionate
writers like you who aren’t afraid to say
how they believe. Always go after your heart.
This movie was so bad, filled with ridiculous plot points and unbelievable twists. This movie honestly set women back another 20 years, and I’m not a feminist, well maybe I am, being a father of two girls. Okay, let’s send in a retarded doctor, with no training in anything outside of her stupid lab, to space…I’m sure she’ll be fine. Let’s also ignore the extreme standards required by NASA, where only the best of the best actually make it to space.
One plot point to the next, we lead her through some stupid obviously studio events, hardly believable to anyone who watches. Yes, the earth is beautiful, we get it. And our loveable (we all love Sandra) character, is on earth by some stupid as plot twist, survives all of that crap. What do we learn from this…it’s pointless. A moron can be launched into space, barely survive, she loves her stupid husband or kids or whatever, and can swim after the pod crashes…wrap party.
How can people think this derivative crap is good filmmaking. Special effects can never substitute a good story. There is nothing here.
Finally caught up with this film..on good quality gear. Must say I expected more. While the making is superb the story seems like some Disney movie…with a highly unlikely plot. Such things just could not happen I’m sure.
I found myself thinking at the end..after all that and getting back..now she is probably going to be eaten by some large fish…although I realized that would be a step too far beyond the other steps too far.
Thanks for returning to read my dissenting review of “Gravity.” There was nothing inherently contrarian about my viewpoint. I, like you, just didn’t buy it. And I didn’t buy it from a very early moment. It’s gizmo-obsessed rather than character-driven. And I wasn’t going to let it off the hook just because it was “female-driven” if I did not believe that female.