Friday, October 18, 2013

The Humdrum of Gravity

I wasn't very eager to see Gravity. Boredom was a guaranteed companion, coupled with the annoyance of donning the bulky plastic 3D glasses over my prescription ones did not sweeten the deal. Nevertheless, the film was playing at a near by theater and I had a free Sunday afternoon to spare. I pushed my skepticism aside and went to an 11:00 showing. Although the local AMC I frequent quite frequently cannot compete with the modern facilities of its Manhattan counterparts, I always have a good time at its early shows due to the mature clientele of respectable town residents. Even when the theater is packed, the morning movie goers are always polite and courteous to others.

I sat through the previews, both 3D and flat, with deflated enthusiasm and  I braced myself for the onset of nausea promised by most of the reviews I read prior. I am happy to report that Gravity was a 90 minute nausea free affair for me. Since I suffer from frequent bouts of motion sickness and always get dizzy at planetariums, I am led to believe the nausea rumors were merely a Hollywood ploy in an attempt to authenticate the outer space experience of the movie. As a nausea expert, I find it hard to believe that Dr. Ryan could have performed her duties while disposed. Moreover, the lack of perspiration and heavy breathing are counter to my motion sickness experiences. With these first few scenes my conviction dimensioned even further.

I understand that gravity is a movie about outer space and in that respect the cosmic imagery is truly amazing. I was transported and thoroughly moved upon the site of George Clooney and Sandara Bullock aimlessly floating around with earth in the background centered on the illuminated outlines of the Red Sea and river Nile as George asked, "Where's home?" (I'm from Egypt). There were a couple of head jerking moments successfully employing 3D gimmickry. Yet, had Gravity stayed true to it's original purpose as a movie about space, I wouldn't have deplored it as much. However the invisible intrusion of Hollywood is blatantly apparent with the film's feeble attempts to create a plot and characters that defy reason and stretch the realms of physical possibility. 

I must say that the best thing about Gravity is it's brevity. I believe the film makers would have been better off in keeping the story simply about astronauts doing what astronauts do. So if you want to gaze into outer space, then by all means see Gravity (preferably in imax). If you are looking for adventure I believe you'd be better off with Prisoners or Captain Philips.


  1. "I was transported and thoroughly moved upon the site of George Clooney and Sandara Bullock aimlessly floating around with earth in the background centered on the illuminated outlines of the Red Sea and river Nile as George asked, "Where's home?""

    Saw you on Huffington Post. Interesting review! Yes, that aspect really worked well. I loved when he looked up and the ocean was above him. That view was fantastic.

    1. The imagery was truly mesmerizing :) Thanks for the feedback

  2. I really liked Gravity, so on most points I disagree with you, but I liked your review however. What do you think of mine? Movie Review: Walk through space with Gravity

    1. I love the enthusiasm in your blog - I could almost hear your voice when I was read it :)

      I think we agree that Gravity is all about the imagery. This is my biggest issue. They should have just of kept at that. The movie would have been a success regardless of the casting. They already had Clooney who could have done the promotional duties, so why didn't they cast an up & comer for Ryan and give them a chance at stardom. I believe that they simply casted America's Sweetheart and the Sexiest Man Alive so the audience would have an attachment to them. How can we attach to the characters when there is no development thru the film. Moreover, I find it hard to sympathize with Ryan's plight when all Satellites orbiting earth are damaged or down. If that scenario would have happened, the impact would have been much more than just "Half of Northern America loosing their Facebook". Moreover, the fact that the Russians blowup their own satellite seems unlikely. Why didn't they consider the impact of the debris beforehand and isn't there any other method to disable their own equipment?

      I'm not a big Science Fiction fan, so maybe I'm putting too much thought in the film, when at the end it is simply a Hollywood movie.

  3. I just saw the movie then ran to see your review upon our talk a while back.
    Actually I disagree with everything you say and I have new remarks from Engineering point of view.
    There are a few disastrous flaws in the movie that shouldn't pass by any self respectful engineer.
    1- When George unclips himself to float away to his death, all she had to do is a gentle tug and could have rescued him and safely pulled towards her (Didn't they study physics in outer space? DUH!!)
    2- Surely it was nice of Sandra to be wearing nothing under her suit for our amusement, but that's far from realistic as they should wear socks and diapers, and thermal outfit to adapt with extreme conditions and temperature in space.
    3- How the hell did Sandra tear float away? Didn't they hear of surface tension?
    there's no way that tear could have left her cheek.
    Despite the inaccuracies in Gravity but overall it was a great breath taking movie.

    1. The same technical flaws apply to the plot. The movie only delivers on the imagery, no story and definitely no acting. And the symbolism is blatantly overdone - the image of Sandra Bullock floating, almost naked, in a circular room surrounded by tubes, waking up and emerging from a tunnel with new found courage - reborn. The whole George Clooney other sequence, pls. Although I'm not an engineer, but I find the final scene completely implausible.