The Videogum Movie Club: Gravity

By now, Neil deGrasse Tyson has already tweeted about the many inaccurate elements of Gravity’s plot, and Alfonso Cuarón has already responded to those who might be critical of those less-than-truthful elements with — to paraphrase — “uh yeah, I know about those things and I don’t care; it’s a movie.” Yet no one has openly criticized the person who loudly complained that the television in the bar area was “so gauche” at the restaurant I went to before seeing the movie! Will no one take this man to task? If not for the television complaints, at least for how he loudly wished that his girlfriend would offer more praise for the elements of his personality he prizes the most, i.e. his insight! And if not for that, he should be taken to task at the VERY least for his loudly talking about the movie Gravity when that movie JUST CAME OUT AND MAYBE SOME PEOPLE SEATED RIGHT NEXT TO YOU HADN’T SEEN IT YET AND WERE GOING TO SEE IT IN ONE HOUR, LOWER YOUR INTENSELY LOUD VOICE! So gauche indeed, sir. Anyway, why didn’t Sandra Bullock barf? Let’s talk about it!

Lots of the inaccuracies don’t mean a whole lot to me because I am empty-headed and would never know any better. They could’ve connected the International Space Station and the Chinese Space Station with a Moon Bridge and I would have been like, “Wow, I loved how real the Moon Bridge looked!” Just the dumbest. (Though, even though it is just a movie and mostly I don’t care, there is something to be said about making the space plot of your hyper-realistic looking space movie somewhat plausible. Maybe include a title card that says it’s a few years in the future and the Hubble Space Telescope was moved closer to the ISS because of something something aliens?) But it does seem like Gravity would’ve benefitted from greater care and attention to other elements of the plot. We weren’t given a clear reason why Sandra Bullock, a medical technician, was in space, or a good handle on her background. A more elegant reveal of her daughter’s story would have been appreciated. George Clooney could possibly have played an astronaut other than Astronaut George Clooney. The movie demanded a somewhat simple story and an economical use of dialogue, but even that can be distracting if it isn’t done particularly well.

But! LET’S NOT GET IT TWISTED. I enjoyed this movie. This movie was beautiful to watch. Did McDonalds center their whole campaign abound how stunningly beautiful this movie was to watch? Because I’m Lovin’ It!™ I jumped at the space debris parts because of the 3D and felt ashamed, but then continued to jump because that space debris was flying right at your face and REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LAST GUY WHO HAD SPACE DEBRIS FLY RIGHT AT HIS FACE? (R.I.P.) It was beautiful. (Not the face part, the other parts.) Earth was beautiful, space was beautiful, Sandra Bullock floating around the International Space Station was beautiful, the little fire droplets were beautiful. Everything else was a nightmare.

One thing I’m grateful to Gravity for is the realization that if I am somehow stranded in space, floating around in my space suit, I will die from lack of oxygen rather than, I don’t know, drawn-out space starvation. That seems obvious, but when you’re daydreaming about your lost-in-space nightmare, things like that are VERY easy to not think about. Mostly you (I) just think about floating up there, in endless space, for days and days and days, with nothing to keep you company but overwhelming space and thoughts of/prayers for death. AHHHHHHHH! I hate to be the asshole in the movie theater laughing at parts of a movie that aren’t supposed to be funny, but it was a little bit difficult not to nervous-laugh at every horrifying nightmare escalation. (Also hard not to nervous-laugh when Ryan was spinning and spinning, and then they pulled back the camera and she was spinning and spinning, and then they pulled back the camera again and she was spinning and spinning. Hahah. AHHHHHHHH.) There were so many escalations! Sandra had a VERY bad space day. (And then a not-so-good Earth [birth]day!) (Though when she said “I hate space,” that was legitimately very funny and my favorite thing anyone said in the whole movie.) One of the worst days in space that I have ever seen.

This was a good movie. Very thrilling. (“This was a good movie. Very thrilling.”) Also very beautiful. The part where she was a fetus? Get out of town, I loved it. (PLZ frwrd this to someone official.) While it certainly didn’t need to be Before Space Midnight, a greater focus on making the characters and plot as believable and human as possible — while keeping the story simple — would have turned this from a good, fun, and exciting movie to a great, fun, and exciting movie. But it was nonetheless a good, fun, and exciting complete beautiful fucking nightmare fun movie. Would recommend. Did you see it? What did you think? What were your nightmares like afterwards? Don’t you just hate that guy from the restaurant I went to?

(PS: Do you think Alfonso Cuarón added the frog at the end in at the last minute as an homage to rocket launch frog?)

(PPS: Ed Harris.)