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.)

Comments (55)
  1. I get where NDG is coming from on this one. I’m a big ole’ dumb-dumb, and I see unrealistic things in movies all the time that bug me, so I can only imagine how terrible that must be for someone who actually knows some stuff.

  2. What I liked about the movie:

    - We never left her POV (rare for a hollywood movie)
    - Space!
    - good tension building
    - George Clooney – duh! (and Sandra, I like her!)

    What I didn’t like:

    - Some of the metaphors hit me too hard over the head
    - some of the movie references hit me too hard over the head
    - the improbability of most of it.

    So it was a really unique Hollywood movie. And even if you aren’t as smart as NDT (I am…not!) you know that the odds were so ever in her favor for every step of the movie. But so what? It was fun and the visuals were cool. And there isn’t a whole lot like it out there. Plus a 49 year old woman had a lead in a major motion picture and was looking hot as hell. More roles for heroic middle aged women plz!

  3. “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” – I said basically these exact words when I was talking about the movie with my coworker earlier and she laughed at me but I feel better now that I wasn’t the only one!

    And oh my god I had a headache after this movie. Not because of the 3D but because I was so nervous that I clenched my jaw for basically 90 minutes straight! I don’t care about the space plothole things because I did not go to see a space documentary! I would probably watch a space documentary and I would definitely expect to get nothing but the space facts from it, but give me a space break!

  4. I thought it was tense and terrifying in space, but the scariest part for me was when she almost DROWNED!! I felt more relief watching her break the surface of the water than I did when she closed all the airlocks combined. Great movie

  5. I actually knew about the impossibility of spaceswimming space station to spacestation because I watched some documentaries on space and read wikipedia (ladies) not because I’m smart (I SAID LADIES) and it didn’t bother me. Space is simply a plot point in Sandra’s world falling out around her. The part that did bother me was, like Kelly mentioned, the daughter reveal. Though, I’m not sure how it would’ve been handled better because, like i said, i am not smart, but I think Cuaron could’ve probably figured out a way to make it more organic. The thing about NDG complaining bothers me, not in that this is a far more realistic space movie than any out there. I don’t think anyone waked out thinking this actually happened, the same way people don’t actually think we have Avengers, but I don’t see why NDG is not embracing pop-culture’s-however fickle- fascination with space. Remember the spacejump? Don’t get me wrong, I think NDG is a supergenius and a great asset to society but this just seems petty.

  6. Sooo, are we ever going to get a recap of the super secret REAL Breaking Bad series finale from last night?

  7. Loved the movie but I prefer the original title.

  8. That shit was banonkers (bananas+bonkers). Loved every single minute of it. Laughed out loud inappropriately at some of the naked sentimentality, but hey whatevs. I was so terrifyied of a nightmare space death it was all worth it.

  9. My favorite part was when she washed up on the beach and saw the destroyed Statue of Liberty. She was on earth the whole time guys!

  10. This was the first movie I saw on 3D and i think it will be the last. I went to see it at the IMAX and while the movie is tasteful with the 3D and very effective in some key scenes, the technology is still not 100% there, IMDO. The payoff was too little in exchange for the crisp clarity of regular IMAX. Light effects are sometimes treated as physical objects and it’s kind of off-putting. I’m not sorry I watched it like this, but I think I prefer to watch a sharper image than 3d.

    • I prefer Brookstone. Although, honestly, childhood trips to the mall with my grandmother ruined ALL of those stores for me. She wanted to try every massage chair, and the noises she made tended to be very…uncomfortable for me.

  11. It still doesn’t hold a candle to the greatest space movie of all time:

  12. I haven’t seen this yet because I am VERY VERY VERY afraid of heights and the commercials made me super anxious when sitting in my safe, ground floor living room next to my dog and not in some crazy IMAX theater that usually makes me dizzy or anxious as-is. However, I’m looking to conquer this fear of heights and maybe seeing a movie that already looks terrifying would help? Or would it make it worse? I don’t really care about the plot (I assume someone dies) as much as will the visuals scare the hell out of me or will they scare me but then make high bridges not seem scary in comparison? Or would it get so much worse and all of a sudden I develop a fear of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock? It looks neat, but I can’t think of a movie like this that hasn’t made me crazy anxious and this looks like those kinds of move x 100000000000000.

  13. Aside from the bluntness of Sandra’s mourning reveal, I think the film handled religion pretty well. The religious icons being Russian and Buddhist, to me, were to say that faith is universal and human but it wasn’t over the top, like in the movie Signs or something. I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I grew up in a house with no religion but I appreciated how it was handled. My parents never thought me about God or even Santa Clause and I can’t say I’m religious, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it. Anyways, maybe I should delete this comment because it feels kind of personal but instead I’m just going to ramble on and post it. #YOLO

  14. GUYS, I totally did go see this right by myself this afternoon! There were very few people in the theater!

    But yes, so good, so tense! I too kept wanting to laugh every time MOAR space debris came flying at her. It took me to like the 3rd encounter with space debris to figure out that they were orbiting and that’s why she kept bumping into the space debris!

    And then when she landed and almost drowned?! GIVE ME A BREAK. I was like what if she really did just drown and that was the end?? AH.

    Also, her George Clooney hallucination! I was like, YAY GEORGE CLOONEY’S BACK. But I knew it didn’t make any sense, and I was wondering if it was going to be a dream and it totally was. Was good to see him though. Astronaut George Clooney = v. charming.

    Ummm, what else? The re-entry scene was freaking breathtaking! The score and the shots of all the debris burning up!

    Also, sorry, Earth, no one has a space program anymore! Thanks, Russia!

    Do you think it’s like Revolution down on Earth now with no satellites and no communications? GUYS THIS IS THE PREQUEL TO REVOLUTION.

    In Conclusion, Murphy’s Law in Space was a very good, tense, pretty movie, and it doesn’t even matter that parts of it made ZERO percent sense!

  15. I don’t have much to contribute besides that I really liked the movie and would watch it again in a year or so. It was indeed visually obliterating.

    I did like that throughout the entire movie there was no gravity to be had. Then at the end SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!! she felt gravity and to us it seemed like the first time. I guess I saw it as “up in space, she really didn’t know what she was going to come home to — daughterless and alone — but now she’s got her feet on the ground!” KABOOM!

  16. Meanwhile back in Earth:

    • You would think that this joke would start to get Babineauxld, but nope! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

      • Yeah, it’s sort of comforting to think that at any point in my day, Huell is still on that couch at the safe house. It’s like a tiny immortal piece of Breaking Bad.

  17. I loved the 3D (and I usually hate 3D!) and really liked the movie. It was very pretty — like Life of Pi with George Clooney as Richard Parker and none of the awful journalistic interruptions or religious blather! Our most possibly-inappropriate laughing was when it looked like she might drown in the end just a hundred convenient yards off shore after all of that space terror.

  18. I did not see this movie because anxiety, but I’d like to hear more about the guy actually complaining about the TV in a bar area of a restaurant. What else was he talking about? What was he drinking? What did he order for dinner? What did his girlfriend say when he complained about the TV? Did he call anything else gauche? Tell me more!!!

  19. Am i the only one who thinks schmultzy dialogue is totally appropriate in dire situations? I feel like normal people, by which I mean people who have real shit to do and don’t spend all day thinking about what’s cliche or how to say things elegantly, tend to spout cliches when in emotional turmoil because cliches and glaringly on the nose statements are readily available ways to express overwhelming emotion.

    • If I’m in space, chatting with probably the last person I’ll ever talk to, I for sure will be telling them all kinds of shit. No brain-to-mouth filter. Jut a wave of blather.

      “Do you pray?”
      “No I don’t, actually! I don’t really like god and church stuff because one time when I was a kid visiting my friend’s church I went up with him to take communion. I ate the thing and drank the thing, and then someone asked if I was baptized and I said no and then they scolded me like I was intentionally fucking over their church. Then this other time in high school an acquaintance who liked my artwork invited me to a ska show at his church hosted by his youth group, and when I showed up they were playing music, but after a certain point they stopped and then all these kids started putting their hands on each others’ faces, saying they were healing each other, and the guy who invited me asked all creepy ‘Can I heal you?’ while reaching for my face, and I said ,’no’ and stood up, waited a beat and said, ‘I’m an atheist,’ then left. And I didn’t even know if I was an atheist when I said that — I probably barely even knew what it meant— but I knew it’d be like, ‘if I say this, I will never be invited to anything like this ever again. So Yeah, what was your question? I DON’T WANT TO DIE UP HERE! WAAAAAAAAHHHHH I HATE SPACE! ARE YOU THERE, GOD?! IT’S ME CHELSEA!!!”

  20. The idea of this movie gave me a preemptive panic attack so instead I watched Roseanne on the couch and it was great! David had an embarrassing sex dream but everything turned out okay! Also I saw the one with a tiny baby Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

  21. I think this movie is a masterpiece. It is maybe the only movie I’ve seen that is actually worth all of the technologically advanced 3-D bullshit stunts that are designed to get us off our couches and away from netflix on our HD teevees and to an actual brick and mortar theater. So what if some of the science wasn’t spot on, or if some of the dialog may have been a bit syrupy? At its heart, it is a simple story well-told, in a way that only cinema could do. I didn’t even finish my popcorn.

  22. I liked the movie, but I feel like it’s a better version of Avatar (great theater experience, thin characters, and I never intend on seeing the movie again), but beyond that I got emotionally exhausted midway through the movie (when she’s floating through the space station and the camera pans to show a spark), and I thought, “Oh. Everything bad that can happen will happen, so I know it’s just going to keep throwing shit at her (literally) until the end where she’s safe,” and checked out of the movie.

    I dunno, watching the trailer and the reading all the buzz coming up into it, I was expecting Alien without the alien (where the xenomorph is more an existential threat than physical), and it was just an hour and a half of spacey explodey things (shot gorgeously, but still)

  23. I love how in that interview Cuaron talks about how the NASA consultants were super hung up on how the space suits didn’t have their solar-shields down and he was like “Well, then you couldn’t see the actor’s faces” and then they were like “But it’s impossible, they’d go blind from the sun! They must have the solar shields down!” and he was like “Uh… their suits have a special new solar filter” and they were like “Oh, ok.”

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