I think they could've let go.
"Don't Let Go."

Except for that one part, then you can totally let go. Hello Tagliners, welcome back. Today I'm going to exercise my rights as a card carrying contrarian, by disagreeing with virtually every critic in existence. Correct former friends, today I will be talking about the universally acclaimed and award winning film Gravity. Gravity stars Sandra Bullock as medical engineer Ryan Stone, who is on a space mission and servicing the Hubble Telescope alongside Lt. Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), when a storm of debris from a Russian missile striking an inactive satellite passes their ship, the Explorer, and kills everyone except Kowalski and Stone, and propel them into a life or death situation. The movie is frequently and extensively experienced from the perspective of Stone, who as a novice in space is frequently (and understandably) terrified as she attempts to survive in an extreme situation that undoubtedly would push even the hardiest individual to their limits. The movie is essentially a film about survival, about Stone overcoming existential dread and her personal demons in order to survive and make it back to the Earth. I want it to be known before I get into the rest of my review that I fully understand all of the above. I recognize the movie's intent, and I even recognize that it succeeds at what it sets out to do, and that it accomplishes great things in terms of 3D cinematography. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about how I liked the movie. I didn't. I am here to tell you that I did not give a single shit about anything that happened in this movie.

This is how I like to hang out in space.
But wait you say, how can you not love this gripping, scary, cinematically spectacular film about humans striving through space in the face of danger? Because who gives a flying fuck that's why. I don't deny that the film is about surviving a disaster, and that it sticks to its guns, but the plot of this film barely exists, and its characters essentially do NOT exist. We see on camera a guy who gets his face emptied out by debris, Matt Kowalski may not actually be a character. They might've just told George Clooney to act like the movie was Ocean's Two in Space. At any rate, his character entails mostly taking charge, being totally in control to contrast Dr. Stone's panicky inexperience. Obviously he is also there to quip at Stone and sexually harass her in outer space. I mean, I guess that is pretty scary, being trapped in space with an alpha male who won't stop hitting on you. Spooky. Anyway we learn from Dr. Stone that she: had a kid that died, that she drives and listens to the radio, and that she doesn't want to die. That's it, and while I might not need to know everything about these people, there is precious little time for anything except running (well floating in a hurried, heated fashion), swearing and almost giving up, but not quite. That's all well and good, but I had no real reason to be especially engaged in the proceedings. I had barely any idea why she was IN space, and I knew almost nothing about her, except that she was in deep shit.

Alone with her in space. Forever
That's my problem. The characters exist only as objects in space (hurhur) who are propelled by the plot from the beginning to the end. The movie is composed on nothing but massive set piece disaster scenes, punctuated occasionally by shots of star field, or from inside a helmet. At it's heart, deep interpretations about existential quandaries aside, this movie is mostly things exploding and Sandra Bullock yo-yoing back and forth through space and all over the screen. While people will tell you that this movie is something different, really it's as Hollywood as it gets. It plays at having a female lead, but it can't seem to really let Ryan Stone own her survival. Even when she's alone she's relying on the IDEA of the handsome male lead. I mean for god's sake there's even a minority astronaut at the beginning of the movie who gets killed before you even see his face (we know he is Indian because of his pronounced accent in the one line he gets, where he is literally goofing off and bouncing around in space, while the white leads do the work, god it gets more offensive the more I think about it). After that its time for nothing but special effects rushing from one disaster to another, until the movie decides its feature film length and then the movie is done.

Look at the Earth reflecting off his smug.
Could you enjoy that? Sure, if you really like space, or you're all about streamlined thrillers, then I you'll probably really like this movie. Otherwise? You're going to find very little to engage you. This movie is 100% plot, 0% characters. I can see it being awarded for its effects, but I honestly just don't understand why everyone is going into transports of ecstasy over it. I also SERIOUSLY and desperately oppose people labelling this as a science fiction movie. Being in space does not make a movie sci-fi. Providing an occasionally inaccurate representation of space travel or Newtonian physics also does not make a movie science fiction. If the aliens from Independence Day had blown up the ISS and Sandra Bullock had to help Will Smith fight them, THAT would be science fiction. A movie about space things that could really happen is the opposite of science fiction.

This is almost the whole movie.
So while I understand why many people like it, I didn't really experience this amazing movie everyone else did. It was well executed, but I found it preeminently uninteresting and have no desire to see it again. If you liked it, and think that I'm missing out, that's fine, everyone's allowed to enjoy whatever they want, and disagree with me in silent while staring at their computer screen, or curse my name in text while doing that. Whatever you want, I can absolutely understand how someone who is not me could be thrilled. If you think that my not enjoying this movie is because I am a knuckle dragging Philistine who can't hold still long enough to finish watching a Taco Bell commercial, and that my not liking this movie marks me as some kind of juvenile, I kindly invite you to go to hell.

That's it for today! Join me next week for Captain America, because if it isn't about superheroes I just can't focus long enough to be mesmerized by Space Clooney. If only there had been more Pizza.net.

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