Movie Rant: Gravity

Today, instead of a new review, I want to rant a little about a trailer that surfaced this weekend. Apparently there’s a movie called Gravity from Alfonso Cuarón being released this Autumn and the trailer, actually more a teaser, first promises to be about the experiences of two astronauts on some unidentified Space Shuttle mission. But then all hell breaks loose, the shuttle and the space station seem to be destroyed and the two astronauts, played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, are marooned in space. This is all that’s known about the movie at the moment, but even based on this, my first reaction was: why does it always have to be destruction? So many great stories could be told on the ISS and generally in the realms of current human space exploration, but Hollywood has always got to be negative and serious. 

I actually loved Clint Eastwood’s Space Cowboys because it’s a fun representation of the Space Shuttle age, but the space station age should really not be represented by a potential disaster movie like this – it would neither make a good impression to the public and to future astronauts. While we don’t know yet how the story really plays out, I’m very sceptical about a story which just destroys space vehicles – and presumably kills people – just to build a plot. It’s not really science fiction if you do it with real, existing spacecraft – as if the two Space Shuttle disaster of 1986 and 2003 were not tragic enough, now Hollywood wants to destroy the International Space Station! If all the bang happens in the first quarter of the movie and the rest is just Bullock and Clooney floating through space and devising some MacGyver-esque method to save themselves – which the title Gravity actually seems to imply – this could be a movie on a headache-inducing level of Armageddon.

The Wikipedia article says that Gravity has actually been a while in development hell, so that the Space Shuttle scenario became outdated over the years. The movie also seems to have been ready since the end of last year, but was pushed back to this autumn for some unknown reason, maybe because the studio got cold feet. The lead roles had been recast numerous times and the movie seems to be a kind of pet project of mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, who not only directed it, but also wrote it together with his son and produced it. This looks like a somewhat chaotic production, but it remains to be seen what the end result actually is. Phil “Bad Astronomer” Plait actually likes the teaser, but an older article from 2011(!) says that Cuarón’s friend Guillermo del Toro calls the movie “mind-blowing” and that the director consulted James Cameron and David Fincher… not exactly a comforting thought! It could either be something really great or a terrible disappointment. Judging from the teaser trailer, it could go either way – but if the astronauts have some mystical experience or are saved by aliens, Gravity may just be as ridiculous as I presume it’s going to be.

Come on, Hollywood. Have a look at the 1990s and make a semi-documentary about the history of the ISS and its predecessor Mir in the style of From the Earth to the Moon. That would be really amazing and if done right could be as big a financial success as a possible clunker like Gravity.

1 Comment

  1. Tank the Hatchet

    Why does it always have to de bisaster?

    EASY – that NASA-shit just issn`t exciting! Who carres about somebody looking through some microscope stargazing?

    “Space Cowboys” is an example of these old ppl movies that the old Oscar guarg of Hollywood enjoys. Except the ending it`s disney kid crap about some old farts jokeinng & fighting. Get to the retirment home allreadym but a fucking tombstone!

    We want blood, we ant gore, we want action and naked bitches! If a movie issn`t at least “R” it issn`t often not much worth watching.

    And Alfonso ARjau is one of those old guard european directors who think he can actully scare ppl by sseing “BOO!” AFAIR he mad that crap movie “Pan`s Labyrinth”.

    This is gone be some “PG-13” enviroment crap movie again for all those lefties who collect money for “Doctors withoout Borders” and starving babies in africa. If a movie make it is decidet on the Comic Cons and the reaction to this crap was exactly that: Boring PG-13 drama crap. Not much action, wasted CGI that could`ve been great and two actors out of there leauge and realm. Bullock and Clooney in Space – alone the thought is a joke!