Defying Gravity.

I went to see ‘Gravity’ last night and before too many rave reviews skewed my judgment. My comments are influenced and perhaps clouded by a lifetime of exposure to out-of-this-earth movies from ‘When Worlds Collide’ and the original ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ to ‘2001’ and the ‘Alien’ series.

grabon_gravity_thumbFirst off, ‘Gravity’ didn’t thrill me as many reviews had promised it would. I was entertained from start to finish for sure. But not thrilled. From frame one, the thing looked headed for a happy ending; catastrophe upon catastrophe notwithstanding someone was certain to crawl from the wreckage and onto a stage in Los Angeles next March.

Casting? Where were Holly Hunter and Sam Shepard when the script got circulated? With Sandra Bullock having replaced Meg Ryan as America’s Sweetheart I can understand even if I don’t agree with the choice. Bullock’s over-drawn features play well through a space helmet I have to admit. But seriously, if they were going to go the route they did, why not a call to Julia Roberts?

If Sandra wins an Academy Award for this one, Kate Blanchett will be blindsided.

George Clooney?

C’mon. Rosemary’s baby is the worst casting call since Coppola chose Sophia to play Pacino’s daughter in Godfather III. Even the voice is wrong, with no affinity for the situation at all. Please, extend the Ocean’s 11 franchise and put George back where he belongs.

Anyway, the true heroes of ‘Gravity’ are the guys who created the entire thing out of code and absolutely nailed every move and debris hit. I haven’t see this kind of accurate and seamless replication of how things really happen since ‘Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.’ Beats me how guys who never leave a computer longer than it takes to pee a gallon of Red Bull can get a rotation for re-entry so right.

Where ‘Gravity’ really works is as a travel ad for earth. The place looks simply spectacular from Sandra’s point of view and it’s easy to see why she wants to go back home. Richard Branson will be laughing all the way to the bank with SpaceShipTwo bookings.

To the producers of ‘Gravity’ I say: ‘you’re good, but you’re no 2001.’ Overall, I can’t help but wonder what Kubrick would have managed with the toys we have now.

Finally, I found the ending especially disappointing. Having bought into the idea of NASA putting a woman on earth, I thought Sandra might meet someone, just to restore the human element in the wake of an orgy of science-gone-wrong. For a moment, I saw Woody Allen waiting for her there on the beach.

But she’s been through enough already.

11 years ago

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