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gravity: bullock is better with a bomb on the bus

sandraAlfonso Cuarón’s 3D space odyssey is 90 minutes of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney playing astronauts, and it looks like it’s this year’s Life of Pi. For that film I wrote a review titled ‘I’ll just have the pie, thanks’.

The critics are raving about this film (so they’re more “excessively complimentary people” than critics) yet I could not find one minute in the 90 that I enjoyed or could summon any raving for.

If you think seeing Sandra Bullock spinning in space while gasping for a good 60 of those minutes is “gripping”, then you’ll love Gravity. When she’s not depleting the oxygen in her NASA suit, she’s engaged in some over-scripted diatribe with George, barking like a dog, or floating about abandoned space stations in hot pants.

Both characters were underdeveloped. George is a smarmy too-good-looking astronerd with one too many one-liners, while Ms Congeniality hovers between annoying gaspy woman to [quickly insert emotional backstory here] mother and all-round amazing astrolass. I seriously didn’t care if they lived or died – I’d run out of popcorn and the people behind me were getting shitty with my ga-fumphing and full-body eye rolling.

I’ve spent the first 200 words being all negative and whingey-pants about this waste of filmic space, sp I better think of something nice to say.

I can’t, so here’s some nice stuff other people said:

‘It’s a technical marvel – appropriately breathtaking in its evocation of space’s vastness.’ – Sandra Hall, The Sydney Morning Herald.

‘It is an amazing experience. It is 90 minutes of sweaty palms.’ – Margaret Pomeranz.

‘Joking, funny, and there was even some well deserved sexual tension in space. I liked the movie.’ – Vince Mancini (an actual rocket scientist).

Gravity – a film for people who enjoy heaving breathing and an hour and a half of fairly decent special effects. Or what I like to call ‘90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back’.

Half a dead star. This film gets zero gravity from me.

Have you seen the film? What did you think?

6 thoughts on “gravity: bullock is better with a bomb on the bus

  1. Wow, this is the first review of this film that has been negative! I have not seen the film yet, but I feel obliged to go see it because of all this hype (even though I was not impressed when I saw the trailer ages ago).

    Now that you’ve given a bad review, I won’t have terribly high expectations anymore, which may make the movie better for me. I dislike it when something is given only rave reviews and then that makes it all the more disappointing when it doesn’t live up to those praises.

    At least, Hayley, it was only 90 minutes of your life wasted. Unlike the 169 minutes that I wasted watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (or as I like to call it – an expectedly long waste of a beautifully written classic) … that movie really taught me to never believe in the hype that movies sometimes get.

    • I’d definitely advise you to still go see it Bridget. I saw it on Wednesday and loved it. I don’t think there was a need to develop the characters at all – I think the fact they are out in space with very slim chances of survival is enough to empathise. I think to describe Bullock as an ‘annoying gaspy woman’ completely ignores the situation her character was in. They visuals are incredible, as is the score/sound effects. Did I mention I loved it?

  2. In the interests of healthy debate, I’m going to tackle you on a couple of those posts (disclosure: I loved the movie):

    “If you think seeing Sandra Bullock spinning in space while gasping for a good 60 of those minutes is “gripping”, then you’ll love Gravity.” – a bit dismissive. All of those scenes involve tension, where Bullock’s character is going through some kind of trial.

    “Both characters were underdeveloped. George is a smarmy too-good-looking astronerd with one too many one-liners, while Ms Congeniality hovers between annoying gaspy woman to [quickly insert emotional backstory here] mother and all-round amazing astrolass.” – it’s not meant to be a character piece. It’s a combination of thriller and metaphor. And the metaphor would probably have been missed if the backstory wasn’t there, so I disagree that it was hastily inserted.

  3. “Gravity” scores 96 out of 100 on Metacritic and has been acclaimed by those in and around the film industry almost unanimously. This ‘review’ doesn’t critique the film in any credible way.

    “Gravity” is one of the most exhilarating and beautiful films of the last decade. If you’ve failed to find anything to appreciate emotionally, intellectually or technically in the film that quite frankly you probably shouldn’t be reviewing cinema at all. It’s one thing not to like it, quite another to not acknowledge the skill involved.

    The cinematography is stunning (James Cameron in a Variety interview said: “I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done”), the soundscape is simply one of the most understated yet evocative I’ve heard, Sandra Bullock shows she can really act and the tour de force of Cuarón’s gently flowing, stylistic directing is a wonder to behold!

    I don’t think ‘film critic’ means what you think it does…

    PS: If you were making enough derisive snorts and grunts to annoy other film-goers in the cinema I hope Lipmag chooses not to endorse your childish rants in future.

  4. I have to agree with some of the above commenters – I don’t think this comes across as a balanced review. I really enjoyed Gravity but of course I acknowledge that my opinion isn’t a universal one. However I fail to understand from this review why you hated it so much beyond a lack of character development (which I think worked really well as it wasn’t the central focus of the film, so I’m wondering if you found this a point to critique more because it’s not what you’re used to rather than being problematic in the context of the film?). And to describe the special effects as “fairly decent”? To say that they were astoundingly impressive is as close as we’re ever going to get to an objective truth about cinema.

    I always welcome reviews that don’t just side with mass opinion, but it’d be good to have more about why it’s a poor film (in the sense of film as an art form) rather than just why you didn’t like it. And if you can acknowledge what is good about a film then your own dismissal of it as a film you didn’t enjoy is going to be a lot more powerful.

    Signed,
    Guilty-of-one-sided-reviews :)

  5. I came across this review when I googled “how annoying is Sandra Bullock in Gravity”. I’d love to see the movie but the thought of “Miss Congeniality in Space” ruins it for me. She plays the same (irritating) character in every movie she is in, so you either like her or you don’t. Some people probably think she’s adorable, but it’s interesting that Google autocomplete came up with “how annoying is Sandra Bullock in real life”, so I’m not the only one who doesn’t.

    Now that I’ve discovered that Gravity contains lots of Ms Bullock talking to herself I’m crossing it off my list of must-see movies. It’s a shame that it would have been great with almost anyone else cast in the role.

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