Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Gravity Review

I was at university and about 20 when I really discovered reading for pleasure. I started with Arthur C. Clarke’s A Space Odyssey quadrilogy and then moved on to the Rama series. I read Arthur C. Clarke pretty much exclusively until I was 29 when I discovered Alastair Reynolds and Richard Morgan. Now I read other stuff too. The thing about Arthur C. Clarke is that he rooted all of his stories in real science. Now that I’ve read other authors I see that sometimes the story suffered because the science was often favoured over the story.

There was a lot of hype around the new Gravity film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Surely there’s only so much of a story you can write about two people in space suits stranded in space? I did wonder if it was just going to turn into a dialogue between them until they were unexpectedly rescued - luckily I was wrong.  Although I was also reassured by the fact the film was advertised as only 90 minutes long.

Gravity could have been an Arthur C. Clarke story (I’ve checked and it isn’t). It was great if you wanted to see details of what the space shuttle, international space station and chinese spaces station and various other craft are (probably) like and some of the other science around space exploration. Some of the suspense was incredible. The problem was there was just no story and the bit where George Clooney appears as an apparition to help Sandra Bullock just made it silly. Real spacesuits are unlikely to take the pummelling that they did in the film and Sandra Bullock should have run out of air long before she did.

Several people whose opinion I respect have seen this film and loved it. So maybe you should see it and perhaps I just don’t get it?

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