"Gravity" a stunning SF masterpiece!

samzheresamzhere BannedPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
Watched "Gravity" on PPV last night, and I was blown away. This is a serious, hardcore science fiction (SF) movie, one of the best and most accurate ever made.

As a "great" film per se, I'll take a bit of a step back, because the movie doesn't really have the narrative or depth that a truly classic movie might provide, but as a genuine SF movie, it's amazing.

Most of you know that I'm a lifelong SF fan and also have a strong technical education and background (I also worked on the Apollo program), and I'm pretty nitpicky re. SF movies and TV (or shows that purport to be SF when in fact they're kiddie fantasy).

Well, I really could not find a single technical or scientific error in "Gravity" with only a couple of exceptions: 1- The orbits for the 3 major spacecraft involved -- a Hubble-docked Orbiter (commonly called "Shuttle"), the International Space Station, and a fictitious Chinese station -- all were shown to be within the same general orbital trace, allowing travel between, when in fact they'd each be on divergent orbits. 2- Talk between Houston control includes "miles per hour" and "miles" when in fact they exclusively use metric (kph and kilometers). 3- Astronauts wear "long johns" and special socks inside their suits.

But those are small items. Generally, this is a terrifically engrossing and exciting movie, and incredibly special effects are just breathtaking. I wish I'd seen in on the big screen in the theater and hopefully, if it wins its share of Oscars, will be reshown.

Anyone else see "Gravity"? Opinions?

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

Replies

  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,379 Senior Member
    The plot is a rip off of the independent film "Open Water." However, if the effects are good I may check it out.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    The plot is a rip off of the independent film "Open Water." However, if the effects are good I may check it out.

    Very interesting comment, pretty keen, but not really spot on, as Gravity is quite different, even though you've got a man & woman alone and in peril, otherwise it's totally different in process. "Open Water" is a fabulous film, btw.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,652 Senior Member
    My friends told me not to waste my money. I'll wait until it's released on BRD.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • Pelagic KayakerPelagic Kayaker Banned Posts: 1,503 Senior Member
    I'm also a huge SF fan, though I found Gavity a bit boring and a little too predictable. Still a fun movie, I just don't categorize this movie as SF at all, ...just another drama/suspense flick.

    For me, when thinking of recent SF movies, a favorite that comes to mind was Europa Report. More in my interests, Europa report was much more plausible and more in the tradition of hard SF. Yeah, Europa Report was on the lower budget scale and had little known actors in it and all, but it did have plenty of OUTSTANDING special effects and seemed to be a very realistic scenario of what a manned mission to this Jovian moon would actually be like while in the search for primitive alien life forms on another world. I really enjoyed this movie. Not for everyone for sure, but if you're a big fan of NASA/JPL missions, space exploration and hard SF I'd definitely recommend it.
    "The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in" ~General George Washington, January 14, 1776
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    My friends told me not to waste my money. I'll wait until it's released on BRD.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

    Did they say what it was that they didn't like about the movie? For some people, if there weren't giant robots pounding things with their fists, they'd want their money back.

    I principally set my opinion of Gravity from a pure-dee SF standpoint. It's not exactly everyone's cuppa tea. I also have some misgivings that the movie is a "best film", just that it's a real delight for an SF fan.

    Sent from my trusty HP Pavilion laptop using Sprint 4G.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • USUFBUSUFB Senior Member Posts: 830 Senior Member
    I'm also a huge SF fan, though I found Gavity a bit boring and a little too predictable. Still a fun movie, I just don't categorize this movie as SF at all, ...just another drama/suspense flick.

    For me, when thinking of recent SF movies, a favorite that comes to mind was Europa Report. More in my interests, Europa report was much more plausible and more in the tradition of hard SF. Yeah, Europa Report was on the lower budget scale and had little known actors in it and all, but it did have plenty of OUTSTANDING special effects and seemed to be a very realistic scenario of what a manned mission to this Jovian moon would actually be like while in the search for primitive alien life forms on another world. I really enjoyed this movie. Not for everyone for sure, but if you're a big fan of NASA/JPL missions, space exploration and hard SF I'd definitely recommend it.

    I caught it on Netflix a few months ago. I enjoyed it.
    Sometimes, I lie awake in bed at night wondering "Why the heck can't I fall asleep?"
    NRA Life Member
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I am completely convinced that the stuff I like is a huge snooze to everyone else, yet, it does not bother me in the slightest, I like what I like.......
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • NomadacNomadac Senior Member Posts: 890 Senior Member
    I thought the special effects and photography was good, but the story plot terrible. Would not recommend it IMO.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    I am completely convinced that the stuff I like is a huge snooze to everyone else, yet, it does not bother me in the slightest, I like wha I like.......

    Agreed. I laugh my butt off whenever I watch "My Dinner with Andre" and extol in David Cronenberg's very weird (some say nasty) "Crash", and so on. I even liked "Dune".

    I was careful to say that "Gravity" wasn't a great film in the whole, but an excellent hardcore SF film. It's typical of SF stories from the "Golden Age" (the late 40s, early 50s), stories like Heinlein's "Gentlemen Be Seated" and so on, pure, hard SF. So there's not a lot of character development or deep rooted story here, just excellent SF entertainment (within those limits).

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Nomadac wrote: »
    I thought the special effects and photography was good, but the story plot terrible. Would not recommend it IMO.

    As I said, it's pure hardcore SF, and was reminded of Heinlein's classic "Gentlemen Be Seated" short story, from the late 40s, I think. To explain, the SF dilemmas and the solution or resolution of them IS the plot, typical for traditional hard SF stories. Within that group, "Gravity" is a perfect example.

    I do however understand your assessment, if it's based on a "standard" film plot basis. "Gravity" just happens to be a "specialty" film of the hard SF category, is all.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    One other small point... I watched the film twice (yeah, I'm a putton for glunishment), and I noticed a background, direction issue. The director takes quite a few very long cuts in the film. In other words, he stays on camera and keeps showing one scene develop for an extended time.

    This is counter to the common and current technique of quick-cutting scene to scene, especially in action sequences. This wires your brain to expect fast things (giant pounding robots, cars spinning, buildings 'sploding) and if there are long takes in this film, some who are accustomed to the motif of 1/3 second per scene, keep 'em coming philosophy might find "Gravity" kinda slow.

    There's also a deliberate, intense, and practical sequence of character development for Bullock's first-time science-filled astronaut. Her initial panic, then resolve, then problem solution takes a long time to develop -- again, a film pacing that's not normal these days -- but it's measured and skillful and she does a superb job acting the role. You are shown the deliberate and driven problem solution mode that she eventually employs, which is critical for the film's status. But it's an internal growth that she displays, fairly subtle, and folks expecting slam-bam action might come away from the film without realizing the tone that the director set so skillfully.

    Just my 2 cents' opinion, y'know, worth what you paid for it. I'm a hardcore film buff so I tend to deep-think some things about movies that may or may not be actually there, but hey, I love movies.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    You said:
    "This is a serious, hardcore science fiction (SF) movie, one of the best and most accurate ever made."

    Why does a science fiction movie need to be........accurate?

    Er, because it's science fiction, not fantasy. Too many people cannot distinguish between the two genres.

    In SF (genuine science fiction), things happen which could occur in our real world, but just haven't or didn't. This includes films like "Alien" and of course "2001" and now, "Gravity."

    In fantasy, things happen that could not occur in our real world because they violate the laws of existence. For example, "Transformers" or many other movies that purport to be SF but are instead fantasy.

    Btw, longtime SF fans know that there are two categories in science fiction terminology used by writers and fans. The term "SF" is applied to genuine science fiction, and the term "sci-fi" is a dismissive term applied to junk movies or fantasy that attempts to be science fiction but isn't.

    It's kinda like calling a Rolls-Royce a "Rolls" or San Francisco "Frisco", or in our world, magazines called "clips" -- it just ain't done, bad manners I guess.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,945 Senior Member
    After seeing the preview, the only attraction I had to see it was the amusing fantasy of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney dying horribly in the cold vacuum or hard radiation of outer space. Wasn't enough to get me to the theater.

    I never saw more than the preview for Open Water either, but found myself watching the preview saying "Open Water ripoff"

    The environment of MOST of Earth can kill you in short order. 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 (and a LOT more 9's) percent of the universe can kill you in even shorter order. Not sure what is so compelling about this fact that requires a major motion picture to spell it out
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I watch Dune and My dinner with Andre over and over, as well as The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, and other films as My internet connection allows.

    The Brother from another planet is always good for a few laughs.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    JbpOhio... Help a brother out. I can't find an audio link to the Bobcat Goldwaith bit from the Bob and Tom show.

    How is that relevant? And yeah, I fondly remember Bobcat but what's the connection?

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    etc etc.... and a LOT more 9's) percent of the universe can kill you in even shorter order. Not sure what is so compelling about this fact that requires a major motion picture to spell it out

    Mmm. Well, I may as well ask why make a movie about anything? Because it's entertaining, is why.

    I found "Gravity" to be an exceptional SF movie and enjoyed it thoroughly within that aspect, and recommend the movie to anyone who would also like to see a first rate SF movie. It ain't Citizen Kane but it's damn exciting and intriguing and superbly well made.

    Seen from the "top layer" (is it entertaining for SF fans?) I'd say yeah. Seen as a film in depths of social commentary or human personalities? Well, to some degree, yes, but that's not really why I see movies for the most part.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,836 Senior Member
    ""Gravity" a stunning SF masterpiece! " My initial impression was "Meh"... I stopped about halfway through and watched " World War Z" again. Maybe I just wasn't into it....I'll give it another try later...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    ""Gravity" a stunning SF masterpiece! " My initial impression was "Meh"... I stopped about halfway through and watched " World War Z" again. Maybe I just wasn't into it....I'll give it another try later...

    I've got no problem with those who didn't like the movie. I'm a lifelong hardcore SF fan and I enjoyed it from that point of view. Each of us has his own opinion, as it should be. At least you gave it a try and made the decision.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Ever see the movie sunflowers Sam ? I really loved it, it is about WW ll and this soldier loses his memory and re-marries in Russia somewhere as his first wife searches for him..... most people snooze through it.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    I saw Gravity in the movie theater in 3D, and both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked that there were no easy answers, no cheap way out of danger, and that George Clooney did not (SPOILER ALERT!!!) somehow miraculously survive. It gave the film a more realistic look & feel.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.