Gravity is pretty awesome. I’m sure I’m not the only one to say that (it’s getting surprisingly good reviews all around; scifi doesn’t always get that), but here’s another for the mix.

The best parts? It’s mostly realistic1 near future science fiction, showing just what humanity is capable of–and just how close we live to the edge. It’s enough to make you think, what would happen? There’s more than enough debris out there… it could happen at any moment…

Back to the movie.

Sandra Bullock (Ryan Stone) and George Clooney (Matt Kowalski) are awesome as the lead (and really only) characters2. They’re a bit… pretty, but not completely out of the realm of possibility. I could almost see either of them in their roles. It’s a bit weird that Stone was in space in the first place–really, no one a little less freaked out could be trained to work on the Hubble?

Now, onto the science. There are a few issues. Basically, orbital mechanics don’t quite work like that. Even worse, the ISS is in low earth orbit (about 200 miles up), while communications satellites generally orbit in geosynchronous orbit some 22,000 miles higher. For that matter, most of the Internet doesn’t use satellite connections3, so no matter how amusing the thought, half the US wouldn’t be without their Facebook.

Right. Back to the movie.

The tracking shots are impressive. The debris are terrifying. The tension is intense. The twist is… well, honestly not that surprising. But it’s still a good jump when it happens.

And dang, that ending. After all that’s she’s been through, you’re really rooting for Stone. After everything she’s been through, you just want everything to be all right… Fade to black.

It’s doesn’t have quite the action of Pacific Rim or Iron Man 3 or the humor of the Croods, but it’s still pretty awesome. Well worth the price of admission.

Ranked: 2013 Movie Reviews

  1. Pacific Rim
  2. Frozen
  3. Iron Man 3
  4. The Croods
  5. Gravity
  6. Thor: The Dark World
  7. Star Trek Into Darkness
  8. Monsters University
  9. Elysium
  10. Ender's Game
  11. Man of Steel
  12. Django Unchained
  13. World War Z
  14. Despicable Me 2
  15. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  16. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  17. Parental Guidance
  18. Oblivion
  19. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  20. Beautiful Creatures
  21. R.I.P.D.
  22. Jurassic Park (3D!)
  23. The Wolverine
  24. Oz the Great and Powerful
  25. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
  26. Jack the Giant Slayer
  27. Warm Bodies
  28. Don Jon
  29. Turbo
  30. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  31. Pain & Gain

(Side note: This is my first movie review after moving across the country. I’ve moved from grad student to a full time position in computer security, so there probably won’t be quite as much flexibility when it comes to movies. So it goes. Good start though.)

  1. We’ll get to that in a bit… [return]
  2. Paul Sharma doesn’t much count, he only gets face time after he’s dead [return]
  3. For good reason, latency on satellite connections is intense. [return]