Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

October 17, 2013

Gravity; All is Lost

Filed under: Film — louisproyect @ 4:37 pm

By sheer happenstance two films have arrived in theaters lately sharing a common theme and to great acclaim. Both have plots in which the major character tries to survive after a catastrophic accident, one in outer space and the other on the open seas. Since both are innovative after their own fashions, they make for an interesting side-by-side comparison. As I will try to explain, “Gravity” is fairly commonplace despite its gadgetry—both in front of and behind the camera. Meanwhile, “All is Lost” is a major achievement even though it is a throwback to the early days of film: there are no more than a couple of dozen words spoken throughout the entire film, even though there are sounds in abundance such as thunder and the crunching noises of a yacht coming apart at the seams.

I went to “Gravity” with high expectations. The director was Alfonso Cuarón, a Mexican whose last film “Children of Men” I held in high regard even though I had problems with the dystopian themes that originated with the original material, a P.D. James novel. With a 98 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes accompanied by blurbs that are the stock and trade of professional film critics (“Nerve-racking, sentimental and thrilling, Gravity honors terra firma even as it reaches for the stars with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney” was how the Denver Post’s Lisa Kennedy put it), I hoped for at least a couple of hours of escapist fun and a “2001” type ecstasy at best. Escapist fun is about the best way to describe it unfortunately.

As most people know, physicists—including Marxmail’s technical coordinator Les Schaffer—warned that much of what happens makes no sense. The most common complaint is that the satellites between which the astronauts hopscotch are far apart. This did not worry me since I long ago learned that a film has its own internal logic. Once you buy into the plot, a function more of dramatic than scientific logic, you go along for the ride. It is as Marianne Moore once described poetry: “imaginary gardens with real toads.”

My real problem was with the early departure of George Clooney, who I expected to survive as Sandra Bullock’s helpmate in outer space. As characters, they played off well against each other. He was a kind of elderly frat boy telling stories and making jokes while serving as the mission’s seasoned flight commander. Bullock is a dedicated and somewhat overwhelmed scientist assigned to fix the Hubble telescope. My expectation was that they would provide for some lively dialog until the bitter end but he is killed off early on, leaving Bullock on her own to figure out a way to make it home safely. How can you make a film with a single character trying desperately to push the right buttons in order to survive?

Ironically this was exactly the premise of “All is Lost”, a film that I regard as the finest from Hollywood that I have seen in five years at least and that deserves the 93 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and even more. Although this review will not contain any spoilers, my best advice is for people who trust my tastes in film is to not read any further and simply go see the film straightaway. The less you know about it, the better your enjoyment.

Still with me? Okay, let me proceed.

“All is Lost” opens with Robert Redford (his character’s name is never identified) napping in the cabin of his yacht that is somewhere in the middle of the ocean—which ocean is not important to the plot. After waking to the sight of water rushing into the cabin through a breach in the hull, he climbs to the deck and discovers the cause. The yacht has run into the sharp corner of a container that has obviously fallen from a cargo ship. This evokes both a globalization version of the Titanic as well as the accident that sets the plot of “Gravity” into motion, the detritus of a Russian satellite.

Except for a single word uttered by Redford midway through the film—FUCK—that is cried out after he discovers that his water supply has been compromised by salt water, there is not another spoken word. Despite this, the screenplay that was written by the director J.C. Chandor is worthy of study by any film student aspiring to make the exceptional film. Although a screenplay is most often about the dialog, there are directions that help clue the actors and allow the director to  flesh out the work even when not a single word is being said. Like “All is Lost”, the great screenplay by William Broyles for “Cast Away” contains long stretches in which Tom Hanks says nothing. If you go to the source, you will find directions for a scene that is very close to what transpires throughout “All is Lost”:

Waves break against the reef. With his paddles Chuck maneuvers the raft toward the cut in the reef. Boom! The wave crashes, the water surges through the cut, then recedes with a whoosh.

Chuck watches, times the waves, paddles like mad. He’s committed. SCRAPE goes the first barrel, then the second, riding the receding wave. He’s out!

But the next wave is already surging forward. It smashes the raft against the reef! Coconuts and foodstuffs hurtle off the raft!

The barrels cushion the impact. The raft tilts, spins, but stays outside the reef! The ropes holding the jugs of water break! The water sweeps overboard!

Ultimately what makes “All is Lost” far more compelling than “Gravity” is the ability of J.C. Chandor to make you identify with his character. None of us (I assume that astronauts are not the sort of people who visit this blog) have ever been in outer space but nearly everybody knows what it is like to be in a sailboat out on the ocean. Once Redford’s yacht has been compromised, he makes every effort to stay afloat using the means at his disposal. When his GPS system stops functioning because of exposure to salt water, he resorts to an old-fashioned sextant that he learns to use from a book he fortunately kept on board about navigating by the stars. For those who have seen “Gravity”, you can’t help but be reminded of Sandra Bullock working her way through the manuals on the Russian space station, trying to figure out a way to use the Soyuz space capsule to return home. The difference is in the context. One can relate to Redford’s predicament while Bullock’s dwells more in the realm of fantasy. Everybody knows what it is like to be under water; nobody knows what it is like to be jetting from satellite to satellite miles above the planet earth. Because Redford’s struggle to survive is more recognizable, it is more emotionally involving even if less spectacular visually.

Although any competent actor could have been a substitute for Redford, this is a film that he was made for. Like the fisherman in “The Old Man in the Sea” who was obviously a stand-in for Hemingway himself, Redford is a stand-in for Redford—a man who has had a long and distinguished career as an actor and independent film impresario. With his weather-beaten face gazing in disgust at the container that has disabled his ship, it is not hard to extrapolate from this his attitude toward much of modern society—from the despoliation of the oceans and forests to the tendency of Hollywood to foist its commercial junk on the unsuspecting filmgoer.

You also have to appreciate what an undertaking it was for the 77 year old actor to perform many of the arduous stunts seen in the film, from swimming under water to climbing the 65 foot mast of the yacht.

For J.C. Chandor, Redford’s Sundance Film Festival marked the auspicious beginning of what is likely to be a great career. In 2011 the festival premiered his “Margin Call”, a film about the 2008 financial crisis that I described as follows:

The movie has a crackling electricity and very fine dialog rendered in a realistic manner. Throughout the entire film, there is no attempt to offer up a back-story or anything that would make the characters sympathetic. The net effect is like looking at an aquarium full of piranhas and hoping that the glass doesn’t break.

That being said, none of the characters in the film is “evil” in the sense that Gordon Gekko was in “Wall Street”. They are simply doing their job. That is actually what makes the film so powerful. It is not interested in exposing crooks but in putting the financial system under a microscope. That, after all, is what Karl Marx had in mind when he began writing Capital.

At this point in the writing of the article, I turned to the press notes for “All is Lost” that were distributed at the press screening yesterday and was pleased to learn that I was on the right track:

Chandor says the sheer simplicity of the story—and the filmmaking challenge it presented—drew him to make the film. The story has echoes of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and as Dodson describes “ it’s an existential action movie about one man lost at sea, fighting against the elements and himself.”

Finally, a word or two about the sounds that are heard throughout this “silent” film, at least understood as the absence of dialog. The film score is by Alex Ebert, the leader of the indie folk band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. I can’t remember hearing a score so adept but as unobtrusive as this one and will leave it at that. There’s also the sound engineering used for a wide variety of effects, from that of a yacht coming apart at the seams to ominous distant thunder. I usually don’t pay much attention to this component of a film but in this case I have to tip my hat.

“All is Lost” is on the inside track for Best Picture and Best Actor of the year for our upcoming NYFCO awards meeting and I can’t imagine anything that will surpass it.


  1. “Ultimately what makes “All is Lost” far more compelling than “Gravity” is the ability of J.C. Chandor to make you identify with his character. None of us (I assume that astronauts are not the sort of people who visit this blog) have ever been in outer space but nearly everybody knows what it is like to be in a sailboat out on the ocean.”

    so this is what makes one movie better than the other? sorry to break it to you, but (using your logic) not everyone has been stranded at see, and therefore cant properly relate to it.

    you also offer no real reason as to “why” someone cannot connect with a astronaut stranded in space, but can easily identify with a man lost at sea.You mention context (space vs sea) but the true factor is isolation, and space is FAR more isolated than sea. Also just because you have not been somewhere, does that mean you are unable sympathize with it? you cant picture it or use your imagination?? why with that logic movies such as Star Wars, Alien and Lord of The Rings must have had ZERO impact on you because they are far more fanatic than Gravity.

    *not bashing All is Lost, just pointing out how terribly flawed your “review/comparison” is.

    Comment by hank green — October 17, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

  2. Hank Green, totally agree!

    Comment by Rich — October 17, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

  3. so this is what makes one movie better than the other?

    Of course not. “2001” was both more unrealistic and better than “Gravity”.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 17, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

  4. You just sadly don’t get it.

    Comment by Travis Cowsill — October 17, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

  5. Sandra Bullock is usually enough to discourage me from seeing a film. A horribly transparent, manipulative actress. So, I can understand why you were displeased with Clooney’s early departure.

    Comment by Richard Estes — October 17, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

  6. There is so much craftsmanship on display in “Gravity.” I cannot
    believe you did not find enough joy in the visual feast
    to give it a positive review. You are the first reviewer to
    want MORE Clooney in the film. Finally, to Richard Este’s comment
    regarding Sandra Bullock being a “horribly transparent and manipulative
    actress”: what are you talking about?

    Comment by Michael — October 18, 2013 @ 1:11 am

  7. Oh and congratulations Louis. Your review dropped “Gravity” from 98%
    on Rotten Tomatoes to 97%. Your upset with other critics liking “Gravity”
    has left it’s mark. You must be proud. Your job is done.

    Comment by Michael — October 18, 2013 @ 1:17 am

  8. You were absolutely right on. My wife and I wasted 2 hours of our life watching this over-hyped pointless movie. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney would have been better in a comedy.

    Comment by JOHN OILER — October 18, 2013 @ 3:43 am

  9. “nearly everybody knows what it is like to be in a sailboat out on the ocean”

    I’m sorry, what? Half of the people in the world don’t even have access to clean water and running toilets let alone “sailboats.” Even in the US — how many meat packers from the Midwest, Wal-Mart workers from Missouri, or coal miners from Colorado have ever been “out for a sail?” Probably much less than 0.5%. You really should step out of the Upper East Side more often, and not just on overpriced vacations.

    For an unrepentant Marxist you sound a lot like Mitt Romney.

    Comment by Martin Saber — October 18, 2013 @ 6:49 am

  10. It is very strange to me that some people have taken your review of Gravity so personally Louis-I have just seen this film today and I must say that I would be somewhat more negative than you towards it. I maybe had too high an expectation of it. It was very good CGI and animation and special effects etc. I also thought that the Clooney character disappeared too quickly and the subsequent travails of the Bullock character and (spoiler alert ) eventual triumph stretched even movie logic. All is Lost has not yet made it to Brisbane Australia screens so I can’t comment on that but you certainly make it sound worth seeing.

    Comment by Greg Adler — October 18, 2013 @ 7:51 am

  11. Hank, you illiterate wanker. He didn’t say everyone can relate to being “stranded at sea” but rather that everybody can relate “to being in a sailboat out on the ocean”. Maybe when you learn the difference in spelling “see” versus “sea” you’ll figure out that the ocean is actually more mysterious and less explored than the moon.

    Anybody (like Michael) who doesn’t get that Bullock is the queen of typical Hollywood schlock films (Speed, Speed 2, Miss Congeniality, to name but a few) must be living with his head up his ass. At least Clooney isn’t afraid to speak up about what a hideously iniquitous social arrangement Uncle Sam hypocritically presides over.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — October 18, 2013 @ 8:01 am

  12. very one dimensional movie- Bullock was wooden. Hyped far too much!

    Comment by terry marriott — October 18, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

  13. I haven’t seen “All is Lost”, but from your review, it would seem to me you haven’t seen “Life of Pi” if you are really that impressed with a castaway film in which the only thing that happens is we are supposedly “involved” in what is going on. I can’t imagine that the technology used in “All is Lost” is terribly new, and there have already been films dealing with people stranded at sea that have been very absorbing. “Gravity” is the first time I have seen space rendered in a way that looks, feels, and sounds truly real. You may not have realized this, but the technology used to create “Gravity” HAS NEVER BEEN USED BEFORE. Never. Not once. It’s not just “CGI and animation and special effects”, as commenter Greg Adler would have it. It is a way of shooting and constructing film that allows the use of amazing, unprecedented long takes. If you knew anything about cinematic structure, your breath would have been taken away when Cuaròn pulled off a dream sequence into which he transitioned without a cut, and then out of which he transitioned without a cut. This is the kind of thing this new technology affords filmmakers the ability to do. Saying that “Gravity” is “commonplace both in front of and behind the camera” simply reveals your ignorance of technical film, and it just so happens that the story is not devoid of profound meaning. You just have to, you know, think for five minutes, which I guess is difficult for you.

    Comment by Ronald — October 18, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

  14. #13: I have seen “Life of Pi” and regard it as pure hokum of the Orientalist type. In terms of “I can’t imagine that the technology used in “All is Lost” is terribly new”, that’s exactly the point. The film is not about technology but the human condition. As I said, its closest relative is “Old Man and the Sea”. The closest relative of “Gravity” is a video game:

    A couple of years ago, when a terrible break-up left me desperate to fill up all of my newfound free time with social interaction, I went over to a friend’s house and watched him play Grand Theft Auto. After I saw him drive through a bunch of beautifully-designed streets, rob some girls with digits-in-all-the-right-places, and shoot a rocket launcher at a fleet of cop cars, I went home. I learned a valuable lesson that mind-numbing night: No matter how perfectly-orchestrated the sound, no matter how artistically-chiseled the graphics, no matter how hair-trigger the gameplay, watching someone else play a video game is boring.

    That is exactly what watching Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is like.

    There’s no story to follow, no characters to care about, and nothing of substance to learn about space travel seeing as it’s basically one giant “artistic license” to get Sandra Bullock to walk around in her underwear for awhile. The whole movie-going experience—which costs me $18 bucks for IMAX 3D—is the same thing as going over to Alfonso’s house and watching him play a version of Tomb Raider that somehow incorporates the icy game controls of NHL’94—but even more boring than that.

    full: http://www.theawl.com/2013/10/gravity-is-a-transcendent-piece-of-crap

    Comment by louisproyect — October 18, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

  15. “Pure hokum of the Orientalist type.” Wow. Racist AND misinformed. “Life of Pi” is a great film, and it is not, in fact, about India or Orientalism at all. Not all movies that take place in other countries are about the “foreignness” of those countries, you know. In fact, most of that movie takes place outside of India, and it happens to be about open-mindedness in regards to viewing the world spiritually: the idea that the fact that there is more than one path to truth can be used as a way to understand the world more, rather than to dismiss it. I guess that just went completely over your head, as did the message of “Gravity” if you really think there isn’t one. It also deals with the “human condition”, and as I said before, if you sit and think about it for more than the three seconds it took you to come to a shallow conclusion about it, you’ll understand what the point is. You belong to a particularly undignified brand of reviewer who knows little about cinema and doesn’t understand that movies try to tell us things, or at the very least refuses to listen.

    Comment by Ronald — October 18, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

  16. #14 Louis it seems that despite the extra effort you put into your comment vs your review, you still seem to be missing the point of Gravity (and life of pi as well). while I agree that special effects on their own are not enough to make a movie, when used is concert with a great story, special effects can greatly enhance the experience. As Ronald pointed out gravity, All is lost, and life of pi deal with the human condition and isolation.

    from what I gathered in your comment, you automatically seem to think that great technology=bad story and don’t even bother (or perhaps unable?) to pay attention to the story. or maybe you just found the female lead too distracting? did a scene of a (pretty average) woman in shorts stop you from concentrating on the story? perhaps this is why you were able to concentrate better on All Is Lost….

    here, let me break down comment #13 for you into even simpler terms: both films have a great narrative, but one of them uses great visuals to provide a better experience. it is not JUST a pretty movie, its an amazing story+groundbreaking CGI, whereas All is Lost is a just great story that we have seen before (life of pi).

    #11 Oh, haha. you criticize my one grammar mistake, when your comment shows that you are guilty of the far worse crime of reading comprehension.
    first of all, my original comment still stands; you are wrongs if you think that the majority of the population has even stepped on a boat. And before you even bring up Louises comment of a lot of people holding their heads underwater, then perhaps anyone who has had trouble breathing can relate better to gravity due to the lack of oxygen.

    also it is all it is DEEP SEE that is less explored that the UNIVERSE. if All is Lost was about someone being stranded on a submarine (not a bad idea for a movie actually) you might have a case, but so far no cigar.

    *I apologize for the tone of my response.

    Comment by hank green — October 18, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

  17. “Finally, to Richard Este’s comment
    regarding Sandra Bullock being a “horribly transparent and manipulative
    actress”: what are you talking about?”

    I asked someone in my office today about this, someone who watches a lot more films that I do. Not knowing how she would respond, I was pleasantly surprised when she agreed with me about Bullock.

    Comment by Richard Estes — October 18, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

  18. Richard. It’s just a fact that only people who subscribe to People Magazine and watch Entertainment Tonight don’t view Bullock’s acting the way you do.

    Hank. It’s also a fact that far more people can identify with being alone on a sailboat (either from having been on a dinky Sunfish at some lake as a kid or watching sailboats from a shore at some point in their lives) than being on a spaceship, particularly since sailing has been a part of human culture for millenium.

    Lou’s description of a big screen video game in the comment was actually far more compelling than his initial review insofar as at first reading I felt I should at least see the film whereas now wild horses couldn’t drag me to the damn thing.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — October 18, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

  19. I tend to be cynical about the tendency of professional critics to hype about just everything that comes along but was glad to see A.O. Scott praise “All is Lost”, a film for the ages.

    NY Times October 17, 2013
    Movie Review
    The Strong, Largely Silent Type
    By A. O. SCOTT

    True solitude is a rarity at the movies, for those of us in the audience contending with yakkers and texters, and for the people on screen as well. The lonesome strangers of the old westerns almost always had a town to ride into or out of, a buzz of social life to contrast with their individualistic ways. Even movies that emphasize the isolation of their main characters tend to provide them with companions, human or otherwise. Piscine Patel in “Life of Pi” had his tiger, Richard Parker; Chuck Noland in “Cast Away” had Wilson the volleyball. Those guys did a lot of talking, even when nobody else was around.

    The guy in J. C. Chandor’s amazing “All Is Lost” — identified only as “Our Man” in the credits and instantly recognizable as Robert Redford, giving the performance of his life — says almost nothing at all. For the duration of the film, he is the only person in sight. In the opening scene, we hear his voice as he composes a letter of apology and farewell, presumably to unspecified loved ones back home. Later — or rather earlier, since most of the story flashes back from that moment of fatalism, eight days into his ordeal — he tries to send a distress call over the radio and tosses a few epithets at his fate. Otherwise, he is silent. And though this man’s radical aloneness is terrifying, to him and to us, it is also a condition he has chosen, one we might even envy, just as his taciturn competence is something we are inclined to admire.

    He finds himself in the Indian Ocean, in the empty waters between Indonesia and Madagascar, on a solo sailing voyage. We infer that he is someone who can afford a comfortable, well-appointed yacht and the leisure to pilot it in exotic places, something he also clearly has the skill to do. He’s rich, American and handsome. (He’s Robert Redford.)

    What else do we know about Our Man? He wears a wedding ring and an air of poised, understated confidence. In the midst of a desperate crisis, he takes the time to shave, and we might wonder whether this act of grooming under duress is evidence of self-discipline or vanity. Even when he is absorbed in practical matters that have life-or-death consequences, our ancient mariner maintains a sense of style; there is a subtle self-consciousness in his efforts to embody the old Hemingway-esque ideal of grace under pressure. He is a model of masculine virtue and he knows it. (He’s Robert Redford.)

    The ancient Greeks believed that character should be revealed through action. I can’t think of another film that has upheld this notion so thoroughly and thrillingly. There is certainly no other actor who can command our attention — our empathy, our loyalty, our love — with such efficiency. Mr. Redford has always been a magnificent underplayer, a master of small, clear gestures and soft-spoken intensity. This role brings him to the pinnacle of reticence but also allows him to open up in startling ways. Behind the leathery, pragmatic exterior is a reservoir of inexpressible emotion. An opera thunders in the silence.

    “All Is Lost,” an action movie in the most profound and exalted sense of the term, has a simple plot that I hesitate to summarize, less for fear of spoiling anything than because a précis would either miss the point or recapitulate the whole film. A lot goes wrong. An errant shipping container punches a hole in the hull. The cabin floods, and the onboard electrical system is ruined. A ferocious storm spins, tosses and smashes the boat. Attempts to communicate are foiled by rotten luck and the metaphysical indifference of the universe.

    Through it all, the man perseveres, in his patient, problem-solving way. He patches his beloved boat’s wound with epoxy and cloth, hauls out the storm jib, gathers provisions for the lifeboat and digs up a never-used, old-fashioned mariner’s sextant. Using this, a sheaf of maps and a copy of “Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen,” he sets a course for commercial shipping lanes, hoping for rescue from the big boats that were, indirectly but with unmistakable metaphorical significance, the cause of his predicament.

    Like other tales of survival at sea — a robust literary tradition that includes classic books by Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, Joseph Conrad and Herman Melville — “All Is Lost” manifests a strong allegorical undercurrent. Nothing registers the fragility and contingency of the human presence in the universe quite as starkly as the sight of a small vessel adrift on an endless ocean, and few representations of heroism are as vivid as the spectacle of an individual fighting to master the caprices of wind and water.

    But this is not — or not only — a parable of Man against Nature, ready-made for high school term paper analysis. The physical details that carry the story and make it suspenseful and absorbing are also vessels of specific meaning, and together they add up to a fable about the soul of man under global capitalism. Our man is a privileged consumer (just look at all the stuff he has on that boat) whose fate is set in motion by a box full of goods (children’s sneakers, as it happens) accidentally knocked out of circulation.

    It is this catastrophe and the man’s desperate efforts to correct it that link “All Is Lost” with “Margin Call,” Mr. Chandor’s excellent first feature. That movie, about an office full of panicky investment bankers dealing with the unfolding financial crisis of 2008, is in many ways the opposite of “All Is Lost.” It takes place almost entirely indoors, and it’s pretty much all talk. But it is also very much concerned with how powerful men react when their sense of control is challenged, and with the vast, invisible system that sustains their illusions.

    Our Man is a more complicated hero than he seems, and shades of ambiguity and implication filter in through the sharply defined, crisply composed images of his struggle. I’m reminded again of Conrad, and not only because “All Is Lost” is an appealing and exciting maritime adventure with one eye on the geopolitical state of the world.

    Conrad once famously identified his goal as a writer as “to make you hear, to make you feel — it is, before all, to make you see.”

    A good filmmaker will not take that for granted, even with the advantage of a visual medium, and Mr. Chandor more than fulfills Conrad’s criterion of artistic achievement: “If I succeed, you shall find there according to your deserts: encouragement, consolation, fear, charm — all you demand — and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.”

    “All Is Lost” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Our Man swears twice.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 18, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

  20. What I think is up for grabs here in this discussion is: why do film-makers feel the need to to make films about total isolation? When film makes human isolation its subject, what does this say about the human condition in general? Can there be a ‘good film’ about this? The built-in absurdity is knowing that a film crew is on hand to shoot ‘isolation’. When will someone film “Friday”?

    Comment by Balaton Fleet Commander — October 18, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

  21. “It’s also a fact that far more people can identify with being alone on a sailboat”

    Karl this statement is not a fact. you mention going on a lake or seeing a sailboat, but that is a far cry from actually being on a body of water so large that there is no land in your horizon. how about all the people that look at the sky? I would wager that more people have done this, so according to you, more people must be able to relate to gravity (fact)?

    it is true that boating/sailing has been around for centuries, but again, not everyone has been on a boat. More people have also gazed at the sky, but very few people have actually been there. And space travel has had a MUCH larger influence on the population in the past fifty years than sailing has had in the past five hundred. during its birth, the space program was all anyone used to talk about. As kids, nearly all children wished they could become astronauts, but I doubt anyone aspired to become a sailor or fisherman.

    and as I said in my first post, the true factor is isolation, and while the number of people that have been isolated in either situation is small, space also carries a sense of uncharted territory. And far from creating a emotional barrier, I would say that this is an emotion that all human beings have on a instinctive level; we all know the feeling of going somewhere new or unknown, or both.

    All is Lost explores a place that not many of us have been to, but it is also a place that none of us ever want to. Gravity does the same thing, but the destination exciting. a childhood dream of some, and is also one of the first movies to (for the most part) show an accurate depiction of space travel.

    Comment by hank green — October 18, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

  22. The so-called “Fleet Commander” raises a seriously excellent question that needs further attention & debate.

    I suggest the answer is as relatively mundane as Marx’s old axiom that the ruling ideas of a given age are merely the ideas of the ruling class of that epoch which Proyect just reiterated a few comments ago.

    The “isolated individual overcoming all odds” is a theme that resonated a few centuries ago with the bourgeois revolutions that overthrew feudalism.

    The 1 percenters on Wall Street today in particular combined with the silicon valley e-commerce entreprenuers in general consider themselves special lone rogue wolves who through sheer wits & genius overcame all storms & obstacles to amass their millions & billions.

    They never consider the masses of toilers who laid the infrastructure through their sweat equity to pave the way for their fortunes.

    Even the bankster tool & Wall Street schmuck Obama said as much publically after his 1st election and then qucikly he caught so much hell for it he practically apologized — remember that?

    As for Hank’s diatribe, get over the People Magazine worldview already.

    If an established & reputable film critic like Proyect goes out of his way to explain i detail why some new blockbuster movie is as equivalently boring to watch as his buddy playing a Grand Theft Auto video game, then just know this stubborn fact — all of your howlings won’t prevent thousands of revolutionary minded individuals disgusted at Hollywood’s mindless claptrap & bourgeois propaganda to vow never to see this film out of sheer principle — particularly since we all know the Pentagon’s next frontier to squander the working classes’ money is imperializing & militarizing outer space.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — October 19, 2013 @ 12:43 am

  23. Yes! Thank you 🙂 I’ve been trying to figure out what bothered me about Gravity, and it’s exactly like you said — George Clooney dies off early, depriving the film of any attempt at camaraderie or banter. I was actually quite impressed by the movie up until his physics-defying float off into space, but after that … the thriller kind of lost its thrill after that.

    Comment by Michelle Proulx — October 19, 2013 @ 12:50 am

  24. “the idea that the fact that there is more than one path to truth”

    Or that there is no truth at all. A real illustration of “post-modern” nonsense in all it’s glory, which is exactly why that film was widely praised. Kudos to Louis for calling it out.

    What I find strange is that a lot of the people praising All is Lost were critical of “The Grey.”

    Comment by Martin Saber — October 19, 2013 @ 7:38 am

  25. Anyone defending Life of Poop has discredited themselves as a commenter. End of story.
    Sandra Bullock is awful. End of story. She was ok in this film, & didn’t derail it, though – which I suppose is a major triumph for her. Film derailed itself – Louis is spot on right. Music supervisor should be forced to watch 2001 to see how to build real drama in space – see how SILENCE works so well… it’s space, not Hans Zimmer presents the sound of space tension. My lord.

    Comment by yep — October 19, 2013 @ 9:22 am

  26. Karl, what on earth are you rambling on about? we were discussing a movie, and here you are bringing up useless points like the Economy and Obama.

    I don’t mind a broad debate every now and then, but right now you sound like someone who has already lost, is caught in a corner and is now throwing up anything in order to see what sticks.

    I’m pretty sure peoples will to survive is an instinctive trait that is instilled in all animals. the same goes for the human desire to explore new places. you mean to tell me that you have never been curious about places you have never been to? you have never wanted to be someone to discover something new or invent something revolutionary?

    this has nothing to do with the “People Magazine worldview.”

    So your first paragraph didn’t help, but I confess that it was in the last section of your argument were I burst out laughing.
    “particularly since we all know the Pentagon’s next frontier to squander the working classes’ money is imperializing & militarizing outer space.”

    Karl, you haven’t even seen the film so how can you even suggest the two are linked? you cannot. if you had seen the film, you would know that it is very gritty in its depiction of space travel and does little to glorify the Space program.

    the vast majority of people will leave the film and want nothing to do with outer space or space programs.

    you also mention ONE “established & reputable film critic(?)” when most critics who put more thought and have well reasoned reviews, praise the film. but there you go and cling to the weakest strand of an argument from one of least reliable sources.

    Comment by hank green — October 19, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

  27. Hank: Only an a-political fool addicted to Entertainment Tonight comes on a Marxist forum and claims that the militarization of outer space is irrelevant in the context of this movie.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — October 19, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

  28. I am so sorry Karl, you are absolutely right. even though you have not seen the film, it is clear that you know more about it and its message about the militarization of outer space than those who have seen the movie. clearly Gravity was not about two people trying to do their best to survive, but is rather a huge piece of propaganda, and its sole purpose is to sway the american people to conquer the heavens.

    and you figured me out as well- despite the fact that I watch very little television and don’t even know what “Entertainment Tonight” is, you have somehow seen that I am not someone who simply enjoys a good movie, but am instead a brainwashed individual who is trying his best to indoctrinate others.

    You alone had the knowledge and intellectual prowess to “crack the code” and saw right through my feeble attempt to make others join the “People Magazine worldview.”

    Comment by hank green — October 19, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

  29. I assumed Clooney’s character simply committed suicide rather listen to any more of Bullock’s character’s whining.

    Comment by Dave Clayden — October 20, 2013 @ 3:09 am

  30. Hank Green I totally agree with your comments. Proyect, you totally lost me when you said “nearly everyone knows what it’s like to be in a sailboat out on the ocean.” Ivory tower Marxist much? You also have no clue how many millions of laborers have contributed to the advancement of man’s foray into space, the results of which affect modern life on a daily basis (cell phone technology, long distance telecommunications, bar codes, cordless power tools, water filtration, kidney dialysis, rotary blood pumps, satellite dishes, ear thermometers, LED lights, scratch-resistant lenses…). Anyone communicate via satellite today? People in Mogagishu, Moscow, Beijing, Boise? No, according to Proyect the majority were out drifting on their sailboats…

    Visually stunning, technologically groundbreaking, and viscerally engaging is how I’d describe the film. Bullock gave the performance of her life (I was breathless several times with her) while Clooney was another space cowboy I didn’t mind seeing drift off. There’s valid reason for film’s 97% fresh.

    Comment by Kris on the Coast — October 20, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

  31. Kris being on the “Coast” surely understands what it’s like to be on a sailboat but doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that if technology is the collective wisdom of human kind then why does the one percent get virtually all the profit?

    Surely the isolated individual overcoming challenges in deep space can be seen as a bourgeois metaphor for the atomized individual in front of their computer pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — October 20, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

  32. Never, ever been sailing. Never been far enough out on the water to lose the horizon. I suspect that’s the majority of the earth’s population. As far as being out in space, no experience either. Have had asthma though, been out of breath, panicked over lack of oxygen, disoriented – that’s just a typical Friday night here 😉

    Most of the western world lives quite comfortably due to the space race and its resulting technology. Cannot speak to the oppressive stone age cultures that reject us and our advances as corrupt however. (try and get food/water filtration into Somalia – get machine gunned by local war lords). As far as the metaphor…interesting. I saw it as more a metaphor for man vs the cold, unfeeling universe. Over all however, I was enthralled by the film. There always has to be that ONE critic however, apparently Proyect wanted to be him. Got my attention, this time.

    Comment by Kris on the Coast — October 20, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

  33. Can’t agree with everything in your review, but i’m glad I’m not the only one who thought Gravity was terrible. Such lazy writing, and I’m not just talking about the dialogue. The characters were surprisingly shallow. Too much of the film’s tension comes from Bullock’s bad decision-making or just general helplessness. The ending was absolute garbage. Bullock literally and inexplicably gives up, stopping just short of committing suicide. The day is saved by a hallucination that tells her exactly what she needs to do. I’m sure others in the theater heard it when I slapped my forehead during that scene. This same device was used in the also-shitty Man of Steel, when the consciousness of Superman’s dead father is able to answer all his questions. It’s a weak device that is neither exciting nor satisfying.
    I saw it in 2D, and the “groundbreaking” cinematography is a lot more transparent when your eyes aren’t being pulled off the screen by a three-dimensional teardrop. Even when I’m watching movies in 3D I find myself hating those shots that are a just a service to the 3D. They’re just so easy to pick out, Why bother with composition when you can just throw something at the audience’s face instead? The fetus imagery in the airlock was the only thing in the film I thought was mildly clever, but any perceived subtlety was lost as that shot lasts about 30 seconds longer than it needs to. I wasn’t too upset about that, as I knew all subtlety was out the window near the beginning, when we get to see some family photos of one of the dead astronauts. I suppose it’s Cauron’s attempt to humanize characters which are essentially just props, but it’s just so painfully obvious and, again, lazy.

    Long story short, i was hugely disappointed in Gravity, would not see again.

    Comment by Matt — October 20, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

  34. I mentioned William Broyles Jr.’s screenplay for “Cast Away” as exemplary work and something that shows how you can create an interesting script based on the premise under consideration. It turns out that Broyles co-wrote the script for “Apollo 13”, another accident in space film that can be read at: http://sfy.ru/?script=apollo13.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 20, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  35. #13 a solid opinion matt. however I wouldn’t compare the Man of steel scene with the Gravity one. In gravity, Her brain was oxygen deprived which makes hallucinations common. Also Bullock Already knew all that stuff, and it was only when she gave up let her brain relax a chance to contemplate that she was able to remember. Sometimes people Need to give or stop fighting in order to realize just how much they want to live…. from a psychological standpoint, I thought it was pretty clever.

    Comment by hank green — October 20, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

  36. Anyone who can get through an entire Sandra Bullock movie deserves a lot of credit.

    Comment by Steve Oh — October 20, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

  37. Ask yourself this: do you have any urge to see Gravity again? That is what I asked myself after walking out of the movie. The answer was no. Yes, some of the visuals were spectacular, but the story just wasn’t that smart.

    How many times was suspense created by someone floating off into space only to latch onto something at the last second?

    Sandra Bullock is supposed to be some brilliant engineer, but I can’t remember any time in the movie that she actually stops and uses her head. Even how she eventually made it to the Chinese station had to be contrived with the Clooney character coming back and “telling” her how to do it. Then later she’s just pushing buttons saying, “eeny, meeny, miney, moe?” Really?

    Compare this with Apollo 13, which was also a technical achievement when it came out, but had a script where the characters actually stopped and intelligently considered and analyzed each step before taking it. Apollo 13 was a much better film.

    In typical Hollywood fashion, Bullock and the writers may have been more concerned with how her body looked on film than how she actually resembled a brilliant scientist.

    Comment by Rob — October 21, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

  38. An astronaut fact-checks “Gravity”: http://www.vulture.com/2013/10/astronaut-fact-checks-gravity.html

    Comment by louisproyect — October 21, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

  39. I saw Gravity and I thought the film was awful. There wasn’t much of a plot There was no change in her No point in making a single person movie without a point. Then the stripping in no gravity like Barbarella I was hoping Clooney would stay in the film longer maybe it would have made it more interesting

    Comment by Sandra Schaffer — October 21, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

  40. Aaaand, now we know why you’re barely (and I’m using that in the loosest sense) a professional film critic. No one in their right mind would give this film anything but a positive review.

    Comment by Chris — October 21, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

  41. #40: That’s nothing, I give the capitalist system a “rotten” review as well.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 21, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

  42. @39: your final sentence is incomplete. did you mean to add: “to see him stripping”?

    Comment by uh...clem — October 21, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

  43. (spoilers) The review describes sailing at sea being more easily relatable to audiences, and therefore better as a premise. I think the point of the significant majority of critics is that Gravity is a technological masterpiece precisely because it successfully relates some modicum of the supreme isolation, disorientation, and vastness of space to viewers who, like the reviewer, have never been there. And to wish for Clooney as a staid presence in the film for the purpose of additional banter….yeah, way to miss the point of his character arc (and of Bullock’s) entirely. The Bullock character, for all her training, is (relatively speaking) a fish out of water, and having a seasoned veteran there to guide her through any significant portion of the ordeal would be to urinate all over her arc and deflate the tension along with it.

    Comment by Jimmy Hoffa — October 21, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

  44. And Rob, if you think the strip-down from her suit was done for the purpose of giving you a lurid glimpse at Bullock’s body, you missed the point, too. She was getting out of a restrictive, claustrophobic suit that, up until a few seconds prior, she thought was going to be her coffin. She was literally suffocating in it, and I’m supposed to be surprised and upset by the depiction of her wanting out of it? You were supposed to empathize with that, not achieve an erection. She was taking a moment to try to feel human, and alive, and I thought the point was beautifully illustrated by the shot of the character floating weightless in the fetal position, giving herself up to a moment of supreme relief a midst an endless sea of death.

    Comment by Jimmy Hoffa — October 21, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

  45. I think the point of the significant majority of critics is that Gravity is a technological masterpiece precisely because it successfully relates some modicum of the supreme isolation, disorientation, and vastness of space to viewers who, like the reviewer, have never been there.

    I actually rather enjoyed the people bopping around in their space suits, all the technical wizardry, etc. I just found Bullock rather uninteresting as a character. My wife and I sat through the entire film without feeling the need to bolt from our seats. But the reviews prepped me for some kind of transcendent experience. There was none. My recommendation on that score is “All is Lost”. Try to imagine “Gravity” without a single word being uttered by Bullock, as was the case with Redford in “All is Lost”. You simply cannot. Her babble was a poor substitute for drama, especialy when she began woofing. In terms of underwear modeling, I much preferred Sigourney Weaver in “Alien”.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 21, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

  46. Wow. And the winner, by a knockout is…….Hollywood. All this stirred up by a movie charging $20 a pop for 3D viewing? Keep up the shitstorm. As Wreckless Eric put it: “It’s the sweetness of the readies (that) makes the bell ring on the till…………”

    Comment by sartesian — October 21, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

  47. Jimmy Hoffa….. give me a break please. I did not miss any point. First of all, do you really think any astronaut only wears underwear and a tank top under their suit?

    I got the whole fetal symbolism thing and while it was a cool shot, it wasn’t that amazingly clever. Speaking of which, you did not refute any of my actual points, that she never once actually thinks in the movie. No one does. It wasn’t written well. It was a slightly better than average movie.

    Perhaps I’m being harsher than normal because most ever other reviewer is fawning over it like it is some masterpiece of cinema, but again I ask you and every one else blindly praising this movie to answer this question honestly: now that you’ve seen it in its entirety, do you have any desire to sit through the whole thing again?

    If you’re thinking about it, then that is your answer.

    Comment by Rob — October 22, 2013 @ 12:30 am

  48. I am among the few here who thought Gravity was a total letdown. Shallow and unbelievable plot and cardboard characters. It seemed like just an excuse to for Bullock to squeal over an out-of-control vehicle! Yes, the special effects were great….but couldn’t there have been a better story told?

    Comment by Mary Miller — October 22, 2013 @ 1:26 am

  49. I agree with you I wish they paid a little bit to the writing this movie as a total let down

    Comment by Sandy Schaffer — October 22, 2013 @ 1:48 am

  50. I had to take down all the names of the “professional critics” of Rotten Tomatoes who gave this movie the 97% rating so as to never take their word on a movie ever again…

    Can we not have normal human beings who just watch a movie to see whether it sucks or not to critique it? Instead of these “experts” who are looking deep inside a movie for some BS artistic value that the director may, or may not have tried to pull off? Sometimes I think these critics are robots. Gravity was a total failure from out of this world.

    Comment by Jason — October 22, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

  51. Well said Jason. I still can’t figure out why every critic is drooling over this movie. Either I’m losing it or the standards of what makes a great movie have gone way down.

    Comment by Rob — October 22, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

  52. Not sure why you’re attempting to discourage people from seeing this masterpiece. Sure, in my lifetime I may have seen better movies, but none offered the experience that ‘Gravity’ did and ill gladly explain why.
    Being a long time lover of physics, I get highly annoyed by people’s ideals of space as just another ocean or land mass to be explored… in general, people dont seem to get that there would be nothing scarier and yet at the same time so beautiful as being suspended in total nothingness, with no sound, and only a complete lack of light on the horizon.

    This movie excels because it depicts this space (no pun intended) so well. No movie before has managed to instill this feeling, at least not to me. Not saying its the only good space movie, as there are plenty (2001, apollo 13) that exist, but the point is that this movie offers an adventure and experience that for once a general audience can now better understand. There are a few dubious moments yeah (for those of you that applaud the laws of physics like myself, you may cringe once or twice), but you cannot take away the dramatic cinematography and stunning shots that give the audience a real perspective on this hostile environment, and furthermore into the fragile human condition when faced with the unkown, and that dreaded fear of being alone and insignificant.

    Reading these comments, I’m worried that maybe all these self proclaimed critics commenting either bagged this movie simply for starring Sandra Bullock (get over it, she delivered a stirring performance), or that somehow you missed the whole point of this movie and the emotional adventure it takes you on.

    Comment by Zac — October 23, 2013 @ 5:30 am

  53. “Except for a single word uttered by Redford midway through the film—FUCK—that is cried out after he discovers that his water supply has been compromised by salt water, there is not another spoken word.” Did I watch the wrong trailer?

    Comment by Rob — October 23, 2013 @ 11:08 am

  54. Gravity was an ok movie..plenty of overacted heavy breathing, squealing from Bullock..Cooney was his usual suave cool self…not much of a plot..good special effects..overall, not that memorable

    Comment by Mike Patterson — October 23, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

  55. Hank, is that you? I’ll see you on Friday.

    Comment by john green — October 24, 2013 @ 2:17 am

  56. Get your sit and enjoy the movie, its not a documentary

    Comment by Markitoz (@mark1toz) — October 24, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

  57. Finally, an accurate review of gravity. I heard all the hype, but was sadly disappointed. Yes, the visuals were incredible, but the plot was too simple and character development completely lacking. If the majority of the film is going to be just Bullock floating around, why not make her more interesting? Half-way through you’re praying for Clooney’s return…Can you imagine what this film could’ve been with an engaging main character?!

    Comment by Adam — October 25, 2013 @ 3:15 am

  58. Just glad to know I’m not alone…at least someone else, and after reading responses to your review, I see there are others, who thought this movie lacked real substance. Thanks for speaking up. Too bad, though, so many other critics voiced a different opinion. I’ve been misguided before by rottentomatoes ratings, but this time they were so far off the mark that I thought, that’s it, as far as I am concerned any kind of relevant guidance into what’s worth watching and what’s not–well, rottentomatoes has lost it. That last scene of Sandra Bullock’s when she “feels” gravity was just cheesy. This I blame on the director. I can imagine him saying to her, “You gotta feel the gravity…feel it! No! More! Feel it! Feel the gravity–Let me see, it!” Too bad. It could have been a much better film. But according to all those other critics, it already is. Who are those people, anyway? How does mediocre get to be 97%?

    Comment by Fligner — October 25, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

  59. OK, I just saw it. Proyect states: “None of us (I assume that astronauts are not the sort of people who visit this blog) have ever been in outer space but nearly everybody knows what it is like to be in a sailboat out on the ocean.” But a part (big part IMO) of the problem is that that– the “lost at sea” element is really what this story is about, and who gives a flying f*%k? Couple on a sailboat. Sailboat sinks. Wise-tough-cracking guy says girl by sacrificing self. Girl shows spunk, inspired by wise-tough-cracking guy, and who cares? We’ve seen this before, and if you’re going to take me to outer space, at least give me a better story line.

    In contrast– I recommend Europa Reports– the best science fiction movie since Alien (the first one, the only one that counts). Ripley forever! But anyway Europa Reports gives you a story worth the billion of technology used to get human beings into their predicament.

    Comment by sartesian — October 25, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  60. Just saw GRAVITY. Visual effects does not a movie make. This should have been regarded as a mediocre made-for-TV movie.

    Comment by Stanley Sitnik — October 26, 2013 @ 2:16 am

  61. To each one’s own. No matter how “professional” or “non-professional” the critic, he or she is free to his or her opinion of any work. The critic is free to dislike it because he or she considers it to be bad filmmaking or because virtually everyone else likes it, thereby making the critic’s negative opinion shocking and therefore seemingly interesting. The critic is free to compare it to whatever other work he or she chooses, to illustrate his or her contempt for whatever technological achievement, plot device, quantity of dialogue or wardrobe he or she dislikes in the film by touting the differences between it and the other work. For instance, if the critic is a fan of blatantly silly movies, he or she could state with all the authority granted by having registered an account in the blogosphere, “I didn’t find ‘Gravity’ to be as funny as ‘Weekend at Bernie’s II,’ so don’t waste your money”.

    Again, to each one’s own. For myself, I was moved considerably by the enormous spectacle of ‘Gravity,’ and even more by its relatively simple plot and message, both magnified and heightened by the realism of the setting.

    Comment by J G — October 26, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

  62. Good grief! Comparing one film against another. Shameful excuse for a review. I can see that you stand above the rest and that you weren’t taken in by the hype. So astute and so profound in your observations. Give me a break.

    Comment by Bill Will — October 26, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

  63. I found myself attracted to ‘Gravity’ because of the overwhelming positive reviews and a friend’s recommendation. Now that I have watched the film I think some of the hype is exaggerated. The film does convey the actual feeling of being in space very graphic but as it continues, some of the artistic licenses it’s (ab)using got on my nerves. The second part of the film is essentially a repetition of the first part (or first space station) and although I tried to restrict myself from drawing comparison with other films in space, using the fire extinguisher as maneuvering thruster as WALL-E once did was a little too much for my taste.

    It’s a very good film with exciting visuals, and if you don’t mind the adrenalin pumping and nerve-racking thrill ride, which appears to be the red thread and basic plot premise, it’s a must see. But I couldn’t and wouldn’t call it “great” or a “masterpiece”.

    Comment by Frank Bitterhof — October 29, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

  64. Mr. Proyect, I believe your last name is “Dystopian.” Whether or not you realize, you gave “Gravity” one of the sole “rotten tomatoes” on that most credible of review websites. I believe you must have gotten high off some bad Oysters Rockefeller or something and erroneously viewed “Gigli” at home, because the rest of the moviegoing world watched a whole other flick.

    Having Clooney gone in the early going was as luxurious and satisfying as seeing Mr. Seagal disappear in the opening moments of “Executive Decision.” I’m going to enjoy reading some of your other “hit-the-mark” reviews and see what other dissertations you have provided (hint: a good writer needs only about three or four good paragraphs to get a point across; a good reviewer needs about 500 words or less to make me want/not want to see the movie). My sense is you’re a lot like Arch Campbell who used to do reviews for NBC-4 in DC, and once claimed that “Sixteen Candles” was just another one of those bad teen sex romps.

    Hope you’re enjoying your outlier existence.

    Comment by Doug H. — November 2, 2013 @ 2:58 am

  65. Man, if only Clooney would have died off earlier! He was the worst part of the movie. Suffocating everyone with his smug. Wish they had cast someone else. Having “stars” in films like this really kills the ability to fully immerse yourself into the film’s universe.
    Anyway, this movie was one of the most engaging spectacles I’ve experienced since Saving Private Ryan’s opening sequence. A great film, character-wise, it’s not. And there’s really no plot, either. But it’s about the viseral ride it takes the audience on that makes it a great movie-going experience. This is the sort of movie that makes going to the theatre worth it.

    Comment by Bob Cratchett — November 5, 2013 @ 11:37 pm

  66. Dear Bob Cratchett: We need to watch some movies together. You’re citing of the opening sequence of “Saving Private Ryan” is very appropriate (By the way, “SPR” is my favorite movie). “Gravity” reminded me of how awestruck I was when watching “Star Wars” in 1977…yes, I am revealing my age now. But, when that second field of debris tore up the Russian station and sent everything flying into the theatre, I just knew we had reached a new age in film. God Bless It. And God Bless Us, everyone…eh, Bob Cratchett??

    Comment by Doug H. — November 8, 2013 @ 2:12 am

  67. Gravity was good, all is lost was utter drivel.

    Comment by john — November 10, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

  68. Lmao @JOHN OILER you wasted 2 hours of your time in a movie that has a running time of 1 hour and 25 minute.

    The movie is getting excellent reviews because its a great IMAX film experience. Then not only that but it still manages to fit a story about a woman that’s coming to terms with her grief at the loss of a child that ultimately finds her will to live. What people may not understand is that this whole movie could very well be all in her head. People are known to cope in very unusual ways and if the end were her waking up in an hospital bed after crashing her car I wouldn’t be surprised, but i’m glad A.C. left that to your own interpretation.

    Comment by D — November 21, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  69. […] Weather-beaten Robert Redford struggles to survive on the open sea after his yacht gets impaled on some detritus that slipped off the deck of a cargo ship. Perfect metaphor for Hollywood versus the principled filmmaker. Full review: http://louisproyect.org/2013/10/17/gravity-all-is-lost/ […]

    Pingback by The Best and Worst Films of 2013 » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names — January 17, 2014 @ 7:20 pm

  70. Extremely overrated film. There are so many flaws in this movie, it classifies as junk science. Very slow and boring. One star is generous.

    Comment by Jimmy — January 23, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

  71. On The Nature And Origin Of The Universe…
    Classical Science Replaced By 2013 Gravity Comprehension !!!

    איך נברא היקום יש מאין
    New Science 2013 versus classical science
    Attn classical science hierarchy ( including Darwin and Einstein…)
    “I hope that now you understand what gravity is and why it is the monotheism of the universe…DH”
    Gravity is the natural selection of self-attraction by the elementary particles of an evolving system on their cyclic course towards the self-replication of the system. Period
    ( Gravitons are the elementary particles of the universe. RNA genes and serotonin are the elementary particles of Earth life)

    כח המשיכה
    כח המשיכה הוא הבחירה הטבעית להיצמדות הדדית של חלקיקי היסוד של מערכת מתפתחת במהלך התפתחותה המחזורית לעבר שיכפולה. נקודה
    ( הגרוויטון הוא חלקיק היסוד של היקום. הגנים, הנוקלאוטידים של חומצה ריבונוקלאית והסרוטונין הם החלקיקים היסודיים של חיי כדור הארץ) Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)

    Comment by dovhenis — March 2, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

  72. Gravity bored me to tears. Didn’t even finish the DVD. Watched All Is Lost three times. Brilliant movie making. I thought I was the only one…

    Comment by juliabarrett — July 17, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

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