Film #1 Gravity

I had originally planned on having each of my posts be in chronological order within categories, however I’ve yet to get round to adding my film reviews. This one couldn’t wait however.

So Gravity then. I’d heard good things, and I’d heard “Sandra Bullock: In Space!” Whilst I haven’t seen a film Bullock has been in that I haven’t enjoyed, that’s probably more due to the fact I haven’t watched many Sandra Bullock films. Crucially however, I hadn’t heard anything specific about it, hadn’t read any reviews or particular criticisms. I was going in blind.

As a professional physics geek, I couldn’t let the opportunity to see this on the big screen pass me by, especially since it was showing in IMAX 3D. 3D is a gimmick I can take or leave, but I felt this might be a film that merited it.

And oh my, merit it it did.

It’s a visually stunning film, but that didn’t detract from the emotional impact I felt watching the characters cope with the aftermath of a debris cloud caused by the missile impact of a Russian satellite. I don’t want to give too much away but afterwards I am left feeling like I haven’t drawn breath for most of the 90 minute running time.

Sure, there are a couple of scientific inaccuracies I could gripe about (mostly to do with the law of conservation of angular momentum, and it seemed to peddle the misconception of frictional heating of spacecraft re-entry) but it would be churlish to talk the film down on those merits when it gets so much right. And it gets major bonus points for not being schmaltzy and over the top.

I’ve found my end-of-term DVD to show pupils forever more. If only I could get an IMAX projector for my classroom …


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