The Scariest Part of “Gravity” is the Lack Thereof

Article written: 5 Sep , 2013
Updated: 30 Dec , 2015

I love science fiction films and I especially love it when the “science” part leans closer to fact than fiction. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Europa Report.) Now I’ve never seen an actual catastrophe in orbit (and I hope I never do) but I have to assume it’d look a whole lot like what’s happening in the upcoming film “Gravity,” opening in U.S. theaters on October 4. This full official trailer was released today.

A disaster film sure becomes a whole lot more interesting when everything is moving 18,000 miles an hour and there’s no up or down. And, of course, space. (!!!)

So what do you think? Will you be seeing Gravity? Share your thoughts in the comments…

Just for the sake of conversation, here’s just a few curious things I happened to notice in the trailer:

1. I’d be a whole lot more upset than Sandra seems to be. Yes, she’s breathing heavily… my personal reaction would sound much less family-freindly.

2. The debris flying toward the Station/Shuttle probably wouldn’t be visible, especially if it were coming head-on. Orbital velocity in zero-g* is fast — much faster than bullets fly — and I doubt you’d even see it coming. But then, it IS a movie.

3. The odds that the main characters would make it that far alive (nevermind much further) are pretty bad, I’d think. I guess that’s the whole point.

4. I wouldn’t say life in space is impossible… after all, tardigrades do quite well for a time. Maybe they just meant life for Hollywood actors.

Still, I can’t help but be excited about a film about “real” space flight (even if the result is making it seem horrifying and dangerous.) I’m sure there’ll be a whole laundry list of eyebrow-raising technicalities, but I usually try to not let that ruin the whole film for me. As they said in the MST3K theme, “remember that it’s just a show — you should really just relax.”

See the official film site here.

*Yes, I’m aware there’s a difference between microgravity and freefall and an actual absence of gravity. You know what I meant.

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12 Responses

  1. Molnár László says

    I’d argue with your second point. Even low delta-v debris are plausible, if they share a similar orbit. They’re only playing with the probability of the events, not with plausibility.

  2. gofigure says

    What a shocker? I’m so surprised. You must have a really boring life to be doing this.

  3. Member
    Jeffrey Scott Boerst says

    <—– Absolutely GIDDY about this film!

  4. Member
    Rob Stuart says

    The same idiotic error made in 99% of sci-fi films: sounds of motion, impacts, explosions and human voices are heard … in the vacuum of space? Don’t waste your cash on this crap from Hollywood, where filmmakers’ brains are so transmuted by cocaine that they can’t grasp the distinction between atmosphere and vacuum. The late lamented Stanley Kubrick was one of the precious few who portrayed space exploration accurately.

  5. Ole Jørgen Nordhagen says

    I will see it, and enjoy it!

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