Internet Gravity, space movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Trailer up!

Andy44

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Call me skeptical...The preview I saw didn't wow me, and the woman engineer I work with says it looks stupid to her, and she correctly called Prometheus for the turkey it was, so we'll have to see.
 

Kyle

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Call me skeptical...The preview I saw didn't wow me, and the woman engineer I work with says it looks stupid to her, and she correctly called Prometheus for the turkey it was, so we'll have to see.

I was very impressed by the visual and technical detail. Perhaps that's because it's rare I see a Hollywood movie that has any level of technical detail with the ISS/Space Shuttle (indeed, I think Michael Bay only places them in the movies to blow them the :censored: up). Early reviews are also pretty good, something Prometheus didn't have, so I'm cautiously optimistic.
 

Izack

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Early reviews are also pretty good, something Prometheus didn't have, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

"Cautiously optimistic" is what I'm trying to be, too. Dozens of terrible sci-fi movies have made it very hard for me to hold any hope for something like this to be anything special...
 

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Saw the trailer on the beginning of the Oblivion disc

Wait, that's a double combo to me. Oblivion + Gravity.
Still in love of Jack & Julia, plus Freeman in a ninja suit :D


Back in topic, I'll say that it looks pretty damn awesome if they followed some experienced guys and girls to make the movie realistic. Will definitely go and watch it !
 

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Here are my impressions (cross-posted at the NSF forums):

Saw it last night in IMAX 3D. Here are my spoiler-free impressions:

Cons:
- I'd give the movie a failing grade on orbital mechanics. The height above Earth looked right and the Earth moved underneath the astronauts at a speed that believably could result from 90 minute orbits, but that's about it. There are several egregious errors in how mechanics are handled. If you watched the movie not knowing anything about orbital mechanics, you might enjoy the film more, but you certainly wouldn't learn anything.
- The technical stuff displays typical Easy-To-Operate movie tropes. It seems, for instance, that airlocks operate in seconds in Gravity's universe, astronauts don't get the bends, and spacecraft can be operated with a couple of button presses.
- The "messaging" in the film is unnecessary. There's an attempt at a character arc that just feels tacked on and silly given the very narrow focus of the film. I'm not sure why it just couldn't be about competent astronauts struggling to survive a terrible accident.

Pros:
- The microgravity stuff is awe inspiring. The movie must be mostly CGI (though you mostly cannot tell) in nearly every frame because micro-gravity and reaction physics are handled consistently and realistically throughout the movie. (There are a couple exceptions, but considering the scale of what's been accomplished, they're forgivable.)
- The external views of the equipment should make any spaceflight aficionado squeal with glee. These are lovingly detailed models of existing spacecraft rendered to scale against EVA'd astronauts. Bad things happen to the spacecraft, but they are certainly beautiful.
- Acting is good, though I don't think I'd say Oscar caliber. Clooney plays, basically Clooney and is charming and likable. Bullock plays her part very well too; her character is clearly frightened, but also confident and determined and matter-of-fact. She is a believable scientist, not a Christmas Jones.
- The vision of the movie is laudably constrained. There's no attempt to give backstory; it drops you right into the action and never leaves it for the length of the film. I like this very focused kind of story-telling. No distractions; no diversions.
- The star of the movie is the visuals. Nearly every frame of the film would make a fantastic desktop background. It's worth seeing just for the spectacle, and I don't mean the explosions. I mean the beautiful images of Earth below, the spacecraft and astronauts hanging in orbit, weather phenomenon, city lights, etc all in sharp relief and exquisite detail.

Final grade: B+
Any space fan will enjoy the film; just suspend your disbelief regarding orbits and mechanics and enjoy the show.

3D Note: The movie was designed to be viewed in 3D. There are, for instance, some first person sequences that look fantastic in 3D, and the depth of the clouds and other weather effects above the Earth really pop out beautifully, conveying the depth that is impossible to see in flat images. That said, the 3D does smear out some of the detail, particularly of the Earth. YMMV.
 

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People not screaming around in space doesn't get good reviews. I can think of only two movies that show astronauts in a competent manner not freaking out.
 

Shifty

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People not screaming around in space doesn't get good reviews. I can think of only two movies that show astronauts in a competent manner not freaking out.

Just want to clarify that the astronauts in this movie, including Bullock's character, act competent and don't generally freak out more than seems warranted.
 

Quick_Nick

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Just want to clarify that the astronauts in this movie, including Bullock's character, act competent and don't generally freak out more than seems warranted.

Man, those guys who make the ads are good at splicing together all the dramatic scenes. :lol: (nothing new there)
 

Shifty

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Man, those guys who make the ads are good at splicing together all the dramatic scenes. :lol: (nothing new there)

Right, the heavy breathing and panicking that Bullock does in those trailers are about the only times that happens for the whole movie. I imagine if I were spinning off into the blackness of space with no comms and no visual of anything human made, after having just experienced a major catastrophe, watching the Earth spin by once a second or so, I might be a little breathless myself.
 

Cras

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- The "messaging" in the film is unnecessary. There's an attempt at a character arc that just feels tacked on and silly given the very narrow focus of the film. I'm not sure why it just couldn't be about competent astronauts struggling to survive a terrible accident.

Because it would be boring that is why. Or too much to handle. If the film was entirely moments of working on surviving and none of the backstory human side of things, the characters would appear as robots, and you have very little to any desire to see them survive.

And to say it i stacked on is not right either. The theme is well established and pretty much is the subtext for every part of the film. Its easy to just pay attention to the geek stuff and point out where they got it wrong and miss completely what the movie is actually trying to say.
 

Izack

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Just saw the film. I agree with Shifty here, orbital mechanics were tosh. Everything else was incredible. I haven't been this impressed with a film for quite a while.
 

Kyle

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I've just gotten back from a showing, I was very impressed. Here's my review and thoughts (forgive me it's rather long).

Don't read this if you're not looking for spoilers!

The movie starts off with a silent shot of Earth with the shuttle coming in first as an indiscreet point of light, then into the classic delta shape, then into full detail. This scene takes about 1-2 minutes and I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of calm. It's pretty much the only calm moment in the movie. The mission is STS-157 with Space Shuttle Explorer, on a Hubble servicing mission and the ISS is only a few kilometers away. The mission also features a test flight of the MMU while the other astronauts are performing servicing work on the HST. The Chinese space station (even though it's called Tiangong in the movie, it's a future version of it), also happens to be not far away.

If you're completely bothered by the total ignoring of the proper orbital mechanics, like it's taking you completely out of the movie, think of it like this -- it's an alternate reality. Let's just say then that a identical twin of the Hubble (not unfeasible, seeing as HST is directly derived from spy satellites) was launched into the same plane as the ISS so that in the event of a failure during a servicing mission the shuttle could actually reach the ISS as a safe haven. Although I'll note the ODS is missing on the shuttle, which isn't surprising as the payload/mission a carbon-copy of STS-125.

Let's also assume then that the Chinese space station, Tiangong, was also launched and assembled in the same orbital plane to be docked to the ISS at a later date for a truly "International" space station. As unfeasible and utopian as that sounds, let's just go with that idea for the better part of this review. Even with this in mind, there is still gaps in logic with orbital mechanics and I ask for you to close your eyes when they happen if they truly bother you.

During a 3-manned EVA of the Hubble (Dr. Stone, Kowalski, and I missed the other guy's name), the Russians get the bright idea of shooting down a defunct satellite that happens to not be terribly far away from the shuttle. This causes a chain reaction with satellite collisions, knocking out several LEO satellites. Houston tells the three to return to the airlock and for the shuttle to begin an immediate attempt to return to KSC. Before the crew even gets inside the shuttle, the satellites impacts.

The other crew member is killed when a piece of the satellite goes through his visor (we later see the injury, rather gruesome). The arm detaches with Dr. Stone and hurls her off structure while the rest of the shuttle is completely destroyed by the satellite debris. Stone manages to detach and his hurled away from the arm, hyperventilating, and is rescued and calmed down by Kowalski with the MMU.

The pair return to see the state of the shuttle, the cabin is completely torn open and the entire crew has been killed from rapid depressurization of the vehicle. They then decide to move onto the ISS, which has been evacuated due to the impact. The other Soyuz parachutes were deployed from the impact, leaving it unable to re-enter.

Kowalski runs out of fuel, and the pair impact the ISS at a high speed and Stone is saved by the cords from the Soyuz parachute while Kowalski misses Stone's hand and is unable to be saved. Stone, suffering from C02 poisoning, begins to black out and is only able to move on while Kowalski, drifting away from the ISS, urges Stone to forget about him and save herself by getting into the Poisk airlock and into the ISS.

She manages her way into the crippled ISS only to find that she's lost contact with Kowalski and presumes him to have died. Stone only has a few minutes to leave the space station, as the debris will soon return on the next orbit to cause chaos. Shortly after that, a fire breaks loose in the Harmony module and spreads throughout the ISS. Stone is forced to abandon the ISS and move into the Soyuz and undock -- only to be snagged back by the deployed parachute and impacting the ISS.

Her next few attempts also meet with similar results. Eventually, she leaves the Soyuz in an Orlan suit and detaches the parachute from the Soyuz descent module. However, Stone is too late and the debris crash into the ISS again, completely destroying the structure and slamming the Soyuz into the solar panels, crippling her ability to get to the Tiangong space station.

Devastated by this, Stone accepts her death and begins to depressurize the Soyuz, only to see that Kowalski has, somehow, survived and has returned to her aid and tells Stone they can use the landing thrusters on the descent module to fire a brief burn to accelerate towards Tiangong.

However, Kowalski is only a hallucination and she quickly wakes up to halt the depressurization of the Soyuz with an idea. She detaches the servicing module and the docking module and fires a short burst towards the Tiangong. Tiangong however has also been seriously impacted by the satellites and has begun to lose altitude and re-enter. Stone leaves the Soyuz descent stage and uses a fire extinguisher to guide her track towards Tiangong.

She manages to undock the Shenzhou during re-entry and detaches the descent modules and ascent module (she's able to figure this out because the Shenzhou isn't radically different from the Soyuz, which she has piloted several times in simulators). She lands near an island in the water, and quickly sinks, while Houston and the Chinese radio to her with knowledge of her location and have sent rescue teams. Stone escapes through the Shenzhou hatch and strips from the Orlan suit. The final scene in the movie is her collapsing onto the beach, standing up, and walking away with knowledge of her rescue.

My final thoughts is that this is a well made movie. The orbital mechanics aren't great, but they're leaps ahead of the nonsense we saw in Armageddon and this may be the best space-related move I've seen in theaters. This movie is worth seeing in IMAX, perhaps not in 3D. If you're not disposed to hate Hollywood space thrillers from the get go, I think you'll enjoy this movie. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie and may even go see it again. It is well worth the hype.

Also fun fact: Ed Harris is the CAPCOM, marking his return to mission control!

9/10
 
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Izack

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I'm really impressed by the sound direction in this movie. The sounds the astronauts hear and the OST are flawless in my opinion.

 

Kyle

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Other than the audio, the OST is pretty much the only other major sound in the movie, which made it so much more amazing.
 

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This is equal to Apollo 13. That is all you need to know. Easily my best movie of 2013, and I don't see anything else coming down the line this year to equal it.

Favorite things about this movie:

-Loved seeing the Soyuz finally get a real on-screen treatment.
-A lot of the action sequences revolved around two-body tethered physics, which was awesome to watch. The way things moved was spot-on from what I've experienced in KSP or Orbiter.
-Little moments like Stone being in an end-over-end tumble and counting off "45...90...180!" to fire the fire extinguisher at the right moment in the tumble to propel herself toward a target.
 
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Kyle

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I'll have to see it one more time to put it up to Apollo 13, it's without a doubt the best space movie since though.
 

ADSWNJ

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Saw the film. Let's jut say it's mandatory viewing for any regular Orbitnaut!

The destruction is all sequenced on 90 minute orbits (= 5400 seconds) repeating on clockwork. Sounds reasonable, right, as we would recognize this is a typical T time for orbiting at ISS's altitude.

Except why the repeat?! If the debris was going the opposite way to us, it would meet us in 45 mins, not 90 mins. If it was going in our direction, it would not meet every 90 mins. Any other angle, we'd also meet it every 45 mins. The only way we would meet it every 90 mins would be if it were stationary, but then it would fall to the Earth.

Ho hum ...

But it was a gorgeously shot movie nonetheless.
 

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Just seen the movie.
A bit far fetched as far as story line but visually excellent !
 
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