Thought Leadership

Gravity – a memorable movie?

By Colin Walls

I am not a big movie buff, but we do go to the cinema quite frequently. This is because we very much enjoy live performances [drama, for example] and our membership of the local theater yields a pair of free cinema tickets each week. It would be a shame for them to go to waste.

I recently went to see Gravity …

Science fiction often appeals to me and I had heard from some other people that this movie was worth seeing, so I thought that I would give it a go. We did not go to a 3D showing, partly because our local cinema does not support 3D, but mostly because I think the pseudo-3D presentation is silly [as I commented about Avatar a long while back]. I had read a few comments about the science in Gravity being a little questionable, which concerned me, because that is the aspect of sci fi that I really want to be right, but I decided to suspend belief.

Overall, I would say the movie was … OK. The special effects were quite good and there is plenty of drama. I was interested in the internal views of the ISS and the Soyuz spacecraft [which I hope were somewhat accurate].

I had two problems with the movie. First, it is set in the recent past, but these events did not happen – I am not so good with “alternate history” type stories. Second, I had a lot of difficulty caring about the people in the movie. It was clear that someone would survive the disaster and it quickly became apparent that it would be Ryan. But surely I am not the only person who would have finished the movie with her dragging herself out of the water, breathing a welcome sigh of relief and being eaten by a crocodile?

In my mind, I was comparing the movie with Apollo 13, which was much lighter on special effects [as it was made in 1995], but just as dramatic. I have never understood why, with that movie, where I knew the outcome [because I remember the real events], I was on the edge of my seat. Gravity did not evoke those feelings. I guess it is “win some, lose some”. BTW, the title irritated me, as the movie is largely about the lack of gravity …

Tonight I am going to see “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”. I enjoyed the first movie in the trilogy, having loved the books. I am told by my daughter that this one is even better. It is interesting that I recall, when the first movie came out and the books were very popular, there was a lot of discussion on social media about how bad an influence this franchise was. There was lots of criticism about the whole concept of teenagers being set up to kill one another. I noticed that the loudest critics had not read the books or seen the movie. This time around, I am not seeing any bluster, so I guess that all those people have read the books now and understand what they are really about.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at