I’m in Spaaace! So Much Space!

Posted by admin on September 15th, 2013 filed in Science Fiction, Space

I feel like a bad person for liking the Gravity trailer: “Wanna see Sandra Bullock go ‘Aaah!’ for 90 mins?” doesn’t work as a pickup line at all. Believe me. I tried.

I would have named it “Lack of Gravity” though, but hey, what do I know. Finally a real space movie in 3D! Admittedly, everybody dies, but… that’s better than no space thriller at all, right?

Will I be able to watch this without yelling “I’m in space! So much space! See it all!” in a Portal voice…? X-)

A few youtube commenters complain that screaming “What do I do?” would make an astronaut look dumb, and that a “trained astronaut” would be “prepared”. How much can anyone be prepared for spinning in zero-g without a jetpack? (She didn’t get a jetpack because she was tasked to be the CanadArm‘s hand.) She can’t see straight, let alone steer or stop, so why not ask others for advice? Considering the situation, what she says is surprisingly coherent.

Second, she identifies herself as mission specialist. (Note she’s allowed to poke the prohibitively expensive satellite.) She likely got the job because she studied… applied satellite poke-ology or something, and not for being an experienced jetfighter pilot.

Speaking of which — Third, several people complained why a medical doctor is repairing a satelite in the first place, and why Clooney needs to explain carbon monoxide poisoning to a medical expert. Um, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the plot summary says “medical engineer“, not medical doctor! A medical engineer builds and maintains stuff like scanners and x-ray machines. It does make sense for someone with experience in imaging techniques to work on a satelite that performs scans and takes images on various wave lengths.

Nice to see so many scifi bloggers chiming in over the last few weeks. In We’ve seen Gravity and it’s even better than we’d hoped, io9 links to the soundtrack (wow, reminds me of Babylon 5!) and reports:

There was no alien chasing her, no mustache-twirling boyfriend, no sleazy boss or ticking bomb that was going to blow up the Earth and her kid — it was Sandra Bullock versus the elements.

In Spectacular new images from Gravity show the true horror of space, io9 drops hints that you can consider minor spoilers.

OK, we already know the hook from the main trailer: A spaceshuttle collided with debris while astronauts were working outside. And, we also see astronauts crashing into the ISS, so the survivors try to head for the space station somehow. Good call. Don’t read on if you want to go into the film knowing nothing beyond that.

In the photos, you also see the main characters wearing white US-style space suits in most images, especially in context with the space shuttle and free fall. In two pics Bullock is in underwear in a roomy zero-g indoors — the space shuttle is quite cramped in comparison, so we know she made it into the ISS somehow. In a few other shots, she wears an off-white Russian Sokol suit (blue pressure valve, different helmet) — those photos mostly show the ISS and Soyuz (the small room with three blue seats).

“Landing thrusters, landing thrusters… If I were a landing thruster, which one of those would I be…?” — Londo Mollari, Babylon 5, S1E19.

Interestingly, the ISS is wrapped into wire and a red and white parachute… Where did that come from? A space station does not parachute anywhere, optimally. At first I thought the space shuttle lost its parachute (white with red edge). But the one in the photo is white with several concentric red circles… Other NASA craft (e.g. Orion, which was supposed to replace space shuttles) have white-and-red radially striped parachutes. On second thought, that looks like a Soyuz parachute. :-o Uh-oh. Won’t she miss that when she wants to land the Soyuz?

Somebody summed up the movie as “90 mins of astronauts clinging to stuff”: Bullock falls off the space shuttle, free falls into the ISS, gets tangled up in mysterious parachute wires, loses Cloony (?), breaks and enters the ISS, undresses (*coughcough* Wow, she’s 50?? CGI? Botox?), fights a minor oxygen fire, realizes debris is still out to get her, steals a Russian space suit from an “L Demidov”, jumps out again (?), and hijacks a Soyuz that was parked with the engine running. And at some point she uses a fire extinguisher as jetpack replacement and…?

Well, let’s hope she played Kerbal Space Program! Or is a quick learner…

There is also a greenish underwater photo (again, Bullock in underwear), maybe that’s how they shot some of the zero-g scenes? But wouldn’t the water show? Not clear what that photo is.

If it were a European movie the story would end in space. Since it’s American, I assume she makes it heroically? Cloony cheerfully goes shooting star? And where the heck is the ISS crew??

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