Zeba Blay’s “‘Gravity’ Review” Leaves Little to Be Excited About
By Rochus Pomponius, Adjunct Critic
Zeba Blay’s “‘Gravity’ review: Sandra Bullock in predictable but stunning sci-fi” simply doesn’t offer enough incentive for readers to stick around.
At 655 words, the audience doesn’t find Blay deviating far from form. Her analysis plows through both plot and pictoric, ultimately hitting its breaks at a lukewarm recommendation that seems entirely counter to her four-star review.
It’s a puzzling approach to what could have been a well-crafted bit of fun—uninspired almost to the point of seeming disaffected, and when she proffers something approaching an endorsement, it seems suppressed.
One expects an avowed purveyor of the art of reviewing to be emotionally invested in her work, for better or worse. Blay seems not to care whether the reader cares whatsoever. In fact, Little to Be Excited About seems not to care, full stop. In instances such as this one, where the end result actually happens to fall toward “passable,” it’s difficult to imagine the reader wouldn’t have preferred something spectacularly bad.
To expect that Blay attempt a spectacularly bad piece is base—but the ethos of criticism calls the underwhelming effort on the carpet in hopes that the author will summon the talent that put them in the theater in the first place. A clunker like Little to Be Excited About should cause Blay to ask “why.”
Incidentally, the reader should ask “why” before wasting their time on Little to Be Excited About.