Richard Roeper’s Astute “Space Jam” Gravity Review Assaults With Ads
By Eugenius Antonius, Senior Critic
There’s wrong, and then there’s wrong, and then there’s prominent ad placement in a film review. Richard Roper’s fine “‘Gravity’: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney in a stunning space jam” unfortunately has its presentation marred by advertisements, sometimes as many as three in a row, in a bid to get audiences to buy Mazdas, that belies the quality work.
Roeper is a critic at the top of his game, the successor of sorts to the Siskel and Ebert reins, and his reviewing acumen is on full display in space jam. This is a practiced and strong review from a critic who has proven time and again his place among the ranks of the greats.
Space jam begins by cleverly insinuating what audiences already know—but almost immediately challenges them to un-believe what they believed prior. It’s no trick. If Roeper’s goal is to cause his reader to second-guess himself, he does so in a glorious high-definition treat that incites breathlessness with images that, like fireworks, burst into sight, linger a bit, then fade—with a pop afterwards, an audible reminder that this is real.
Thus it’s a sin that the most noteworthy thing about his masterful creation is also its most cringeworthy—product placement in blocks throughout the work that destroy the verisimilitude and invite incredulity, an editorial choice that undercuts the value of the work and makes the indelible impression it left, for want of a better term, delible.