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Marty Mapes’s Strong “Gravity” Is Sadly Short-Sighted

In response to Marty Mapes’s 820‑word review of Gravity on Movie Habit

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Marty Mapes makes some solid arguments in his recent “Gravity.” It’s a shame that his ambitions aren’t more lofty. In the last act, when the review is revealed to have been nothing more than a direct comparison to 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’ll wonder if the journey was worth it.

Despite the disappointing twist, Mapes’s Gravity has some really strong moments. It starts off dangerously and disorientingly bad, as a series of nearly identical, flavorless declarative sentences set up the plot. There is something intentional underneath the banality, and perhaps the lack of bells and whistles is an embedded metaphor for what Mapes later describes as a 98% lean film.

Once the plot is finally gotten through, which takes a bit longer than necessary in this case, Mapes takes up the topic of realism with some convincing first person discussion. Though at times it feels like Mapes comes off as an unimpressed kid at a magic show, he raises some valid points about the negative effects certain scenes have on the movie overall. Though the arguments are well made, Mapes smugness is present throughout, the review is about him more than it is about Gravity.

Once Mapes enters into his last lap, titled “At the Movies or In Space” the tumblers really start falling into place. The first long paragraph is a gem, an honest and poignant look at the entire Gravity experience. This makes the final, rushed twist feel all the more disappointing.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation