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Neil Pond’s “OUT of THIS WORLD” Could Stand to Lose the Cliches

In response to Neil Pond’s 628‑word review of Gravity on American Profile

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There really ought to be a moratorium against reviews of space movies that use the phrase “out of this world.” Neil Pond’s “OUT OF THIS WORLD” not only uses the phrase in the title, but also repeats it in the concluding sentence, as if he thought it was so clever it just had to be used twice. He throws a second cliché in for good measure, too: “shoots for the stars.” Yeah, we get it; the film takes place in outer space.

Here’s another phrase that all writers should permanently remove from their repertoires: “And that’s just the beginning!” Especially in combination with an exclamation point, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s like being at an art gallery and seeing a panel of Marmaduke framed on the wall, and not even ironically.

Despite the aggravating use of those clichés, “OUT OF THIS WORLD” still manages to be a decent review. It’s not likely to win any awards, but it should satisfy the casual reader. There are no major spoilers, the plot recap is kept to a relative minimum, and Pond’s analysis of the movie is spot on.

If Pond could have been a bit more inventive in his writing instead of constantly reaching into his bag of the most obvious things to say, “OUT OF THIS WORLD” could have been a pretty high quality review. Instead, it is frustratingly pedestrian.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation