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James Rocchi’s “Review: ‘Gravity’” Is an Encyclopedic Journey

In response to James Rocchi’s 866‑word review of Gravity on Cinephiled

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James Rocchi’s “Review: ‘Gravity’” is a capable and confident piece of film criticism that has a lot to say but doesn’t feel very new or pressing. The way in which Rocchi builds his arguments casts him in the role of an arbiter more often than that of a critic.

While Rocchi is extremely thorough, taking time to discuss the story in the film as well as the story of the film, it has a very clinical feel, as if the critic doesn’t want to get his hands dirty. There review gives the impression that Rocchi has put off writing down his thoughts on the film for a while, hoping to get the last word in.

Like a fevered collector, Rocchi displays his prize pieces one by one. The piece sometimes feels more like a review of all the Gravity reviews rather than an outright review of Gravity (and everyone knows that that is the exclusive purview of Existimatum). Rocchi has no problem attributing the arguments to their proper sources, but in doing so he tends to write himself out of it a bit.

Regardless, Review is an important and excellent piece of art. It seeks, and succeeds, to place Gravity in its proper context. While it dwells a little long on certain comparisons (and frames some of them in the least compelling way possible), it manages to engage the serious review readers in a satisfying and articulate way.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation