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James Mottram’s “Gravity” Tries Too Hard to Impress

In response to James Mottram’s 790‑word review of Gravity on Total Film

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James Mottram’s “Gravity” showcases the critic at an interesting point in his professional development. Mottram is clearly thrilled to be a film critic, throwing around film references with abandon (though 2001 is conspicuously absent). He doesn’t seem to have settled firmly into his role yet, still trying to prove to his audience that his extensive knowledge qualifies him for the job rather than letting himself the freedom to have fun and let his credibility be established organically.

Total Film, where Mottram’s Gravity is housed even adds a red shade to the film references, making them stand out as nearly perfectly distributed punctuation marks to the work. Perhaps it’s meant as a clever homage to Schindler’s List as the red is the only color that exists once the review proper begins, but more than likely it’s just a reminder of how desperately Mottram wants you to trust him.

Mottram’s proves to be quite efficient at description, his breezy writing quickly and enjoyably setting the scene for what readers should expect to experience. When it comes to analysis though, the work falls woefully short. Discussions of flaws are begun and more or less abandoned. In fact, Mottram lumps his viewers all into a single, unified mass when he tells them “you wont care” in relation to the movie’s problems.

While this may be true for some, it probably isn’t a one size fits all solution. Since Mottram decides to end his work on that note, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation