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Jon Niccum’s “One Giant Leap” Reaches for the Stars

In response to Jon Niccum’s 715‑word review of Gravity on Kansas City Star

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Jon Niccum’s “‘Gravity’ is one giant leap in virtuoso filmmaking | 4 stars” starts with a quote from Carl Sagan, perhaps the person most associated with outer space in modern times. The quote is as insightful as it is apropos, and it speaks to the thoughtfulness of Niccum’s work.

There are quotes elsewhere, too, used sparsely but effectively. References to other movies are also utilized:  Touch of Evil, Boogie Nights, Children of Men. The references never seem like filler, but rather they all serve a purpose in painting a picture of the film being reviewed.

The amount of plot recap used in One Giant Leap borders on overkill, but Niccum weaves between recap and analysis deftly enough that it never hurts the quality of the review. More importantly, there are no major plot point revealed that would spoil the movie for the uninitiated.

There are Gravity reviews out there better written than One Giant Leap--most of them focusing a bit more on opinion and a bit less on plot—but it manages to carve out its own unique section of outer space. With a smart sense of historical context and a keen eye for detail, One Giant Leap imparts a sense of the astronomical.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation