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Steven Rea’s “‘Gravity’: Completely Out of This World” Is Surprisingly Grounded

In response to Steven Rea’s 670‑word review of Gravity on Philadelphia Inquirer

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With a title as hacky and hyperbolic as “‘Gravity’: Completely out of this world,” one might not expect the review that follows to be particularly level-headed or well-reasoned. While it’s true that Steven Rea’s love letter to Gravity is fairly gushing, it is also surprisingly well-written and grounded in reality

Rea touches on plot while avoiding anything that might be considered a spoiler, which is a welcome lifeboat in a sea of spoiler-ridden Gravity reviews. He uses the plot as a jumping off point to some distinct stylistic flourishes: a light-hearted reference to pinball games, a callback to previous space films (yes, the requisite 2001: A Space Odyssey mention is there, but also a smarter mention of Georges Méliès’s A Trip to the Moon), an analogy to pop music.

With out of this world, the proceedings never become too serious—Rea uses a light touch throughout—but they also manage to never become irritatingly goofy. It’s a fine line to follow, but he does so nicely. The review never wears out its welcome either, clocking in at a modest but not overly short 670 words. For fans of space, space movies, and reviews of space movies, out of this world offers the prospect of pure worldly delight.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation