2014 Reel Theology: Gravity (Movie #7)

My reactions to Gravity, with an attempt not to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

The pre-movie expectations

I expect to enjoy the movie.  I like Science Fiction.  I like Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.  At the same time I am feeling cynical about it’s best movie worthiness, based on comments made by others who have seen it.  I also know a little more about it then I want to (something I won’t reveal for fear of spoiling, but which makes me wonder if I’ll like it a lot or not.)  I am one of my very favorite families (after my own of course!), that being my brother, sister-in-law and my nieces and nephews, and many of them have chosen to watch to I’m looking forward to that.


Holy Mackerel, there is no wind up for this story.  No back story, no prep.  We just sort of jump right in.  Everyone is in space suits.  Who are these people?  Oh that’s George Clooney.  That must be Sandra Bullock.  I don’t know who the other guy is…but it doesn’t matter about 10 minutes in. 

My reaction

I jumped right from lift off to reaction, because that’s the whole story felt.  It’s shorter than most movies (about 90 minutes) and after lift off it never really lets up until the very last frame of the movie.  My reaction: I loved it!  I thought the craft was amazing.  Sandra Bullock is floating in the air.  She’s really floating.  It doesn’t look like anything other than floating in zero gravity.  How do they do that.  The cinematography is amazing.  The writing is really good.  There are a couple scenes I absolutely love.  Given the circumstances, this film could have so easily been overwrought and melodramatic, but it really wasn’t.  Sandra Bullock totally deserves her best actress nominee.  From beginning to end I really really liked this movie.  I think it deserved the best picture nominee.

My Seven Themes thoughts so far.

I think this may be our first true Seven Themer movie (meaning a movie with all seven fairly strong.)

For a movie which couldn’t even compete in the supporting actor/actress categories, because there were none, it has a surprisingly strong theme of fellowship in it.  Without spoiling things I can’t quite give details, but even little moments like one of a ham radio operator in a foreign language, becomes an important part of her journey.

Redemption is a big part of this movie.  This is also slightly surprising because this is first and foremost an action/adventure movie about escape and survival.  I would tentatively argue that the character arc is secondary to this, and this is not a drawback in my mind for this particular movie.  At the same time they do manage a significant, organic character arc and I applaud that as well.

Alternate worlds is  super strong and the title reflects the nature of the two different worlds.

Christ figure is a tricky one.  I think I’m going for George Clooney, but I’m not sure.  What do you think?

Resurrection is possibly the most important part of this movie.  There are not one, but two plausible resurrections, which ultimately end up being one.  Without spoiling the movie, I can’t give any more details.

Substitutionary love is a key part of this movie.  A significant scene relies entirely on it.

Current Ranking in my mind.




Captain Phillips


Dallas Buyers Club

American Hustle

I was unable to see 12 Years a Slave or The Wolf of Wall Street.  I’m not terribly sorry about missing Wolf, but I would have liked to see 12 years a slave.  Nonetheless, these two were not available in a time and manner which would not have been an undue burden.

I rate movies according to how much of my money and time they are worth.  My rating for this movie is bolded below.

Worth a full price movie ticket (No reservations.  I would have loved to have seen this even at the full 3D price, which is even more than the normal price. Interestingly I don’t think I enjoyed it less on a TV, but the 3D must have been something.)

Worth a matinee viewing.

Worth a dollar movie viewing.

Worth a DVD/itunes rental

Watch it on Netflix

Watch it on TV on a Saturday Afternoon when you’v nothing else to do and you’r sonly laying around anyway.

Not worth your time

Influencing factors in my reactions

Relaxing evening, among loved ones. Comfortable chair, decent TV.  Paid iTunes rental price which increases my demands, but still lowish expectations.  I expected to enjoy it, not be challenged by it, and not love it. Some of my extended family likes to watch this with subtitles, which were actually not exactly synched and this distracted me for the first few minutes, but I learned to ignore them.

This is just my reaction.  What was yours?



  1. I NEVER advocate seeing a movie in 3D… but I yielded to peer pressure and saw it for this one, and I then became one of those people who went around recommending that to everyone else. 🙂 I’m sure it was good on a regular TV as well (especially for viewers who are easily disoriented — that scene early on where she’s spinning off into space was crazy) but it really was an amazing experience in theaters in 3D.

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