Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity set an October box office record over the weekend, earning $83 million worldwide, with $55.6 million coming from North American theaters. This means that people, some of them American, chose to go out to a pro-science movie about adults with advanced degrees. So, if you’ll give us a moment:
HUZZAH! SPACE! INTELLIGENCE! HIGH FIVE!
Even better, though is that the movie has started some conversations about life in space. While the film is extraordinary on its own, it would warm all the fuel tanks of our Stubby little heart if Gravity inspired people to get serious about space exploration again. Former moon-walker Buzz Aldrin and America’s leading planetarium enthusiast Neil deGrasse Tyson both weighed in on the film—find their reviews below!
Buzz Aldrin reviewed Gravity for The Hollywood Reporter, saying that he and his fellow astronauts were “probably not as lighthearted as Clooney and Sandra Bullock,” but he loved the way the astronauts moved arond the ship. “It really points out the degree of confusion and bumping into people, and when the tether gets caught, you’re going to be pulled—I think the simulation of the dynamics was remarkable.”
Meanwhile Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter with over a dozen thoughts about the film, most under the tag “Mysteries of #Gravity.” He points out that film should be renamed either “Zero Gravity” or “Angular Momentum,” and then turns more snarky, calling out a moment when “Astronaut Clooney informs medical doctor Bullock what happens medically during oxygen deprivation.” Also, he’s annoyed that Bullock’s hair doesn’t float around more in zero G.
Most importantly, Adrin and Tyson seem to be anti-human extinction. They both used the film to talk about the need for space exploration. Aldrin warned his readers that “We’re in a very precarious position of losing all the advancements we’ve made in space that we did 40 years ago, 50 years ago,” while Tyson wondered “Why we enjoy a SciFi film set in make-believe space more than we enjoy actual people set in real space.” Hopefully a few of the millions of people who turned out to see the film are wondering the same thing, and want to do something about it.