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03 February 2014


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If the screenwriters had only thought to do that, I wouldn't have turned the movie off in disgust. Was the movie beautiful, harrowing and stimulating to watch up to that point? Absolutely! Was that scene so monumentally stupid that it made me want to shout? Definitely. I was so taken aback I didn't bother to watch the rest and turned it off right after she got into the ISS.

Chelsea Wald

Thanks for the comment, John. I was contemplating why this particular scene bothered me so much when there were several other problems with the science in the film (for example, the fudged orbits of various space objects and the extreme unlikelihood that someone could use a fire extinguisher as a makeshift jetpack). I decided that I didn't much mind it when they used questionable physics to save someone's life, but I really hated it when they used it to KILL someone. It made Clooney's character's death seem completely contrived. Nonetheless, I'm happy I didn't turn it off, because it pulled me back in pretty quickly. The reentry scene at the end is particularly stunning.

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I am an independent journalist writing about science, nature, and other things that matter from Vienna, Austria. Byline in Science, Nautilus, Slate, Discover, TheAtlantic.com, Earth Touch, Economist, BBC Wildlife, New Scientist, and more. Author of A Traveler's Guide to Astronomy and Space in the Southwest.