Director Alfonso Cuaron's new film "Gravity" has already received tremendous praise — with even sci-fi filmmaker James Cameron calling it "the best space film ever" — but the last word can only truly come from someone who has experienced space travel.
Enter former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who in a review for The Hollywood Reporter offers effusive praise for the painstaking realism Cuaron and his crew put into making the film.
"I was so extravagantly impressed by the portrayal of the reality of zero gravity," he writes. "Going through the space station was done just the way that I've seen people do it in reality. The spinning is going to happen — maybe not quite that vigorous — but certainly we've been fortunate that people haven't been in those situations yet. I think it reminds us that there really are hazards in the space business, especially in activities outside the spacecraft."
Aldrin, who himself is in the process of creating a new sci-fi drama, has lately become something of a go-to person for critiques on the realism of space-based films. Back in May, the 83-year-old took issue with the M. Night Shyamalan-directed "After Earth" for its use of noise in space, saying, "noise doesn't propagate in a vacuum." Cuaron's "Gravity," while impressive, also did not accurately portray the view of Earth from over 200 miles up.
"I know: If you're looking down at Earth, you're looking through an atmosphere that has a bit of haze in many places and not just occasional clouds. Here, the precision was remarkable, though you might need a pretty good spy telescope to see that well."
Nevertheless, Aldrin — who has been adamant about the need to increase investment in space missions — believes the film is perfectly timed to once again reignite our passion for exploring the heavens.
"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," he wrote in his review. "From my perspective, this movie couldn't have come at a better time to really stimulate the public."
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