Exclusive Alternate Scene from Gravity which Redefines the Entire Movie
April 5, 2014 10:45 AM   Subscribe

"Hard to believe, but Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron ("Children of Men") originally shot an opening scene for Gravity that would have radically changed the film. Too bad the brass at Warner Bros. rejected this version." [slyt | no spoilers | watch the last 15 seconds]
posted by quin (42 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

What happened to the hairy guy?!
posted by Brocktoon at 10:52 AM on April 5

This makes Gravity tolerable.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:57 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

That was good.
posted by caddis at 11:02 AM on April 5

Waiting to hear from Neil deGrasse Tyson before I make any judgments on this one.
posted by naju at 11:04 AM on April 5 [19 favorites]

Significantly more realistic than the "superfast debris chain reaction" or whatever that was.
posted by interrobang at 11:06 AM on April 5

FAKE his cape is flapping they're obvs on a sound stage
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:13 AM on April 5 [4 favorites]

"superfast debris chain reaction"

Kessler syndrome.
posted by stebulus at 11:21 AM on April 5 [3 favorites]

Okay, I LOL'd.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:40 AM on April 5

I dunno, will the North Koreans ever have an actual space program that can get a bomb up there?

(Sorry for the spoiler ; -)
posted by sammyo at 11:41 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

Also, the movie should've been called "Jerkin'", not "Gravity". I'm guessing they almost called it "Momentum", but Sandra Bollocks was already in a movie called "Speed". Forgive me if these jokes have been made already, I only saw it last night and I've been under a boulder for a couple years.
posted by interrobang at 11:49 AM on April 5 [3 favorites]

watch the last 15 seconds

I think it would be funnier if that was the whole thing. I appreciate the effort of the rest of it but the succinct humor of the last bit is way stronger.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:50 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]

"Jerkin" does sound a bit more marketable than " Bumping into Things" or "Failing to Grab Onto Things".
posted by Brocktoon at 12:07 PM on April 5 [5 favorites]

If you watch Gravity backwards, it's about a woman who forgets how to walk yet goes on to have a remarkable career repairing space stations.
posted by oulipian at 12:11 PM on April 5 [38 favorites]

Breakin' 3: Kessler Syndrome
posted by The Tensor at 12:14 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]

Forgive me if these jokes have been made already
Neil deGrasse Tyson said it should have been called "Angular Momentum", I thought that was a pretty good one.
posted by crazy_yeti at 12:30 PM on April 5 [3 favorites]

Gravity was very well done as a spawning ground for sequels. sandra bullock walks out of the water into primitive topography. the shade of george clooney joins her, wisecracking all the while. they have to find a special place on earth where they can return to the present. as they trek over pangaea, ms. bullock briefly falls for a hot cro-magnon, and clooney has to tell her "he wasn't that much into you." i would like to add dinosaurs, but you can't have dinosaurs and cro-magnons together in the same movie.
posted by bruce at 12:41 PM on April 5 [2 favorites]

i would like to add dinosaurs, but you can't have dinosaurs and cro-magnons together in the same movie

what are you talking about One Million Years B.C. is amazing
posted by brennen at 12:47 PM on April 5 [3 favorites]

"superfast debris chain reaction"

Kessler syndrome.

The Kessler syndrome describes a cumulative effect that would take place over decades, not a sudden, catastrophic tidal wave wiping out every satellite in orbit around the earth in a an hour or so.
posted by yoink at 12:52 PM on April 5 [2 favorites]

"one million years b.c." was definitely amazing, i saw it as a teenager, but it wasn't amazing on account of the dinosaurs, it was amazing because raquel welch.
posted by bruce at 12:54 PM on April 5

That was great, my favorite bit was the little "there is nothing in space to carry sound" subtitle.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:12 PM on April 5

Ha, that's funny, because my son quipped that she had gone back in time to the Jurassic.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:17 PM on April 5

FAKE his cape is flapping they're obvs on a sound stage

You're blaming that on Kubrick, too?
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:26 PM on April 5

The Honest Trailer to Gravity (spoilers, obvs).
posted by onlyconnect at 2:03 PM on April 5 [2 favorites]

It took almost 30 years, but someone finally managed to make footage from Superman IV entertaining.
posted by KHAAAN! at 3:08 PM on April 5 [9 favorites]

People nitpick the space science in Gravity but what about the exercise physiology of Sandra Bullock's character being able to do all this acrobatic stuff for 90 minutes?
posted by steinsaltz at 6:41 PM on April 5

i would like to add dinosaurs, but you can't have dinosaurs and cro-magnons together in the same movie.

Why not? They were friends, after all.
posted by homunculus at 9:24 PM on April 5

Mashups like this should play in theaters before movies start. The person who did this needs a mashup trailer deal.
posted by davejay at 10:17 PM on April 5

Superman helping Bullock's character down to a cozy landing on Earth would have been more believable than the way the movie actually ended.
posted by dry white toast at 11:52 PM on April 5


I loved Gravity. Loved it, loved it, loved it. On my own in a practically empty Kensington High Street Odeon I went through the total roller coaster, marvelled deeply at the FX, cried my eyes out, came out ten times taller and beaming, ready to take on the entire universe. I get the dodgy physics, hokey narrative, problematic gender tropes, whatever, but I'm very much in need of myths celebrating female resilience and ingenuity over super-heroism. So whilst Christopher Reeve is dreamy as all hell and Sandra Bullock can come across as a bit whiny I can do without the implication that Dr. Ryan Stone is just Lois Lane in a spacesuit.
posted by freya_lamb at 2:33 AM on April 6 [12 favorites]

Also, the movie should've been called "Jerkin'"
They're saving that title for the porno remake.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:01 AM on April 6

Yeah, I second "fake". There is some gas in space -- especially that close to the earth -- and obviously Superman's lungs are powerful enough to propel it quickly enough to make an audible sound when it hits your eardrums.
posted by Flunkie at 7:50 AM on April 6

...but then it's the last sound you ever hear as your eardrums are shredded by the sheer force of it.
posted by gottabefunky at 12:04 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

"ShiaLebouefing" is now a verb? ("Nononononono....") Awesome.
posted by gottabefunky at 12:10 PM on April 6

Freya: I also really wanted to see Sandra Bullock's character solve her own problems too, but that didn't happen in a way that gives power to women. Perhaps if she had actually rescued a helpless George Clooney, I could have seen a little bit of that. Instead, she gets rescued, and relies on the heroic memory of George Clooney to get herself back to earth. Thumbs down.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:54 PM on April 6

Brocktoon: Clearly we were watching with different filters and I'm sure you don't mean to sound as patronising as that comment reads but I saw a character dig deep to deal with a terrible internal struggle in order to get through an extreme situation in which giving up would have been all too easy. She rescued her own damn self thanks very much. And perhaps I seem a little rabid on this point but that's probably testament to the rarity of this kind of protagonist being available in mainstream cinema.

Also, I saw those scenes as Matt Kowalsky bullying Ryan into being 'rescued' when she was trying to get her bearings in order to manage her situation (yes his intentions were good, but still) and then refusing to give her agency when she was attempting to rescue him. Different strokes I suppose.
posted by freya_lamb at 1:56 PM on April 6

I loved Gravity. Loved it, loved it, loved it. On my own in a practically empty Kensington High Street Odeon ...

Wow, synchronicity! I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel in the exact same theatre last week, also on my own, on my first ever trip to London. The theatre was almost empty at that showing as well.

I also thought Gravity was great -- I saw it a few months ago in an iMax in Pensacola, Florida, which is about 4000 miles closer to where I live than is High Street, Kensington.
posted by TwoToneRow at 2:49 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]

George Clooney literally rescued her. He was the white knight. And even after he was gone, she still needed him to get back to earth. That's not a filter, these things actually happened.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:25 PM on April 6

George Clooney literally rescued her.

At the risk of being a troll I have to refute this this. I don't mean to argue, it's just a really important distinction for me so here goes:

George Clooney did nothing - he's an actor. However the character Kowalsky did indeed help the character Ryan Stone, but not as a white knight. He was a vet, she was a rookie, so when things went tits up he knew what to do to get them both on track. She was (literally) reeling at this point, being both new to the whole space situation and lacking the handy jet packs that Kowalski was sporting around on, so she went with it - despite her sadness she trusted him, and with that trust he was able to keep her from falling asleep as her oxygen fell. Later, when they were on safer ground, he inexplicably gave up - he didn't trust her to save them both, so he just...gave up. Some may have seen that as a noble act, but it seemed to me like he was the one who lost faith at that point. She could have lost the plot then but importantly did not - she carried on, without any propulsion, and got herself inside.

The other bit, with Kowalsky in the capsule, was not her needing *him* - he was an avatar that her subconscious pulled up in order to save her from suicide. The words 'Kowalsky' spoke were her own words, dredged up from a place that didn't want the depression to win. The avatar could have been anyone, her kid, the radio guy, the other bloke who didn't make it past the first impact, but she chose him because she knew that's what she needed to hear.

So he wasn't the white knight - whilst alive he helped her, gave her information about the other stations, showed her another perspective and she acted on it. She was not passively rescued, she took what she understood and she found a way to use it. This is what I took from that film, she was smart and resourceful and she did not give up. She was sad and scared but she pushed past that to get somewhere good. Literally, metaphorically, to me she saved herself.

So that is why I bristle at some of the criticisms levelled at this film. Whether or not my interpretation is shared is not important, but what is important is that I get to draw those conclusions because I need heros too.
posted by freya_lamb at 6:03 PM on April 6 [5 favorites]

I missed why she couldn't use the Soyuz to get to Earth. Apparently it had rockets to cushion the landing at 3 meters.
posted by Renoroc at 8:18 PM on April 6

You don't need to explain the plot, it's pretty simple. You are welcome to hold up this movie as a shining beacon of feminist fiction, but that would be disingenuous in my opinion. It's a shining beacon of special effects, and nothing more.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:22 PM on April 6

I missed why she couldn't use the Soyuz to get to Earth. Apparently it had rockets to cushion the landing at 3 meters.

Well, it had retro rockets, but the parachute container was broken open by debris, which is why they get tangled in those parachute wires. Even with retro rockets, she couldn't have taken the soyuz back without a parachute.
posted by heathkit at 1:29 AM on April 7

gottabefunky: ""ShiaLebouefing" is now a verb? ("Nononononono....") Awesome."

I saw a tweet, during the whole skywriting episode, that Shia Le Beouf is the 'sound a plastic wrapped mattress makes falling off a truck'. Haven't been able to dislodge the image or sound effect since.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:02 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

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