Alex Kurland, Illustrator

Sci-fi thriller “Gravity” has received unanimously positive reviews, yet I was surprised that some of the film’s scientific inaccuracies were not addressed. These are the most glaring.

When Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) return to the damaged space shuttle, they find an astronaut with a cracked helmet and a hole in his head. If an astronaut were actually hit by high-speed debris, the oxygen in the suit would cause it to combust, instantly incinerating the astronaut.

During the movie, Stone reveals that she trained for only six months before the space mission. In that short amount of time, she would not have been properly trained to spacewalk or land a spacecraft.

Another inaccuracy was assuming the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station shared the same orbit around the Earth. Due to the different orbits, it would have been impossible for the characters to migrate from Hubble to the ISS with their limited resources.

These inaccuracies are worth bringing up, but director Alfonso Cuarón saw a bigger issue with Bullock’s physique. It was clear that her body was intended to be aesthetically pleasing, but her glutes were noticeably small compared to her disproportionately large thighs.

“Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, and Scarlett Johansson turned down the role,” Cuarón said. “We were forced to sign Sandra. It looks like she doesn’t even squat.”

Elite powerlifter and owner of Iron Sport Gym Steve Pulcinella also noted the structural imbalance of Bullock’s lower half.

“It’s obvious why no one calls her ‘Sandra Buttocks,’” he said, attributing her weak posterior chain to “not squatting to parallel” because failure to hit depth only utilizes the quads and not the hamstrings and glutes.

Cuarón went on to say that since astronauts have to withstand high pressure during takeoff, having Bullock look like she actually squats would make the movie more realistic.

Bullock issued a statement saying, “Thickening my glutes would not have been ideal since it would complicate squeezing through shuttle compartments. Plus, I’m sure the audience was too focused on the special effects and plot to even notice.”

For the most part, Bullock was right because none of the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes shared the opinions of Cuarón or Pulcinella.

Even famed astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson weighed in on the argument.

“I think it’s bizarre to fixate on something like that when the film is asking us to entertain the idea that George Clooney has the body to be an astronaut,” Tyson said.

He went on to say that while the film is obviously trying to hide Clooney’s physique, there are enough photos of George Clooney circulating on the Internet to confirm that he is a “weak-ass n00b.”

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin felt similarly about the selection of Clooney for the role.

“When I went into orbit, I was maxing at 400 on the bench,” Aldrin said. “Clooney couldn’t do that on the surface of the moon.”

Aldrin listed several actors who could plausibly play the role of an astronaut.

“The Rock and Vin Deisel come to mind, but to be honest, Deisel’s calves need a lot of work,” he said.

When asked about Tom Hanks’ role in “Apollo 13,” Aldrin became incensed.

“Just because he was in the movie ‘Big’ doesn’t mean he is big,” Aldrin said. “The reality is that you can’t be an astronaut if you don’t lift. Deal with it, nerd.”

In the political world, Sen. Ted Cruz said he felt “personally offended” by the film, arguing that having a female astronaut would have compromised the mission whether or not the high-speed debris from the missile strike was a factor.

Furthermore, if a woman were to menstruate while in space, the entire satellite or shuttle would quickly be raided by space sharks, he said. Space sharks have far keener sense of smell than earth sharks, which Cruz argued would result in a more brutal crew death than by the debris.

Cruz said his next course of action is to set up a petition to shut down Hollywood so other people will not be offended in the same way.

Borovcanin is a member of the class of 2014.



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