Don’t Look Up

 

You’ve got to see it.

Ignore the reviews. Ignore the fact that it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. Forget that it opened in theatres. Ignore its budget. There’s almost no buzz. But this movie is FANTASTIC!

Then again, if you’re a Trump supporter…

We haven’t had a movie that’s captured the zeitgeist like this since “Network.” And that may be a better movie, but it’s not as good of a snapshot of life in these United States and the media business.

Do you feel alone? Is life confusing? Does it make no sense? Do you not even recognize our country? Then “Don’t Look Up” is for you. The truth is we’re shown the fiction every damn day that the center is holding. The media business functions like it’s still the twentieth century while it might as well be the twenty-third. The internet came along and blew the old world apart. It democratized the country. I’m not talking about DEMOCRACY, but democratization. Now everybody has a voice, like the feed of comments scrolling down the images in this picture. Everybody’s got a hater, EVERYBODY! Hell, they want to take Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools. We’ve become unmoored and  the distance has become too far for the rope to be thrown to reconnect us.

Trump. He was a symptom. He captured the feelings of the ignorant and the left behind, whereas the know-it-all Democrats, the educated elite, had no idea that half the country was being left in the distance on their run to riches. And now instead of having compassion for the losers, they have contempt, then again how can you support these anti-fact, anti-science, nincompoops.

It’s all about money, and that means it’s all about ratings. In other words, if it doesn’t go viral, if it doesn’t get likes, we’re not interested. The tail is wagging the dog, and speaking of that movie, i.e. “Wag the Dog,” it’s not in the LEAGUE of “Don’t Look Up.”

Don’t judge the movie as a movie. Judge it as a cultural exposé. It’s hard to do comedy, comedy is inherently uneven, but the wanker critics use the same template for every flick, and that’s just plain wrong. That’s like scoring Formula 1 on style instead of time, the metrics are different in every category and you must adjust. And we’ve got people who do, and then there are those who refuse to. Don’t tell me you don’t have a smartphone, don’t tell me you don’t subscribe to Netflix, the joke is on YOU! You’ve snuffed out your life. All that anti-tech b.s…we’re never going backward, we’re always going to be connected, get with the PROGRAM!

So, you’ve got Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence waving the truth…and they seem to be the only ones who care. As for DiCaprio, I had to ask Alexa how old he was. 47! If Leonardo DiCaprio is 47, that must mean I’m just about DEAD!

And Jennifer Lawrence plays an intelligent nerd. Enough with the glamour girls, the ones with looks but no brains, never mind no education. You can’t teach a rock to do science, never mind math or astronomy.

And DiCaprio is understated and Lawrence at times out of control…they’re perfect for the roles, and to tell you the truth, when I hear DiCaprio is in a flick I shy away. Thank god I didn’t this time.

So why did I watch? Because Jake texted me about “Don’t Look Up” and I did the research, and I saw it was an Adam McKay picture, who did “The Big Short,” which was different from the book, and just as good. McKay employs cinematic effects that bring you into the picture, he almost breaks the fourth wall, he almost laughs at what is on screen, and I remembered the review I had read which said he didn’t succeed here, but I’d much rather see an honest attempt than a dishonest financial success.

And if “Don’t Look Up” had succeeded at the box office… That used to be a thing, but it’s long gone. You know, the grosses. It was a breakthrough when they were published in the newspaper. They affected ticket sales, never mind delivering naches for the winning studios. Now they’re irrelevant. People only want to see superhero movies in the theatre, everything else plays on the flat screen, where the public truly lives, where even a day and date disaster like “Red Notice” is seen by many more people than the vaunted pictures that debut in the theatre.

And that’s where “Don’t Look Up” started. Yes, Netflix has caved to the ancient Academy. It has placated the wankers in the film industry, but the truth is there is an advantage to being day and date on the flat screen, because you have one starting point for the buzz. Once again, we no longer live in the twentieth century, with its windows. You get one chance to make a good impression, that’s it, after that the public is on to something new, there are no second chances, just an endless onslaught of product, a tsunami that buries the consumer, who is so overwhelmed that he or she or they is lucky if they can focus on and watch one damn thing.

Which is all to say that “Don’t Look Up” is on Netflix. To paraphrase the Stones, it’s just a click away. It’s Sunday, forget sports, with its substitute players, struggling to play on, ignoring Covid like the brain dead Aaron Rodgers. Like Howard Stern said, the next time he’s injured on the field I hope he calls in Joe Rogan, not an M.D. You’ve got to watch “Don’t Look Up.”

You won’t know what is going on at first, you won’t even know it’s a comedy. It’s not until they make it to…

I’m not gonna tell you a damn thing. That’s one of the great things about a movie, a book, the freshness, the twists and turns, if you know what is going to happen it ruins it.

I’ll just say that “Don’t Look Up” is for thinking people, ones flummoxed by the life we lead. It skewers all those who need the puncture. Like the divas, like the musical stars. It’s an equal opportunity offender, but that does not mean everybody deserves the same amount, the same depth of attack. No, it’s quite clear that those on the right, the Republicans, have lost their minds, assuming they’ve got minds. I mean I wonder what they’ll say when they watch this. I mean you really can’t make up your own science, you really can’t deny facts. You can go unvaxxed, you can say whatever you want, but that does not mean death’s honesty won’t fall upon you naturally, even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.

That’s Bob Dylan for the uninformed. That latter line got cheers when Dylan went back on the road with the Band during the Watergate crisis, when Richard Nixon was on his way to being held to account.

Now nobody is held to account. Well, if you’re poor and unconnected, good luck. But Trump even pardoned Bannon and Stone. We live in a country akin to a banana republic, and the rest of the world KNOWS IT!

And so does “Don’t Look Up.” It speaks truth in a world where that’s anathema. You can only tell truth in cartoons, comedies, that’s why “The Simpsons” has lasted so long, it doesn’t pull punches.

And neither does “Don’t Look Up.”

Watch it. It’s not hah-hah funny at first. And then there are moments when you split a side, when you laugh hysterically, at the inanity of modern life.

Best picture of the year, hands down.

 

~~~

 

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