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Welcome to REEL Film Reviewed the show that delivers short spoiler free reviews of films, TV shows, and limited series followed by a deep dive discussion. Wishing you a happy and safe Holiday season.
Here is REEL Film Reviewed with host Kris Chaney.
Welcome back, everyone.
This episode REEL Film Reviewed Don’t Look Up, Adam McKay’s new apocalyptic tale.
Let’s get into the spoiler free review.
Two low level astronomers who discover a planet-killing comet heading straight for Earth join a political media tour to warn mankind about the end of the world.
Looking at the stories.
This was the latest delivery of world ending news that has been seen on screen, think Armageddon, but with more of a realistic public reaction and a darker comedic vibe.
From the very beginning, we’re along for the ride, first reacting as the astronomers first discover the potential and likely impact of this comet. The shock, and then of course, the government’s reaction which will curve the public’s reaction.
This was a clear message movie and I feel many of the actors in this film took this film very seriously. Leonardo DiCaprio, for one, is very active in climate change campaigns and research and has not been silent about humans’ impact on planet Earth.
I believe he took his role in this film very seriously despite there being a clear comedy attempt going on around him, which is also part of the story.
The astronomers are trying to be professional and are honestly scared to death to tell anyone about the comet because they’re afraid of mass hysteria and as the film goes on, it’s kind of a bit of a roller coaster. PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky and Dr. Randall Mindy, the main astronomers in the film, were powerful characters which represent the feelings of the public in the film.
They both know the same thing and they believe the same thing and I think this film highlighted some key parts of the public and how we react to things, not just in this country but in other parts of the world.
Checking out the cast.
I think before we knew the story, the cast had us all interested. This cast does feature five Oscar winners and two Oscar nominees. It was written and directed by Adam McKay, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, and even Kid Cudi made an appearance.
Kate Dibiaski, the PhD candidate who first sees the comet, is played by Jennifer Lawrence and this role felt so flawless for Lawrence that one has to think that this role was written with her in mind. From her modest choice in dress to her don’t give a shit attitude, Lawrence brings an authenticity to the role of a studying scientist. She’s more than just a science nerd as we hear her rapping along to Wu Tang Clan and talking shit to most everyone throughout the film.
Dr. Randall Mindy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, much the opposite of Kate, is a nerdy and seemingly unsure of what to say astronomer in charge of the department where Kate works. Another phenomenal performance by DiCaprio. His versatility continues to amaze as he takes on this role of a quieter, less confident but smart family man. He tries to find his voice throughout the film but is not to be underestimated.
President Orlean is played by none other than the Streeper, Meryl Streep and once again delivering an outstanding performance with a character that surprises us all with her behavior as Madam President. She does have a lot to keep up with in the public eye, but at the same time must deal with the imminent threat shooting towards Earth. It is an interesting spot to be in as this comet threatens all life on Earth and not just the United States.
We’ve seen Presidents handle it in multiple ways in films like Armageddon and even in Independence Day a little bit, but this comical ignorance by President Orlean is definitely one to be seen.
The REEL View Rating 8 out of 10 stars.
I went back and forth between seven and eight, finally landing on eight. This film was a wonderful telling of what can happen at any given moment. It reminds you of just how simple life should be and how easy it is to get caught up in things that shouldn’t matter.
It was a realistic example of what the public reaction would be to something like this and I think many of us would respond exactly like they did. We would have all or some of the emotions and maybe in a different order than some did in this film.
We see a lot of different perspectives and ways those deal with imminent death. There will be those who don’t believe, those that are in denial, those in fear, and then those who fight and try to resolve the issue and then you have those that also live in acceptance. It is all present in this film, along with, of course, the strong propaganda.
Don’t Look Up was released in 2021. It has a runtime of 2 hours and 18 minutes. It was written and directed by Adam McKay, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, and Ariana Grande. It can be viewed in select theaters and Netflix.
Be sure to stay until the very end for a mid credit and an end credit scene.
All right, here is the spoiler alert warning. Those new to REEL film reviewed after this point, I will discuss this review further, potentially and likely reviewing spoilers.
Thank you for listening to the spoiler free review. I’ll be back after a word about my sponsors.
Welcome back, everyone.
Let’s dive into the REEL View Hollywood Comparisons
The REEL View rating was 8 out of 10 stars.
Critics gave it 52, popular opinion was 7.4 out of 10 stars and Rotten Tomatoes gave it 56%.
Not a favorable film amongst critics and I think many films like this end up getting reviews like that and I’ll get into a little bit of the reason about why I think that is.
Who remembers Armageddon? I won’t spoil that film for anyone who has not seen that, even though it’s old, but we’ll say that that one has a different outcome than this film did.
I will also mention that this film has two post credit scenes that are important to the telling of the story after the comet hits.
Going back to the beginning, I loved the introduction to Kate and the opening to the film. It was almost similar to Independence Day, beginning with the discovery of the alien ships, but in this film it followed Kate as she started her shift and of course her discovering the comet.
It was a great opening because it showed her genuine reaction. She was excited to have discovered a comet as a PhD candidate and an astronomer, this is everyone’s dream. And then the authority breaks down the math to find out what its potential path is and then discovers the Earth shattering truth. Pun intended. That the Earth will most likely and would most certainly be destroyed with the impact of this comet that the Earth is directly in the path of.
Of course, like we’ve seen in other films similar in nature, we can’t move the planet, so the alternative is to shoot something at it to divert its course from Earth. There are multiple attempts for this to be done, with the most successful attempt ultimately being canceled en route to the comet.
The Last Hope falls on a Jeff Bezos type character, Peter Isherwell, whose hope is really placed in a ship that takes them off of the planet rather than his failed attempt to blow it up before it hits Earth.
Breaking down the REEL view.
I enjoyed the story itself because I believe both main premises are realistic. The comet ending Earth, as well as the different public reactions to it. The President is not taking it seriously. The members of the cabinet think it’s a joke. Meanwhile, the scientists are terrified because they can’t help but know and analyze the truth.
It’s an uphill battle, one that I believe exists between politicians and scientists in the real world. They’re constantly focused on the wrong things in this film, still consumed by their individual lives after being told that all of life will be wiped out. It shows America’s desensitization to things like that and I also believe that the public would honestly not know how to react to it. I thought about it, I found myself kind of thinking what I would choose to do in that situation, which really is not a choice at all, because unless I was part of the scientist group, which obviously I probably wouldn’t have been there wouldn’t have been any choice.
The public had zero poll, zero ask and even then, I mean, how do you decide something like that? So pretty much it’s kind of just hold on to your pants and do the best that you can. And I think I probably would have gone out the way that all of the scientists went out, made a really nice fancy dinner, made up with my family, and kind of just sat down and chilled and just waited for the end to come. Trying to be as normal as possible, to have just as a normal exit to life as possible, and to be around those that meant the most to me.
So I probably would have done that.
There were a couple of things in this film that kind of derailed it. So there was a lot going on, and I think there was not really a hard message to land on, but there wasn’t really enough of one thing for this film to actually put its feet on.
One of the things that I didn’t necessarily care for too much was Dr. Mindy cheating. I felt that it was a little bit betraying his character, however, I did understand the reason why that happened because he kind of got caught up in the media tour and little trail that he was on.
He was having a little fling with Brie and then having to go on camera and do what he can and what he feels will generate some sort of response from the public by jumping on the bandwagon and trying to warn everybody about the comment and let them know that, hey, we need to do something about it.
And even though he may disagree with exactly what they choose to do, because as we know, just seeing the film, what the doctor is trying to do is basically save everyone on Earth by blowing up the comet before it gets to Earth. Yet the others, the other scientists like what I call the Jeff Bezos type scientist who’s not a scientist, he’s a businessman, but invests heavily in scientific research and projects and technology and things like that. He suggests, hey, that comment is pretty valuable, how about we just blow it up into pieces rather than blowing it up all the way? And that huge delay that they caused in creating all of that technology, it doesn’t end up doing anything. And the other thing too, is the fact that as we look at the end of the film and we learn that they made this huge ship that’s going to take certain individuals, only 2000 people off of Earth, and then we learn that he’s built that.
So that’s what I was thinking. I’m like, that’s probably why it took them so long, because they knew that it was going to be about six months and 14 days before the comet actually hit. And they didn’t do anything until the day of the comet hitting. And that was kind of another piece for me. Is that the time frame kind of counted down. It was 25 days, all of a sudden it was the day of, there was no mention that they were going to do this launch the day of the comet hitting, and I thought that was a little bit unrealistic.
Bringing us to the end, there wasn’t really anything else as far as realisms that I could kind of pick at the ending. I was kind of glad it ended the way that it did, just because of the time frame that they gave it, and because it was six months at first, that may be enough time to think of a reasonable plan, but the most reasonable plan they didn’t even do. And then they put all of their eggs in this stupid basket. And also another thing that I don’t think would actually happen, but I appreciated the comedic twist and that was the point of this film was poking fun at our government and what the decisions actually would be.
The other piece of this that kind of pulls not necessarily away from the realistic value of it but the other thing too was there wasn’t any reaching out to any of the other nations. They’re mentioned that they’re going to be cut out of the potential profits from the comet if everyone lives, of course, but nothing about engaging the rest of the nations to figure out a plan on what to do.
And I know Russia was mentioned as well, but there just wasn’t any kind of unification between the US government and any other governments in order to determine what would happen. And obviously that would be a lot more relevant in today’s world than it would actually be.
Of course, this film wasn’t exactly realistic, but I did appreciate the poking fun of our government as well as at the public reaction, because essentially this is the dark comedy that we all think would most likely happen and would be the worst case scenario is obviously imminent death.
And the post credits, I’ll go through the mid credit one, I’ll let you guys be surprised with the second credit, but the first one being that it answered the question of how Meryl Streep’s character ends up biting it. And so we see when they get onto the ship that it’s like 22,000 years later and they’re on this new planet and they’re all naked and coming off and of course she gets killed by that alien, so at least we get to see what happens to those that are exiting on the ship. I enjoyed the ending because we do see the ship kind of going through the debris of Earth as the credits are coming up. So we know that that ship was most likely the one that had the people on it and that it did make it out. It survived the blast. They were able to get to it and launch before the destruction of the planet.
Also unrealistic, the time frame that they had to get to that spacecraft to get off of the planet, as well as not be impacted or completely destroyed by the impact of the comet hitting Earth and destroying Earth wouldn’t have happened. But it’s not like the whole planet would just collapse and fall apart because as I’m going to go over in just a Sec, there was another comet or asteroid that hit Earth once upon a time that was about as big as the comet that was described in this film. So.
Did you know? facts.
Timothée Chalamet’s character was not going to have long hair initially, but after filming was delayed due to COVID from April to November of 2020. He didn’t cut his hair during that time and when the director saw him on a Zoom call, he asked him not to cut it before shooting because he liked it.
As mentioned, there is both a mid credits and an end credits scene that explain more about the aftermath, so be sure to check that out.
Adam McKay planned to make this film for Paramount pictures before Netflix acquired it in April 2020.
I’m going to mispronounce this, but the Chicxulub asteroid that Jennifer’s character mentions Was the Dino killer asteroid which hit Earth 66 million years ago in what is now Mexico. The estimated size of that comet was 10 km, which was, I believe they said it was 9 km in the film and it resulted in about 75% of all life on the planet dying.
It left a crater in Mexico which I know a lot of us go and visit. I haven’t seen it, but I do want to go.
That crater is estimated to be about 150 km, which is about 93 miles in diameter and 12 km, which is about 12 miles in depth.
That is all I have for you everyone.
Please be sure to let me know what you think of the film after you viewed it. I always post things on Twitter, so engage with me. Let me know what you think. Let me know what you thought of the review if you disagree. Liked it. Didn’t.
What did you think of the film?
What did you think of the public reaction?
What did you think of the outcome, the performances?
I’m always curious to know how everything was for everyone else and what your opinion was.
Thanks for listening to everyone, I’ll catch you next time.
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Happy watching everyone.