Tag Archives: george clooney

Tomorrowland: If You Don’t Like This Movie, You’ll Kill Our Future

Summary:  Today Locke Peterseim reviews Tomorrowland, Disney’s “ode to a pre-Vietnam, pre-Watergate, pre-counterculture past when the early ‘60s, Space Race, Camelot-fueled notion of tomorrow was still bright and gleaming, filled with shining spires and Jetson-styled flying cars and jet packs — it’s pure nostalgia for a lost future.” It’s only a lost future if we no longer believe it’s possible or no longer work to make it happen.  {1st of 2 posts today.}

“We’ve been looking for someone like you for a very long time.”

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland: If You Don’t Like This Movie, You’ll Kill Our Future

By Locke Peterseim.
From the film blog of Open Letters Monthly.
2 June 2015. Reposted with his generous permission.

Disney’s Tomorrowland — directed by Brad Bird, written by Damon Lindelof, and starring George Clooney — is a plea for a New Frontier of imagination; for positivity in the face of seemingly overwhelming negativity, fear, and pessimism.

It is that rare giant, tent-pole summer blockbuster that asks — nay, begs — us to set aside the doom and gloom of disaster movies and Apocalyptic dystopias (darn you, Mad Max!) and be more creative and constructive humans. To turn away from fear and apathy, roll up our metaphorical (and literal) sleeves, and get to work envisioning and building the bright and shining jet-pack future we once dreamed of.

All of this nifty messaging is (barely) disguised as a young-adolescent action-adventure tale full of sci-fi flights of nostalgic retro-futurism fancy, noble scientific elegance, and can-do inventive spirit.

It’s packed into a two-hour-plus film chock full of “dazzling, entertaining fun and excitement,” complete with spectacular visuals, crackerjack action scenes, an antique steampunk rocket ship hidden in the Eiffel Tower, and George Clooney proving he can be effortlessly charming even when playing an (only on the outside!) embittered, curmudgeonly crank.

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“Gravity” teaches us not how to survive in space, but to want to survive.

Summary:  We’ve broadened our geopolitical analysis to include film criticism by Locke Peterseim. Today we have something different: a standard film review. Bottom line (spoiler!):  “Gravity is not about how to survive in the harsh depths of space, but how to want to survive, to want to live. … But where Kubrick’s masterwork {2001}  is about cold, cosmic inhumanity, Cuarón’s film is about nothing if not the warmth of human life.”

Gravity, the film

Gravity Floats and Tumbles Very Close to a Being a “Masterpiece”

By Locke Peterseim
Posted at the film blog of Open Letters Monthly, 4 October 2013.
Reposted here with his generous permission.

Over the course of this weekend, the next few weeks, and yes all through this year’s awards season, you’re going to hear a lot about how stunning and brilliant is director Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. Honestly, you’re going to be hearing that steadily for the next 20 to 40 years.

There’s no doubt this film — a staggering achievement that almost seamlessly melds visionary cinema, beyond-cutting-edge technology, jaw-dropping visuals, and gripping entertainment — is going to very quickly claim a powerful, lasting place in popular culture. It really is that well-done and will have that much impact.

(For the next few months, the go-to ice-breaker question among both pop-culture mavens and mainstream viewers is not going to be “What did you think of the Breaking Bad finale?” but “Have you seen Gravity?”)

By now you probably sense a big “but…” coming. Rest assured, it’s not that big of a “but…” More like a mild caution about what is and is not so great about Gravity — and there’s no doubt, the great greatly outweighs the not-so-great.

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