CLOONEY’S ASTRA — Brad Pitt’s Ad Astra big screen epic in 2019 was seemingly was about Pitt’s character (an astronaut) trying to re-connect with his father (Tommy Lee Jones), after the father was accused of all sorts of shenanigans. If that indeed was the plot, it was delivered in a very murky way by director James Gray (who also wrote it). That said, the movie looked great and the music (Max Richter) was superb. It was great to look at, but the narrative didn’t work at all. I often wonder about movies like this. Vanity project? Probably not. I’m sure when Pitt and his team viewed the script, they though it worked perfectly. Fact is: what looks good on paper doesn’t always work on the big screen sad to say. George Clooney, whose had more than his fair share experience in space-movies; Solaris; Gravity … tackles yet another epic one in The Midnight Sky, which premiered on Netflix this weekend. Based on a book by Lily Brooks-Dalton called Good Morning, Midnight, its another murky ride through space and at a desolate radar station, helmed by Clooney, where a mysterious little girl arrives … and, then disappears. It’s never really revealed if she’s real at all or just a hallucination which is a mite confusing. There’s also another story running about a team in space (Kyle Chandler, Felicity Jones) and their antics. Jones is pregnant and Chandler ultimately leaves, but it’s sort of an unresolved mess. There’s also some sort of accident outside their ship, which requires a space-walk and ultimately, a death. Again, it looks great, but no narrative. As of this writing the movie is on its way to becoming the cablenet’s biggest movie ever … and, that says a lot about Clooney’s draw. I loved watching it and the music was superb (Alexandre Desplat), but as far as any sort of plot to follow … nada. In that regard, disappointing.
SHORT TAKES — Terrific article in Deadline by Greg Evans about the eventual return of Broadway. I seriously doubt whether it’ll be this year (2021), but a terrific read nonetheless: https://deadline.com/2020/12/broadway-2021-coronavirus-shutdown-reopening-plans-1234660092/ …
Wonder Woman 1984 hit 100 million and a greenlighted third installment (with director Patty Jenkins back) in the works. I understand Liam Neeson is being considered for the baddie. Stay tuned … 7A’s Grenn Gretlund says the new Micky Dolenz album (Dolenz Sings Nesmith) will be out in April …
We started watching Renee Zellweger and Jane Levy (who is sensational!) in the prime-time soap opera What/If on Netflix.
Directed by Philip Noyce, it looks great. But, geeze, did the creator Mike Kelly ever see the movie Indecent Proposal with Robert Redford and Demi Moore? I’m sort of hooked … but, in a trashy sort of way. I feel like I need a shower after watching it. I loved EW’s review headline:What/If is terrible and I can’t wait to see more … And,
Elvis Costello sends one final kiss-off to this pandemic year with his surprise new song “Farewell, OK 2020,” which the singer dropped on YouTube hours before 2021’s arrival. Check it out here:
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Bruce Morrow; James Edstrom; Keith Girard; MA Cassata; Susan Jacobs; Coati Mundi; Deb Caponetta; Andy Fuhrmann; Suzanna Bowling; Tony King; Steve Kline; John Billings; Rich Dart; Wayne Avers; and, ZIGGY!