‘Don’t Look Up’ provokes reactions

Don’t Look Up was released back in late 2021 on Netflix and received a mixed reception from its release. It is a comedy/satire/disaster film, directed, co-screen written and produced by Adam McKay. It would be theatrically released on Dec. 10, and eventually released for streaming on Netflix on the 24th. 

The film does an over-the-top interpretation of the media and has plenty of humorous moments throughout the film, despite it being a disaster film. Some may find the over-exaggeration of the media to be comedic while others may find it too excessive. On top of that, some of the subjects in the film may be controversial to some audiences. However, if you don’t mind the over-exaggerations and over-the-top nature, then chances are you’ll enjoy the movie. Perhaps it could even be a good family movie, if your kids are older and more mature. 

One last point of interest in the movie is its portrayal of the media. Being a satire, the film takes its chances poking at the media, which was given plenty of potential given the main issue in the movie. 

“When the president refused to meet them, but once the scandal came out, and then all of a sudden she’s like, ‘Actually, let’s talk about this asteroid that’ll kill us,’” senior Sydney Snell said, “I thought that was like our kind of media, where people higher up in the system will not say anything but once they’re in danger they’re like, ‘Oh, actually listen to this.’”

It makes it clear that the media can pick and choose what is being delivered onto the front pages, whether it’s what people should be hearing or not, and this has its own merits in our world today, albeit not to the extreme of the movie. 

“The parallel to the real world are things like gun control and Climate Change. We have data that has proven these things over and over again,” senior Midnight Thornton said, “There is literally over half a century of research that has been done on climate change and people still refuse to believe it because the media will take these facts and twist them to fit whatever goal they have. News is no longer about informing the public but getting them emotionally charged so that they continue to tune in.”

The impact media has on individuals is bigger than we usually realize, or bigger than we’d like to think it is. Kids and teens are particularly impressionable by what they see or hear across the internet. A very common sight in the corridors of Cedar Falls High School alone are students on their phones, scrolling through media of all sorts. 

“Children and teens are limited in their critical thinking. This is because our brains aren’t fully developed until around 25 years old,” Thornton said, “While we are not completely incapable, we are a lot less capable than a mentally healthy and mature 40-year old who knows how to think about the world objectively. And even people with fully developed brains still struggle and can be easily manipulated so it’s just so much worse for us.”

With many social media platforms used by adolescents, one may grow concerned about what’s in store for future generations if this is the type of media they are exposed to.

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