First Glance: “The Midnight Sky”


George Clooney makes his return to movies as star and director of Netflix’s upcoming science-fiction film “The Midnight Sky”. The last time Clooney appeared in front of the camera was in 2016’s “Money Monster”. The last film he directed was the 2017 disaster “Suburbicon”. His latest works from a screenplay by Mark L. Smith and features an intriguing cast including Felicity Jones, Kyle Chandler, David Oyelowo, Demián Bichir, and Tiffany Boone.

The post-apocalyptic story sees Clooney playing a scientist in the Arctic. The Earth has become inhabitable following some unknown global calamity. Clooney gets word that a team of astronauts are returning to Earth but they are unaware of the planet’s state. If he doesn’t warn them in time they will surely die, but sending a message would require him to venture into the icy contaminated unknown. I love the premise and there is still plenty we don’t know about the story. The first trailer gives us a really good taste. Clooney has called it “Gravity” meets “The Revenant”. I’m sold.

“The Midnight Sky” premieres December 23rd on Netflix. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

18 thoughts on “First Glance: “The Midnight Sky”

  1. All you had to do was say directed by George Clooney and I am almost certainly out. His stuff is usually overly serious and ponderous. Better he should act and not direct.

    • I find him very hit or miss behind the camera. But so much of this sounds right up my alley. I can see me either really loving it or being dreadfully disappointed.

  2. OK, this looks good. I don’t mind Clooney acting in his own films though I do wish that he would take a step back and allow others to play the leads. Still, this is interesting.

      • It was technically a boring film, but I remember well your review and defense of it. As a history teacher, I have shown it to my students–I have seen it a few times. It grows on you.

      • I think it snuck into my Top 10 that year. I liked its Dirty Dozen still buddy movie style. Clearly that old school style didn’t resonate with a lot of people.

      • Yes, not many fans of Monuments Men. I didn’t think it was as bad as everyone (except you) did, but it was just flat, dull, no spark or drama to it. So I mostly figure Clooney will kill whatever he touches as a director.

  3. Why Shows Tell Rather Than Show
    A Case for Bringing in Experts Rather than Just Telling
    Tons of scientists that don’t get air time.

    One of the things I’ve learned, though I think I could do a better job, is showing rather than explaining, or explaining with understanding. For instance, if I say that mutual funds are safer than individual stock purchases for the average person, some may take that to heart, but others will not, and some will consider. But if I show mathematical models how diversifying (spreading the risk) over several companies rather than buying stocks in individual companies, such that if one or a few take a hit, the others will/may grow, thereby lessening any loss, but increasing chances of increases, and that mutual funds companies can monitor and adjust as needed, then I will convince more listeners. Showing pictures and graphs will support the discussion.
    This, I think, has been a “failure” or area in need of growth regarding the more accurate information programs with more honest speakers. Because I have done my own research, have listened to many, read much, and considered, it’s easier for me to differentiate between real information and rhetoric/propaganda. I can listen to someone I’m in agreement but also “see” that their information is not adequately demonstrated. Which means, some viewers will listen with skepticism, and perhaps, rightly so, for I would always encourage people to listen, but wait on agreement until they have read more, researched, observed, and considered over a period of time, that they arrive at conclusions by their own “ah haaa” moments. I think that’s key. For I’ve told people before that you may agree with me, but do you know why?
    The above was supported recently as I talked with a relative. I explained why they should vote as I had, then gave a small list of reasons. He returned with “good” qualities on both sides, but also corruption on both sides, that he was still in the decision making process. Then, when I watched an opposing side speaking to the general public, I thought had I not been an informed voter, I might agree with them. And that led me to realizing that many may see both sides spreading their own propaganda and rhetoric, especially if they don’t have a good education, haven’t done sufficient research, and a prone to rhetoric. More so if they haven’t learned how to follow the rabbit down the long trail of reason. On all topics.
    Regarding man-made global warming or man-made climate change, I knew from the beginning that something was amiss. But I couldn’t give my reasons. I just have a little “fact meter” in me that raises a red flag when something doesn’t sound right, and over time, I usually discover I’m correct. I suppose, many others have this as well, for that’s how we get so many researchers. But they must also be able to differentiate between quality research and others.
    The belief that 97% of scientists believe in the above gets bought by people because they blindly believe scientists are the experts, but also because they won’t/don’t do the research of discovering if that is a true statement. On the web are many scientists who have disqualified the man-made global anything, and they are extremely knowledgeable. Here are some, which I wonder why they’re not given air-time on more of the more accurate and honest programming. I think Fox News is one of the better programs, and even CSPAN has some quality shows. They should certainly bring these “experts” onto their shows. That can also work in other areas like wearing masks, economic factors, and policies more socialistic and leading to removal of freedoms.
    Here are some of the scientists: Timothy Ball, Vincent Courtillot, Murry Salby, Nicola Scarfetta, Khabibullo Abdusamator, William Harper, Ole Humium, David Legates, Tad Murty, Jennifer Marohasy, Sally Baliunas, Tim Patterson, Arthur B. Robinson, Fred Singer, George H. Taylor, Jan Veizer, Freeman Dyson, Ivan Giaever, Dr. Kiminori Itoh, Richard Lindzen, Claude Allegre, Peter Chylek, and David Deming among many others. They’re easily looked up. You can read their writings, download papers, and sometimes hear them on YouTube. And it’s fascinating. **I wonder why the more accurate and informative programs don’t put them on. They, again, can do this with the other concerns and major issues. And some will even share their findings on reasons global anything is so strongly believed and why disbelievers are attacked with such ferocity. A global denier is nothing more than people unconvinced, have common sense, and will not be forced to believe unproven assertions. But shows could be aired that bring out all the complexities, explaining with terms the layman can understand.
    Here’s a thought. With all the difficulties in the world, but also with all the opportunities in a free country, how great could our government be if they truly supported the U.S. Constitution, reduced their numbers and regulations, allowing the creativity and industriousness of the American people to lead the way? How great if “they” truly embrace individual freedom with responsibility, supported by a document in which the founders researched various government systems, taking the best, while discussing, arguing, and rewriting until they formed the best document for the best country? What if the government, by the people and for the people, believed in the American dream, got out of the way while supporting our freedoms, and minimized their roles while embracing us?
    I have to wonder about these things because they’re everything. So, when “concern” over the end of the world came along, I had to ask what is behind all of this. We knew there was no threat of extinction (Unless huge asteroids, miles and miles long, crashed into our planet on every side.). In grade school, we read the book about a farm animal crying that the sky was falling, causing panic among the other creatures. When they discovered he had been hit in the head by an apple or something, it was a relief. That was a great lesson in never allowing anyone to cause panic.
    So, with something as complex as the planet, and learning that scientists have been wrong so many times in history (Like when they thought we were entering an ice age, or when they thought a tooth was evidence of a former man, but later discovered to be from a mammoth.), why in the world would they spend so much time on that one? One obvious reason was to create a panic throughout the country, but also, through the U.N. the rest of the world, for the purpose of creating fear, and through fear, control. Otherwise, what would be the point, except for a huge distraction from other things they’re doing while we’re worrying about that one. I know: some people have difficulty imagining people so terrible that they would do that to us, the world included. But all one has to do is study communist nations, terrorist countries, and they will see that’s exactly what the dictators do to control their people, then spread disinformation to the rest of the world.
    Have people considered that Global anything is an effort to control us? Have people considered that what’s behind all of this is money, power, and turning us into a one-world government? Control? Then why are those who know not given air time?
    Again, regarding global anything, climate anything, when I first heard these things, my mind immediately asked questions: 1) Why are they reporting this? To what end? 2) For those “pushing” these beliefs, what’s in it for them? And 3) Where is this all leading?
    Like I said, I can smell disinformation a mile away. Like when I was young and a teacher told us gravity is explained by a pail of water swung by the arm. I liked the idea, it seemed simple enough,but my inner voice questioned. Am I to believe that the speed of the Earth going around the sun is perfectly matching the pull of the Earth on the moon? Then, the question has to include what if asteroids hit the Earth, hit the moon, shouldn’t they be slowed, eventually causing the two to crash? In other words, if the speed of orbital objects in speed are moving only because of inertia and no resistance (No air in space.), then asteroids and other objects flying from different directions would be the resistance, but these planetary objects never slow. Wouldn’t (This came later.) a better explanation be some energy coursing through the universe pushing the planets and moons, causing them to move, and that gravity is more a pushing on the planets and moons? From a constant source? And of course, with this, as I thought about it, added so many other factors I had no expertise. But it was fun to think about. And sure enough, when I was much older, I discovered that many scientists are explaining forces akin to my elementary considerations.
    Think about that for a moment (If you’re still reading.). I saw something in my younger days, added to that through observations, hearing a good man sharing his understanding, then pondering and reflecting, even reading some science books. Then, much later, finally researching the possibility, found it right there. What I’m alluding to here is that whatever is real is often contemplated in real world experience and pondering, which leads to those discoveries, if one is honest in their search.
    So, global whatever came along and I thought: Am I expected to buy into these beliefs without any real evidence? Melting ice and polar bears swimming? Are you kidding me? With all the factors involved, none the least of which is a sun that goes through cycles, an Earth that has so many factors we haven’t as yet studied, and the necessary scientific understanding and tools necessary to undertake all the research, how can I trust that this is settled science. And remember when these “experts” predicted global cooling, an ice age, just a few decades before? What will be next? Frogs falling from the sky? Proof that aliens left DNA on the Earth? And how does that help us? And why spend so much money on something that no one, or very few, would ever think about, and never experience, all of us busy with life, taking care of family, engaged in careers, and helping others in need, without panic? Why do that?
    I encourage these shows to not only tell, but bring in the “real experts.” In that way, we, as the viewers, can hear them for ourselves. And if they’re concerned that most viewers will be bored, or that they don’t have a quality education from which to listen, remember, I was only in grade school when I considered disinformation. And if they do put these people on, that might encourage more people to learn, research, and perhaps become the scientists of tomorrow.
    **If you read blogs, media articles, magazines, and books that continue to promote these ideas, and if you hear this from so many people, one thing that is important to understand is many people don’t think for themselves. They seem like they are. They’re not. Each one has an agenda they’re not telling. For some, it’s fear. For others, they like appearing to be informed and knowledgeable. For others, they use the circumstances to take the leadership role. And for others, they find ways to make money. Out of the people’s not challenging errors in thinking.
    You see, some of us don’t buy into anything unless we see if for ourselves. And we have a trust. We trust our understanding. We trust our understanding because we have learned, through life and experiences, that reason is the way. So, when we listen to anyone that says research shows, the first thing I say is show me the research. Then, I will read the research (Which is never presented because there is none. It’s just a phrase used over and over to silence naysayers.). Like when I read Bernie Sanders book, realizing this man is promoting false ideas. But in this, I learned that there are many people who will visit their errors on people, building on their false assumptions, building on their emotions, even pretend to care, just so they can rise up to power and money. Yes. Many people are like that.
    As far as blogs, you read many supporting global anything because that’s where they live in their heads, and their motivations are presented above. It’s an easy position to take. Why? Because it’s unprovable. That means, you can’t prove it one way or another. In that way, they can say anything they like. They could argue about life on other planets. They could argue on alien DNA beginning life here. It’s easy. There’s no proof. No evidence. Except, with global anything, we can demonstrate the immensity of data needed, but also that we’re nowhere close to proving such assertions. But what we can do is see the birds and deer go on as if nothing happened, that we breathe the fresh air daily (Yes, in cities, but that’s because so many cars and emissions are consolidated in those areas. Drive just a few miles away from the city and the air becomes amazingly clean again.), and that life is as life has always been.

  4. All global apocalyptic destruction is propaganda. There’s just not enough information, nor evidence, to even worry about the end. We just don’t have the influence. Families have more concerns with work, responsibilities, family, and day to day needs.

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