Watch the whole thing HERE!
Posts Tagged ‘Tomorrowland’
Watch the whole thing HERE!
We’re about to reach the tipping point of the summer and it’s not even the end of May. In a summer crowded with sequels like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Pitch Perfect 2, reboots like Terminator Genisys and Jurassic World, remakes like Poltergeist and Entourage, a TV show blown up for the big screen, along comes Tomorrowland, a big budget film based on an original idea.
Not every film this year is a sequel, prequel or the like, but Tomorrowland, with a budget topping out at $190 million, is the most expensive original film to come down the pike this year.
Borrowing its name from the futuristic themed land found at Disney theme parks, the movie stars George Clooney and Britt Robertson as a former boy genius and gifted teenager who, according to the press materials, “travel to a place somewhere in time and space only known as Tomorrowland where their actions directly affect the world and themselves.”
Disney is deliberately keeping plot details under wraps, hoping the allure of mysterious trailers will draw people in. It’s the opposite of the usual strategy of showcasing the film’s high lights in a two-minute promo.
I was at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California—imagine the Disney version of Comic Con—in 2013 when Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof unveiled the name of the movie, but little else. In a splashy presentation they claimed a “dusty old box” labelled 1952 found in the Disney Imagineering archives had inspired the story. Containing a mysterious mishmash of items, including a 1928 copy of Amazing Stories magazine, a photograph of Walt Disney and Amelia Earhart allegedly taken after her disappearance, a short animated documentary and an unidentified metal object, they said the idea of the film is to ask “what if these mystery clues were real?”
Teasing the potential audience into buying tickets is an intriguing but risky idea. It’s a risk Bird was willing to take. He turned down the chance to direct Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens to make Tomorrowland, saying, “it’s rare to do a film of this size that’s original, so those opportunities can’t be missed either.”
But will it be an opportunity that moviegoers will embrace? Suggesting that Hollywood only feels comfortable with movies that are presold via brand recognition is an understatement. Whether it is a familiar title with a number added or any movie from the mighty Marvel stable, the big studios aren’t in the habit of taking chances and it’s not their fault. It’s ours.
One of the main complaints I hear from people is that there are no interesting movies in release and yet Furious 7 and Age of Ultron have grossed amounts equal to the GNP of some small nations. By supporting big budget “branded” movies we send the message that original stories don’t interest us, only ones that give us what we expect.
While we have the chance why not take a chance on a movie that takes a risk? That’s the tipping point. Check out Tomorrowland or Ex Machina. If sci fi isn’t your thing, how about Aloha or Inside Out? There is room for all kinds of movies but why not vote with your feet and let the studios know that their steady diet of sequels, prequels and reboots is quickly nearing its best by date.
The movie begins in the recent past and the distant future. Precious child inventor Frank (played as a child by Thomas Robinson, Clooney as an adult) has made his way to the 1964 New York World’s Fair, jet pack in hand. There he meets Athena (Raffey Cassidy), a young girl who slips him a mysterious pin that allows him access to Tomorrowland, a future world where all the modern problems have been eradicated.
Years later a similar pin lands in the hands of Casey (Britt Robertson) the daughter of a NASA engineer and all round smarty-pants. Tracing the origin of the pin leads her to Athena, Frank and a mysterious world that has changed somewhat from Frank’s youth. “When I was a kid,” says Frank, “the future was different.”
Director Brad Bird has made a big, handsome movie, ripe with imagination and eye-popping images that attempts to create the same kind of nostalgic awe as vintage Spielberg. He comes close but misses by a hair. Instead he draws out the story for two-hours-and-ten-minutes, taking too long to get to the fairly meagre why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along-and-save-the-world premise. The pacing feels like it is from another era when audiences were more content to sit back and drink in the atmosphere.
The realization of the future world is impressive. From the interconnected swimming pool pods to the special effects—You will believe George Clooney can fly!—to the Jetson’s style architecture it’s an eyeful. “Will you stop being amazed!” Frank says with exasperation, and no, we may not as long as Bird is entertaining the eye. It’s only when he tries to engage the intellect that the movie falters.
Classic sci fiction has never shied away from Saving the Earth and “Tomorrowland” should be congratulated for it’s world-is-going-to-heck point of view, but (MILD SPOILER ALERT) its preachy ‘The world could get better but no one is willing to put in the effort,” stance and ‘The future belongs to the dreamers” attitude it is naive.
“Tomorrowland” is the rare kind of summer movie, one that values its originality and ideas. Too bad it isn’t as forward thinking as the name would suggest.