Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Review: Tomorrowland

Ok, I made a terrible mistake today.  I was looking for times that Tomorrowland was playing in my area and I saw a piece of a review in the Google search.  It looked pretty bad so I went to the review and read it.  It wasn't good.  So I read another.  And another.

Pretty much everyone said the same thing; that the film, while visually interesting, was not overly exciting.  One critic went so far as to say that the story had been told before.

So I broke a rule and read a review before seeing a movie I was actually interested in. 

What good can come of it?  None.
Why?  Because most reviewers are dumbshits.  Further, you are already planning to see it.  If the review is good then no harm no foul.  If the review is bad then it will either color your feelings about the movie negatively or it won't make a difference in your opinion toward the movie and you will have wasted whatever time it took for you to read the review and/or trouble over whether you're going to like the movie.

I troubled over it.  I don't want to see a bad movie.
But I DID want to see Tomorrowland.  Further, so did my kids.  So I couldn't back out.

We saw the movie.

Tomorrowland          A
Story                         B
Special Effects          A
Disney Magic           A
Message                   A
Acting                      A
Heart                        B

Ok, so I'm making up a lot of these categories.  But who cares?
Hugh Laurie did a sub par job.  But I honestly think he can only play a pissy doctor.  Maybe I'm wrong.
George Clooney, Thomas Robinson, Britt Robertson and Raffie Cassidy were awesome.

Did the story drag at parts?  Sure.  Did it make some weird jumps?  Sure.  Did I really notice it while I was watching the movie?  No.

The story is basically this:  A futuristic world for dreamers to create and improve upon the things of Earth separate from the confines of business and political interests was created in another dimension. There a machine that could "predict" the future was created.  It saw the Earth self destructing due to war, hunger, climate change, etc. with no possible salvation.  But Casey Newton (Robertson), an optimistic teenage girl, is discovered by Athena (Cassidy), a young girl of Tomorrowland as a possible cure.  They need Frank Walker (Clooney) to get them into Tomorrowland so they can stop the doom clock and bring possibility back into Earth's future.

I thought the message was beautiful.  Has it been told before?  Yes.  But who the crap cares?  Should we EVER get tired of hearing people remind us that life is full of possibilities and only when we give up on fixing something is it truly broken?  (The answer is no).  And if they can remind us of this simple truth in such a beautiful way, shouldn't we be all the more grateful?   (yes)

Possible Spoilers below:
One of my favorite parts of the movie was when they returned to Tomorrowland and found it in a state of disrepair.  I visited Disney World Orlando about 10 times in my youth.  When I was very young (mid 80s) it was shiny and beautiful, and the future it spoke of was still in the future and still possible.  When I went for my honeymoon (late 90s) Tomorrowland was somewhat shabby.  The vinyl seats had holes in them.  The magnet powered People Mover was much less impressive, and the science they spoke of for the future seemed simultaneously far fetched and archaic. 

It was as though our future had become tarnished before we even got to visit it.

On the one hand I wanted Disney to immediately remodel the whole attraction with new and up to date versions of the future.  But on the other, I wanted Disney to keep the park as it was to remind us not just of a time when people dreamed so big that they inspired a whole nation to send people to the moon!  But also to stand as proof of what we have actually accomplished.  Everyone loves to point out that we don't have jet packs or flying cars.  I lament this sober truth at least once a month.  But we have some pretty awesome things that weren't predicted.  And many of the ideas that seemed the most far fetched now are looking more realistic.

But I digress.  The run down Tomorrowland was like seeing the honeymoon Tomorrowland.  And I have to admit, I've felt that run down Tomorrowland in my heart.  But maybe that is on me.  Maybe I'm to blame for failing to continue to dream like I did when I was a kid.  Tomorrowland reminded me to be a dreamer.  I like the dreamer in me.  The dreamer in me believes.  He believes in me, in you and in possibilities.

I hope Disney revamps the whole of Tomorrowland.  I hope it looks like the Tomorrowland at the end of the movie.  Or even better.  I can dream of a wonderful Tomorrowland.  And that is the point of the movie.

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