By June 1, 2015 Read More →

MovieView: Tomorrowland

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I was beginning to lose interest in Disney’s live-action films, but Tomorrowland has redeemed this genre of Disney for me. Written by Brad Bird, Jeff Jensen & Damon Lindelof, this film has quite a lot of pop for one movie. It was directed by Brad Bird as well.

The description of this movie on imdb.com is:

“Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.”

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But that isn’t very accurate. I was going into Tomorrowland thinking it was going to be much more sci-fi than it was. I was expecting it to be along the lines of “Interstellar” meets “Edge of Tomorrow”. I wasn’t disappointed; there were sci-fi elements with a tiny bit of steampunk, but Tomorrowland doesn’t actually exist in a “collective memory”, it is a legitimate place in the Universe-a place in a set time in a set space. You can go there via time & dimension travel, thanks to the “Ultra 4”: Nikola Tesla, Jules Verne, Thomas Edison and Gustave Eiffel, who started Tomorrowland and were the pioneers of science, at least according to the writers Bird, Jensen and Lindelof. I think some very important scientists and physicist pioneers were left out…like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Lewis Latimer and my favorite, Benjamin Franklin.

Although the paths cross between Casey Newton (I’m sure that’s a hat-tipping to physicist Isaac Newton) played by Britt Robertson & Frank Walker played by George Clooney, I wouldn’t say their destinies are intertwined. Casey needed Frank’s knowledge and skill to get to Tomorrowland, but each had their own intent for going and plans for what they would do there. Find their purpose? Maybe. Revenge? Likely. Save the World? Hopefully. I think they both wanted to save the world…And do they? We don’t really know. It leaves just enough unanswered questions to have a “Tomorrowland 2” if enough Disney fans demand it.

Supporting actress Raffey Cassidy, who plays the robot Athena, had us fully believing she was a robot, until her *SPOILER ALERT* death. Up until that moment, Cassidy did an amazing job convincing us with her facial expressions and body movement. But I’ve seen computers die. Granted, I’ve never seen a robot die, but I don’t think it would be a dramatic, drawn out affair, complete with heavy breathing and “I have to tell you something before I’m gone!” Unless of course, she was programmed to be dramatic at her death. It’s possible, I suppose. She was also tittering on the fence in the beginning, so it was hard for the watcher to be truly convinced what side (good vs evil) she is on until half way through the movie, which was a nice side plot.

Frank Walker (George Clooney), Casey (Britt Robertson) and Athena (Raffey Cassidy) in a scene from the motion picture "Tomorrowland." CREDIT: Walt Disney Pictures [Via MerlinFTP Drop]
Clooney, Robertson & Cassidy looking through time and space

Nix, the evil genius, douchebag and assuming also a scientist (we never really see him doing sciency things but he is in charge of all the scientists so…..), was played by the always-awesome Hugh Laurie, who we all know plays douchebag incredibly well. Many of his scenes were reminiscent of “House” which I didn’t mind, although I could see how such typecasting could be distracting to some. I don’t mind typecasting much. If someone plays douche decently, then let them play douche. (Or slapstick, or even damsel in distress a la Amy Adams, etc.)
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Laurie and Clooney

Watching the credits, I was surprised to learn Country music star Tim McGraw played Mr. Newton, Casey’s Engineer dad. I did not recognize him. Perhaps they should have had his character sing in the scene in which he was repairing the computer board.

With undertones of the topics of climate change, the purpose and social implications of artificial intelligence, and good vs evil in science and technology, this movie will start conversations and get people thinking.

The CGI is what makes this a great one to see on the big screen, and take it from me that Brenden has the best popcorn around. I ate an entire large bucket to myself. (Ok, my husband ate about 4 handfuls.)

My rating: 4 out of 5

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Always up for trying something new. Obsessed with coffee. Loves to sleep. Bring on the rain, and a bottle of Wonky & Wry's Honey Braggot Ale.