Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tomorrowland speaks to dreamers

Movie:   Tomorrowland  

PG, 1 hour 47 minutes

Grade:  A-

In a Nutshell:  Are you a dreamer?  If so, this Disney film will capture your heart.  Kids will love the non-stop action and futuristic ideas that feel more like believable fantasy than Sci-Fi. Parents will feel young again, but may become annoyed with the preaching about climate change.  It’s kind of a techno-thriller for tweens with a new twist on the ever-popular dystopian genre.

I fell in love with Director Brad Bird’s talent during his animated hit The Incredibles .   While Brad Bird provides the lighthearted fun he is great at, the story gets tangled up by Lost: The Complete Seasons 1-5 writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof.  I think the writers of Lost got lost in their storytelling and that happens a little bit here.

During Spring Break this year, I took the fam to Disneyland.  It happened to be the last day Tommorrowland was to be opened before its reconstruction.  When I was a little girl, it featured an exhibit of what houses would look like in the future.  Up until a couple of months ago, it spotlighted Marvel's The Avengers superheroes and interactive video games mostly.  I can’t wait to see what the new Tomorrowland will highlight to spark our imaginations.  There is a lot from the movie that could easily end up as an awesome new ride…

In the words of Frank, “You wanted to see Tomorrowland…here it comes!”

Uplifting Theme:
·         “There are two wolves and they are always fighting.  One is darkness and despair.  The other is light and hope.  The question is: "Which wolf wins?”   - Casey
“The one you feed.”   - Nate Newton
·         Issues covered in the film include domestic terrorism, industrial sabotage, crime, death, climate change, unemployment, and hope.

Things I liked:
·         Visually, there are some intriguing things to look at and dream about.
·         The musical score is beautiful and feels like Disney magic.
·         What kid doesn’t want to ride in a jet pack?  Scratch that….what adult wouldn’t want to either?  When young Frank is asked why he built a jet pack, he says “If I was walking down the street and I saw some kid with a jet pack fly over me, I’d believe anything’s possible.  I’d be inspired.  Doesn’t that make the world a better place?”  So true!
·         I thought George Clooney (Frank), Hugh Laurie (David Nix), the adorable Raffey Cassidy (Athena), the lovely Brittany Robertson (Casey) and Thomas Robinson (young Frank Walker) all did a terrific job with their characters.
·         In a flood (pun intended) of dystopian movies that preach about the horrible future that awaits us because of our greed, I like that Casey says “I get things are bad.  But what are we doing to fix it?”  Great question.
·         I loved the hopeful ending. 
·         I love both Brittany's and Raffey's gorgeous, long hair.
·         Kids will get a kick out of all the gadets, gizmos, and machines.
·         Super cool multi-layered swimming pools in Tomorrowland!  I love swimming pools somuch that I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them.
·         Did you notice the Hans Solo in carbonite tribute?
-     I thought it was interesting that they talked about how society is currently obsessed with the dystopian genre and various versions of the apocalypse to the point that we embrace and even celebrate the impending doom with movies, TV shows, books and music.  It's kind of true that we're "feeding that wolf."

Things I didn’t like:                               
·         It’s an infomercial for Disneyland, as well as Coke, and Apple.
·         David Nix’s pants looked like an unimaginative costume designer got lazy.

Funny lines:
·         “Frank, it’s not personal.  It’s just programming.”  - Athena
·         “This is a story about the future and the future can be scary.” – Frank
·         “Frank, you want to know why you could never make me laugh?” – Athena
“Why?” – Frank
“Because you’re not funny.” – Athena
·         “Do I have to explain everything?  Can’t you just be amazed and move on?”  - Frank

Inspiring lines:
·         “Did you make this yourself?  - Athena
·         “Yeah”  -
·         Why?”  - Athena
“I guess I got tired of waiting for someone else to do it for me.” – Frank
·         “It’s hard to have ideas and give up.”  - Casey
“But you won’t give up, right?” – Casey's brother
“Never” – Casey
·         “Which way do you want to go: backwards or forwards?” – Athena
·         Even the teeniest of actions can change the future.” – Casey

Interesting lines:
·         “You’ve got simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation.  Explain that one.” – David Nix

Tips for Parents:
·         There is a lot of violence and fighting that results in multiple forms of death: vaporization, crushing, dismembering, implied genocide, etc.
·         Parents are finding that their children are asking thought-provoking questions about fairly deep subjects after the movie.  Yay!
·         Very young children may be frightened by the menacing robots with creepy faces.
·         There is a discussion of tachyon particles to explain some of the science behind the technology in the future.  Your kids may be surprised to learn they’re real.   
·         It’s a great opportunity to introduce your kids to some of history’s great inventors which are mentioned: Tesla, Verne, Edison, Eiffel 

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