Tag Archives: tomorrowland

Tomorrowland never knows

It’s been almost a week since I saw Tomorrowland, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

In all honesty, I kept thinking I had more to say about this subject after I hit the “publish” button (which ALWAYS happens when you’re writing something). So here are a few more thoughts about the movie. Slight spoilers ahead!

Out of all the movies I’ve seen, this one has nagged at me in ways I can’t explain. A small part of me can’t believe that the film didn’t do as well at the box office. I’m sure the secretive marketing didn’t help, but still. I’ve been reading some of the reviews. I even saw one story debunking that the movie has traces of Ayn Rand. I can’t answer that one because I haven’t read anything of hers (which could be a good thing; I don’t know). The Rotten Tomatoes meter has stayed around 50 percent, so you either love the movie or hate it.

Put me on the Optimist side.

Tommorowland Mondo poster by Kevin Tong
Tommorowland Mondo poster by Kevin Tong

I’ve always been a Disney fan, especially following the adventures of Donald Duck and the gang. It wasn’t until my adult years that I became fascinated with Walt Disney the person, not the corporate symbol. Last year, I spent just about all that time reading Neal Gabler’s biography on Disney, where I got a more detailed picture of the man. I joined the free portion of D23, Disney’s fan club, where you could dive into more historical tidbits. Because of my close proximity to Walt Disney World, I’ve been especially intrigued by how this Vacation Kingdom came to be. My heart swelled as I read science fiction writer Ray Bradbury’s early script for Spaceship Earth at EPCOT Center.

A couple of years ago, rumblings about the movie headed out to the masses, especially the discovery of the “1952” box, which was filled with seemingly random items (dramatic pause). Or were they?

Being a writer/creative-type person, I loved how Tomorrowland’s backstory was being portrayed, especially the tale of the secret society Plus Ultra. There’s the website for a group trying to stop Plus Ultra (even says so in the title). There was an alternate reality game where another website had dashes and dots that led to various locations, which led to more clues. There are various interviews from the creators, like this one with Jeff Jensen, who even wrote a prequel novel aptly titled Before Tomorrowland. Through a bit of serendipity, I had bought a boxed set filled with the musical portions of the attractions at the 1964 World’s Fair, which, as it turned out, played a role in the film.

Strangely, a lot of this didn’t end up in the movie. All backstory. I don’t know if it was supposed to be there, but the movie still worked for me.

Like Casey in the movie, I was flabbergasted by the stunning visuals of the city of Tomorrowland. I did my best to see as many of the different references in that comic book shop. I got “It’s a Small World” and “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” stuck in my head.

Maybe it’s because I have two young daughters that I’m looking at this movie through a different set of eyes. Maybe I want them to have that passion, that drive, to give the world a brighter tomorrow. Or I’m just a softie for science fiction movies, and this hit all the right buttons.

If the fates allow, I would love to go back to the theater to catch stuff I missed the first go-around. If not, I will definitely see it again at home when it arrives on Blu-ray. I hope others give it a shot.

A Great Big, Beautiful Tomorrow

I saw Tomorrowland earlier today. I had been nervously scanning the Rotten Tomatoes meter, checking to see if the new Disney movie was gonna be a winner or a stinker. At 50 percent, I figured I had nothing to lose.

Of course, I had been following some of the periphery advertising for the past couple of years, starting with the Tomorrowland app showing various artifacts from the 1952 Box shown at the D23 Expo. The items in the box intrigued me. When I heard Brad Bird (The Incredibles) was directing the film, I knew it would be in good hands.

I liked Tomorrowland. I really liked it.

When I go into a darkened multiplex, I try to have an open mind with the movie I’m about to see. Every once in a while I’ll let outside forces cloud my judgement (*coughcough*The Phantom Menace*coughcough*), but I make it a point to get lost in the movie. If something doesn’t ring true within the context of the flick, my Spidey-senses may start tingling.

I didn’t feel that way with Tomorrowland.

wallpaper_01

I’m sure there were a few things wrong, but they didn’t detract from the experience. Mr. Bird and company sucked me into the world of Tomorrowland. I choked up in a few spots (I won’t spoil them for you), and I got a lump in my throat at the end. Now that I’ve seen it, I can go back to all those websites and read all those articles and watch videos I’ve been avoiding.

The reviews for Tomorrowland have been mixed, as that tomato-meter can attest. When I peaked at comments on various sites (which was probably mistake No. 1), some were disappointed certain things didn’t make it into the movie. Which leads into one of the worst things a moviegoer can think about:

The movie didn’t live up to the expectations in my head, so it must be crap.

I’m sure that’s what happened with the aforementioned Phantom Menace. Just about every Star Wars fan had in their minds what the movie should be, and when it didn’t emerge that way, they felt their childhoods were trampled upon, which sounds very trifle. Sure, you can critique the movie itself, but when you start saying, “Well, they didn’t put in this, this, and this. Why didn’t he put that in? THIS MOVIE SUCKS!!!1!!1!” that doesn’t lead anywhere. For once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. It gets worse when you critique a movie you didn’t even see.

Maybe this movie will pick up a bit more steam as the weeks roll along (it only made some $40 million over the weekend). Maybe it’ll find a bigger second life once it hits Blu-ray/DVD/digital/inserted into your brain. I hope so. It’s got a message of bringing about, dare I say it, a great, big beautiful tomorrow.