Hello people! Sorry for the tardiness of this review. A few things have been going on; finishing my BA course, working at Dominos, preparing with KH13 for Kingdom Hearts news at E3, and…I forgot. Sticking out tongue smiley. But, do today what can be done today! So on with the show; put on your red and blue 3D spoiler obscurer glasses on before reading to avoid seeing details of the film you haven’t seen! You are traveling to another dimension…
After all the excitement and secrecy behind this film we finally got to see Meet the Robinsons…I mean TOMORROWLAND: A WORLD BEYOND! All we were told to begin with was that it was directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Ratatouille) and George Clooney (Gravity, Fantastic Mr Fox, Ocean’s Eleven) was a former boy-genius inventor, Frank, who teams up with an optimistic teen, Casey (Britt Robertson), to embark on perilous adventure through time and space to find Tomorrowland. And I was pretty sure this wasn’t just a desperate attempt to get to Disneyworld! Nether the less we were expecting Disneyesque themes to appear throughout it.
Once you see IMAX there’s no turning back. So my friend Anthony, my wee brother Calum and myself decided to go on the perilous journey to Tomorrowland; the Glasgow Science Centre IMAX. Beforehand I wasn’t that bothered about seeing Jurassic World until we saw the trailer at the IMAX; with the tremble of the dinosaurs roar, I am now hyped for it! We got good seats again (more central this time) and again the quality/comfort of the seats was great too! One thing I have to say that isn’t any different about the IMAX from other cinemas are the prices for snacks and drinks; definitely worth stashing up before entering the cinema.
As expected, the film is bursting with Disneyesque themes and visuals from the incorporation of the actual theme park attractions to Disney’s view on optimism and imagination. Was wondering how much of the film would link with Disney and almost immediately, Frank (main character) goes on the “It’s a small world” ride where he gains access to Tomorrrowland. The iconic, earworm of a song is played, and then it becomes distorted and eerie as Frank discovers the secret entrance. As well as “It’s a small world”, there is reference to other Disney park attractions like the Space Mountain building, the song from the “Carousel of Progress” and Disney’s admiration of animatronics in the parks. Much like the Tomorrowland park itself, the whole film has a perspective of the future from a sixties era and the type of tech you’d find in an episode of the Jetsons – jet packs, laser guns, freeze rays, hover crafts, rockets, holograms, A.I. andriods, time bombs, teleports, escape…baths. The visuals with this entire film were amazing from Casey switching to and from the different world by touching the pin, the vast cityscape of Tomorrowland and all the brilliant inventions. It’s like Frank says in the film; it’s exciting and inspiring enough to see someone flying about with a jetpack, and it was fun seeing all these iconic futuristic notions come to life! The evil animatronics were my favourite with their plastic like faces, wide eyes and eerie white teeth; they had a very Twilight Zone feel about them! I did get goosebumps as well when the Eiffel Tower was revealed to be a gantry as it split in two and the rocket emerged. George Clooney and Hugh Laurie were brilliant actors to take on for this film; Hugh Laurie was obviously going to be the villain just because he’s British; if he used his “House” voice it wouldn’t have been a give away. Love it when he is about to die he says “Bullocks!”; a very British way to go.
Besides this there were one or two things, which made this film a little off putting. The ‘Casey walking into things when holding the pin’ gag was funny at first but became quite distracting; I became paranoid it’d happen again at any moment so couldn’t feel fully immersed when she tours around Tomorrowland. And am I the only one who thought Athena’s death wasn’t that emotional? And before you mention it, it’s not because she’s a robot or her malfunctioning, twitching face; I did get emotional with Baymax’s sacrifice! I just didn’t think we got enough insight into how much Athena meant to Frank to get sad over her death. Athena’s last words to Frank were she never laughed at him because he wasn’t funny – they weren’t emotional or even funny last words; they felt more just like an insult! So no I didn’t get emotional over Athena’s death; good riddance Athena, you heartless cow!
With the story, I’ll be honest and say I thought the whole optimism theme got a bit over the top and corny; it got too literal with that future-probability-detector dropping down in percentage when Casey says something positive. It’s like with Disney films that go under the philosophy that love is all you need to solve every problem! Or “Scott Pilgrim has earned the power of Love”! You just can’t really take it seriously. And I felt the structure of the film made the story seem long; they eventually reach Tomorrowland three quarters of the way into the film and that’s when stuff really seems to develop in the story. Before that the story only seemed to adapt around the integration of the iconic futuristic tech; which as I said before is great to see, but if you took all the those inventions away it would just be a long winded journey, but at least it isn’t through three films! With recent live action films, Disney like to boast and promote their other films, more than often without choice (Maleficent to Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella to Cinderella) but with this film there is a whole shop of Star Wars references and it’s almost as if Disney going “Haha we own Star Wars. We can do whatever we like!”
In March 2015, an Incredibles sequel was said to be in development and that Brad Bird will be in charge again! Absolutely loved Incredibles and with the hype at the moment with superhero movies, the return of the animated family will be great. Hope to have Michael Giacchino return as well with the brilliant jazzy music – the Incredibles was his big break and he has worked with Brad Bird for films ever since like Ratatouille, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland too, so I’m optimistic that he’ll return.
As I said in my Maleficent review Disney are starting to go over the top with live action remakes. While the animated films are still succeeding in originality, they’ve ran out of new ideas for live action films so are just regurgitating their most successful animated films to bring in the cash, they so obviously need! With the previous films like Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and Cinderella they’ve managed to be quite successful on the money front, but I think none of them have had compelling enough stories to beat the original films. Even with that, they are continuing to announce countless remakes:
Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, set to release May 27, 2016. Many of the original cast will return (Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Mia Wasikowsha), with James Bobin (co-creator of Flight of the Conchords) directing this time, and Tim Burton as one of the producers. Then, The Jungle Book (2016) directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man films) and will feature Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, and Christopher Walken as King Louie, which sound like a great choice of actors. After that, Bill Condon (Twilight series) will be directing a Beauty and the Beast (2017) remake, which will feature Emma Watson as Belle, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts, so again quite big names for it already. Alan Menken will be returning to create the music for Beauty and the Beast like he did for the original animated film too. Then a remake of Dumbo directed by Tim Burton; the pink elephants scene is very abstract and weird so is right up Burton’s street, but there’s only so much you can do with a CGI elephant, and I think all the story was covered in the original hour-long film. Apart from those, Disney recently announced a whole bunch of others like Mulan, Pinocchio, A Night on Bare Mountain (remake of scene in Fantasia), Tink (film revolving around Peter Pan’s pixie friend, Tinker Bell) and a Maleficent sequel. And as much as I love Disney, I bet NONE of them will surpass the popularity and original success of their predeceasing animated films! But as long as Disney is making dough, they won’t care.
So to conclude the IMAX was brilliant as always with its volume of sound, large screen and comfortable seats. I think Brad Bird did a great job with Tomorrowland and I really enjoyed it, but it didn’t beat the Incredibles, which WAS incredible! I look forward to seeing the Incredibles sequel and I do have my doubts if it’ll top the first film, but I said that about Avengers: Age of Ultron. Anyway that’s me for just now! I’m pretty sure you’ll see my next review real soon; it should make the water in your cup tremble!!! So until next time: you’re not funny!
TOMORROWLAND: A WORLD BEYOND – 7/10
GLASGOW SCIENCE CENTRE IMAX – 9/10
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