A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
They really made a film about a music festival and targeted it at kids?! Wow, Hollywood must be desperately clutching at straws!
But in all seriousness, beloved director Brad Bird has stuck his neck out quite boldly with the release of “Tomorrowland”. His original property released in 2015 will forever be remembered as the film that Bird chose over “Star Wars”.
“Tomorrowland” is the latest Disney release that has been met with mixed opinion. Although it wasn’t the breakthrough live-action masterpiece we were hoping for, “Tomorrowland” still has a lot going for it, even if it dealt with a marketing misfire.
Starring Brit Robertson and George Clooney, “Tomorrowland” is an adventure tale about Casey Newton (Robertson); a bright and prosperous renegade daughter of a NASA technician played by country singer Tim McGraw. Sound farfetched? It continues…
On a stimulating journey with a former child prodigy named Frank Walker (Clooney), the pair attempts to discover the truth behind a mystical world located in an undisclosed location in space and time.
Much like the advertising strategies utilised for the film, I’ll leave there…
The world of “Tomorrowland” is rather intriguing in the sense that, albeit fantastical and mesmerising, there’s an eerie unfamiliarity to it, offering a sense of discomfort and intrigue from the outside looking in. Although Casey’s experience of the world at first appears to be exhilarating and transfixing, there was an ever-present undercurrent of uncertainty, curiosity and suspicion.
As the narrative progress and branches off into realms we couldn’t foresee, “Tomorrowland” became an increasingly indicative of writer Damon Lindelof. The creative mind behind television series “Lost” has proven that convolution is his bread and butter, and confusing his audiences is all part of the process. Is “Tomorrowland”, a film directed at a younger demographic, too confusing and ambitious for its own good?
Regrettably, it seems to be the case, but it doesn’t sabotage the film in its entirety.
There is an inherent Brad Bird lustre within “Tomorrowland”. Certain nuances, stylistic techniques and subtitles appear very reminiscent of his most notable picture, “The Incredibles”. This is in the similar vein to one of the major problems with the film in terms of its presentation. “Tomorrowland”, a live-action picture, has countless images of computer-generated spectacle thrown within the narrative.
Furthermore, the action sequences are loud, rambunctious and energetic, which at certain points requires the assistance of CGI to carry it all along. Combined with the score, the themes and the overall atmosphere of the film, it is rather obvious that “Tomorrowland” should have been a Disney Pixar animation.
If this were to be the latest release from the animation giants, it could have potentially broken records. The cast could have remained the same, only they’d be exercising merely their vocal chords, and the plotline would not have needed to adjust.
From a character, narrative, tonal and symbolic viewpoint, it is no wonder “Tomorrowland” has been performing poorly at the Box Office.
The performances are solid from all aspects, but nobody matches the efforts of Raffey Cassidy as the intrepid, riveting Athena. Britt Robertson appears to be the perfect choice for Casey Newton; her performance is grounded, modest and very well balanced, especially when clashing heads with a rather out-of-character George Clooney. The silver fox steps out of his comfort zone to portray a somewhat crotchety, grumpy old man, and he does it well.
The only problem with the casting of Clooney, and Hugh Laurie for that matter, is, although they’re major names in the industry, they’re not draw cards for young audiences. Perhaps this is another reason as to why “Tomorrowland” has fallen slightly short.
One thing is for certain; Raffey Cassidy has a long and exciting future ahead of her.
This was a brave step for Brad Bird, and although “Tomorrowland” was somewhat a misfire, there is still a lot to take from the experience.
The outlook of a utopian future is welcomed with open arms amid the slew of bleak dystopian cinematic visions, the central characters stand for something profound and special, plus the story itself is an entirely original property; a rarity of sorts nowadays.
Not his best, but not without its great qualities, “Tomorrowland” offers some intelligent insights and gives its audience a but to contemplate…