Wednesday, May 20, 2015



From IMDB:


Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as "Tomorrowland." Written by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Ratings: 7.8/10 from 901 users Metascore: 66/100 

From Disney comes two-time Oscar (R) winner Brad Bird's riveting, mystery adventure "Tomorrowland," starring Academy Award (R) winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as "Tomorrowland." What they must do there changes the world-and them-forever. Featuring a screenplay by "Lost" writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, "Tomorrowland" promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.(C) Walt Disney

Rating: PG (for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language)
Genre: Science Fiction & FantasyDirected By: Brad BirdWritten By: Jeff Jensen, Brad Bird, Damon LindelofIn Theaters: May 22, 2015 Wide

Runtime: 1 hr. 47 min.
Walt Disney Pictures - Official Site

Average Rating: 6.8/10 | Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 7
WANT TO SEE 98% want to see
Average Rating: 4/5 | User Ratings: 57,513

If a kid came up to you and told you he invented a jet pack that mostly worked would you believe him? Also The Rocketeer... ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Tomorrowland was originally called 1952, now imagine what impression you would have gotten with that title? 

So according to the Wikipedia page for this movie Brad Bird gave this movie the working title 1952, now without any idea or clue about what it's going to be or about you're probably going to end up thinking maybe it happens in 1952 but with the whimsical twist that Mr Bird's stories are known for. But with the title Tomorrowland you can guess that it'll be something to do about the future with lots of cool science fiction futuristic stuff but with Mr Bird's take on it. Also because he was heavily influenced by Walt Disney's optimistic philosophy of innovation and utopia, such as his conceptual vision for the planned community known as EPCOT (took this from the WIKI page if you didn't notice). Well, it does. Of course you already know about it since you've probably seen the trailers by now. Right? Well, if you haven't, go watch it. I'll wait. Done? Cool. Let's move on.
Right, so from those two little write-ups that Disney has provided about the movie to websites it still sounds incredibly vague, right? They've intentionally kept it that way to build the hype and the interest. In fact, Disney is so secretive and protective about this movie that this was the first special screening/movie premiere that I've been to that required all the audience to surrender any electronic equipment capable of recording and/or transmitting anything from entering the cinemas. They even had ushers with handheld detectors to scan audiences before they got to their seats. Interesting, huh? So let me tell you what it's about.


He hasn't actually perfected his jet pack yet the moment a robot fixes it he figures out how to fly around with it like it was never flawed. ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

This movie starts with you seeing a very scruffy looking George Clooney who is Frank Walker, he's about to make a video telling you why he's making the video. While trying to make said video he's regularly interrupted by someone, that someone is Casey Newton played by Britt Robertson. He's interrupted so often that eventually he asks her if she'd like to do it instead. But before he does that he has enough time to tell us about his past which takes us back to 1964 when he was a young boy and he visits the Worlds Fair. Now the World's Fair was usually full of fantastic ideas about what the future would look like as imagined by the people of that era. Back in the 40's and 50's they were imagining that the future will be full of flying cars and people zipping to and fro with jet packs or in glass tubes or that we'd be living in space. They usually predicted that this would definitely happen by the 2000's if not earlier. But of course we know better and we're still waiting on those things to happen.

Well, Frank goes to the World's Fair with a purpose, to enter in the Inventor's Contest and his entry is his home made jet pack made with bits and pieces of among others an electrolux vacuum cleaner. By the way, he made this by himself, his dad thinks he's wasting his time. Also he's like 12 or something, I forget. I'm old. So he goes up to one of the judges which happens to be a character played by Hugh Laurie, the moment he lays his eyes on young Frank's jet pack he looks amazed but in the end he turns it down but as he's doing so a young girl comes by and asks Frank about his jet pack. The girl is interested in Frank and his jet pack.

Later as Frank sits on a bench feeling depressed about being rejected the girl comes and sits down next to him. She introduces herself as Athena played by young actress Raffey Cassidy, and she tells him not to look at her as they talk. She also tells him to look to his 5 o'clock which confuses him. She tells him to count to 20 and then to follow a group of people. She also gives him a button. So Frank does as instructed and follows the group around the park till they end up on a water ride that takes them to the It's A Small World Ride. Frank cuts the cue, jumps over a few rails and then jumps on an empty boat. As the boat enters the tunnel a light shines on him then changes to a laser that scans his button. The boat stops then plunges downward into an empty lake where it drifts for a while before stopping at a dock with a metal hut that looks sort of like a subway carriage. He gets in.

He's figured out how to fly with the jet pack, in a way, but he hasn't figured out how to land yet. Hence the look on everyone's face. Maybe. ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

When the subway carriage stops he finds himself in a different world altogether. A very, very futuristic world even by our present standards. He spots Athena in a flying ship and tries to follow but obvious can't so he checks out the area around him. It's a platform of sorts high in the clouds and as he walks to the edge of it things start to happen around him, construction of the platform is happening. He ends up tumbling and his jet pack tumbles out of his duffel bag which gets picked up by one of the construction robots who then begins to make repairs on it and then gives it right back to Frank when it's done. Just as that happens a bunch of guards show up to arrest him for trespassing. Frank runs and then tumbles off the platform freefalling towards the ground. Since he's the hero of course he doesn't die. He manages to grab his jet pack and since it's been worked on by the robot it works flawlessly and Frank goes on a tour of Tomorrowland. 

Then we get interrupted by Casey who takes over and tells her version of things, which starts with us seeing her break into a NASA facility to sabotage some equipment. She doesn't get caught of course and we find out why she does it the next day when we find out that her dad is a NASA engineer and that he'll be laid off soon once the NASA facility she broke into is completely disassembled. She goes back the next evening but this time she gets caught which brings us up to speed with the trailer where we see her pick up the button which transport her to another place. It actually doesn't but I'll let you find that out for yourself. It makes for a pretty funny couple of scenes. That evening she figures out that what she sees could be better explored by going outside in the open. And this is where we're taken on another tour of Tomorrowland. It's pretty neat. It doesn't last long though as there's a timer on the button and when it runs out the tour ends. 

What would you do if this happened to you? Freak out and scream or freak out and scream? ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

When the tour ends she heads back home and goes online to find out more about the button. Her search leads her to a collectible store in a nearby town. There the store owners are at first reluctant to share any information at first since she won't tell them how she found it but then they begin to talk about how the button makes you see fantastic things. As Casey tries to ask them for more details they keep pressing her about how she came to find the button. They also ask her if a girl gave it to her. Of course Casey doesn't know anything about a girl. Then the store keepers try to kill her with guns that look like prop laser guns from a scifi movie from the 50's. This is when Athena shows up. A battle ensues and the two store keepers end up dead. Casey and Athena make a run for it.

While on the run Casey tries to get more information from Athena but Athena refuses to answer in fact at one point she tells Casey that if she asks another question she'll trigger a shutdown protocol in her. Yeah, Athena's a robot. She shutsdown. Quite a while later as Casey's driving Athena wakes up quite suddenly startling a very fatigued Casey at the wheel. Athena takes over the driving telling Casey she should rest. So Casey falls asleep, only to awake when she's dumped on a dirt road watching Athena drive off. Athena has dropped her off at the home of Frank Walker. 

Casey heads towards it but as she is about to walk towards Frank's front door a dog pops out from the corner of the house. You know from the trailer of course that it's a hologram. You also know that Frank doesn't let her in and that she ends up sprawled on the front lawn. Later that evening she manages to trick Frank into coming out and leaving the front door open and when that happens she sneaks in and locks the door behind her. The tables are turned. So starts looking around the house. She finds a weird looking thing that turns out to be some sort of holographic projector-camera rig and watches a young Frank and Athena talking. Then she wanders into a room with lots of screens and a countdown timer. This you've also seen in the trailer. While she's checking this room out Frank manages to get in through a secret entrance. She asks him about the room. He asks her if there was a way to predict when you would die would she want to know. 

This makes me think of two things, Wonder Woman's invisible jet and Mermaidman's invisible boatmobile. ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

As they're talking a bunch of men in black shows up. They've come to arrest Frank for violating an agreed term. It has something to do with Athena. A fight ensues, you see a bit of this in the trailer, but ultimately they escape in a bathtub after which Athena comes to the rescue and they head to what appears to be a broadcast station which Frank uses to hide a teleporter. They use it to teleport themselves to the Eiffel Tower. At the Eiffel Tower they head into a little known area where inside it is a replica of a sitting room with four wax figures of the greatest inventors in history. In this secret room is another secret room which unlocks an even bigger secret of the Eiffel Tower. 

The Eiffel Tower is actually a rocket launch pad. So they get in it and shoot off into space. The rocket is a multi-stage one and when the orbiter separates it's rockets fire back up and head straight back to earth where it travels through a warp in space towards Tomorrowland. They crash. And when Casey awakens the Tomorrowland she sees isn't the same one she saw when she touched the button. Tomorrowland is no more. It's abandoned and falling apart. They are then greeted by Governor Nix who was also the judge that turned down Frank's jet pack at the World's Fair. Why is Tomorroland abandoned? It's because Frank invented something that he shouldn't. What did Frank invent? Go watch the movie. 

Call now and you'll not only get the Tomorrowland button but this nifty carrying case that lights up too! ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

I'm going to cut this short because I actually don't want to ruin it completely for you. Casey finds out about the thing that Frank invents, it has to do with tachyons and time. She also figures out that the invention isn't completely to blame and that Governor Nix had been scheming something all along. Governor Nix spews out a monologue as to why he's done what he's done. Governor Nix and Frank duke it out. Casey is left to destroy the invention but fails when the bomb that Frank gives her ends up exploding in the wrong place. Athena is mortally wounded when Governor Nix shoots her when he tries to shoot Frank. Athena sacrifices herself to destroy the invention. With the invention destroyed things begin to return to normal and Tomorrowland recovers and the end of the world is halted. 

At the prologue we go back to the where we started with Frank talking to the screen. Turns out he's addressing a bunch of kids. A bunch of kids like Athena. Athena you see was a recruiter, a recruiter with a mission to find very unique individuals. These kids are to perform the same mission. So off they go to drop a whole bunch of those buttons around the world in hopes of finding that right unique person. 

The end.

Vague enough for you? Hopefully, you'll go watch it when it comes out. Because it is quite an interesting story. 

There was so many cool stuff in this scene it!! ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

If you've loved any of the films from Pixar you've loved the work of Mr Brad Bird (also The Simpsons) will you love Tomorrowland? 

You might but maybe not as much. Probably. While I was watching it, especially in the first third of the movie it does feel like a Pixar movie but with real live people taking place in the real world instead of an animated one. It's fun and has it's funny moments but there are times when I felt that it got a little too long winded. A touch slow. Maybe because I've had a long day and was exhausted or maybe not. Who knows? 

The story as whole is interesting but after giving it some thought and letting it simmer for a while I find that as whole it wasn't all to memorable. I found some of the scenes to be more memorable than the whole movie. The sum of the parts were more interesting than the whole. It wasn't bad, it was fun, funny, enjoyable but it wasn't entirely satisfying. I don't know why.

So they're looking at the thing that wasn't supposed to be invented. Guess what each of them are thinking? ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

What I did find very cool was the way the movie looked. I loved it. That retro scifi look was just very well done. I mean it looked futuristic the way a lot of movies these days like to portray the future, all sleek and shiny but look closer and there are elements of what folks back in the 40's, 50's and 60's thought the future would look like. It had that camp and cultish look of Sci-fi from way back when. And then the film is riddled with easter eggs both visually and verbally I'm sure. When this movie comes out there will be articles and YouTube videos trying to find every instance of one. 

The performances given by the cast was also very good in my opinion especially from the young actress portraying Athena. She was very good in my opinion. You knew that she wasn't a normal girl but you didn't know why until she started kicking ass. Clooney is as you'd expect, good. Britt Robertson was animated and adorable as usual. And Hugh Laurie is Hugh Laurie. 

See those things on the left of Frank? I knew those things would show up in this movie. ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

I mean there is a lot to like and enjoy in this film but like I said at the end of it I didn't feel completely satisfied for some reason. Maybe you'll feel differently. But the one thing you will get at the end of it is Brad Bird's message to the audience and the future. It's a hopeful message. I won't tell you what it is here. Best you go watch it and find out for yourself. Maybe it'll mean more that way. Maybe it'll stick better that way. It's a good message. I'd say a very Brad Bird sort of message and I don't know him all that well aside from seeing the films that he's done. 

So what do I, an average joe sort of audience, rate this movie. It's above average for sure but not that much above I guess. So I'm giving it a cool 3.5 out of 5. Visually fun with an interesting story with an interesting twist. Go watch it. Take the family, it'll be fun. 

The trailer certainly makes it look fun, right? 

Thank you CHURP CHURP (and of course NUFFNANG) as well as WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MALAYSIA for giving me the opportunity to catch TOMORROWLAND BEFORE MOST OF THE PLANET!!

Also thanks for the neat duffel bag!!

And thank you to GSC Cinemas @ Paradigm Mall for hosting it!


  1. I feel like my younger imagination would eat this movie up. I don't know how to explain it, but i feel like if i was going into the movie theater at 10, still believing that superman exists, i would walk out a changed person.

    1. Hey there Thomas Watson! Yup very much agree with you there. In fact if my jaded self wasn't too in control I'd walk out the cinema feeling the same way! Hope you enjoyed the movie! And thanks for dropping by.