Past of Future Days

I can’t say enough about Tomorrowland — but I’m wary of saying too much, so delightful are the surprises within.

Worm's-eye view of Britt Robertson's Casey finding a pin in a straw field

The film’s charming. It champions optimism and creativity. My heart swelled; my
eyes moistened. If there are flaws, and of course there are, they’re easily reconciled with the larger piece. It’s an inspiring thrill ride full of wonder with just enough schmaltz and grown-up danger, made for the whole family.

And it’s not what I expected. I didn’t read a single review before going, which I’m glad about because most of them overshare. I’m also confounded in disagreeing with them and by seeing how they disagree with one another on its merits and faults.

Me, I was transported.

Field of eerie neon-blue trees

You might know co-writer/director Brad Bird from the Pixar films The Incredibles
and Ratatouille, or more recently his move to live-action blockbuster with Paramount’s Mission: Impossible franchise. You’ll have a fast track to being my friend if you know him from Warner Bros.’ classically animated The Iron Giant. Bird developed the film with Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof and Lost explicator Jeff Jensen. His frequent collaborator (and Lost alum) Michael Giacchino provided the score.

Giant is officially among my favorite things and Incredibles ain’t bad. Maybe Tomorrowland doesn’t reach that level of economy of style or substance but I was excited and moved. Although it’s not too sentimental for my tastes it perhaps hits the refrain of a certain parable — whose message I do love — more than necessary. Honestly, I’m trying to let go of my frustration when stuff I greatly enjoy on balance isn’t even better. So this is for sure a recommendation.

Britt Robertson's Casey lying flat on the ground in Tomorrowland, but the ground is above with the sky below

One entirely valid complaint is the movie’s female representation. An underlying problem for sure is that the setup of Tomorrowland, a.k.a. Plus Ultra, within the movie is too full of grown-up patriarchs.

Britt Robertson is familiar to me from two or three short-lived TV series, including CBS’s weird but awesomely cast and soundtracked period piece about polyamorous suburban neighbors, Swingtown, and the CW drama about long-ago exes finding out they have a teenaged kid, Life Unexpected. George Clooney played Batman once.

Yeah, I’m really trying to avoid discussing the plot.

Glitchy image of George Clooney's Frank looking into camera/viewer

Its world could be very interesting to explore, yet I don’t think I want a sequel, preferring Tomorrowland’s potential remain exactly that. Please let me know what
you think if you see it.

Photos © 2015 Walt Disney Studios.

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