Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Reel Preview: TOMORROWLAND - Everything You Need To Know

This weekend, one of the most intriguing films of the year arrives in the form of TOMORROWLAND; intriguing because the plot details have been kept wrapped up tighter than a three-day clock. Here is everything you need to know about this mysterious movie…

What do we know about the plot? – Frank, a former boy-genius, and young Casey embark on a dangerous mission to a hidden world…where their actions affect everything in space and time. 

Who is in this? – George Clooney plays Frank, and Casey is played by Britt Robertson. Clooney, one of the most prolific Hollywood directors, actors, and producers, most recently starred in his very won THE MONUMENTS MEN (2014) and GRAVITY (2013). Britt, or Brittany Robertson, is a teen actor who already has a long list of credits, including this year’s THE LONGEST RIDE with Scott Eastwood (son of Clint), SCREAM 4 (2011),  and TV appearances on LAW AND ORDER and CSI. Rounding out the cast are Hugh Laurie (TV’s HOUSE), Tim Mcgraw (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS), Judy Greer, (THE DESCENDANTS), and Kathryn Hahn (STEP BROTHERS). 

Who is behind this? – Produced by Disney, TOMORROWLAND is directed by Brad Bird. Bird has spent most of his career in the animated-film genre; creating the Oscar-winning Pixar films THE INCREDIBLES (2004) and RATATOUILLE (2007). Bird was also behind the now-regarded classic THE IRON GIANT (1999). In the live-action arena, Bird transitioned over to humans with MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL in 2011, which would become the highest-grossing in the series. Bird has co-written TOMORROWLAND with screenwriter Damon Lindelof, who after spending time on TV’s LOST, moved over to film where he wrote STAR TREK (2009) and its 2013 sequel, along with COWBOYS & ALIENS (2011), Sir Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS (2012), and WORLD WAR Z (2013). 

Random Facts – The designs of TOMORROWLAND are heavily influenced by Walt Disney’s original vision for his futuristic EPCOT community, and the film looks to be saturated with Disney’s lore * Part of the film’s viral marketing campaign included a picture of a frayed cardboard box marked 1952, supposedly uncovered from the Disney archives. The box contained objects such as old photos of Walt, a vinyl record, a 1928 copy of Amazing Stories and an unidentified metal object * Michael Giacchino, who composed the soundtracks for THE INCREDIBLES and the two most recent STAR TREK films, provides the score * Brad Bird turned down an offer to direct the next STAR WARS film to do TOMORROWLAND * This is the first film George Clooney has appeared in without a director or producer credit since GRAVITY in 2013. 

What to expect? – It’s necessary to address the elephant-in-the-room regarding TOMORROWLAND, and that is screenwriter Damon Lindelof. Despite receiving acclaim and an ability to grab high-profile films, Lindelof’s name is much-maligned with movie and TV fans in recent years. His finale to TV’s LOST pissed off one-half of the world, and his work in Sir Ridley Scott’s science-fiction film PROMETHEUS managed to piss off the other half. His ambiguous style of writing is like a shell-game and can be very frustrating (he’s the type of writer where if you ask him what time it is, he’ll ask you what time do you think it is), and he does tend to take massive shortcuts to get his characters from A to B. But the bright side of the coin here is director Brad Bird. Bird has turned in three films which are regarded as classics, and his one venture into live-action is considered to be one of the best if not the best in the series (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE). Bird should have the ability to sniff out a troublesome script, and his knack for great characters and stunning action scenes should give TOMORROWLAND the boost it needs. Whatever mysteries are in store for us in this film, the ride to the revelations should be an enjoyable one. 


TOMORROWLAND opens (ahem), tomorrow…May 22nd.  

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