Welcome to "Tomorrowland".
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After three trailers, "Tomorrowland" has remained as a much mystery as it was when it was first announced. While that will usually be a show of concern that the movie has little to offer, but the vagueness of it could have been intended to pique our curiousity. While that could be a turn-off to those who want to be spoiled about the plot details, to us every snippet that we have managed to gleam from has only managed to make us want to finally get to see "Tomorrowland".
In fact, our confidence on the potential of "Tomorrowland" doesn't just stem from what we don't know about it, as much as what we do know about it and there is much reason why it is one the most anticipated blockbuster for this summer.
Helmed by director Brad Bird
(Photo Source: www.cbc.ca)
Ever since his directorial debut, director Brad Bird has shown that he knows how to tell a great story. His background in animation has led him to make some of the most memorable Pixar movies, and has since moved on to make his first live action directorial with "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol". While Bird's take on the espionage action-thriller has added some refreshing energy (the comedic reliability of Hunt's gadgets among them) to the franchise, it did not fully allowed Bird to stretch his creativity muscles due to the realistic constraints of the genre.
For his next project, Bird was offered to direct an installment of the new "Star Wars", but he had declined it in favour of doing something new entirely. "Tomorrowland" may have finally offered him the perfect playground for Bird to blend his fantastic vision with visceral reality, and what the result of that would be could make Bird's name one of the few directors who is accomplished in both animation and live-action.
A mixed bag of many genres in one movie
Aside from its heavy elements of sci-fi, director Brad Bird has also described "Tomorrowland" to be a road movie, with elements of mystery, adventure, action and comedy thrown in as well. That may be too much for one movie to juggle, but mixing genres has always been one of the strengths of Bird's storytelling. Whether it is mixing a cooking movie, with romance and comedy in "Ratatouille", or the family adventure with the superhero in "The Incredibles", Bird's movies have always been about having something for everyone, so we don't think he would be making an exception with "Tomorrowland". As Bird puts it himself, "Tomorrowland" is about the journey and not the destination.
Jetpacks and other cool gadgets
Who doesn't love jetpacks? Alright, if you really are part of the minority who doesn't like his own personal set of rocket-powered boosters, "Tomorrowland" is also rendered with a whole bunch of funky gadgets and machines that can only come from the greatest minds of the 20th century. Whether its Tesla coils, gigantic robots, levitation cars, or rockets installed underneath the Eiffel Tower, this is retro-science at its most imaginative and would have science lovers geeking out.
An original story
Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird. (Photo Source: www.Tomorrowland-Movie.com)
In the age when studios have relied on the safe (and stale) model of making adaptations, remakes, spin-offs, sequels and prequels of existing material, studios have increasingly shied away from creating new properties. Even those that do, do not necessarily invest in them with huge budgets, preferring to gamble on the micro-budgets ones to leverage on making the unexpected tenfold grosses. While putting the writing duty for "Tomorrowland" on Brad Bird with screenwriter Damon Lindelof is making a strong bet to draw in audience with the quality of its story, Disney is still making a gamble here by pouring in cash on an entity that has no sure base for it to make returns equal to its large budget.
That is just one aspect that gives "Tomorrowland" its appeal (and could explain why the studio is reluctant to over share its plot details), because it is one of the few movies where the only way to find out what is truly happening is to just buy a ticket and sit in the cinema. It's been a while since we can enjoy a movie without having someone spoiling or revealing something that is (in)significant in the movie, and just let the movie do its work. That is the promise that "Tomorrowland" holds; just pure escapism as movies were once meant to be.
A story of hope
(Photo Source: www.MousePlanet.info)
While "Tomorrowland" draws much of its influence from its various sci-fi themed parks (Space Mountain having a significant place), it's inspiration comes from Walt Disney himself who envisioned an almost utopian city called the EPCOT, or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, where science and technology were used to optimise the way to live.
Disney died dreaming of a world where science will do more good than harm, and while today we live in a world that hasn't quite yet met his expectations, we have also seen more destructive ways that technology is being used today. That we feel is the essence that "Tomorrowland" is trying to address; that we should not give up hope for a better future and that there is still hope for us to make a better life for everyone.
"Tomorrowland" comes to cinemas this 21 May 2015.
Cinema Online, 18 May 2015