|Index||9 reviews in total|
The American Cinemateque recently screened this rarity with co-star Olivia Newton-John in attendence. As Ms.Newton-John explained it, TOOMORROW was Don Kirshner's attempt to bring a pre-fab rock group to the big screen a la THE MONKEES. Unfortunately (or, fortunately, considering Newton-John's future success), TOOMORROW was not a hit and any further adventures of the "Band" called TOOMORROW remained unfilmed. TOOMORROW "The Movie" tells of an alien race who discover the music of Newton-John and her pop band, TOOMORROW. Seems the aliens need a break from their own computer generated music and the earthling band is just the cure. So, a convuluted plan is hatched to kidnap the band and bring them to their planet so they can record some tunes. Believe it or not, the movie isn't THAT bad -- and certainly doesn't deserve the relative oblivion it has been consigned to. All of the actors are fairly engaging, the special effects are OK, the songs are cute in a prefab "Archies" sort of way, Val Guest's (THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT, WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH) direction is brisk and Olivia shows off her long long legs with some revealing costumes. The print was supplied by the British Film Academy and it was MINT! I hope a DVD video release is in the offing. Ms. Newton-John seemed amused by the film and gratified by the audience's response.
Like many Olivia Newton-John fans, I sought out TOOMORROW to catch an early film performance by Olivia (and also because I enjoy seeking out "lost movies"), and while the film is certainly lightweight and contrived I'll admit I enjoyed watching it. The concept here was to take a prefabricated rock group (sort of a British take on The Monkees), inject a sci-fi story line and tie everything together with a groovy pop music soundtrack (with the requisite soundtrack LP and singles). History has told the story: the "aliens desperately looking for new musical vibes" plot was way out there, the tunes were too lightweight and the resulting film opened and closed quickly then promptly disappeared. Despite all that TOOMORROW is still worth viewing for those fortunate enough to come across it. Olivia is absolutely charming here as a college student/band member, and while she later admitted in interviews that she literally resorted to shouting in order to project her voice it really doesn't detract from her performance or the film. Her interaction with her bandmates is lighthearted and carefree. The music is pretty much by-the-numbers pop bordering on bubblegum (perhaps Don Kirshner leaned a little too close to his musical creation The Archies here) and it's a bit of a stretch imagining an alien race finding just the thing they're looking for in these tunes. Hugo Montenegro's musical interludes are definitely dated but they're in context with the time and setting, and the special effects are also decent considering the age of the film. There's also an amusing bit of light farce when a female Alphoid named "Johnson" is summoned "to seduce Vic Cooper"; problem is, Johnson apparently wasn't informed as to which one was Vic Cooper and her crash course in the art of seduction came from viewing a couple of nudie flicks. I'll concur that while TOOMORROW isn't exactly top-rate, it's worthy entertainment (if approached with the mindset of a "midnight movie") and it certainly deserves to be rescued from obscurity. I'm not holding my breath, but if by some miracle "the powers that be" who are keeping TOOMORROW from being officially rereleased have a change of heart, I'd love to see a genuine DVD issue with some cool bonuses to do the film justice (especially if Anchor Bay is given that chance).
This thing is a mess but a fun mess. A strange hybrid of sci-fi aliens, lame rock music and counter culture message film. Yes, a very young and darling Olivia Newton-John stars as the lone girl in a band called Toomorrow and they play the softest, non-threatening "rock" you've ever heard and yet the hippies and the stoners go crazy for them like they are hearing Hendrix at Monterey. The "special" effects are ridiculous and the movie really is entertaining for all the wrong reasons - jaw dropping dialogue (like when the band is zapped aboard an alien UFO "Hey man, I don't dig space!") and lame attempts to inject Beatles/Monkees type comedy with a few of them sharing bathwater and changing clothes in the car on their way to a big gig. So of it's time, so dated and yet real fun. Hard to find - the DVD we got had Japan subtitles and as someone else mentioned - when the movie ended - it also had Olivia appearing on Johnny Carson as a big new singing sensation in America (no mention of Toomorrow though - hmmmm). The whole script has that feeling of fifty year old writers typing away what they think "the long hairs" are saying and doing. Laff riot.
Val Guest was an extremely busy director who first of all made a lot of films and secondly produced a surprisingly large number of good films. This, however, is not one of them. It is a very commercial publicity stunt for a band derived from a casting. The band is mediocre (except for goddess Olivia of course) and the film is...well...calculated. The story is odd: aliens hear the sound of the band Toomorrow and discover that they need those vibes to survive. Friendly alien kidnaps them and they save the aliens' world. Sounds pretty stupid? It is. There's some nice and funny stuff about student life in the 60s/70s but essentially the film is an excuse for showing the band and...Olivia's legs. In fact The legs of Olivia would have been a far better title as that's what the film really is about. And they alone make it worth watching. Essentially the film is silly-funny entertainment and at least you can smile about it. But I felt a bit disappointed after having hunted high and low for the film for years.
Although admittedly a higher quality picture than I had expected it
would be, "Toomorrow" is hopelessly(no...make that wonderfully) dated
and rather short on ideas (in fact, the ideas that are in play are
Olivia Newton-John is lovely here, not yet having made her breakthrough in music or films, as the sole female member of a young and very ambitious music band called "Toomorrow" (oooh, groovy!) Their happening tunes are picked up through radiowaves by an extraterrestrial race who are desperate for "new audio vibes". The aliens then embark on a sinister mission...to "kidnap" the band in order to interrogate them for the secrets of their unique "vibrations".
Chock full of twee but catchy bubblegum music interludes, "Toomorrow" was possibly designed to create a public introduction to the manufactured band of the title, a la THE MONKEES (hmmm....I assume Miss Newton-John is not displeased that this marketing strategy failed).
Neither especially satisfying nor entirely unappealing, "Toomorrow" is mostly watchable from a hindsight of four decades as a novelty...a film of its time which nostalgic types might find amusing. Too, it features some fairly decent special effects for a lower-berth picture of 1970.
One of the first films I went to see on my own (in 1970), at the tender
Well into the synth music of the time, a short piece on TV pushed me to go
and see it.
I understood RCA had a number of legal problems with it and thought it would never see the light of day again. However, I managed to obtain a copy of the sound track some 25 years later, but would still love to see the original film again.
Toomorrow is definitely not as bad as has been reported. It is actually
an enjoyable movie. It is no "Grease" but definitely better than "Two
of a Kind." It is equal to "Xanadu" and probably better.
To me Olivia was being natural with her perky personality. Her acting did not seem like acting as it did in Xanadu when she tells Sunny that she is a muse. Instead everyone in the Toomorrow group seem to be enjoying themselves as they go through the film.
Granted the movie is not Oscar material but considering how bad so much is today, I would love to see Toomorrow on the big screen or at least come out on DVD.
Definitely worth a look.
I absolutely love ONJ. She has always brought a smile to me and can't
whisk me into a good mood. I was so excited to find a bootleg of this
on Ebay (soundtrack disk included!) and rushed to watch it.
Ummm, It felt longer than Gandhi, the music was uber cheesy but catchy..i vaguely recall rolling in bed later that night, having nightmares to the tune of "Taking Our Own Sweet Time", one of the films stickier jams. The drummer has swing, Olivia feels underused and the music is competent, if uninspired.
Toomorrow's special effects were good though. Xanadu is my favorite of ONJ's films and this definitely pre-dates some of that neon blue post disco vibe with its trail effects.
My Disk came with some extra gifts, one being the CD soundtrack to the film. This thing is gonna collect some serious dust. If Aliens need the music of Tomorrow to survive, there surely isn't intelligent life out there.
My disk came with an Extra of her performing "Have You Never Been Mellow" on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. That was the point when I really felt I got my money's worth.
If you liked Grease and are curious about an older film of hers, don't bother. If you are a completest, feel free...but you have been warned.
"Grease" fans in 1978 probably had little-to-no idea that co-star and pop songstress Olivia Newton-John had acted in a film eight years prior--and, at the time, she herself was probably relieved that nobody knew about it. "Toomorrow", produced in the UK (and shown theatrically there for just one week), boasts an impressive pedigree and some decent synth-based bubblegum rock, but the movie vanished almost without a trace (it was released in Japan but not until 1980, to coincide with Newton-John's "Xanadu"; there was never any interest from US distributors). Unlikely production partners Don Kirshner, the man responsible for The Monkees' early musical output, and Harry Saltzman, a co-producer of the 007 franchise, apparently had a falling out during the course of filming "Toomorrow", causing Kirshner to wash his hands of the whole debacle. Newton-John is pretty much cast as herself, a college student and vocalist named Olivia who performs in a struggling rock group based in London; her three bandmates, all randy yet clean-cut males, allow Livvy to be their mother-hen while keeping their hands to themselves (she's a good girl of the Annette Funicello school: flirt but don't touch). The band has attracted the attention of other-worldly aliens, who abduct the quartet (and their instruments!) in order to save their dying population. Comic-book nonsense looks a bit like the Disney films of the early 1960s (with the exception of a few 'naughty' bits). It's harmless and brainless and puerile, but it isn't the embarrassment Kirshner painted it as. A curiosity item and footnote in Newton-John's career; she was never much of an actress, although for her part she looks attractive here, pressed and crisp like a budding pop star, and sings in her clear, pearly voice. *1/2 from ****
|Ratings||External reviews||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|