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The last 10 minutes of a movie are often what shapes our opinion most -- a strong ending can soften our feelings about a bad movie, and a weak, tone-deaf ending can spoil a filmgoing experience far more thoroughly than any overly revealing trailer or review. Tomorrowland is often a breathtakingly gorgeous movie with charming performances, but the ending is so unabashedly lesson-driven and heavy-handed that it's difficult to remember anything but its flaws and missteps.
The movie's opening and closing scenes are meant as bookends, but these are bookends created by your clumsy kid brother in shop class on the day the nails ran short. The first scenes in particular feel like a hurried reshoot/restructure to get George Clooney onscreen earlier. Frank (Clooney) and Casey (Britt Robertson) are speaking directly into the camera, making a video for an unknown audience. With interruptions from Casey, Frank begins setting up the »
- Jette Kernion
Review by Dana Jung
Of all the “lands” at Disneyland/Disney World (the others are Frontierland, Adventureland, and Fantasyland in case you’ve forgotten), Tomorrowland holds the most promise to an impressionable youth. With visions of Buck Rogers rayguns and Jetsons flying machines, the park promises more than it delivers, with its slow “people-movers” and static displays of smart homes and fashions of the future. Except for Space Mountain—a truly incredible roller coaster ride—this park is at once the most visually stimulating, and the most unexciting. The new film Tomorrowland shares some of these qualities, but is the end result a wild coaster ride of a popcorn movie, or a rehash of stale ideas about a utopian future?
Britt Robertson (Under The Dome, The Longest Ride) plays Casey, a smart and capable teenager living in a single-parent household consisting of her caring father (Tim McGraw) and not-so-annoying little brother (Pierce Gagnon, »
- Movie Geeks
It gets a tad heavy-handed, but my eyes welled with tears of geeky joy at the film’s embrace of an optimism it steadfastly refuses to see as old-fashioned. I’m “biast” (pro): love George Clooney; big Sf geek
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
We geeks have been getting teased and taunted by the prospect of Disney and director Brad Bird’s (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Ratatouille) Tomorrowland for so long now, without getting anything more than vague hint of what the movie is actually about, that it seems inevitable that the actual film must be a disappointment. So is it?
Not at all. In fact, it’s a glorious reminder — in this era of reboots and remakes and sequels and based-on-something-else movies — of the joy of discovery that we get far less frequently at the movies these days. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. The Pixar brand has lately been tarnished with unnecessary sequels and sub-par original fare making fans wonder if the magic has run out of the powerhouse. After all, this is the company that created classics like Toy Story, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Wall-e so after witnessing their recent output in the last few years, a cause for concern would make sense. The good news is the drought is over and Pixar has come roaring back with their latest Inside Out, which premiered in Cannes. It's an adventure built inside the mind of an eleven-year-old girl with her emotions as main characters. It's fast, funny and deeply touching in a way that will entertain kids and sucker punch adults. Pixar director Pete Docter, who last made Up for the studio, is directing once again (with Ronnie Del Carmen assisting as co-director) and that previous film »
- Marco Cerritos
Brad Bird’s Disney-produced sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland is the most enchanting reactionary cultural diatribe ever made. It’s so smart, so winsome, so utterly rejuvenating that you’ll have to wait until your eyes have dried and your buzz has worn off before you can begin to argue with it. And you should argue with it — even if you had a blast, as I did, and want to see it again with the kids, as I do — because it’s a major pop-culture statement with all sorts of implications, both vital and nutty.As he has demonstrated in The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Bird can tell stories with the lightheartedness of a child and the cunning of a master craftsman: His tightly plotted movies feel as if he were making them up as he went along. To reveal too much of Tomorrowland’s zigzag »
- David Edelstein
I'm quite certain you could lop off the first 20-30 minutes of Tomorrowland and never notice. Then again, the same could probably be said for the final 80-90 minutes. There is little to no point to this movie other than to throw a plastic-wrapped vision of imagination and invention alongside a ham-fisted environmental message down our throats with all the subtlety of James Cameron's Avatar, but Cameron had the good sense to at least develop a story around his preaching whereas Tomorrowland beats around the bush until finally allowing Hugh Laurie to belt out his sermon before delivering the film's ultimate finale with a big dull thud. Director Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Ratatouille), who co-wrote the film's screenplay with Damon Lindelof ("Lost", Prometheus), spends nearly a quarter of the film's running time introducing us to the young inventor Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson). Frank has built a »
- Brad Brevet
Back when Disney first announced Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Brad Bird was one of the studio's preferred choices to direct the movie. Having already helmed two critically lauded Pixar flicks in The Incredibles & Ratatouille, Bird clearly had strong ties to Disney, but he turned the movie down in order to pursue a different project for them: his original sci-fi/adventure, Tomorrowland. While promoting the new movie (set to be released this Friday), the fan favorite director opened up to Yahoo! about his decision to turn down what would have been the biggest movie of his career: "It absolutely was [a tough decision], but there was no way to do that film without junking this film, and we had already gotten George Clooney involved and I was excited about this film. I understand they had to get [The Force Awakens] made, and they would’ve had to push it in order for me to do it. »
This article contains a big spoiler for Chinatown.
Ah, the mighty Brad Bird. If he'd downed tools after he made the peerless The Iron Giant and never made another film again, we'd still be sending him Christmas cards every year. But then he went and made The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol as well. Gah. Now we have to send chocolates as well.
Bird's latest film, Tomorrowland, arrives in cinemas this week, and we caught up with him to find out more about it. Here's how the chat went...
If we boil down the movies that many of us grew up loving in the 1980s, there's relatable stakes at the heart of them. So, for instance, Back To The Future is at its centre someone trying to get his parents back together. »
Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios John Lasseter, director Pete Doctor, producer Jonas Rivera, co-director Ronnie Del Carmen and Us voice cast Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black delighted attendees at today’s press conference for Inside Out during the 68th annual annual Cannes Film Festival. They were then joined by the French voice cast for the world premiere! Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else. »
The actor stars alongside Britt Robertson as they embark on an adventure into Tomorrowland, a world that exists somewhere within our collective memories, bridging time and space. Co-starring Hugh Laurie, Tim McGraw, Keegan-Michael Key, Judy Greer, and Kathryn Hahn, the movie blends fantasy and sci-fi into a classic tale of adventure.
Directed by Brad Bird (Ratatouille), the fantasy film comes to us from the mind of Damon Lindelof, the former “Lost” writer who co-penned the Tomorrowland screenplay with Bird. Lindelof is no stranger to the world of sci-fi having previously crafted the screenplays for World War Z, Prometheus, and Star Trek: Into Darkness, however, this is his first dive into more family-friendly fare.
Cineplex caught up with Lindelof to talk about his vision of the future and how he views Tomorrowland. Watch the interview »
- Rachel West
Cannes — Stop and think about it for a just a minute. Imagine a movie almost completely centered on individual emotions living in a young girl's head. Not a short, but a feature length film. It sounds like some sort of nightmare screenwriting assignment, doesn’t it? How do you explain how the emotions work? Do they control her every action? Do they grow and mature alongside her? How do you make a coherent, entertaining and moving experience out of that concept? Pete Docter, who previously directed one of Pixar's best films, "Up," doesn't make things easy on himself taking on that challenge and it makes the success of "Inside Out" more admirable than it initially might seem. The most important character in "Inside Out" is actually our heroine, Riley (eventually voiced by Kaitlyn Dias). Her birth spurs the creation of the first emotion, Joy (Amy Poehler), but as she grows, »
- Gregory Ellwood
Director Brad Bird has an almost immaculate run of form when it comes to bringing larger-than-life entertainments to the screen. The Iron Giant was one of the most acclaimed animated films of the 1990s. The Incredibles and Ratatouille are among Pixar's best films so far. His live-action debut Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, while not perfect, was perhaps the most entertaining movie entry since the first.
Bird brings his blue-sky storytelling to bear on Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, a eyed sci-fi fairytale with elements taken straight from classic pulp magazine stories. It’s The Wizard Of Oz retold by Ray Bradbury or Hugo Gernsback, with bits of The Terminator and Buck Rogers thrown in for good measure. It’s an entertaining yet sometimes befuddling bag of intricately moving parts, not all of which fit together too well. »
In his Pixar triumphs “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille,” writer-director Brad Bird proved himself not just a wizardly storyteller but also an ardent champion of excellence — of intelligence, creativity and nonconformity — in every arena of human (and rodent) accomplishment. All the more disappointing, then, that the forces of mediocrity have largely prevailed over “Tomorrowland,” a kid-skewing adventure saga that, for all its initial narrative intrigue and visual splendor, winds up feeling like a hollow, hucksterish Trojan horse of a movie — the shiny product of some smiling yet sinister dimension where save-the-world impulses and Disney mass-branding strategies collide. A sort of “Interstellar Jr.” in which the fate of humanity hinges on our ability to nurture young hearts and minds, the picture runs heavier on canned inspirationalism than on actual inspiration, which won’t necessarily keep it from drawing a hefty summer audience with its family-friendly elements, topnotch production values, Imax rollout, endless »
- Justin Chang
This may be the hardest review I've ever had to write. After all, I think Brad Bird is a certifiably great filmmaker. I have been a fan of his work as long as I've seen his name on things, starting with "Family Dog," the animated episode of "Amazing Stories." So of course, I walk into his films hoping to like them. The year it was released, "The Incredibles" was my pick as best film, and both "The Iron Giant" and "Ratatouille" have also found spots in my top ten lists at the end of the year. In fact, for years, one of the things I was proudest of in all of the work I've done writing about movies from the early days of Ain't It Cool News to right now involved "The Iron Giant." That film is beloved now, and deservedly so. There was a point, though, when it looked »
- Drew McWeeny
It’s hard to tell quite what to make of “Tomorrowland,” Disney’s upcoming family film. Directed by Brad Bird, the two-time Oscar winner best known for his work on such animated hits as “The Incredibles” and "Ratatouille” (though with a “Mission: Impossible” under his belt, he’s no stranger to big live action adeventures). The film stars George Clooney as a former child genius (he’s probably still pretty smart) and Britt Robertson as a scientifically inclined teen. Together, they go on a dangerous adventure to an ambiguously placed and timed city known as Tomorrowland. That’s about it, in a nutshell. It’s hard to really explain what the movie is about, even after watching the trailers. A handful of new clips will hopefully elucidate things a bit more. If anything, there's a 61-second jetpack ride scene (which looks pretty darn cool) and a 62-second clip of a »
- Zach Hollwedel
Before J.J. Abrams secured the job of launcing Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy, one of the names linked to the director’s on Star Wars: The Force Awakens – then known simply as Episode VII – was that of Brad Bird, the man behind the likes of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
Collider caught up with Bird for a promotional interview for his latest film Tomorrowland - during which he revealed that his next project will be the follow-up to Pixar’s 2004 animated superhero hit The Incredibles – and now the site has posted a few more comments, this time concerning his interest in taking a trip to the galaxy far, far away.
“Well [Kathleen Kennedy] and I have discussed the possibility of—I mean she’s basically saying this is a very large sandbox and other people can play in it,” said Bird when asked if »
- Gary Collinson
Brad Bird made his name as an animated film director, beginning with a couple of episodes of "The Simpsons" before heading to feature films with The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Then he moved to live action, finding success with Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and this month will see the release of Tomorrowland, but it seems to be time for him to move back to animation, if only for a moment. At the beginning of April, Bird confirmed he was scripting The Incredibles 2 but now he's confirmed with Collider the animated, Pixar sequel will be his next film, though that doesn't necessarily mean we have a timeline to production and its subsequent release. Pixar has staked out a Nov. 22, 2017 release date for an untitled project, but even that seems optimistic given Bird is dealing with what he calls "a bunch of pages", not a completed script. Here's »
- Brad Brevet
For his last two movies, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and the incoming Tomorrowland, writer and director Brad Bird has been working in live action. Before that, though, he put together a trio of outstanding animated films. Ratatouille and The Incredibles for Pixar, along with the peerless The Iron Giant, are respun time and time again around these parts. And news reaches us that Bird's next film will see him steering an animated project again.
Specially, the already-announced The Incredibles 2. Announced last year, Bird has now been chatting to Collider about the project as he promotes Tomorrowland. And when asked if he has script pages yet, he said that "oh yeah I have pages, a bunch of pages".
"I had a lot of ideas for the original Incredibles that I didn’t get a chance to use, »
It was in March of last year that Pixar finally announced that they were developing The Incredibles 2 as one of their upcoming projects - but what was left unclear was exactly when we can expect the sequel to be released. Well, if new comments from Incredibles director Brad Bird are any indication, it might be coming very soon. This is because he has confirmed that Incredibles 2 is the next film he will be focusing on. It was during a recent interview with Collider that the Ratatouille filmmaker revealed his commitment towards his own superhero sequel. It had previously been confirmed that Brad Bird was developing the script for Incredibles 2, but when asked if it would be his next film, the director said, Yeah it feels like it to me, yeah The vagueness of this quote is definitely vexing. Is this a confirmation that Brad Bird will be making Incredibles »
The Star Wars: The Force Awakens directorial gig was easily the hottest job in town a few years back, with practically every filmmaker vying for a chance to make the next Star Wars movie. Before J.J. Abrams ultimately landed the role, Brad Bird was one of the early contenders. He even considered going into production on Tomorrowland while simultaneously prepping for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but ultimately decided against it. However, Brad Bird recently teased that he may still be interested in making a Star Wars movie.
Rian Johnson is attached to write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, with J.J. Abrams possibly coming back for the trilogy finale, Star Wars: Episode IX. Gareth Edwards is directing the first spinoff, Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, but Josh Trank recently pulled out of directing the second spinoff. Brad Bird hinted he has been talking with Kathleen Kennedy about »
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