June 02, 2015

Podcast Episode 58: TOMORROWLAND Is A Monorail Ride To Nowhere

Well Brad Bird, you had a pretty great run.

I had such high hopes for Tomorrowland.  Bird is a filmmaker whose work I completely adore.  Ghost Protocol is easily the strongest entry in the entire Mission: Impossible franchise and the one-two punch of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles is frankly staggering.  The idea of that particular director crafting a live-action adventure tale steeped in the sort of retro-futurism intimated at in those two animated titans was enough to make me dizzy.  Sadly, the most dizzying thing in Tomorrowland is the script, which seems to spin in endless circles before collapsing in on itself and going precisely nowhere.  Sure the movie looks great and Bird can build one hell of an action set piece, but in the end it's all just sound and fury, signifying nothing.

What's most frustrating is that you can see the seeds of a better movie trapped in there somewhere.  I would have much rather watched a movie about George Clooney's character growing up in Tomorrowland amidst all these great dreamers and inventions.  I think Bird could have still told the kind of story he was aiming for and it almost certainly would have had a stronger chance of presenting an actual vision of hope for the future, as opposed to just talking about it with all the finesse of an exploding jetpack.  It's a damn shame.

This week's podcast is a short one, but perhaps that's more to your liking?  I don't know.  Personally I'm a fan of longer content because I never listen to a whole podcast in one sitting anyway, but I might be in the minority there.  Anyway, Jeff calls in from the wilderness of Colorado to lament what a lost opportunity this movie ultimately turned out to be, while Jamie and I argue about Tomorrowland's recruiting protocols.  In the end, we all sort of wish we'd seen Mad Max: Fury Road again instead.

Next Week: We begin our complete Terminator Rewatch with James Cameron's original Terminator.

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