Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tomorrowland Revisited

Disney's Tomorrowland is just about 1 year old. It was almost certainly my favorite film of 2015. My son and I saw it in the theater 3 times. It was very polarizing (with exactly half of reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes giving it a thumbs up).

That 50% rating is misleading though. It doesn't mean most people found the movie to be 50% enjoyable. For quite awhile, I obsessively tracked people's reactions to the film, and it's clear to me that, while most people didn't bother to watch it, the ones who did either loved or hated it.

My first tweet about the film was this:

A few weeks ago, Sean Wilson on Flickering Myth wrote the following article:
Tomorrowland: or The Curse of the Standalone Blockbuster 
Sean Wilson re-evaluates the unfairly maligned Disney movie, and why its failure is an unfortunate reflection of the modern-day cinema industry…

There's a lot in that article I don't agree with, but it was a good read nonetheless. On Tomorrowland Times (see below), I posted the following reaction:
I finally got around to reading this. My brief thoughts:
Even for those of us who liked the movie, it's so hard to get agreement on what the movie was about. Perhaps it's due to the faulty expectations created by the confusing marketing campaign. I *still* don't really know how the film should have been marketed.
Anyhow, my perspective is that Tomorrowland is not about nostalgia or even utopianism; it's about progressivism 
The movie is not so much optimistic (as a whole) as it is *about* optimism--how it is lost, and why we need to work hard regain it instead of giving up.
Tomorrowland has spawned a small cult fandom. "Tomorrowland Times" (on Facebook and Twitter) is the place to go if you want to be part of it.


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  7. It's fascinating to see how Tomorrowland sparked such a diverse range of reactions. I absolutely agree that the 50% rating doesn't capture the nuanced response that the film received. It's clear that those who engaged with it either fell in love with its unique message or found it to be a departure from their expectations.

    Your perspective on Tomorrowland being a reflection on progressivism and optimism is thought-provoking. It's often challenging when a film doesn't fit neatly into a single genre or theme, but that's what can make it so captivating. The concept of a small cult fandom forming around the film is intriguing, and "Tomorrowland Times" sounds like the perfect spot to explore its deeper layers and connect with fellow enthusiasts. It's great to see a movie spark such thoughtful conversations and community.

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