Tomorrowland: A Review

Note: There are spoilers contained in this post. If you don’t care either way, keep reading. 😉

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I’ll be honest. I saw Disney had a hand in this and immediately kind of looked the other way, hoping something better would come along for me to see.

But my little sister was dying to see it, my cousin from Canada (GUYS, THE STEREOTYPES ARE TRUE. CANADIANS ARE VERY POLITE.) and a cousin from Naples came over, so we planned an outing and went to see this.

I was (mostly) impressed but mostly by the “bad” guy, who wasn’t so bad as apathetic, which is arguably the worst kind of bad there is. (Contradictory? Maybe.)

If you’re fuzzy on the plot line, basically this girl finds a pin and whenever she touches it, it transports her to another world. She runs into a man who had lived there for some time and he wants nothing to do with her or that world. But a series of unfortunate events (read: robots try to kill them) leads them both into that world where they find out that Earth is going to end.

The man, Frank Walker (played by George Clooney), comes to believe that the girl, Casey Newton (played by Britt Robertson), is special and can save the world.

Pros

>> David Nix (played by High Laurie) says something that really hit me. A transmitter from Tomorrowland is sending a signal to Earth with a message of death and destruction. He meant it to be a warning, but when Newton says they need to send a message of hope instead, he tells a striking truth: it doesn’t matter what you say. People are so obsessed with the end. He sent a warning message, but people ate it up and turned it into fantasy. They turned it into a t.v. series, movies, books — entertainment. They resigned themselves to it because they thought, “what can I do? Nothing. So let’s all do nothing together and laugh ourselves to the end.”

Why? Because “it requires nothing of them today.” People will sit in their comfortable apathy believing they can do nothing and they’re cool with that. And when the end of the world comes, they’re throw their hands up and say they couldn’t have stopped it anyway.

That was the salvation point of the whole movie for me because it was so truthful. We turn into comedy and entertainment that which we “can’t” change so we can accept it when it comes with a numb and comfortable apathy.

>> I’m conflicted on characterization. They did a relatively good job developing the characters, but I felt like Newton was a little too optimistic for me to entirely believe. She was fun though. Walker was a bit of a stereotypical grumpy old man who was too optimistic once, and comes to believe in good again because of the undaunted happy-child who shows up on his doorstep one day and turns his life inside-out. Nix was kind of brilliant, but still felt a little lacking (what motivation did he have to shoot [censored]?).

>> The concepts were pretty neat! I really enjoyed some of that sci-fi stuff going on. If you could learn what day and time you were going to die, would you want to know?

Cons

>> They kind of explain everything. It might have been for context, but it didn’t leave me wondering anything really.

>> They ended in a kind of abrupt way, but it wasn’t a cliff hanger sort of way. It was more like, “we have room for another movie, but it would make no difference to you if we followed up with it because you know all our secrets and the gist of what happens next.”

Bottom line: I would recommend going to see Tomorrowland! I wouldn’t say for you to go in expecting anything out of this world (my pun may be lost on those who haven’t seen it *laugh/gag/cough* Ahem.) but it’s entertaining for a couple hours and David Nix’s words do get you thinking: what am I doing to contribute to this apathy? Am I comfortable with that? Is there anything I can do to change it? If so, will I?

It’s definitely one of the rare Disney-involved films that I don’t despise and would recommend. 🙂

God bless!

Rana

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies: Review

For the past three years, I have gone to see The Hobbit in theaters (twice for each film). Now, last night, I saw The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies in theaters #onelasttime. I came close to crying. Again. I laughed. Again. And I caught things I didn’t notice the first time around. It was so good, I stopped popping candy a little after halfway through, I think… Now, I’ll just sit here like this, wondering what to do while I’m waiting for it to come out on DVD:

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Excuse how freakishly large my hand looks. It was obviously too close to the camera.

WIN_20150201_181449 WIN_20150201_181452 WIN_20150201_181458 WIN_20150201_181514 Ahem. But what did I notice? Well, grammatical errors for one thing. The line, “Die now Wizard” should have been “Die now, Wizard.” But let’s overlook that. Let’s take a look at the bigger picture – starting off with things I didn’t like (because that will take much less time) and then go ahead and address what I did like. Cons

  • Grammatical errors (but I already addressed this and said I’d look over that)
  • PJ’s love of battle scenes (they are necessary – I mean, we’re talking about Tolkien here. But I feel that PJ knows he does well with filming fighting scenes and so he uses them. Too much. This film did a much better job of spacing the fighting scenes out and not letting them last too long. Whoo hoo!)
  • It wasn’t a Tolkien-purist’s cup of tea.
  • The end.

Pros

  • PJ’s ability to know when to cut off battle scenes. He did a much better job on The Battle of Five Armies. I never felt like the fighting just… got old in this one. ^_^
  • The characters (even Tauriel was used to show us a part of ourselves).
  • The story-telling.
  • Thranduil’s sass.
  • Bilbo’s sorry-not-really apology to Thranduil (“…ysh. Sorry about that.”).
  • I am totally fine with it not being a Tolkien-purist’s cup of tea. I’m kind of glad it strayed from the book. I think we got to see parts of Middle earth Tolkien never got to write. Also, keep in mind that this is a film adaptation. It’s adapted. It’s not going to be word-for-word from the book. 😉
  • Okay, you know what? I’m going to stop with the bullet points and just go ahead and tell you what I loved about each character that made an impression on me.

Balin taught me that you should probably know the history of the person before you give advice about them. Everyone has gone through some major change that has shaped them into the person they are now. Until you know that history, all you’ve got is the end product. You don’t know what’s made a person the way they are. You don’t know what challenges they’ve faced. I really don’t think we can know someone well until we’ve seen their darkness and fought with them through it.

Bard taught me that you should always give someone a chance (*cough* Alfred. *cough*). Whether you like them or not, they need the opportunity to be better than what they’ve become. After you’ve done what you can, leave them be. Don’t let weasels drag you down. Keep your sense of humor and point out that their slips are showing.

Bilbo Baggins taught me that adventures, no matter how uncomfortable and how late for dinner they make you, if you can grow, learn, help others, and become a better person, it’s worth it. We need to stretch our horizons and go farther than we’re comfortable with before we can know what we are. He didn’t know he was brave until he risked his life for his friends. He didn’t know he was a friend until he was willing to lose a friendship for the sake of the other’s well-being. He didn’t know he was a hero until he made difficult decisions in the interest of many lives.

Dwalin taught me that crowns don’t mean a thing if you act lesser with it on. Being king doesn’t mean having a bunch of stuff. It’s a responsibility. It’s about putting your people before yourself.

Tauriel taught me that love hurts. I’m not a fan of the love story going on between her and Kili, but I think it was redeemed by just Tauriel and Thranduil’s exchange of words after Kili’s death. I wonder if that wasn’t more for us than it was for the romance…

“If this is love, then I do not want it. Take it from me, please! Why does it hurt so much?”

“Because it was real.”

Thorin taught me that greed is not okay. Now matter how much you have, it’s not satisfying. Think about it. He had a sea of gold. He had his father’s halls back. What did he do? What did he become? He was terrified that someone might come and take a little bit of it. After trusting his friends and family with his life multiple times, he lost sleep doubting their loyalty. He became a selfish son of a gun. He was willing to let hundreds die for the sake of gold. But… what good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mark 8:36) He also taught me that it’s possible to redeem yourself. It’s never too late to become a better version of yourself.

He also taught me that the world is not overrun by evil because of its strength. It’s run over by evil when good people fail to fight against it.

Thranduil taught me that heroic actions without love mean nothing. He’s a king. He’s immortal. He’s gorgeous. But he’s been hurt too. He lost his wife and now he’s afraid to love. He’s afraid to love someone who can leave just like that. He prefers to play it safe. If you’ve seen the film, recall the time when he received the death threat from Dain. He seemed pretty excited to me. Someone passionate about life shouldn’t have looked like that. When he told Tauriel that love hurt because it was real, I think we definitely got to see why he was so careful about not getting emotionally involved in anything that could drain him. “Love will leave a mark” – RED (look up that song, guys. It’s a tad heavy, but RED has a habit of pinpointing emotions and writing about it in a real way).

I think we’ve all been a little scarred by love. We need to get past that. We need to get past the risk of getting hurt again. It’s easier said than done. And it’s not going to happen overnight. It could take years. It certainly did for Thranduil. Apathy is a beast that corrodes a person from the inside out. It’s easier to deal with life through an apathetic lens, but then you’re merely existing. You’re not living. You’ll miss out on both the bad and the good. You’ll miss so many opportunities.

I think Bilbo was probably sitting in comfortable apathy before he was shoved out his door. No one hears the story about the man who was comfortable and took care of his own. No. We hear the stories of the broken. The wounded. The uncomfortable. They’re the ones who show us what we can be.

What we should be.

This is by no means all I have to say about The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. This is a Tolkien fanatic’s gushing about- EXCUSE ME, THE LAST GOODBYE IS PLAYING ON SPOTIFY AS I FINISH THIS UP. I NEED TO CRY AND EAT LEFTOVER CANDY.

God bless!

Rana