Tag Archives: George Clooney

Tomorrowland – Directed by Brad Bird for Disney


A few months ago I saw one trailer for “Tomorrowland” and managed to avoid everything about it since. That one trailer promised to transport us to the futuristic world of the title and the film does just that but not in the way I imagined. For a sci-fi movie the grounded atmosphere, in one sense, follows in the the legacy of Spielberg’s “Close Encounter of a Third Kind” and “ET – The Extra Terrestrial” and in another sense it pays many sweet homages to the U.S.’s view of the future as it was imagined up to and in the 1960s and sci-fi films since.

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George Clooney’s Frank Walker, coming from a long line of Disney’s disillusioned inventors, has been kicked out of Tomorrowland (for spoiler reasons I will not go into) and is persuaded to return by two of the films real stars Britt Robertson as Casey and Raffey Cassidy’s Athena. Robertson is one of the coolest rebel girls-next-door characters you could meet and you root for her all the way while Cassidy plays Athena with a curious grown-up mix of charm and underlying agenda.

Disney's TOMORROWLAND..Casey (Britt Robertson) ..Ph: Film Frame..?Disney 2015

There are nods to “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang”, “The Jetsons”, even “The Matrix” and more. In one scene there is an entire shop full of homages. It is plain to see that Brad Bird had dealt mostly with animated entertainment up to now as the action is directed very much with that kind of an eye, for instance, there is a lovely moment with Clooney’s guard dog that is straight out of a Tom and Jerry cartoon. More of the movie’s style come’s from his animation backgrounds, the chases, the set design’s, the humour (one character nods directly to his earlier movie “The Iron Giant”). Bird infuses the story with his always unsentimental warmth, packed it full of great gadgets, and lots of universally accessible humour.

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While I would recommend it and the clear message it delivers to children (and adults) about holding onto your early dreams and being overwhelmingly positive, there is something lacking in the movie as a whole. Perhaps the evil threat (while all encompassing) wasn’t delivered with the impact it deserved, or the baddies, while entertaining, were a little to distant and even somewhat benign. Or Perhaps Bird was making a film about ‘chasing your dreams and not giving up’ for his own generation and somewhere along the way today’s children were a little obscured from the vision.

The verdict… it is lovely, entertaining and funny but not as consistently so as three of his previous film which I have adored, “The Iron Giant”, “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille”.

Tomorrowland is in cinemas now  7/10

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Gravity (2013) – Film Review


I approached this movie with much anticipation. Director and writer Alfonso Curaon has delighted me before with The Children of Men, Pan’s Labyrinth and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban while the films chosen by George Clooney always have a certain gravitas (ba dum… tsk!).

I arrived at the IMC and realised I had forgotten one of the pile of 3D glasses I have at home which is  making it treacherous to open that particular wardrobe.

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Cuaron has captured better than any other director in the history of film what it really must feel like to be in space, the claustrophobia of a space suit, the constant difficult repairs to space stations, satellites, the restrictions of being inside a zero gravity space station and the feel and danger of a spacewalk where it is easy to propel yourself with the smallest of movements and very difficult to stop. All of the above and the weight of the equipment they are working on and the speed of a mass travelling through space were the elements of the film that impressed me most. These elements have all been verified by actual astronauts.

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Certainly there were many moments when I held my breath and one or two moments where I was truly startled. But there were times where I found myself cringing at the dialogue, and the clunky and sentimental themes that seemed as heavy as the astronaut’s equipment and driven home with ferocious impact. There are references to Star Wars and nods to 2001, (Alien at a stretch) and even a ridiculous one to Wall-E which brought me out of the story completely.

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While it is beautiful to look at and incredibly atmospheric  I felt a bit disappointed and cheated perhaps because I was expecting something better but what I did get was a story with clichéd themes and somewhat cheesy characters. There were plot devices that even with my feet planted firmly on the ground I couldn’t believe were accurate.

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If you your expectations are not high and you are the forgiving sort then the film will be quite enjoyable.

It is certainly worth going to see just don’t expect to be blown away by anything other than the effects.

6/10

Gravity is in Irish cinemas now.

Check your local Irish Cinema here