TO­MOR­ROW­LAND : A WORLD BE­YOND

No fu­ture for you

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUt now! 2015 | 12 | Blu- ray/ DVD

Di­rec­tor Brad Bird

Cast Ge­orge Clooney, Britt Robert­son,

Hugh Lau­rie, Raf­fey Cas­sidy

It’s one of the eter­nal grum­bles of the 21st cen­tury, so com­mon it’s al­ready the creaki­est of com­edy clichés: if this is the fu­ture, where’s my per­sonal jet­pack?

That’s also, in essence, the pitch be­hind To­mor­row­land: A World Be­yond. Brad Bird’s hymn to retro- fu­tur­ism is a film you des­per­ately want to love, a cel­e­bra­tion of the kind of gleam­ing utopias that pro­vided dream- fuel for decades of science fic­tion. And its vi­su­als are fre­quently as beau­ti­ful as its sense of re­gret for a world that never came: Nor­man Rock­well prairies meet Flash Gor­don citadels while hover- rails trans­port smi­ley fu­ture­nauts through im­pos­si­ble sky­lines of chrome and glass. But its tale of a dis­ap­pointed dreamer ( Ge­orge Clooney, en­ter­tain­ingly grouchy) team­ing with a young op­ti­mist ( Britt Robert­son, en­dear­ing) to re­claim the world’s mis­laid hope never quite moves you as much as it should. Ul­ti­mately it feels as hol­low as the sec­ond- hand fu­ture it’s hymn­ing.

Ex­tras “Remembering The Fu­ture” is a brief fea­turette with Brad Bird that in­cludes some won­der­ful archival footage of the orig­i­nal Dis­ney­land at­trac­tion plus rare ’ 50s Dis­ney an­i­ma­tion. Bird also brings us two short on- set video di­aries, and there are fea­turettes on cast­ing and scor­ing as well as a smat­ter­ing of deleted scenes. Best of all are three faux items that ex­pand the movie’s uni­verse: “The Ori­gins Of Plus Ul­tra”, a stylish, retro- ren­dered Pixar an­i­mated short sup­pos­edly from the early ’ 60s; Blast From The Past com­mer­cial: a fake TV ad for the movie’s geek- dream of a mem­o­ra­bilia shop; out- takes from The World Of To­mor­row Science Hour, a par­ody of all those stiff- backed ed­u­ca­tional shows, com­plete with a mag­nif­i­cently grumpy Hugh Lau­rie. Nick Setch­field

Look out for the Iron Gi­ant and Mr In­cred­i­ble in the Blast From The Past shop – two nods to Brad Bird’s CV.

As tele­vi­sion aeri­als go, it was a corker.

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