The Tomorrowland Climate Doom Movie: I watched it so you don't have to

tomorrowland-movieGuest review by John A.

Spoiler alert: This review will talk about the plot, so if you want to go and see the movie, please don’t read on.

Still here? OK.

There is a social theory amongst climate alarmists and environmentalists that the only people who deny the coming Apocalypse are those who are morally depraved by money or right-wing ideology or insanity or any combination thereof. If you think that sounds like millenarian religion, then you’re not wrong.

The problem with polarization of beliefs especially in the US, is that any topic under discussion can only be seen in one of two ways. The liberal left and right-wing conservatives describe the same phenomena in radically different ways. Or do they? I don’t think that they are deliberately being deceptive, so much as blind to their own ideologies and the weaknesses in those theories while being hypersensitive about those of their opponents.

So when people view the same movie, they come to radically different conclusions about what the movie is about. In the case of Tomorrowland, that means that the meaning of the movie must conform to stereotypes of left or right.

When I read the review of Tomorrowland on Breitbart, those preconceptions of the reviewer’s belief system obscure rather than illuminate. So when the reviewer lays out his own beliefs about climate change being a hoax of the Left to promote centralized government and then launches into this…

…Disney and director Brad Bird and star George Clooney have poured $200-plus million into a box office bomb to spread that lie — to hector and shame the skeptical mind that dares read, think, and  question Power before slavishly handing over our liberties. Worse than that, “Tomorrowland” blames the rebellious individual-thinker for getting in the way of saving a “doomed planet.”

… then I have to wonder, did he see the movie or the trailer? About no part of that paragraph reflects the movie I saw.

First I am going to tell you the plot of the story, the simplistic proposition at the core of the movie, and then why the movie doesn’t work either as a (weak) political statement or as cinematic art.

The plot goes like this:

A young boy in 1964 takes a prototype jet-pack to the Chicago World’s Fair, where he meets a mysterious young girl gives him a magic badge who helps him transit into Tomorrowland, a beautiful and enticing future utopian world where engineering has solved all problems without apparent interference from politics or religion.

A young female protagonist in the present day has an engineer father she wants to imitate, is discouraged or ignored while pessimistic views about climate, the environment or the future of peaceful society are taught as received wisdom to her and other children at school. She is also trying to prevent the demolition of the rocket pads at Cape Canaveral by sabotage, while her father is reluctantly helping the demolition of the pads as a final job before unemployment.

She then encounters a magic badge which suddenly enables to see the future Tomorrowland as a sort of all encompassing hologram. She also meets the same mysterious young girl who helps her meet the fully grown young boy, who is now played by George Clooney. Clooney tells her that the world as she knows it will end in less than 60 days and there’s nothing to be done.

Through lots of CGI and a ridiculous launch of a rocket from the Eiffel Tower, they go to Tomorrowland to confront the pessimistic President (played by Hugh Laurie), and then after more melodrama and even more unconvincing special effects, the world does not end, her dad and brother join her in Tomorrowland, and more or less The End.

Now obviously there’s a little more to the plot than that, but not much more.

But I can summarize the entire premise of the movie very succinctly:

Whatever challenges lay ahead of us, optimism and engineering science to solve problems will take us to the utopia of Tomorrowland, pessimism and rejecting scientific solutions will bring a self-fulfilling prophecy of destruction to pass

And that’s it. The entire message of the movie is in that sentence. No more and no less.

Now you don’t need to see the movie. Please send me the money you saved.

Now, back to preconceptions. Christopher Monckton has written on this blog that he is not going to see this movie because although it has George Clooney in it, its about environmentalism and global warming.

Actually it’s not.

The movie does not take a view on global warming, climate change, rising seas, ecosystem destruction or belief or disbelief thereof. It’s solely about future utopian optimism versus fatalist dystopian pessimism.

Despite all of the money poured into the special effects, and heroic efforts by George Clooney and Hugh Laurie to make this thin premise mean something deep and meaningful, at heart the movie is more about Walt Disney’s optimistic view of future in the 1960s with the EPCOT Center (this during the Space Race) versus today’s pessimistic view that problems overwhelm us on every side, and no-one cares about fixing issues because we’re all too pessimistic or fixated by money or other selfishness.

But where comes the pessimism? Certainly from environmentalism, from the doomsaying of Rachel Carson and Paul Erlich. the rise of Greenpeace, Sierra Club, the Worldwatch Institute through to the IPCC, environmental pessimism that the Earth is dying and nobody cares is rife in Western societies to the point where it is so obvious that it is not even discussed. (Certainly the overwhelming pessimism of environmentalism is exactly the target of the film’s main protagonists, something that Breitbart’s reviewer entirely missed)

That supposedly scientific magazines like Nature and New Scientist publish articles conjecturing that if humans would only disappear from the Earth, then the Earth would “heal” is a mirror image of millenarian prophecies of Apocalypse where the few would be saved to a future paradise while the Earth is destroyed. Same rapture mythology, but different desired outcome. Both stories are religious diatribes about the corruption of the Earth by the sins of mankind, but one is published as science, the other as religious extremism. To my mind, there is no difference between them.

If I look at academia at the moment, the takeover of dystopian pessimism is all but total in arts, social sciences as well as climate science. Optimism is rarer than hen’s teeth in most University common rooms. Who listens to engineers who talk about going into space any more when we have all these environmental problems yet to be solved?

But back to the movie: why doesn’t it work as cinema?

In my view, the fundamental premise of the movie is too thin to support the weight of drama placed upon it. Despite spectacular special effects (or possibly because of them) I never felt that any of the characters were in any real danger or that I cared much about any of them. The overblown special effects made the plot look even thinner than it already was. The dialogue was forgettable. The actors’ efforts, especially by the precocious Raffey Cassidy, as well as heroic efforts by Clooney and Laurie to give depth to their characters, could not in the end save a thin plot from CGI overload and a “ho hum” from the audience.

It played like a children’s morality tale about the power of hope over fear, and there was no deeper message than that. That, for me, encapsulates why Tomorrowland doesn’t work as cinematic art.

Walt Disney would have informed the writers that screenplays that win Oscars for best picture are far more important and more lucrative than ones that try for the best special effects or best costume.

Tomorrowland cost a reputed $200 million and is expected not to make a profit. That is an ironically pessimistic result from a movie trying so hard to promote optimism.


Lest you think this review is poor or biased, try this one – Anthony

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195 thoughts on “The Tomorrowland Climate Doom Movie: I watched it so you don't have to

  1. John A. Set up a GoFundMe page and I will most certainly send you the money you just saved me! You can start a trend. “I’ll watch all the crappy movies so you don’t have to.” Time saved and time is money.
    Any kind of preachy movie wears pretty thin for me, I also didn’t suffer that either.
    Many Thanks.

    • I think a different nature move is in making, on screens near you in not too distant future.
      May sunspot count is about 4 points up at 58.8, long way down from 2014 peaks at, and above 80.
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN.htm
      It looks as that SC24 could be more than 13 years long, with the next minimum beyond 2020. This would mean that SC25, SC26 & SC27 may merge into something akin to the Maunder Minimum.
      If so, it would mean that my formula (see link above) has overestimated the intensity of the forthcoming Grand Minimum, but still vastly superior to the, now totally obliterated solar ‘theories’ of a decade or two ago.
      Those claiming that sun has nothing to do with climate change may be forced AGAIN to sample somewhat bitter taste of their overcooked humble pie.
      For those in the higher northern latitudes there is about a decade to do some preparatory works for the Real Climate (Gavin take a note) Change facing most of us.

    • I haven’t seen this movie yet because I live in the future.
      I have a Home Theater. You too will have a Home Theater in the future and that will also mean that you see new movies only when they are released on Blu-ray or cable. So I haven’t seen this movie yet but I expect that I will. I tend to see all the big Sci-Fi flics.
      I was trying to think if most Sci-Fi movies are pessimistic or optimistic. Most it seems to me have a couple reels of pessimism and a final reel of optimism. Most monsters are unstoppable for the bulk of the movie and then prove to be remarkably easy to kill near the end. Think Howard Keel and ‘The Day of the Triffids’.
      When I was a nipper all the Sci-fi films were about flying saucers or atomic fallout. Recently we had a re-emergence of the spaceship to Mars movie. In Val Kilmer’s ‘ Red Planet’ however they casually mention but don’t show that the Earth is doomed because of environmental problems. In the fifties we were supposed to be frightened by what we found on Mars but the Earth was assumed to be just fine. Now every futuristic film assumes that the Earth is being poisoned. Seems odd.
      All those post-atomic war monsters made a sort of sense when he remembered Hiroshima and knew about SAC bombers. But the environment isn’t being poisoned. The water is good. The air is cleaner than just a few years ago and no one throws trash out their car windows anymore.
      Even if there were terrible environmental problems such problems are inherently easy to fix. Just thin the herd. There ate seven billion people alive toady. For a lot of my life there were two and a half billion. What environmental problem wouldn’t be much simpler with five billion fewer people? But I’ve never seen a Sci-Fi movie which ends with this happy solution.

      • “But the environment isn’t being poisoned. The water is good. The air is cleaner than just a few years ago and no one throws trash out their car windows anymore. ”
        Haven’t been to the third world have you?
        There’s a plastic bag hanging from every cactus in Mexico. Every beach in Asia gets covered in garbage each and every tide and most Indians shit on the ground near their homes. Then there’s Africa.
        Nice where you and I live though.

        • Yes. And London 1856 (and Paris about the same time) benefited from the steel, iron, steel rails and engines, power and bricks and stone and tooling of the industrial (coal!!!) revolution. Without the casting and the smelting and the pipes and pumps and the chemicals and the process? Well, yes – today’s African horrors.

      • “Even if there were terrible environmental problems such problems are inherently easy to fix. Just thin the herd. There ate (are) seven billion people alive toady. For a lot of my life there were two and a half billion. What environmental problem wouldn’t be much simpler with five billion fewer people? But I’ve never seen a Sci-Fi movie which ends with this happy solution.”
        By all means, start “thinning the herd” with yourself. If you don’t then you prove that you are a hypocrite …

      • Gary,
        London was as good as it got in large cities c1856. What excuse does the third world have 150 years later? Most third world countries are rich in natural resources. They live in their own filth because they’re too stupid and corrupt to do any different, that’s why. As long as you have that population, you’ll have that problem, to paraphrase Einstein.

      • Ever see Logan’s run? Battlefield earth? Though some might quibble that they weren’t that happy.

  2. Maybe its a shot at establishing another tradition movie that will play for years. Maybe it was just a really a bad idea from the start. Didn’t H G Wells do something along the ” technocrats create a perfect world” line.

      • Me too. Or at least revive interest in the old ones, as they did with Pirates of the Caribbean.

    • “Didn’t H G Wells do something along the ” technocrats create a perfect world” line.”
      Yes, and they wear Togas. Because Fabian world government.

    • Van….IMO, Kingsman was a very good movie, whether one considered the eco-freak CO2 apocalypse nonsense or not. What made me smile that it pictured the eco-freaks as insane (which translates to the real world).

      • Kingsman was a good movie a mix between X-Man and a old fashion James Bond movie. First movie I have ever seen where the leader of the free world isn’t a hero but is conspiring with the dark side. It shouldn’t take to long until 20th Century Fox is audited and under investigation from every 3 letter agency in the country.

  3. It was the New York Worlds Fair in 1964, not Chicago I was there. Finally something I am competent to comment on this site.

    • Was James Bond’s Aston Martin from Goldfinger cool or what. And the microwaved hamburgers. I looked forward to wonderful future powered by coal, fossil fuels, and nuclear power, and indeed I got it.

    • I still have my guide book from the fair. That’s where Disney introduced the “It’s a Small World” ride and IBM had a people wall made of Cor-Ten steel.

      • So what about EPCOT? 80’s not 60’s. (I was at the Tomorrowland exhibit at the World;s Fair in NY, which gash already been mentioned)
        Sorry, I know these are nits, and I did enjoy the article.

  4. Many people thought it was just going to be another propaganda tool, for the left to push their “climaphobia”, to the masses. Sounds a little contrived. Not interesting, at all.

  5. Whatever challenges lay ahead of us, optimism and engineering science to solve problems will take us to the utopia of Tomorrowland, pessimism and rejecting scientific solutions will bring a self-fulfilling prophecy of destruction to pass

    I haven’t seen the movie, but it’s not hard to translate the above sentence into climate-change speak. The people who think “optimism and engineering science” will solve our problems, are most likely those who are optimistic that alternative energy sources can be quickly engineered to solve our “carbon pollution” problems if we throw enough money at it. Those who “reject scientific solutions” are the so-called “deniers.” But, in reality, they are the optimistic ones because they don’t think that a little extra CO2 in the atmosphere is going to doom the planet in the first place.

    • You’re asking the wrong question. It isn’t whether CO2 will ruin the planet that we need to be talking about. It’s answering the question of whether we are currently in a climate optimum and if we aren’t, could we profitably engineer ourselves into one.
      The planet having a thermostat would make things better and then the CO2 levels wouldn’t matter except as an input into the question of whether we need to add or reduce TSI and how much.

      • tmlutus, the planet has a thermostat; average temperature is dominated by negative feedbacks over timescales up to hundreds of years. I think you meant that having a control knob would be an improvement.
        But who would control the knob? I’d lay long odds that it would be set at “maximum cooling”, and sane people wouldn’t gain control of it until billions had perished from the resultant, bigger, little ice age. If then.
        I’m optimistic that technology and liberty would in fact usher in an age of plenty, if they were allowed to — as they were on their way to doing before the Luddites gained such power.
        The real question is whether mankind will advance to become a spacefaring and, eventually, a starfaring species; or deindustrialize, depopulate, and be trapped in a medieval world.
        Trapped, because the industrial revolution cannot be repeated. The readily accessible ores and fuels that launched it have been mined. There’s plenty left for us for at least hundreds of years, but that’s because we are industrialized. There’s precious little left in the ground that could be got at by medieval serfs.
        The eco Luddites’ professed goal is to bring down industrial civilization. If they succeed we’ve had it, because the next dark ages will be permanent.
        I’ll see the movie eventually, when I can do so for free.

    • As I wrote, that’s because of your preconceptions. Everything gets filtered through ideology. It’s very easily possible to see Tomorrowland as the ultimate triumph of libertarianism over authoritarianism as well, without trying too hard.

      • I haven’t seen the film, but when John A writes “It’s very easily possible to see Tomorrowland as [whatever you want to see] without trying too hard”, the whole thing sounds pretty…generic, for lack of a better word. You know, kind of like a politician talking about “progress”, mom, apple pie, a shining city on a hill, yadda yadda, and just as forgettable.

    • You’ve got it right -.I think the message they were trying to get across was exactly how you described.
      I watched it with my 9 year old. It was rubbish.
      The only amusing thing was when my son went home to tell my wife that Hugh Laurie had said, “Bollocks!” when he died. My wife was not impressed. I split my sides laughing. My wife was even less impressed.

    • What will doom the Planet is all the borrowed Money doing not so smart things with it. Soon we will have a real problem if the Asians, led by you know who, are in charge of the Money Supply!! Maybe not where I live (Australia) but many other places that can’t feed themselves now. Still that is in the future. Happy Trails.

  6. “right-wing conservatives”
    oxymoron conservatives in the US are not right wing they are centrists.

    • Not according to most political analysts and accepted meanings of left and right. All politics in the US is to the right of that in Europe, so your Democratic party is to the right of our right wing Conservative party. In the US our slightly left of centre Liberal Democrats would probably be viewed as hard line socialist and our Labour party as Stalinist. If you or any other posters are interested in an objective view of where they sit on the political spectrum, this is a pretty good assessment. I got Libertarian left, no surprise there! https://www.politicalcompass.org

  7. Interstellar was also about escaping a doomed world. Maybe “escape the impending doom” is the zeitgeist.

  8. Thanks, John. You’ve presented an uncharacteristically rational analysis of the politics at play (for this site).

      • If everyone steals then no-one will produce

        And how much did Hollywood make last year?
        Do you remember when we were all told back in the 80s that ,”home-taping is killing music”? It was rubbish of course. The music industry is thriving.
        I download torrents, but I still go to the cinema and have both Spotify and Netflix subscriptions. I think the entertainment industry will survive…

  9. Like most people on the planet, I have no interest whatsoever in seeing this clunker of a movie.

  10. “Whatever challenges lay ahead of us, optimism and engineering science to solve problems will take us to the utopia of Tomorrowland, pessimism and rejecting scientific solutions will bring a self-fulfilling prophecy of destruction to pass”
    As i recall this can be the slogan for hitler, stalin, mao and countless others… the problem with your review is that its rejects the reality that people see things differently and with different purposes… which is ironic since you try to claim thats what the your review is about. Hollywood is horribly blatant in its support in its support of “science” that isn’t science… you yeah one could argue that hollywood failed to convey that message in the movie but others such as bretbrait are reviewing the movie based on what hollywoods wishes to convey not which that its failed to.
    Fun thing about propaganda is it often fails to produce the results the makers want… pointing out that failure doesn’t change the intent.
    That said I haven’t seen the movie and doubt even when it comes out for free will watch it.

  11. Wait, does this movie actually support development of nuclear power? If the answer is Yes and It seems to like rockets and has ‘Wow!’ George Clooney and ‘Muted wow!’ Hugh Laurie – Damn, that’s a must-see. 🙂

    • Nuclear power is not mentioned, but there are lots of rockets taking off for space in Tomorrowland looking like they are from 1930s Flash Gordon movies.

      • I was wondering what the g-forces were as the rockets went from the horizontal to the vertical portions of the launch ramps.

  12. I’ve been to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland and on the Pirate of the Caribbean ride. I don’t think the ride made a good movie, so I doubt the “Land” will make a good movie either.

  13. Come on man. Tomorrowland is a poorly made movie.
    I am tired of silly fantasy sciency movies that try to get to get better reviews by throwing in a silly commentary. Heaven help us if our policy selection is based on silly fantasy sciency movies.
    http://mountainx.com/movies/reviews/tomorrowland/

    Tomorrowland — vaguely based on the Disney theme park attraction — is a mess. Structurally, it’s a nightmare. Dramatically, it only occasionally comes to life. Technically, it’s sometimes impressive and sometimes a thing of 1930s-level matte paintings and CGI that’s so cartoonish it’s hard to remember it isn’t an animated film. Thematically, it’s such a bizarre farrago of mismatched “philosophies” and ideas that it’s hard to tell what it’s supposed to be. I’d like to call it a “noble failure,” but I’m not at all sure that it’s noble. I am sure, on the other hand, that so far as I’m concerned, it’s certainly a failure.

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/tomorrowland/MovieTimes?oid=17543585

    Banking on the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Disney poaches another of its theme park attractions for this sci-fi adventure. A plucky teenager (Britt Robertson) discovers an interdimensional utopia while helping a cranky scientist (George Clooney) and robot child (Raffey Cassidy) prevent Earth’s self-imposed apocalypse. Director Brad Bird brings his vivid widescreen compositions and kitschy retro-futurism to a screenplay he co-wrote with Damon Lindleof, but his storytelling, a strong point in The Iron Giant (1999) and The Incredibles (2004), is harsh and inelegant. An aggressively optimistic script admonishes the lazy and irresolute and urges humanity to end war and save the environment; the proselytizing burdens an already onerous plot.

    Save your dollars and wait for a well made movie, with or without a commentary.
    P.S. We are stuck with 20th century physics. There has been no advancement in fundamental physics since the 1970s. The billions and billions of dollars spent on the particle accelerator experiment has been a complete waste of money. Without a breakthrough in fundamental physics our science future will be limited to sciency movies.
    The hot research concerns neutrinos. Mass was added to neutrinos to try to explain the missing solar neutrino mystery. If neutrinos have mass then they can oscillate between different types of neutrinos, which is the explanation for the solar missing neutrino mystery. This experiment is intended to determine/confirm neutrinos oscillate. If neutrinos do not oscillate, the solar neutrino mystery returns.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nova-experiment-neutrino-mass-mystery/

  14. Paleofuture at Gizmodo is not that bad compared to most of the dreck that tends to be at many Kinja sites.

  15. :golf clap: This is an absolutely brilliant bit of trolling. A notional movie review that spends less time illuminating about the movie than it does about trying to shame people out of considering it to be a movie that attempts to shame people about common Left wing goals. With the sole example being from Breitbart alone.
    Not only does the Tomorrowland follow the standard Left wing activist script, the post here does the same.
    To kick this absurd need for rebuttal off, we’ll just go with a review from the Daily Beast — not a Right Wing site by any stretch:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/24/george-clooney-s-global-warming-shaming.html
    “Decades later, now that Tomorrowland is all but defunct, his character is a crusty old man who passes his days staring at a bank of TV sets playing clips from 24-hour news stations detailing the disastrous state of our present: global warming, famine, wildfire, drought, climate change, endless war, endless disease. … Yes, in Tomorrowland, George Clooney is shaming us for causing the end of the world. …As it turns out, Clooney’s return from Tomorrowland made him just as cynical and complacent as the society he blames for our impending doom. He’s not as much the film’s hero as he is the one who needs to be saved—before he can help save the world.
    To that regard, it’s Clooney’s character who is the stand-in for the audience, not, as it initially seemed, our gumptious young heroine, who is fueled on her pursuit to fix the world by her own personal jetpack of boundless optimism and limitless dreaming.”
    But then, if the Left Wing ideologues and the Right Wing ideologues are saying the exact same thing about the exact same phenomena? Then from where to we get the preachy first half of this post? And why leave out the bit that our spunky female lead is engaged in acts of terrorism the sort that Left wing environmental groups are justly and historical famous for? And why leave out the bit that the optimistic future embodied by the movie is the standard fare of Philosophers Kings that is beloved of the same Left Wing sorts.
    Reading both a Left wing and Right wing review, I have no other conclusion to draw from their *exact agreement details* that the movie is the very thing our intrepid poster wishes to shame us into believing it is not.
    Though, to be frank, I didn’t need to hunt down the review at the Daily Beast at all. The poster trotted out that very stereotypcial line thrown out by Left side folks trying to put on airs of commity:
    “The liberal left and right-wing conservatives describe the same phenomena in radically different ways. ”
    The legit answer here is that everyone talks about their own *beliefs* about a given subject. Whether that subject is a *phenomena or a unicorn.* But then the Right wing has a habit of stating that the Left wing does little more than psychological projection. And certainly John A is guilty of his own myopia about being blind to his own ideology when he trots out such cherished nuggets as ‘liberal left.’
    Which gets to my point, finally: Between this and Manos’ screeds, what has happened here at this site that I’m being accosted by Left wing activist blaming, shaming, and message massaging lately? If I wanted a political festival of moonbattery I’d go ask that one science fellow for the address of all those moon landing hoaxers.

  16. Now as far as Globalist agendas pushed in movies go Mad Max:Fury Road is exactly that. It pushes the ‘elite’s’ feminist agenda, relegating Mad Max to practically a second string character and furthers the social engineering manufactured action/masculine female ideal.
    I apologise for the digression from the climate-based topic but as far as political agendas pushed in cinema it’s relevant. (Hopefully Anthony doesn’t delete it 🙂
    We’ve all been witness to the recent trend of replacing iconic male characters that represent archetypal ideal male traits with females. Watson and Moriarty (male genius) Starbuck off Battlestar Galactica (promiscuous skilled rogue) Marvel’s Comic Thor (male warrior strength). They’re even targeting cinematic childhood heroes. Ghostbusters is to be rebooted with an all female cast. The reason they don’t merely create female counterparts is because people will ignore them and gravitate towards those that resonate with their primal subconscious and familiarity, i.e. the male ones. They have to replace the men with women to psychologically and symbolically emasculate men.
    For those wondering about how feminism is a key agenda of the elite, i shall enlighten:
    One reason that the globalist elite have been pushing feminism is because men are the biggest threat to their control of the populations. In every takeover or suppression of an enemy throughout history the men were taken out first. Men are more likely to view totalitarian authority as an alpha male threat whereas women are more likely to view it as a protector (related to women liking the ‘bad boys’). Men are thus more likely to challenge authority and are physically more dangerous.
    Globalist inspired feminism is also about societal divide and conquer. They need to destroy the social fabric to make it harder for familial relationships to form particularly between men and women as families provide cohesion and resistance against tyranny. So pushing women to abandon traditional nurturing female traits and to pursue male qualities creates friction as men have evolved to protect and compliment women not compete with them. Relationships have become harder to form between men and women, divorce is at an all time high, marriage at an all time low as women abandon their biological natures in favour of pursuing masculine traits, ending up with internal conflict and they are often unhappy.
    Another key aspect stemming from the destruction of the family and the forcing of women into the workplace via social feminist propaganda and economic manipulation is that children become raised by the State. They can get force fed constant establishment propaganda throughout their lives with a heavily reduced parental influence. This is not say women shouldn’t have careers but they feel pressured to put work before raising kids and with the engineered credit crisis they often don’t have a choice.
    At the heart of feminism lies deception. While in the past and in some places today real sexism exists, Feminism was hijacked by the power elite to make society more divided, more matriarchal and thus more controllable and movies are increasingly saturated by it.

  17. Disney animations have always contained deeper adult messages. In some cases, the animators added their own personal statements unbenown to Disney himself. Renaissance artists were also known for this practice of subtly thumbing their noses at the client himself.
    I believe that the reviewer is correct, and that someone at Disney is aware that we are living longer and healthier lives thanks in large part to technology, including fossil fuels. The children’s version of the animation is the apocolyptic view, and the optimism is the underlying adult message. I expect it is someone of high influence who designed the adult message.
    Unfortunately, there is a dearth of good writers in the film industry today, and the film lacks the subtlety of earlier Disney works.

    • Mary Steyn once said that lately Hollywood bears a striking resemblance to the opening scene in Waterworld: Kevin Costner recycling his urine.

      • Yes, they have jumped the shark. Hope springs eternal for a renaissance in the arts, but until them, we have Hubble photos.

  18. I saw the movie, despite the warning that it is a global warming-ish diatribe, but it isn’t. This reviewer is essentially right. I actually thought it came close to being the opposite of that — by the end we learn that Tomorrowland is actually exacerbating the problems by “broadcasting” its pessimism to the world and suppressing everyone’s optimism so much that the doom they are predicting becomes self-fulfilling. This to me is the role that the predictors of human-caused climate catastrophe are playing in our world — with their pessimism permeating the lives of our young people. The message of the movie that this reviewer calls simplistic — that optimism and invention and creativity can overcome our challenges, and our challenges aren’t as bad as the “media” make out — seems like an anti-CAGW message to me, although it is true the movie is light-hearted and action-oriented and does not really explore this theme much.

    • But wouldn’t your review of the movie be based on your preconceived notions? The fact that you and I see the CAGW doomsayers as pessimists doesn’t mean the public as a whole sees them that way. My in-laws only watch mainstream news and totally believe everything ABC, CBS, NBC reports. They are totally all in that global warming is causing “extreme weather.” They in fact, believe that the Arctic and Antarctic are almost ice free. I even showed them the graphs of the sea ice and they said anyone can make that up. So of course they also believe that those impeding the progress to “fix” climate change are the “denying republicans” as that is the message they are receiving. All they hear from the news is that anti-science republicans, fossil fuel funded scientists are stopping progress and they totally believe it. So wouldn’t it be that those who don’t follow the science and only get the news from the mainstream media and Hollywood movies think that those who are suppressing optimism are the ones who are the “deniers”, as they are portrayed as the ones who are against renewables and alternate energy?

      • I suppose that the messages that you receive do indeed form your worldview, but the problem is not the production of television news of a certain slant, but that in the age of the Internet, no other point of view is sought. At least most Fox News viewers know their news source is slanted and filtered to a particular viewpoint – which is why they watch it.
        And surely older people (like myself come to think of it) have been through enough scares about future famine, plagues and other bad stuff to realise that when it comes to blaming the weather on mankind’s immorality, there truly is nothing new under the sun. Nor are failed prophecies.
        Personally, the behavior of Republicans towards science is part of the problem – they reject science that stands on extremely solid evidence (evolution) because it conflicts with the religious beliefs of some of their core constituents and alienate a much larger number of educated people who know fine well the Earth is more than 6000 years old, has never flooded on anything like a global scale and that dinosaurs and man never met (fortunately for us).

  19. As long as I know that Clooney lost some of his own money, somehow that makes me feel a little better!

  20. Perhaps Clooney was trying push the movie with the global warming thing. While he generally is a good plot selector, money talks and he might of wanted another SciFi movie in the resume. That surely is a status badge in Hollywood now. I dislike Clooney’s useless knee jerk Obama love fest, but I generally think he does a likeable character.

    • On the whole, he’s a likeable guy, apparently.
      An anecdotal story: I know a guy- in the sense of an internet acquaintance from years back. His name is Don, and he gets the occasional “extras” part in movies and TV now and then. He was in The Good German with Clooney. (He’s the guy who bites off Clooney’s ear.) At the message board we were at, he posted this story about the filming of that scene,
      Clooney was having terrible back trouble. At one point they had to stop while Clooney stretched out his back. Don who is a good ten years older than Clooney, said, “Feelin’ your age, George?” Clooney didn’t miss a beat, responding, “I’m feeling *your* age, Don.” Politically, Don was miles apart from Clooney, but he couldn’t help but be charmed by the guy.
      (He also got to meet Cate Blanchette – lucky dog.)

    • I think that’s the point. I disagree with a lot of Clooney’s politics, but I enjoy the majority of his work (although every great actor has been in a stinker, and in George’s case “Batman and Robin” was undoubtedly the worst), and if I met him, we’d disagree about things but I don’t think I’d hate him with the burn of a thousand suns.
      Hollywood is hypocritical? Who knew?

      • Batman and Robin? That movie should have gotten Akiva Goldsman a lifetime ban from any profession that even tangentially involves the putting more than three words together.

  21. Tomorrowland should do well in China, similar to other US flops.
    Critiques say they are unsophisticated movie goers and their taste will mature, but I’m more inclined to think its a cultural thing, a particular genre they have sought out.

  22. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. – opening paragraph, A Tale of Two Cities.
    That’s always been a good summation of every human age, since Christ. Ours is no different, except for how truly boring it is. Seriously, who here had to fight their way to a water or food source today, and then fight their way home? We’ve never been so secure in our persons, yet never so anxious. Walker Percy was right: man’s greatest fear is not that the Apocalypse will happen, but that it won’t.

  23. To relegate Tomorrowland as simple climate propaganda is overly simple thinking. First off, the impending doom that the main character was being subjected to also included mass-scale warfare and was the brainchild of Tomorrowland’s dictator (the guy who shut all of the ways into his utopia and was doing what he could to prevent the real world from achieving the same fantastic level of technology and exploration).
    The end of the movie likewise had nothing in the dialogue about reducing CO2 levels, just gathering together the brightest minds from around the world and showing them what they could achieve if their society became one that gave them no limits on their creativity.
    This is more a movie that promotes the idea of fostering an environment where people can focus freely on developing new technologies and acquiring knowledge, because in this world there’s definitely no shortage of people who dismiss a new thing as a useless contraption, a mere gimmick, or something that can never work.

    • I saw the movie without realizing beforehand that it was a propaganda piece. (I don’t get out much) My first thought upon seeing it was that it was self contradictory, as it seemed to both preach about the need to avoid global warming, and to say that those who think we are doomed are the real problem.
      Then I realized the screenwriters were making their point by implication instead of statement. Yes, there were flashes of images of nuclear warfare, but the most numerous and longest lasting images were of the expected ravages of global warming: forest fires, drought, and rising seas. Furthermore, the only calamity actually voiced was melting glaciers. The implication was that the warfare was a result of the expected fighting over dwindling resources in the wake of global warming, with the added chance to point out the negative uses of nasty nuclear power.
      The images of the fantastic technology on display in the Tomorrowland ad presented by the Tomorrowland pin reminded me of the movies John Carter and Star Trek. The various flying vehicles seemed to be powered by the sun, as in John Carter, or perhaps by anti-matter, as in Star Trek. Anything other than fossil fuels. The implication was that a better tomorrow could be ours if we learn how to power our society without the use of fossil fuels.
      Thus, in the end of the movie, when a fleet of robots was being sent out to seek free thinkers to join in the effort to save the world, it was implied that these geniuses would do so by developing revolutionary new sources of energy – such as anti-matter.
      When viewed in this light, the implication is that the pessimists who doom society are those of us who say there are no available sources of energy up to the task of replacing fossil and nuclear fuels.
      Note that the the Tomorrowland we are shown as a current “reality”, not an ad, appears to be mostly made of concrete, with only a few high tech devices. It is as if there is only a limited source of energy, and those at the top hoard it for themselves. The implication presented is that this will be the fate of our current society when fossil fuels run short.
      SR

      • The implication was that a better tomorrow could be ours if we learn how to power our society without the use of fossil fuels.

        Hard to argue with that. Look at how much better life is since we stopped powering our society with mastodon dung.

  24. “if humans would only disappear from the Earth, then the Earth would heal”
    I suggest a nuance exists; if all other humans disappeared except for myself and my support group, the Earth would heal. I see very few doomsayers showing the way; but I’ll admit that I wouldn’t see it as an inescapable outcome of them having shown the way.
    I like computer generated imagery; I don’t particularly like Clooney in anything (he was pretty good in “Men Who Stare At Goats”). So, I’m not sure one way or the other if I’ll bother to see this movie.

    • “If humans would only disappear from the Earth…”
      Unfortunately, we’re Gaia’s only hope of preventing the next major asteroid impact, so no.

  25. “But where comes the pessimism? Certainly from environmentalism, from the doomsaying of Rachel Carson and Paul Erlich. the rise of Greenpeace, Sierra Club, the Worldwatch Institute through to the IPCC, environmental pessimism that the Earth is dying and nobody cares is rife in Western societies to the point where it is so obvious that it is not even discussed.”
    Rubbish. I saw documentary the other night where a scientist said that if we can bring back the woolly mammoth then we can avert catastrophic climate change.
    With humour like that, everything is looking rosy.

    • The Left does not have a monopoly on pessimism. The Right has doomsayers too. Oh, noes! We’re drowning in debt! And Brown Peoples! And … and … and … Obama’s a gay, Muslim socialist … and he’s not even an American! And … and … Russia! ISIS! Iran! China!
      But, if you can keep your head, while all about you are losing theirs, and blaming it on you …

    • I find it fascinating how those on the left automatically assume that right wingers are racists.
      Nor have I ever seen anyone claim that Obama is gay.
      BTW, the vast majority of racists that I have met have all been from the left side of the political spectrum.

  26. if humans would only disappear from the Earth, then the Earth would “heal”
    On his first election as POTUS, Obama announced that this was the day the oceans would begin to recede and the earth to heal, So this movie is 6 years behind. Obama already staked out the high ground on this one,Course everything cam out backward from what he claimed but the mainstream
    reported that,

  27. Good to know its got nothing to do with Global Warming and despite its weak plot and overdone CGI it’s probably still more convincing than Al Gore’s fantasy movie

  28. Personally, I loved it. I thought that it was a celebration of individual accomplishment and independent thought. But then, I also loved “Mad Max: Fury Road” and saw nothing anti-male in it at all.

    • As I said, what you see in movies can depend on pre-conceptions. A far more environmentalist movie was “Soylent Green” but that didn’t prevent it from being great cinema with two outstanding performances at the center.

  29. “Well it’s just a stupid argument [questioning Man’s involvement in global warming],” Clooney told reporters. “If you have 99 percent of doctors who tell you ‘you are sick’ and 1 percent that says ‘you’re fine,’ you probably want to hang out with, check it up with the 99. You know what I mean? The idea that we ignore that we are in some way involved in climate change is ridiculous. What’s the worst thing that happens? We clean up the earth a little bit?”
    ————
    You can’t spell Clooney without LOONEY!
    😉

  30. Unfortunately I took my family to watch the movie thinking it was a feel good family movies about the future… Wow the honor! Bleh, thank God for cgi.

  31. Like DiCaprio, Blan(d)chette, I will add Clooney to the list of “artists” I will never pay to see their “work”.

  32. Leave the world in peace and it will heal, eh? Like 95% of all species that ever existed on this planet are now extinct? The likelihood of humanity creating a ‘Tomorrowland’ before extinction seems remote.

  33. Anthony, we need the ultimate rating for stinkers, is it better or worse than Waterworld?

    • I enjoyed Waterworld as a movie. After accepting the premise, memorably done by taking Universal’s globe and getting the sea level to rise so that all land is submerged, it was an enjoyable popcorn movie.

      • I saw it as well, and while it was generally asinine in both concept and execution, and incarnated every one of Hollywierd’s bugaboos, bêtes noires, night terrors, etc. it was somewhat clever, had a fairly primal allure, was too campy for any but the most devoted eco-worshippers to take seriously, and I mostly enjoyed it. Also a tanned, toned and not-yet-past-her-prime Jeanne Tripplehorn was very easy on the eyes.

      • The problem is that NYC was only under a couple hundred feet of water. I would guess that 60 to 70% of the earth’s land mass is well above 200 ft. Everest is about 25000 feet, so for it to be barely above water, NYC would have to be under 5 miles of water.

      • John A
        June 2, 2015 at 1:37 am
        “I enjoyed Waterworld as a movie.”
        Remember kids, that’s from the guy who just posted his critique of Tomorrowland.
        You should have warned us in the headpost.

  34. The Leftist narrative is that mankind is doomed without brilliant government leaders’ commanding and controlling every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave…
    The cost of this command and control dystopia is roughly 40~60% of GDP being confiscated by government hacks in the form of taxes, money printing, debt and rules/regulation compliance costs.
    Prior to the “Progressive” era circa 1913, total Federal/State/Local spending was only around 7% of GDP: broken down by: 50% local spending, 20% State and 30% Federal spending… Imagine that.
    If the pre-“Progressive” model were still in effect, total government spending (Federal/State/Local) would only be about $1 trillion/yr compared to the $6 trillion/yr being spent today (roughly $4 trillion/yr by Federal and $2 trillion/yr State and local).
    Imagine the “Tomorrowland” that would exist if $5 trillion/yr were kept in the private sector; that’s roughly $50,000 per year per household with no $18 trillion national debt, no $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, balanced state and federal budgets and no money printing. In addition, $2 trillion/yr could be saved in rules and regulation compliance costs or roughly another $20,000/yr per household in savings, for a total $70,000/yr per household….
    Let’s see $70,000 x 30 years= $2,100,000…. CRAP!!!
    We should be living like the Jetsons by now with warp drive and perhaps even replicators and transporters…. but, alas… we’ve got the DMV, DHS, and Obamacare instead… Oh, goody.
    Beam me up, Scotty…. I’m done.

    • You still haven’t shown me how the DOE’s electricity generation numbers are phony.

  35. Hollywood ‘environmentalists’ are perhaps the most hypocritical creatures on the planet.
    While preaching about reducing the use of fossil fuels George Clooney travels pretty much exclusively by private jet and in 2014 chartered one to fly 100 cases of tequila from California to Italy for his wedding.
    In comparison the stars of the 30’s and 40’s were ascetics.
    The worst example is probably John Travolta who claims to be an ardent warmist but has 5 private aircraft including his own Boeing 707 and in consequence uses more fossil fuels per annum than 100 ‘ordinary’ people.

  36. I was looking forward to another laugh at environmentalists like the “Day after tomorrow” which is so appallingly bad that it’s fun to watch.
    But the plot sounds bizarre: “if things don’t work out today – go somewhere else”. That might work in a movie plot, but for everyone else – it sucks.

    • The Day After Tomorrow was a bad political statement with a worse scientific basis but not a bad movie artistically. I know that’s a paradox but that’s how I saw it.
      As a political tract about the dangers of climate change, it could hardly have won any converts over to the alarmist point of view, because it was so over-the-top.
      Roland Emmerich’s 2012 was similarly absurd. Apocalypse movies rarely work as propaganda.

  37. Richard111
    “The likelihood of humanity creating a ‘Tomorrowland’ before extinction seems remote.”
    Actually we are already living in “Tomorrowland”. Most people in the world have not faced death through war. Most people in the world now live a relatively healthy and free live without slavery with at least some say in government. We’ve got instantaneous communication and freedom of speech.

    • Scottish Sceptic
      Good to know you have confidence in our present world. All this instantaneous communication and freedom of speech seems more like a Tower of Babel, much shouting and limited listening, but it is fast. 🙂

    • Like it says in the Carly Simon song: “These are the good old days”.
      What malevolence would cause children to doubt this fact?
      What malevolence would foment fear of the future?
      What malevolence would deny the less fortunate a chance to enjoy today’s blessings?
      What malevolence would have poor persons freeze amid energy abundance?
      What malevolence would attack those who disagree with their doomsday prophesying?

  38. F.W.I.W. Here is the review that I wrote of Tomorrowland:
    I enjoyed the trailers and thought that it looked like a good film. As usual I try my level best to ignore any hype about films as it can either ruin a film by building it up to a level it can’t live up to. Or ruin it by far too many spoilers. Because of this, I was unaware about certain “issues” with the film.
    The film is well made, visually a treat, and there are certain “wow” factors in it. A number of times you have to suspend disbelief, but like any future/fantasy films this is the norm.
    The casting was good, the concept not that far out, but my oh my. The film is blatant brain washing / PR for man is killing not only our planet but our future. The message in this film is full on in your face. There is even a whole scene of exposition to spell it out for the terminally stupid.
    Those who are sceptical of man mad climate change (CAGW) will be furious because of this. But I would also point out that the film cites war, environmental damage and a very anti nuclear message within it.
    As far as entertainment goes, it fills out two hours and ten minutes very well. If you agree with the points made you will think that it is doing a great job.
    My son and I came out from the film having enjoyed it. But the more I thought on it, the more it annoyed me.
    On the plus side, because there are several: Most will come out of the cinema with a good feeling that one person *can* make a difference. That the future doesn’t have to be so grim. So in that respect it is a winner.
    If you like Disney films, you will love this. If you are sceptical of CAGW/AGW you might enjoy the film for what it is, but you may well get very angry with its blatant, in your face “man is killing the planet/future” message.
    So there you have it, a film of two halves wrapped in a wafer thin veneer of “what if”.

    • Thanks for the review and the trailer link. Might go see it if it reaches my neck of the woods.

  39. What is the consensus view of a “perfect world?”
    I wish someone would offer a description so we could know our goal. (Perhaps a topic of its own, sometime. … or for a survey.)

  40. Thanks for the review, I’m glad to see that Disney have not yet embraced a doom laden view of the future. To be honest this film sounds like a remix of “Meet the Robinsons”, even the city skyline looks the same in both movies.
    “Keep Moving Forward” is a fine motto.

    • Why not try it?
      If you try it every time you’ll be out on your ear.
      But it’s obviously good salesmanship to respond to a complaint. If the film is advertised as good for your demographic but isn’t then you do have a case.

  41. Yes, that’s exactly my interpretation of the movie. Not a great film, but a good message and a typical live-action Disney cartoon.

  42. The movie is about how science and big government want to save us from a supposed imminent global disaster, and people who are skeptical are portrayed as dangerously wrong. That’s so close to the whole CAGW movement that I don’t think it qualifies as a metaphor. Metaphors need to be more different from the things they allude to than this.

  43. I wasn’t going to see the film ‘Tomorrowland’ because it appeared to be just another movie of the doomsayer’s wet dream meme.
    Now, after reading the reviews by John A and Matt Novak (thanks for the link Anthony), I will go to see the movie. I will do so because, although it appears not to have delivered on its premise involving optimism, it appears that at least it tried to.
    John

  44. In the late 50’s, Disney produced several short films on the wonders of space exploration and atomic power. I saw these as a young squirt in elementary school and they did inspire excitement about the possibilities of the future. I found them on DVD and watched them again recently.
    The difference I suspect with the Tomorrowland movie is that in the originals, Disney was never preachy about how technology would solve all of our problems and create some sort of utopia. The message was simply to inspire our creative side. What amazing things might we discover as we venture into space? And at a time of great fear of The Bomb, what could we do with the benefits of atomic power, nearly limitless and affordable energy?
    Today Disney’s message has been infested with secular humanism, which believes as a fundamental axiom that mankind is basically good, and we only “sin” because of some need or other external tempting influence. Therefore technology that could eliminate need would also eliminate crime and violence. And ideas like hate speech laws could prevent bad ideas from infecting the good mind. Or “gun free school zones” that solve violence by eliminating the source of the violence, the guns themselves.
    But this is all a false hope. Technology has raised the standard of living greatly in many parts of the world but over thousands of years of advancement, one thing has remained the same: our struggle with evil. And the sins we struggle with today are exactly the same as we struggled with thousands of years ago. Greed, lust, envy, violence and hate will follow us into tomorrowland.

    • Agreed. Technology is a tool: a hammer is a poor savior. Envy is the problem at the heart of the all the others. And Hollywood is one of the great engines of envy generation. So there’s no help there.
      A bit of personal theology (freely offered and probably worth what you paid for it.) : sin separates us from God (The Spiritual Problem); evil separates us from each other (The Moral Problem); death separates us from nature (The Physical Problem). The Sin problem was solved at Calvary. The Evil problem is the current one. But the Death problem must be conquered together. Only when we conquer that which separates us from each other, will we then conquer death. Not before. Until then, technology, education, the whole Humanist soteriological litany, etc… will just make some willing people able to give us death in abundance.
      That is why “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” 1 Cor 15:26
      As I say, probably worth what you paid for it.

  45. I wanted the movie to be “good Disney”, not “obviously just triangulated with formula, graphics and PC calculated message Disney.” Triangulated enough so that either Al Gore or Lord Monckton could picture himself as a Tomorrowland hero, but still with global warming as a great threat? But hey, it’s got to be better than Wall*E, the rare PIXAR offensive preacher. They didn’t have the courtesy or self awareness to parody themselves as they criticized Earth killing, self-serving humans as a spaceship full of people existing only to be fed and entertained. But, sabotage is for people who care and believe? Maybe cable. Maybe.
    I found Brother Bear to be entertaining on first glance and then annoying for nature PC nonsense thereafter. Didn’t bother with Pocohantas at all. Disney does do environmental and other types of PC very “aromatically” from time to time.. Part of triangulation to appear current. At least they’re not claiming that banning DDT saved the bald eagle here.

    • Ah, Brother Bear. A funny movie, especially when you consider that misanthropic nutter Timothy “Grizzy Man” Treadwell, who was killed and partially eaten by a Grizzly, was an adviser on it. As Mark Steyn put it: Brother Bear is the story of a man trapped inside a bear, kind of like Treadwell, except he was just passing through.

  46. It’s “somewhere over the rainbow” all over again. Appears to have entertainment value. Probably not the staying power of the Wizard of Oz though.

  47. …future utopian world where engineering has solved all problems without apparent interference from politics or religion.

    What is often overlooked is that not only can religion subvert science and impede progress, but politics can as well. The term “Climate Science” is no longer proper since the science part has been subverted to political ambition and only secondarily or not at all to scientific ambition. The proper term should be “Climate Politics”.
    Like politics, there is also a connection to religion. The article brings out the connection between climate and environmental doomsday alarmism and man-is-sinner and end-of-days evangelism. The difference being that for religion God is salvation and for greens the greens are the salvation. In reality, neither greens, nor science, nor politics, nor religion has been a cure for humanities moral ills or dysfunction.
    Science does standout however since as a rule it has been salvation from ignorance, superstition, and fear of the unknown, allowing enormous progress and prosperity for humanity. The most notable exception to this rule of course being climate science.
    [Is that the blockquote paragraph you intended? .mod]

  48. Did we watch the same movie?
    It was really nothing in particular to do with optimism or pessimism. The thing you need to easily understand the movie is to have watched the movie Forbidden Planet. Maybe it’s because I am a big SF fan. But didn’t you folks recognize an incarnation of the Krell Machine in the movie Tomorrowland? The thing that was going to destroy the Earth wasn’t some human-created enviro-disaster. Nor nuclear war, nor social breakdown, nor any of that. It was Hugh Laurie’s pessimism being projected through the huge sparkly-warkly machine in Tomorrowland. It was the stream of tachyons doing something or other (wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey) in a literal self-fulfilling prophesy of doom. Destroy the machine, and coincidentally Hugh Laurie, and the Earth goes back to an ordinary level of risk.

    • I have not seen the film. I have a really good turkey detector and mine was pinging no matter how much they played the “ooo, shiny!” card. A gilded turkey is still a turkey.
      Your assessment of the premise sounds very interesting as far as it goes, but Hollywood has been pitching “you just gotta believe” for a long time. Doesn’t matter if they dress it up in the tenets of Quantum Mechanics. The hard part comes when some un-hip, uncool Philistine like me says,”believe in what?”

  49. I left a comment (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/25/tommorrowland-the-only-clooney-movie-ill-probably-never-see/#comment-1944691) on a previous thread that I won’t reiterate, but it was pretty similar to John’s here.
    The take home message for me was that optimism and technological solutions are necessary to counter the doom and gloom attitude that only offers a self-fulfilling prophecy of disaster. The movie’s a mess, but if seen as a kids’ movie, it can be somewhat forgiven. Two additional thoughts:
    Tomorrowland is brilliant in its ability to stimulate viewers to see what they want to see. Some see a message of technology as savior, others that it’s destroying the planet. That it is able to reflect back one’s preconceived ideas and/or stimulate discussion such as this, is a mark of a good tale.
    John brings up the ever-present vision of an apocalyptic future. Is preparing for some future disaster a trait of the human species that has had selective advantage? Why are we so often drawn to these stories of future (or past–e.g. The Flood) doom? It seems to be a theme of many cultures; perhaps it was advantageous for preparing for real events that could threaten early humans’ existence.

  50. Haven’t seen the movie, but the review (and comments here) do seem to suggest it is not on the same preachy level of Avatar – which did rather well at the box office if I recall. Basically, I think Disney realised they had a bit of a stinker so tried to goose up the interest with promotional stuff linking it to a CAGW meme thinking that would get more people to watch. Hasn’t worked as by the look of things it has bombed at the box office.
    On the other hand, so what. I know we who read/comment on climate blogs are quite into this here climate lark, but the rest of the world doesn’t really care all that much. Movies are really not going to change government policies (no, not even an Inconvenient Truth did that).

  51. “Whatever challenges lay ahead of us, optimism and engineering science to solve problems will take us to the utopia of Tomorrowland, pessimism and rejecting scientific solutions will bring a self-fulfilling prophecy of destruction to pass”
    I suppose one could assume it is promoting technocracy, “24/7 surveillance. Smart grid controls. Carbon rationing. Technocracy, the dark plan for a resource-based economy that is being pushed by the Trilateral Commission, the UN, and other globalist institutions in order to bring about a completely managed, controlled and regulated society.”

  52. I don’t know what the big deal is. First of all, most movies are pretty simplistic with only one theme or idea. Fast and Furious? Are you kidding? James Bond? Really? Martinis, casual sex and spies. Now that is deep.
    I liked the movie. I think it was well made with the theme of dreaming, changing the world. Being an inventor ! Moving the world forward.
    Yet I am a skeptic about AGW. In the movie, there was no super duper attempt to sell AGW. Yeah, they had the thing about the Earth flooding, and the wind turbines, but that was a FRACTION of the movie theme that humans are a bunch of people who love gloom and doom. We love to make war. We love to over-eat. We love to over-use our environment. We love to torture people, don’t we? Look at ISIS.
    I bet no one who reads this blog knows of the time when I was a kid, when the steel mills in Chicago used to dump acid (used to clean the steel beams)…right into Lake Michigan. Then thousand of fish washing up on the beach a couple days later…stinking and rotting to high heaven. Not to mention all the other environmental damage we love to do with oil spills, plastic floating in the oceans, sinking old submarines off the coast of California with uranium reactors, now rotting and spewing.
    So, you know what? Get off the anti George Clooney thing and the fact that this movie had some opinions about how we love to destroy oursleves and stop dreaming. We need more inventors and dreamers.
    I liked the movie. And I think they did a hell of a job with it.
    -the Sketpic (who actually does have an open mind, also)

  53. Okay, I will not bother with that waste of money. But in the movie, does it say how big the film tax credits are in the future? They already harm taxpayers now.

  54. Virtually all of my gilded icons of the silver screen were formed during my youth, when I was entirely under the spell of Hollywood, which was all the more powerful back then when cast in the ornate, cavernous, dark sanctuaries of the grand, old time movie palaces.
    I had seen already many movies before we got our first TV set in the early 50s, and let me tell you, those early B&W offerings on the boob tube were so incredibly cheesy, that the magic of movies was enhanced, in my view, and TV forever tainted.
    I could easily escape in the dark sanctuary of a movie palace, where my mind could wander unmolested, but not sitting in front of the dismal offerings on the TV. I mean, did you ever see Captain Video? Even Star Trek oozed cheese, 15 years later, although obviously, the production values were higher, and it was in color. For some reason, there is a sentimental attachment to B&W among some photographers who think removing color information from their digital image makes it noir, but I digress.
    Laughable production values aside, the great disparity in screen size between TV and the movies is significant. The emotional impact of the larger-than-life images in movies is indisputable, as even tears may flow over images projected onto the silver screen. It’s very powerful.
    In addition, we humans seem to attach great value to people who can pretend to be someone else. Mostly, we like our people who are pretending to be someone else to also be beautiful, and further to have pleasant voices, and to be oh so very sincere about what they are pretending to do, so that the audience may forget that they are pretending. We humans have a great and willing capacity to suspend disbelief in order to be told a tale.
    It’s a little odd, but then, we’re an odd lot. We hate phony humans, but love phony actors. No wonder we pay them big money, because good acting is very valuable.
    At any rate, when the spell was still strong, I was paying a lot more attention to Grace Kelly, than I was to Cary Grant, or to Eva Marie Saint, than I was to Cary Grant, or to Audrey Hepburn, than I was to Cary Grant.
    Yes, for a long time in my life, I went to the movies on a regular basis, tapering off over the long haul from several a week, to one a week, usually on Sunday evening by the 1990s, when there was a good chance of low attendance, few people talking, coming in late, gobbling food, coughing, sneezing, crinkling wrappers, moving in & out …you know the routine…along with my growing distaste for what I was seeing as excessive and gratuitous reliance on, if not outright promotion of violence.
    And it’s celebrities all the way down – just too many celebrities too much of the time, many of them pedestrian schmos with nutty ideas who happen to be attractive, and that makes them visual shmoos, more commonly known as eye candy – ‘Line forms at the rear.
    But there is a price to be paid for their celebrity and easy money, as movie stars sometimes must go on TV to subject themselves to the kinds of probing questions from Savannah Guthrie that prove just how honest and balanced TV coverage really is. One unintended consequence of these ordeals, of course, is the chatter & buzz created about the latest movie – cuz’ that’s what’s trending – and that will get them lining up like little duckies in row as seen on TV.
    Finally, let us not overlook the fact that it takes big moola to produce a Hollywood motion picture. Those with the gold not only make the rules, they also make the movies.
    Imagine if you can the kind of movies the poor might make, something like say,Todayland, which prolly wouldn’t cost that much to make; you could just get a dash cam, and drive through Detroit. Of course, nobody would pay to watch that stuff, but the burning question might arise.
    Would it be art?

    • How do you bankrupt a subsidy that taxpayers have prefunded in a larger percentage giveaway than Tesla.

  55. The confusing sameness and differences between the critiques from Left and Right seem to indicate one thing: Tomorrowland went through Development Hell, with Focus Group induced rewrites, probably dampening the Global Warming armageddon theme because it was not appreciated by the Focus Groups.
    Googling “Tomorrowland Development Hell” I find this….
    http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/scifi/disneys-tomorrowland-related-rocks-previously-announced-project.html
    …so I guess it’s safe to say – and confirmed by the Box Office – that it’s a mess that pleases no one.
    Haven’t seen it; hope Redlettermedia will watch it for me (and inevitably shred it to pieces).

  56. There’s a trend, in the past few years, with cli-fi movies. I must confess that I am on their side, since some ideas (hopefully the real ones) are easier understood by to the larger public, mainly formed by teenagers or people who don’t read scientific blogs and so on.

  57. You missed discussing the child sacrifice, the complacent xenocide by the denizens of utopia, the lack of coherent plot, the killer robots the utopians use to deal with those who may suspect the utopians, and the amazing arrogant hubris of the assumption that the best and brightest will devote themselves solely to building utopia.

  58. Your points would be better made without such errors as this paragraph:
    “A young boy in 1964 takes a prototype jet-pack to the Chicago World’s Fair, where he meets a mysterious young girl gives him a magic badge who helps him transit into Tomorrowland, a beautiful and enticing future utopian world where engineering has solved all problems without apparent interference from politics or religion.”
    Proofreading has taken a sabbatical since auto-correct has shown its ugly face to us all!

  59. As with “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012”, I’ll probably watch it when it airs on the the SyFi channel…as science fiction.

  60. John A. “: Personally, the behavior of Republicans towards science is part of the problem – they reject science that stands on extremely solid evidence (evolution) because it conflicts with the religious beliefs of some of their core constituents and alienate a much larger number of educated people who know fine well the Earth is more than 6000 years old, has never flooded on anything like a global scale and that dinosaurs and man never met (fortunately for us).
    That was perhaps all I needed to know about your worldview. I enjoyed your take on the movie but I couldn’t help thinking you were reaching to play the middle.
    By the way, I doubt if a poll were taken of all republicans that it would support your view of republicans. That is to say I am betting that a very few percent of republicans believe what you have been indoctrinated to think they believe, that the world really is only 6000 years old. I live in a very red state, so I do have clue on this. And for you to think republicans are any more anti-science than democrats, when a vast majority of Dems are all in on global warming ‘science’ as opposed to very few republicans believing in a 6000 year old earth, also tells me about where you are coming from in this review. I look forward now to paying to see the movie. I doubt I will be able to see it any less biased than you though, but it will give me another pair of glasses through which to view it.

    • B, you might find the view through another pair of glasses helpful. see:
      Steve Reddish June 2, 2015 at 1:17 am
      SR

      • I live in the deep South and do know some folks who believe in a 6,000 year Earth because their interpretation of Genesis requires it. However, it seems to be gradually fading away as a younger generation becomes more familiar with the evidence.
        But even the most backwoods young earth creationist understands the universe better than materialists do. Creationists know that neither matter nor the laws governing matter, such as gravity, created space-time, matter-energy at the beginning of the universe. Creationists know that the Earth is indeed special as home to complex technological life, humanity. (This last point was buttressed by findings of the WISE satellite showing that exactly zero galaxies showed signs of advanced civilizations in the medium infrared wavelengths.)
        Creationists know that matter is not fundamental, mind (and mind’s product, information) is. Again, recent experiments with quantum mechanics support the conclusion that matter is downstream from observation, not vice-versa. And lastly, creationists believe in things all humans can’t not know, such as free will and a sense of justice. Materialists have to deny their own humanity, or live inconsistently with the logical implications of their belief system. Indeed, even their own beliefs are nothing more than determined by preceding material conditions, hence are without rational grounding, according to their own worldview.
        Nope, I’m afraid that young earth creationists, mistaken as I think they are in certain areas, are still closer to reality than many of their opponents.

  61. I think we have to recognize that science is as politically motivated as any other form of human endeavour. However we must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  62. I don;t plan on seeing the movie and I didn’t red the entire summary here. To me, any movie by a celebrity like Mr. Clooney isn’t worth my time and attention.

  63. I watched this movie and was trying to figure out what in the heck Chris Monckton meant about it being about global warming.
    At the end, after showing a nuclear detonation, there was some dialog about melting glaciers. Plus a ton of other things. So Chris’s perception was off.
    Great review of this movie, by the way. You pretty much hit its high points and its many more flaws.

  64. Thanks for the review. If I can recast it a little. The movie was about how the solution to the worlds problems are found entirely in an optimistic view of science.
    Unfortunately, this is a woefully inadequate worldview, which seems to find more in common with the optimistic vision of communism than a real world Christian based view. It is the same nonsense that thinks of people completely unhinged from their moral foundations.

  65. Tomorrowland is just Atlas Shrugged for progressives, with a cuter cast and better production values.

    • Atlas Shrugged, while I could never get into it (liked The Fountainhead and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, though, was about putting one’s own interests first and working for them. I’m not sure it had much to do with the wild-eyed optimism of Tomorrowland.

  66. Go watch it. Otherwise, be small-minded and see Avegers or Pixels. No brain. It is summer. Add sun screen. Or read stories about Bruce Jenner…carved. Are his ….parts gone or not? Otherwise “tomorrowland” asks us to INVENT and not lose hope! Be an engineer! I am. I helped buld the Hubble and Epcot. and AGW is a joke.

  67. It’s a bit hard to take anyone’s opinions seriously if the author of this piece is too ashamed or too fearful to put his surname to it. Sorry, you can’t duck the basic fact that the premise of the movie is that there is a “crisis” that requires immediate resolution. This is fundamentally a Leftist perspective.

    • Will Nitschke on June 3, 2015 at 2:16 am

      – – – – – – – – –
      Will Nitschke,
      You may be right. I will let you know tomorrow if I concur with you because I intend to break away from my normal grandpa duty of caring for my two grandkids (one infant and one 2 yr old) to see ‘Tomorrowland’.
      NOTE – I suggest ‘collectivist’ is a more fundamentally correct intellectual term that ‘leftist’.
      John

    • Will Nitschke on June 3, 2015 at 2:16 am
      – – – – – – – –
      Will Nitschke,
      I saw the movie and provided a review at John Whitman on June 4, 2015 at 10:32 am in a new thread.
      John

    • “Sorry, you can’t duck the basic fact that the premise of the movie is that there is a “crisis” that requires immediate resolution. This is fundamentally a Leftist perspective.”
      This is nuts. Addressing crises is not fundamentally a leftist perspective.

  68. Will Nitschke
    Please explain your non sequitur; viz.

    the premise of the movie is that there is a “crisis” that requires immediate resolution. This is fundamentally a Leftist perspective.

    Richard

  69. Very well stated by Steve Reddish – June 2, 2015 at 1:17 am
    John A. “: Personally, the behavior of Republicans towards science is part of the problem – they reject science that stands on extremely solid evidence (evolution) because it conflicts with the religious beliefs of some of their core constituents and alienate a much larger number of educated people who know fine well the Earth is more than 6000 years old, has never flooded on anything like a global scale and that dinosaurs and man never met (fortunately for us).
    Wow- the last thing I expected upon my return to this haven of critical thinking- cut and paste from media matters.
    I’ve coached sports in Florida much of my life and spent many years as a corporate trainer for the world’s largest brokerage firm. I’ve talked to thousands of Christians with a vast gamut of education and I have never met ONE that believes the earth is 6 thousand years old or denies evolution exists. What they would argue is how life began- and they, you and everyone else would be speculating because no one has a clue…
    As for me, I remain a paranostic- following the principles provided by my parents who were dedicated to truth, honesty, hard work and with a driving consideration for others. If a provable God shows up, I am open to reconsideration…
    Seems to me a coin flip whether divine intelligence or one-in-a-trillion confluence is behind this remarkable matrix…
    More ridiculous is the assertion regarding republicans and science. It is the democrat party that has ignored science- and in fact created a bunch of fake science- to commandeer about $250 BILLION from US taxpayers in the last 6 years from the CAGW scam. Most of this largesse ends up in the pockets of bundlers (Musk, Fisker, Solyndra,etc), activists (EPA, faux researchers), unions or local dems…
    And BTW, Fox news is the only major network reporting the thousands of scientists who dispute CAGW, the failures of the hockey stick, the lies of the Gore rubbish or the destruction of peer-review in climate research by the team…

  70. I saw the movie and agree with the reviewer about almost everything including his summation of the premise:
    “Whatever challenges lay ahead of us, optimism and engineering science to solve problems will take us to the utopia of Tomorrowland, pessimism and rejecting scientific solutions will bring a self-fulfilling prophecy of destruction to pass”
    What I take exception to is his treatment of this premise as being, well, trivial.
    Yes, the special effects were overdone and often disjointed, the acting, especially from the younger cast members, was also overdone. The story line resembled a Picasso panting, with a lot of things out of place. There was a lot wrong with this movie.
    Still, I enjoyed this movie because of the premise! It was a blatant attack on pessimism, the leading cause of the imminent collapse of Western Civilization. In fact, the bad guy in this movie is the embodiment of the current Western philosophy. The young protagonist is playing the part of Walt Disney, brilliant, imaginative and hopelessly optimistic. That alone is worth seeing, just for the novelty of it. It made me want to cheer!
    Have you ever had the desire to stand up in front of the world and say: “Look people! It’s not about climate change or peak oil or pollution or racism or the national dept or any of that stuff! It’s about your crappy attitude! That’s what’s killing us! I have just had it up the here with your freak’n whining all the time! Just shut up and go do something constructive!”

    Well. that is what this movie is saying. The message is so novel, that many people who see the movie don’t see the message, and those that do see the message, don’t see how wonderful that message is! We have become a society that worships doom, with prays of complaining and choirs of 4-part whining!
    Tomorrowland may not be a great movie, but its message of optimism, while literally attacking and killing pessimism, is a message that we all need to hear a lot more!

    • We need changes in moral, political, and cultural values, but we don’t need any more blind faith in technology. The apparent advantages of technology are so direct and obvious, the drawbacks indirect and all too easy to ignore. Climate alarmists have blind faith in technology, they just prefer different technologies from you.
      The last major technological advance that made the world a better place was probably the invention of the nuclear bomb.

  71. I am neither a liberal nor a conservative.
    Conservativism is an attitude to change. It is entirely contextual. Whatever one believes on specific issues, whether one favours the status quo or change depends on the current state of affairs.
    Liberalism is a nineteenth century rebuttal of early modern authoritarianism. Take it out of that context and it becomes a cause of muddled thinking and confusion because its original causes and purposes do not apply.
    It is time to move on. It is impossible to account for the fact that the leaders of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Labour parties here in the UK all support climate alarmism (or for a hundred other apparent anomalies here and elsewhere) by thinking in terms of “Liberal” vs. “Conservative” or “Left” vs. “Right”. We need new schema based on current realities.

    • Philip Arlington on June 3, 2015 at 8:42 am
      – – – – – – – –
      Philip Arlington,
      I suggest to instead use more intellectually fundamental terms. Use the terms ‘collectivist’ versus ‘individualist’. I think using them focuses unambiguously on the essential issue.
      John

  72. “It’s solely about future utopian optimism versus fatalist dystopian pessimism.”
    What someone needs to determine is the truth of this statement.
    It does not count as optimism when the solution for future problems involves Prince Charles telling young people to get along with far less and to refrain from using fossil fuels (which is basically the use of combustion, or fire) and to refrain from eating meat. It is not optimism to say that this “challenge” from world empire activists was accepted and new smart cities were built. The outcome is the same. Either way, people are penned into small living quarters in smart cities in a rationed, cashless society.
    What is optimistic about young people accepting green directives about what can be accomplished, and how it can be done?
    To be human is to think of a goal yourself, and to use your rationality, effort, organization, and will to accomplish that goal. These creepy green optimists are trying to re-define ingenuity and optimism as carrying out their UN mandates for sustainable living. Really I would rather die by beheading than by these people who pat you on the head and say, there there. “You are so smart you will figure out how to live without coal, trucks, and agriculture, because we have an international five year plan to shift the paradigm and phase those out.”

  73. John A.
    Apparently you weren’t paying attention…
    We enjoyed the movie but agree it was schmaltzy and overly Disneyfied. Many scenes looked like a set up for a theme park ride.
    The theme of the movie was along the lines of a car crash. where you are more likely to hit an object if you continue to stare at it as you careen along.
    The movie did a great job of contrasting two separate cultures: the optimistic culture of 1965 that believed technology could improve the world; and the alleged culture of 2015 where universal pessimism was driven by fear of war, civil strife, pollution, disease and yes climate change. The 2015 culture was actively disassembling the icons of the optimistic culture symbolized by the NASA launch tower.
    The people living in the trans-dimensional and titular “Tomorrowland” had created a machine that modelled the future and broadcast this forecast back into the real world, thus creating a self fulfilling prophesy of doom and gloom. It was the broadcast that was creating the pessimism that would lead to the end of the world as we know it. By focusing the world’s attention on only the doomsday scenario the collective car was sure to hit it. These were the classroom scenes that accentuated the message of doom. Climate change played a very minor role in re-enforcing this message, some pictures of glaciers calving.
    The hero of the story saved the world by interrupting the broadcast and distracting the world from the on-coming doom thus allowing optimism the opportunity to grow again and restore both worlds.
    Who in the world today models the future and forecasts doom and gloom? The IPCC amongst others.
    Who in the world broadcasts this message of gloom and doom? The main stream media.
    Who are the hero’s in this reality? Anthony Watt et al.
    Go watch the movie again.
    Jeff

  74. Unfortunately, Tomorrowland is Greece, with its unsustainable debt and collective, overpromised benefits to themselves. Ben Franklin nailed this one a long time ago and that particular quote is the one that should be most prominent in school lessons today. That is, if schools have time for such founding father history lessons any more.

  75. Will Nitschke on June 3, 2015 at 2:16 am

    Will Nitschke,
    I saw ‘Tomorrowland’ yesterday.
    The primary premise of the movie is that there are numerous earth/life shattering and immanent crises; of the crises it posits, global warming appears to me to be the most prominently depicted / emphasized.
    The plot of the movie is that those controlling the message about the crises (in the movie it turns out in the end to be Tomorrowland’s Governor Nix** ) are causing the earth / humankind to be doomed because they are impeding the optimistic achievers who are the necessary and sufficient means to prevent the crises.
    I did not like the movie’s characterization depth and development. The depiction of ‘Tomorrowland’ looked very amateurish in a comic bookish way.
    There were a handful of very enjoyable scenes that occurred in settings on earth.
    I would recommend the movie not as entertainment, but as a valuable lesson for independent and critical intellectuals to learn on how Hollywood currently attempts rationalization in support of the doomsayer meme.
    **Gov. Nix is portrayed by actor Hugh Laurie (who I loved as Dr. House in the TV series ‘House’)
    John

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