Tomorrowland Blu-ray Review

Think of Tomorrow

Be positive. Be special. Be smart. The world around us is collapsing – war, famine, negativity, climate change. Tomorrowland asks for way to stop it all. “Ideas are hard,” is says. “Don’t give up. How can we fix it? Eventually we will.” Tomorrowland is preachy if not in the usual terms.

It’s a bold sentiment in an often bold blockbuster which spills a tale of dimensional portals, scientific history, and time travel. Plus, George Clooney.

Tomorrowland is not as advertised. Scenes in a future utopia are few. Flying cars, rockets to the moon, future dress-up; Tomorrowland rolls them out with immediacy. Then, back to modern day without a grandiose return. Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) is the narrative guide, a pokey question-asker for the sake of the informed audience, but also gifted with zeal. She’s chosen for this adventure because of her ability to see a fix to make the world better. George Clooney’s crotchety Frank Walker is her reverse.

There is an inordinate amount of time, scale, and energy tossed into Tomorrowland to do so little. While the film establishes its capability for visually assembling rules, scenes roll off the conveyor belt of extended exposition. The existence of robots, laser guns, and villains are slowly dropped into the story, making Tomorrowland an anomaly.

Casey’s attitude is simply not of indifference to the problem. She knows and believes it can be corrected.

Slow as this mountain of world building can be – even boring – Tomorrowland’s distinctive means of smiling and casting doubt on naysayers is genuine. Hugh Laurie’s sniveling Nix, drowning in his own pool of villainous, smug superiority, is not wrong. He sees the world as it would inevitably be based on current inaction; that’s fate with current systems in place. Capitalism prevents change, he says.

Casey’s attitude is simply not of indifference to the problem. She knows and believes it can be corrected. How powerful this medium can be sometimes, even if Tomorrowland must be on point to influence the younger generation it’s trying to reach.

Casey is a definitive Walt Disney character. She is playful and displays a willingness to change. Her vision is a world rising over its inevitability or fate because humans won’t succumb to simply being defeated. Intellect and curiosity combined, in a search for solutions, will win. Casey represents what people can accomplish when brought together without restrictions, doubt, or financial gain.

So rarely is Tomorrowland a movie of spectacle. Movies concerning inter-dimensional portals are so rarely dried of their action, doubly so if released during summer months from a major studio. Tomorrowland is spritely, if outside of the mammoth computer generated scenery. The film has enormous depth, yet will certainly whiff with most who are expecting another episode of Disney-attraction-turned-blockbuster. The film says more and does more than most of its ilk, even if Tomorrowland must speak down to reach the impressionable end of the viewership.

Movie ★★★★☆ 

Stunning world @ 14:29

Disney’s work on Tomorrowland tells a story. Early scenes of idealism are baked by exterior sunlight. Contrast to this degree is rare. It’s absolutely beautiful. The film shines as scenery whips by. A full reveal of the title attraction is startling. Definition soars.

Appreciate details – because you can. Fidelity is sublime, from close-ups to the grand costumes or the background of the world itself. With an exception set aside for one singular instance of aliasing, Tomorrowland is perfect live action HD imagery. Aerial views show off a complete world.

In a current timeline, there are still opportunities to show off. Weedy roadsides are full of definition. Scenery at Cape Canaveral is breathtaking. Close-ups never go away or lose their magnificent detail.

While contrast will drop as the film enters a darker phase, digital cinematography does not let up. Neither do black levels. They reach and maintain pure black. Sharpness is always a focal point. Top it off with perfect source material. Noise is absent and a brief moment of banding is easily forgiven.

Video ★★★★★ 

Tomorrowland has plenty of boom. Explosions, time travel, rocket launches, jet packs; they all leave their mark in the low-end. The force they produce is often tremendous, and well varied. Nothing feels the same, giving those sound elements their unique trace. Extensions into the LFE can be heavy.

What begins with a powerful stereo push – voices immediately come from the right – will remain that way. Tomorrowland is fond on the front soundstage, more so than with the surrounds. It’s oddly reserved for a 7.1 affair.

There are moments. Jet packs do whip around. Rockets will too. Following closely to an assault inside of a store, laser beams and debris fields enjoy spreading across the stereos. Those moments where rear channels are used with force (rocket launch, water rushing overhead) feel like anomalies. Tomorrowland is a fun mix, just held back.

Audio ★★★★☆ 

Remembering the Future features Brad Bird and others discussing experiencing the wonder of what could be back when they were kids. Casting Tomorrowland is a throwaway promo.

A Great Big Beautiful Scoring Session follows Michael Giaccino as he composes and discusses stuff with Brad Bird. Science Hour with David Nix puts Hugh Laurie in character and it’s hilariously cruel as he blasts a few kids with reality. Production Diaries from Brad Bird are sadly way too short at four minutes. A commercial for an in-movie shop is goofy enough to be entertaining. Deleted scenes are the longest thing here at 23-minutes, and offer introductions.

Extras ★★★☆☆ 

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Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.