New Wednesday Movies: Double Bill – Tomorrowland & The Martian

Now, I’m gunna try something here and hopefully i’ll continue it. Every Wednesday I have free, so I figured I’d try and watch a new film each week and then write a short (or long, depending on my thoughts) review about the films I’ve watched. Ideally I’d like them to be new releases, or films that I haven’t seen before but I may not always be able to do that and so I’ll watch and review an old film or maybe a favourite of mine. Also, if you have any suggestions on what film I should watch please let me know as I’m always open to suggestions. Anyway, with that little bit of admin done, on with this weeks review.

To start off these, hopefully, weekly reviews, today I watched two films. Both released in 2015 and both I haven’t seen before. They were Tomorrowland and The Martian.


Imagine A Place where Anything Is Possible

Tomorrowland, written and directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant), starred George Clooney (Gravity, Oceans Eleven), Hugh Laurie (House, Stuart Little), Britt Robertson (The Longest Ride, The First Time) and Raffey Cassidy (Dark Shadows, Snow White and The Huntsman). The main plot of this film is a Casey Netwon (Britt Robertson) is given a pin by Athena (Raffey Cassidy) and then has to go and find Frank Walker (Clooney) and team up to get to Tomorrowland and stop Nix’s (Hugh Laurie) plan.

Despite this film being considered a flop at the Box Office, it’s budget was $190 million and it made back only $93 million, I thought it was a pretty good film. It’s cinematography was amazing to look at, with the camera giving awesome establishing shots. The CGI used was so realistic I couldn’t tell the difference between a green screen or real set. The music was brilliant, getting fast paced and loud at the tense and action moments and getting slow and quiet in the emotional parts. The pacing of the film was brilliant, whenever you thought the film might slow down it picked up the pace straight away not giving you any time to think.

Despite all of this however, I can see why the film may have not been a hit with the cinema-going audience. Its message. Tomorrowland is basically a film about how the human race is very quickly destroying their own planet, even though some people might have expected it to be a little more Sci-Fi considering the trailers, posters and the theme park it’s based on. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of Sci-Fi elements in this film: the rocket in the Eiffel Tower, the rocket in the bath tub, the jet-packs and the weird teleport pin. But the main message of the film is “stop watching videos about the End of The World and do something to try and stop it”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that message, of course we should, as a species, be trying to change the way we treat our planet, and it would make a good sub-plot or a good subliminal message but it shouldn’t be the main plot of a family friendly kids Sci-Fi film.

That message, and complaint, aside. This was a good film. It was funny, emotional and action packed all in the right places. The acting of Clooney, Robertson and Laurie was also fantastic with each of them giving an intense performance and really becoming their characters with Clooney even having to become something of a grumpy old man (a character he wouldn’t normally portray). However, the child acting wasn’t the best. The main child actor in this film was Raffey Cassidy and her acting at times could be described as wooden and amateurish with her also slipping out of her american accent whenever she has to say a word beginning with the letter W. On the other hand, the actor who played Young Frank, Thomas Robinson, completely shone in the limited screen time he had, making you believe that he was actually a young George Clooney and producing a believable backstory for the character.

Overall, Tomorrowland is a great Disney movie. It’s colourful, witty, visually amazing, emotional and just great in near-enough all departments. It’s truly a shame that this film didn’t do better at the Box Office as I think a lot more could be done and introduced if there was to be made a sequel. It’s also a shame that Disney seemed to have stopped promoting the film, even when it was still in cinemas. When I went to Disneyworld in June, just a couple of weeks after the films release, there was very minimal promotion in the parks, even in Tomorrowland itself! I urge you to see this film if you haven’t already and I hope with time it’ll get a wider viewing and response.


Bring Him Home

Now, onto the second film of this review. The Martian.

The Martian is directed by Ridley Scott and is based off of the book The Martian written by Andy Weir (I have a copy myself). It stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney and has a large supporting cast of great actors such as Sebastian Stan, Kristen Wigg, Kate Mara, Sean Bean and Jeff Daniels as NASA Astronauts and NASA commanders. The main plot of the film is that the crew of a Mars Exploration mission have to abandon the expedition due to a large sand storm that could endanger them. Whilst evacuating, Mark Watney is hit by debris and is knocked unconscious, with the rest of the crew thinking he’s dead, they leave and Mark has to survive on Mars until NASA send another expedition or a rescue mission.

First of all this film is a visual masterpiece. The martian landscape is beautiful and the spaceships exterior’s and interiors look as real as anything that could be created on Earth this very day.

This is also a brilliant performance by Matt Damon who has to do a lot of science talk and exposition all by himself, with him being the only person still on Mars. He delivers a witty and lovable character who you genuinely root for and fear for throughout his journey.

As well as Matt Damon giving a great performance. Jeff Daniels and Sean Bean also bring amazing performances as the head of NASA and the head of the Mars missions respectively. Both showing a great emotional range when making the tough calls on whether or not to go back and save their stranded astronaut.

One thing i absolutely adored about this film was the music. The soundtrack to this movie rivals that of Guardians of the Galaxy. With songs ranging from Hot Stuff by Donna Summer and Starman by the late great David Bowie, they really add to the movie and bring humour and emotion to the scenes they’re included in. A brilliant choice by the filmmakers to use this soundtrack and they made some of the scenes so memorable (for example, the scene where Mark final finds a source for heat and dances to Hot Stuff).

To be honest, I can’t really find a flaw with this film. The only negative I can say is it features a lot of science terminology, but what are you expecting when you go to see a realistic space movie?

Overall, I loved this film. I was hooked since i saw the first trailer early last year and I’m glad I finally got to watch the film. I can’t wait to own it myself and re-watch it all the time. As with Tomorrowland, if you haven’t seen this film yet, please, go and see it.

Tomorrowland: 7.5/10

The Martian: 9/10

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