Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

The day did not begin well. I awoke to rain and a phone call from Mrs. Stahl. She wasn't feeling well (and she didn't sound great over the phone). Plus, there was the weather to consider. It wasn't supposed to get any better. We ended up rescheduling for March 8th.

Well, that killed most of my plans for the day. I hadn't intended on doing anything besides counseling. I just read Tatoonie Ghost for a while, then wrote in my journal and listened to the rain

It was nearly noon before I finally got up for brunch. I watched the adorable 1929 musical Sally while I ate. Sally (Marilyn Miller) is an ambitious young orphan who is dying to become a dancer someday. Right now, she's mostly just working dead-end waitress and bus girl jobs...until she falls for a very sweet young millionaire (Alexander Gray) and befriends a former count-turned-waiter (Joe E Brown). She's hired to impersonate a Russian dancer at a Long Island party...which happens to be an engagement party for the millionaire. Sally's heartbroken, but her friends find a way for her to have her Ziegfield cake and her man, too...

Called Mom after brunch. She was on her way out, but I just wanted to say "hi." I hadn't heard from her in a while. At least now I know I'm not the only one who's been losing hours at work. I guess it's either the weather or this just isn't a good year down here, but Mom's hours have been worse than mine. She says she's worked ten days in the past month at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. (Of course, this is winter. There's probably about ten people down there besides my family at the moment.)

Worked on organizing and cleaning under the sink and the pantry shelves in the wooden partition between the stove and the counter towards the end of Sally. I hadn't done them in ages. I keep losing the tops to the plastic food containers under the sink. There just isn't much storage area in that kitchen. I also realized I have some canned goods that are either expired or on the verge of doing so. I'll have to do some experimenting over the next few days.

Spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening working on my story. Ben reminds Luke that they'll need a ride to the castle - he owns no carriage or horse himself. Luke suggests Han, who is always boasting about his beloved gypsy cart the Falcon, to drive them. They return to Aldran Town to meet Han at the run-down Eisley Tavern.

They can't find him in the Tavern...but they hear an altercation in the alley between buildings. They find Han moving away from a lizard-like body with an arrow in the back. He pushes them away from it before they can see much and hurries them across the street to the Falcon...which, to Luke's dismay, turns out to be a piece of dilapidated junk. Han insists there's more to it than that, and they don't have much choice, anyway. They have to get to the ball. The junk will have to do.

Went into Tomorrowland while eating leftovers for dinner and making Chocolate-Oatmeal Hermits afterwards. Fasten your seatbelts, folks. This was another weird one. Kasey is a young girl who is trying to make her dreams of becoming a scientist come true. She's given a pin by another girl, this one more than a little odd. The pin lets her see the title world, an amazing land of technology made by anyone who could dream it...but only for a few minutes. She follows the pin first to a collectibles shop, then to a reclusive man (George Clooney) who had also once gone to Tomorrowland. Turns out Tomorrowland is an alternate dimension that's now ruled by a smarmy governor (Hugh Laurie). He's used the device Clooney made as a child to more-or-less bring around the end of the world. Kasey does her best to stop him, with help from her two new friends. In the process, she learns just how important dreamers are, and that the future isn't always as scary as we make it out to be.

This is another sci-fi flop from last year that I ended up sort of liking in spite of myself. Yes, it's confusing and the tone is all over the place, lurching from child-like wonder to dark fantasy at a split-second's notice. On the other hand, I do agree with one of the messages - why does the future always have to be so frightening? Sure, there are some bad things in the world now, but there's some good, too, and there are people out there who are willing to find solutions. It's why I'm so glad to see more upbeat sci-fi movies out there now mixed in with darker films like Mad Max: Fury Road. The world needs both the darkness and the light.

On the other hand, this movie was made to cross-over with many different media, including books. The backstory of Tomorrowland isn't explained that well in the actual film. People who are expecting more of an explanation to this story's world are going to be very confused. Plus, there's the tone problem I mentioned earlier, with the movie lurching from comedy to drama to sci-fi action and back again. The messages can come off as preachy rather than inspiring at times too, especially towards the end. The performances are as uneven as the movie, except for the girl who played the "audio-animatronic" child who is supposed to find new recruits for Tomorrowland. She handled a difficult role very well, especially her scenes with Clooney.

As strange as this was, I still recommend it for fans of Clooney, Laurie, or more upbeat science fiction. If you're looking for something a tad bit more optimistic in your action and are willing to wade through the sci-fi jargon and sometimes preachy tone, you may find this as enjoyable and upbeat as I largely did.

And by the way, it's probably just as well that I didn't have counseling. It's been raining off-and-on all day, sometimes heavily. I won't be able to avoid it tomorrow, though. I have a few things to do in the Oaklyn area that I really can't put off.

1 comment:

Linda said...

One of the libraries you go to may have the tie-in book, Before Tomorrowland. It explains how Gustave Eiffel, Jules Verne, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison founded Plus Ultra and then follows the adventure of a teenage boy and his mother at the first "Worldcon." A very famous aviatrix is involved in the plot!