Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review of "Tomorrowland"

This movie has been getting mixed reviews, and a lot of pundits are already declaring that it is a failure almost on the scale of "John Carter". I beg to differ.

It is not without faults. In fact, the ending was a big letdown. I'd say the final 30 minutes of the movie felt rather contrived and tired. However, the first 2/3 of the movie was spectacular! It was visually stunning, and the storyline felt like it was heading somewhere uncharted. I like watching a movie that kept me unbalanced and not able to guess at the next move. Tomorrowland did that for me, at least, the first 2/3 of it.

I'm not going to reveal the storyline, because doing so will be a disservice if you haven't seen it. But I will say that the 3 leading characters in the movie were quite engaging, even the "robot". Where the movie lost it for me, and where I started to be able to guess what will happen next was when they were all back in Tomorrowland and the battle to stop the impending doom. This was where the direction and the "message" of the movie was delivered to heavy-handed. In fact, for the movie that started off so mysteriously and so complex, the ending and the reason for all the destruction was too simple and not at all convincing. It ruined what was until then, a fun, visually-amazing movie.

I will still recommend this movie even with the flaw. I think people will enjoy it more than they expect. If you are a Disney park fan, you'll recognize familiar landmarks in the movie.

BTW, it turns out that "Tomorrowland" is the first movie ever to be shown, in certain theaters, in the new Dolby Vision. It was shown that way at the El Capitan theater. The next movie that can also be seen in Dolby Vision? Disney/Pixar's "Inside/Out".


Cinderella is an important movie for Disney

Scott Mendelson at Forbes.com posted this article about recent Disney movies.  The premise is that Cinderella represents Disney material that was not acquired by buying a company, and is therefore a potential good source of successful movies.  Tomorrowland (the movie) is apparently heading for a disappointing financial result, thus joining other movies such as John Carter and The Lone Ranger.  While Tomorrowland had some good moments, overall it was lacking what it takes to make a good movie.  At times, it struggled to make any sense and the ending seemed like the worst choice among several alternate endings.  Cinderella, according to the Forbes article, was a solid movie with a good story line.
The ability for Disney to make blockbusters based on their older animated films has given them a whole new franchise of sorts. But the surprisingly (?) robust artistic and financial success of Cinderella has given this would-be franchise a huge dose of respectability and credibility.
Now you may argue that there isn’t all-that-much to celebrate about Disney looting its animated vaults, and I’m not here to dissuade you of that notion. But the relative artistic triumph and unquestionable financial victory of Disney’s Cinderella (which earned over five times its budget just in worldwide theatrical) is the needed jolt as Disney attempts to fashion big-scale blockbusters outside of the Marvel/Star Wars universe.

Tokyo Disneyland rides stopped by what?

Kotaku.com reports that several rides in the park, including Journey to the Center of the Earth were stopped due to a magnitude 5.5 earthquake. 
Journey to the Center of the Earth wasn’t the only attraction that stopped because of the quake. Other rides like Star Tours, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain did, too.
People were evacuated from the rides as a precaution but it seems there was no real damage.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

John Lasseter Talks About Upcoming Disney and Pixar Slate of Movies

During a 2-hour presentation at Cannes Film Festival, John Lasseter talks about the upcoming slate of Disney and Disney-Pixar movies. This includes Finding Dory, The Good Dinosaur, and others.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"No Selfie Sticks" Signs Begin To Show Up At WDW

You KNOW that this was bound to happen sooner or later.

Our last trip to WDW this past December was an eye-opener because I had never seen so many selfie sticks being used all through the parks. People were either filming themselves while walking around the parks, or on rides. Holy cow, this thing could be dangerous especially in a crowded area!

Sure enough, Disney is beginning to crack down on selfie sticks. It starts with Thunder Mountain Railroad.

So on Friday, Walt Disney World went a step further to make that point. It posted a "No Selfie Sticks" sign at the Magic Kingdom's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

A few weeks ago, Disney told workers to remind guests of that policy.

Still, Thunder Mountain has had an especially high number of incidents in which the ride had to be stopped because of selfie-stick use.

Similar signs have been posted at Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland in California.

It'll require just a few guests being poked by this darn thing in a crowded area before I see a ban on this nuisance.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Inside/Out Debuts at Cannes

Disney-Pixar's "Inside/Out" debuts at Cannes Film Festival today.

While the release date is June 19 in the US, many Disney Visa card holders had the opportunity last week to purchase a special Fathom event ticket that will not only give an advance showing on June 16 of the movie, but also a sneak peek at Pixar Studios and a live interview with Pete Doctor.

Special Fathom Features: Experience exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from Pixar Animation Studios and a Q&A with director Pete Docter, producer Jonas Rivera and the voice of Joy, Amy Poehler.

Fathom Events and Disney are bringing Disney*Pixar's highly-anticipated Inside Out to theatres nationwide on Tuesday, June 16 in a special advanced screening.

This one-night event will include exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from Pixar Animation Studios in addition to the full-length feature Inside Out and the Lava short three days before its official release. PLUS following the showing of Inside Out, audiences will enjoy an exclusive Q&A with director Pete Docter, producer Jonas Rivera and the voice of Joy, Amy Poehler, live via satellite from their Australian tour. Event attendees will also receive a limited edition Inside Out commemorative poster and lanyard that includes a special code for access to digital extras.

The tickets were opened for purchase to the public last May 15th. We will be going.


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Phineas And Ferb To Air Final Episode In June

The final episode of our most favorite TV series on any Disney channel, Phineas and Ferb, will air on June 12 at 9/8c on Disney XD.

Disney XD announced on Thursday that after 126 episodes, five hour-long specials and a TV-movie, the animated series will air its final episode, “Last Day of Summer,” on Friday, June 12 at 9/8c.

I still have no clue why Disney is ending this series. It falls into one of the most intelligent animated series, in the same class as South Park, The Simpsons, and Pinky and the Brain. All I can say is that there better be a humongous box-set of this series coming out soon.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Frozen Fireworks Over Streets of America

For those of us who missed it, here is a video of the new Frozen fireworks over the Street of America at DHS.

I must say that I don't quite remember the one that was over the now-gone Sorcerer Hat, so I can't quite compare that with this "new" one. It will be interesting to see if they'll keep doing this show at the new location. It certainly will prevent all that congestion along the main entrance.


Monday, May 04, 2015

Mickey Head River Rock Stepping Stone

Walgreens continues to carry some of the neatest seasonal Disney merchandise (why can't the Disney Stores be more like this?) around.

Found this over the weekend at our nearby Walgreens. It is a Mickey head stepping stone.

On the back, it has a place where you can attach it to a nail or a hook so that you can mount it on the wall. At about a foot in width, it is a nice size.

We liked it so much, be bought TWO! :) We'll hang them on the wall some time soon.