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Reviews of Tomorrowland, Saint Laurent and Welcome to Me

Also radical jihadists laying down the new law in Timbuktu

Filmed in BC. Rather than hide the fact low down in the end credits, the Disney Corporation has it prominent in the ads for Tomorrowland.

It’s the big film among the new ones this week while Timbuktu, a small African film about radical Muslims, may be the most important.

Here’s the list:

Tomorrowland:  3 stars

Welcome to Me:  3 ½

Saint Laurent:  3

Timbuktu:  4

Poltergeist: not reviewed

TOMORROWLAND: It starts better than it ends but is still worth your (and your kids’) while for the grand visuals, the sense of wonder and awe it engenders and its themes of optimism. Also, this is a summer blockbuster that proudly trumpets that it was filmed here in and around Vancouver.

These visions of the future look like they're straight out of old popular science magazines and Disney theme parks. Flying trains and air ships whiz by. People aviate with jet packs on their back. Roads are like Playland ramps. Buildings seem space-movie inspired. Too bad we don’t actually spend a lot of time there and see what life might be like. Most of the film has our main characters just trying to get there. Britt Robertson plays the daughter of a NASA engineer who sees mirages of that world after she’s handed a collectible pin that may have originated at the 1964 World’s Fair. That was a major celebration of technological possibilities. George Clooney plays a bitter inventor who went to that fair as a young boy but was rebuffed by a condescending official (Hugh Laurie). Now, robots attack and try to keep him and Britt away from Tomorrowland.


They escape through a very B.C.-like forest and make their way to Paris where they fly a rocket that was left in the Eiffel tower by Tesla, Edison and Jules Verne. As you may be coming to realize, the story has gotten confusing by that point. Hugh Laurie returns, an android girl helps out Britt and there’s something about “tachyon particles” that can travel faster than light. Don’t sweat the details; the film’s real mission here is to encourage people who “haven’t given up yet” to keep working to fix the world. Two-time Oscar winner Brad Bird co-wrote, directed and produced the film. He keeps it moving and good-looking, although less than narratively clear. (Dunbar, Scotiabank and suburban theatres)  3 out of 5   

WELCOME TO ME: We used to worry about what would happen if the crazies got hold of TV. No issue these days. Public access came along and now U-tube channels and social media and anybody can have an outlet. This quirky comedy takes us a step back. Kristen Wiig plays a comically-sad woman with borderline personality disorder, previously known as bipolar. She studies old Oprah tapes for comfort and when she wins big in a lottery buys herself two hours a day on a TV station to do her own show.


More in New Movies

Disney wildlife times two, a blast at American politics and a traumatic teen drama

Also a couple of small but amiable comedies, one of them Canadian

More streaming ideas take you to Brazil, low-life China and two Jesse Eisenberg films

As well as a cleverly-plotted trip to Barcelona thanks to Netflix

Movie theatres are shut down, so what’s streaming?

Some modest recommendations and stay for the last one, an alarm about what has happened to the internet.
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