Monday, May 25, 2015

Tomorrowland Movie Review: Irreni Worthy

Hi! Happy Sunday!

Tomorrowland Movie Review: Irreni Worthy

Tomorrowland is an Irreni worthy movie because fundamentally Tomorrwland is optimistic and fun. Woot!

Tomorrowland begins with a simple moral lesson of optimism and then ends with the same moral lesson.  A young women is recruited to save the world. She does so by applying the simple optimistic moral stated in the beginning. In Tomorrowland an engineer played by George Clooney figures out how to predict, or monitor, the future using tachyons of Star Trek fame. A despair future is predicted by the tachyon monitor where the world will end in a just a few months.

The moral to the story and the wolf parable above is that life is a feedback loop. The movie goes one step further and promotes optimism when there is only a 1% chance of survival. Would you be that much of an optimist?

The young girl saves the day by rightly assessing that the tachyon monitor itself represents a negative feedback loop that needs to be destroyed, bad wolf defeated.

The movie's other themes and morals mirror those of other popular science fiction movies such as Avatar and Interstellar. For example, global climate change is looming and along with it the very real possibility of worldwide calamity coupled with very slim chances of humans being able to stop climate change disasters.  Tomorrowland is Irreni worthy because the glass being half empty metaphor gets an update to the glass being 1% full. Even if the glass is only 1% full then one still needs to be an optimist. Climate disasters could put us in such a predicament. NASA has predicted that California may very well see a 50 year draught. Are we optimism ready?

Below is a list of some of the other sci-fi speculative morals and themes:
  1. Robots are friendly. The movie Terminator and many sci-fi movies posit that with the singularity of computer consciousness then computers will do the right thing and wipe out its competing species, humans. Of course a movie where computers fall in love with humans and take care of them and we all live happily ever after would make for a boring movie
  2. Adults become cynical. George Clooney's character as well as the protagonists Father are both portrayed as having lost their optimism of youth and became full of despair. Flash backwards in the movie and George Clooney was recruited as a child to Tomorrowland as a child prodigy. Back then in the 1960s he was young and optimistic. Flash forward and he is cynical and pessimistic. Actually I think that is the wrong message. I'm George Clooney's age and still every bit the optimist. The difference is I'm no longer naive about what to be optimistic about. I think the movie is wrong on this count.
  3. Robots can be good or bad. Robots are only as good as their software. This is a healthy moral perspective to have as opposed to robots are all good or all bad. 
  4. Evil and good are problematic labels. Hugh Laurie of House fame does a great job playing a good bad guy. His character is likeable and not overly arrogant or mentally crazy. If it were not for the goon robot squad out killing other robots his character would not seem evil at all. Hugh's character is mostly guilty of believing the future predicted by the monitor is an unalterable future. He dismantles Tomorrowland and sits back to await Earth's fate. The good wolf and bad wolf exists in us all where who we become is what we feed. Evil and good are not binary labels that people are either or.
  5. Xenophobia. AI and robots are nothing to be afraid of just because they are different.
  6. Dreamers dream. Don't let the haters get you down. Irreni World Scale is such a dream. Great message.
  7. Climate change. We need to be stewards of the Earth. 
All of these themes are common to speculative science fiction and worthy of promoting. Promoting them all in one movie is a little much I think. There is just not enough time in two hours to really do them justice. The film did a good job of showing the two wolves though:
  • Father: light young, dark older. 
  • Frank: light young, dark older.
  • Computers: software dependent. They will be what we program them to be.
  • Life is a feedback loop: tachyon monitor shows a negative future that needs to be defeated. This is especially effective in the face of the world's major religions predicting the end times are nigh. Screw that.
  • Explicitly stated in the beginning and resolves the dilemma in the end.
My final strong recommendation for watching this movie is its strong anti-theism theme. Modern anti-theists promote right thinking instead of being anti-religion and this movie is a Wonderful(tm) example of anti-theism: it never mentions religion.

I become an atheist when I read the first chapter of the bible. I did not become an anti-theist until I read the book of Revelations. Nothing fails like prayer and nothing works like defeatism. A defeatist will aways be right because in the words of Edmund Burke, "The only thing required for defeat is for good people to do nothing." There are days on end of discusion one can have when it comes to the vile wickedness of Christianity and religion in general. But the ultimate evil committed by the bible is the message in Revelations. If there were a good god and there were a revelation to be made then it would this: live until the end of time and then figure out a way to live beyond time. That's the only revelation a "good" god would give. An evil god would reveal that the end times are nigh and defeatism is destiny,  a dystopia for which there is no possibility of avoiding.

There are a million reasons the Bible is evil but you only need one for a child to disqualify a book claiming perfection,  claiming to be the dogmatic perfect word of a good creator. A good god would never promote defeatism and a good god would never write the book of Revelations.

The optimistic message of this movie does not square with end of times, the end of Earth. It is our future to outlive the Earth as a species if we choose and then work towards that goal . Outliving Earth is something no religion teaches and something Tomorrowland implies. We can escape our doomed Earth fate if we only try.

My biggest criticism of Tomorrowland is acceptable: the movie offers no concrete solutions other than to recommend we be optimistic. But then again the world at large is stuck on today's utterly broken political governments.  No one is  offering solutions so that is really no fault of Tomorrowland. Not unless the writers had read Irreni World Scale and deliberately ignored it. :-)


Scale your empathy, scale the world! 

Find your tribe!

Be sexy people!

The future is coming! 

Innovate at a rapid pace!

Slow speed ahead!

Well come! and well met!

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