May 22, 2015, - 5:50 pm

Wknd Box Office: Tomorrowland, Poltergeist, Good Kill, 5 Flights Up, Every Secret Thing

By Debbie Schlussel




Memorial Day Weekend is supposed to be the unofficial start of summer. And yet there is nothing good among the new offerings at the movies, this weekend. All humdrum and mediocre.

* “Tomorrowland“: This movie was a jumbled, multi-culturalist, global warming, George Clooney mess. Thanks, Disney. Walt is turning over in his grave. But, hey, the movie is definitely non-stop pimpitude of Disney rides and features (“It’s a Small World” ride, “Tomorrowland,” etc.). Also, I wondered which genius thought it would be great for kids to feature multiple scenes in which human-looking robots get beheaded.

While the first half of this movie was somewhat charming though mostly nonsensical, it got worse in the second half. The story was absurd and wandering. The movie begins with a little boy at the 1964 World’s Fair. He’s taken his flying jet pack invention to be examined by a “scientist” who is looking for the great discoveries of the future. A little girl gives him a pin that opens up a whole new world, Tomorrowland, when he rides in the “It’s a Small World After All” ride.

Flash forward to present day and a teen girl (very mediocre and unmemorable actress Britt Robertson) is constantly vandalizing the NASA rocket launcher platform because she thinks it will keep her NASA engineer father in a job a little longer, now that human travel to space is now over. The girl, caught in her vandalism, is arrested, as just as she’s being bailed out of jail, she finds one of those Tomorrowland buttons among her possessions. Whenever she touches the button, she’s immediately transported from present day to a futuristic, amazing place with space travel, etc. But the button’s powers run out and she runs away to Texas to try to find another button and find out what the button is, when she is attacked by robots and is rescued by a young English girl. It’s the same girl who gave the boy genius with the jet pack a button decades earlier. It turns out this young girl is really a robot, recruiting geniuses for Tomorrowland and the future, although it’s incredibly hard to believe that the airheaded female vandal is a genius of any sort.

Soon the robot girl takes Britt Robertson to the home of George Clooney, who is the boy genius from the 1964 World’s Fair, all grown up, bitter, and disillusioned. Clooney a/k/a Mr. Amal Alamuddin looks incredibly haggard, tired, and old in this movie, like he really is in real life, and it’s hard to see what the fuss ever was about this self-important narcissist. Clooney and Robertson are forced to escape, after they are chased by robots who want to kill them. The English girl robot joins them as they travel to Tomorrowland and try to save the world from the evil governor of Tomorrowland. The governor shows the earth just weeks from now, flooding from global warming and “greedy humans” who “don’t merit” saving. But Robertson and Clooney, together, save the world by recruiting assorted multi-cultural geniuses, including–the movie screen shows you–Muslims, who are artists. Yes, people drawing chalk pictures on sidewalks while wearing hijabs are gonna save the earth from global warming and destruction. Uh, no.

And did I mention that they took 2.5 hours of our time to show us this big giant nothing? Seemed like five hours.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Poltergeist“: This hews quite close to the original 1982 movie of the same name and of which it is a remake. But I re-watched the original, and it was far better. Either way, neither movie stands the test of time. Neither is scary in the least, and it’s supposed to be a scary movie. And it includes a TV reality show host who “cleans” haunted houses. There is nothing wrong with this movie, except that it’s quite dull. The little girl who is kidnapped by ghosts and demons is the raven-haired doppelganger for the late Heather O’Rourke, who played the same role in the original, and she has the same overdone, saccharin “cuteness.”

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it’s not a great movie, either. Nothing earth-shattering here. It’s a lot of the same stuff as the original, with the clown dolls and the TV static. But in this one, there are some modern updates, such as the use of a drone to go into the other dimensions to find the missing daughter and the presence of a TV reality show host who helps fight the demons. I also noted that for such a relatively new house, the attic looks out of place, as it’s a creepy, older-looking room with old accoutrements such as a creepy older sink in the corner. A more modern house like this would never have an attic that looked like that complete with creepy old wooden steps and red velvet carpeting.

The story: a family with parents who’ve been downsized moves to a cheaper house to stay afloat while the mother can write her book and the laid off father looks for work. But the house is haunted by demons and ghosts, and the daughter is taken by them into a netherworld. While the family tries to get her back, they employ a college professor who studies paranormal phenomena and a TV reality show host who “cleans” houses of their ghosts and hauntedness. The family learns the house is built above a cemetery and that’s why the problems are happening.

Like I said, this movie isn’t bad, but it’s unremarkable, not scary, and absolutely forgettable. The only thing that stood out for me was the presence of Sam Rockwell, an actor I always like, as the father character. But this ain’t his best stuff. And, again, as with most remakes, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? The original was fine and far better than this.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Good Kill“: I had mixed feelings about this preachy anti-war movie. Normally, I hate anti-war movies like this, and I despise movies that make all of our soldiers look like they are mentally defective when they return home from battle, as this movie does AND as “American Sniper” does (read my review). But this one did try to give both sides on the debate about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly via drone. And there were some good lines. It’s just that the people who made this movie made the guys with the good lines and my point of view into stock Hollywood caricatures of patriotic soldiers and sexist pigs.

The movie takes place in 2010 and Ethan Hawke is a drone pilot based in Las Vegas, bombing terrorists from a secret trailer in the middle of the desert. He was an actual pilot, bombing sites in Afghanistan and Iraq from the air, and he longs to get back to doing that. He feels that directing planes and their weapon loads via computer joystick isn’t really being a pilot, and after several tours, he wants to get back to the real thing. He goes along with orders but has a lot of the same angst as the movies tell us real pilots have, after bombing terrorists and accidentally getting kids in the process.

Hawke has several foils. From the left, there is Zoe Kravitz, a big anti-war liberal who hates that they are bombing people, but won’t kill a rapist who constantly beats a woman. (They can see this from the satellite feed.) She questions everything that they are doing. From the right, there are two patriotic soldiers who support what we are doing and are glad we are directing drones to kill terrorists, rather than risking American troops’ and pilots lives. They have the good, righteous lines in this movie (such as one singing Eddie Money’s, “I’ve Got Two Tickets to Paradise,” just as they are about to bomb a terrorist and his bomb factory; and they refer to liberal, anti-war “Kravitz” as “Jane Fonda.” But I hated that they are portrayed as sexist jerks who brag about sleeping with women who are about to be married to others, and so on. But that’s how Hollywood sees it: if you are right-wing and on the side of the military’s efforts, you are a sexist pig.

I hated that Hawke’s character, as I said, is portrayed as “damaged” and messed up because he directs drones to kill terrorists. And I hated that he gets drunk and cases a mosque. Um, in real life, it’s far more likely the people at the mosque are casing him and the rest of us.

Still, I liked that at least this movie did kind of, sort of try to give a tiny pretense at both sides. The key word is “pretense,” as the guys with the righteous, spot-on, good lines and point of view are one-dimensional jerks.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “5 Flights Up“: I hated this long, slow bore and BS statement about “Islamophobia” parading as an interracial love story about old people. Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton are a long-married couple who are trying to sell their fabulous Brooklyn apartment with a spectacular view and lots of room. Why? Well, it’s five flights up and doesn’t have an elevator. And as they are aging, they worry that at some point they won’t be able to make the trek up the stairs. So, while they are unenthusiastic about giving up this wonderful apartment, they go through the motions of showing it and looking at other apartments for a new place to live.

Interspersed into the movie is its real agenda: to show that Americans are racist pigs who are also anti-Muslim with no legitimate reason. Throughout the movie, we are shown news clips about a Muslim gasoline tanker driver who parks his tanker in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, blocking all traffic, and flees the scene. New Yorkers and newscasters are worried the truck may be laced with explosives and it could be a terrorist attack in the making. But, in fact, by the end of the movie, it turns out that everyone is just hysterical for no reason because it’s perfectly normal for an innocent Muslim to drive a tanker full of gas into the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, block all traffic, and just run away. Happens all the time, right? And they never explain to you why and how this could possibly have an innocent explanation. They just tell you he was an innocent guy and that we are all bigots. Also, a number of people, including a waitress or bartender who stole all the money from her job, go on TV to lie about and frame the innocent Muslim for crimes they committed themselves. Yup, we evil White people–always framing the innocent Muslims.

Oh, and it seems the movie is also trying to make a point that Islamophobia is the new racism, as the movie flashes back to the racism people directed toward Freeman’s and Keaton’s characters as they were a young married interracial couple, decades earlier. That’s interesting because Islam is actually the most racist religion there is, with Blacks regularly referred to as “abed/abeed” [slave/slaves], the Arabic/Muslim N-word. And there’s nothing “racist” or “bigoted” about worrying when a devout Muslim parks a tanker across a bridge, blocks traffic, and runs away. Um, no, that’s not normal, and it’s incredibly normal to conclude the driver is up to no good.

But, thanks, Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton, for this preachy lesson in liberal moronism. And thanks for making me wade through this stilted slog to get there.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Every Secret Thing“: I’m not sure what the point of this movie is, other than to bore me to tears and question why I just wasted 1.5 hours of my life that seemed like three hours. This has been billed as a “twisty thriller” but there’s nothing twisty, mysterious, or thrilling about it. Not even close. After I sat through this, I wondered, “is that all there is?” And, sadly, the answer is in the affirmative. Not much here, other than a slow waste of time. Oh, and a hardly believable story of white chicks apparently obsessed with biracial babies.

The story: two White young girls are accused of kidnapping and killing a biracial baby. After being convicted, they are sent to juvenile prison for the murder. After they reach adulthood, they are released from prison and struggle to live their lives. One of the girls (Dakota Fanning) is from a poor, working class family, and she is working at a bakery. The other (Danielle Macdonald) is a morbidly obese daughter of an educated upper middle class teacher (Diane Lane). She is unemployed and doesn’t seem to live in reality. But, now, another biracial baby has gone missing, and soon both girls are under suspicion again. The police officer (Elizabeth Banks), who became a star detective after breaking the original case and finding the baby’s body, is on the case again.

Not only are there no mysterious twists or any great revelations, but the movie comes to a grinding halt with a very matter-of-fact ending and resolution of it all. Nothing exciting here. But lots to cure what ails you on a night you’ve been afflicted with insomnia.


Watch the trailer . . .

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11 Responses

Good Kill comes out on Memorial Day weekend. I guess Hollywood wanted to do what they could to prevent people from being too patriotic or supportive of the military on this commemorative weekend (in addition to the usual pro-Muslim blather).

Little Al on May 25, 2015 at 8:33 pm

Riff-Trax has the Brit Riffers doing an insanely funny Japanese Monster movie from the 50s, while the boys are Riffing “The Myths about Shoplifting.” Much better than this.

Occam's Tool on May 25, 2015 at 10:43 pm

What dreck.

Though, the Central Government will be pleased to know, as they continue to colonize our country with 3rd world terrorists from every outlaw nation on earth, that the lemmings buying tickets to this new age agitprop are programmed still again, by our Hollywood overlords.

chuck on May 26, 2015 at 5:21 am


Thanks for watching all these movies for us. It must be tough to sit through the utter pieces of garbage without walking out.

Hillel on May 26, 2015 at 9:07 am

the wife and i, and our adult son, went to see tomorrowland for some light holiday entertainment… well, that and it was the most convenient movie starting when we arrived.

like deb’s review, the first half was entertaining and we were expecting the disney-esque style. it started off to be a clever story and the high school-age character, playing the young genius chick, drew you into the story with her natural comedic style.

but then it quickly devolved into a jumbled, schlocky plot line that became extremely irritating when clooney’s character took over the second half of the movie. man, he’s a one-note actor. towards the end it was impossible to ignore or block out the preachy leftist crap. the very last scene of the movie was vomit worthy.

after the movie we went home and grilled some chicken and corn and let tomorrowland slip into the never-neverland of our subconscious.

kirche61 on May 26, 2015 at 10:27 am

I am so sick of Morgan Freeman.

DS_ROCKS! on May 26, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Same here DSR.
My daughter and friend were watching a movie and when the narrator started speaking I said you can tell it’s an older movie, Morgan Freeman isn’t doing the talking. Now days you just can’t get away from Hollywood’s favorite leftie. He’s freakin’ everywhere!

theShadow on May 26, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Regarding TOMORROWLAND, I thought Raffey Cassidy, the young actress who played the robot girl, Athena, was charming and charismatic. Reminds me of young Angela Cartwright. Yes, the rest of the film was garbage and I left about 3/4 through. Waste of money.

Robo on May 30, 2015 at 2:12 am

Haha, american & european fags are slowly self-destructing since 50 years. You just can’t imagine how this behaviour make us laugh in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, EAU etc…

In the next decade, we shall overrun israel & plant the sword of Islam in all your unfaithful coutries. Just a matter of years !

Omar Al-baqarah on May 30, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Thank you Debbie for reviewing “Tomorrowland.” I had thought about maybe seeing the movie, because the visuals looked interesting; then I started hearing mixed reviews about it, all of which (even the Liberal ones) commented about how heavy-handedly PC it was, & I hesitated. But after reading your review, it sounds even worse than I feared! So thank you for saving me $10-12 and 2 1/2 hours of my time; it sounds like I would’ve only been disgusted by the end, with all the PC (but then, what can one expect from a Clooney flick?) I think I’d have been especially outraged by the inclusion of the moslems in the supposedly “ideal” world of the future. So thanks again for your review.

Paul on June 4, 2015 at 8:45 am

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