Friday, October 11, 2013
Today is the "D" day for Randy Moore's "Escape from Tomorrow" indie movie as it is released in limited theaters in the U.S as well as on the Apple iTunes Store where it is possible to rent or buy the movie - on the U.S iTunes Store only. As you know the movie - who was filmed "guerrilla style" at WDW without Disney's authorization - had a screening early this year at the Sundance Film Festival and since then the big question was to know if Disney would try to stop its release or not. Finally, Disney apparently decided to don't do anything and there is a good reason why as you will understand why below.
I remind you the synopsis of Escape from Tomorrow: "A family goes to vacation at WDW and on the last day the father learn by a phone call that he's fired from his job. As he takes his children to various attractions the father is haunted by disturbing imagery and is also in the meantime tailing two young flirtatious french girls around the park". For sure, when you learn right in the middle of the happiest place on Earth that you're fired from your job it's understandable to feel depressed, so there was a good starting point and i, personally, was curious to see what the director had done with that. Then came the trailer which looked interesting and the black and white photography looked really nice too. As well as the movie soundtrack which was released on iTunes and i thought the score was excellent with its romantic symphonic 1950's style. I remember even thinking that if the movie was as good as the music it was promising.
Then some days ago, learning that journalists could have a private screening through a secret link provided by the movie press agent i contacted the PR and i have to say that she's been so incompetent that she succeeded to make me furious as nothing makes me more angry than people unable to be "more intelligent than corporate". That said, i knew the movie was going to be released on iTunes two days later and as i had already planned to watch it through iTunes i didn't care that she refused to send me the secret link. It was just stupid but as we know there is more and more stupidity in this world. Anyway, i promised to myself to still be objective when i will watch the movie and that's what i finally did today.
The fact that the movie was filmed without Disney's authorization is of course a problem for Disney but personally i think that all what we should care about is if Escape from Tomorrow is a good movie, or not. As you probably already understood i was hoping it will be good and i'm sorry to say that it's not. It's bad, it's a huge disappointment and to say the truth there is so many flaws in the movie that it was even painful to watch it. Seriously. And, trust me, i was really expecting something good as, again, i thought that there was the material to do something interesting. Unfortunately Randy Moore is not Roman Polanski - who would have done a masterpiece with a subject like this - but he don't pretend to be him and it's also his first movie so i suppose it won't be reasonable to ask too much.
That said, what is not good in Escape from Tomorrow? Well, if you read others reviews you'll see that critics blamed bad acting or editing and it's true that the editing simply doesn't work. The movie is 1h30min long and you could have cut at least a third of it easily. And there are things which are unforgivable, like the poor quality of the dialogues, specially some scenes between the father and the mother which are really bad. Which is strange knowing that Randy Moore started as a story editor. Then you have the first -at least - 20 minutes of the film where the family goes from a ride to another one and where almost nothing happen except this moment where the father notice again the two young girls he previously saw briefly in the monorail when he came from the Contemporary Resort where their room is. In fact the first 20 minutes almost look like fans videos on Youtube, a bit better filmed and in black and white and i wouldn't mind if something interesting was happening during these scenes but, no, nothing interesting is really happening except the father first sequence of hallucination inside It's a Small World and you can't stop thinking that somewhere there is an editor who didn't did his job correctly.
About the actors: i still don't know if the casting was a mistake or not. I'm sure, for instance, that Roy Abramsohn - who plays the father - has done his best and is a good actor, so my feeling is that there is more a directing problem than an actor problem. I think personally that the actors directing was terrible, just like if it has been done by a director who don't "feel" anything. And i'm sure that the acting is not done at the "second agree" either, that it's not voluntary if they play like this. But the young son and the girls are good. The problem is that the whole movie don't only have serious flaws but also lack of subtlety and elegance as it sometime even vulgar. In fact you have the feeling that the movie is a mix of this kind of teenagers provocative videos that you can find on Youtube but with also a will of doing something better in a more mature "Polanski" style. But i'm sorry, you can't mix both styles, it doesn't work. Transitions from a scene to another often doesn't work too, just like if there was something which was missing or a transition not well done...
And by the way even if the film had a guerrilla style filming don't think that it's a movie done with a small crew. As we can see in the end credits there was at least 45 actors playing in it and more than 120 technicians working on Escape from Tomorrow. Sure, the movie didn't had million dollars budget - and you can feel it during some sequences - but it's not too a $10000 movie. So, no, i think there is mainly a directing and a editing problem not too mention what i've mentioned before with the dialogues and even the script itself as sometime you have the feeling that "there is no script"... Of course there is one but may be there was not the material for a 1h30min movie.
So, you probably understood that i don't really recommend Escape to Tomorrow to you but if you still want to watch it you can go on the iTunes Store HERE. As for Disney either they succeeded to have a copy or somebody tell them that Escape from Tomorrow was simply bad enough to don't present any danger for the company and i have to say that i don't expect Escape from Tomorrow to break records at the box-office. So, yes, Disney don't have any reason to be afraid of, they don't even need to do bad publicity for Escape from Tomorrow as the movie, very unfortunately, do it by itself. I would have been pleased to say the contrary and to tell you that it's a great film, but sorry, it's not. But the soundtrack, the music, is excellent, and you can find it on iTunes HERE.
Publié par Alain Littaye à l'adresse 10:40 AM