CEMS Reviews: Futurestates (“Promised Land”)

WWN Editor’s note: Readers looking for individual reviews from the Camp Ernst Middle School club should get ready for a long-read take on the Futurestates web series episode “Promised Land.” Since the separate pieces were short, I compiled them, for this assignment, creating a longer narrative about “Promised Land” and the evolving opinions of these critics. For those interested in watching the series, after these teasing reviews, feel free to head over to YouTube. Enter “Futurestates” into the search and settle in for a wild and thoughtful experience. (tt stern-enzi)


In this show, a boy and his dad went out hunting for something and that ‘something’ happened to be people. The boy had to take a girl that they caught back to the car. On the way, he basically let her escape. This show somehow reminded me of Hunger Games, mainly because they were in the woods. It also kind of reminded me of Star Wars because the girl’s dress looked like Princess Leia. On the other hand, this show was very good. (Haley Rothfuss)


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Futurestates is more like the 2016 presidential election, mostly on the policy of immigration. Some of the people sound like Donald Trump as if he was talking about illegal immigrants and how to stop it. The setting looks a little post-apocalyptic and dystopian. In the future of the web series, the temperature is higher and everybody tries to find illegal immigrants for rations. It looks as if some hunt for illegal immigrants, the immigrants use teleportation or invisibility as camouflage so they don’t get arrested or killed.  (Michael Dementjevs)


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This (“Promised Land”) is a story about immigration, but not regular immigration – time immigration. This reminds me a lot of Futurama, the animated TV show. The main character, Fry, gets frozen and goes to the future. In one episode he actually goes to the past again. This short film reminds me of Futurama because of the time travel subject. I highly recommend both of these shows. Going back to the short film; I believe that the girl, Mia, is a descendant of Jackson’s sister. I would say this because of the pentacle. I really enjoyed this episode (of Futurestates). (Brooklyn Hollis)


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“Promised Land” was directed very well. The dystopian society part of the story reminded me of the Hunger Games series. The father invites his son on a mission to capture immigrants. On the mission, the father finds an immigrant, and gives her to his son. The son is told to capture her, but he knows it’s not right. The immigrant runs away, and the son is supposed to shoot her, but he never does. This relates to lots of dystopian societies because they start with a family/organization that fights for the wrong thing, and one or more of the members strays from the system and does the “right” thing. (Julia Reichl)


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In this episode of the series Futurestates, the point of view comes from a teen boy. In the future they take hostage of all people who trespasses. The boy is ordered by his father to help his group. The boy cannot refuse, because if he disrespects his dad then he will be shipped off to military school.

His sister even made him promise that he would behave.

He captures one of them and has to take her back to the building. As he travels through the woods, he realizes that the entire thing was wrong, so he sets her free…in front of his dad. When they get back to the house the dad told him he would be going to military school on Monday. He sacrifices himself to save the girl. (Adam Klein)


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I’m gonna say that there’s not a lot of story for one episode. It kinda just throws you in the story like you HAVE to watch the whole episode in chronological order to get it. There are also A LOT of clichés. At the start of the episode, something happens protagonist has to do something they don’t normally do, go to a bad place and the “bad guys” come out of nowhere. The protagonist gets one and when they are alone, the “bad guy” tells sad story gets hurt, the protagonist lets them go, and then PLOT TWIST. It’s all clichés and I want a movie that just a little different. (Izaak Stehlin)


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Futurestates is an internet series that takes on social issues and how they will be in the future. The episode “Promised Land” covers the problems of immigration. So in the future they invent time travel. Since the future is terrible the people of the future travel to the past to live a better life.

The episode looks at the life of a young teenager who goes out with his dad to control the people time traveling. From what we can see, the overflow of people is causing problems for the present. Which makes the future terrible.

So the boy meets a girl from the future who traveled to his time. You look at the conflict of these two characters arguing over what is the right thing for them. It makes you think how this would work in reality. (Josh Benedict)


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I think that is was a good first episode. It was good because it was based off of time travel and time travel is fun to watch. “Promised Land” also is good because it involves relationships with your family. The people who went back in the past went back in the past so they can find their family. (Tyler Rothfuss)


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“Promised Land” is about a boy and a girl. Jackson lived with his dad and his sister. A person from the past killed his mother.

When David’s leg breaks, Jackson has to fill in for him. It was not long until they came across people from the past. His dad catches a girl named Maya. Jackson was given the role to take her back. Maya and Jackson walked for a while and when they stopped to take a break, Jackson took a long drink then gave Maya some.

Maya shared a story about her little brother; she wanted to bring a bird back for him. Maya stood up, hands still cuffed, and she fell on to the ground. The cuffs were now bruising her hands, so Jackson takes off the cuffs. Maya rests on the ground, massaging her wrists. Jackson then looked at her and told her how his mom died. Which is the reason why they chase them.

A little while later Maya refused to go with Jackson, and she started walking away. Jackson hesitated to shoot her. She walked down the path whispering to herself holding onto a necklace.

Long story short Jackson has to go to military school and he gives his little sister his necklace. You’re probably thinking that Maya is his little sister. But Maya had a little brother, so it will make more since that Maya is his mother.

This reminds me of Hunger Games and Star Wars. (Caitlin Livers Gowdy)


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This was a great clip. It talked about immigrants and how this kid or teen had to shoot this lady and he decided not to. I give it four stars, but it was mostly the best thing I had ever seen in a short film. It connects to The Hunger Games and the future, which you don’t see very often. It was a sad, but happy little clip and it was amazing. Also it had a cool scene and action and it had a very good reflection on the world today. (Breanna Partin)


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I think that it (“Promised Land”) was very different from most movies and TV shows that take place in the future. It didn’t show any futuristic technology or anything like that. I also think it kind of reflects how Donald Trump is going to try and stop illegal immigration. It showed that in the future, immigrants will be hated, and think if this were to happen in the future, it might be because of Trump. (Braedon Ryle)


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My biggest concern is the gas prices. You know it’s the future when gas cost $16 per gallon.

As soon as I saw the coin and it zoomed in on it I knew it was what the girl was holding. It was amazing when I saw when he gave her the coin. It was like, ¨Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?¨ (Ethan McPeake – HarambE Fan 123)


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“Promised Land” is an episode, from a series called Futurestates. The episode was made in 2013, and the topic of the episode was immigration. So does this episode make the jump across the border, or does it fall short?

Well the episode is set, in a collapsing America dealing with immigrants from the future. Our two main protagonists are Jackson (Noah Galvin), and Maya (Jessica Rothe) an immigrant from the future. Jackson and his father with his friends are hunting for immigrants, who are coming from the future. Maya is captured and Jackson is tasked with taking her back to his father’s truck, and Maya and Jackson start to build a relationship.

Yeah, I am going to stop here. The reason is the ending is such a mind-bust, but you can see the episode on YouTube. The performances were nice throughout; the actors did a nice job. But the best performance was Noah Galvin as Jackson. He gave us character with few lines, but through his body language; we get a person who is dealing with grief and is acting out by getting in trouble. The story is nice, and shows us what our future is if immigration is not handled.

Overall: Story 8/10; Characters 10/10; Setting 9/10 (Caleb Daly)


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