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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

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from IMDB News:

In yet another technological miracle, Laurence Olivier, who died 15 years ago, will be resurrected to play a role in the forthcoming sci-fi film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, according to Jude Law, who stars in the title role of the film. Appearing at the annual Comic-Con convention in San Diego, Law disclosed that the filmmakers plan to use old footage of the actor in his prime and show him "in hologram form." As reported by the Associated Press, Law remarked: "It was important we find someone with incredible power. And a lot of the great classical actors of today have already done those roles. ... We suddenly thought, 'Hang on a minute ... It might actually work with someone who is deceased.'" Olivier's voice will be dubbed by another actor, he said. The movie is due to be released on Sept. 17

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I wonder if they will go after Anthony Hopkins to do the Olivier voice. He did a great job redubbing portions of the restored version of Spartacus.


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
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I assume they had to get Dame Joan Plowright's permission?


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Since this movie is mostly CGI (with the exception of the actors, their costumes, and a few set pieces), I'm not too surprised.

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laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

On the dinner table of summer movies, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a big hunk of homemade apple pie a la mode. I was pleasantly surprised by how much guilt-free fun this movie is... it's one of the summer's best films. I may even find room for it in my top ten, but it's easily in the top 20.

Now, don't get your expectations up for anything profound: this is as frivolous as storytelling gets. And the storytellers know it. Sky Captain advertises, again and again, that this movie is just a big excuse to revel in comic book cliches. (In fact, when the good guys are making their battle plans, their maps and technical blueprints are spread out on the table along with Buck Rogers comic books, which prove to be important as well.) But the inspired fusion of comic book cliches, new ideas, and absolutely enthralling animation, not to mention the relentlessness of the pace, the perfectly-pitched humor of the piece, and the sporting enthusiasm of the actors (who give this film the warmth and humanity that other special fx films like Final Fantasy lack), make this one thoroughly original. It's got the inspired, consistent, complete kind of world-making vision that made films like Tron and The Nightmare Before Christmas so unique. It looks like all of George Lucas's talk about digital animation giving the filmmaker the tools of a painter are really coming true, and Kerry Conran's style is distinct, artistic, and beautiful to watch.

Lines, action scenes, and plot twists will have you thinking of Indiana Jones (Sky Captain has his Sallah), The Wizard of Oz, The Empire Strikes Back (Sky Captain also has his Lando Calrissian), Jurassic Park, Independence Day, The Iron Giant (there are so many iron giants! Kerry Conran LOVES iron giants!), film noir classics, Ray Bradbury sci-fi, The War of the Worlds, and more.

But the film I came away thinking about was Dark City. Dark City was much darker and more "adult" whereas this is pure dime-store novel pulp for kids. But the film starts like a rocket and never slows down, like Dark City, so that the whole film feels like one big action scene, the suitably-formulaic "hero music" propelling us along without a break. It's the same quick-cut, fever-pitch intensity of Dark City, but it also resembles that film in that it makes sure that every single frame of the film is interesting, creative, and artistic. There isn't one single wasted moment of screen time. It's the most efficient big screen adventure in years, and by comparison Spider-Man 2 looks bloated.

No, the characters aren't deeply developed. But there's just enough personality, just enough history, just enough humor to make them memorable. They really do feel like comic book characters because they never have long conversations. Everything is clipped, quick, and stick-to-business. Gwyneth Paltrow steals the show with a performance that actually registers as just that... a performance... in spite of the fact that she's acting in front of a blue screen. She and Jude Law actually have chemistry, and the film gives them enough Indiana Jones/Marion, Han Solo/Princess Leia banter that some serious old-fashioned romance develops. Giovanni Ribisi is goofy and fun; he's Sky Captain's James-Bond-gadget-man. And Angelina Jolie, who's role is not much more than a cameo, doesn't spoil anything.

Sir Laurence Olivier? Very cleverly employed. There's no reason to be concerned.

And the look of the film on the big screen... man, I just wanted it to go on and on and on.

Anyway, GO SEE THIS on opening weekend, because Conran's made a sensational debut, and I'd love to see him expand this into a franchise. It's cotton candy, but what it lacks in substance (which would have seemed inappropriate anyway) it makes up for with a childlike enthusiasm and invention. There's more imagination in 30 minutes of Sky Captain than in most complete action movies. I have a hunch that Steven Spielberg is going to LOVE this movie; it will remind him of the kind of madcap action hysteria he seems to have lost the ability to deliver. In a strange way, I feel like I saw Sky Captain twenty-five years ago when I was a kid playing with model airplanes and drawing pictures of big scary robots... it's got that soft-focus glow of great childhood memories.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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COOL. I've been hoping this movie would be good. Glad to hear it is everything I hoped for.


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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And when it comes to underwater action sequences, Sky Captain makes George Lucas like a big idiot.

Which one does he like? Stephen Sommers?

----------------

Edited by Jason Bortz

[iNSERT SIGNATURE HERE]

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Anyway, GO SEE THIS on opening weekend, because Conran's made a sensational debut, and I'd love to see him expand this into a franchise. It's cotton candy, but what it lacks in substance (which would have seemed inappropriate anyway) it makes up for with a childlike enthusiasm and invention. There's more imagination in 30 minutes of Sky Captain than in most complete action movies.

This is good to hear. Sarah and I saw a preview for this movie long ago, on the big screen, and I remember looking at her and saying, "That actually looks promising, at least on a visual level."

"Looks stupid to me," Sarah replied.

But since it's got Jude Law in it, it shouldn't be difficult to get her to re-evaluate. wink.gif


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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My betrothed has been eager to see this film for MONTHS now -- she loves retro-futuristic stuff, and she was disappointed when she heard that the studio had postponed the film's release (it was originally going to come out in June). I've been hedging my bets, personally, but I'm glad to hear that YOU liked it, Jeff!


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Liked it also! In this lame year it may even wind up on my Top 10 list, even though I only gave it three stars and a B-plus.

Unfortunately, Jude Law, whom I predicted would be excellent in this role, is merely competent, and Gwyneth doesn't do wonders either. But Angelina Jolie gives the movie quite a (much-needed) kick in the pants in the third act.

My review


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Definitely not top-ten material for me, either. Like SDG, I loved the nostalgia and the look and was a bit disappointed with the Law and Paltrow performances -- though how much of that is due to the script not giving them much to work with, and how much of that is due to the actors, I could not say. (There are some nice humorous touches between them, including a great punchline at the very end, but there is nothing about the characters that truly engaged me, as SDG puts it -- I kept thinking about what a much, much more interesting couple Indiana and Marion were, or Han and Leia in Empire.)

Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: It's the most efficient big screen adventure in years, and by comparison

: Spider-Man 2 looks bloated.

Eh? There were points in Sky Captain where I felt the narrative had been padded out just a bit, and I consciously thought that it wouldn't have been so bad if only the characters had been made just a wee bit more interesting; on the other hand, there were also points where I thought the film cut too quickly from one image to the next, and I wished I could have lingered a little bit longer.

As for Spider-Man 2, I did find that film a bit too ambitious the first time I saw it, but it really held up well on second viewing, whereas I'm not so sure Sky Captain will.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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though how much of that is due to the script not giving them much to work with, and how much of that is due to the actors, I could not say.

It might also be partially attributable to the director's inexperience and inability to elicit the needed performances.

Jeffrey, you seem to be increasingly disillusioned with Spider-Man 2? First you contrasted it unfavorably with The Bourne Supremacy, which I thought was off but arguable -- but now to contrast it unfavorably to Sky Captain??

BTW, Sky Captain's not what I would consider Top 10 "material" either -- but if I run out of "A" films before I get to ten, I have to start listing "B" films... and so far I'm nowhere close to ten "A" films. sad.gif


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I think Spidey-2's a better film, but if we're talking about momentum and efficiency, Sky Captain just rockets, while I find myself wearying of Spidey 2 about fifteen minutes before it wraps up.

Disillusioned is probably too strong a word. But it didn't hold up too well for me the second time around. The fights, which are definitely spectacular, are also a bit heavy-handed so that I feel a bit bludgeoned by the time we get to the final confrontations. Moments like the car-through-the-window scene seem "shattering" just for the sake of another loud noise, another crazy sequence, without making a whole lotta sense. If Ock's on his way to find Parker and bring him back alive, seems like a strange tactic to THROW AN AUTOMOBILE AT HIM THROUGH A WINDOW.

But no, don't get me wrong, I still love Spidey-2, and it's definitely a contender for my Top 10. But the more I think about it, the more I think I was wrong to rate it higher than the X-Men Movies. I just find a lot more of interest to me in the X-Men stories than in Spider-Man's.

As I said from the beginning, Sky Captain's awfully shallow in the story department. But I love it for the way it feels like a 10-year-old's dream movie, the way it is so clearly pumped full of love and nostalgia from one frame to the next. It feels like somebody pursuing their passion with little regard to what the audience things, whereas Spider-Man feels more like somebody trying to make the ultimate Spider-Man movie that will send the fans home happy. Both fulfill their intentions. One sends me home happy and eager to turn right around and see it again, the other sends me home happy and exhausted, quite willing to wait a month or two before I go back for more.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Huh. Like Peter, I found parts of Sky Captain padded, and I'm certain that on repeated viewings I would tire of it more quickly than Spider-Man 2 (which, with Peter, I found held up really well on a second viewing). But I gotta agree with you, Jeff, that Sky Captain is a labor of love by a guy who doesn't care about pleasing the audience.

To Peter's comment about Joe and Polly being nowhere near as engaging a couple as Indy and Marion, or Han and Leia, I would add: or even Peter and Mary Jane!


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Hmmm. I'm sure I'll be in the minority on this one, as Peter and Mary Jane are much more developed characters. But I still don't feel much chemistry between them, whereas I did feel chemistry between Joe and Polly.

I can't take this comparison of S2 and SC very far. One's a comic book movie that digs in deep and fleshes out its characters. The other's not even interested in that... it's all about invention and style and archetypes. One aspires to substance, the other merely to fun. And they both hit their mark admirably.

And yet, one's the work of a whole troop of seasoned professionals, with a script that passed through the hands of several writers including a Pulitzer Prize winner, while the other's pretty much the brainchild of A Guy and His Computer. The latter is, to this viewer, a more impressive feat considering the source.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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But the more I think about it, the more I think I was wrong to rate it higher than the X-Men Movies. I just find a lot more of interest to me in the X-Men stories than in Spider-Man's.

Yeah, the X-Men movies are more ambitious and more substantial. But they're also more flawed, IMO. Spider-Man 2 is way comic-bookier, but its flaws are much more trivial, IMO.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Incidentally, one of the things I find fascinating about this film is that the title plays on a certain nostalgic kinda thing -- it evokes a time when everyone assumed "tomorrow" would be a great thing (Superman as "the Man of Tomorrow" in the '30s, the "World of Tomorrow" at the 1939 New York World's Fair, Disney's "TomorrowLand" TV segments in the '50s, etc.) -- but when you see the actual film, it turns out that this phrase refers to something a wee bit more sinister. (Plus, of course, there is a definite irony in the fact that, these days, we look back to the past for that sense of optimism about the future.)

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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BTW, Sky Captain's not what I would consider Top 10 "material" either -- but if I run out of "A" films before I get to ten, I have to start listing "B" films... and so far I'm nowhere close to ten "A" films. sad.gif

Hey... a little optimism please... smile.gif

We're haven't even entered into the home stretch award contender release season. Surely the best is yet to come?

Hope springs eternal.

Edited by Michael Elliott

Michael Elliott

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Hey... a little optimism please...    smile.gif

We're haven't even entered into the home stretch award contender release season.  Surely the best is yet to come? 

Hope springs eternal.

I'm just sayin', compared to where I was at this time last year, and looking ahead at what's coming in the next few months, I'm not very happy.

Say, those of you who've seen the film, any thoughts on this point (quoted below from my review)?

I feel rather strongly about this. I would take my kids to Sky Captain in a second if it weren't for this issue. And what galls is that it could SO EASILY have been different -- we aren't talking about a movie where what Spielberg called "hot sauce" is a notable attraction.

I would like to see this point made very LOUDLY... more loudly, perhaps, than I can think how to make it.

Perhaps the most baffling thing about Sky Captain is why the filmmakers chose, in a tame PG-rated film that could easily have been fine family entertainment, to add a few completely gratuitous elements that not only make it unsuitable for kids, but are also glaringly out of place in the film

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Hmm. I guess the film is so 98.5% free of stuff like that, I'm more grateful than disgruntled. And I think those moments fly by so quickly that kids will blink and forget all about them... except the "under the sheets" moment, which I thought was quite funny without taking what would have been an easy step into "kinky."


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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SDG wrote:

: The most egregious example is a pointless lewd remark -- in a subtitle no less --

: that doesn't even make sense in context.

Is discussion of male nipples necessarily "lewd"? Granted, though, it's a bit of an absurdism.

: Joe and Polly have just arrived by plane in snowbound Nepal, and a local named

: Kaji (Omid Djalili), a friend of Joe's, gives Polly a once-over and makes a leering

: comment to Joe, presumably in Nepali, about the cold making nipples hard. But

: everyone's so bundled up, it’s not like anything could be showing anyway.

Oh -- huh -- it never even occurred to me that he might have been referring to Polly, probably for this precise reason. I just assumed he was making a comment about himself. Perhaps the Mark Addy cameo in Around the World in 80 Days was still lurking at the back of my brain.

: (In Star Wars, Princess Leia got soaking wet in the trash compactor, and no one

: felt the need to make crass comments.)

That's cuz they taped her nipples down so they wouldn't show!

GAG SPOILER

: Later there's an initially inexplicable scene in which Joe and Polly wake up in bed

: together naked under the covers, and Joe gazes languorously at Polly -- until he

: discovers Kaji, also naked, on his other side. (It turns out that there is a reason

: why a fourth party removed their clothes while they were unconscious, though no

: particular reason for them to have been put in bed together.)

Perhaps that Rivendell-like palace had only one bed. (Granted, not bloody likely!)

Does Joe actually "discover" Kaji there? I had this idea that he kind of knew he was there already, cuz they were both awake. It was WE who "discovered" Kaji there.

: And there's the running subplot about whether Joe cheated on Polly, a theme that

: could have been treated in a '30s film, but would have been more discreetly handled.

Yeah, this one irked me just a little bit. But it's not especially more mature than the implicit back-story between Indy and Marion in Raiders.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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That's cuz they taped her nipples down so they wouldn't show!

laugh.gif I think it's just fantastic that this little piece (pieces?) of Star Wars trivia has become so well known that you can make a reference to it here and assume that folks know what you're talking about. I mean, who can watch those scenes of Leia running around in the Death Star without thinking of that detail anymore?


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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