Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)

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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: Directed by Kerry Conran. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Gambon. After New York City receives a series of attacks from giant flying robots, a reporter teams up with a pilot in search of their origin, as well as the reason for the disappearances of famous scientists around the world.

“While my peers were racing to the movies to see such films as Pretty in Pink and Say Anything I couldnu0026#39;t wait to visit my grandparentsu0026#39; farm in southeastern Colorado. In my grandmotheru0026#39;s antique cabinet in their u0026#39;playroomu0026#39; were literally hundreds of tapes; movies staring the Three Stooges, the Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, and dozens of cliffhangers such as Mystery Squadron and The Adventures of Red Ryder . My love of serials is one of the few things I remember sharing with my father.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSo when I was sitting in the theater and the first preview for Shy Captain and the World of Tomorrow came on I was transported back to the safety of my grandparentsu0026#39; home and the love I felt while watching old cliffhangers with my dad.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI was instantly in love with the movie, the beautiful quality of every frame that made the movie appear to be one beautifully illustrated comic book and, of course, the similarity to the campy sci-fi movies of the 1930u0026#39;s. I went home and immediately looked the movie up on the internet.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI was stunned to find out that this was the first film Kerry Conran had directed or written, and that Sky Captain was originally a six minute reel that producer Jon Avnet saw and wanted to turn into a feature length film. The movie itself was first storyboard with crude animation so that the actors would understand what was happening in their scenes since the entire film was shot in front of blue screen. Because there were no actual locations filming only took 26 days instead of an estimated 6 months.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhen the movie opened on the 17th of September I was there for one the first showings. The theater was all but empty, only about twelve other people were there, all men, all in their thirties and all alone. I was truly shocked at the small turn out, what about this film had turned off so many movie goers?u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe movie began and I felt like a little kid falling in love with movies for the first time all over again. The shuttle references to classic sci-fi movies of the 1920u0026#39;s, 30u0026#39;s and 40u0026#39;s littered the screen. References to King Kong, Forbidden Planet, and the comic book Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. were everywhere you looked. At one point Polly Perkins the feisty reporter played by Gwyneth Paltrow is talking to her editor on the phone saying, u0026#39;Theyu0026#39;re reached Sixth Ave… Fifth Ave…. theyu0026#39;re a hundred yards awayu0026#39;, a direct quote from Orson Welleu0026#39;s radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. Even Star Wars was referenced when Joe u0026#39;Sky Captainu0026#39; Sullivan played by Jude Law is instructed to land on the air carrieru0026#39;s pad 327, the same number the Millennium Falcon lands on in Cloud City. By far the greatest reference to past greatness is the appearance Sir Laurence Olivier, who died in 1989, as the villain Dr. Totenkopf, using CGI and archival footage Conran brings back to life one of our greatest actors.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI was in movie geek heaven, for about the first hour, and then my attention started to wonder. In a society of attention deficit the constant motion and flying from one scene to another and the quick, panicked, pace of this movie should have fit in, however I felt teased, as if I was only watching part of a movie, the part that would never have a conclusion. We receive through the dialogue what little character development the movie has to offer, which isnu0026#39;t much, and in the end no one grows, or changes, or even becomes deeper than a character in a commercial.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLooking back at the old serials I realize that the characters remained the same generic, two dimensional characters they were at the beginning, but the lack of development goes unnoticed in an action film less than twenty minutes long. Today the only programs we watch that are less than twenty minutes are situational comedies that parade a host of cardboard characters through redundant stories lines. A two hour long episode is too much, perhaps Kerry Conran should have stuck more closely to the serial format and released the movie in smaller segments, maybe then I would have remained entertained and in love with his homage to old cinema. We are a country that seems to forever be moving forward with little room to go back and even though we sometimes get nostalgic for a simpler film, or movie hero, itu0026#39;s not always possible to pull off with todayu0026#39;s intellectual needs.”


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