February 13, 2005

Movie Review: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Polly Perkins Posted by Hello

We watched Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow today. It was ok, but then again I wasn't expecting much. I actually liked the film better after watching the special features.

This project started as one man's brain child. He began over ten years ago and when he pitched the idea, they loved it. Of course, he had the added advantage of knowing the right people, but it's a good lesson to learn: When you have a dream, don't give up. Stick with it and that's precisely what this man did. That's extremely admirable and after listening to him talk about it, his eyes alight, his voice animated, his dream was infectious and his determiniation to see the project succeed is motivating.

This film is a computer geek's dream. The movie was filmed about 90% in front of a blue screen (I can't imagine how hard that was for the actors!), the rest was computer generated. It took over two years and hundreds of people to complete, but the end product is really interesting.

Overall, I give it three stars out of five.

New York Times Movie Review:

The story is pure saving-the-world pulp fantasy. Six eminent scientists have mysteriously disappeared. Polly, who is covering the story, is summoned to Radio City Music Hall by Dr. Jennings (Trevor Baxter), a scientist who tells her he knows the cause of the disappearances and fears he is next. In a magical moment of cultural transposition, she meets him in the loge during a screening of ''The Wizard of Oz,'' one of the film's touchstones. (Much later in the movie the digitally resurrected image of the young Laurence Olivier appears as an oracular wizardlike technophantom.)

Before an air raid interrupts their meeting, Polly learns that the probable mastermind behind the disappearances is Dr. Totenkopf, the enigmatic leader of a group of pre-World War I scientists, who has faded into obscurity. As the music hall empties in a panic, a fleet of giant robots approach the city and lands, tramping through Midtown Manhattan and crushing everything in their path. Polly summons her ex-boyfriend Joe, a daredevil freelance aviator who operates a squadron from a private base not far from Manhattan.

In the initial skirmish, Joe, piloting a P-40 Warhawk, captures a robot. The enemy retaliates by destroying his fortress. The next skirmish is a furious aerial battle that zigzags thrillingly through the canyons of Manhattan as Joe's plane gives chase to a fleet of sinister birdlike robots.
Polly, who was slipped an important clue, refuses to hand it over to Joe unless he makes her his partner, and he reluctantly agrees. As they zoom around Manhattan, she becomes a pushy backseat driver, snapping directions and arguing with Joe about their troubled romantic history. She accuses him of dumping her three years earlier. He says she sabotaged his plane, and their flirtatious bickering continues for much of the movie.

Having determined that the robots are being dispatched from a secret location in Nepal, they fly to Asia, stopping along the way at a British airstrip suspended above the earth where Franky (Ms. Jolie), a regal British air force commander in an eye patch, lends her forces to the cause. Once Joe and Polly reach the Himalayas, where Totenkopf's war machine is secreted inside a giant ice cave, they discover the dreadful meaning of ''the world of tomorrow.''

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