Well, i've got to say, this is actually one of the best films i've ever seen, theather wise, i mean it's like a new star wars... for a new era... It was so good, i mean really, i was blown away... They had these really dope Steath Spitfires and they used P40's, i wish they used real planes in some scenes, but still the whole movie triggered thoughts in my brain, if you like movies you'll probley like this movie... I loved it, I have a really cool story to tie in with the storyline to the movie, but i'll leave it at that, hear is a review for anyone that cares... anyways, tommorow is just a day away... there is so much to this movie it's UNBELIEVABLE, kinda like my life story...
Back to the future: `Sky Captain' soars with retro fun
Review by Jim Verniere
Friday, September 17, 2004
In ``Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,'' the future was yesterday.
The film, written and directed by talented newcomer Kerry Conran, is pulp science fiction, a Machine-Age-art-deco fantasia (just in time for the art deco exhibit at the MFA), channeling such classics, vintage serials and cult figures as Buck Rogers, ``Flash Gordon,'' Indiana Jones, ``The Wizard of Oz,'' ``King Kong,'' ``Metropolis'' and ``The Rocketeer.''
It's a vision of the state of the art of the past, featuring virtually no sets or locations. The effects and blue-screen work may be digital, but the movie is refreshingly all-analog. ``Sky Captain'' has the brain of a computer, but the geeky heart and soul of a slide rule. I haven't seen so many bubble and needle gauges, oscillators and various meters since I last saw John Wayne in dogfights over China in ``Flying Tigers'' (1942), another film referenced in ``Sky Captain.''
The action, which is shot in gauzy, sepia-tinted color and seen through a glass darkly, starts when an air raid sounds, searchlights crisscross the skies and patrons flee Radio City Music Hall, where ``The Wizard of Oz'' is showing.
An army of giant robots lands in Manhattan circa 1939 and marches down 5th Avenue, tossing cars and shattering brick walls, while intrepid Chronicle reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow, recalling the tough, sexy heroines of Howard Hawks) runs beneath their huge clanking feet, snapping photos.
Security forces hail heroic fighter pilot Sky Captain, also known as Joe Sullivan (Jude Law, who also is one of the film's producers). Recalling the trench-skimming attack in the original ``Star Wars'' and the biplane attack on the mighty Kong, Joe soars over and through Manhattan's canyons, battling the robots with magnetic bombs and machine guns.
Top scientists have gone missing, and in one scientist's office, Joe and Polly encounter a black-caped-and-goggled Dragon Lady (Bai Ling) who fires death rays from her eyeballs.
Back at Joe's secret base, where floating dirigibles are moored alongside rows of propeller-driven airplanes, the enemy attacks again, devastating Joe's ``army for hire.'' Joe's sidekick, the technical whiz Dex (Giovanni Ribisi), manages to track down the signal controlling the machines before being kidnapped by the Dragon Lady and robots with snakelike limbs. The signal's source is Nepal, or more specifically that part of Nepal known as Shambala or more familiarly Shangri-la.
Directed and written by Conran based on a six-minute short he shot in his apartment, ``Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow'' is going to put some people off. Its references, including scenes featuring estate-sanctioned, digitally manipulated images of the late Laurence Olivier as supervillain Dr. Totenkopf and references to Milk of Magnesia and ``The Bride of Frankenstein,'' may be too obscure for younger viewers.
But anyone willing to give it a chance will be rewarded. The dialogue is often flat, but the action moves along briskly, and the music by Edward Shearmur strikes just the right note of pop triumphalism.
As a one-eyed British flying ace and skipper of an airborne airstrip, Angelina Jolie is wittier and more winning than she was in either ``Tomb Raider'' movie. Just watching her wrap those bee-stung lips around the line ``Alert the amphibious squadron,'' is fun.
Early scenes in German with subtitles acknowledge Conran's debt to Fritz Lang and German Expressionism. Shambala looks suspiciously like Kong's Skull Island, which existed only as paintings on glass.
``Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow'' is filmmaking of a high, high-tech order, recalling early Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Canada's Guy Maddin. Law and Paltrow have a charming, mostly chaste chemistry that is warm, if not red-hot.
Though the film problematically conjures up 9/11 and the Challenger disaster, ``Sky Captain'' is essentially an invitation to dive into a pool of retro-pop dreams, a benign evocation of what the future used to look like in the past.