Sunday, October 03, 2004
Beldar's young skeptics view "Sky Captain"
I've just returned from taking my four kids to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, a live-action comic bookish movie set in a slightly alternate 1939 in which the "Hindenburg III" coexists with The Wizard of Oz. This movie was judged in advance an acceptable compromise: My son Kevin (age 16) and I find Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie not too taxing on the eyes; daughter Sarah (age 13) thinks Jude Law is pretty hot; and Adam (age 11) and Molly (age 9) were interested in a retro-sci-fi action thriller.
Although I think Sarah was satisfied with Mr. Law's acrobatics in stylish pilot togs, alas, Ms. Paltrow spent the entire movie in overcoats, and Ms. Jolie's leather flightsuit was a bit beyond Kevin's or my minimal taste for S&M outfits.
My gang also had some problems with suspending disbelief: When one character whipped out a Buck Rogers-type hand weapon, Adam turned to me and whispered, "Dad! How're we supposed to believe they're using ray-guns at the same time they're using typewriters? Duh!" (No word whether Ms. Paltrow's manual typewriter had a superscript "th" key.) And afterward, Kevin asked, "Why, before World War II, were they referring to the evil scientist disappearing from view 'shortly after World War I'? Wouldn't they just have called it the 'World War' or the 'Great War'?" Ayup. Kevin spotted the sfx of the giant robots as being lifted from 1953's The War of the Worlds. And Sarah and I also pondered together what Ms. Jolie's annual lip-gloss budget must be (bigger than one of the zeppelins, we concluded).
Still, no matter how cheesy the movie, it's still fun to go out to a theater, hit the concession stands, watch the previews and debate the likely merits of upcoming films, etc. Today's movie got two stars at best from Beldar's family critics, but the family expedition, as usual, got five.
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I think the typewriter bit is intentional; this is supposed to be the future as it was imagined back in the early 1930s, so they'd be off on things like that while erring on the fantastic side with the weapons.
(2) J_Crater made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 9:33:41 PM | Permalink
The promos make it look like the 1936 film "Things to Come" with script by H.G. Wells. (from the novel The Shape of Things to Come) starring a young Raymond Massey, who represents an organisation called 'Wings Over the World' which stand for 'Law and Sanity' and plans to restore civilization from its advanced scientific base on the Persian Gulf.
Boy a lot of that plot material ended up elsewhere.
Come on! The movie was a total gas if you just let yourself sit back and enjoy it. The fact that it was mostly computer generated makes it a harbinger of fun stuff to come. Giant robots, giant spaceships, teeny elephants - who could ask for more? Sure, a suspension of belief is required, but only a little more than is need for the evening news.
(4) addison made the following comment | Oct 4, 2004 10:21:11 AM | Permalink
Despite the mistakes you mentioned, I found the movie really the ideal movie. It did not try to make a greater point, as though it would change your life. It did not take itself seriously and it just wanted to have a good time (the ongoing camera theme was funny).
(5) A Comment made the following comment | Oct 4, 2004 3:30:25 PM | Permalink
I though it was a quite entertaining film. It generally kept moving and didn't drag much, if at all. I liked the scene where one of Sky Captain's friends lovingly carried a case of Vienna Sausages! Also, when the ray gun apparently ran out of power, "Just shake it!".
There are thing to pick at if you want to. I just sat back and enjoyed the action.
(6) David Pruett made the following comment | Oct 4, 2004 4:43:37 PM | Permalink
All that yes I agree with, but having Sir Laurence Olivier resurected digitally and an old movie of his manipulated was well worth it.
(7) Lord British made the following comment | Oct 4, 2004 7:33:46 PM | Permalink
Off subject but curious: link.
Why would the administration sit on this?
(8) A Comment made the following comment | Oct 4, 2004 7:56:15 PM | Permalink
I think the administration is going to be careful about "hyping" anything that might prove to be of dubious or false origins (re: Rathergate). In addition, I don't think [that they think that] it would change many minds, at least, not enough to matter.
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