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jaragon

"Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow"

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Kerry Conran's ambitious tribute to classic fantasy adventure films was not a box office success. It was one of the first films to use extensive CG sets to create a retro-future New York.  The movie looks like an RKO film from 1939.  The story is pure adventure serial with Sky Captain ( Jude Law) and Polly ( Gywneth Paltrow) running against time to save the world from a mad genius who wants to destroy the world. There are plenty of visual references to everything from Flash Gordon to King Kong. 

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I really love this movie and I'm disappointed that we haven't seen anything from Conran since. I think I remember that it was based on a short film he had done on his own which attracted enough attention to win him the opportunity to do the feature. Hopefully, he's still doing his thing. You're right about all the references; I especially love the giant flying robots right out of the Fleischer Superman cartoons. I also like the scene set inside a 1939 movie theater showing The Wizard of Oz. The digital sampling of Laurence Olivier was amazing.  It's also the most I've ever liked Angelina Jolie. Lots to love about this movie.

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On 2/24/2019 at 6:15 PM, DougieB said:

I really love this movie and I'm disappointed that we haven't seen anything from Conran since. I think I remember that it was based on a short film he had done on his own which attracted enough attention to win him the opportunity to do the feature. Hopefully, he's still doing his thing. You're right about all the references; I especially love the giant flying robots right out of the Fleischer Superman cartoons. I also like the scene set inside a 1939 movie theater showing The Wizard of Oz. The digital sampling of Laurence Olivier was amazing.  It's also the most I've ever liked Angelina Jolie. Lots to love about this movie.

I saw it when it was released and re-watched recently and the movie is a lot of fun. I wonder if they needed a stronger male lead- the movie failed at the box office and Conran has not made another film which is too bad

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 6:33 PM, jaragon said:

I saw it when it was released and re-watched recently and the movie is a lot of fun. I wonder if they needed a stronger male lead- the movie failed at the box office and Conran has not made another film which is too bad

I've seen it a couple of times and this is making me want to watch again. I'm not sure that it needs a "stronger" lead. During the era when the movie is set, leads in action/adventure movies tended to be romantic types like Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power rather than the ultra-butch types you're more likely to see today, so I think Jude Law fits in nicely. There's a good deal of subtle humor too and I think both he and Gwyneth handle it well. I like their vibe together and I'm not a huge Paltrow fan, with some notable exceptions.

I also love the muted color palette, which probably was used to make it easier to blend special effects, but I think it gives the movie as a whole a very distinctive look. I've always enjoyed seeing what the past thought of as "futuristic", like the '39 World's Fair and all those pulp magazine covers, and I think Sky Captain captured that beautifully.

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4 hours ago, DougieB said:

I've seen it a couple of times and this is making me want to watch again. I'm not sure that it needs a "stronger" lead. During the era when the movie is set, leads in action/adventure movies tended to be romantic types like Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power rather than the ultra-butch types you're more likely to see today, so I think Jude Law fits in nicely. There's a good deal of subtle humor too and I think both he and Gwyneth handle it well. I like their vibe together and I'm not a huge Paltrow fan, with some notable exceptions.

I also love the muted color palette, which probably was used to make it easier to blend special effects, but I think it gives the movie as a whole a very distinctive look. I've always enjoyed seeing what the past thought of as "futuristic", like the '39 World's Fair and all those pulp magazine covers, and I think Sky Captain captured that beautifully.

It is a beautiful designed movie but I wonder if people got the visual references.  I mean to say a bigger box office name in the lead

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14 hours ago, jaragon said:

It is a beautiful designed movie but I wonder if people got the visual references.  I mean to say a bigger box office name in the lead

You're probably right that a lot of people just didn't get it, in the same way that some people won't even give black and white movies a chance. Conran was maybe so into his own head that his vision just didn't translate to the average viewer. Mars Attacks! by Tim Burton is another example which comes to mind, another movie I love which might have been too much of the director's quirky vision for some.

I see what you mean about a bigger box office name, but I'm not sure a bigger star would have settled into the role as well, no matter how much of a boxoffice draw he might have been. I can see George Clooney or Brendan Fraser doing it maybe, because they have both humor and humility as actors, but not someone like Tom Cruise. Anyway, at that point in his career Jude Law had a pretty good reputation. In some ways the director/creator is the real star and the actors needed to be more team players than standouts, which isn't to say that they didn't stand out, each in their own way. We should mention Giovanni Ribisi too, who was great in a sidekick role.

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1 hour ago, DougieB said:

You're probably right that a lot of people just didn't get it, in the same way that some people won't even give black and white movies a chance. Conran was maybe so into his own head that his vision just didn't translate to the average viewer. Mars Attacks! by Tim Burton is another example which comes to mind, another movie I love which might have been too much of the director's quirky vision for some.

I see what you mean about a bigger box office name, but I'm not sure a bigger star would have settled into the role as well, no matter how much of a boxoffice draw he might have been. I can see George Clooney or Brendan Fraser doing it maybe, because they have both humor and humility as actors, but not someone like Tom Cruise. Anyway, at that point in his career Jude Law had a pretty good reputation. In some ways the director/creator is the real star and the actors needed to be more team players than standouts, which isn't to say that they didn't stand out, each in their own way. We should mention Giovanni Ribisi too, who was great in a sidekick role.

Ribisi was very good in the film. And you are right about the movies unique visuals

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