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3.8 out of 5 stars
Sky Captain & World Of Tomorrow [DVD]
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2009
I love this film, its got a great cast, a decent story line and looks fabulous on the screen.

No HD audio but does have DTS sound.

I like all the references to World War 2. Like the design of the film - film noir 40's look. Not alot to fault. Its got lots of action, robots, dinosaurs, rockets, special effects, exposions, planes that turn into submarines, and a older looking version of Captain Scarlet's Cloudbase - Whats not to like?

Will be a blu ray that will be put on regularly.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2008
One of the first movies to be shot completely via blue screen and a joy to behold on blu-ray. With a nod to german expressionism, the shadows and mise-en-scene of 30s/40s Hollywood film noir, and a plot reminiscent of the Flash Gordon/Buck Rodgers adventure serials this is terrific entertainment and a feast for the eyes. The cast are superb; Law and Paltrow recreate a Bogart & Bacall/Tracy & Hepburn-esque love/hate relationship convincingly and with great humour, whilst Jolie has some fun with a stiff-upper lip accent (not easy with her lips!). Director Kerry Conran took four years to make a short black and white trailer for this movie at home on an apple computer to convince Hollywood to get behind this project - thank goodness they did! I am really looking forward to seeing more movies from this cinematography genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" represents the triumph of style over substance, the P-40 Tomahawk over mechanical monsters, and computer generated actors over death itself. That last part is actually the tip of an ethical iceberg that has the potential of being the biggest point of contention in Hollywood since Ted Turner broke out his box of crayons and started colorizing black & white classic films. But for now we can just enjoy director-writer Kerry Conran's tribute to both the decade and the serials of the 1930s done with enough digital magic to make going over the rainbow seem like an unnecessary journey.
The story begins in a New York City untouched by either the Great Depression or the madness of Hitler's Nazis. But there is still a Teutonic threat beginning to encroach on the civilized world courtesy of the brilliant, mysterious, and apparently evil Dr. Totenkopf (enjoy the surprise). Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow), an intrepid reporter for "The Chronicle," stumbles upon the first significant clue about the good doctor only to be distracted by the legion of giant killer mechanical men walking down the streets of New York City. In defense of the city comes Joe Sullivan (Jude Law), the Sky Captain himself, whose P-40 Tomahawk with its Flying Tiger teeth has been souped up by his sidekick, Dex Dearborn (Giovanni Ribisi). Of course Polly and Joe had something in the past, so there is a lot of subtext to her backseat driving as they go merrily along.
In the grand tradition of the Saturday morning serial the hero and his gal get on the trail of the bad machines, fueled by Dex being kidnapped by a mysterious Asian woman (Bai Ling) and helped by a few old friends, most notably Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie), the commander of a most unusual British airship. The running gag for the second half of the film is that Polly has only two shots left in her camera and keeps bypassing visual wonders, such as the real Shangri-La, because there could be something better around the corner.
Visually, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" is a visual treat, filled in the same sort of sepia tones we associate with the first reel of "The Wizard of Oz," a film that is clearly a reference point for Conran. Much is made of the fact that the actors performed in front of a blue screen to which Conrad added all the dazzling images of the mechanical creations in the art deco style of a lot of the architecture we see in the film, all glowing with a blue light. But Law, Paltrow, Jolie and the rest of the cast get credit for playing these roles straight without ever getting too tongue in cheek. This is an earnest homage and not parody, and while the result might not be great cinema it is still as much fun as any of the Saturday morning serials it wants to emulate.
This film wants to be "Raiders of the Lost Ark" for a new generation of filmgoers weaned on computer generated images, but it is not up to that level. The difference can be simply quantified by saying Kerry Conran is not Steven Spielberg, but it would be more worthwhile to point out that in his first film Conran has a much better handle on the cinematic over the dramatic aspects of movie making. His next project is the long awaited adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough's "A Princess of Mars," with a screenplay by Mark Protosevich ("The Cell"), which should help firm up the dramatic half of the equation. Given the stunning eye candy provided in his debut effort, whatever Conran does in the future will certainly be worth a look.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2005
Bottom line - if, like me, you love Flash Gordon, King of the Rocket Men (incidentally, when's that going to get a release?) and Undersea Kingdom, you're going to enjoy this. And no, there's little character development or complex scripting. The reason being: it's a film about big robots and spaceships. Simple as that folks, if you don't get your jollies at the sight of a plane with flapping wings, this just isn't going to work for you. Me, I used to watch Manhunt of Mystery Island in the school holidays and this took me right back there again.
This is the anti-Star Wars (no faux-emotional undertones or god-awful 70s mysticism). It's what adventure films used to be like. If I want serious stuff, I'll watch Das Boot or Brazil. If I want to see Jude Law blow things up whilst Angelina struts about in an RAF fetish outfit and eye-patch, I think this is where I'll be.
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I was very disappointed by this film and I barely managed to finish watching it. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

In an alternate history, in 1939, the zeppelin Hindenburg III arrives in New York City, mooring at the Empire State Building. A frightened scientist named Dr. Jorge Vargas (Julian Curry) makes arrangements for a package containing two vials to be delivered to a Dr. Walter Jennings (Trevor Baxter), then vanishes. Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow), a newspaper reporter for "The Chronicle", looks into the disappearances of Vargas and five other renowned scientists. Then suddenly an army of giant robots attacks New York City... Nothing more will be said about the story.

This film was an attempt at launching a new kind of SF sub-genre, the "diesel punk" (after the futuristic "cyber-punk" and the XIX century based "steam punk") with extravagant stories situated in the years 1918-1939. This kind of world already exists by the way, in the game system "Call of Cthulhu" and it is quite an interesting thing. Here however the attempt completely failed, not because the idea was bad, but because the execution was horrible.

The BIG problem with this thing is that it is B-O-R-I-N-G! I failed to get involved into the story, I couldn't care less about the main character (Sky Captain played by Jude Law), the mystery was hardly very mysterious, there was no credible villains (a pity because this film wasted one of the coolest names ever for a villain - Dr. Totenkopf!), action scenes were rather pathetic, etc. etc.

Even more incredibly the director chose for Gwyneth Paltrow a look which transformed this one of the most gorgeous women alive into a barely average chick... Angelina Jolie, even with an eye patch, looks way hotter, but her appearance is, to my considerable regret, very short.

This kind of action films with a brave hero and a gorgeous, clever girl, needs good dialogs and humour to be succesful (like in first "Indiana Jones" or in "Mummy"). In this film humour is mostly missing in action and there is may be a grand total of three good one liners, if that.

This kind of film is also supposed to end with a great dramatic finale in form of massive fireworks - but here the ending is a half-dysfunctional fire-cracker. After watching it I was all "Meh" - nothing more.

Bottom line, this film is a failure. Boring, mostly humourless, wasting three excellent actors and some good ideas, this is a serious let down and it VERY DESSERVEDLY bombed when released. My advice is to skip it entirely and if you really want to watch it, rent rather than buy.
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‘Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow’ is basically a homage to science fiction from yesteryear when stories were in black and white days, didn’t have to be particularly ‘technically or factually accurate’ and robots looked like they were made out of Lego.

Unfortunately, it does the job a little too well. It’s deliberately awful in the way it’s filmed, acted and shot, all of which is keeping with the genre it’s based on. However, not many of today’s audience really ‘got it’ and just saw a badly-acted, badly-shot film with weird and dodgy special effects.

People say that neither Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow or Angelina Jolie seem to be able to act in this film. And they’d be right. None of the three leads’ performances are particularly three-dimensional. However, I kind of took that as the point, seeing as they’re actually basing their characters on the wooden heroes of times past.

If you’re going to enjoy this film, you need to have a nostalgic appreciation for the sort of black and white Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon TV serials on Saturday mornings. And there’s not that many of us left who still like that sort of film, therefore Sky Captain, despite being a clever and novel idea by today’s standards, was never really destined to be a financial success. I enjoyed it for what it was, but for anyone who doesn’t remember Buck Rogers and co, they’ll probably see it as little more than an extended eighties Queen video for ‘Radio Gaga.’
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2005
This review contains no plot spoilers. Highly recommended for all the family (may be scary for under-7's); but you need to completely 'suspend your disbelief'.
A stunning cinematic '1930s sci-fi' blend of Doc. Savage pulps, Luther Awkright, Eisner's The Spirit, Jerry Cornelius, The Wizard of Oz, and many more. The final visualisation of this blend is highly successful; but our engagement with the characters often lacks strength. Their back story is, however, successfully conveyed and the characters themselves are more than strong enough for the purposes of the plot. The superflous 'Lost World jungle scenes' might have been replaced with something quieter that gave the main characters a little more time to 'flesh out', and also gave the audience a breather from action before we plunge into the final quarter of the film.
The DVD transfer & audio quality is excellent. This is definitely a 'cinema' film, ideally needing to be seen in the dark & with good headphones. Seeing it on an average living-room TV in daylight is probably not going to do it any justice at all.
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on 8 February 2011
I picked a copy up of this recently, and I remember watching it when it was first released. It is such a tragedy that more people have not seen this and that the director has not made more films since.

The biggest problem with Sky Captain is the opening, it is too slow and a little dull. However, once the robots invade and the action cranks a gear - this becomes a brilliant film - mad scientists, crazy robots and flying contraptions, then there are some really great performances.

I say great performances, as all the actors are playing up there characters as a tribute to the bygone day of television science fiction serials. If you're ever had the pleasure of watching the original black and white tv show of the Rocketeer then you will know exactly what the director was aiming for.

I think enough has been said about the effects - they are superb and the techniques have since been used to great effect in many other films. If you enjoyed the style of 300 by Zack Snyder, then you are going to love this film.

The film has a lot of flaws, and we're left wondering when we will see a great steam punk style movie - anyone any reccomendations - after this and also the league of extraordinary gentlemen did not attract a wider audience.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen [2003] [DVD]

Enjoy!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2005
Superb genre-busting action featuring Jude Law as Sky Captain and Gwyneth Paltrow as Polly Perkins, an inquisitive journalist. Angelina Jolie pops into the film late on as a stiff and rather plump upper-lipped British Air Force commander and former flame of Jude Law's character.
A combination of film-noir, black and white sci-fi like the Flash Gordon or Rocket Man cinema series and all-out actioner and romance, the film manages a great deal of style and invention, while keeping the plotline moving on quickly. It is like nothing you have ever seen and will delight fans of retro / futuristic flying machines and robots. Maybe there is even an influence from Japanese monster movies like Godzilla.
Great performances from Law and Jolie as they camp it up with forties-style British accents and from Paltrow as she plays the dame with a mission and only two photographs left. A good dose of humour keeps the fantastic world the director has created from becoming overwhelming as well as offering up some great film stereotypes, including mad German scientists and plucky backroom boys ready to save the day.
So many films have influenced this creation it is hard to keep track, but it could be described as a combination of the Wizard of Oz, Lost Horizon, War of the Worlds and the Maltese Falcon. This kind of electicism makes for a great and surprising movie and a visual feast.
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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2006
This is a 2004 view of what a 1930's view of the future could look like. Most of the CGI and blue-screen overlays had to be a tad fuzzy to make the scenes work. The language may be a tad stilted but it also is designed to be a thirties movie rendition.

Seems that somewhere towards the end of the last war a brilliant scientist with a vision disappeared and the whole Group 11 project was disbanded. Today top scientists are going missing and it is up to Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) reporter-photographer to find the reason. Mean while it looks as though a destructive minus is ravaging the city (looking for something) and the only person capable of foiling the evil plot is, you guessed it, Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan (Jude Law, of "GATTACA" fame).

Eventually Joe runs out of gas and only Franky (Angelina Jolie) can save him if there is time. Meanwhile Polly finds that her camera has only two shots left; can she make the best of them?

How can this daring duo and their pals foil the nefarious plot that may prove fatal to the world as we know it?
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