The movie holds up to its praise, and surprisingly, it also delivers an action-packed plot with exceptionally witty dialogue. Let me also say that Jude Law has never let me down in his performances or story selections

(2004) Film Review by Melinda Ledman and Chris Utley

This page was created on August 28, 2004
This page was last updated on December 29, 2004


Overview
Review by Chris Utley
Review by Melinda Ledman
Review by Annette Wierstra
Review by Mike Furches
Trailers, Photos
About this Film
Spiritual Connections
Forum


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CREDITS

Directed by Kerry Conran
Screenplay by Kerry Conran

Cast (in credits order)
Jude Law .... Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan
Gwyneth Paltrow .... Polly Perkins
Angelina Jolie .... Capt. Franky Cook
Giovanni Ribisi .... Dex Dearborn
Michael Gambon .... Editor Morris Paley
Ling Bai .... Mysterious Woman (as Bai Ling)
Omid Djalili .... Kaji
Laurence Olivier .... Dr. Totenkopf (archive footage)
Mark Wells .... Technician
David Decio .... Pilot

Produced by
Jon Avnet .... producer
Brooke Breton .... co-producer
Aurelio De Laurentiis .... executive producer
Raffaella De Laurentiis .... executive producer
Sadie Frost .... producer
Bill Haber .... executive producer
Hester Hargett .... co-producer
Jude Law .... producer
Marsha Oglesby .... producer

Original Music by Ed Shearmur
Cinematography by Eric Adkins
Film Editing by Sabrina Plisco


MPAA: Rated PG for sequences of stylized sci-fi violence and brief mild language.
Runtime: USA:107 min

For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

TRAILERS AND CLIPS
Trailers, Photos
CD
Sky Captain & World of Tomorrow
1. The World Of Tomorrow
2. The Zeppelin Arrives
3. The Robot Army
4. Calling Sky Captain
5. Back At The Base
6. The Flying Wings Attack
7. An Aquatic Escape
8. Flight To Nepal
9. Treacherous Journey
10. Dynamite
11. Three In A Bed
12. Finding Frankie
13. Manta Squadron
14. H-770d
15. Flying Lizard
16. Totenkopf's Ark
17. Back To Earth
18. Over the Rainbow- Jane Monheit
BOOK
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
by Kevin J. Anderson

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SYNOPSIS
Famous scientists around the world have mysteriously disappeared and Chronicle reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) along with ace aviator Sky Captain (Jude Law) are on the investigation. Risking their lives as they travel to exotic places around the world, can the fearless duo stop Dr. Totenkopf, the evil mastermind behind a plot to destroy the earth? Aided by Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie), commander of an all-female amphibious squadron, and technical genius Dex (Giovanni Ribisi), Polly and Sky Captain may be our planet's only hope.

Review by MIKE FURCHES

I have to admit from the outset that most of the reviews I have personally seen and/or heard on this movie have actually been quite bad. It was with that anticipation that I went to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Review Continued here

 
Review by MELINDA LEDMAN

Click to enlargeI’m sure you’ve already read about the unusual filming style, so I’ll spare the repetition. The movie holds up to its praise, and surprisingly, it also delivers an action-packed plot with exceptionally witty dialogue. Let me also say that Jude Law has never let me down in his performances or story selections. Much like Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, or Harrison Ford, I can rest easy that a movie will be good if Jude Law has agreed to play a lead role.

Review continued here

 
 
Review by CHRIS UTLEY
Film Reviewer

Chris received his BA in Theatre from Grambling State University in Louisiana. He is an IT Techie by day and armchair film critic/analyst/lover by night. Upon coming to the Lord in 1994 and learning the Word, Chris began to notice Biblical principles and attributes displayed in Hollywood movies and began to apply them to his own life. It's his passion and mission to show the world (Christians and non-Christians) how to apply these principles to their own lives as well.
Somewhere over the rainbow, a bunch of menacing spaceships and killer robots threaten the peace and tranquility of the big city . . . soon, the world. They’re destroying buildings, crushing cars, and wreaking havoc. Who will be there to save the big city from the impending doom and destruction???

Never fear, Sky Captain (Jude Law) is here! Armed with his WW1 fighter plane -- which can also transform into a submarine -- Sky Captain, along with nosy reporter and ex-flame Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow), his right-hand gadgets man Dex (Giovanni Ribisi), and his British Foreign Legion colleague and OTHER ex-flame Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie), are ready to do battle to save the world from total annihilation.

Sky Captain is more than just another movie. This is more like an experiment. This is the first major Hollywood film to be shot almost completely using Computer Graphics Imagery (a.k.a. CGI). Law, Paltrow, Jolie and company did all their acting in front of blue screens. Once they were done, the rest of the film was “drawn in” as opposed to being shot. Needless to say, this flick pushes the boundaries of digital filmmaking. The CGI sets are beautifully rendered and each scene is layered with detail -- specifically, details that recall the classic filmmaking of the 1930’s-–1940’s era. There are even a few nods and tips of hats to classic films of that era: most notably The Wizard of Oz (“Over the Rainbow” plays during the closing credits).

Yeah . . . but is the film any good? Or has the director caught a case of “Star Wars Prequelitis” (tons of visual flash but little or no story)?

No . . . writer/director Kerry Conran has rather invoked the spirit of the original Star Wars Trilogy. We have a hero to cheer for, special effects that drop our jaws, and a seemingly invincible villain. Stir it all up and you have a story that keeps us on the edge of our seats. The only negative element in the pot is Paltrow’s Polly Parker. She's played like a Lois Lane prototype, but she comes across more as an annoying little pest than as a damsel in distress.

All in all, Sky Captain is a fun time to be had by those who are willing to take the ride.

Review by
ANNETTE WIERSTRA
Reporter, Writer

Annette is a writer and reporter living in Canada.
The reviews are in and they are decidedly mixed. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is stirring up chat room battles over whether it is brilliant or . . . well . . . crap.

Damsel in distress? Check. Square-jawed handsome hero? Definitely check. The mad scientist? Mysterious stranger? Check and check. Right from the opening moments of Sky Captain, I felt I’d seen this movie before. And really, I had. There are no original characters. We saw the mad scientist in Metropolis and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the mysterious stranger appears in Star Wars as Ben Kenobi, and even Darth Vader is a shadowy figure. As for the damsel and the hero, they are almost mandatory figures.

Director Kerry Conran takes digital technology to the next level in this film. Starring actors Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow had to imagine, not only special effects like giant robots, but also every prop and location for the film. On the Oprah Winfrey show, Law said the filming harkened back to childhood days when imagination filled in all the missing details. And harkening back is what the movie is all about. While Sky Captain has made a huge leap with its use of digital technology, it is still firmly rooted in the past?so firmly it has a retro feel. Sky Captain builds on the typical Hollywood narrative and stock characters with new technology and creates a fresh take on old-fashioned science fiction.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is science fiction?how could it be anything else, with its giant robots and marvelous creatures? Science fiction brings to life technology that is beyond current ability. Often it builds themes that examine current issues in a broad, sweeping context. Sky Captain doesn’t have real depth, but it does look at human imperfection and whether we are worth rescuing. (The answer is yes, without a pause to consider the alternative.) Though Sky Captain is set in the past, it displays fantastic science. It is futuristic, but it is a view of the future from the past. Where Lord of the Rings and Stars Wars aimed for creating fantastic worlds as realistically as possible, Sky Captain is intentionally stylized more like the classics than modern sci-fi. The look and atmosphere of New York in Sky Captain is reminiscent of original 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis?so reminiscent, that the director must be familiar with the classic film. Conran created the film’s look with digital technology and he could have created realistic backdrops, but he chose not to. His choices have produced a film that is a tribute both to old films and to classic comic books.

Sky Captain also picks up some elements from other Hollywood genres. The search for the nefarious Dr. Totenkopf in a dim apartment, and the clandestine meetings are reminiscent of old detective films. That search takes the plot beyond the basic detective plot to exotic Nepal, a fantastical island, and into the classic adventure epic. Both Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are classic epics centered on a quest: in Star Wars to stop Darth Vader and his death star, and in Lord of the Rings to destroy one ring in the fires of Mordor. Sky Captain and Polly Perkins must save humankind from imminent doom. The film is a perfect example of Dominic Stranati’s pendulum of equilibrium in Hollywood narrative.* As the credits role everything has returned to equilibrium (including the romance) after a brief disequilibrium created by the evil Dr. Totenkopf. The plot of Sky Captain is anything but new, but this familiarity adds to the style of the film and clearly pays homage to classic movies.

The damsel in distress is one of the original stock characters. Classic fairy tales are littered with damsels in need of a princely rescue, from Sleeping Beauty to Snow White. The damsel was chased by the leering black man in Birth of a Nation, and in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari she is scooped up and carried off by the somnambulant. By the 1970s, our damsel has learned she can take care of herself, but sometimes she still needs her handsome hero. Princess Leah in Star Wars may need help from Luke Skywalker and Han Solo to escape the clutches of Darth Vader, but she can wield a weapon and command troops with the best of them. In Sky Captain, Polly Perkins the spirited reporter?and modern damsel?is saved by Joe “Sky Captain” Sullivan when she locks herself in a room full of TNT, but she returns the favor and arrives in the nick of time to rescue Joe from the mysterious stranger. Naturally, the handsome hero is every damsel’s required love interest. The witty repartee and protestations of disinterest between Joe and Polly are standard material for an onscreen romance. Han and Leah share the same romantic tension. Both couples scoff and disdain each other, but end up in each other’s arms. If they didn’t we’d be disappointed.

I will not say that Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is the best movie of our time, or even of the year, but I will say it is a light and entertaining movie that tributes the movies of the past in style and substance. Sky Captain was never intended to have deep dynamic characters; it is not meant to make us think the thought-provoking issues. It is meant to make you sink into your seat, munch on your popcorn and sip your soda pop and forget all your stress for a short time. You’ll be reminded of dozens of other films you’ve watched, and characters you’ve seen because Sky Captain takes all things old and puts them back together into something new. Despite the people who argue that Sky Captain shallow “crap,” I’ll be adding it to my DVD collection?sometimes you need something feather weight.

*Works Cited
Strinati, Dominic. An Introduction to Studying Popular Culture. New York: Routledge, 2000.

Continue:
—Overview
Review by Chris Utley
Review by Melinda Ledman
Review by Annette Wierstra
Review by Mike Furches
Trailers, Photos
About this Film
Spiritual Connections
Forum
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