Monday, September 20, 2004

MOVIE: Sky Captain

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is an interesting picture to look at. It's all black and white and washed out earth tones. The only sight of primary colours is Polly Perkins' red, really red, lipstick.

Perkins, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jude Law's Sky Captain share the (blue) screen for most of the movie. It's the blue screen that makes this movie a must-see, even if it's only eventually on the small screen in your living room. The movie was shot in a room painted blue, with the odd blue painted box to sit on. The rest of the movie was digitally created. Many, many shots feature LAYERS of special effects. You will see blimps against a background of New York City with snow falling in the foreground. There's all kinds of skylights lighting up the night sky and you sit there and wonder what the film budget must have been.

In reality, it was less than $70 million, a mere pittance in today's film-making mega universe. But it took about eight years for creator/director Kerry Conran to finish the movie. Most of it was doing the animation, some of which started life on a Macintosh computer waaaaay less powerful than the computer you are probably using right now to read this.

The wonderment of all of this, plus the resulting visuals, are the reasons to someday watch this movie. I look, very much, to buying the DVD with its extras.

How was the movie, other than as a spectacle? So-so at best. The film lags in the third half-hour. Characters impossibly survive and scene transitions don't make sense all the time. Paltrow doesn't do much for me. Neither does Angelina Jolie, who crops up about the time the movie let me nod off for a bit of a catch-up on the night's sleep. Disclaimer here: It was a late-night screening and I have been working hard at pretending to work hard.

Bottom line, you SHOULD see this movie at some time. It's not for kiddies, despite its comic book roots. But any adult with any kid left in them, will find it a useful waste of time.

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