Monday, September 20, 2004

At the Movies

So I saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow yesterday. It was ok.

Visually it is pretty amazing. Well most of the time. Art deco robots stomping through 1939 New York. Giant rocket ships and lots and lots of references to old Republic serials. The "most of the time" comes in because some shots are just really bland. If you've seen trailers, you know that the movie's color scheme has a very washed out feeling to it. It works fine for the most part, but if there isn't anything interesting going in the shot, then the lack of color makes it amazingly boring. Several reaction shots throughout the movie are set like that deliberately. We have an actor and nothing interesting behind them but drab alleyway or black mineshaft reacting to something we can't see. Boring. If you have technology to show the monster like we do, then show it and let the audience react. Then show the protagonist doing something. Don't show people reacting to something we've already seen.

Writing was mixed. Some of it was classic serial writing. I honestly didn't mind that the arc-plot was so contrived because thats what they are supposed to be like. Some of it was really clever, one of the important props is basically a dollar store spark gun we all saw as kids. There are little details and one-liners in there that really are great. I will not ruin them by typing them here. Similarly the acting was quite good considering they are all on blue screened sound stages.

Other parts of the movie were just annoyingly stupid. Like Gwynneth Paltrow's whole character for instance. Her only purpose was to give Jude Law a hard time and give the villians important information. Why couldn't Angelina Jolie's character be in the movie that whole time and Gwynneth only appear for 5 minutes instead of the other way around? Granted giving Jude a hard time resulted in some yucks but otherwise she was a waste of space. At one point Jude punches Polly and knocks her out in order to go and be the hero. It was perhaps the best part of the movie. I clapped. Not because he was heroic, but because I'd been wanting to hit Polly for at least an hour by that point.

Oh and if you're going to set a movie in 1939, at least have the decency to know that World War I was not called "World War I" before World War II. It was called the Great War or the War to End All Wars. Do some research for heavens sake.

Oh and the last picture in her camera? She takes it of Sky Captain. Trust me you would have figured it out half an hour before the end of the movie anyway so I'm not spoiling anything.

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