Sky Captain And the World of Tomorrow (2004)

Dr Acula
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Joined: 2:16 AM - Jan 28, 2007

4:12 PM - Oct 04, 2018 #1

I really thought we had a thread for this one around, but I can't find it. I like it as a pulp-era adventure film, even if it's a little bit obtuse in the storytelling department, but I primarily wanted to put some links up.

The original trailer:


I also found the short film he made after the failure of Sky Captain to ignite the box office, Gumdrop:


Finally, his test footage and designs for when he was developing John Carter of Mars:

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Joined: 4:18 PM - Sep 11, 2008

8:17 PM - Oct 04, 2018 #2

I didn’t mind the film and enjoyed a few references aimed at folks like us... but it sure didn’t leave much of an impression and I’ve never felt the need to refresh my memory. But I do think I found it somewhat entertaining...


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MacXoftheMounted.....................formerly known as Professor Von X
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Kelg
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Kelg
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9:27 PM - Oct 04, 2018 #3

Yeah that is my general reaction. I was entertained.  It was well made for what it was, but for some reason I never had a desire to revisit it. Yet imagery remains in my memory (the obvious Skull Island locations of the island, the final scene with the capsules floating down to the ocean--which is a great idea).
Some say it was cursed like the Rocketeer by being too much a period film--unlike an Indiana Jones where they go off into the jungle so the retro element is limited.

I think maybe it was too much of a greenscreen affair.


There was an article on Conran I read a while ago which detailed what happened since then. He and his brother were extreme introverts and not interested in a Hollywood career (although problems with John Carter may have been a factor). They were invited to a meeting attended by George Lucas, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis, Robert Rodriguez and I forgot who else to discuss the technology in their film.
They instinctively sat at another table by themselves before Lucas and co. indicated they could all sit at the same table.
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bigcatrik
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Joined: 1:20 AM - Apr 07, 2014

5:38 AM - Oct 05, 2018 #4

It was more of an interesting tech demo than a good movie, I thought. I remember the leads as not having any particular chemistry and the movie only came alive when Angelie Jolie appeared (briefly). Also noted, at the time, for recycling footage of Laurence Olivier, but that didn't seem very well executed, IIRC.
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Dr Acula
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Joined: 2:16 AM - Jan 28, 2007

11:55 AM - Oct 05, 2018 #5

For my part, I really liked:

* Dex's fight with the robots where he used that weird old-style ray gun against them... it really worked for me!

* Bai Ling's robotrix warrior... I wish she was in more of the film, but she had a great look

* The robotic assault against the city was well-realized.

* The semi-Lost Horizon monastery where they get picked up and healed

* The final fight to stop Totenkopf's plan

Gwyneth Paltrow was cute, Jude Law was daring, and I liked them in their respective parts, but they didn't have great chemistry, which is a bit of a downer.
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Dr Acula
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11:57 AM - Oct 05, 2018 #6

Kelg wrote:There was an article on Conran I read a while ago which detailed what happened since then. He and his brother were extreme introverts and not interested in a Hollywood career (although problems with John Carter may have been a factor). They were invited to a meeting attended by George Lucas, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis, Robert Rodriguez and I forgot who else to discuss the technology in their film.
They instinctively sat at another table by themselves before Lucas and co. indicated they could all sit at the same table.
Very interesting factoid! Can you remember where that article was from?
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Kelg
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Kelg
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1:41 PM - Oct 05, 2018 #7

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Godziwolf
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2:55 PM - Oct 05, 2018 #8

It was a film that had great scenes and a story that never entirely coalesced.

But it's probably the most Kong-feeling film made since 1933.
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Joined: 10:37 PM - Apr 22, 2007

6:43 PM - Oct 05, 2018 #9

I know I enjoyed it and I'm not sure why, but I've never re watched it.
It's going in my Halloween Week pile to look at, based on the comments above. 
Thank you.

To be honest, I don't recall a lot, I remember robots resembling some in a Fleischer Bros. Superman cartoon and of course Ms Jolie but that's it

Russ
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bigcatrik
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2:59 PM - Oct 06, 2018 #10

professor liebstrum wrote:
6:43 PM - Oct 05, 2018
To be honest, I don't recall a lot,
Which is my biggest disappointment with it. I should remember everything about it -- I love giant robots, etc. -- but it seemed to go in one eye and out the other, to coin a phrase.
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Rick
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Joined: 2:22 PM - Dec 22, 2004

9:06 PM - Oct 06, 2018 #11

I agree. I remember looking forward to this, thinking the production idea was interesting, and the images I saw were striking. But, not only can I not now remember the movie, I do remember that I zoned out on it less than halfway through. It bored me, something I would not have thought possible from the "look" of the thing. A huge disappointment.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
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rvoyttbots
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Joined: 12:15 AM - Oct 25, 2005

2:19 AM - Oct 07, 2018 #12

Pretty blah to me.
  
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kcor
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kcor
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12:44 PM - Oct 07, 2018 #13

Godziwolf wrote: [...]  But it's probably the most Kong-feeling film made since 1933.
That's a cogent take if rather sweeping, it made me think about whether or not I agreed with the thought and I came up with it being a DANGEROUS GAME-feeling film.

I like DG and always imagine it being a feature length serial, serials often offered stand-alone sets of characters and circumstances and doomsday devices. Also, if you missed a few chapters of a serial you might be as unfamiliar with what is going on as I was during parts of SKY CAPTAIN.

I like gadgets and SKY CAPTAIN had plenty.

It's surely been close to ten years since I've seen SKY CAPTAIN and right now all I can conjure up is that it all took place at night with lighting like in a disused parking lot--time to see it again.

EDITED IN: So I did rewatch and it and yeah everything in every scene is dark dark dark. All of THE BLOB takes place during one night, also AMERICAN GRAFITTI, both take place in the dark but boy howdy this movie was getting me down. Maybe it was because I was looking for one ray of sunshine but I don't think so.
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cjh5801
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5:54 AM - Oct 11, 2018 #14

Godziwolf wrote: ...But it's probably the most Kong-feeling film made since 1933.
The Kong cameo about 14 minutes into the film made me smile: 
00002.mpls_snapshot_00.14.19_sc.jpg 00002a.mpls_snapshot_00.14.19_sc.jpg
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Joined: 10:00 AM - Aug 24, 2017

9:48 AM - Oct 11, 2018 #15

I was about to point out the wreck of the SS Venture also appears, but in looking for a decent pic to post I came across a Godzilla reference that I totally missed when watching the movie.

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kcor
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kcor
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12:14 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #16

Yeah, I did note the Godzilla photo but didn't know about the K Kong appearance until well after the film was no longer new.

But then I love filmed newspapers and was looking. Also he was among the few things dark against a light surround.

I did think they went to the crawling supers of headlines a couple more time than I would have though.

Still, after a lifetime of watching movies with so much expository stuff stuck in dialogue and it bugging me more and more, I recognize the economy and the variety it adds.

More ceilings! The movie needed more ceilings!
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Godziwolf
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11:50 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #17

cjh5801 wrote:
Godziwolf wrote: ...But it's probably the most Kong-feeling film made since 1933.
The Kong cameo about 14 minutes into the film made me smile: 
00002.mpls_snapshot_00.14.19_sc.jpg00002a.mpls_snapshot_00.14.19_sc.jpg
I think there's also a Kong skeleton on the island at the end. The island which is pretty clearly Skull Island.
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Salzmank
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Joined: 3:27 PM - Oct 12, 2016

12:21 AM - Oct 12, 2018 #18

I’m a definite fan of this one (and of The Rocketeer)—something about it, especially the atmosphere, really appeals to me. (Late ’30s/early ’40s setting always appeals to me: I always associate this one with The Rocketeer, Tower of Terror ’97, and Radioland Murders.)

I thought Paltrow was at her most beautiful, Law played a fine cross between Buck Rogers and Errol Flynn, and the whole thing was exciting and endearing. An excellent classic adventure. I’m not surprised that it flopped—most of the movies I like nowadays flop—but I wish Kerry Conran had a career. Hollywood banishments are apparently more unforgiving than Toyland.
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Blaster
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Joined: 11:58 PM - Jun 14, 2018

12:45 AM - Oct 12, 2018 #19

I'm a supporter of SKY CAPTAIN but I'm not surprised that its artsiness and murky look didn't connect with an audience.  
Unlike THE ROCKETEER, I don't think SKY CAPTAIN had a heart.  
It had affection.  It had wonder.  But it ultimately came across as bloodless and sterile.  
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Salzmank
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12:49 AM - Oct 12, 2018 #20

Blaster wrote: I'm a supporter of SKY CAPTAIN but I'm not surprised that its artsiness and murky look didn't connect with an audience.  
Unlike THE ROCKETEER, I don't think SKY CAPTAIN had a heart.  
It had affection.  It had wonder.  But it ultimately came across as bloodless and sterile.  
I’m not sure that I can entirely agree (certainly not “sterile”), but I can definitely see what you mean. I do wish the acting were a bit better than Law and Paltrow had had more chemistry—I think that would have improved its heart.
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