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Hey folks, Harry here... It's inappropriate for me to write a review of SKY CAPTAIN & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, as fate would have it, I find myself in the position of producing the director of this film's next movie, PRINCESS OF MARS. That being said, I will report upon how I feel the AICN Screening of SKY CAPTAIN & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW went, and I'll share some of my musings about the film along the way.

First off - In regards to the contest I had for tickets to this, I wound up with over 1100 entries from places like Wales, Lansing - Michigan, Florida, New Mexico and throughout Texas. Military personel, Air Force Pilots from San Antonio, Computer gaming programmers, Grandfather's with grandsons, Sons writing to take fathers, and whether male or female, folks wanting to fantasize outloud regarding our world and Tomorrow. Sometimes these fantasies had Angelina Jolie, Gweneth Paltrow and Jude Law in them, sometimes a radical political shift in the way our world is run. But no matter what, all the entries shared a great desire to see the movie. In particular there were lots of family types that wanted in, which I was happy to see, as my personal hope for this film was that somehow... It would reach people of all ages and backgrounds with the simple message of giving us a world to dream in.

Picking through that many hopes, I couldn't help but feel like Mikey at a bottom of a wishing well lecturing his Goonies about what these paragraphs mean. The Air Force Lt. pilot from San Antonio wanted the film to rekindle the dreams of the little boy in him who stayed awake at night shining his flashlight like a searchlight over his dangling model planes upon his ceiling. Others wanted to dream about UNDERSEA KINGDOMS and PHANTOM EMPIRES. It was hard to pick and choose.

This was an event I was actually quite nervous about. You see, I was going to meet Kerry and Kevin Conran for the very first time at this event. Oh sure, I've had innumerable conversations with them dreamfasting about Barsoom, but this was different. We were going to meet for the very first time in front of 200+ fellow geeks all standing in the scorching Texas sun, awaiting... my surprise.

As usual, my partners in crime, the Alamo Drafthouse (in particular this time out Tim League and the Drafthouse CEO and Bag of Smiles, Terrell Braley) had helped in conjuring more than a simple screening. The crowd was gathered along the front of The Alamo LakeCreek!

Then Kerry and Kevin Conran arrived. I could read Kerry's mind as he approached me, "25... 3 tons of him," but soon we were chatting guardedly for those intrepid pesky internet spies hanging to hear us spill details of Barsoom. I was killing time. Why? I had the microphone, doing my best Bob Hope, but why?

Well, unknown to Paramount Pictures or the Conran Brothers... Unknown to the gathering crowd... We had a surprise. During my obsessive-compulsive issues I've had with all things Sky Captain, I'd done some searching regarding P-40 Warhawks and discovered that the only flying P-40 in the world right now happens to reside in the Central Texas Branch of the Texas Confederate Air Force in San Marcus, Texas. As soon as I realized the only flying P-40 in the world was 30 minutes from Austin, I was determined to get it to make a special appearance at the Drafthouse. Alerting Tim League, who then in turn let loose the wild hounds of the Drafthouse to find and secure this P-40 for our viewing pleasure this beautiful day... Now, as is typical with these Drafthouse folks, I just asked for the P-40 Warhawk. So guess what? They not only got the P-40 Warhawk, but 3 other WWII era planes. Now, this is the great part. I'm aimlessly babbling about... and suddenly there's this rumble from the sky, that unmistakable sound of old vintage props chopping through the Texas Sky. Kevin Conran begins bobbing his head about looking up at the sky, Kerry joins him, and they see the planes (which were a bit early, dagnabbit) but they instantly recognized the P-40 a mere 500ft above us soaring like in days of old...

Now, unlike Ronald Reagan in that old WWII training film where he couldn't remember what the shape of the plane he saw was (in regards to whether he shot at friend or foe) Kerry and Kevin did know what they were looking at. And Kerry was quite excited...

The planes flew by in a group of different formations and elevations, and truly the sky was beginning to capture our imaginations...

Kerry began to spontaneously dance...

Just kidding, he didn't really dance, but apparently in Film School he did do a Busby Berkeley Musical Number for a short film. Which I'd love to see! In addition to getting the planes in, they got the entire Drafthouse staff wearing vintage WW2 flight gear! Not only that, but they had 3 Sky Captains, 2 Mysterious Ladies, 1 Polly Perkins and drool... 1 Capt Frankie!!! The below femme-Sky Captain was played by Megan McAtee - who headed up the entire crew from the Drafthouse to decorate and plot out the step by steps and execute them. She did a fantastic job!

In addition to the contest winners, some of Austin's film community came out in support of the film. Robert Rodriguez's son Rocket's birthday was Saturday, and instead of having his birthday party then, Rocket got treated to SKY CAPTAIN, and his B-day party was today! What a lucky kid! Also Tim McCanlies showed up, very anxious to see giant iron robots smashing through New York City of 1939ish. MAY's Angela Bettis showed up, along with a whole host of other eclectic Austin personalities. It was a nice fun austintatious Drafthouse affair

Once in the theater, all cameras and recording devices had to cease their recording, and be returned to the various trunks and glove compartments from whence they came. The pre-show entertainment was a selection of rare-film oddities from the 39 World's Fair, Fleischer's Superman cartoons, all manners of pre-show entertainment.

Having already introduced Kerry to the audience outside, I said a few comments about sticking around after the show to hear me and Kerry and Kevin Conran geek about the film and other subjects should they desire. Also, apparently in all the goody bags there were LEMONY SNICKET cards, and one lucky soul was going to get the rare 13th card, which when combined with the common 12 cards earns the lucky guy a free trip to the world premiere of those Unfortunate Events. Someone did win curiously enough.

Once the trailers began, the one that particularly affected Kerry Conran was the original FLASH GORDON trailer with Queen's Anthem which got Kerry hopping happy in his seat. Yes, he's one of us, google goggle...

How do I feel about SKY CAPTAIN & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW? I've now seen it twice. I'm seeing it again Tuesday. I plan on going to see it Friday and perhaps again on Saturday. For me, the film is an effortless celebration of the joy of everything I love about the 30's. The design, the film, the fashions, the hair & make-up, the pulp fiction tales of action, adventure, science-fiction, romance & fantasy. The Golden Age! To see a film embrace those elements without laughing at them or holding them in contempt... of not tackling them half-heartedly... well, it is a joy I imagine I'll feel in Christmas 2005 with Peter Jackson's KING KONG. In many ways, this film shares much with Tarantino's KILL BILL. It's creator, like Tarantino, is a cinema savant. Kerry's specific fetish is the world of "classic" cinema, rather than the realm of film occupied by post-Hayes Code mores.

I love that Paltrow is essentially Veronica Lake channeling Barbara Stanwyck performing the Fleischer's Lois Lane. I can't tell you how much I love it. I just love how NOTE PERFECT that performance is. As Jude said, it isn't an Oscar type role, but in my book it is. To capture a performance style from another era, not unlike what she did in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, this too is a completely different acting discipline which Gweneth effortlessly succeeds in. Jude is affecting the Flynn of films like DAWN PATROL, Giovanni Ribisi feels like some odd combination of Peter Lorre and William Benedict with a dash of Frank Shannon. Angelina Jolie... what can I say, she's just a goddess given human form poured into the greatest fetishistic femme-ware I've seen in ages. It's Michelle Pfeiffer CATWOMAN yummy for me, with a Nick Fury kick in the ass and perfectly round E.C.-sci-fi helmet for good measure.

Had they not gotten the actor that plays Totenkopf to agree on a salary and a trailer size, they apparently had Boris Karloff waiting in the wings. Him appearing would have sent my chest flying into two during the end of this film, simply because... well, Boris Karloff and crazed sci-fi equipment goes together like biscuits & gravy! PERFECT! The actor they got was no slouch, though he is certainly no Boris Karloff. Heh.

The look of the lighting and cinematography feels like Josef von Sternberg's loving lenses that worshipped Dietrich, but here, they worship Robots and Planes and Creatures and sights my eyes have hungered for... since my eyes began hungering for things to appear on silver screens.

How well does this film work? Little kids in the audience came up to Kerry Conran after the Q&A to tell him how much they loved it. I'm talking like age 5 (and female at that) to older kids, like my 79 year old Grandmother, who doesn't geek about scifi or fantasy... She picked up on the Stanwyck and Flynn work and latched on to an era she feels is too often forgotten. People stayed chatting and talking about the film till right near the nip of 3am celebrating and chatting about all things cinema. And who was praising Kerry Conran above all others? Robert Rodriguez, who went into some sub-dialect of digital filmmaking with Kerry, which we neanderthals attempted to decipher whilst hunched over.

That was the event, I hope you enjoyed this - non-film review. I'm just the happiest guy in the world right now, because... I know this is just the beginning.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 13, 2004, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Say what you will about Harry's reviews...

    by Monkey Butler

    ...but my God is his excitement infectious

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 4:33 a.m. CST

    The TRON of 2004.

    by heywood jablomie

    Another creepy, stilted gadget that will make eleven geeks spontaneously ejaculate and will bore everyone else to madness.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Who's the hotty wearing yellow in the third picture down?

    by Johnnyhotsausage

    I'd buy that for a dollar!

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:26 a.m. CST

    The vintage aircraft were a nice touch...

    by JAGUART

    This does look pretty damned fun. I'm a fan of Howard Hughes' Hell's Angels (1930)

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:32 a.m. CST


    by KidCthulhu

    I could have sat next to Angela Bettis,but no, I have to live in Michigan. Where are the pictures of Harry standing on top of the theatre swatting at warplanes?

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:59 a.m. CST

    As long as Robert Rodriquez didnt play his guitar I bet it was f

    by Jon E Cin

    If he did...then Im sorry.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Gah. Whenever I see Harry, i think of that Blade 2 cunny revie

    by Boris the Blade

    ...and I shudder in fear at the images my mind creates.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 7:04 a.m. CST

    The more i hear about Sky Captain...

    by Drunken Fugitive

    The more i feel Princess of Mars is in the right hands!

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 8:14 a.m. CST


    by LoudmouthCracker

    I might be more inclined to see "Sky Captain" if every single solitary piece of footage that that has been in the trailers weren't shot in extreme soft focus. Christ, it must be like watching a 90-minute douche commercial.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 8:15 a.m. CST

    The most stupendous thing about this article is that Harry decla

    by FluffyUnbound

    Come on, man! What the hell is that! Don't limit yourself!

  • and I mean with the three legged martian walkers, tentacles, heat rays and all, including a to-the-mat shoot out with the Thunder Child.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Ahhaha. Harry could you make it any more obvious. Apart from a s

    by TheGinger Twit

    Or you liked it, but you're itching to just pick it to bits and smack the director over the head. Come on, tell us what you think. Are you regretting bringing on KC on such an impulse. Film Production is about gut instinc my friend. You'd better be honest to yourself.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 12:58 p.m. CST


    by Doug Exeter

    Tron is one of my favorite films of all time. I was about 8 when it came out and I've always loved it. I'm glad it's getting the respect that it deserves. I first heard about SC&TWOT a couple of years ago in the LA Times. It sounded like an intriguing idea in both story and execution. Recently, I've wondered if people are going to get it. It does seem a bit like Tron, in that it could be ahead of its time (I haven't seen it yet) and may leave people scratching their heads. I guess we'll see. Good luck Kerry Conran! I sincerely hope you don't go the way of Steven Lisberger. Of course it was Steven Lisberger that inspired John Lassetter, so...

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Laurence Olivier

    by coen_fan

    Yeah, I read in about 3 different articles that he was playing the bad guy, Totenkopf or whatever. I'm going to be seriously bummed if he isn't. That would be some amazing stuff. I wonder if he could be eligible for a posthumous Oscar? (Just kidding.)

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Harry, I envy you for that kind of experience!

    by CurryIce

    I should move out to Austin or something like that. And Manos:"...wouldn't you love to see War Of The Worlds done in this style..." YES!(though i haven't seen SkyCaptain yet)

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 1:59 p.m. CST

    What's with all the white people

    by Moa Kaka

    Do they not have minorities in Texas? Or does this film merely not appeal to them?

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 3:17 p.m. CST

    "Do they not have minorities in Texas?"

    by Judge Doom

    Well, sorry sparky. I

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 3:27 p.m. CST


    by ETI

    "Wow! Can you imagine having so much free time in life that you can see the same movie 4 times in the same week?" Yeah, no kidding. Now if you'll excuse me, some guys at MIT are sending me reasons why Captain Picard is better than Captain Kirk.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Not a P-40 among 'em...

    by HungryJoe

    Sorry...but there's not a P-40 in that formation of four planes. Also, there's more than just one flying, original P-40 in existence.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Fucking cool.

    by minderbinder

    Can't wait to see this one.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Isn't a bit disingenuous...

    by NapoleonDynamite pimp a movie as hard as Harry's pimped this one for the last year, with all the squealing anticiptaion, ass kissing of anyone involved, calling the actors by their characters' names (as if there's some sort of SKY CAPTAIN craze already going on and we all know or give a shit about the characters) talk about the screening like its an orgy at Victoria's Secret and then to try to demur from doing a review with some bullshit pretense to conflict of interest? I don't know what it is but I just can't get hard for this movie. The effects in the trailer looked washed out and dull, the robots just look fucking stupid, the hairstyles look stupid, the airplane looks stupid. I just don't get it at all. There's a reason that 30's sci fi looked as cheesey as it did, it was because THEY COULDN"T DO ANY BETTER! I can't see the appeal of making a movie look shitty and stupid on purpose just because they used to look shitty and stupid 70 years ago. The more I see that trailer, the more convinced I am that this movie looks exactly like ass. Richard Roeper said on EBERT AND ROEPER that it totally sucks dick. I believe him.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:48 p.m. CST

    yup, no P-40s in those pictures

    by Ikaruga

    None of those planes are P-40s! I think the Confed Air Force people scammed Harry. I still think that Sky Captain would be A LOT better if it had a P-38 Lightning, instead of a boring ol P-40. We've seen the P-40 in movies enough now. The P-38 has yet to be featured in a single movie I've seen. The P-38 wasn't around in the 1930s, but neither were giant robots! Well, if someone is listening.... maybe someone should allow viewers to change the plane to a P-38 in the DVD :-P Now that would be cool....... since the movie is entirely in CGI, I hope one day CGI movies will be interactive in what visuals you see in the movie. So, Sky Captain would get into a P-40 normally. You press a button, and boom, he gets into a P-38 instead. Heh.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Jesus H. Christ in a chariot-driven sidecar, Harry...

    by Yossarian

    It's San Marcos. Not San Marcus. Who the hell is San Marcus; the greek saint? We're like 15 minutes down the road, dude. Have some friggin respect... Just kidding, you illititerate bloated sell-out, you know we love ya.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Breaking news!!! Batman Begins reshoots!!!

    by Aeglos Istarion

    Apparently, the Batman production crew returned to London today to reshoot some footage that director Christopher Nolan wasn't really happy with. The most notable change between the new scenes and the old ones is the costume design. After the split reaction towards the first pictures of the batsuit, Nolan now goes for a more "classic" approach... for more info, check the acclaimed movie fansite ;-)

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:54 p.m. CST

    So should we start calling this movie Sky-TWAT?

    by Snarky

    Just curious.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Yes, we should all pay close attention to what Roeper has to say

    by minderbinder

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 6:43 p.m. CST

    If it had been called "I, Captain.."

    by Hamish

    Then the initials would be I C A TWOT.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 10:19 p.m. CST

    After Barsoom....

    by MasterShake

    Harry, talk Conran into taking on Doc Savage after Barsoom, he'd do it up right.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 10:29 p.m. CST

    BTW, the planes pictured are....

    by MasterShake

    Two North American P-51 Mustangs, a Mitsubishi A6M Zero, and a Grummen F6F Hellcat. At least they were all fighters from that era.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Just saw Skycaptain

    by Christopher_atUC

    I just came back from an advance screening of Skycaptain at the Springdale Cinema in Cincinnati. That film is amazing! It's beautiful to behold, artfully done, skillfully executed, and lovingly crafted. The story is compelling, the characters are a lot of fun, and ...well it just plain wonderful! I completely enjoyed this film and I'm very eager to see it again! There are wonderful nods to various other historical sci-fi/fantasy films and figures: War of the Worlds (audio), Lucas (1138), Wizard of Oz, King Kong (visual ref), and Buck Rogers. I'm sure I missed a few. It's difficult to describe the beautiful blend of old and new in this film, but I can say that it is wonderful. If you appreciated the original Star Wars in its unique and exciting vision; if you have a fondness for art deco and Max Fleischer's Superman cartoons; if you find joy in giant robots, hot chicks in awesome aircraft, and artfully composed visuals, then this film was designed to appeal to you.

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Sorry.. I'm off to see Nat'l Lampoon's "Gold Diggers" this weeke

    by OgieOglethorpe

    I'd kinda like to see Sky Captain & all, but between GD & Wimbledon? My weekend is lookin' pretty full. (<< pure sarcasm)

  • Sept. 13, 2004, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Actually, those planes really are...

    by HungryJoe

    ...two T-6 Texans (with the visible wheels meeting along the midline) and two...dammit...what are those things? They're not Mustangs; the wing outline is wrong. Anybody?

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 3:42 a.m. CST

    I can't wait ... I can't wait ... I can't wait ... I can't wait

    by JDanielP

    ... dang it!! Isn't the weekend here, yet???!! I can't wait!!! "SKY CAPTAIN" could be this generations "STAR WARS" for cryin' outloud!!! Everybody take your children ... whether your own kids or somebody else's!!!

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 6:25 a.m. CST

    The who and the what world of when?

    by SalvatoreGravano

    What is this thing, anyway? I've only seen a poster and it looked like a lame live cartoon. Reminded me of an awful game called "Agharta".

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 8:06 a.m. CST


    by toolfan

    Can someone please elighten me as to why we are getting our cocks out over this pile of crap? Shouldn't we have a Star Wars Trilogy in-depth review by now? Empire magazine (UK) have already stated what a puddle of monkey vomit this movie is, and thats good enough of me. What a load of useless hype.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Sky Captain is a Giant Steaming TURD!!! -My Review

    by kdoc13

    That's right, you heard me, a warm turd! Since Harry never posts my reviews of movies, because they differ from his own views, I am reduced to posting them here. Sorry. First and foremost, All the hype of the graphics on this thing? It is a waste. It has the look and feel of computer animation with actors on a green screen. So much so, that it gets distracting after a while. And there is only so much soft light and filtering that a person can take. The look of the film has a very cool 40's look. I will give it that. But imagine all the coolest stuff from the look of the 40's movies taken to such extremes that it distracts from the movie. The dialouge is terrible, as is the story. Giant machines come to conquer, let's kidnap a few top scientists, oh yeah, and a mechanic. Not just any mechanic mind you, sky captain's mechanic. Because in the 1940's there is just an awful shortage of mechanics around. The story are dialouge were written for fan boys. But th ewriter obviously thinks they are retarded. Shangri-la? A spitfire taking on giant robots? Hello, you have the technology to create walking robots and you don't think to armor them in a way that a guy in a friggin spitfire can't take them out? Stupid? Oh yes! The acting is also terrible, Paltrow is a giant wooden bimbo walking around trying to be Jennifer Jason Leigh from the Hudsucker Proxy. In fact, the biggest problem with Sky Captain is that you have seen it all before. Yep, giant robots were done in the Iron Giant, Paltrow is practically channeling Hudsucker proxy, these guys even rip off stuff from The Phantom! That is terrible in itself. The only saving quality in this movie is that Bai Ling turns in another great performance. She is truly underrated as an actress. And whileher part in this is small, she pulls it off more convincingly than the rest of the cast.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 9:34 a.m. CST

    when did this site get "integrity"???

    by ZO

    u think anyone here cares? tell us what u think. ur not a journalist

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Good call on the T-6s HungryJoe...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... but the other two do indeed appear to be P-51s, albeit P-51B's as opposed to the more famous-different wing shape: P-51D. In any case, either Harry's full of crap or someone lied to him. None of the four look anything like a P-40 Warhawk OR an A6M Zero - the wing shape is wrong, dear MasterShake...

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 12:21 p.m. CST

    yeah riiiiiiiiight

    by Mr Brownstone

    I haven't trusted Harry's taste ever since he gushed all over Six String Samurai, one of the most unwatchable pieces of crap ever made (right up there with Hook). read his review here ( ) and marvel at the mind of a man who could praise such lame, half-assed garbage. As far as Sky Captain is concerned I'm hoping for the best, but I'll beleive it when I see it for myself.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 12:25 p.m. CST

    never forget

    by Mr Brownstone

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Paltrows performance

    by Mr Brownstone

    if it's anything like Jennifer Jason Leigh in the Hudsucker Proxy... that would suck... cause her "acting" in that film was like nails on a chalk board.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Ok Ok Mr. Brownstone; as much as my better judgement...

    by Alatar_Blue

    ...rebels, and as much as I reckon I'll regret it: What's so bloody awful about "6 String Samurai"? Kindly endeavor to be precise and succint...

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Ah yes the P-38

    by Aphex Twin

    Definitely one of the sleekest looking planes from the WWII era. And true not one has ever been featured in a motion picture. BUT! It has been featured in several video games, including one of my favorite pieces of nostalgia: 1942. Loop-de-loop to avoid enemy fire! Wow I miss that game! Then again...was one featured in Iron Eagle 3: Aces? Forgive my lack of movie knowledge.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Yes, but what does it mean?

    by Goldberry

    "I find myself in the position of producing the director of this film's next movie, PRINCESS OF MARS." Harry has given birth to a director? The film has made a movie? Or has a martian princess given birth to a director that produced a moving film? Should I go to sleep now?

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Have a look at IMDB Bobby P.

    by Pontsing Barset

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 3:39 p.m. CST

    This had better not suck.

    by Veraxus

    Harry - if this movie sucks I'm going to cut your fucking balls off.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 4:02 p.m. CST

    One thing is for certain, this film isn't like anything i've see

    by The Founder

    will that be enough to pull in an audience? Not sure the exact budget of this puppy, but for paramounts sake i hope so. I'll be seeing it, because it looks interesting visually, but if a good plot and story isn't there, then the uniqueness of the visuals will have all been for nothing.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Acutally Founder...

    by Alatar_Blue

    ...the budget for SC&TWOT is one of the more remarkable aspects of this project: A bare 60 million, if you can believe it, in this day and age.

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 4:20 p.m. CST

    So what if Harry's...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ...not exactly photogenic? At least he's not some mewling little twerp with a a brand of butter for a user ID...

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 6:19 p.m. CST

    R.C.'s opinion: Hamo455, that shit was classic

    by R.C. the "Wise"

    I CA TWOT hahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!!!

  • Sept. 14, 2004, 6:24 p.m. CST

    "someone please elighten me as to why we are getting our cocks o

    by minderbinder

    So Empire didn't like it. Right now on RT it's up to 89% on rotten tomatoes, one bad review and most of the good ones are over the top raves. If it's not your cup of tea, fine. But no need to pretend that everyone agrees with you.

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 1:37 a.m. CST

    I don't hate Gwyneth Paltrow as a person. I hate how her charact

    by FrankDrebin

    Haven't seen the movie, but I've seen trailers, clips & featurettes, and her character is always shouting "Look out!" and "Let's go!" and "What's happening?!" and "What are you doing?!" She's LITERALLY just along for the ride. Like a talking suitcase that the hero is lugging around with him.

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 4:27 a.m. CST

    Cadillac of the Skies ...

    by HallowedBThyName

    most important question of course ... does Angelina get nakid?

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Way to set us straight Retro...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ...never mind that sequences seen in trailers are by definition taken out of context. Wait 'til you see the film to dump mmkay?

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Karloff? That Limey cocksucker!

    by Hud

    Wonderful rundown, Harry. Austin looks like a daggone great town. Hope there's somebody who'll be as enthusiastic and unhinged about your movie when it opens.

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 11:54 a.m. CST

    It's the Commemorative Air Force not the Texas Confederate Air F

    by Zaphods2ndHead

    There not trying to secede or something. Fact check! Always Fact check!

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 1:26 p.m. CST

    After further research HungryJoe, and HARRY...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... I have concluded that while the silhouettes of the two "NON-T6 Texan trainers" (the ones with the visible wheels, horizontally folded main gear) planes are SIMILAR to a P51b - they are too small to be Mustangs. The closest I've been able to come to a positive identification is the T-34 "Mentor" trainer - which is listed on the Central Texas Commemorative Air Force web site as one of the aircraft they fly. But, I'm not at all sure that's what they are. The point, AGAIN, is that NONE of the four planes in those photos is a P-40 Warhawk as Harry claims, and that the Conran Bros allegedly "immediately recognized". Why the lie big man? Or did CTCA lie to you perhaps? The CTCA does indeed have the only known flying P-40 in existence as far as I was able to discover, it's just not one of the aircraft in those pictures.

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Just Saw Sky Capt in Tampa

    by Cheif Brody

    Got an advanced screening last night. All I can say is, "WOW"! First, we all know the movie is almost 98% CGI...but please, this is no cartoon movie. The sets are sumptuous and alive. I completely got lost in them and was never jarred out of my seat by something that looked fake or unnatural. The performances were all a loving tribute to the films of the 30's & 40's. Jude, Gyweneth, Giovanni, and Angolie all looked to have been plucked out of a 1930's serial and delicately placed in this modern wink to the adventures of old. I felt as if I was transported straight into a living panel of a sci-fi comic book from the 30's via "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Much of what "Raiders" was able to capture with real sets and set peices, is further enhanced by the unlimited possibilites of this CGI world the actors interact in. All I can say is ANY movie that hopes to capture the look and feel of the 1930's (are you listening Peter Jackson?) has "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" to live up to. This is the new bench mark filmmakers must aspire to. I hope it encourages younger audiences to go back and view the films that "Sky Captain" lovingly and masterfully pays tribute to here.

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 9:38 p.m. CST


    by BAMF

    Maybe Knowles doesn't post your childish little rant-reviews because they suck. Did that ever cross your mind, troll?

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 9:42 p.m. CST


    by BAMF

    Do you have a point to make or are you just bored, because you're sure as hell boring us.

  • Sept. 15, 2004, 10:11 p.m. CST

    "WAAAAY too CGI-rendered"

    by minderbinder

    So do you hate the Pixar and DW flicks for the same reason? And do you hate snow white and Dumbo because they're too cartoony? If only Jiminy Cricket was photorealistic...

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 12:29 a.m. CST

    I can't believe Harry didn't once mention his ass

    by truthseekr1488

    ...or the contents thereof, or the penetration thereof by one or more of his cinematic gods-of-the-moment, or how he would like to have x's ass-baby, or so forth and so on. Kudos.

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Minderbinder, it's not the cgi that bothers me...

    by 0007

    It's the fact that, as someone else points out below, that the entire movie is in such soft-focus it is incredibly distracting. I can hardly look at the screen it is so hazy. My thoughts were that they hazed it all up to help sell the digital effects. As for animated films, I'm not really for those either, but it's especially irritating to combine animated material (cgi) with live-action in a bigger-than-life spectacle. Give me a smaller, more personal film anyday. Like I said, I'm giving this one a chance soon, but aside from my dislike of Gwyneth Paltrow, and the ridiculous look Ms. Jolie has in this film, I'm very skeptical. Big iron robots and fighter planes aren't my cup of tea either. I'd normally be willing to forego those preference points, but the visual softness just makes it seem outright inaccessible.

  • ...before there existed spoilers and marketing...when moviegoing was done out of sheer enjoyment and not to know, someone remarked that they hope this film is this generations Star Wars and I agree with that and I don't...just saw a sneak preview tonight and the weird thing is that I liked this movie more as it went on...the first 45 minutes are really sort of boring but it does pick up once you realize that this film aspires to be the serial of the millenium...there are so many ridiculous things going on here that by film's end, you can't help but admire it...put away all preconceptions like I had (well, it's Indiana Jones meets Dark City meets...)...just go and ENJOY the damn thing for what it's is very entertaining and I can see Harry's point that the filmmaker is a cinephile in that he references a lot of the old time serials (he really does get out of the cockadoodie car!)'s fun and entertaining but if you want it to be more than that, look elsewhere...and as for being this generation's Star Wars, it will never happen...audiences have become too jaded for that...there will never be another SW simply for the fact that films don't have to rely on things like word of mouth and pure enjoyment anymore...there's not much left to discover out there, people, but when there is, take it for what it's worth, enjoy it or don't and then move on...all that aside, I would recommend Sky Captain but with some reservations...sit back, watch, enjoy (or don't) then go's that simple

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 1:43 a.m. CST

    That is definately not a P-40

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Nor is it an X-wing fighter. Now, how fucking cool would an X-wing flyover have been? Sky Captain for President! Anyone but Bush!

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 2:37 a.m. CST

    off the subject

    by gravy_suckin_pig

    rip johnny ramone! only one left-tommy

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 9:13 a.m. CST

    So let me get this don't like what the movie's ab

    by minderbinder

    But what really kills it for you is the "soft focus"? Why are you even planning on watching this movie, or writing on this talkback for that matter? Based on your personal taste, I can't imagine any way you'd like this movie.

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Minderbinder, I'm on here because I want to like it...

    by 0007

    I want to hear as much about this film as possible, because I have been proven wrong about many films in the past, from how they appeared in the trailers, to how they actually play as a feature. I will watch and can enjoy anything on celluloid (or video), whether it be musical, exploitation, western, straight drama, epic, et cetera. True that 1930's sci-fi is not really "my thing", but that doesn't mean I may not come out really liking this. I hope this is a film I will enjoy, but I haven't seen anything so far that leads me to believe so. That's why I'm trying to read as much about it as possible before I go see it tomorrow. I do like Jude Law quite a bit as an actor, so hopefully he'll be my ticket into this thing....

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Does anybody else think that this movie looks a little gay?

    by Tall_Boy

    or really gay? I loved those earlier trailers and all but as the hype machine builds up (incessant pimping on AICN and having various comics bombarded with advertisements for the entire summer) I find myself tuning out. I know its the "style" and all and giant robots are cool... but man, does it look really stupid and lame.

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 5:14 p.m. CST


    by BadGuy

    As you talkbackers get older your imagination is weakened. If you saw the trailers for some of your older favorite movies, when you were younger, you would say the movie looks lame. I for one refuse to lose my imagination and sense of wonder and have been waiting every second for this movie to open. To see pictures like this shows that some people never lose their imagination!

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 5:33 p.m. CST

    I KNEW they weren't mustangs!

    by Pontsing Barset

    The two difficult to identify aircraft in those photos (not the AT-6/SNJ/Harvards, the OTHER two) are in fact Nanchang CJ-6As!!! Straight from the mouth of the CAF! Check out:

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Gwenyth? After calling her kid Apple for the stupidest reason,

    by Chirko

    I might end up seeing it after this review. Not a big fan of Blue screen, and hopefully the acting is good. Also, the threats against Harry's balls are a bit surprising. When did geeks become so fucking violent?

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Anyone see the documentary "Uncovered: The Whole Truth" (or "Unc

    by JDanielP

    Our President and this administration knowingly lied to America about Iraq being such a threat ... by exaggerating the truth and misleading NOT ONLY us, but Congress, too. (And from my understanding, this is a felony.) This film had many interviews with people who know much more (about this) than your average American (including me). "How can anyone have 100 percent certainty that there are weapons of mass destruction and yet have ZERO percent certainty of where they're at?" -- Our President and this administration knowingly selected (12 years) old intellegence information to plead their case. And there was even $1,000,000 paid for bogus information to help plea their case further. -- I'm not going to relay all the eye-opening information that was revealed, ... but as a person who believed our President, ... my President of my United States ... and as a person who supported the war because I believed we needed to stop a madman from using "weapons of mass destruction" before he actually COULD ... as this person, I'm angry. I'm mad as hell. -- And at this point, I now wonder if it's true that our President has done cocaine, ... which from my understanding, is to be revealed in a book in the near future (unless we have such an unlawful and powerful President that he can somehow stop the publication before re-election). -- For me, I see a picture that is adding up to be very scary. I am honestly afraid for my country. Remember when this administration let leak the very identity of a woman CIA agent whom happened to be the wife of a man who was speaking out on "Meet the Press", placing his wife's life in jeapardy? Well, guess what? He gets to speak out in this documentary. -- And I hear news of how our President wants to change the CIA, etc... and I'm finding it very disturbing. And when he talks of making his new tax laws "permanent" (where it would take an act of a future congress to reverse or change it), I can't help but feel disturbed.

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Not all democrats are liberals, ... just as I'm sure not every r

    by JDanielP

    It offends me to be called a "liberal" just because I'm a democrat. It's not the meaning of the term (look it up in the dictionary, it's not that bad) ... but in the context of how it's used, to suggest that being a democrat = liberal ... and to use it like we are scum, in an almost racist way. -- I'm what you might call a hard-nosed democrat. I believe that middle-class America is it's strength ... and when you vote Repuiblican, you are voting (perhaps unknowingly) in favor of the rich. -- Remember the overtime pay that our President wants to stop? (Which he says is a relatively low number. But that's how major changes are done in business, a little at a time. That way everyone doesn't rise in such an uproar.) ...Well, this dropping of the overtime ... it's to promote business, right? To help the company, right? And where will all that money go, ... all the money that would have been overtime pay (to people who need it most, within the company)? Where do you think it will go? If your answer is that they will expand on the business, create more (lower paying) jobs, etc... I LAUGH AT YOU. Who's to say that the few pockets that the money goes to won't be to buy more real estate, ... like an extra home or two ... and a bigger boat? WAKE UP AMERICA!!! -- I believe in the working man and woman, whatever color or religion, etc... and for some pencil pusher to make a great living while I sweat to my knees working my ass off and living pay-check to pay-check, and worrying about having enough money in the bank and not knowing what to do when my car goes bad... People, ... shit like this is just wrong. -- I wish we lived in a country where everyone made the exact SAME amount of money, ... and that the goal in business would be pure job-satisfaction. ('Cause you see, I'd still want a better job, 'cause I'd still have one of the hardest jobs to perform.) WAKE UP, PEOPLE! VOTE! And vote for a prosperous AMERICA! Vote for KERRY AND EDWARDS!!

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Have I mentioned lately how much I want to see this movie?!

    by JDanielP

    I can't wait!

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 8:15 a.m. CST

    People have been whining about this site hyping this movie...but

    by minderbinder

    I'm sure some people on here will see it and find it lame (or "gay"). But it's time to move on from this site liking the movie, there are a shitload of other folks who are now raving about it as well. Seriously, is that the best you can do, "this movie looks gay"?

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 8:56 a.m. CST

    There seems to be a lot of "love it or hate it" in the reviews o

    by FluffyUnbound

    Ebert gave it 4 stars, but rumor has it Roeper LOATHES it. Should make for a good show this week. I'd like to see them rumble at least once. Actually, reading the few negative reviews at RT, there seems to be a lot of animus out there about the use of Olivier's likeness. I think it rubs a lot of people the wrong way. I actually understand the impulse, but it's still too soon for digitizing actors in this way - because apparently they weren't able to convincingly synthesize Olivier's voice, and had to use another actor to voice it over. And what the hell is the point of using a digital Olivier if you don't have THE VOICE? It's like hiring James Earl Jones and then using someone else's voice. Makes no sense. That being said, I am seeing this movie this evening NO MATTER WHAT.

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 3:25 p.m. CST


    by William Stout

    How good is "SKY CAPTAIN - World of Tomorrow"? I work in the film business, so I usually don't have to pay to see films (I go to screenings). This weekend I am taking my family and friends to our biggest theater here and actually am going to PAY MY OWN HARD-EARNED DOUGH for them to see it and for myself to see it again! I saw "Sky Captain" at a screening (for free) at ComicCon this summer. I had reservations. Someone tipped me off to the trailer almost a year ago. It looked great on my home computer screen, and I mean GREAT! But then I saw the same trailer on the big screen months later and got worried becase the imagery wasn't holding up as well large as it did small. Well, boys and girls, all of that got fixed in post, I'm happy to report. This films totally kicks cinematic ass! It is visually ASTOUNDING, a magnificent achievement in film! I don't know what the "Sky Captain" looks "really gay" comments are about (I suspect it has to do with the repressed feelings of deeply closeted individuals); if you think "King Kong", "Metropolis", the Fleischer's "Mechanical Monsters" Superman cartoon and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" look "really gay" (and "soft focus"), then I guess you'll feel the same about "Sky Captain". One other thing: when you see the movie (and you'd be a damned fool not to), ask your local theater operator to crank up that sub-woofer during the film's opening so that you can feel deep down in the pit of your huevos what it's actually like to have a squadron of fifty story robots come stomping into town! Bravo to the Brothers Conran!

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 4:12 p.m. CST

    You have to get permission to use an actor's likeness. So if yo

    by minderbinder

    This isn't really anything new. For years (decades?), we've had stars lending their likenesses to various products. And sometimes they've given away control of how their footage is used in contracts. As long as someone is granting permission, I don't see what the big deal is. I'm more concerned about how the resulting performance turned out, seems silly to complain about it without having seen it. And I wouldn't worry too much about digital actors replacing real ones. At this point, it's tons more work to create a performance digitally than it is to put a guy in a costume.

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 6:30 p.m. CST

    dead actors

    by minderbinder

    Whether or not you call it a "performance" just seems like semantics. Regardless of what label you slap on it, it either works in the film or doesn't. I see your point about the whole "icon" thing. But that still happens with actors, even when they're alive. Look at when they reused Crispin Glover's footage for BTTF2. Or faking footage of the dead Oliver Reed for Gladiator when he passed on partway through the shoot. Or having Rich Little replace a voice in Lawrence of Arabia for a restored scene where the audio had been lost. Or tweaking archival footage in Zelig or Gump. Or heck, just using audio or video footage out of context in another part of the movie. Actors don't get final cut, they're always at the mercy of directors or editors. The issue of dead actors will probably get tighter control since now that people have considered the possibility and can specify yes or no in contracts. But I don't see it as inherently good or bad, depends on how it is used. As innovative as the film is, this is one can of worms that has been opened for years.

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Hell Yeah

    by Rock Icon

    Saw it. Loved it. For me it brought back that awe and magic you feel when you see movies as a kid. As for the visuals...did they look real? No. But they sure as hell looked beautiful.

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Feminism in Sky Captain

    by Forestal

    Why did the director decide to have a woman play Sky Captain's boss? Yeah that's exactly how it was back in the old serials. Then he has Jolie wearing eye-patch? Why is her name Franky? Why does she fly in combat? This just seems a little screwed up to me. These kind of additions take the nostalgia out of the movie. Gee, it makes you wonder what he has in store for A Princess of Mars - which has the potential for being a great SF film.

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Ambitious 1st Project

    by Damer1

    In the end it was a success only on a technical level. Even with the great overall look of the film there was some issues with scale and realism especially when Ms. Paltrow was running from the robots in NYC. I didn't believe that it was possible to get less out of blue screen actors than George Lucas until this afternoon. I'm glad I went to the film but I'm even happier that I only paid matinee prices. Consider this raving review from Harry in the same vein as the infamous "Blade 2" review.

  • Sept. 17, 2004, 11:28 p.m. CST

    great flick

    by ScreamingPenis

    I saw Sky Captain this afternoon, and in spite of the superfluous attention it has been getting on AICN, it is a great film. Paltrow is good at playing the earlier 20th century female type, kind of like in the Talented Mr. Ripley. Though, the beginning of the film felt like it lacked the proper amount wide angle shots to give scenes proper context...too many close ups. But maybe it's because I sat so close to the screen.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Saw the movie on Thursday...

    by El_Duderino

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Saw the movie on Thursday...

    by El_Duderino

    ...and I can honestly say I had a great time. It's not "Indiana Jones" great by any stretch, but I great time nonetheless. By the way, wasn't this originally supposed to be released in black and white? I really wish it would have been, because I think it would have helped tremendously.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Anyone notice the flicker effect?

    by drewcaster

    Through the entire movie the brightness flickered slightly like an old time movie. I hope this was just a bad bulb and not some digital effect added to make the movie seem retro. It annoyed the heck out of me. It was the equivalent of Blair Witch shaky-cam annoying. Other than that, I loved the movie.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 3:18 a.m. CST

    What a great film!

    by caerlas

    During the first 30 minutes of the film I was both mystified and worried. Mystified by the gorgeous visuals and cinematic effects, but worried because the characters were not very compelling and their relationships didn't drive my interest. But as the film progressed I was very speedily satisfied with the chemistry the actors had with one another. Sure the writing isn't Oscar material, but the characters work well together. The relationship between Joe, Polly, and Frankie is analagous to Archie, Betty, and Veronica hijinx, and I love the obvious way they strive to channel the personas of so many cinematic idols of yesterday. Jolie in particular reminds me of a sassy Katherine Hepburn type character in roles such as "Woman of the Year." I hope a sequel will be considered because I would look forward to another adventure, so long as the distance and chemistry between the characters is preserved, and that nostalgic feel of '30s cinema continues, and is perhaps brought out even more. Kudos to Kerry Conran for being such a visionary. It's been awhile since I've seen a popcorn flick based on new material that I really hoped for a sequel to.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 5:13 a.m. CST

    The film's 'vintage' feel...

    by Fugazi32

    Is it supposed to be set in the future? Or an alternate reality?

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 8:56 a.m. CST

    I saw it, and my enjoyment of it was touched by sadness.

    by FluffyUnbound

    It would have been nice to live in a time that had a future, instead of having to visit it during nostalgia-fests. But the whole retro-future thing has been discussed to death so I'll leave that alone. Instead I'll talk about something that has not been discussed nearly enough - George Lucas! This film confirmed for me something I started to suspect while watching ROTK - that when I thought I had a problem with CGI environments, I only REALLY had a problem with George Lucas' atrocious taste. I absolutely LOVED the CGI work in this movie. It wasn't grating at all. When I believed I hated CGI, I didn't factor in the fact that George Lucas' taste has atrophied to the point where everything he chooses to depict is cheesy, gaudy, and annoying. In the hands of someone who isn't the Deion Sanders of set design, the CGI tool WORKS. If Peter Jackson's use of CGI and digital scene rendering was "painterly" like one of the old masters, Conran is half Pop Artist, half Futurist - like Warhol and Boccioni fucked like minks and this guy burst out of one of their foreheads. I hope this film doesn't bomb and I hope Harry gets Princess of Mars made and released, because I want to see what this guy comes up with as a Burroughs landscape.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 9:46 a.m. CST

    No, those aren't P-40's in the picture.

    by morGoth

    They are Nanchang CJ-6A Chinese trainers (thankee kindly Mr. Moaters for your e-mail and searching). "The CAF doesn't own any CJ-6 aircraft but when a CAF unit puts together a fly over, it may include member-owned planes..." No biggie but it was driving myself and at least one other airplane buff bonkers trying to figure out what type of warbird those things were. Still a cool event Harry. Hey, we're all geeks here, right? RIGHT? Heh, I'm getting a good vibe from the posters who've seen it so I'm off to the theater to see it this weekend with giddy anticipation!

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Sky Captin just BOMBED at the Box Office!!!!

    by Marek

    It only took in $5 million on friday, which means it will only make about $12 million for the weekend. Those are absolutely terrible numbers considering that it got over 3000 theaters. Does't look good for A Princess of Mars....

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Everything did poor at the box office

    by AlwaysThere

    this weekend atleast. Nobody went to see anything.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 3:55 p.m. CST


    by BTR1701

    You seem to be confused and under the impression that this is a political web site. It's not. It's about movies.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 4 p.m. CST


    by BTR1701

    "I'm what you might call a hard-nosed democrat. I wish we lived in a country where everyone made the exact SAME amount of money" **** No you're not a Democrat. You're a socialist, pure and simple.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 8:03 p.m. CST

    I'd rather eat my own shit

    by Drunken Rage

    than see this OR ANY OTHER MOVIE WHICH WILL BE SHOT WITH CGI BACKGROUND ever again. Pure and simple, it's a shitty movie. We've seen it all before; the soft focus on everything is annoying as hell; the acting/script is atrocious; the movie takes itself completely seriously (meaning, there is no humor in the movie); and most annoyingly, the music is like a fucking Scooby-Doo cartoon--- IT NEVER STOPS! Regardless of the tech acheivement, this is an awful, terrible movie. Gwyneth Paltrow is pretty hot, though.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Everything was retro about this movie EXCEPT...

    by Funmazer

    the fact every shot was Jerry Bruckheimer-esque 2-seconds long. Except instead of straight cuts they do crossover fades. Why bother rendering this world if we don't get to look at it? Man that got annoying... I think this Conran guy should have done all the jobs he did for this EXCEPT directing. The plot was fairly simple but the characters were well done. This doesn't even come close to Raiders, and I wish reviewers would stop using that film as a benchmark because what's the point when everything else is never even remotely close? And finally, to add a sort of political statement, this movie needed WAY more guns.

  • I can only ask one thing out of you Harry and Co. PLEASE update the talkbackers, who are into hot chicks, on who the blonde standing behind Mr. Conran. Or if anyone knows, c'mon fill us in. Thank you and good night.

  • Sept. 18, 2004, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Sky Capt. is the goods

    by cap99

    This film is not simply recycling ideas we've seen a million times before. Rather it is paying homage to what seems like every single movie that came beofre it. It is not a tired, recycled idea made by a tired filmmaker who doesn't give a shit. It is a product of an artist who is truly in love and awe of the cinema and cares as much about the past as his own future. Every single scene in this film seems to be directly linked to a piece of movie history or pop culture. The meeting during the Wizard of OZ is brilliant, as the exposition comes to a head while Glinda's bubble grows between the two characters heads. There is a lot of OZ in this movie. The Emerald City-esque confrontation at the grand doors of the Wizard (Totenkof). When Joe & Polly take that step together to test if the force field is off, the camera goes low on their feet. The hesitation and then step is an exact copy of Dorothy & Scarecrow's first hesitation step onto the yellow brick road. There's the giant fallen tree-bridge fom Kong/"1138" on the door/so much from Lang's Metropolis/Raider's travelogues/Angelina Jolie as Nick Fury and those wild helicarriers (screw you Hasselhoff!)/the giant robots eye beams scream the cool same sound as the blast ray from War of the World's Martian crafts/the attack formations recall Triumph of the Will and Frank Capra's own US war propoganda films/Spy Who Loved Me amphibious Lotus Esprit car/the underwater thrills of Thunderball/the rocketship of George Pal/the finger wave taunt from The Matrix/Dr. Moreau/1984/I could've sworn I saw Godzilla in one of the recon photos of devestation around the globe/Temple of Doom's Sha-kari/Lost Horizon/Forbidden Planet's Krell/the Thunderbirds secret island base/The Third Man/the Fleischer Superman moments. I'm going to need a pad and pen next time I see it to catch the hundred other ones I forgot. This is a hell of a fun ride. Law, Paltrow, Ribisi & Jolie all fit in perfectly. This was a real pleasant surprise.

  • Hum. The deceased actor plays a character named "Dead Head". I've not noticed anyone mention this inside joke... and a good one.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 4:07 a.m. CST

    It was okay

    by Coenbro

    New York was a wash. Too muddy and what was with all the dissolves. But it did get better from there. All in all, I was never really into the characters. Sky Captain is no Indy, and really, did you care if the guy died. Still great visuals. But the director doesn't seem to have any flair for filmmaking. Imagine if Conran just did the visuals and a real director put it together. Then it would have the pacing and suspense that the film lacked. Then it would have been great. Now, it's just, eh.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 5:33 a.m. CST

    "Every scene is a direct allusion....blah blah blah" You don't k

    by truthseekr1488

    Also, "old-time" actors (such as are cheezily imitated in Sky Captain) were not cardboard cutouts. Well, the bad ones were. But to compare Paltrow to Veronica Lake or Hepburn or .... the mind doth boggle. (Admittedly, I've always thought of Olivier as a bit of a ham, and his scenery-chewing performance in KHARTOUM, that Lawrence of Arabia knock-off, proved it. But that's neither here nor there.)

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 5:41 a.m. CST

    'Astonishingly vapid and stupefyingly boring'

    by truthseekr1488

    I don't like to quote at length from other peoples' reviews, but MaryAnn Johanson ( is as usual literate, fun to read, and on the point, and I don't think enough geeks give her credit (yes! a chick who reviews s-f films!). Quote begins now......."Who needs to be challenged with the new and different when the old and familiar is so much more comfortable? .... Writer/director Kerry Conran -- who spent years tinkering with CGI on a Mac to create the short film that grew into this one -- only seems to care about cutting and pasting scraps of nostalgia into pretty pictures. He grabbed images of Olivier just because he could. It didn't matter what, if any, significance those images might carry. Surface appearances are the beginning and the end of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. This astonishingly vapid and stupefyingly boring film is the ultimate Hollywood triumph of style over substance. The film looks great -- of course it does: all effort expended upon it went into making it look great. As pure vision, it is a gorgeous image of a future that was to be and never came to pass, of an impossibly romantic Art Deco New York City where graceful dirigibles moor at the top of the Empire State Building and the palace of Radio City Music Hall is a still a movie house. At least, it's a gorgeous vision for about twenty minutes, and then the movie lobe of your brain starts to itch for characters to care about, because nothing -- nothing -- else matters if we don't want to spend time with the characters in their gorgeous and romantic world. And it's impossible to care about reporter Polly Perkins, who's pouting and petulant and really, really dumb: she has the whole grand scheme of the pitiful plot carefully spelled out for her by one of the principal players and she doesn't get it. Who cares how cool it is that her bright red lipstick never fails when her brain never gets started? It's impossible to care about Sky Captain himself, Joe Sullivan (Jude Law), who's snide and unpleasant and causes as much damage to New York City, in his fighter plane, as the attacking giant robots he's fending off. Who cares how cool it is that the bad guys come at him later in planes with wings that flap if we don't particularly want to root for him to defeat them? Polly and Joe embark upon an adventure to discover who's behind the giant robots and the flapping planes, one that takes them through a stew of pulp cheese crammed with junk from seventy years of B movies, serials, and comic books. And I do mean 'junk.' Unlike flicks such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, and Jurassic Park -- all also raided here -- which chose carefully from pulp history and used what they took to wonderful and new effect, Sky Captain just goes on an indiscriminate rampage, throwing everything up on the screen without regards to what kind of sense it makes. It all feels secondhand. Joe isn't really a dashing hero, he just plays one in the movies; we have no idea why he's 'Sky Captain' except that it means the city fathers of New York can call upon him like Batman, with his own special signal and everything, in a time of need. Polly isn't really an intrepid girl reporter, she's just wearing her lipstick while the actually spunky chick is off saving the world and making the actual dashing hero fall madly in love with her. Joe and Polly are cardboard cutouts, handsome and flat, barely casting a shadow in the movieworld flickering around them."

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 6:45 a.m. CST

    FLOP (unfortunately)

    by Rupee88

    According to Box Office Mojo, this just pulled in about $5 million on Friday. That blows. I'm really pulling for this film, but it looks bad so far. Hopefully, it will get good word of mouth and sell lots of DVDs. I hate to see such a cool movie go unrewarded.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 8:51 a.m. CST

    "SKY CAPTAIN" is a masterpiece ... and gets a "10 out of 10" for

    by JDanielP

    Yeah, ... if Orson Welles had a "blank check" and the absolute best in miniature stop-motion animation, he might have gotten close to achieving a film like this, ... so long as that would be his intention. -- I was mistaken that most all kids would enjoy this movie. I would have loved it as a 10-year-old ... but at a younger age than that, I begin having doubts for some children. (And I've always been a bit of a geek.) -- The "film stock" look of the film appears to be even older than the period (of time) in which the film is set ... other than the color. And quite honestly, my eyes actually hurt by the time the movie was over ... and continued to bother me for some time. But the aging look of the film was a visual element ... so I'm not knocking it for that. And besides, ... it made the blending of the real with the imaginative all the more believable (to see). The few so-called "flaws" that people point out ... seem inspired from the movies that originated "SKY CAPTAIN". The story, B-movie sci-fi, ... even the slow running of Polly Perkins for her life (whom was wearing a very tight skirt, until she finally tore it) was classically inspired. I believe this movie (and the director) did EXACTLY what it (and he) set out to do ... and how often can you say that about a movie (and the director)??? -- What a surprise, ... some people don't like it. (I am, of course, exaggeting.) Some people won't appreciate what this movie set out to do. I, however, do. -- My wish would be for a special edition release on dvd which would offer an extra disk of the movie ... in which the haze, the old fuzzy look of the film is removed ... and the color is bumped up (despite the fact that it would subtract from the blending of live action and computer animation). Why? For what reason? Well, for one, I would really love to see it that way ... and two, it would be a cool addition. But I fear it would be impossible ... er, ... NOT impossible, but probably too expensive to do so, to make financial sense. But I'm sure at some point, when I do (in fact) OWN it on dvd, I'll turn the color completely off on the television, and watch it like it should be seen, ... in black and white. Really, it makes no sense for this film to be seen in color unless you make the modern changes I discussed previously ... and is the most negative thing I can say about the film. -- "SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OD TOMORROW" appears to have been made for all film fans who have great respect for classic sci-fi and fantasy cinema. -- "10 out of 10" ... and I do (so much) look forward to seeing what the director has in store for us in the future, where the "film stock" visuals are more "today". He has a great future in Hollywood, as long as he continues to choose projects for which he feels passionate. -- Film geeks, ... comic book geeks, ... (and don't feel offended because I confess to being both) ... do yourself a favor and go see this movie. And if you have children 10 years old or older, take them with you.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 9 a.m. CST

    JDanielP, what the hell are you talking about?

    by Drunken Rage

    If Orson Welles had as much of a budget and CGI as this one he could have made one almost as good? Pal, you've got no understanding of the difference between "film" and "movies"-- Welles wouldn't wipe his ass with this movie. Welles is spinning in his grave with someone thinking that he'd want to make a movie as stupid as this one.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 11:14 a.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    If you go in for movies like 'Kill Bill,' then it baffles me why you wouldn't want to see this. Not enough blood, perhaps? But it's a fun movie and the visuals are breathtaking, it moves along at a brisk pace, and its ending is note-perfect. I can't imagine many people leaving 'Sky Captain...' wanting their money back.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah

    by Ribbons

    The ONE thing that bothered me, and I don't care whether or not this was intentional, was Polly Perkins jogging for her life on several occasions. But if you can get past that, it's all good. Mr. Conran even tries to disguise as much of the wire-fu as possible, which makes him a man after my own heart.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Looks like not a great opening weekend. But that doesn't mean t

    by minderbinder

    The last couple weekends have been awful overall, I assume it's not helped by the huge evacuations and problems caused by the storms in the SE. Even if it only opens to 15M, if audiences like it and it has good WOM, it can still make decent money.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Orson Welles WOULD enjoy "SKY CAPTAIN", I'm betting. And in tho

    by JDanielP

    ...and if Orson Welles had the "blank check" and the best of stop-motion animation in his day. If he had an unlimited budget back then, I believe he could (if he had the passion and desire for it) to make a similar movie. (And don't even TRY to compare a $100,000,000 budget of today to the yesteryear early days of Orson Welles) -- And anyone ever actually hear the Orson Welles radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds", which I used to have (many years ago) on tape? I believe Orson Welles had at least a soft spot for the genre. -- Like I said, ... "SKY CAPTAIN" gets a "10 out of 10".

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Another big problem with this movie: Lack of Timers

    by Funmazer

    Now that I think about it, it's the main reason Sky Captain shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence with ANY Indy movie. All the action of the Indy movies has TIMERS. In a pulpy action movie the heroes get stuck in a situation and time is running out. Sky Captain, being a badly directed film, using a spoken "countdown" as a timer. Or a fuse, which you never see the complete length of for reference. A good film, like Indy's, has visible situation-based timers that let you visibly know how much peril they're in: The gasoline racing towards the plane with Marion. The torch going out. The number of goons left to jump on Indy's truck. The spiked wall coming down on Indy & Short Round. The conveyor belt that smashes rocks. The length of the train young Indy's on. The gasoline racing through the catacombs. The amount of fire in a room. The number of Nazi bikers left to chase them. Sean Connery dying. Steve FIRST shows you the entire size of something (airfield, conveyor belt, catacombs) and then activates the scene, giving you a complete frame of reference. Example: You know how long it'll take Willy to reach them because you're seeing her pass the same things they did (skeletons, bugs) you then compare this to the height of the spiked ceiling and you know the amount of peril. Sky Captain did none of those smart, well-directed things. Example: Sky Captain can't fight a plane until Dex gets the signal. What's stopping the signal? WHO KNOWS? How long does Sky Captain have? WHO KNOWS? Why not have Dex have to carry his oscilloscope up the rubble to the roof of the building in order to get a clear signal? Or go up there to reconnect a main antenna? Then we (the paying audience) will know how much time he has based off the height of the building/rubble. Then add drama, such as Dex fighting robots or dropping the scope and having it hang by a wire (see Back To the Future) and then, just when Sky Captain is about to buy it, Dex reaches the top and gets the signal. BUT NO! He just stands there as stuff falls around him and twirls a dial. ARGH! The audience has no reference how long it takes to triangulate robot radio waves or draw on a map so uses those things as timers is worthless. Conran isn't the "director of the future", he isn't even as good as people making this kind of stuff 20 years ago.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Sky Captain

    by SuperTooth

    Sky Captain was awesome. I can't wait to read Princess of Mars and I'm sure after that I won't be able to wait for the film. Hopefully after that, at some point we can get another Sky Captain movie.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Not enough

    by fokke

    I personally loved Sky Captain, but it seems that I am but a few who gave this movie a fair chance. Just look at that sad opening weekend: 16 million dollars on more than 300 screens is not enough to justify a sequel. I hope word of mouth will rescue it from being the biggest blockbuster disappointment of the year.

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 3:29 p.m. CST

    300 +0 screens

    by fokke

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Well, it won't be the biggest bomb of the year.

    by minderbinder

    That's already pretty much locked up by 80 Days, Hidalgo, Alamo (insert pretty much any disney release here).

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Sheesh, you naysayers ("I told you it would bomb!") act like you

    by Commando Cody

    Sheesh, I don't mind if you don't like something for an actual artistic reason -- and even THEN you'd have to have acually seen it to have a right to complain (since at least THEN you'd be talking from an educated position) -- but I swear I don't know why some so-called genre geeks get either giddy or develop a ridiculous, loud mouthed "in your face, finger poking the chest" type of attitude because something's not doing well at the box office. Like they WANT it to fail. Or they're at their happiest when someone DOESN'T succeed (which I suppose is a psychological insight that some people around here are pretty fucking insecure about themselves or their own lives or attempts at "making it"). Since it's the season, it's like stating a particular NFL team is your favorite, that you're a lifetime fan, and then you get the most pleasure by spending the next 16 weeks rooting AGAINST them. I mean, seriously, what the fuck? Some people need to realize it's only a movie and get lives...

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Sky Captain totally ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by coen_fan

    This movie is awesome. It's too bad it didn't come out in the summer, it probaly would have made more money. Kerry Conran, you're the man! This isn't quite the best film of 2004, however it's definitely the most visually stunning movie to come out in a long time. (And I was also very impressed with Hero, so I don't say that lightly.) I hope Conran has a long, sucessful career. And yes, I have to agree that that woman in the yellow shirt is very hot. Who the heck is she?

  • Sept. 19, 2004, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Oh, yeah, as for the movie -- it was BRILLIANT and the best time

    by Commando Cody

    I loved it. Speaking as a diehard fan of the old Cliffhanger Serials and of the Art Deco look and classic old time sci fi when it was a more innocent time and people were trying to predict or visualize what the "world of tomorrow" would be like or look like -- this movie kicks ass every which way. I loved it. Visually, it was stunning. Acting wise, I thought Jude Law was charming and heroic, Giovani was fun as the able scientic whiz kid aide and Angelie Jolie was hot in that outfit and eye patch. Bring on a Sky Captain/Frankie/Dex sequel any day of the week. The one person I thought I'd mind would be Paltrow since I'm not a big fan of hers and from press interviews she sort of strikes me as someone either with a chip on her shoulder or a bit arrogant. Which in the end, turned out to be perfect for Polly. So she worked at as well. And I liked that Conran know when to pull the camera back and establish true scale in the movie and when to close in on character interaction bits. Personally, for a first timer I thought the direction was fine and I'll certainly be looking forward to PRINCESS OF MARS now more than ever. And the final ending on the movie was note perfect. So for once it was a movie that actually built in set pieces and scale...and then when it came time to fade out, it ended on a proper note where I TOTALLY felt I had gotten my money's worth. If I had any complaint it would be with the washed out, pastel photography. I hear that Conran wanted to do this in Black & White and I think that actually would have been better and more fun. Maybe for the DVD they can strike a B&W print and have it as an alternate way of watching the movie -- for real fun, maybe even toss in the old style serial "Chapter Title Cards" tbat Conran wanted inserted into the film at various points, too. The reason I bring the photography up is because if you go back and watch an old serial, you'll notice that they are NOT filmed "washed out" or with a fuzzy, hazed look -- old serials for the most part were low budget in terms of set design, but the photography is rock solid, crystal clear. "Artistic photography" was NOT a benchmark to old time weekly serials being done on the cheap and fast. So I think SKY CAPTAIN should have emulated that. Besides, the fuzzy, faded, pastel photography also seems to lend weight to the notion "Well, we were pressed for time and we wanted to cheat on a lot of CGI rendering here and there, so by making it fuzzy, we didn't have to render totally perfect edges and whatnot." The other reason the photography comes to mind is simply because of the STAR WARS DVDs coming out Tuesday. All the reviews are unanimously raving about how vibrant and crisp and colorful the prints are, now that they've been cleaned up. I think SKY CAPTAIN should have gone that same vibrant, colorful -- and most of all CRISP -- look as well. But aside from that, I loved everything about this movie and I'll be seeing it several times for sure.

  • Sept. 20, 2004, 9:02 a.m. CST

    I suggest that they re-release this movie early next summer, eve

    by JDanielP

    And why does it look more vibrant when previewing on television? At this point, after watching the "free" advertising disk (of "SKY CAPTAIN") from BEST BUY, ... I find myself wondering if there was some adjustment problem with the projector when I saw it, ... as if the bulb wasn't bright enough or something. -- I can't wait to own it on dvd. And I hope there is a "special edition" ... like a black & white version of the film, in addition.

  • Sept. 20, 2004, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Boring movie...hope it flops

    by Bong

    And w/ a less than stellar 16.2 million opening my wished may come true. Sure it cost 70 million to make, but you forget to add in the 35 million marketing costs. I'm sorry..I fail to see the "cult-classicness" in this film. Most of the audience I was w/ was snickering. I'm just glad Isomeone paid for my ticket.

  • Sept. 21, 2004, 9:21 p.m. CST

    You Moron

    by caerlas

    For the genius who griped about recycling old ideas: If you don't like recycling old ideas then I guess you don't like much of anything. Every word in every language, every name; biblical, muslim,mandarin, or otherwise derives a meaning from an old word or idea. All the great stories of today were influenced by the literature of yesterday, and every great classic is rooted in ancient folklore. You can not escape the influences of the past. But you can celebrate the age old themes of great battles, courageous heroes, and good vs. evil. Live with it. We are all a product of the past.

  • Sept. 21, 2004, 9:26 p.m. CST


    by caerlas

    Austin Powers' first installment was mainly considered a success due to the popularity it enjoyed on video. The Matrix had loads more popularity in theaters with the 2nd film than the first which found the majority of its audience during video release. So this is my prediction: Huge box- office draw or no, this movie will stand the test of time on DVD.

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Much, much better than I was expecting

    by Kaitain

    Enjoyable. Daft. Fun. Most of the genre influences are pretty obvious, but the two films it reminded me of the most (in different ways) were The Hudsucker Proxy (whose deliberate retro style of dialogue and delivery led to its being misinterpreted by many) and The Fifth Element (for its total off-the-wall, nutso labour-of-love feel). Not great, but I felt that I had had got my money's worth, easily.

  • Oct. 1, 2004, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah JC3 MaryAnn Johanson is SUCH a credible film critic...

    by Alatar_Blue

    ... She liked Ladder 49 for pity's sake!

  • Oct. 1, 2004, 3:04 p.m. CST


    by Alatar_Blue

  • Feb. 14, 2005, 3:05 a.m. CST

    I just saw this movie,

    by Conan_the_Humble

    it sucked balls. Geez I wish I could get that 106 minutes of my life back... I also agree with a poster above. That chick in the yellow is luverly. Cheers.

  • Feb. 14, 2005, 3:06 a.m. CST

    I just saw this movie,

    by Conan_the_Humble

    it sucked balls. Geez I wish I could get that 106 minutes of my life back... I also agree with a poster above. That chick in the yellow is luverly. Cheers.