Monday, November 29th, 2004
Good Morning, Captain
I will be the first to admit that I feared the worst going into Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow. After all, the snazzy-looking trailer debuted long ago, but the actual release date was a moving target for the longest time, eventually getting shunted from a Summer release to a Fall one, not a real sign of confidence from the studio. Still, when it eventually did see release in September, the reviews were fairly good. I didn’t get around to catching it first-run, however, which is why I only saw it yesterday at the Bloor Cinema.
Much has been made about how the film was shot entirely against blue screens, and all backgrounds were computer generated, and to be sure, it’s a remarkable feat. The 1930s art deco New York City that never actually existed but damn well should have is very impressively rendered and looks perfectly natural even when giant robots descend from the sky and begin wreaking havoc. There are a few moments where the actors are obviously superimposed on the scene, but they’re relatively innocuous and for the most part, you accept the artificial reality presented as true. I do wish they hadn’t been quite so heavy-handed with the overexposed, blurry-B&W film look for everything though – a little goes a long way, guys.
Drawing inspiration from the golden age of pulp literature, Sky Captain offers big, giddy fun complete with ray guns, the aforementioned giant robots, rocket ships and flying aircraft carriers. Jude Law seems to revel in the two-fisted heroism of the title role and Angelina Jolie makes the most of possibly the shortest top-billed role ever – only Gwynneth Paltrow seems to have some difficulty getting into the spirit of things, seeming rather detached through most of the proceedings (though maybe acting against a blue screen for the whole film might do that to a person). A lot of talk has gone on about the amazing technical achievment of the film, but I personally thought it only picked up after the inital few acts when they stopped trying to show off and really just got into the story. A surprisingly satisfying and entertaining film.
An item that may be of interest to local Smashing Pumpkins fans – and I know you’re still out there, that Billy Corgan poetry reading didn’t sell out by itself… My friend Shaunna is organizing Bolly Would – a Smashing Pumpkins Appreciation Night this coming Thursday (December 2) at the Vatikan (Queen W & Ossington) and will feature the music of Winter Equinox and Freedom, CA as well as Pumpkins-friendly DJ sets. An all-ages event, admission at the door is $5 for those 19+ and $7 for minors. A portion of the door will be donated to S.O.S. (Street Outreach Services), the same organization that the Pumpkins donated the proceeds of their Toronto Adore charity tour stop back in ’98. This evening has been declared a Zwan-free zone. For further info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just realized that the Arcade Fire t-shirt I bought last month GLOWS IN THE DARK. My God, that’s awesome. I’m going to try on every other one of my shirts in the dark now.
np – Dinosaur Jr / Without A Sound