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Creating a new world in ‘Sky Captain’(WARNING:It STINKS)
Associated Press ^ | Associated Press

Posted on 09/18/2004 6:02:46 PM PDT by BenLurkin

“Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” is full of visions of the dark, soaring New York cityscape, dogfights in the sky and the majestic Himalayan mountains. But what was the movie set like for the actors? A whole lotta blue. That’s because “Sky Captain,” despite its grandiose appearance, was filmed entirely against a blue screen with digital effects filled in. Though real actors star in it, almost everything else is fake. Think “Roger Rabbit” in reverse. While computer generated imagery has for years been a large presence in movies, “Sky Captain” is the first major motion picture made entirely digitally with living, breathing actors. Only what they touch is tangible. The movie, opening nationwide Friday, is set in a late 1930s New York beset by hundred-foot tall robots. Soon reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) along with ex-beau Sky Captain (Jude Law) set off on a journey to stop a mad scientist’s plot to destroy the world.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: alternatehistory; angelinajolie; artdeco; autogyros; captaincody; cgi; commandocody; flashgordon; judelaw; movies; p40; p51; paltrow; robots; serials; skycaptain; specialeffects; steampunk; submarines; superman; zeppelins
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1 posted on 09/18/2004 6:02:48 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin
The next stage of development is the elimination of the live actors.

At the moment the future of television is becoming quite bleak as the younger generation turns to action video games that enable them to control the plot.

Hollywood is doomed!

2 posted on 09/18/2004 6:05:14 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: BenLurkin

I love the late 30s (it was filmed to be in 1939- they to go Radio City and Wizard of Oz is playing) so I really liked the film for its style. After just returning from the RNC, it was fun to see pieces of New York again and I actually knew what they were talking about in some places.


3 posted on 09/18/2004 6:06:58 PM PDT by lawgirl (It's not about Vietnam- it's about John Kerry's lies about Vietnam.)
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To: muawiyah

Where will the Democrats get their money from then?


4 posted on 09/18/2004 6:07:03 PM PDT by dfwgator (It's sad that the news media treats Michael Jackson better than our military.)
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To: BenLurkin

I don't know...I thought it was kinda fun...I loved the little references to the sci-fi of that era and the CGI was quite well done. The plot was pretty thin, but what movie from that era wasn't? You could see the influence the Superman cartoons of the early 40's had on this.


5 posted on 09/18/2004 6:08:37 PM PDT by Brian Mosely (A government is a body of people -- usually notably ungoverned http://spinswimming.blogspot.com)
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To: dfwgator

Overseas- the foreigners are generous.


6 posted on 09/18/2004 6:10:40 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: BenLurkin
Saw this movie today and it is terrible. The technical techniques (which are state of the art)and artistic concept (which is interesting for about fifteen minute) can't save this asinine turkey of motion picture.

WHAT STUNK?

A)Gwenyth Paltrow's performance and appearance were dreadful. This actress is capable of great things but in "Sky Captain" she somehow took a role which had coquettish promise and rendered it entirely devoid of charm or appeal.

Her voice was flat and grating. Most of the cast spoke with an English accent but she seemed to be trying to ape an American - and in doing so came across sounding tone deaf and unpleasant. Paltrow would have done well to review some Hollywood classics from the thirties to hear what Americans really sounded like. Myrna Loy in the role of Nora Charles comes to mind. Loy's kind of performance might have saved this disastrous popcorn muncher.

This may in part be the fault of an incompetent director: At first stylish in the production, it wasn't long before Paltrow's head shots marred the screen by appearing bucktoothed and gawkies.

B) The Loony Gadgetry Look, we all enjoy a 'comic book' now and then but this film was so over the top in being far-fetched as to evoke first laughter and then disdain. If you think you know anything about a P-40, then brother you are in for a bizarre surprise.

"Sky Captain" is NOT worth your five bucks.

7 posted on 09/18/2004 6:20:01 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: generalissimoduane

Please ping to the Unblinking Eye.


8 posted on 09/18/2004 6:27:29 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: Brian Mosely

I liked the robots, especially the ones with the tentacle arms and lazer beam eyes.

Also liked the "blaster". It was pretty cool! I


9 posted on 09/18/2004 6:35:56 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: BenLurkin
Sorry, I liked it. Visually it was stunning but for me the hoot was picking out the old serials and movies that were homaged by the creator. There was everything from Don Winslow of the Navy to Raymond Massey as Wings over the World in The Shape of Things to Come. I can say that i found it more entertaining than either of the two sequels to Indiana jones,though I liked them both.

About a month ago I bought a VHS of Republic's Fighting Devil Dogs, 1937. So I have a thing for those serials, even though I saw them on WOR TV in NYC on Saturday Mornings. 20 years after they debuted in the Loews 86th Street. or the Academy of Music. Sky aptain brought them back. I look forward to the sequel.

10 posted on 09/18/2004 6:41:42 PM PDT by xkaydet65 (" You have never tasted freedom my friend, else you would know, it is purchased not with gold, but w)
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To: xkaydet65

Man, I want to see that movie.


11 posted on 09/18/2004 6:47:35 PM PDT by Ptarmigan (Proud rabbit hater and killer)
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To: xkaydet65; Ptarmigan
Yes, it was visually stunning.

It has to be the first movie that has a multi-story sword wielding statue inside of a rocket. And those giant space heaters defending the undersea entrance were certainly a surprise. :>)

When they make the sequel, maybe they'll drop Gynneth Paltrow and replace her with a more charming female lead.

12 posted on 09/18/2004 7:38:47 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: BenLurkin

Man, I want to see that movie too, alternate history is one of my favorite things and I love the art deco, Gernsbackian (sort of what Hugo Gernsback predicted the future would be like, he was a noted science fiction author) look. The planes are cool, a sort of a mix between a P-40 and P-51. Of course you've got to have Zeppelins, lots of Zeppelins. I also like stories of a "Steampunk" nature, sort of like where the Victorian Era never died and steam is used to power everything like cars, Zeppelins, mechanical computers (Babbage Engines), steam powered robots, and so on. Still, I like things like Flash Gordon and Commando Cody and so on, with sort of that Art Deco flavor so I think I'd like to see "Sky Captain..."


13 posted on 09/18/2004 7:45:52 PM PDT by Nowhere Man ("Laws are the spider webs through which the big bugs fly past and the little ones get caught.")
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To: Nowhere Man

Not so much alternate history as alternate reality. But that can have an appeal as well.

As for the P-40, you may enjoy seeing it turn into a submarine.


14 posted on 09/18/2004 7:52:01 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: xkaydet65
Sorry, I liked it. Visually it was stunning but for me the hoot was picking out the old serials and movies that were homaged by the creator. There was everything from Don Winslow of the Navy to Raymond Massey as Wings over the World in The Shape of Things to Come. I can say that i found it more entertaining than either of the two sequels to Indiana jones,though I liked them both.

There was another movie that featured the "futuristic world of 1980" that was made in 1929. It was set in New Work City and people flew around in autogyros (like helicopters) although the future world seemed to be dominated by beaurcrats. I believe the story was about a man who was frozen in 1930 and woke up to the new world 50 years later. Also for that feel, there was a German film called "Metropolis" made in 1926, I'd love to see that one and there was also another interesting film made in the Soviet Union called "Aletia" in the 1920's. The story was where the members of a Soviet mission to Mars end up bringing the "benefits" of Communism to the Martians. Although the goal of the film leaves much to be desired, there was an Art Deco/Gothic look about it from the clips I've seen.
15 posted on 09/18/2004 7:59:51 PM PDT by Nowhere Man ("Laws are the spider webs through which the big bugs fly past and the little ones get caught.")
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To: lawgirl; Brian Mosely; xkaydet65; Ptarmigan; Nowhere Man
From Drudge: 'SKY CAPTAIN' TOPS BOX...

http://boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart/?sortdate=2004-09-17&p=.htm


16 posted on 09/18/2004 9:25:30 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: Nowhere Man

Do you read Harry Turtledove??


17 posted on 09/18/2004 9:37:43 PM PDT by xkaydet65 (" You have never tasted freedom my friend, else you would know, it is purchased not with gold, but w)
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To: Nowhere Man
Man, I want to see that movie too, alternate history is one of my favorite things and I love the art deco, Gernsbackian (sort of what Hugo Gernsback predicted the future would be like, he was a noted science fiction author) look. The planes are cool, a sort of a mix between a P-40 and P-51. Of course you've got to have Zeppelins, lots of Zeppelins. I also like stories of a "Steampunk" nature, sort of like where the Victorian Era never died and steam is used to power everything like cars, Zeppelins, mechanical computers (Babbage Engines), steam powered robots, and so on. Still, I like things like Flash Gordon and Commando Cody and so on, with sort of that Art Deco flavor so I think I'd like to see "Sky Captain..."

With those tastes, you'd *LOVE* Sky Captain, and should really go see it in the theaters. I just saw it today, by luck on the IMAX screen at the local googleplex, and it really shines on a BIG screen, since so much of the "tech" in the movie (and the battle scenes) are on an enormous scale. It won't be quite the same on DVD.

My wife and I both loved the film, and she's not normally a fan of "science fiction" flavored films. Don't pay attention to the naysayers. This film has a character all its own, and is very original. And it definitely has that magic aura of the "golden age" science fiction, and early fantasy comics. Through almost every scene, I was sitting there with a big grin on my face, thinking, "this is *so* cool..." It'll bring out the "Flash Gordon" kid in you -- if you still have one. :-)

It's also very family friendly. It has no swear words, no real graphic violence (lots of thrilling action, but no gore), no sex (but one quick subtitled "nipple" reference), and the good guys win in the end. It's an old fashioned movie, in multiple senses of the phrase. And in this case that's a good thing.

18 posted on 09/19/2004 12:54:03 AM PDT by Ichneumon ("...she might as well have been a space alien." - Bill Clinton, on Hillary, "My Life", p. 182)
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To: BenLurkin
Saw this movie today and it is terrible.

No it wasn't. The audience I was with all enjoyed it greatly. If it wasn't your cup of tea, fine, but don't presume to mistake your personal preferences for some sort of objective rating of the overall quality of the film itself.

A)Gwenyth Paltrow's performance and appearance were dreadful. [...] it wasn't long before Paltrow's head shots marred the screen by appearing bucktoothed and gawkies.

Oh, for pete's sake. I'm not usually a fan of hers, but in this film I was won over by how great she looked and how well she fit the role. I've found her to be somewhat unattractive in some other films, but in this one she was practically luminious -- although I suppose the overall soft-focus of the film and the 1940's style of makeup went a long way towards helping her out there. And her acting was, in my opinion, spot on. Furthermore, much of the "dialog" of her character was communicated in nothing but facial expressions and body language, and she was nearly *perfect* in that regard. To gripe that she didn't *sound* like Myrna Loy seems like nitpicking to me, especially when her overall performance and character's cheekiness brought Nora Charles to my mind as I was watching the film today.

B) The Loony Gadgetry Look,

Excuse me, but if you saw the trailer at all, you *knew* what to expect in the nature of "loony gadgetry". If that bothers you and you went to see the film anyway, you have only yourself to blame. The entire premise of the film *is* the "loony gadgetry".

"Sky Captain" is NOT worth your five bucks.

Not worth *yours* obviously, since you couldn't enjoy it, but it was well worth *mine*, and it'll be worth the "five bucks" several times over I plan to pay to see it again along with the friends I'm going to take to it who I know will really love a film like this.

19 posted on 09/19/2004 1:20:07 AM PDT by Ichneumon ("...she might as well have been a space alien." - Bill Clinton, on Hillary, "My Life", p. 182)
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To: lawgirl
I love the late 30s (it was filmed to be in 1939- they to go Radio City and Wizard of Oz is playing) so I really liked the film for its style.

They had another Oz homage as well -- there was definitely a "great and powerful Oz" moment when the electrical "zappers" formed a giant image of the bad guy's head and it started talking to them. I half expected a "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" followup.

20 posted on 09/19/2004 1:23:19 AM PDT by Ichneumon ("...she might as well have been a space alien." - Bill Clinton, on Hillary, "My Life", p. 182)
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To: BenLurkin
The one thing I did get an unintended giggle out of in the film was when, more than once, the characters referred to "World War One" -- in 1939, before World War Two. Needless to say, no one called that war by a number until the second one had come along. Until then, it was just either "The Great War", or "The World War".

I think it was intentional, though, so as not to confuse the modern audience, even if it was an anachronism within the film.

21 posted on 09/19/2004 1:27:37 AM PDT by Ichneumon ("...she might as well have been a space alien." - Bill Clinton, on Hillary, "My Life", p. 182)
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To: BenLurkin
Not so much alternate history as alternate reality. But that can have an appeal as well.

As for the P-40, you may enjoy seeing it turn into a submarine.


True, who knows how things would have developed if history was a little different or a lot different. I know one of the worlds in "GURPS: Alternate Earths" (GURPS = General Unified (or Universal)Role Playing System - a role playing game (RPG)) has a world that resembles "Sky Captain" where Nikola Tesla succeeded in "broadcast power" and a lot of people have "flying machines." It is called "Gernsback World" because of the Art Deco and the general layout of the world resembles the world Hugo Gernsback novels were set in.
22 posted on 09/19/2004 8:40:24 AM PDT by Nowhere Man ("Laws are the spider webs through which the big bugs fly past and the little ones get caught.")
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To: xkaydet65
Do you read Harry Turtledove??

Yeah, I have read "Guns of the South" and "The Two Georges." One interesting thing in "Georges...." is the detective found a book in the pro American Revolution cell (the American Revolution failed but there has been a resurgence in the 1990's) that had a book where a free United States had to help save Britain and Europe from a brutal German dictator in a terrible war. The detective thought it was pure fantasy, the German States were still broken up in their history. I'd like to read his "World at War" series.
23 posted on 09/19/2004 8:49:39 AM PDT by Nowhere Man ("Laws are the spider webs through which the big bugs fly past and the little ones get caught.")
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To: xkaydet65
If you like the serials then you probably also like the pulps from the 20s and 30s. Have you ever read any of the Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter of Mars series? Well, Harry Knowles is involved in the production of a movie version of one, A Princess Of Mars and dribbles out bits and pieces as they progress on his web site, Ain't It Cool News.

Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado) was going to direct, but bailed for another project. Now Kerry Conran, the director of Sky Captain, has picked up the directors duties. He obviously understands and loves the genre and his special effects techniques (which I understand he had a huge hand in developing) lend themselves perfectly to a movie like this.

A bit of Homer Simpson: Ummmmmm, Deja Thoris


24 posted on 09/19/2004 8:56:06 AM PDT by Phsstpok (often wrong, but never in doubt)
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To: Phsstpok

Be interested to see that. Haven't read Burroughs since college. Also read some Sax Rohmer Fu Man Chu back then. You know bin Laden always has reminded me a lot of Rohmer's Fu Man Chu.


25 posted on 09/19/2004 10:49:51 AM PDT by xkaydet65 (" You have never tasted freedom my friend, else you would know, it is purchased not with gold, but w)
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To: xkaydet65

I want to see this... when I was a kid I read all the DOc Savage books available (1-about 84) and love that retro-sci-fi stuff.


26 posted on 09/19/2004 11:11:44 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (Post #47: Note to Big Brother... the Memory Hole is Officialy CLOSED!)
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To: BenLurkin

They could film 2 hours of Angelina Jolie sitting on a couch and I would go see it.


27 posted on 09/19/2004 11:17:47 AM PDT by Mr. K
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To: BenLurkin
1930s style with zepplins and airplanes? I don't think it replace this film as a classic:


28 posted on 09/19/2004 12:10:19 PM PDT by weegee (What's the provenance, Kenneth? Where did the forged SeeBS memo come from?)
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To: Ichneumon
The one thing I did get an unintended giggle out of in the film was when, more than once, the characters referred to "World War One" -- in 1939, before World War Two. Needless to say, no one called that war by a number until the second one had come along. Until then, it was just either "The Great War", or "The World War".

Maybe the screenwriter wrote the SeeBS forged memos.

29 posted on 09/19/2004 12:11:41 PM PDT by weegee (What's the provenance, Kenneth? Where did the forged SeeBS memo come from?)
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To: xkaydet65; Phsstpok
Burroughs and Rohmer are two of the most entertaining writers I've read. No one could combine sf/fantasy and action like Burroughs, with the possible exception of Robert E. Howard. A few years ago I was actually thinking of writing a screenplay adaptation of John Carter but I didn't follow through on it; I'm glad to see someone else is picking it up. I'd love to see someone redo the Fu Manchu series, too--the old Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee movie adaptations were fun. I guess there was a radio adaptation, too:

Horror Radio Program MP3 Archive CDs: The Shadow of Fu Manchu

30 posted on 09/19/2004 12:39:13 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: Ichneumon

Yes, this is my review of the film.

It is as "objective" as any movie review can be.

I thought it stunk (for the reasons stated).

You disagree, I understand.


31 posted on 09/19/2004 12:56:34 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: Phsstpok
A film version of "A Princess of Mars" is a GREAT idea!

Here's hoping it is cast appropriately and gets a decent treatment.
32 posted on 09/19/2004 12:59:48 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: Mr. K

You'll like this movie. Jolie gets to strut.


33 posted on 09/19/2004 1:01:22 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: Ichneumon

Notice that the bad guy was Laurence Olivier? They used footage from an old movie that he was in.


34 posted on 09/20/2004 9:46:47 AM PDT by jrherreid
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To: BenLurkin

Why do they use a blue screen (as opposed to some other color)?


35 posted on 09/20/2004 9:51:13 AM PDT by monkey
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To: Nowhere Man
There was another movie that featured the "futuristic world of 1980" that was made in 1929. It was set in New Work City and people flew around in autogyros (like helicopters) although the future world seemed to be dominated by beaurcrats. I believe the story was about a man who was frozen in 1930 and woke up to the new world 50 years later.

The movie ( sci-fi musical!) was "Just Imagine", starring Swedish dialect comic El Brendle. I've seen it a couple of times - very cool visually, but El Brendle will have you wishing for Dr. Kevorkian to end your suffering.

Yes, I really do need to get a life!
36 posted on 09/20/2004 9:58:00 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: BenLurkin
Here's another story on his early attempts to create the movie. Pretty interesting stuff.
37 posted on 09/20/2004 10:00:12 AM PDT by Richard Kimball (Kerry Campaign: An army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea)
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To: Richard Kimball
Great link. Thanks!

The technical aspect IS impressive and the film was itself was quite attractive stylistically.
38 posted on 09/20/2004 10:18:38 AM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: monkey

Post #37 has an excellent link on the topic.


39 posted on 09/20/2004 10:19:28 AM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: Ichneumon

My wife and I caught the "World War I" anachronism, too. Another anachronism, and I chalk this up to an oversight on the part of the "set" designers was the lack of transoms above the doors. Back before the widespread use of air conditioning, just about all buildings had high ceilings and transoms.


40 posted on 09/20/2004 5:46:34 PM PDT by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: Phsstpok

ERB actually wrote the Warlord of Mars books in the first two decades of the 20th century; they were "old hat" by the 20s. I read all 12 in high school, and I thought he ended the series far too abruptly.


41 posted on 09/20/2004 5:49:35 PM PDT by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: BenLurkin

Oh come on! It was a comic book tale. Visually stunning, with faded chroma, seamless effects, and a few continuity glitches.
Paltrow was more than fairly hot. The gagetry was phenomenal.
As far as the P-40 goes, most of them did not fly well under water, so I assert that while the plane sported a toothy grin, it was not a P-40. It was a fun movie. Don't try to be serious about this kind of movie.


42 posted on 09/20/2004 6:03:04 PM PDT by bk1000 ("We will take things away from you for the common good.": -HRC)
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To: monkey

"Why do they use a blue screen (as opposed to some other color)?"

Sometimes it's green, but in either case, it is a shade rarely found in nature, so it is easy to isolate the actors. It is a technique called 'chroma key' and is sometimes referred to as a 'mat shot'. Same thing the weatherman uses.


43 posted on 09/20/2004 6:10:39 PM PDT by bk1000 ("We will take things away from you for the common good.": -HRC)
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To: bk1000
Toothy grin bump!

As for Gynneth however . . . maybe its a regional thing but her voice made me want to slash my wrists.

44 posted on 09/20/2004 9:04:09 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: BenLurkin
I truly enjoyed this film, but it is defintely something that will not appeal to everyone. I did hear a number of people talking afterwards about being confused; 'Robots in the 1930s? Big spaceships?" They apparently had a misconception about the subject and tone of the film.

There are a lot of really cool inside jokes scattered through the film for fans of 1930s stuff. Several of the scenes during the attack on NYC, especially the line of police with Thompsons, were lifted directly from an old Max Fleischer Superman cartoon from 1938 (I think), titled The Mechancial Monsters.

At various times in the film, in little background elements, you will see a Tokyo newspaper with a photo of Godzilla, the SS Venture at the bottom of the sea, complete with bent cage (the ship that found King Kong), some interesting arifacts in Totenkopf's lair (Excalibur, for example), and some familiar sound effects from the War of the Worlds movie are used for the robot laser beams.

The story is pure 1930s serial. If you hate that sort of melodrama, you will not like this story. No real depth or irony; jsut fun and action.

As to the actors - Jude Law is not a favorite of mine, and was miscast in this movie. I normally do not like Gywnneth Paltrow, but I thought she did a pretty decent job in this film. Angelina Jolie does fine (horrid accent) for the three minutes she is in the film. The guy who played Dex was OK; just the right level of 1930s Gee-Whiz comic releif in that part. The other actors (all no-names) did acceptable work, but there was not really much available for the non-lead actors.

45 posted on 09/21/2004 4:26:30 PM PDT by AzSteven
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To: Tijeras_Slim
I want to see this... when I was a kid I read all the DOc Savage books available (1-about 84) and love that retro-sci-fi stuff.

Then you should LOVE the new 2005 Chrysler 300.

Now there is a car that should have Doc Savage at the wheel!

46 posted on 09/22/2004 8:01:57 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tagline shut down for renovations and repairs. Re-open June of 2001.)
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To: muawiyah

Voice actors only! Maybe Hollywood will develop another Mel Blanc.


47 posted on 09/22/2004 8:05:00 PM PDT by AmishDude (FR: Hundreds of voices are shouting, spitting, and clamoring for attention at any given moment.)
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To: Swordmaker

No running boards! How would he stay on?


48 posted on 09/23/2004 5:23:58 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (Pay no attention to the Nattering Newbies of Negativism)
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To: BenLurkin

There are also LOTS people who hate Anime. Cowboy Bebop, Vampire D, Last Exile..etc. That doesnt mean its bad. If its not your thing..move along. Don't spoil it for those of us who LIKE it.


49 posted on 09/23/2004 9:06:28 PM PDT by Windsong (FighterPilot)
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To: Windsong

Please see post #31


50 posted on 09/23/2004 9:54:31 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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