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Sky Captain and the World of Tommorrow

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Sky Captain and the World of Tommorrow

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
Director: Kerry Conran
Rated: PG
RunTime: 106 Minutes
Release Date: September 2004
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action

*Also starring: Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Gambon, Ling Bai, Omid Djalili, Laurence Olivier

Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

Talk about comic-book movies! Visually imaginative and inventive, the live-action in this uniquely retro sci-fi adventure was entirely filmed against blue screens, so keep in mind that everything but the actors are computer-generated images.

Set in the Art Deco futurism of New York in 1939, Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan (Jude Law), a Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers-type aerial ace teams up with plucky reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow, dressed by Stella McCartney), intrepid British air commander Franky Cook (roguish Angelina Jolie with an eye patch) and Dex Dearborn (Giovanni Ribisi), his enterprising mechanical engineer, to save the world when six eminent German scientists mysteriously disappear and gigantic robots crush Midtown Manhattan. All the clues point to the dastardly, megalomaniacal Dr. Totenkopf (that's German for "Death's Head," a subtle reference to the late, now-digitally resurrected Laurence Olivier) and his agile enforcer (Chinese actress Bai Ling).

First-time feature film-maker Kerry Conran, created a revolutionary high-tech CGI program that enabled him to shoot the entire movie with a 3-D storyboard of each scene in his computer. Which means that the opening image of a massive Hindenberg III dirigible docking atop the Empire State Building, Joe's P-40 Warhawk and Totenkopf's war machines are all vivid figments of Kerry Conran and his brother Kevin's limitless imagination - with credit due to "Metropolis," "Shangri-La," "Wizard of Oz" and a crew of nearly 100. Six years work and $70 million paid off. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" is a slick, super-stylish, nostalgic 8, a vintage, high-flying, pop-culture adventure for the whole family.

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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