Modern Pulp Jan 26 2010
SKY'S THE LIMIT
Sky Captain crashed at the box office but a fresh viewing reveals a pretty good film.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow seems to have been a career killer for director and writer Kerry Conran, but we just watched it last night and there’s little doubt other directors who have committed far worse transgressions are still working in Hollywood. And truth is, this isn’t a bad movie. Except for the actors, it’s almost entirely digital, but unlike many other CG productions there is some actual warmth here, thanks to stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. The film is a take on the old sci-fi serials like Commando Cody, and old comics like Captain Midnight. It takes place in an alternative 1939 populated by zeppelins, fighter planes, and glowing, vacuum-tubed gadgets.

Plotwise, you have giant marauding robots of unknown origin raiding New York City to kidnap scientists and steal items of value. Jude Law, as Sky Captain, is called upon to find out why it’s happening. His adventures with Paltrow—as ace reporter Polly Perkins—take him from Manhattan to Nepal in search of the person they believe to be orchestrating the attacks—the mysterious Dr. Totenkopf (played by Sir Laurence Olivier in archival footage).

Sky Captain isn’t perfect, but it’s quite likeable once you accept the preposterous physics of its action sequences. We’d actually have preferred less action and more exploration of its nifty art deco universe, but we’re old school—we’re the types who like movies with 98 minutes of dialogue followed by two gunshots and a credit sequence. But we recommend checking this one out anyway. You could do much worse with your time. Above you see the nice French promo poster. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow premiered in France at the Gérardmer Fantasticarts Film Festival as Capitaine Sky et le monde de demain today in 2005. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 12
1943—Philadelphia Experiment Allegedly Takes Place
The U.S. government is believed by some to have attempted to create a cloak of invisibility around the Navy ship USS Eldridge. The top secret event is known as the Philadelphia Experiment and, according to believers, ultimately leads to the accidental teleportation of an entire vessel.
1953—Soviets Detonate Deliverable Nuke
The Soviet Union detonates a nuclear weapon codenamed Reaktivnyi Dvigatel Stalina, aka Stalin's Jet Engine. In the U.S. the bomb is codenamed Joe 4. It is a small yield fission bomb rather than a multi-stage fusion weapon, but it makes up for its relative weakness by being fully deployable, meaning it can be dropped from a bomber.
August 10
1969—Manson Followers Continue Rampage
A day after murdering actress Sharon Tate and four others, members of Charles Manson's cult kill Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Manson personally orchestrates the event, but leaves the LaBianca house before the killing starts.
1977—Son of Sam Arrested
The serial killer and arsonist known as Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, is arrested in Yonkers, New York. He turns out to be 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz. He had been killing people in the New York area for most of the previous year.
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