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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Rated: PG (for sequences of stylized sci-fi violence and brief mild language)
Directed by: KERRY CONRAN
Produced by: JON AVNET
Starring: GWYNETH PALTROW, JUDE LAW, ANGELINA JOLIE, GIOVANNI RIBISI, MICHAEL GAMBON, BAI LING.
Released by:
Paramount Pictures

In Short: While the star power of Paltrow, Law and Jolie is so bright that it burns through the screen, it’s the mind-blowing visuals that really deserve top billing.

Ace of Space
Gray Skies, Blue Screen
By Cherie Saunders

when titanic-sized robots begin terrorizing New York City, an expert aviator named Sky Captain (Jude Law) comes to the rescue. Shot entirely against blue screen, the film opens with the landing of the Hindenburg III atop the Empire State Building. Soon, menacing robots begin wreaking havoc throughout the city, tossing cars and crushing buildings in their wake. Taking copious notes on the destruction is “Chronicle” reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow).

Upon realizing that her old boyfriend Sky Captain, a.k.a. Captain H. Joseph Sullivan, has been called upon to battle the robots, she enlists the ace aviator to help her find the evil mastermind behind the takeover of the city. Along the way, the pair are aided by the plucky captain of an all-female amphibious squadron, Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie), and gadget genius Dex (Giovanni Ribisi).

While watching the film, it’s hard to believe the actors had virtually no sets and zero locations. To say the visual effects were unbelievably stunning and realistic would be an understatement. First time writer/director Kerry Conran features more than 2000 effects shots filmed against blue screen to deliver his futuristic world. However, if it weren’t for the film’s unprecedented filmmaking, “Sky Captain’s” stylish ode to the classic pulp fiction, sci-fi serials of the 1930s and ‘40s would likely be lost on younger audiences, or viewers who just aren’t into the genre.

Conran also extracts a precise 30s and 40s style of acting from his stars, which translates on screen as stiff and barely emotive. Needless to say, it fits perfectly into the film’s overall throwback vibe. While the star power of Paltrow, Law and Jolie is so bright that it burns through the screen, it’s the mind-blowing visuals that really deserve top billing.


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