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Sky Captain and the
World of Tomorrow

Release Date: September 17, 2004

I'm smug because I know Gwyneth likes to get with her male co-stars.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
18/48 Les Winan When you know you're watching a movie entirely made in front of a blue-screen, but you're able to forget it and lose yourself, that's an accomplishment larger than the technical wizardry.
41/55 Reagen Sulewski Wants to be Star Wars so bad it hurts. And it's not as if the elements aren't all there -- it just fails in the flat characterizations.
55/133 Dan Krovich It takes a little too long to settle into the genre, but then it picks up
66/126 Kim Hollis Pretty, but it ultimately just left me empty.

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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is being touted as a pulp-fiction action/adventure in the vein of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Set in the 1930s, the film follows the exploits of reporter Polly Perkins, who is investigating the disappearance of several famous scientists. As she begins to uncover that old serial stand-by, a nefarious plot by a mad scientist to destroy the world, strange aircraft and giant robots begin to threaten New York. Fortunately for New York and the world, Polly has an former paramour, a pilot and adventurer nicknamed Sky Captain, who, along with his gadget-inventing sidekick Dex, will join Polly in rescuing the world. Also joining the effort, to Polly's dismay, is the Sky Captain's *other* former lover Franky Cook, a daredevil adverturer in her own right. Their primary mission will be to find Dr. Totenkopf, the megalomaniac du jour, currently hiding in Nepal whilst he unleashes his master plan.

This all sounds like fairly standard action-adventure/SF stuff, but what makes this film a very interesting project and one to keep on the radar is its writer/director and his invention. Kerry Conran has never directed a major project before, and in fact isn’t that far out of film school. What makes him unique amongst first-time helmers is the software program he’s invented, so revolutionary to the filmmaking process that it snagged him the backing of a De Laurentiis scion and secured the major-league budget and big studio support, despite his decided lack of a track record. His program allows him to blue-screen his entire film, and fill in the backgrounds later with images he’s created using the software, images he’s reportedly been working on for years. The program also provides Conran with what amounts to a 3D storyboard of his entire film; all he has to do is plug in his actors and voila! Instant movie.

Even better news for Conran, he really hit the casting jackpot for his feature debut. Multiple Oscar nominee and general all around golden boy, Jude Law, is playing the titular Sky Captain, while Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow is playing the spunky gal reporter. Oscar winner Angelina Jolie plays the sultry, eyepatch-wearing Franky who once stole the Captain away from Polly. (Man, talk about three actors who are no strangers to messy love triangles.) Giovanni Ribisi rounds out the cast as Jude's gizmo creating sidekick.

Of course, given the truism that no amount of special effects can mask the lack of a plot, one hopes that Conran has spent as much time working on his script as he has his software and the background images for the film. Otherwise, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow will turn out to be not so much a prescient title as another candidate for Film Title Synonymous with Huge Bombs. However, we assume that something in the script appealed to the impressive array of acting talent involved, so we're not overly concerned. Plus, the trailer's appealing retro look makes our inner geeky little fanboys swoon with anticipation.

Paramount is certainly demonstrating a great deal of faith in the project, as it has set Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as one of its summer tentpole releases. Is Conran's technology the future of filmmaking? Will his plot live up to the publicity his software will surely generate? Will Paramount be rewarded for its faith in the inventor? Tune in next week. Same BOP time. Same BOP channel. (Stephanie Star Smith and Jennifer Turnock/BOP)




Vital statistics for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Main Cast Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie
Supporting Cast Giovanni Ribisi, Bai Ling, Mark Wells, Omid Djalili
Director Kerry Conran
Screenwriter Kerry Conran
Distributor Paramount
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.skycaptain.com/home.html
Rating PG
Running Time 107 minutes
Screen Count 3,170
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



Comparison films for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Title
Date
Opening
Adjusted Opening
Screens
PSA
Adj PSA
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Mult
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl 7/11/0346.63 46.63 3269 14264.00 14264.0 305.41 305.41 0.00
Mummy, The 5/7/9943.37 51.68 3210 13511.00 15425.9 155.25 185.01 3.58
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade * 5/26/8937.03 55.96 2327 15913.00 23131.7 197.17 297.98 5.06
Empire Strikes Back:SE 2/21/9721.98 28.87 2111 10412.00 13156.8 67.50 88.67 3.07


     


 
 

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