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Ask Movie Slate - Sky Captain



Ask Movie Slate - Episode 200 - Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow

Commissioned by EDB Ken. 

This picture has been in the backburner for so long I don't even remember when I first started working on it. To say I was unsure about it doesn't even begin to describe it. You should definitely check the thought process for this one on the making of post on my art blog, because I had enough camera angles and set ups to draw the picture to make a short film out of them. This is perhaps thanks to the setting the movie has, full of imaginative ideas, and to the support of EDB Ken and his two characters that play the roles of Frankie and Sky Captain respectively. I wanted Movie Slate to be Polly from the get go, because camera, passion, and she looks great in a coat and hat. Fun fact, this was one of the prints I managed to get done at GalaCon 2017, and it sold out. I take it you guys like the big robots.

"Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow" is a movie that had a lot going for it but then got ruined by only a couple of flaws that spoiled everything else. It's still fun though, but there are so many parts of it that feel way more artificial than those obnoxiously blocky buildings and the featureless environments that belong in a Square-Enix video game. I'm being overly mean, let me get what I like out of the way. The characters are great, and so are the actors who play them. I loved Sky Captain and how Jude Law plays him, he's very cocky but also very charming. Polly's great too, determined but a fish out of water, and Gwyneth Paltrow is perfect in the role. Dex is fun, very scientist from the 40's, very nerdy, which fits Giovanni Ribisi to a tee. And yes, Angelina Jolie as Franky is two tons of awesome. Also the production design is very enjoyable too, and while empty it's still very creative. And believe it or not I actually quite enjoy the story. It's very murder mystery and all the pieces fit together only at the very end, which is something I quite like.

So how do you ruin a movie with so much going for it? You shoot the whole thing in front of a green screen, of course, and then let the technicians at the editing room figure it out later! The camera work in this movie is horrible, with some shots and angles that are there only for the sake of indulging in the director's self-importance. The editing is sloppy as well, with scenes that lack any sort of rhythm or tension, which ruins the engagement we have with the characters. And the green screen effects are really bad. You could say that's the aesthetic of the movie, but was it really necessary to green screen something like an office? Or a street? Bigger sets I understand, but when everything is a CGI construction charm gets easily replaced with annoyance.

"Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow" is a sloppy CGI cybernetic mess that only manages to lift off thanks to its likeable characters, good actors, inventive set pieces and story. If you like those Flash Gordon serials from the 30's and 40's, you could do a lot worse, but you could also do a lot best. Give it a watch at your own discretion.

I hope you guys enjoy the picture!

You can check Movie Slate's post on Tumblr right here.

You can also check the Making of Post right here.

Please, let me know what you think of it in the comments. I appreciate and every single one I receive.

Thank you!

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rayPhoenix01's avatar
I think Sky Captain is an underrated classic in my books.