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Episode 189 - Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: LIVE!

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- And finally, a question: Is there such a thing as a Wilhelm Scream, but for monkey shrieks? During the climax when some of the animals are escaping, there's a monkey sound that I swear I've heard in every movie that ever had monkeys.

I know exactly what you're talking about and let me add there is also a generic police scanner sound too. It use to start the credits to COPS ages ago but it is used everywhere. It is another one of those, once you are aware of you it hear it everywhere sounds.

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- And finally, a question: Is there such a thing as a Wilhelm Scream, but for monkey shrieks? During the climax when some of the animals are escaping, there's a monkey sound that I swear I've heard in every movie that ever had monkeys.

I'm having trouble finding anything on google, but I'm pretty sure there is. A ton of animal sounds get reused in the wrong context. Here are some pretty famous examples:

 

We've all probably heard this cat sound effect in a ton of different stuff:

 

Or how every bird of prey sounds exactly like the red tail hawk:

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Or almost every owl sound is the Great Horned Owl:

 

But owls have a huge variety of sounds:

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There's also this generic, non-specific jungle sound (at 44 seconds into the video):

 

That sound is the kookaburra which is native to Australia. This scene takes place in South America. Wikipedia has a brief list of movies with kookaburra sounds in it

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I'm having trouble finding anything on google, but I'm pretty sure there is. A ton of animal sounds get reused in the wrong context. Here are some pretty famous examples:

Look at grudlian, doing work -- these are all great!

 

The kookaburra is probably my favorite ... makes me think of Looney Tunes, particularly the one where Porky goes to Wackyland, which is shown to be in Africa :)

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

http://www.dailymoti...m/video/x43hhwg

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Look at grudlian, doing work -- these are all great!

 

The kookaburra is probably my favorite ... makes me think of Looney Tunes, particularly the one where Porky goes to Wackyland, which is shown to be in Africa :)/>

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

http://www.dailymoti...m/video/x43hhwg

I may have unfortunately ruined some movies for anyone who listens to these.

 

You know how, once you became aware of the Wilhelm scream, you always notice it? Those sounds always stick out to me they pop up in a movie now.

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I know exactly what you're talking about and let me add there is also a generic police scanner sound too. It use to start the credits to COPS ages ago but it is used everywhere. It is another one of those, once you are aware of you it hear it everywhere sounds.

"I don't know if you can, but can you get an order for ONS, that's O-N-S,

Junior Market, the address is 1934 East Anaheim, all the windows are

busted out, and it's like a free-for-all in here and uh the owner should

at least come down here and see if he can secure his business-"

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I've come back after an extended absence, solely to defend this film.

 

Actually, I don't know if it can be defended per se, but I can try and help explain it.

 

Ya see, back in the 30s, world war 1 pilot Eddie Rickenbacker wrote a comic strip called Ace Drummond, that featured a daredevil esque pilot who fought various villains. This was later adapted into a movie serial by the same name (with Lon Chaney in a supporting role). There was also a run of stories about a hero named "G-8" who was a heroic aviator, there were the radio shows Captain Midnight (aka Jet Jackson: Flying Commando for TV), and The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen and the classic "AIRBOY". Whereas Spielberg/Lucas were going for the more swashbuckling intellectual hero (i.e. Doc Savage) with Indiana Jones, I think that the attempt here was to mimic the "daredevil pilot" troupe style story. In fact, this is a troupe George R.R. Martin pulled out in his first Wildcards book with the character of "Jetboy".

 

Look at this picture of the last re-release of this series:

wild-cards-i.jpg

 

And that story is a very small (but crucial) part of that series of books. But there is something about the pilot, in his leather bomber jacket, scarf in the wind, gun in hand, that still has a visual appeal.

 

That's the ascetic I believe the creators of this film were going for, much like The Shadow and The Phantom, they didn't succeed, at least the film LOOKED and FELT like those types of films, in fact I would argue Sky Captain is closer to that ascetic then those films did.

 

I would also argue that the cast serves it's purpose as a homage to "pulp novels". In the original pulps you got a really high quality glossy cover promising action, danger and sex. This, one could argue, swaps out the high quality glossy cover for a cast of big name actors but like a pulp novel that was written quickly for a dime a word or something, this is stretched out without much story.

 

Does that make it a good modern movie? No. Spielberg and Lucas were able to maintain the aura of the serial adventurer ala Doc Savage with a nice 80s touch (at least the first 3 movies. Crystal Skull falls apart for the same reason this does, it tries to hard to emulate a style of film that doesn't exist anymore) that Conran wasn't able to.

 

Finally, minor correction, technically this is "DIESELPUNK" not "STEAMPUNK"

 

I also assume that war planes and flying in general were still relatively new in the late 30s, that a flying ace with no super powers was pretty exciting for audiences at the time. What heroes of comics or radio had super powers at that time? I know that Superman debuts in 1938, which would have been around the time this film is set, but were super powers a new idea at the time.

 

None of this means that a 2000s audience would find a simple fighter pilot, and a dim one at that, to be particularly exciting or interesting enough to create an entire film around him. It goes back to a point that was made a few times in the podcast that this might have been better at a short.

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Just to add to the list of anachronisms, along with the Wizard of Oz screening and the presence of Godzilla, is Sky Captain's plane of choice, which is based on a Kittyhawk P-40N. As noted on IMDb:

 

Sky Captain flies a late-model P-40, the six gun version of the P-40N. However, his has a few "Hollywoodifications": - The rear decking behind the pilot's seat, and the fuselage fuel tank under it, were removed in order to add a second seat (for Polly). This was actually done to some real P-40s for flight instruction. - The pop-open bays for the cable launcher and magnet bombs are right in the middle of the centerline fuel tank (which fills the interior of the wing between the main wheel wells). - The small underwater engines under the horizontal stabilizers would retract right into the tail wheel gear well, and into each other. - When going into underwater mode, the ostensibly solid-metal propeller blades collapse down into the prop spinner, and into a different section of space-time. The real plane's prop spinner is a shell that goes around the collars and gearing of the prop hub assembly. - Roughly 5000 horsepower appears to have been added to the 1200hp Allison engine.

 

Unfortunately, the P-40N, a variant on the P-40 from 1938, did not appear until 1943. So, Sky Captain's plane is four years too early if it's going to be flown on the same night that The Wizard of Oz plays at Radio City Music Hall. Incidentally, I couldn't find any evidence of Radio City screening that film in 1939: while it was a prestige first-run cinema in the 1930's and 1940's, I don't think Wizard played there.

 

Of course, this leads us to the question about whether in this Sky Captain world whether the Second World War is actually happening at the time: as mentioned in the podcast, Sky Captain's planes would be well used in Europe, but in a pre-Pearl Harbor America, they are still neutral. But there is no mention of the difficulty of navigating around the world during wartime, no mention of Nazis, no concern about being caught up in the conflict. Polly calls the 1914-1918 conflict 'World War One', which is only possible if you have a 'World War Two' - prior to WW2 the first war was usually called 'The Great War'. So there must be a war going on. And why is Sky Captain, a British national (and arguably a hugely skilled warrior) hanging out in neutral America? Is he a draft dodger?

 

Ultimately, Finally, are there any aerodynamics specialists around who can talk about how ridiculous the flapping enemy planes are? Why on earth would the wings need to flap if there are engines? This feels incredibly inefficient.

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On the podcast it was brought up that Sky Captain is a complete dumb-dumb. The best example of this is in the "dynamite room" when he tries to use dynamite to blow open the door to escape from the other dynamite that is about to blow the entire room to smithereens. Luckily, not-Sallah arrives just in time to open the door and let them out before the room explodes. They run and are able to make it out of the blast zone unharmed. There is one gigantic blast, not two blasts; one for SC's escape blast and another for the room blast. This means that SC's plan would have blown them up completely, either he timed his fuse wrong and set it to blow at the same time or after the room blast OR his blast set off the rest of the dynamite in the room. Either way his plan was clearly not going to work. I understand that he had limited options, but this terrible plan was doomed from the start.

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We've all probably heard this cat sound effect in a ton of different stuff:

 

Or how every bird of prey sounds exactly like the red tail hawk:

 

The howie scream is one I hear everywhere.. and did not ever look it up until now, so I now I know for sure it IS in fact in everything and know what it's called. Thanks guys.

 

 

 

And now after researching, I realize my first experience of the howie scream probably came from Ahh Real Monster's opening credit song (at the end).

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The shrunken animals plan was unevenly executed. I am pretty sure there were full sized cows in the space ark as SC gets onboard. So were some of the animals shrunk, but not others? I don't get how this was supposed to work.

 

Also, I thought for a second that PP was going to kill all of the animals when she pushed the button to release all of the animal pods. What if that button dumped all of the animals out into the atmosphere without parachutes, thus dropping them all to their doom? This would have been fitting with the rest of the film as none of the other collateral damage is a concern to our lead characters, so why would they care about a couple hundred pairs of miniature/normal sized animals.

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I worked at a movie theater in 2004. It was a quiet weekday with only a smattering of patrons. An elderly couple leaving their auditorium stopped at the poster for Sky Captain and the husband says, "I thought we were seeing that!" They had just sat through, start to finish, Soul Plane starring Snoop Dogg.

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When Sky Captain returns to headquarters after the battle in New York, we see that he’s managed to capture one of the robots and it is being hauled into the hanger on a couple of tanks. Dex enters the scene and the following exchange takes place:

 

Dex: I thought you said this thing was big. Can I have it?

Sky Captain: You find out where it came from, and I’ll buy you one for Christmas.

 

And that’s fine, except one scene later, once they’ve decided to let Polly in on the whole deal, we find out they have an entire hanger full of gigantic robots - each of them no bigger or different than the one Cap has just brought in. It’s like they’re hoarding the fuckers.

 

What’s incredibly sad is how this reveal changes the earlier exchange. It suddenly becomes apparent that what at first glance seemed like playful banter between two friends, is merely the symptom of two people stuck in a rut. How many times has this same exchange occurred? Fifty times? A hundred? Is “I’ll get you one for Christmas” Sky Captain’s “Sounds like someone’s got a case of the Mondays?”

 

It’s obvious that Dex and Cap are stuck in a spiral of empty platitudes and pet names. These guys need to mix it up; try something new. They need to go rock climbing or wine tasting or something where they can reconnect and remember what drew them together in the first place. They need to ask each other, “What good is a ‘World of Tomorrow’ if you’re not in it?”

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When Cap and Polly see the “mini-mals” being loaded into the rocket, we see Polly physically remove the camera’s lens cap. We never see her put it back on. It was pointed out earlier, but it is clear that the lens cap was off in the final scene:

 

a486baf762bd89474420c64cb5172315.jpg

 

So, honest question, was this a filmmaker goof or was Cap just being a piece of shit?

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Sorry, for the multiple posts but I just finished the episode :)

 

During the underwater fight sequence, we are told they are at a depth of "1,600." They never specify whether that's in feet or meters or whatever, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that I'm fairly confident that the sudden depressurization from Jolie's rapid ascent from the ocean floor to the deck of her helicarrier (20,000 ft?) would most likely result in her immediately exploding into a steaming pile of goop.

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Sorry, for the multiple posts but I just finished the episode :)/>

 

During the underwater fight sequence, we are told they are at a depth of "1,600." They never specify whether that's in feet or meters or whatever, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that I'm fairly confident that the depressurization from Jolie's rapid ascent from the ocean floor to the deck of her helicarrier (20,000 ft?) would most likely result in her immediately exploding into a steaming pile of goop.

 

Ah shit, I forgot to bring this up. Yes, she definitely has the bends now. Hope there’s a hyperbaric chamber on that flying air base.

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Sorry, for the multiple posts but I just finished the episode :)

 

During the underwater fight sequence, we are told they are at a depth of "1,600." They never specify whether that's in feet or meters or whatever, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that I'm fairly confident that the depressurization from Jolie's rapid ascent from the ocean floor to the deck of her helicarrier (20,000 ft?) would most likely result in her immediately exploding into a steaming pile of goop.

Not to mention the tremendous amount of pressure being put on the cockpit and the plane. I mean have you seen that sub that James Cameron uses? There is no way a plane could be built to be light enough for aerial combat and sturdy enough to sustain the extreme pressure of the the depths of the ocean.

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Jason seemed to have a problem with Totenkopf already being dead at the end of the movie, but for me, that was one of the best moments in the movie. I get that it’s not exactly an exciting reveal, but I enjoyed it for saying that evil can’t always be reasoned with or punched in the dick. Sometimes a person’s sins can outlive them, and the best the people left behind can do is just try and deal with the consequences.

 

Now, whether that was effectively illustrated in the movie, that’s another story... :)

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I watched this movie with my husband (who BTW, does not listen to the podcast which makes him watching these movies with me seem even stranger. I mean, it's like doing a hard mountain climb but then not stopping to enjoy the view at the top). Anyway, near the beginning of the movie I commented that Polly and the Sky Captain were very unlikable and he said "They should show them eating breakfast together or something. People are always more likeable after you've seen them eat in front of you." I poo pooed that suggestion but then near the end when Dex showed up again and I mentioned how much more likeable he was even though he'd been on screen only a fraction of the time as the other two, my husband said "I think we saw him eat something earlier. That just proves my point." And indeed, I think Dex may have been eating or perhaps just chewing gum while he was looking at all of those maps. Husband might be on to something here.

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So, honest question, was this a filmmaker goof or was Cap just being a piece of shit?

 

Maybe both?

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