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


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#21 sycasey 2.0

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 08:12 AM

Haven't listened to the pod yet, but whenever I see the title of this movie I have this scene in my head, so I must post:



#22 taylor anne photo

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 08:25 AM

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#23 JoelSchlosberg

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 08:47 AM

One rather ironic omission: for all the kvetching about the movie's alternately-washed-out-and-muddy color scheme and its excessive referencing of The Wizard of Oz, I don't think it was ever brought up that the former is a case of the latter! The opening "black and white" scenes in Kansas are actually sepia-toned (they used to be shown B&W on TV and VHS, but were always originally intended to be in shades of brown rather than gray)!
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The scene where Dorothy opens the door to full color Oz even had her dress and the door frame painted sepia so that it could be shot in-frame (ironic that Sky Captain did not use such practical tricks):


#24 tomspanks

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:10 AM

Paul said that even putting aside the terrible looking cgi, this movie is stupid and while I didn't hate this movie as much as some people on the forum, I did notice a couple of stupid inconsistencies.

When the Iron Giants invade Manhattan to steal generators, why did they stop flying and start marching down the streets to the destination? Just...fly all the way to the generators.

At the lab with the tiny adorable elephant, Polly and Sky Captain find the dying doctor. Sky Captain finds a briefcase and Polly says "Dr. Jennings had this with him this morning at the theater." I just assumed Polly went to Radio City Music Hall to a 6 PM showing. I don't think they would've played the Wizard of Oz at 6 AM? Speaking of, Wizard of Oz came out in 1939. Was this a revival showing?

Right before Polly and Sky Captain leave for Shangri-La, Polly sends a telegram to her newspaper editor to tell him of her plans. She tells Dumbledore that she hopes to be back soon with Dex and the story. Does Dumbledore even know who Dex is? Does Dumbledore know that Dex was kidnapped, or even know who he is? Why would he care about Dex?!

Towards the end of the movie, Dex finally reveals Totenkopf's plan. Dex says that "when the rocket reaches 100 km, at the edge of space, Earth will be incinerated." For perspective, at 100 km, you'd only be 0.026% on your way to the moon. 100 km is hardly on the "edge of space."

#25 tomspanks

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:26 AM

Sorry for the multiple posts, but I also wanted to ask if anyone else got Citizen Kane vibes from this movie? Citizen Kane was fresh on my mind, thanks to Unspooled (the new podcast series covering the AFI 100), so I noticed a few similarities from Sky Captain. For example, in many dialogue scenes, the screen is divided so that the speaker is facing the camera and on the left, while we only see the back of the head of the receiver/audience on the right of the screen, very similar to shots in Citizen Kane.

Then there is the name of the newspaper that Polly works for, The Chronicle. Kane ran the Inquirer, but during the breakfast table montage with Kane's first wife, as their relationship deteriorates we see that Emily starts reading the rival paper, The Chronicle.

Lastly, when they showed Totenkopf's castle, did anyone else think this looked like Kane's castle, Xanadu?

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#26 JoelSchlosberg

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:33 AM

View PostEdded by dawn, on 24 May 2018 - 11:37 PM, said:

The lens cap is off


Maybe the meta-joke is that Sky Captain is just messing with Polly Perkins? Like telling someone that their shoelaces are untied, which actually are tied but they glance down to check - "made you look!"

In any case, as several reviews have pointed out, if the lens cap WAS on, the un-exposed film could be used for another try at the photo!

Tom Collins said:

Anyone who has studied photography 101 knows that she could just rewind the film as it an old timey camera meaning the film hasn’t been exposed. But the audience who probably knows nothing of photography or anything else gets a cheap laugh.


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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:34 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 25 May 2018 - 09:10 AM, said:

Towards the end of the movie, Dex finally reveals Totenkopf's plan. Dex says that "when the rocket reaches 100 km, at the edge of space, Earth will be incinerated." For perspective, at 100 km, you'd only be 0.026% on your way to the moon. 100 km is hardly on the "edge of space."

This was something that bothered me too. First, for whose benefit is the distance from earth measured in the metric system? Is it Max Headroom Laurence Olivier? Or British Sky Captain? Or the German scientists? But the statute mile is the accepted unit of measurement for distance in both Britain and in the United States. EVERYONE who said it sounded weird saying 'kilometre'. Why not say miles for the benefit of your audiences?

And on that same note, Sky Captain and Polly successfully manage to electrocute Bai Ling and the control panel right before the rocket gets to the magical 100km mark, and in the next shot the rocket explodes, leaving our heroes to gently parachute back to earth. But that rocket was filled with two of every animal that ever lived. It's JAMMED with species. And then it explodes. In a giant fireball. TWO OF EVERY SPECIES ON EARTH JUST GOT LIT UP AND ARE NOW RAINING DOWN ON THE SEA. Why aren't Sky Captain and Polly ducking bits of falling, flaming cows and horses?

Incidentally, the logic of Noah's Ark has been queried a bunch, about just the logistics and weight of that many animals. From Genesis:

Quote

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

That's a LOT of weight. In this excellent article, the difficulty of hauling all those animals becomes very apparent:

Quote

A cow weighs about half a ton; so, for the clean cattle alone, we're talking 3.5 tons. Ditto for camels, perhaps 3/4 ton for sheep, and 1/2 ton for goats. Add in all the marsupials, bison, rhinoceroses, elephants, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and so on, and we quickly exceed 1600 tons for animals alone, let alone their feed.

The rockets in Totenkopf's plan are good, but they'd have to be some kind of Tardis machine to fit all the species they're claiming to carry. Which are then promptly barbecued by Sky Captain.
Perkins: "What are you telling me this for? I was there, you idiot!" Exposition is hard, The Hurricane Heist

Vandergelder: "It takes a woman all powdered and pink to joyously clean out the drain in the sink!" I doubt this will work out the way you're hoping, Hello, Dolly!

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#28 JoelSchlosberg

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:41 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 25 May 2018 - 09:26 AM, said:

Sorry for the multiple posts, but I also wanted to ask if anyone else got Citizen Kane vibes from this movie? Citizen Kane was fresh on my mind, thanks to Unspooled (the new podcast series covering the AFI 100), so I noticed a few similarities from Sky Captain. For example, in many dialogue scenes, the screen is divided so that the speaker is facing the camera and on the left, while we only see the back of the head of the receiver/audience on the right of the screen, very similar to shots in Citizen Kane.

Then there is the name of the newspaper that Polly works for, The Chronicle. Kane ran the Inquirer, but during the breakfast table montage with Kane's first wife, as their relationship deteriorates we see that Emily starts reading the rival paper, The Chronicle.

Lastly, when they showed Totenkopf's castle, did anyone else think this looked like Kane's castle, Xanadu?

Posted Image


"Conran admits that he 'stole' from everything from comic books to B science fiction films to Citizen Kane."

#29 CakeBug Tranch

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:44 AM

I'd also like to point out that Totenkopf's name literally translates to KILL HEAD, the most unfortunate villain naming in a long time. I believe it's supposed to properly translate to 'Death's Head', which explains the skull motifs on all of the robots, but I think we can all agree that it's a lot more amusing to have a villain named KILL HEAD.

With a name like that, I guess we shouldn't be surprised about the nefarious plan, but was I the only one who felt like the "and also then the earth will be incinerated" plot point was tacked on at the last minute? I feel like if the plan is to take off with animals and jizz vials to travel to NO ONE KNOWS WHERE - essentially Totenkopf is planning to recreate the flashback scene from 'Wall-E' - then no one on earth is harmed aside from having had their stuff stolen and shot into space. The only way to raise the stakes for everyone is to ADR in some dialogue which says "also by the way he's going to kill us too". But there's nothing stated about HOW we are going to all be incinerated: there's no Star-Killer base warming up and getting ready to kill the planet, and there's no countdown in KILL HEAD'S lair that will detonate. We just take it for granted that oh yeah by the way I think he'll kill us all too. How will he incinerate the earth? And why? You're leaving, you're going to the World of Tomorrow (with no humans to populate it, of course: what about THAT?), just wave goodbye and enjoy your retirement, KILL HEAD!
Perkins: "What are you telling me this for? I was there, you idiot!" Exposition is hard, The Hurricane Heist

Vandergelder: "It takes a woman all powdered and pink to joyously clean out the drain in the sink!" I doubt this will work out the way you're hoping, Hello, Dolly!

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#30 tomspanks

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:47 AM

View PostCakeBug Tranch, on 25 May 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:

This was something that bothered me too. First, for whose benefit is the distance from earth measured in the metric system? Is it Max Headroom Laurence Olivier? Or British Sky Captain? Or the German scientists? But the statute mile is the accepted unit of measurement for distance in both Britain and in the United States. EVERYONE who said it sounded weird saying 'kilometre'. Why not say miles for the benefit of your audiences?

And on that same note, Sky Captain and Polly successfully manage to electrocute Bai Ling and the control panel right before the rocket gets to the magical 100km mark, and in the next shot the rocket explodes, leaving our heroes to gently parachute back to earth. But that rocket was filled with two of every animal that ever lived. It's JAMMED with species. And then it explodes. In a giant fireball. TWO OF EVERY SPECIES ON EARTH JUST GOT LIT UP AND ARE NOW RAINING DOWN ON THE SEA. Why aren't Sky Captain and Polly ducking bits of falling, flaming cows and horses?


Well, the rocket countdown started in English, so who even knows.

Before they fried the control panel, Polly pressed the emergency release button and all the pods containing the animals were on their way back to earth way before the explosion.

View PostCakeBug Tranch, on 25 May 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:

The rockets in Totenkopf's plan are good, but they'd have to be some kind of Tardis machine to fit all the species they're claiming to carry. Which are then promptly barbecued by Sky Captain.


Hmm, maybe that's why they were shrinking animals?

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:50 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 25 May 2018 - 09:47 AM, said:


Well, the rocket countdown started in English, so who even knows.

Before they fried the control panel, Polly pressed the emergency release button and all the pods containing the animals were on their way back to earth way before the explosion.

Hmm, maybe that's why they were shrinking animals?

I had a FEELING that I'd missed something there: by that point I'm 100% certain I was doing something else so missed all the nuance and detail of that climactic moment. Ah well. But now who deals with thousands of pods of traumatised parachuted animals in non-native environments? I'm glad for the animals' sake that they weren't cooked in the explosion.

Yes, the shrinking animals thing was something that was underutilized: did anyone else think of Spy Kids 2?


Perkins: "What are you telling me this for? I was there, you idiot!" Exposition is hard, The Hurricane Heist

Vandergelder: "It takes a woman all powdered and pink to joyously clean out the drain in the sink!" I doubt this will work out the way you're hoping, Hello, Dolly!

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#32 tomspanks

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:58 AM

View PostJoelSchlosberg, on 25 May 2018 - 09:41 AM, said:

"Conran admits that he 'stole' from everything from comic books to B science fiction films to Citizen Kane."
https://books.google...Q6AEwAHoECAAQAQ


Oh. Then no need for me to bring up the similarities to Bride of Frankenstein. LOL

#33 grudlian.

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:05 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 25 May 2018 - 09:58 AM, said:


Oh. Then no need for me to bring up the similarities to Bride of Frankenstein. LOL

Ok.Gwyneth Paltrow may have some kooky ideas, but this is just rude

#34 Elektra Boogaloo

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:21 AM

I"m going to start responding to emails where people pitch me things with, "This is a big bag of no thanks."

#35 Cameron H.

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:28 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 25 May 2018 - 09:26 AM, said:

Sorry for the multiple posts, but I also wanted to ask if anyone else got Citizen Kane vibes from this movie? Citizen Kane was fresh on my mind, thanks to Unspooled (the new podcast series covering the AFI 100), so I noticed a few similarities from Sky Captain. For example, in many dialogue scenes, the screen is divided so that the speaker is facing the camera and on the left, while we only see the back of the head of the receiver/audience on the right of the screen, very similar to shots in Citizen Kane.

Then there is the name of the newspaper that Polly works for, The Chronicle. Kane ran the Inquirer, but during the breakfast table montage with Kane's first wife, as their relationship deteriorates we see that Emily starts reading the rival paper, The Chronicle.

Lastly, when they showed Totenkopf's castle, did anyone else think this looked like Kane's castle, Xanadu?

Posted Image


That's funny, because I was going to say it gave me a lot of Ben-Hur vibes (Episode 2 of Unspooled) in that the filmmakers seemed more interested in spectacle than storytelling. As if people would be so busy "oohing" and "awing" over the technological achievement that they would ignore the fact that the story was paper thin.

Now, we need to tie it in to The Wizard of Oz, so we can hit the Unspooled trifecta! :)
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#36 grudlian.

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:46 AM

View PostCameron H., on 25 May 2018 - 10:28 AM, said:


That's funny, because I was going to say it gave me a lot of Ben-Hur (Episode 2 of Unspooled) vibes in that the filmmakers seemed more interested in spectacle than storytelling. As if people would be so busy "oohing" and "awing" over the technological achievement that they would ignore the fact that the story is paper thin.

Now, if we need to tie it in to The Wizard of Oz, so we can hit the Unspooled trifecta! :)/>/>

The robots are the Tin Man. Lawrence Olivier is a floating head like the wizard when we first see him. Giovanni Ribisi plays a dog. So, he is Toto.

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:54 AM

View Postgrudlian., on 25 May 2018 - 10:46 AM, said:


The robots are the Tin Man. Lawrence Olivier is a floating head like the wizard when we first see him. Giovanni Ribisi plays a dog. So, he is Toto.


Yay!

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#38 CakeBug Tranch

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:58 AM

I am still in several states of shock that Olivier was in this movie. Olivier was a big part of my PhD thesis (which included the chance to examine his personal annotated shooting script for 'Richard III' which is held at the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC) and along with Branagh, I've become very sentimentally attached to him over the years. As such, it was a real surprise to see his likeness in this awful movie: which makes me wonder what on earth his estate was doing giving permission for it. Olivier was well known to be a curmudgeonly old bastard, and famously played Zeus in 'Clash of the Titans' entirely for the paycheck, with no real interest in the product (a lot like another of the Theatrical Knights around the same time, Alec Guinness, who slummed it to play Obi-Wan Kenobi and was vocal about what he thought of the content he was asked to say). I know that Olivier is reputed to have sold the portrait Salvador Dali made of him as Richard III to pay for his grandchildrens' schooling, and I know that Joan Plowright, Larry's widow, played a teacher in 'The Last Action Hero', showing the 'Now Might I Do It Pat' scene to a class full of kids, introducing him as "the man from the Mr Coffee commercials", so he's no stranger to selling out. But THIS? This is mind-boggling to me. They can't have possibly paid enough for his likeness for THIS to be his final film role, could they?

ETA: it seems they were pretty up-beat about it at the time: https://www.eonline....-in-sky-captain
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Vandergelder: "It takes a woman all powdered and pink to joyously clean out the drain in the sink!" I doubt this will work out the way you're hoping, Hello, Dolly!

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#39 JustinL

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 11:08 AM

It's a testament to how dull and non-engaging this film is that I saw it in the theater when it was released and remembered NONE of it. So much so, I couldn't remember the ending, and I assumed it was going to be revealed that DEX WAS THE VILLAIN.

It would explain why he has such technical knowledge of not just machines, but seemingly of Totenkopf's base and his plan. And that would explain why he was kidnapped for seemingly no reason and not killed, and why he was able to escape so easily (seriously, they just show up and he's FINE!). Maybe he was Totenkopf's son working as a spy, always misdirecting Sky Captain as to the source of the robots.

And that's another thing: The robots attacked the city and flew away, then Sky Captain says they have no idea where these robots are coming from. HE'S IN A PLANE. Why doesn't Sky Captain just FOLLOW THE ROBOTS?

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 01:04 PM

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Does Sky Captain take place in the Godzilla cinematic universe?
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