June 16, 2010

“Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”

By Andrew at 9:50 PM
"Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" cover
Cover linked from

So I watched the movie “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” the other day, not necessarily intending to watch that movie in particular, but just wanting to watch a movie in general.  However, when I saw it listed on Netflix, I realized that I had thought about watching it before.  I had wanted to see it when it first came out, but I heard shortly after it came out that it was pretty much a flop.  Still, I was curious to see what it was about.

To start off with, I just have to say that my expectations were quite off.  I really enjoyed “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” even though it is relatively unknown and definitely its own kind of movie.  The movie is set up as a sort of retro-futuristic spy movie, complete with gadgets, giant robots, and gallantry.  The movie, while only a few years old, was produced as if it were made in the thirties, forties, or fifties, predicting the state of the world several decades into the future of that era.  As such, digital technology is nonexistent for the most part, and all of the gadgets, while advanced in concept, are still based on older concepts such as propellers on planes and ancient radio sets.  The production, also, is in the same style of years ago, using “bad” compositing techniques, somewhat gaudy traditional transitions, and messy “film” grain and damage.  But I am convinced that most, if not all, of these missteps were intentional to support the notion that this movie was really made in the forties.  Regardless of this stylistic practice, the one shortfall that I noticed most was that the acting was genuinely sub-par in execution.  But that did not subtract from the movie enough to be a huge issue.

Perhaps my favorite part of the movie was the development and insight put into the creation of the characters, gadgets, and environments.  Many of the concepts of the various environments are extremely nontraditional, lending a definite creative streak to the production.  For instance, who says that airbases were necessarily designed to support air raids?  Why not have these be the bases for naval operations?  Is this confusing enough?  Well, I am not quite sure how it was pulled off, but this discrepancy was easily handled by the storyline.

I would highly recommend “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” as a fun movie to watch.  I realize that most people will not appreciate it as much as I do, but I do believe that it is at least an interesting movie that was skillfully crafted.  I do agree that it is definitely not the “greatest movie ever made,” but I still really enjoyed the movie as a whole, especially the unique setup of many of the key concepts.

May 31, 2010

“Iron Man 2”

By Andrew at 7:31 PM
"Iron Man 2" cover
Cover linked from

Well, it has been quite some time since I have posted, mainly due to school finishing up and getting my summer started and all. Regardless, I wanted to go back and review “Iron Man 2” since I had been looking forward to the release of that movie all last school year.

Iron Man 2 starts out with Tony Stark being the superstar he always had been before he was Iron Man. He enjoys his new life, especially the part where he refused to hand over the Iron Man technology to the government, supposedly in the name of “privatization.” Through his new life, people saw him as becoming more and more invincible, and he even began to convince himself of this. But, unbeknownst to everyone else, he was slowly becoming poisoned by the plutonium required to fuel his life-sustaining electromagnet that kept the shrapnel in his chest from entering his heart.

I really enjoyed this movie, but probably not for the reason that most people would anticipate. There were plenty of action sequences, special effects, and gadgets, but I enjoyed most the development of Tony Stark’s character. Tony showed us that although he definitely had a life changing experience which caused him to help the world become a more peaceful place, he was still affected and enamored by the “glamorous” lifestyle he had lived even before his change. He did come to realize, though, throughout the movie, how temporary and precarious life is, even for someone as strong as Iron Man.
There is no doubt that Iron Man was a great movie. But in the same manner as I thought about the first Iron Man movie

 Iron Man 2 is not the best movie ever, but it is definitely a fun, enjoyable movie to experience.