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Thread: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

  1. #1
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    Default Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    Albert and I saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow at Ward on Friday morning. It was a so-so movie, not that great, not that terrible, plot holes a plenty but that might be due it being set in an alternate Earth where the openning stages of World War II never happened.

    If you like sci-fi then this movie should be alright, assuming you throw out some of the real science stuff out.

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    Default Re: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    I've been reading a lot about this film. Lots of folks are disregarding the only so-so story entirely, and focusing on the underlying concept: almost everything in the movie (besides the actors and the objects they actually touch) is completely computer generated.

    The guy apparently sold his idea after working on his own for four years on an old Mac IIci machine and some off-the-shelf retail rendering and video editing software (netting a few minutes of finished footage).

    They completed principal photography (all bluescreen) in a few dozen days -- impossible for a conventional Hollywood film -- and did all the heavy lifting in the effects department.

    The Washington Post has one of the better articles on the movie and its technology I've read so far. And the official site has lots of good background as well.

    As the technology is refined, for better or worse, it could change the way many movies are made. While it could mean more cookie-cutter, churned-out-over-a-weekend crap, it also lowers the barriers of entry for budding, independent filmmakers. Imagine if the folks making do with Olelo's facilities on OC16 could make something that looked as good as a Spielberg film? With a more level playing field, it might very well be the quality of the story that makes the difference.

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    Default Re: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    Like I said elsewhere, as the Beatles sang, "nothing is real".

    And as I told Helen when we left the theatre, it may well set a record for the most improbable scenes in any one movie.

    But I much enjoyed the references to older films, especially (and most obviously) "Wizard of Oz". "Lost Horizon". Even, really, "The Day After Tomorrow".

    A little bit jarring to see an actor who has been dead for some time in the credits, though, but I suppose that's part of the jest.

    The most disturbing thing for me was her lipstick. Yeukh! Looked like she had painted herself with shiny red enamel.

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    Default Re: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon
    They completed principal photography (all bluescreen) in a few dozen days -- impossible for a conventional Hollywood film -- and did all the heavy lifting in the effects department.
    Indeed the ending credits listed at least 3 companies that help with the effects.

    Saw it a second time last night with another friend who liked it. The movie had visual references to many other sci-fi films and a couple of TV series most notabley Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

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    Default Re: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    "Indeed the ending credits listed at least 3 companies that help with the effects."

    Oh, more than that. Altho only the Lucas company got a full screen in the credits.

    Ryan is too optimistic if he thinks some local group can make a movie like this. It took HUNDREDS of people.

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    Default Re: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    Some of the scenes at the beginning looked a bit muddy, the land vehicles a little too cartoonish and some of the early scenes suffering from a lack of background movement. The visuals improve a lot toward the end.

    The few references that I readily caught was the image of the Titanic, a reference to George Lucas' first movie and of course the real obvious tributes to that famous Judy Garland movie.

    Not a bad fantasy story from an alternate past that presents an alternate future. I give Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow a 7 on my scale of 10 (with 10 being an all time classic).

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    Default Re: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    A friend and I went to Mililani to launch some model rockets today but when we got there it was rainning, so I suggested we go to Sky Captain at the Mililani theatre, figured he would like the movie that involves rockets and he did like it.

    For me it was trying to watch for the small things in the movie which might explain things. For instance I told Albert that at the beginning when the airship docks at the Empire State Building it was snowing but when Polly Perkins meets with the scientist at Radio City Hall, there was no hint of snow. When watching it for the third time, if you look at the dates of the newspapers that gets displayed, the first newspaper says it is October 1 (couldn't make out the year) which involves the docking of the airship but after the first attack on the city the newspapers shows March 15 or March 16.

    Also while watching the ending credits I notice at least 12 companies that were listed as doing "Additional Effects" for this movie.
    Last edited by helen; September 19th, 2004 at 08:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    Ryan is too optimistic if he thinks some local group can make a movie like this. It took HUNDREDS of people.
    Today. Five years from now, maybe not. Remember, the fully-rendered pitch that got this movie its funding was done by one guy and a few friends on a home PC (a Mac, I mean). I'm just saying we're closer to that day than you may think.

    After all... if you told someone in the printing trade in 1980 that millions of middle class homes would, in twenty years, have $800 in technology that would allow them to compose, design, and print a reasonably attractive, color publication right out of a little machine in their den, he or she would think you were insane.

    Real-time, three-dimensional textured mapping is already very commonplace (think your average $49 shoot-em-up videogame), when in George Lucas' heyday having that kind of technology at home, in the hands of kids no less, would have seemed absolutely preposterous. I see video game commercials on TV that could be scenes from a movie... and it makes me dizzy to realize I once considered Atari Tank Battle and later Asteroid to be the neatest techy things ever.

    Computer technology alone doesn't make a good story, we know that, but we're seeing that it can be used to create whole worlds (rather than requiring a soundstage, sets, and locations)... and someday - for better or worse - whole actors.

    It's not entirely far-fetched to think that, today even, a bright kid from Castle High School will skip Olelo and its tape decks and sign-up sheets and will instead just fire up his Mac G5. And a month later, he'll have a fun movie with giant geckos terrorizing downtown Honolulu, or with flying surfboards and three-headed aliens. Instead of toiling for months on unconvincing papier mache and iffy wire work, he can just set down some wireframes, click "Render," and the scene will be waiting for him in the morning.

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    Default Re: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    Ryan is quite right. These are early days, and it is not at all impossible that we shall eventually (or those younger than I shall eventually) see a movie created entirely by ONE person. (Those end credits will be hilarious.)

    Of course, the earlier versions may include some friends as "actors" but then maybe it will just be Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart plucked out of their films and inserted in the new one.

    Whoever is first to do it, I hope he or she is better at writing a basic story than those who did "Sky Captain".

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    Default Re: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    So I guess one day soon we would see a NaMoMaMo (National Movie Making Month).

    As far as Sky Captain goes, they could have spent at least a couple of minutes worth of dialouge to at least explain a plot point or two, like why Dex was taken (like maybe his uncle was one of the missing scientist or something like that) in the first place.

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