Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow [HD DVD]
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Product Description

While setting a milestone in the progress of digital filmmaking, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow resurrects a nostalgic fantasy world derived from a wide variety of vintage inspirations. It's a dazzling dream for anyone who appreciates the look and feel of golden-age sci-fi pulp magazines, drawing its unique, all-digital design from such diverse sources as Howard Hawks adventures, Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Buck Rogers, Blackhawk comics, The Third Man, cliffhanger serials, and the action-packed Indiana Jones franchise. Writer-director Kerry Conran's feature debut is also guaranteed to inspire digital dreamers everywhere, suggesting a paradigm shift in the way CGI-dominated movies are made. It's a giddy adventure for the young and young-at-heart, in which ace pilot "Sky Captain" Joe Sullivan (Jude Law) and intrepid reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) must save the world from a mad scientist whose vision of the future has tragic implications for all humankind. Angelina Jolie drops in for a glorified cameo, but it's the ultra-fortunate neophyte Conran who's the star here. His clever riff on The Wizard of Oz is a marvel to behold, and the method of its creation is nothing less than revolutionary. --Jeff Shannon

After New York City receives a series of attacks from giant flying robots, a reporter teams up with a pilot in search of their origin, as well as the reason for the disappearances of famous scientists around the world.

Customer Reviews:

  • It seemed like a good idea at the time...
    Even on DVD, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow has serious image problems, although the fact that the movie is deliberately stylised makes it a little less of a problem. Unfortunately, the two-tone, almost sepia color and the excessive diffusion of the image tends to bleed the film of vitality at times and does no favors whatsoever to Gwyneth Paltrow, who looks absolutely terrible throughout the film (the fact that her performance is not just bad but plain unlikeable much of the time doesn't help: small wonder that Angeline Jolie steals the film from her). Kerry Conran does manage to recreate some of the visual style of the old Max and Dave Fleischer Superman cartoons (Mechanical Monsters in particular), but without their vivid three-strip Technicolor, and he gives good montage. Unfortunately, he's better at visual design than directing actors or action - this should be a lot more fun than it actually is. Jude Law is a particularly weak hero, lacking steel or much in the way of charisma, once again proving that he's a better character actor in supporting roles than a credible leading man. It's watchable enough and the big undersea dogfight shows how much better it could have been, but never draws you in and carries you along enough to be as much fun as it wants to be. And if you're going to use footage of Laurence Olivier to `play' the villain, at least find a voice double who actually sounds like him! ...more info
  • Warm Homage to serial sci-fi
    As a kid in the '60s, I used to watch the old sci-fi serials from my parents childhoods. Buck Rogers Flash Gordon etc, they were hokey even by that time, but still a lot of fun.

    This week I had some time to kill, so I put in my DVD of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Widescreen Special Collector's Edition) and like those old serials it was fun, and corny, but unlike those old movie shorts it has Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltro (playing strong women), and some very cool CG animations that the old movies couldn't even imagine.

    So here's the deal, this is not what we expect in modern sci-fi, but if you are in the mood for something fun with some old time flavor, Sky Captain should do just fine!
    ...more info
  • Will not play in XBox 360 HD DVD player
    I tried this HD DVD in 2 different 360 players as well as the replacement Amazon sent, both did not work in either 360 player. Avoid this one if you have the 360 player....more info
  • Excellent retro science fiction adventure movie !
    I hadn't watched this in years & well I have to admit, this movie is right up my alley, I very much enjoyed it for many reasons. I love the visualization, the scenery, the atmosphere, the fact that it is a movie based on the Golden Era of movies, as if it was shot in the 1930s, it was like an action adventure film noir meets Jurassic park and the Iron Giant. I loved the giant robots & the dino creatures in this. The story has Jude Law as Sky Captain along with Gwyneth Paltow and Angelia Jolie trying to save the world from a mad scientist. Ok its a little deeper than that, but for me it was the action,all the great scenery of where this chase goes from the city to ice to underwater to the jungle. It was also like an Indiana Jones movie too. It had everything needed to entertain, had a lot of action, acting was fine but these movies are made for non stop thrills and this delivered. I do have a passion for giant monsters,robots and great atmospheric scenery,so if you are the same, I highly recommend this movie. It is a lot of fun and a good mix of genres....more info
  • One Of Those Movies I Objectively Thought Was Fantastic And Subjectively Did Not Like
    "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" is a masterpiece. The movie was made with a blue screen, and the backgrounds were added. They could have chosen to give a totally surreal feel to it as you have with the Batman series or "Dick Tracy", but it fit the setting perfectly.

    I would call this the 2000 attempt of "Raiders Of The Lost Ark". There are many similarities between the two pictures, such as the time setting, the homage to 40's serials, the action, having a foreign sidekick, one graphic horrific death scene toward the end, and even having some of the action in Nepal. This movie also borrowed from other action movies including Jurassic Park.

    This movie was very well done, but I actually didn't like it. A movie like that is of course a time waster, but this one made me feel the time was wasted.

    One drawback is that the target audience seems to be an under thirty viewer who enjoys 40's movies. This movie captures the 40's films even more effectively than Raiders, and that may be its undoing. For this person who is more at home in the '70's and '80's, I found this movie in some ways before my time and in other ways after my time....more info
  • Fantastic Movie
    This is a great movie. It is different than the mainstream, but I really liked it as did my kids. If you like movies that are filmed differently than than the Hollywood "standard" you will like this movie....more info
  • Pointless
    The guy who lent me this said he liked its look. I found its look extremely distracting because it gave me eye strain. But if we cut through that, we find that, in fact, this movie sucks. Well, I admit that I only watched 2 of its 20 (I think) segments. It's a loving tribute to 30s radio sci-fi serials and 50s sci-fi TV, but I see no reason to pay tribute to either of those formats, because they're full of bad writing, bad acting, and bad science. As was this movie. Life's too short. Go watch THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. This particular movie is strictly for stupid people....more info
  • I loved this movie...
    I may be in the minority but I really enjoyed this movie. From the retro 'CG heavy' visuals to the 1930's movie seriel feel, this movie is a breath of fresh air. The characters are transparent as cartoon characters but it all fits together nicely to create a unique movie experience....more info
  • Calling Sky Captain! Repeat, calling Sky Captain !
    Cornball plot but cool movie nonetheless. Although Gwyneth Paltrow, as Polly Perkins acts and talks like she's spaced-out (i.e. reading from a script) like she tends to do in a lot of her movies. Jude Law's (Sky Captain) voice somehow always seems to grate on me.

    The digital special effects seem to take one back to another time in film-making (yeah, I know). Though the acting was rather stiff; especially from Angelina Jolie, it was a fun adventure film. Funny also with Gwyneth Paltrow and her camera; deciding whether or not to take a shot, knowing full well she's almost out of film.

    The "robot monsters" were pretty cool. But it was kind of stupid that Sky Captain was flying a "prop job" (P-40) with some "futuristic hardware" that didn't go with the airplane.

    Giovanni Ribisi plays Dex, the chewing gum chomping stereotype of a mechanical wiz that's a throwback from the "old movies" - yeah, I know, that's the way it was meant to be. But he over-acted to the point of being very annoying.
    ...more info
  • Did not play in Xbox 360 player
    This disk did not play in my 360 player. The replacement that was sent also was not read. Are there others that do not work in thr 360 player? Really disappointed because i would have enjoyed this film in HD....more info
  • It's in black and white but it's enjoyable movie.
    When I watched it in the theatre, it's in black and white but it's enjoyable movie. The plot is interesting. There are some suspenseful moments. The acting is engaging.

    It's absolutely worth watching....more info
  • A Visually Captivating Escape to a Long Forgotten Time
    "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" is loud, noisy, silly, unbelievably ridiculous, and it's one of the most fun experiences I've had watching a movie in the past six months! This is a movie that whisks the audience off into a long forgotten era of filmmaking that I for one am grateful to see it put back on screen with the advancements of today's technology. I was just amazed that anyone would actually have the nerve to go back into the realm of camp, and cheese of the old shows and actually try and take it seriously (I don't mean the actual movie, for it is very tongue-in-cheek).

    This is fun for the entire family; the action will entertain children and the visuals will entertain older audiences, especially ones who are fans of old movies and serials. This movie has lots to offer as popcorn entertainment, and I was entertained throughout. I loved the way New York City looked, and I loved their jungle homage to the original "King Kong" towards the end of the film. This film just is all visuals, and for the most part they're all good, and I never once felt the film overstayed its welcome.

    The movie is set between World Wars I and II (though the advanced technology won't have you believing that for a second) and starts off with a story about scientists who have started to mysteriously disappear. Soon we find New York City under siege by giant robots that fly into action with their arms spread out straight and then start to lumber up and down the streets (They look like they flew out of "The Day the Earth Stood Still"). Events like this apparently happen quite frequently judging by the looks of things and the people are quick to call their hero Joe Sullivan (Jude Law), or as they call him Sky Captain, a man who flies around in an airplane and seems to fight against to forces of evil with his own private air force, complete with science lab and Bond-style gadgets built into his plane.

    Bad things are happening worldwide, and the authorities are balled. Who could be doing this? Leave it to Sky Captain to find out these events are orchestrated by the evil German scientist Dr. Totenkopf, who wants to retrieve two cylinders which were given to Joe's obsessive reporter ex-girlfriend, Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow), and soon the two of them are put together in an adventure to stop Totenkopf from destroying the world! Along the way they're thrown into a serious of ridiculous action sequences, or moments where you expect to see the screen freeze and bold letters surface stating "Too be continued..." This is all part of the fun that is "Sky Captain." This movie knows it's ridiculous, and that's the entire point, which it exploits whenever possible.

    Giovanni Ribisi is Sky Captain's gadget supplier, and is obviously inspired by Q from the orginal Bond films and Angelina Jolie also shows up as a sexy British pilot (Her British accent really hasn't improved that much since "Tomb Raider") in charge of a massive flying airstrip, which utilizes one of the most fun, if not most unbelievable designs in the entire movie. Robots and flying airbases are only a few of the unbelievable, yet fun creations you get exposed to during this movie. Everyone on the special effects team of this film must have had a lot of fun!

    The film is shot almost entirely with blue-screen and that gives the filmmakers lots of freedom with their visuals. They could've gone overboard with this, but I feel they took it just far enough to capture the idea of the old serials and movies, and it all looked very nice on Blu-Ray. I love this little effect they do that fades to colors to make it look like an old film.

    I just really like the feel of this film. The actors know this is ridiculous, they know it's absurd, and they obviously have a lot of fun with the whole thing. They could've played it to death giving winks to the audience, but they never do. They act serious, but with an underlying message that they know what they're doing is silly. They find a fine ground between campy and too serious, and just make this film very good as homage to those long forgotten films.

    The thing that got me was that in an age of serious films where we typically have emotionally confused heroes, and incredibly serious plots Director Kerry Conran actually went through with making a movie that paid homage to the movies, and serials of the 1930s-1950s. Every character, every set piece, prop, and robot seems to have walked out of that early age of entertainment, and in my opinion the industry was in serious need of a retrieve from the barrage of serious films and a look back into a simpler time.

    This movie was an escape for me. Don't get me wrong, I love serious movies, but I feel we need some movies like "Sky Captain" every now and then to help even out the industry, or else we may become too serious. I don't want every movie I see to reflect the gritty horror that is reality and would like to every now and then escape back to childhood daydreams of airplanes that convert into submarines and where every character is clean cut, being really good or really bad.

    For people who enjoy special-effects or the old serials of the 1930s-40s "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" is a must, or even for the people who enjoy the original James Bond films where just about anything seems possible. This is Grade-A, no brain entertainment at its finest!
    ...more info
    MAGNIFICENTLY ORIGINAL! I've read many of the negative reviews of this film, and I'm astonished at some of the complaints people have come-up with. Well, don't listen to them. If you're looking for something very different from what you've ever seen before (with a pretty good fantasy story line as well) just turn your brain off for a while, and enjoy the stunning visualizations that unfold before your very eyes! The incredible talents who produced this film should be proud of their stunning accomplishment! ...more info
  • Surprisingly good
    Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow is perhaps the first film whose computer special effects wizardry was trotted out as a reason to see it that I can honestly say is a good film, a very good film. Are there films that bowl one over more impressively? Yes. But this film is virtually all special effects, and was filmed on a blue screen soundstage. The texture of the film, the lighting, and the iconographic imagery, as well as stylistic techniques, all evoke the feel of 1930s-1950s era science fiction films, especially the serial films of that period.
    First time director Kerry Conran does a marvelous job of recreating the feel of when the world was still large and dark and fearsome, in this late 2004 film, even more so than Peter Jackson did in last year's late sci fi entry King Kong. Where that film was a remake of a classic sci fi film from that era, this film is an homage, and it succeeds all the more for it. Perhaps the only thing that could have made it more rollicking was the use of chapter breaks, which the DVD commentaries say was tried, but ultimately cut out of the final cut of the film, which is only 95 minutes long, and moves briskly. The plot is threadbare, but that's perfect for this action oriented sci fi serial homage. The pre-World war Two world is being decimated by giant flying robots who steal all manner of industrial equipment. New York is laid waste, and reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) has a lead as to who may be behind it all.
    Yet, as referential as it is, the film establishes its own identity, with repartee between Polly and Joe hinting at a romantic past that went kaput, and their banter about her only having two photograph shots left, add quite a bit to characterization, in an offhanded way. Paltrow evokes the sort of heroine a Faith Domergue played in many such films. There are also many small touches that enhance scenes and characters, such as when Polly and Joe land on the Totenkopf's island, she notices that the reflection of his plane's serial number h110d spells Polly, in the reflected water, or the excellent use of scenes from The Wizard Of Oz in Radio City Music Hall, as Polly questions a scared scientist. Almost every scene has such details that subliminally enhance the overall work. Compared to Steven Spielberg's lame Indiana Jones serial homage film series from twenty years ago, Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow shows how to do it right, using special effects as an integral part of the tale, not just for a wow factor. It will be interesting to see, if after a decade making this film, Conran is only a one hit wonder, or a true young stud of cinema. He's already shown he has a better visual style than Spielberg, and certainly a better understanding for character and plot, for he knows that such beautiful fluff plays best when played straight.
    ...more info
  • Only two shots left
    This is a 2004 view of what a 1930's view of the future could look like. Most of the CGI and blue-screen overlays had to be a tad fuzzy to make the scenes work. The language may be a tad stilted but it also is designed to be a thirties movie rendition.

    Seems that somewhere towards the end of the last war a brilliant scientist with a vision disappeared and the whole Group 11 project was disbanded. Today top scientists are going missing and it is up to Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) reporter-photographer to find the reason. Mean while it looks as though a destructive minus is ravaging the city (looking for something) and the only person capable of foiling the evil plot is, you guessed it, Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan (Jude Law, of "GATTACA" fame).

    Eventually Joe runs out of gas and only Franky (Angelina Jolie) can save him if there is time. Meanwhile Polly finds that her camera has only two shots left; can she make the best of them?

    How can this daring duo and their pals foil the nefarious plot that may prove fatal to the world as we know it?

    ...more info
  • Technically and stylisitcally intersting but falls very flat
    This is hard movie to rate, it's interesting to see once for the FX, for the designs, for the production. It was one of the first films to use a 'digital backlot' with almost no sets or props just blue screens and computers.

    The idea is also fun, it's a homage to 30s serials with a high-flying ace in his super plane and a spunky reporter tagging along as he travels to lost civilizations and battles a mad scientist.

    But Sky Captain is horribly miscast, Jude Law sleepwalks through this never having fun, never bringing any energy to the part. A film like this calls for an over-acting scenery-chewing he-man instead it gets a calm, polite understated Englishman.

    ...more info
  • Would Have Been Great As A Saturday Morning Serial
    SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW comes off as too campy and too two-dimensional. Polly Perkins (Gyneth Paltrow) and Joseph "Sky Captain" Sullivan just don't ever come to life as characters. We never get to see why they do what they do, or why they're romantically drawn to each other -- except for the handsome rogue and the independent woman that they are.

    The plot is almost a standard culled from any of the 1930s science fiction magazines, and even takes a few riffs from Max Fleischer's Superman cartoon with the giant robots wreaking havoc in the streets. After the Great War (World War I), several scientists were pulled into a think tank called Unit 11. No one knows what they were working on, but now all of these men are starting to disappear again. Giant flying robots seek out the scientists as well as machinery and raw products, but no one knows what for.

    Sky Captain gets called in. His mercenary band quickly assembles and gets ready to probe into the mystery, but they're attacked first and Sky's right hand man and innovative thinker, Dex, is capture. But not before leaving a clue that tells Sky Captain where the source of the mysterious robots is broadcasting his commands.

    The movie quickly becomes a chase as Sky Captain and Polly track down one clue after the other to figure out what's going on. This is familiar fare for anyone who's seen the Indiana Jones movies or the Buck Rogers serials released on DVD.

    The CG work for the movie is absolutely amazing, though the opening 30 minutes or so are really too dark in my opinion. They seem drenched in warm sepia tones that I found distracting. The actions sequences came along regularly enough, but most of them were far too predictable. The most inexcusable part, though, is the lack of interesting heroes. They were paper thin and tended to meander through scenes without substance.

    Still, as a Blu-ray release, it's an interesting one worth picking up. The high-def presentation is fantastic, and the audio is well sorted out to get the most from your surround sound system. There aren't any other enticements to pick up the movie if you already own it on DVD other than the presentation....more info
  • Amazingly Pointless to Watch--DON'T BUY OR RENT!
    On the movie portion of the disc: This movie falls into the typical realm of all-star cast to cover what is really lacking. This time around, its a plot (aka purpose). The movie takes one on a shallow ride--literally--of look-what-we-can-do graphics. It does attempt to go "deeper" plot-wise, particularly by throwing in a similarity to Wizard of Oz at one point in the movie, but by the end of nearly two hours, we reach an anticlimax.

    On the collector's edition portion of the disc: Aside from commentary, the collector's edition includes the original 6-minute short of Sky Captain, bloopers, and deleted scenes, including one that should have been left in the movie. Let's just say the scene fills in a part of the story-line transition. Oh well...

    For Angelina Jolie fans: she did not disappoint--she just didn't have much of a role, either, contrary to what the DVD cover might indicate....more info
  • I shot the Ground!
    I have a confession to make; I do not like Gwyneth Paltrow. It's not because she is anti-American, or that she fakes a British accent every chance she gets, it's not even because she named her children Apple and Moses therefore subjecting them to a lifetime of fruit and biblical jokes. I don't like her because she is not a good actress, it's as simple as that, and it's all my opinion of course because some people think she is the next Meryl Streep (laughs uncontrollably). Having stated this, I will say that I loved this Movie! Yes, I could even look past Miss Paltrow to see the merits of this film. I had seen the coming attractions, and said "no" because of Gwyneth, even though it looked really interesting. Finally I broke down and told myself "it has robots, and planes, and Jude and Angelina" and in the universe that I live in all those things counteract her. She isn't horrible in this, she is just as staccato, and blank faced as she usually is, but it works for her character. Jude Law is okay, as well as Angelina, the script really didn't allow for any Oscar moments, the REAL star of this movie was the Special Effects. The whole movie was just gorgeous and creative; it's like no movie I have ever witnessed. If you are a fan of old black and white movies, classic Sci Fi and just plain originality you will love it....more info
  • Visually stunning
    I had only two gripes with the film. One was the quirky pacing of the film, and the somewhat thin performance of Angelina Jolie. But that's about it. I did love the visuals in the film. It's filled with dazzling special effects, lovely music, and gorgeous scenery. The late 30's comic and pulp atmosphere is mixed with modern (50's, 60's and today) sci-fi technologies. I think that's what makes it so appealing: this is an excellent mixture of old and new. Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow are both great in this film; the supporting cast is also very good. But the best things about this film are the visual effects, the cinematography, and the stylish art direction. Watch it for the visuals.

    Grade: A-...more info
  • Pretty good flick
    A pretty good high adventure flick. Not too complicated a plot, and of course, you have to suspend disbelief with some of it, but the action moves right along, and the acting is pretty well done. It has shades of "Romancing the Stone" or any of the Indiana Jones movies. Some of the scenery is quite impressive, and I particularly like the Art Deco feel they put to the whole production. I'd watch it again....more info
  • Incredible Visual Invention in an Overabundant Story
    This 2004 film reflects amazing visual invention, and first-time writer/director Kerry Conran, self-professed computer geek, has fashioned something remarkably singular from his fertile imagination, his obviously encyclopedic knowledge of pre-WWII popular culture, and most of all, his technological savvy. What he has created is impressive - a self-contained world of startling images that seem simultaneously futuristic and retro in a colorized black-and-white world bathed in diffuse lighting and stylized art deco designs. Moving like a speeding train, the plot is stuffed with so many references to other classic stories and movies it often gets overwhelming, and I have to admit some of the turns get very convoluted as a result. As a pop culture junkie myself, I see tributes to George Pal's The War of the Worlds, Ray Harryhausen's special effects in Jason and the Argonauts, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, James Hilton's Lost Horizon, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones trilogy and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", George Lucas' Star Wars especially in the aerial chase scenes, and the stiff upper lip of British WWII films.

    That's a lot of references for a 103-minute film, sometimes too much, but Conran does a mostly smart job of spinning his plates into a truly exciting film. Beyond that, it amazes me that most of the action was done against a green screen, as the people and images seamlessly meld together. There are incredible sequences involving gigantic robots trampling New York, fanciful aerial air strips with dozens of fighter planes, swarms of automated winged weapons among others, and they are sequenced at a lightning-fast pace. The actors are well cast, though the best compliment one can pay them is that they don't get in the way of the action. In fact, their relative nonchalance to the extraordinary things going on around them is a major part of the fun. Jude Law cuts a dashing figure as the nominal hero, although he seems too lightweight and frankly a bit too earnest to be truly memorable. Gwyneth Paltrow plays the obligatory Lois Lane part, aptly named Polly Perkins, with a saucy mix of Veronica Lake's peek-a-boo allure (I love the skirt slitting shot) and Barbara Stanwyck's tough-dame savvy.

    In an all-too-brief part late in the film, Angelina Jolie is wonderfully gutsy as a veddy British naval captain, finally able to use her striking looks (not to mention her arresting eyepatch) to great effect. Not every actress can get away with a line like "Alert the amphibious squad!". In smaller roles, Giovanni Ribisi as the bubblegum-chewing Dex and British comedian Omid Djalili as Vienna sausage-loving Kaji seem to function purely as plot devices to move the story along. Conran understandably uses characters as chess pieces because the visual elements are what make this story percolate. I only wish Conran could have simplified the story a bit to let us absorb more of what's going on. I felt a little out of breath every time the locale changed since I wasn't sure I grasped everything I needed to know up to that point. I also think it's a bit of a conceit to "cast" the late Laurence Olivier as the primary villain since it feeds into one of the final plot twists.

    The 2005 Special Collector's Edition DVD boasts some significant extras starting with two separate commentary tracks - the first from producer Jon Avnet and the second from Conran and the special effects crew. I found there was not enough distinction between the two tracks, but both discuss the complexity of the production in thorough detail. There is a behind-the-scenes documentary, "Brave New World", which runs nearly an hour and shows the startling green screen process. The film was shot on just one soundstage even though the story travels around the world. Two shorts are also included - one focused on the costumes and production design by the director's brother Kevin and the other the six-minute demo made to give studio executives a preview of the final film. Deleted/extended scenes and a gag reel round out the extras....more info
  • A missed opportunity
    Interesting movie... the graphic backgrounds are brilliant in a 1930's serial throwback kind of way, especially in the first 20 minutes, and it's worth seeing just for that, but the script is truly dismal, Jude Law is too bland to carry a movie of this type, and don't get me started on what I think of Angeline Jolie's "acting"....more info