Modern Pulp Jan 26 2010
SKY'S THE LIMIT
Sky Captain crashed at the box office but a fresh viewing reveals a pretty good film.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow seems to have been a career killer for director and writer Kerry Conran, but we just watched it last night and there’s little doubt other directors who have committed far worse transgressions are still working in Hollywood. And truth is, this isn’t a bad movie. Except for the actors, it’s almost entirely digital, but unlike many other CG productions there is some actual warmth here, thanks to stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. The film is a take on the old sci-fi serials like Commando Cody, and old comics like Captain Midnight. It takes place in an alternative 1939 populated by zeppelins, fighter planes, and glowing, vacuum-tubed gadgets.

Plotwise, you have giant marauding robots of unknown origin raiding New York City to kidnap scientists and steal items of value. Jude Law, as Sky Captain, is called upon to find out why it’s happening. His adventures with Paltrow—as ace reporter Polly Perkins—take him from Manhattan to Nepal in search of the person they believe to be orchestrating the attacks—the mysterious Dr. Totenkopf (played by Sir Laurence Olivier in archival footage).

Sky Captain isn’t perfect, but it’s quite likeable once you accept the preposterous physics of its action sequences. We’d actually have preferred less action and more exploration of its nifty art deco universe, but we’re old school—we’re the types who like movies with 98 minutes of dialogue followed by two gunshots and a credit sequence. But we recommend checking this one out anyway. You could do much worse with your time. Above you see the nice French promo poster. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow premiered in France at the Gérardmer Fantasticarts Film Festival as Capitaine Sky et le monde de demain today in 2005. 

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Vintage Pulp Apr 23 2009
BE-HITCHED
Hitchcock means terror in any language.


We mentioned a while back how frequently we run across foreign language Hitchcock posters, so here are a bunch for your enjoyment, including yet another version of Vertigo. FYI, Il Sipario Strappato is Torn Curtain and Ptáci
is The Birds.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 15
1945—Laval Executed
Pierre Laval, who was the premier of Vichy, France, which had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, is shot by a firing squad for treason. In subsequent years it emerges that Laval may have considered himself a patriot whose goal was to publicly submit to the Germans while doing everything possible behind the scenes to thwart them. In at least one respect he may have succeeded: fifty percent of French Jews survived the war, whereas in other territories about ninety percent perished.
1966—Black Panthers Form
In the U.S., in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panther political party. The Panthers are active in American politics throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually legal troubles combined with a schism over the direction of the party lead to its dissolution.
October 14
1962—Cuban Missile Crisis Begins
A U-2 spy plane flight over the island of Cuba produces photographs of Soviet nuclear missiles being installed. Though American missiles have been installed near Russia, the U.S. decides that no such weapons will be tolerated in Cuba. The resultant standoff brings the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of war. The crisis finally ends with a secret deal in which the U.S. removes its missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets removing the Cuban weapons.
October 13
1970—Angela Davis Arrested
After two months of evading police and federal authorities, Angela Davis is arrested in New York City by the FBI. She had been sought in connection with a kidnapping and murder because one of the guns used in the crime had been bought under her name. But after a trial a jury agreed that owning the weapon did not automatically make her complicit in the crimes.
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