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.
March 20
1916—Einstein Publishes General Relativity
German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity. Among the effects of the theory are phenomena such as the curvature of space-time, the bending of rays of light in gravitational fields, faster than light universe expansion, and the warping of space time around a rotating body.
March 19
1931—Nevada Approves Gambling
In the U.S., the state of Nevada passes a resolution allowing for legalized gambling. Unregulated gambling had been commonplace in the early Nevada mining towns, but was outlawed in 1909 as part of a nationwide anti-gaming crusade. The leading proponents of re-legalization expected that gambling would be a short term fix until the state's economic base widened to include less cyclical industries. However, gaming proved over time to be one of the least cyclical industries ever conceived.
1941—Tuskegee Airmen Take Flight
During World War II, the 99th Pursuit Squadron, aka the Tuskegee Airmen, is activated. The group is the first all-black unit of the Army Air Corp, and serves with distinction in Africa, Italy, Germany and other areas. In March 2007 the surviving airmen and the widows of those who had died received Congressional Gold Medals for their service.
March 18
1906—First Airplane Flight in Europe
Romanian designer Traian Vuia flies twelve meters outside Paris in a self-propelled airplane, taking off without the aid of tractors or cables, and thus becomes the first person to fly a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Because his craft was not a glider, and did not need to be pulled, catapulted or otherwise assisted, it is considered by some historians to be the first true airplane.
1965—Leonov Walks in Space
Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov leaves his spacecraft the Voskhod 2 for twelve minutes. At the end of that time Leonov's spacesuit had inflated in the vacuum of space to the point where he could not re-enter Voskhod's airlock. He opened a valve to allow some of the suit's pressure to bleed off, was barely able to get back inside the capsule, and in so doing became the first person to complete a spacewalk.
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