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.
April 23
1986—Otto Preminger Dies
Austro–Hungarian film director Otto Preminger, who directed such eternal classics as Laura, Anatomy of a Murder, Carmen Jones, The Man with the Golden Arm, and Stalag 17, and for his efforts earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, dies in New York City, aged 80, from cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
1998—James Earl Ray Dies
The convicted assassin of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., petty criminal James Earl Ray, dies in prison of hepatitis aged 70, protesting his innocence as he had for decades. Members of the King family who supported Ray's fight to clear his name believed the U.S. Government had been involved in Dr. King's killing, but with Ray's death such questions became moot.
April 22
1912—Pravda Is Founded
The newspaper Pravda, or Truth, known as the voice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, begins publication in Saint Petersburg. It is one of the country's leading newspapers until 1991, when it is closed down by decree of then-President Boris Yeltsin. A number of other Pravdas appear afterward, including an internet site and a tabloid.
1983—Hitler's Diaries Found
The German magazine Der Stern claims that Adolf Hitler's diaries had been found in wreckage in East Germany. The magazine had paid 10 million German marks for the sixty small books, plus a volume about Rudolf Hess's flight to the United Kingdom, covering the period from 1932 to 1945. But the diaries are subsequently revealed to be fakes written by Konrad Kujau, a notorious Stuttgart forger. Both he and Stern journalist Gerd Heidemann go to trial in 1985 and are each sentenced to 42 months in prison.
April 21
1918—The Red Baron Is Shot Down
German WWI fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron, sustains a fatal wound while flying over Vaux sur Somme in France. Von Richthofen, shot through the heart, manages a hasty emergency landing before dying in the cockpit of his plane. His last word, according to one witness, is "Kaputt." The Red Baron was the most successful flying ace during the war, having shot down at least 80 enemy airplanes.
1964—Satellite Spreads Radioactivity
An American-made Transit satellite, which had been designed to track submarines, fails to reach orbit after launch and disperses its highly radioactive two pound plutonium power source over a wide area as it breaks up re-entering the atmosphere.
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