Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sky Captain

Yesterday evening was NOVA. It was also time for the annual election of officers. I ran for Veep, just to give Chris Arneson some competition. I didn't seriously think I'd win, since Chris is younger, personable, and invested with more energy than I. Nevertheless, I got elected, by a narrow margin. This makes the second time I've been an officer. I was Veep for a couple of years when the founder of the club, Jeff Milburn, was Prexy. I don't expect the office will require any real work, but I'll help where I can.

Afterwards we all flocked to Tigard Cinema to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. This movie, like Lucas' Star Wars films and Spielberg's Indiana Jones epics, was inspired by the adventure serials of the 40's. It successfully aped the genre, the period and even made a nod to black and white film with it's sepia toned color scheme.

There's a danger in aping the original too closely, though, as this film proves. The beginning imagery is very muddy, and somebody put the interns in charge of vaselining the lens, 'cause it's pretty blurry there for the first half hour or so. The pace is not so much rapid as telegraphic, as the creators try to cram the first five chapters of Saturday Morning Serial Adventure into twenty minutes.

There was some good. The sensawunder was occasionally able to rise above the conventions, and while the dialogue was usually by-the-numbers, there were a couple of laugh-out-loud moments. I'm happy I saw it, but I'm glad I didn't sneak in a Friday lunchtime viewing before the Saturday outing, as sitting through it twice in quick succession would have been tedious.

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