Mini Reviews: Pulp, Supers and Lemurs

So the other day I borrowed some DVDs from [[popup:saberfight.jpg:Awie:Makashi? I think not.:inline:1]]. Why didn’t I buy them? Cause I’m a cheapskate. Here are three movies I saw over the last couple of days and some of my thoughts on it. I saw the first movie in the cinema… twice. I missed the second and the third.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Many elements from ’30s and ’40s pulp serials can be found here, and are a joy to watch. How can you not love blatant references from machinations of a villian straight off Max Fleischer’s Superman cartoons, to 1933’s King Kong, with the wreck of the Venture with Kong’s cage very visible. Even Totenkopf’s hideaway is a Skull Island of sorts. Dex’s ray gun. The robot designs. The mobile airstrip (like classic SHIELD Helicarriers). The giant rocketship. Sky Captain’s Flying Legion is a homage to the Blackhawks and Polly Perkins is a dead ringer for a blonde Fleischer’s version of Lois Lane.

[[image:skycaptain.jpg:Look up in the Sky!:center:0]]

Despite liking this movie, I do have a critique for its second half, which doesn’t seem to be as stylistic as the robot attack in the beginning. Watching the DVD’s extras I now realize that the robot attack sequence is the demo that Kerry Conran produced (to sell the movie to the studio) fleshed out and employing better CG animation. In other words, they had plenty of time to ruminate on how the movie opens, but not how it ends.

And the other thing is “incinerate the Earth” with what again?

I would really like to see Kerry Conran do Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars, alas it isn’t meant to be.

Sky High

Classic Disney movies sometimes have tales of clean cut teenagers coming of age. Sometimes they have flying vehicles. Sometimes they have talking animals. Sky High has all all these elements, Kurt Russell and then some.

More importantly it taps into the superhero genre and employs it very well in this movie. If you know your superheroes you can see their powers (or variations thereof) used in the background or to advance the plot of the movie. Superman, Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, Flash, Iceman, Human Torch, Spider-Man, Forge, Banshee, Multiple Man (who will be in the upcoming third X-Men movie), an underpowered Dazzler and the Legion Subs’ Chlorophyll Kid.

In fact the entire movie might as well be a Legion of Substitute Heroes recruitment movie. ūüėČ

Unfortunately the main antagonist Royal Pain seemed very much like a Power Rangers bad guy, complete with a comic relief as a second stringer.

On a semi-related note, I hope one day someone films a Top 10 movie.

Madagascar

Sigh.

I just have two things to say about this one.

1. Irfan loved the psycho penguins. Of course, he loves anything with penguins in them.

2. Who made the idiotic decision to make the giraffe a Ross Geller-esque character and cast David Schwimmer to play him? And why was he voice acting like he was half asleep the whole time?

Posted in Movie Review and tagged , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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