Posts Tagged ‘the wizard of Oz’

Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow

June 17, 2009

What Is It?

This is a very original homage to Hollywood’s history. A retro-sci-fi set in the 1940’s and made to look like it was made in the 1940’s with today’s technology. The film was shot entirely in front of blue screens with all the actors being real and the locations and robots being computer animated later. The film was then set to black and white and colorized. It’s the story of a spunky female reporter and a dashing pilot as they fight giant robots and try to discover where the robots come from and how they are linked to the disappearance and apparent murder of seven significant scientists.  The Cast includes Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and even a computer enhanced cameo by the late Sir Laurence Olivier. The film even shows you a bit of “The Wizard of Oz” in the beginning, and then makes clever reference to Wizard in the end.

   How Was It?

This is a lot of fun. The stylized “sets” and creatures are fascinating The film is a bit slower than your standard action adventure but this adds to the feel that your watching film from the 40’s with the older pacing. Be that as it is, a rather amazing film from the 40’s.

   Is It Good For Kids?

 Thought the younger audience may not appreciate the “retro” part, I think the visuals and story will keep them hooked. Still we have sci-fi violence, death, some sexual references, and the Lord’s name being taken in vain several times.

 You can check www.ScreenIt.com for a complete break down of elements shown on the screen.

How about Spiritual Issues?

These “Robots” are man made, not alien, which cuts down on a lot of the “sci-fi” issues. Still, Sky Captain and reporter Polly Perkins have an odd relationship that involves deception and cheating.

There are some Old Testament references. They visit a place called “Sangria” that is said to be called “Eden” in Hebrew

The more elaborate Biblical story reference is the ending. (So don’t read this part if you don’t want me to spoil it for you) The robots have been collecting parts for a rocket ship and two of every kind of animal so that, with two vials named Adam and Eve, The evil Dr. Totenkopf can start civilization over in space. The rocket will also destroy the world by setting fire to the atmosphere after launching. There is a quick line pointing out that the Dr. is “Playing God”.  

   What Is Your Recommendation?

As a fun film I would recommend this very original movie and I do look forward to this first time writer/director’s next project. Still, the spiritual issues are very weird. There is not enough either way to recommend or not recommend this film. (Much like the films of the 40’s.) I think I would just say “be mindful of this film.” If you are going to enjoy Sky Captain with your family, you may want to discuss the idea of letting “God be God” as well as issues about relationships afterward.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (DVD)

October 24, 2008

What Is It?

This is the monster movie classic from 1941. It has a cast of big stars that your kids (and maybe you) will not recognize. The “Father of the Bride” Spencer Tracy plays the good doctor and the monster that haunts Ingrid Bergman & Lana Turner. It was directed by Victor Flemming after his 1939 hits “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone With The Wind.” Shot in black and white, this film looks and sounds wonderful on the new “re-release” DVD that also includes the 1930’s version.

How Was It?

This was a good film, but I think I would have been more impressed in 1941. The story was strong and interesting. Unfortunately the pacing of the film is just a bit slow. Mr. Hyde becomes more “monstrous” as the film goes on. Each time he changes, it’s uglier. This is a poetic choice, but at the beginning, it’s hard to understand why Dr. Jekyll’s friends don’t see the amazing resemblance between him and Mr. Hyde.

Is It Good For Kids?

First of all, it is in Black and White. Most kids today have not been exposed to “good” black and white films, so most are turned off by it. Secondly, it is not as fast as most are used to. Finally, the issues are very heady. As “Mr Hyde”, he has weird fantasies that are decidedly adult in there symbolism. Then it is a monster move with murder, ugly creators, and screaming women.

http://www.ScreenIt.com does not have a break down for this film.

How about Spiritual Issues?

This is one of the most exciting parts of the film. The film starts in a church and ends with a Psalm being recited. Dr. Jekyll is trying to control the sin nature of the human soul with chemicals instead of God. (This is clearly stated at the beginning of the film.) When the Doctor realizes that he has an evil nature that he can not control, he dedicates all his time to breaking the bond in his soul to separate out his warring factions. The result is the personification of both halves. He names his evil side Hyde (or Flesh) and becomes him to indulge in sin. The sin starts at fantasies and watching “daring” shows, but then escalates to full consummation of evil.  The problem of the soul is truly revealed when the Doctor decides to stop becoming Mr. Hyde, but then finds himself changing without the chemicals. He has not suppressed his evil, he has fed it, and now it is literally a Monster he can not control.

What Is Your Recommendation?

If you are willing to come back in film history, it is an interesting and fun movie. Here we see that trying to live your life separate from God produces monsters, and the monsters may be us.