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The World of Myth Movie Reviews

All right, gang, it's Reaper Rick and I got out, again, at least temporarily, no thanks to Nurse Mercer, who has this 'thing' about restraints--but that's a subject for another story.

This month I'm going to review a couple of flicks and even though I have been accused of not reviewing movies that 'everyone' likes, well, I only get to see the movies they allow us to watch at the 'home', so my choice is somewhat limited, after all. Be that as it may, I've got a couple of Special Effect killers this time and both of them deal with Mechanical Men.

I was really looking forward to "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow", just by the trailers we got to see on TV. So, imagine my initial disappointment when I watched the movie. I thought, 'Oh, great. Another comic brought to the big screen'. And there's nothing wrong with that--some comics have made the transition quite well, while others, admittedly, have not.

Anyhow, the first few minutes of "Sky Captain" were filmed to look so much like a comic--the duo-tone color, the lighting, even the dialog seemed as if it would fit nicely into a balloon over the characters heads--I was concerned the whole movie would be a long, drawn out attempt to make an animated comic. Not that it wasn't done extremely well, however and after the initial shock wore off, the movie picked up speed and it turned into a kick-ass, serial type story, right out of the 1930s.

The stars helped pull it off, of course. Jude Law as Sky Captain played his part to the hilt, although I'm not sure if casting a Brit to play an All American Hero had quite the effect the director was looking for. Gwyneth Paltrow looked ravishing with long, wavy blonde hair and was quite the sexy heroine in her trench coat and fedora. Then there was Angelina Jolie in black leather and an 'eye patch', no less! What else can I say about that? (Hey, I've been out of circulation for a while!) Plus, Giovanni Ribisi is always a great comic relief and he didn't fall short in this film, either.

The actual plot was a bit sketchy, but then, it is a 'comic' story. Apparently, a mad scientist (and I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but the guy has actually been dead for some time) is using giant robots (which were totally Cool, by the way) to steal electrical generators from all over the world, again, apparently to power a huge rocket ship, which is being filled up with pairs of animals. Yeah, it's a Space Ark and this guy is going to blast off with all of these animals (don't forget, he's 'dead'!) and then blow up the Earth, because the population has become too violent(?) (But blowing up the entire world and everyone in it is 'OK', I guess). The scientist (who was 'Mad', remember) seemed to have forgotten to load any 'people' on this space ark, so I'm not too sure exactly how he was going to make a new world, using just animals (or where they were going to go, to do this), but it doesn't matter, I guess, because Sky Captain and Polly (Gwyneth) save the world, just seconds before everything can be blown to bits. And, they (somehow) manage to save all of the animals in the process.

Okay, so the plot wasn't 100%, but all of the distractions were completely offset by the extraordinary special effects. Almost the entire movie was shot against a 'blue screen', so nearly every scene has a special effect in it and the robots went above and beyond stealing the show. I especially liked the 'whip arm' robots. The whole movie was kind of a cross between "War of the Worlds" (with the robots taking over everything) and then toward the end, they were on an island that was reminiscent of the 1930s "King Kong", with all kinds of weird crap going on around them. Plus, the aerial scenes and sky battles were all well done and after a while, you forgot that it was all special effects and felt like it was all happening right there in front of you.

So, even considering this movie got off to a rather slow start--in my opinion--I still have to give it three and a half howls of pleasure, for coming through in the end with a great movie that was really 'Fun' to watch. Check it out.

Okay, so speaking of robots, the next flick I reviewed has been out for quite a while, but I was only able to see it recently. "I, Robot" was loosely based on Isaac Asimov's book of short stories, collectively called, "I, Robot". I say 'loosely based' because they did use the name of the book as the title of the movie and included "The Three Laws of Robotics", which Asimov invented for his stories. Other than that, the movie was not even remotely similar to the book of short stories, which were originally published between 1940 and 1950, most of them in "Astounding Science Fiction" magazine.

That doesn't mean the movie lacked anything. Will Smith is almost always a good bet and he didn't fail here. Basically, the plot was that the robotics laws make it impossible for a robot to harm a human, but somehow, this seems to have happened--a robot is suspected of killing his maker, or 'father'. Ironically, Smith plays a (black, naturally) cop, who is prejudiced against robots, because one of them saved his life when he was younger. (Yeah, go figure). When Smith finds out a robot 'may' have killed a person, he is all over the case, sure as spit that the robot is guilty, because he had always known they were not to be trusted, anyway. (Was he right? Well, see the movie and find out).

Anyhow, once again, special effects make this a movie to see, even if you have no opinion about robots, one way or the other. There is a nice twist at the end of the flick that makes you really wonder just what was going on and just 'who' the bad guy really was and all in all, it was a well done effort, even if a far, far cry of the original from which it took its name.

So, for special effects, lots of action sequences and a good story line with a surprise twist at the end, I give "I, Robot" three big howls of pleasure, for not only bringing in a good movie, but one with a message, as well.

Okay, so I'm outta here. Gotta get back before Nurse Mercer discovers I'm gone or she'll want to punish me, again. Hmm, maybe I'll stay out just a bit longer, after all. (Heh, heh). See ya all next time.

Reaper Rick



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