Friday, February 22, 2008

A vintage New York and reading under the covers day (a little of everything and the Film Sky Captain)

Everyone, I mean everyone seems to have the flu - if they're not coughing and spluttering then they've just spent a day throwing up. Lovely. I just got the flu shot a couple of days ago to try to fend off the dreaded bugs, but I found out this year's vaccine only has partial coverage. You just can't win. We have a little person who is supposed to come into the lab this morning for testing, but it's snowing like mad out, so who knows if they will make it. What I really feel like doing is sitting in a big lump under the covers today watching the snow from indoors, drinking tea and reading. I'm even willing to read for class and lab, though I wouldn't mind mixing in a bit of fun. I'm nearly finished with Electricity, which has been a very satisfying and energetic read, I have many chapters to go in The Stuff of Thought before I sleep, and I just received an advance copy of The Forgery of Venus by Michael Gruber, which the promoters are putting into the "intelligent suspense novel" category. We'll see about that.

Last night The Ragazzo and I ordered-in and watched Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It's not a brilliant film - it's a bang-bang adventure movie with an Indiana Jonesish score played by the London Symphony, a dashing but somewhat unlikely hero played by Jude Law, a beautiful but irritating heroine, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and two resourceful sidekicks played by Angelina Jolie and Giovanni Ribisi (I've always liked Ribisi why don't people cast him more often?), and some cool mechanical villains. But what is original about it is, well a few things, a revised historical setting of around 1941 almost-New York City, and an absolutely ravishing visual aesthetic which takes the feel of a 1940s film - with that bold use of chiaroscuro contrast -and puts it into a contemporary color film with lots of up-to-date special effects. It's robots have a bit of a cyber-punk feel to them - both old and new. The cityscapes in the amazing fighter plane chase sequences down the streets of 1940s NYC are Art Deco packed. There is also a crazed uber-villain played by, and no I'm not kidding, CGId images of Lawrence Olivier. This film was the flip-side of a colorized film of the 40s - it was a black-and-white-ized color film of the 00s. Very cool look. If that's your thing it's a fun evening with take-out.

1 comment:

heather (errantdreams) said...

I really did enjoy that film. It was strictly eye-candy---didn't stick with me at all---but it was a fun way to spend that time.