Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Movie review

Mayday . . . Mayday . . . 'Sky Captain'

Published September 27, 2004

[Paramount Pictures]
Gwyneth Paltrow is intrepid reporter Polly Perkins in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Movie: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Rating: PG for sequences of stylized sci-fi violence and brief mild language.

Summary: After the unexplained disappearances of the world's most notable scientists (circa 1939), Gotham, along with several other cities, is attacked by flying robots. The only person capable of defending the city is Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan (Jude Law), in his fighter plane. Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow), an inquisitive reporter and a former romantic interest of Joe's, is determined to get to the bottom of these strange occurrences. She confronts Joe, who ultimately puts aside his differences with Polly, and together they set out to find who created this global crisis.

My View: Right off, it is apparent this is not your run-of-the-mill sci-fi film. The immediate visual effect is that of a combination of a 1930s Hollywood mystery and a comic book, a dark and smoky appearance that lingers throughout. It did more to strain my eyes than enhance the viewing experience. It is a nostalgic look that (except for the actors) was done completely with computer graphics and special effects. The look and ambience will appeal to older crowds, but being a teenager with nothing to connect this feel to, I found it to be annoying. In an overly ambitious attempt to re-create the 1930s and 1940s mood, the acting came off as staged and fake. But credit should be given for all the acting that was done in front of a blue screen. Angelina Jolie's role was minimal, though it is played up in the trailers, and Paltrow's acting just worked my nerves. Overall, I found this movie to be highly overrated.

Recommendations: Don't fall into the trap! This one is not worth the time.

Grade: Thanks to the closing line of the film, I can spare this flick total degradation: D-.

Billy Norris, 16, is in the 11th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

[Last modified September 24, 2004, 12:23:27]

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