The Screening Room

I saw a screening of Sky Captain last night and if you’re interested, I talk about it.


In the days when I worked at Starlog, we got low pay and little in the way of benefits. Therefore, a real perk was getting your name added to the screening list. Given the number of movies we had to see for professional reasons, this saved us lots of money. And we got invited to all the other non-genre films, too.

At least once a week, if not more, we would meet at one of a handful of regular theatres around Manhattan, line-up and see a film. It became a regular habit, as we saw freelance writers, competitors, and people in and around the business. The people became my first real network of contacts in the business world and I was thrilled to attend. Deb would come when the movie appealed to her, but when she chose not to waste her time on true dreck; I had a number of friends willing to kill a few hours.

Over time, studios cut back because running these things got expensive. And after a few years, I migrated from Starlog to DC Comics. Many studios readily switched the address and I continued to attend. At the time, I was working on a number of media-related properties (i.e. Star Trek and V) so I justified my place on the list as professional.

It was still a lot of fun.

As with all things, one list cut me then another then another. It has been five years or so since I was last on anyone

3 comments

  • Bill Mulligan

    Oy. That’s kind of what I was afraid of. I’m pretty sure I’ll love it, given my mindless attraction to pretty, shiny things, but I’m worried about whether or not the film can succeed with the general public.

    The fristrating thing about CGI is that it allows us to see things that otherwise would never have been possible, but somehow seems to lack a certain quality that the old school effects techniques had. JURASSIC PARK has scenes that Ray Harryhausen could never have pulled off but for all the smoothness and realism of the creatures they do not linger in the mind as memorable entities the way Harryhausen’s flickery creations do. There’s a missing quality that I can’t put my finger on.

  • Michael A. Burstein

    I appreciate the review. I’ve been saying to Nomi that I’m really hoping this movie will be good, because I’ll be really disappointed if it isn’t.

    That said, I’m probably going to go see it anyway, since you did say you liked it, even though you didn’t love it. And it does sound like the sort of film that would work best on the big screen.

  • Bill Mulligan

    just saw the movie and while I liked it bit more than you did, I can see your points. It was fun to watch but I never got drawn into it the way I wanted to.

    Loved the shadow of Godzilla on the photo of Mt Fuji and the wreckage of King Kong’s the Venture (complete with cage!) on the bottom of what I guess was Skull Island. Loved the look of the Fleisher-style robots. Loved the Shield hellicarrier.

    Not a big Angelina Jolie fan, though I liked her character. But the eyepatch just made her lips look even larger than they usually do and it’s not like she has a lot of margin for error there already.