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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow by The London Metropolitan Orchestra

The Paramount Pictures movie Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow is distinguished by the fact that it was the first motion picture produced entirely by actors specifically, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in the lead roles performing in front of a blue screen. Now, this can be a good thing, for it permits infinite possibilities for cinematic situations, limited only by the imagination, just as animation did in generations past. Or it can be a bad thing, if done without diligence or creativity, as the Saturday Night Live skit demonstrated. Yet, as innovative as the visual effects of the movie were, the music was entirely traditional, as composer Edward Shearmur sought to recapture the adventurous spirit established by the music of the Hollywood dramas of the 1930’s. This paradox of leading-edge technology telling a story of adventure taking place 60 years ago perhaps is the oddest element of the movie, for those types of effects had done before. Instead, a futuristic theme would have been more in line with the technological pushing of the envelope.

So, even though the movie itself was produced entirely digitally except for the emoting actors, the music attains its fullness of sound from Shearmur’s conducting of the London Metropolitan Orchestra as it ranges through a gamut of scenes from fearsome danger of "The Flying Wings Attack" to stomping martial invasion by "The Robot Army" to the tenderness of "Three in a Bed," lightened by clarinets, French horns, violins and flutes. There’s no faulting the Orchestra itself, which plays the compositions with flair and dynamic intensity, where needed. However, much of the score itself sounds more like John Williams from Raiders of the Lost Ark than Max Steiner from Casablanca.

And while Sony does record some jazz artists, the soundtrack of Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow doesn’t really qualify as one that incorporates the harmonies of jazz into it. The last track, however, recalls another classic movie from the 1930’s, even as it is sung by one of the rising young stars on the Sony label: Jane Monheit doing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which also concluded her CD, Taking a Chance on Love.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: The London Metropolitan Orchestra
  • CD Title: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Sony Classical
  • Tracks: The World Of Tomorrow, The Zeppelin Arrives, The Robot Army, Calling Sky Captain, Back At The Base, The Flying Wings Attack, An Aquatic Escape, Flight To Nepal, Treacherous Journey, Dynamite, Three In A Bed, Finding Frankie, Manta Squadron, h-770-d, Flying Lizard, Totenkopf’s Ark, Back To Earth, Over The Rainbow*
  • Musicians: The London Metropolitan Orchestra, conducted by Edward Shearmur; Jane Monheit (vocal)*
  • Rating: One Star
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