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Steamboy (Bilingual) [Import]
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The first feature Katsuhiro Otomo has written and directed since his watershed Akira (1988), Steamboy offers a fantastic, sepia-toned vision of the past-as-future. In place of the dystopic Neo-Tokyo of Akira, Steamboy is set in England in 1866. Young Ray Steam receives a Steam Ball, a mysterious, powerful device, from his inventor grandfather. Governments and businesses covet the Steam Ball, and Ray finds himself in a murderous conflict over its possession. He's also caught between his father, a 19th century Darth Vader who builds terrible weapons for an American arms merchant, and his grandfather, who believes science should improve people's lives. Otomo uses computer graphics to create dazzling visuals that few recent films--animated or live action--can match: monumental systems of gears and pistons; machines that dwarf the Tower of London; antique weapons of mass destruction. But the dazzling imagery can't disguise the lack of a coherent plot and the flimsiness of the characters.
Steamboy is being released in a dubbed version that's been shortened by 20 minutes, and a more satisfying subtitled version that preserves Otomo's original pacing. Both versions suggest that Steamboy is the work of an important filmmaker who can't quite shape his awesome visions into a effective narrative. (Rated PG-13 for action violence.) --Charles Solomon --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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In the mid 1800s, Dr. Lloyd Steam (Patrick Stewart) and his son Eddie Steam (Alfred Molina) are involved in top secret experimentation for the O'Hara Corporation. There's a disaster which leaves only one machine intact -- the Steam Ball.
Then Eddie's son Ray (Anna Paquin), a budding inventer, gets the Steam Ball in the mail -- and some thuggish Foundation men destroying the house to get the valuable machine. Ray escapes with the Ball, barely eluding the men, and ends up captured by a rogue zeppelin that tears a train apart. Great scene.
But the man in charge of this is none other than Ray's father Eddie, who was terribly burned and is now part machin. Eddie, who is still working for the Foundation, is in charge of the powerful Steam Tower and all the war inventions inside. Now Ray's loyalties are divided, as his father and grandfather battle in a war that has no clear "right" or "wrong" -- but which may wreck London, then the world.
If you're going to spend almost a decade working on a movie, then people expect a masterpiece. And while "Steamboy" won't change anime the way "Akira" did, it's still a prime example of the steampunk genre -- Victorian English surroundings, but with steam-powered tanks, subs and other technology.
The main plot is basically about a family's conflict over different ideas about how technology should be used.Read more ›
You've got a young, inventive boy who finds himself in the middle of a conflict over the nature of science. It's an argument that will erupt in loud, frightening chaos over the city of London. The boy's name is Ray Steam, and steam is definitely the key word in all of this. Ray receives a parcel from his grandfather containing an ultra-powerful "steamball," and almost at once he's forced to honor his grandfather's request to keep it out of the hands of "the Foundation." His father, however, or at least a somewhat mechanized version of him, happens to be in cahoots with the Foundation, and he begins to win his son over to his own version of science. He has used the vast power of steam to take his own father's vision of a Steam Castle and turn it into a well-armed weapon, complete with steam-powered flyers, subs, and mechanized fighters. The grandfather, looking much the worse for wear, shows up to try and sabotage his evil son's efforts, and he confronts Ray with his own peaceful vision of science.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
If you like Anime you will need to see this movie. The art work is top the story of steam is great. I give it 2 thumbs up.Published 21 months ago by David Snow
I love the whole steam gears and industrial blueprints of fairly complicated machinery, though when explained by the characters it all makes sense... O_o okay not reall. Read morePublished on March 17 2013 by Aki chan
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