Monday, August 15, 2005

A steaming pile of... Fun!

Subject: Noir
Another thing I finally got to watch this past weekend was the movie "Steamboy". Katsuhiro Otomo's long awaited 2nd film, nearly 20 years after his ground-breaking "Akira", and, well...

It doesn't break nearly as much ground. If any. So some are dissappointed by that.

Not to say that the visuals aren't totally stunning though! And the animation and timing and technique: absolutely spot-on excellent. The sound, the action and the pacing adds up to a (steam)ball of fun.

Where it kind of falls flat for me is that I really didn't get swept into the story. Neither by latching on to the characters, the situation, or the conflict. The atmosphere, while richly detailed, was kind of quaint -- "steampunk" as a genre, not to mention the whole techno-Victorian thang, has been beat to death these past few years in multiple mediums, so while it may have been cool and unique when he started on this film, now it's all kind of cliche. Which is too bad. Because he does some fabulously cool things with his technology-of-the-day fantasizing.

And in and of itself, that's a pretty good reason to see it. There's a lot for an animation fan to watch and absorb and analyze, and it's not dreadfully boring or annoying or anything like that. It's just, as excellent as it was, it's kind of taken for granted that you can do cool 'n fancy things with the medium. While he may have actually broken just as much new ground with the techniques he used here as he did in "Akira", it's kind of hard to tell. Looks great, but we expected that. No surprises.

At any rate, if there's truth to a rumored Superbit release, I'm buying it then. Otherwise I might hold off for the eventual Hi-Def format war to cool off before I do.

UPDATE: It seems that AnimeOnDVD posted their review today as well...

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