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GreenCine Movie Talk
Anime
Discuss all topics related to anime.
561

Okay, so...Steamboy is out
Topic by: ahogue
Posted: March 24, 2005 - 11:39 AM PST
Last Reply: March 28, 2005 - 11:27 AM PST

author topic: Okay, so...Steamboy is out
ahogue
post #1  on March 24, 2005 - 11:39 AM PST  
Anyone seen it yet? It's playing here in Berkeley and I think I'll see it tomorrow. Kinda surprised no one's brought it up yet. It seems to be getting fairly lukewarm reviews.
underdog
post #2  on March 24, 2005 - 12:08 PM PST  
> On March 24, 2005 - 11:39 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Anyone seen it yet? It's playing here in Berkeley and I think I'll see it tomorrow. Kinda surprised no one's brought it up yet. It seems to be getting fairly lukewarm reviews.
> ---------------------------------

I think a few people were talking about it in this upcoming movies thread, if you want to chime in there after seeing it. Or here. Or both.

I'd still like to see it even if it is, as you say, getting mixed reviews...
ahogue
post #3  on March 24, 2005 - 12:19 PM PST  
> On March 24, 2005 - 12:08 PM PST underdog wrote:

> I'd still like to see it even if it is, as you say, getting mixed reviews...
> ---------------------------------

Me too. In any case I don't think I really trust mainstream film critics to review anime.
jross3
post #4  on March 24, 2005 - 12:38 PM PST  
I'm not terribly interested in it. One of the perks of being a full-time fanboy is not having to see every little thing that gets hype from the national media. They're even giving me a free preview disc at Sam Goody every time I go in to buy some anime or manga. The more I see, the less I seem to care.... "Oh, yeah. Steam-punk, isn't that right? Yeah...."
Is that really all this movie has going for it?
ahogue
post #5  on March 24, 2005 - 12:45 PM PST  
> On March 24, 2005 - 12:38 PM PST jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'm not terribly interested in it. One of the perks of being a full-time fanboy is not having to see every little thing that gets hype from the national media. They're even giving me a free preview disc at Sam Goody every time I go in to buy some anime or manga. The more I see, the less I seem to care.... "Oh, yeah. Steam-punk, isn't that right? Yeah...."
> Is that really all this movie has going for it?
> ---------------------------------

I guess I'll be able to tell you tomorrow, or at least offer an opinion. As for me, I didn't even know it was getting hype; somehow I manage to completely avoid exposure to all of that. I just want to see it mainly because it's Otomo, and although he has done some things since Akira which I didn't care for, I hold out some hope that this could be a comeback.
ahogue
post #6  on March 26, 2005 - 2:08 AM PST  
Well, I have seen it. I was thinking of posting a review that went into some detail, but that really isn't necessary. The animation is wonderful, but in every other way it is a bad movie, I'm sorry to say. I can't recommend it.
hamano
post #7  on March 26, 2005 - 7:22 AM PST  
You could probably make a good music video out of it!
Shaky
post #8  on March 27, 2005 - 10:28 PM PST  
It might help to specify whether you're basing your opinion on the English version or the Japanese version, which is apparently twenty minutes longer.

I saw the Japanese version tonight. Visually it was interesting, but I was a little disappointed after seeing similar kinds of retro technology done so much better in other anime movies and series. For example, where all the moving parts in something like Last Exile seemed to have a function in the animators' minds, most of the machinery in Steamboy seemed to have no other purpose than to fill up the frame with motion. There was nothing really spectacular here.

Story wise, I didn't think it was a bad movie, primarily because I wasn't bored. I never looked at my watch or had to fight dozing off (despite seeing it on four hours sleep), nor did the seat ever start to feel uncomfortable. Was it a masterpiece of writing? Hardly. But it was a reasonable action script that moved along at a good pace, and the voice acting was strong enough to pull it off.

Now, if you cut twenty minutes out of it or change the dialogue significantly in the English dub, I don't know what you'd have. That's why I said it would be good to post what version you've seen. I believe all the reviews I've seen have been of the English version.

I'll add that I never trust critics' reviews of anime movies, especially from mainstream critics, because it is fashionable to criticize anime for being strong on visuals but weak on story (whether it's true or not). I don't know how many reviews I've read of a number of movies where the same language seemed to be lifted and transplanted between them. I even read a review of Spirited Away, when it was first released and before it had all the Oscar buzz, in which a critic blasted it for lack of story. Thus, whenever I read that in a review, I reflexively suspect that the reviewer is simply jumping on the "bash anime" bandwagon and lacks the skill or background to evaluate the material himself.
ahogue
post #9  on March 28, 2005 - 9:03 AM PST  
> On March 27, 2005 - 10:28 PM PST Shaky wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> It might help to specify whether you're basing your opinion on the English version or the Japanese version, which is apparently twenty minutes longer.

It was the English version.



> I saw the Japanese version tonight. Visually it was interesting, but I was a little disappointed after seeing similar kinds of retro technology done so much better in other anime movies and series. For example, where all the moving parts in something like Last Exile seemed to have a function in the animators' minds, most of the machinery in Steamboy seemed to have no other purpose than to fill up the frame with motion.


I agree, and would say this applies to much more than the technology. The characters and the plot, for instance.


> Now, if you cut twenty minutes out of it or change the dialogue significantly in the English dub, I don't know what you'd have. That's why I said it would be good to post what version you've seen. I believe all the reviews I've seen have been of the English version.


I would be curious to know what the extra 20 minutes was like. I doubt it would substantially change my opinion, but you never know.


>
> I'll add that I never trust critics' reviews of anime movies, especially from mainstream critics, because it is fashionable to criticize anime for being strong on visuals but weak on story (whether it's true or not). I don't know how many reviews I've read of a number of movies where the same language seemed to be lifted and transplanted between them. I even read a review of Spirited Away, when it was first released and before it had all the Oscar buzz, in which a critic blasted it for lack of story. Thus, whenever I read that in a review, I reflexively suspect that the reviewer is simply jumping on the "bash anime" bandwagon and lacks the skill or background to evaluate the material himself.
> ---------------------------------

Agreed.
Shaky
post #10  on March 28, 2005 - 11:12 AM PST  
> On March 28, 2005 - 9:03 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> I would be curious to know what the extra 20 minutes was like. I doubt it would substantially change my opinion, but you never know.
> ---------------------------------

I would have thought the same thing, until I saw Luc Besson's The Professional and its European version, Leon. I saw the American cut first, and I wasn't really impressed. The storyline seemed really weak. Gary Oldman's overacting seemed out of place. The relationship between Leon and Matilda seemed strained and unnatural.

Then I noticed the European version advertised with an extra half hour of footage, and I wondered what could possibly be in that extra material that could make the film any better. I rented it anyway (just expecting to see more stuff "blowed up") and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The European version filled out the story and strengthened it considerably. Gary Oldman's weirdness fit. The relationship between the two heroes made more sense. It went in my mind from being a mediocre action flick to a real gem.

Is that the case with Steamboy? I won't know that until I see the English version. But just judging from Leon, I know first hand that shortening a film can actually make it less cohesive. It's not really the same film at that point.
ahogue
post #11  on March 28, 2005 - 11:27 AM PST  
> On March 28, 2005 - 11:12 AM PST Shaky wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On March 28, 2005 - 9:03 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> > I would be curious to know what the extra 20 minutes was like. I doubt it would substantially change my opinion, but you never know.
> > ---------------------------------
>
> I would have thought the same thing, until I saw Luc Besson's The Professional and its European version, Leon. I saw the American cut first, and I wasn't really impressed. The storyline seemed really weak. Gary Oldman's overacting seemed out of place. The relationship between Leon and Matilda seemed strained and unnatural.
>
> Then I noticed the European version advertised with an extra half hour of footage, and I wondered what could possibly be in that extra material that could make the film any better. I rented it anyway (just expecting to see more stuff "blowed up") and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The European version filled out the story and strengthened it considerably. Gary Oldman's weirdness fit. The relationship between the two heroes made more sense. It went in my mind from being a mediocre action flick to a real gem.
>
> Is that the case with Steamboy? I won't know that until I see the English version. But just judging from Leon, I know first hand that shortening a film can actually make it less cohesive. It's not really the same film at that point.
> ---------------------------------

Yes, and then there is the famous example of the hour-long wedding scene in The Deer Hunter.

Well, when you get a chance to see the English version, be sure to let us know what you think.

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