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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 March 2012
This is truly a great film, the story is simple and sometimes simple is best, in a nutshell its about ray steam (the main character) receives a package from his grandad which contains a steam ball, a ball that contains an almost infinite supply of energy, bad guys want it for bad things, good guys want it for good things. Its kind of based on real life, we have nuclear energy, in the film they have a steam ball, it can be used for great positive things and awful negative things. Like I say the story is pretty simple but there's plenty of twists and turns along the way and a decent amount of action. The animation of course is just eye bleedingly beautiful, for example there is a scene where a weapons exhibition is about to take place and confetti is streaming down there must be hundreds of tiny pieces of confetti on screen, each piece of confetti you see was hand drawn one by one and each piece flows and moves realisticly, the animators actually studied steam to see how it moves and flows so they could accuratly animate it on screen, that is attention to detail you just have to admire and appreciate. If you are an anime fan I strongly recomend this film, if you want to by it go for the uncut version. The cut version has about 30 mins taken out, why anyone would want that version I'll never know. There is a limited 2 disc edition which comes with a steamboy comic with translation, steamboy postcards and an artwork book. Please don't compare it to akira, otomo fans need to understand akira is one of a kind and can never be beat and im sure otomo must know himself he could never beat akira and wouldn't dare try. So watch steamboy with an open mind enjoy the nice simple story and get involved with some good characters,then you are sure to enjoy this film and there are some decent extras for those who get the 2 disc version. And make sure you watch the end credits as the scenes that take place behind the credits act as an epilogue
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As his follow-up to "Akira," Katsuhiro Ôtomo spent a staggering eight years producing "Steamboy," a stellar example of anime steampunk. It's full of detailed animation, solid direction and some really inspired action scenes, although the final fourth is extremely bloated. Dark, detailed, gritty and full of smoke, steam and grime.

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. But Katsuhiro Ôtomo includes a deeper meaning to the conflict -- there's no clear-cut villain and hero here, since both Eddie and Lloyd have good intentions, though one believes in peace through power, and the other knows that power corrupts.

And the animation is amazingly detailed, so you can see every puff of steam and smear of grease. No big watery eyes here. It makes the action scenes -- including a zeppelin and train almost smashing into Victoria Station -- all the more compelling. In between, we have some solid character development, such as Ray getting to know the bratty O'Hara heiress, and experimenting with primitive subs and machinery.

But every movie has a flaw, and "Steamboy's" is that the last fourth is bloated. It's a brilliant battle -- especially the flying soldiers -- and the end itself is satisfying. But it's too slow and meandering, and has too many lingering shots of the bulbous tower over London. Fortunately it regains its footing in the last few minutes, especially when Ray takes control of the plot.

Ray himself is one of the most compelling child-heroes ever -- he's genuinely smart, resourceful and mature, but he's still young. He's only learning that not everything in life (even your family) is what it seems. And the supporting cast is also good, with a subdued Molina as Eddie and Stewart as the feisty Lloyd, who seems like an older version of Ray. And then there's Scarlett, a spoiled brat who is pretty annoying up until the final battle.

"Steamboy" suffers from a rather slow finale, but the movie itself is a brilliantly-animated, solidly-plotted adventure. Definitely worth checking out.
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on 22 July 2008
I really want to give this movie five stars. The animation, art-direction, character and overall design are almost unparalleled. This is CGI made to look like cell animation and it is flawless. The intricate attention to detail is, at times, breathtaking and purely worth viewing this film for alone. That said, it is often very dark, so from time to time some of that amazing work is somewhat lost.

However, despite all of this, STEAMBOY never really takes off. The story is drawn out, a little confusing sometimes (Due to the sensory overload of the whole thing) and dare I say a tad dull at times. The American dub is not all it could be, lots of stock Yorkshire accents of varying quality (Not Anna Paquin's finest moment - I'll say no more) and even the brilliant Alfred Molina could not lift the proceedings. (Unfortunately the original Japanese soundtrack did not lift the movie much either.)

I'm not saying Steamboy is without merit, but when the end credits are more exciting than the film itself - a series of stills depicting Steamboy's future adventures - you have to wonder why they did not make that film instead of the overblown origin movie they ended up with. Steamboy doesn't get a look in until the last twenty minutes of the film - go figure!.

If you are into the aesthetics of great animation you will not be disappointed, but if you into great cinema go watch One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest instead.
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As his follow-up to "Akira," Katsuhiro Ôtomo spent a staggering eight years producing "Steamboy," a stellar example of anime steampunk. It's full of detailed animation, solid direction and some really inspired action scenes, although the final fourth is extremely bloated. Dark, detailed, gritty and full of smoke, steam and grime.

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. But Katsuhiro Ôtomo includes a deeper meaning to the conflict -- there's no clear-cut villain and hero here, since both Eddie and Lloyd have good intentions, though one believes in peace through power, and the other knows that power corrupts.

And the animation is amazingly detailed, so you can see every puff of steam and smear of grease. No big watery eyes here. It makes the action scenes -- including a zeppelin and train almost smashing into Victoria Station -- all the more compelling. In between, we have some solid character development, such as Ray getting to know the bratty O'Hara heiress, and experimenting with primitive subs and machinery.

But every movie has a flaw, and "Steamboy's" is that the last fourth is bloated. It's a brilliant battle -- especially the flying soldiers -- and the end itself is satisfying. But it's too slow and meandering, and has too many lingering shots of the bulbous tower over London. Fortunately it regains its footing in the last few minutes, especially when Ray takes control of the plot.

Ray himself is one of the most compelling child-heroes ever -- he's genuinely smart, resourceful and mature, but he's still young. He's only learning that not everything in life (even your family) is what it seems. And the supporting cast is also good, with a subdued Molina as Eddie and Stewart as the feisty Lloyd, who seems like an older version of Ray. And then there's Scarlett, a spoiled brat who is pretty annoying up until the final battle.

"Steamboy" suffers from a rather slow finale, but the movie itself is a brilliantly-animated, solidly-plotted adventure. Definitely worth checking out.
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on 25 August 2006
This film was OK but something of a disappointment. The story line was a little disjointed and confusing and some elements seemed to be missing (perhaps the directors cut is more coherent but I haven't seen that) I thought that since the days of Akira, the quality of characterisation might have moved on but, alas, no. The background animation of the steam powered devices is nothing short of stunning but why oh why do the 'characters' have to be so wooden? It is almost as if the people populating the film are seen as an afterthought. The animation of these elements is basic and staccato. Patrick Stewart & Alfred Molina provided excellent voice over characterisation, as you would expect of two such talented actors, but the rest of the dialogue performances owed more to cheapo Saturday morning Japanese cartoons. Overall the film was watchable once (maybe twice at a push), but I wish I'd rented this one rather than bought it.
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on 27 November 2010
I bought this because it was recommended to me as "the most expensive animated movie ever produced" and because it was made by Katsuhiro Otomo, the genius behind Akira. Although I enjoyed watching it and can't fault the animation, the bottom line is that it's not as good as Akira. What I loved about Akira, other than the phenomenal, ground-breaking animation, was the setting of Neo-Tokyo and the rebellious street-punks who got involved in dangerous political, military and scientific affairs. Steamboy is more of a children's movie whereas Akira was clearly for adults. The hero of Steamboy is pretty clean-cut and one-dimensional, not like the lovable rogue Kaneda or the bully victim turned super villain Tetsuo of Akira. Steamboy is good but if, like me, you were a huge fan of Akira back in the day, dont get your hopes up too much because as I said, it's not as good as Akira.
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on 18 January 2006
I think this movie is not as good as Akira, but it's not a shame.
The final action scene is great, both the Englis and Japanese sounds are good (especially Alfred Molina and Patrick Stewart), and bonus point for the cyborg!
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on 18 February 2013
this gem of animation is set in uk funny coming from Asian animators
like the title says the animation is top notch , its all about steam as the title gives away
but with an all star cast i will leave you to enjoy the film for your self trust me its worth a watch
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on 22 August 2005
I purchased this DVD on a recent trip to Singapore. It was an official R3 release, with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. Here's the verdict:
It is a very, very boring movie!
Yes, the graphics & CGI are incredible, with unbelievable attention to detail. But, believe me, nothing can save this movie from the annals of mediocrity. By the time I'd passed the 20 minute mark, I couldn't care less what happened to the protagonist (Ray STEAM? Using a STEAM-powered ball? Called STEAMBOY? Are they kidding?). There's tons of Anime these days with incredible graphics and deep, intriguing story-lines. This isn't one of them. I cannot even be bothered to outline the story, as it's just so stupid.
It is not worth watching, and hence not worth buying. Believe me, you will get much more satisfaction from watching the Ghost In The Shell TV series (Stand Alone Complex), which is a truly accomplished work, or watch Akira again for the eighth time.
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on 27 September 2015
Excellent Voice Artists and Apparently Huge Budget does not a good film make,for One thing it could have been slashed by about 20 minutes and also the Story is Nothing special.A real disappointment.
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