Movie Review: “Steamboy” (2004)


There is a boy, and he is quite proficient with steam.

Title: Steamboy (2004) IMDb
Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Lead Voice Actors (English): Anna Paquin (Ray Steam), Alfred Molina (Dr. Eddie Steam), Patrick Stewart (Dr. Lloyd Steam)
Musical Score: Steve Jablonsky (sample here)
Length: 126 minutes
Rating (US): Rated PG-13 for action violence.
Spoiler-free Synopsis: “In [alternate] 1860s Britain, a boy inventor finds himself caught in the middle of a deadly conflict over a revolutionary advance in steam power.” (courtesy of IMDb)
Reason for Beginning: I love 2D animation and have long been interested in the steampunk genre – this movie promised both! Plus it’s available free on YouTube Movies!
Reason for Finishing: The animation is fantastic and the characters are interesting.
Movie Rewatchability: Mainly because of the beautiful animation; the story really isn’t as good as it should be.
Director Rewatchability: I’d definitely watch this director again, though in this film he relies too much on extended action scenes with minimal plot. Ôtomo directed the famously violent Akira (1988), which doesn’t interest me much, and an anime remake of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, which sort of interests me because I’m a fan of the original silent classic.
Recommendation: Yes, it’s a good, interesting film, mainly visually. Good music, too. Plot was weaker than expected, though, and there’s little emotional content or character development. Continue reading “Movie Review: “Steamboy” (2004)”

Book Review: “Airman” by Eoin Colfer


CONOR BROEKHART WAS BORN TO FLY.

Title: Airman
Author: Eoin “It’s Pronounced Owen!” Colfer
Format: Novel
Pages: 412
Published: 2009
Spoiler-free Synopsis: “In an 1890s where the small Saltee Islands are a sovereign nation off the Irish coast, young Conor Broekhart spends his days studying flight and fencing with his tutor and exploring the castle with the king’s daughter, Princess Isabella. But his idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a deadly conspiracy against the king. When Conor tries to intervene, he is framed as a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. He passes the desperate, solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines on the prison walls, until the day comes when he must find the courage to trust his revolutionary designs and take to the skies.” (paraphrased by me from the blurb on the back cover)
Reason for Beginning: Recommended by a trusted friend, and the alternate history + flying machines sounded really cool. Hoped it would be steampunk, but it isn’t.
Reason for Finishing: Fun! Delirious fast-paced high-adventure! Kings! Princesses! Castles! Betrayals! Prisons! Science! Sword-fights! Flying Machines! Escapes! Sharpshooters! Secret towers! Secret codes! Blind violinist-spies! True love! Beef Stew! (uh, err, okay, so that last one’s not really important. But it is there!) Continue reading “Book Review: “Airman” by Eoin Colfer”