№ 97: "Steamboy"
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
Screenplay: Sadayuki Murai, Katsuhiro Otomo
I wanted to watch this film prior to it's release 12 years ago. I have to say, I'm left a bit underwhelmed for a film that supposedly took 10 years to complete. I liked the film, don't get me wrong, I just have a few nitpicks.
The animations in this film is phenomenal. From what I've read, Otomo had some of the sequences done in CG and then redrawn using the CG as reference to blend with the hand-drawn animation. Regardless of method, the end result is stunning. In a film featuring such small detail like moving steam engines and devices, it never ceases to deliver. I love the designs of all the steam-related devices. I've always found technology from the early industrial revolution to be interesting.
The plot of the film, however, left a bit to be desired. I feel the pacing of the film to be too slow in parts, even during action sequences. The biggest complaint is that there isn't much character development with our main characters, Ray and Scarlett. I would have liked the final sequence of the film to be about a third of it's length and the scenes depicted during the credits be shown in it's place. There was more character/plot development during the credits than the film itself, I feel. Scarlett is pretty intolerable for the majority of the film, and I wish she would have had a redemption toward the end of the film after seeing the horrors committed by her foundation for money, but that is reserved for stills during the credits, unfortunately.
It almost feels like the ending of the film was a setup for a sequel that never came. It's a shame because I am interested in the world and where these characters will go following the events of the film.
Overall, the film is worth a watch. The animation is fantastic and the story entertaining enough. I just wish more focus was given to the events after Steam Tower's demise.