The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers

Let me start by saying that this version of The Three Musketeers may very well be the definitive clockpunk movie.

Those who saw the trailer already knew that this was no canon Alexandre Dumas movie version of the classic tales. The airships, explosions and battle scenes gave that away pretty clearly.

Now we all know that when Hollywood gets involved, it’s either going to suck so badly you wish you could get your time and money back or it’s going to be epic. Thankfully this movie is the latter, and, lo and behold, this retelling of Dumas’ story rocks the airship like you wouldn’t believe.

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The Triplets of Belleville

The Triplets of Belleville

The Triplets of Belleville bills itself as being something different from anything you’ve seen before. This may not be 100 percent true, as it certainly takes its cues from some of the original animations dating back to the first filmic era and there have been other animators to play extensively with the medium. However, it is a film you don’t see every day with a rather unusual style. The film has a certain dark, dingy quality that’s hard to put your finger on.

Visually, there are a lot of muted colors, with browns and beiges predominating, similar to old sepia photographs. Likewise, character designs are somewhat grotesquely shaped, and some of the scene are just a little bizarre.

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Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch tells the story of Babydoll, who, after the death of her mother, ends up in Lennox House for the mentally insane due to the machinations of her evil stepfather.

It becomes quite clear from the start that if she wants to survive with her cranial capacities intact, she’ll have to escape. Enlisting the friends of fellow inmates Rocket, Blondie, Amber and the reluctant Sweet Pea, she starts on a mission to gather items that will aid them in their escape.

To help her in all of this, Sweet Pea withdraws into her own fantasy world, which seems to be some kind of parallel to the grimy reality she really tries to survive in.

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Burlesque

Burlesque

Let’s be honest: at the end of the day, Burlesque is just another feel-good movie with a rather cliché plot and happy ending.

There is quite a bit of singing at regular intervals; not enough to make it a full-on musical, but it’s getting quite close.

Starring both Cher and Christina Aguilera, everyone knew that this film was either going to be cheesy as hell commercial Hollywood crap or sheer brilliance. I’d say it’s floating somewhere in the middle.

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Wild Wild West

Wild Wild West

A fine example of a movie you either love or hate, Wild Wild West (based on the series from years previously, albeit in parody style) will strike your fancy or be written off as complete tripe.

The year is 1869 and the Civil War has just ended. That doesn’t mean that all of the Confederates have given up, though. Led by Dr Loveless, who is literally half the man he once was because of the war, and his futuristic steampunk technology, they plan to take out President Ulysses Grant and claim rulership over the reunited states of America.

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The Rocketeer

The Rocketeer

Once in a blue moon, Walt Disney Disney Pictures surprises friend and foe with a steampunk or dieselpunk masterpiece. The Rocketeer (1991) is one of those masterpieces.

The movie is based on the dieselpunk comic book of the same name by writer and artist Dave Stevens. Stevens also served as co-producer to the film, which was a very wise choice as surely he knew the story best.

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The Original Steampunk Cinema

In general, the history of cinema seems to be more significantly linked to dieselpunk and cyberpunk as opposed to steampunk. This isn’t surprising, considering cinema isn’t considered to have entered its prime until the 1920s, around the beginning of the “dieselpunk” era.

However, it’s important to remember that in 1895, the Lumière brothers held their first public film screening, some thirty years before the Golden Age of Silent Film.

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Casshern

Casshern

The live-action film Casshern (directed by Kazuaki Kiriya, 2004) is based on the 1973 anime of the same name. This fact is a sore spot for fans of the original, who generally seem to be unanimous in their dislike of the filmic remake. On the other hand, fans of the movie may not enjoy the anime upon viewing.

I have to admit that I’ve only seen a few fragments of that original 1970s animation, but I think I’ve seen enough to say that I actually enjoy both, for their own reasons.

Needless to say, the 70s anime is generally bright and campy. The film is, however, dark and extravagant (perhaps to excess). This already forces a wedge between the two, which is driven deeper by some drastic changes to the plot.

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Rintaro’s Metropolis

Metropolis

It is difficult to describe the exact relationship between the 2001 anime Metropolis, directed by Rintaro, and Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent film of the same name without longwinded explanations or vague terms like “inspired by” or “loosely based upon.”

As a matter of fact, the anime is chiefly a filmic adaptation of a 1949 manga by Osamu Tezuka, best known as the creator of Astro Boy, which is purported to be “loosely inspired” by a few promotional images of the famous masterpiece of silent cinema.

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