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MOVING PICTURES


Hellboy:
I was very surprised to find such a heavy Steampunk presence in a film that can be most aptly described as 'Men in Black' meets 'Blade' with some 'X-Files' stuff thrown in. The Nazi enemies in the film have all sorts of fantastic contraptions and machines at their dark disposal. Also, the ressurected Rasputin inhabits a huge clockworky fortress beneath his burial site. Rasputin's own Nazi puppet bodyguard is for all intents and purposes, a pre-modern cyborg, complete with a manually wind-up heart. The Trade Paperback versions of the comic books the movie was based on also have a lot of Steampunk elements. The character Abe Sapien is discovered in a special, mechanical containment tank in a hidden chamber of a hospital on the day that Abe Lincoln died. Delightful.

Now & Then, Here & There: Hellywood's capacity for flight and attack is steam-based. Water is a precious commodity in this desert wasteland from another dimension or another time. The mixing of high tech and low tech is seen in the contrast between Hellywood's military and the far-flung pueblo villages and farms in this episodic anime.
Check out the FOCUS ON STEAMPUNK about NTHT.

the Wild Wild West: The Will Smith summer popcorn movie remake of the old TV show infuses many Steampunk elements, from the 'Air Gordon' flying machine, the magnetic decapitation collars and accompanying buzz-saw, the gadget-infused locomotive and the steam-powered wheelchair of Kenneth Brannaugh's villain. Oh yeah, and the giant, mechanical, fire-spewing spider. Even General Bloodbath McGrath's gramophone hearing aid is a reflection of Steampunk technology. The movie faired okay financially, but was a critical bomb. The main reason this film became so maligned was the numerous attempts at humor that just fell flat, as well as an utterly pointless role filled by Salma Hayeck. What a shame, as the inventions were so freaking cool, even if at times they defied logic and the laws of physics. What could have been Goldfinger in the Wild West turned out more like Octopussy. Kenneth Brannaugh acts circles around Smith and Kline.

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the Secret Adventures of Jules Verne: as soon as I actually watch an episode... from what I understand it is like Shakespeare in Love meets Johnny Quest.