Thursday, April 28, 2011

Top 10 Steampunk Movies - Updated!

Hello and Cheers to my beloved crew and friends!  I thought today we would do something a bit different.  As you all may know, I am a man constantly striving to move forward.  To take it to the next level, as the guttersnipes would say.  But today we'll be moving backwards!  I know, you didn't even know the Anomaly Obscura Engine could go backwards.  See, already it's becoming a remarkable day, no?

It was in the way back of April of 2009 when I posted the first Top 10 Steampunk Movies list and it turned into the most commented on article here (Link to original post).  Furthermore, that post is still very popular receiving hundreds of views each week.  Well, it has always been my most humble opinion that a gentleman should be well versed in current events and topical subjects, and for that reason I have created the Top 10 Steampunk Movies - 2011 Update!

Looking at the list two years later I found it quite shocking how many movies had fallen off the list.  I do love a good brawl and it seems there has been quite a ferocious one raging amongst the voters at the Internet Movie Database, where this list was gathered.  Let's get to it then!

Top 10 Steampunk Movies - Updated!

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) This swash-buckling tale follows the quest of Captain Jack Sparrow, a savvy pirate, and Will Turner, a resourceful blacksmith, as they search for Elizabeth Swann. Elizabeth, the daughter of the governor and the love of Will's life, has been kidnapped by the feared Captain Barbossa. Little do they know, but the fierce and clever Barbossa has been cursed. He, along with his large crew, are under an ancient curse, doomed for eternity to neither live, nor die. That is, unless a blood sacrifice is made.

2. The Prestige (2006)

The PrestigeIn the end of the Nineteenth Century, in London, Robert Angier, his beloved wife Julia McCullough and Alfred Borden are friends and assistants of a magician. When Julia accidentally dies during a performance, Robert blames Alfred for her death and they become enemies. Both become famous and rival magicians, sabotaging the performance of the other on the stage. When Alfred performs a successful trick, Robert becomes obsessed trying to disclose the secret of his competitor with tragic consequences.  

Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest (Widescreen Edition)Once again we're plunged into the world of sword fights and "savvy" pirates. Captain Jack Sparrow is reminded he owes a debt to Davy Jones, who captains the flying Dutchman, a ghostly ship, with a crew from hell. Facing the "locker" Jack must find the heart of Davy Jones but to save himself he must get the help of quick-witted Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan. If that's not complicated enough, Will and Elizabeth are sentenced to hang, unless will can get Lord Cutler Beckett Jack's compass, Will is forced to join another crazy adventure with Jack.

Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
After Elizabeth, Will, and Captain Barbossa rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from the the land of the dead, they must face their foes, Davy Jones and Lord Cutler Beckett. Beckett, now with control of Jones' heart, forms a dark alliance with him in order to rule the seas and wipe out the last of the Pirates. Now, Jack, Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Tia Dalma, and crew must call the Pirate Lords from the four corners of the globe to gathering. The Pirate Lords want to release the goddess Calypso, Davy Jones's damned lover, from the trap they sent her to out of fear, in which the Pirate Lords must combine the 9 pieces that bound her by ritual to undo it and release her in hopes that she will help them fight. With this, all pirates will stand together and will make their final stand for freedom against Beckett, Jones, Norrington, the Flying Dutchman, and the entire East India Trading Company. 

5. Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited AwayChihiro and her family are on their way to their new house in the suburbs when her father decides to take a shortcut along a lonely-looking dirt road. After getting out of the car and walking along a path for a while, they discover an open-air restaurant filled with food but with no workers or customers present. Mom and Dad don't hesitate to sit down and dig in, but Chihiro senses danger and refuses. As night falls, she is terrified to see the area fill with faceless spirits, but when she runs to find her parents, she discovers that they have been turned into pigs. She is found by a mysterious boy named Haku, who promises to help her. He gets her a job working in a nearby building, which turns out to be a bathhouse for the thousands of Japan's gods and spirits. Though the work is hard and the people strange, she does as well as she can. Her parents, however, are still waiting in the hotel's stockyard...

6. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Sleepy HollowAfter the head of a Hessian horseman is stolen, the horseman returns from hell to take the heads of the people of Sleepy Hallow until its own is returned. Constable Ichabod Crane is called in to investigate three murders. Through his investigation he learns of the legend of the Headless Horseman, but he doesn't believe that the stories are true - until the horseman takes off the head of one of the elders right in front of his very eyes. Now he must race to find out the origins of the horseman in order to send him back to his grave for good. But the question remains...if the head was stolen once, how safe is it?

7. Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Sherlock Holmes After finally catching serial killer and occult "sorcerer" Lord Blackwood, legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson can close yet another successful case. But when Blackwood mysteriously returns from the grave and resumes his killing spree, Holmes must take up the hunt once again. Contending with his partner's new fiancée and the dimwitted head of Scotland Yard, the dauntless detective must unravel the clues that will lead him into a twisted web of murder, deceit, and black magic - and the deadly embrace of temptress Irene Adler.

8. The Illusionist (2006)

The Illusionist (Widescreen Edition) A young boy falls in love with a girl that is way above his social standards along with the art of magic. Although the parents forbid them of seeing each other they cannot be split apart. Until one day they were found together and the boy was sent off. He became a magician and traveled the world. She fell in love with another man, the Crown Prince. The two got engaged but the boy, Eisenheim, finally meets back up with the girl and uses his powers to free her from the royal house in Vienna.

9. Brazil (1985)

BrazilSam Lowry is a harried technocrat in a futuristic society that is needlessly convoluted and inefficient. He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. While trying to rectify the wrongful arrest of one Harry Buttle, Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy has fingered him responsible for a rash of terrorist bombings, and both Sam and Jill's lives are put in danger.

10. Van Helsing (2004)

Van Helsing (Widescreen Edition)Van Helsing is in the world to rid all evil, even if not everyone agrees with him. The Vatican send the monster hunter and his ally, Carl to Transylvania. They have been sent to this land to stop the powerful Count Dracula. Whilst, here they join forces with a Gypsy Princess called Anna Valerious, who is determined to end an ancient curse on her family, by destroying the vampire. They just don't know how!

Once again I feel compelled to reissue my disclaimer regarding this above information:  Please do remember that the good captain did not create this list. The list is based on voting at IMDB. With this in mind, please vent your frustrations in the confabulations where it can be easily ignored.

Now back to the gears you trundling coggies!


Scott B. Lesch said...

Have you considered STEAM BOY, Howl's Moving Castle, and Castle In The Sky as really good animated films while Steam Punk elements?


Renquist Von Reik said...

How could I not?! Not only are they heavily influenced by steampunk, but they were some of the most commonly agreed upon omissions from the comments in the original Top 10 list. (head over to the archives from April 2009 for the original list)

I would wager the people over at the Internet Movie Database aren't as well versed in anime as they are big summer blockbusters, judging from the list this year however.

Bart said...

I am really surprised to not see the remake of "The Time Machine" or "Leauge of Extraordinary Gentlemen" on this list. I do not find the 'Pirates' movies very 'steampunk'. Maybe the "Mummy 2", the Kenneth Branagh "Frankenstine", "Bram Stoker's Dracula" or even "Young Sherlock Holmes" would be better choices than these listed?

Renquist Von Reik said...

Just a reminder, I didn't choose the movies. These are from the voting at the Internet Movie Database (which should be linked in the article above)

I agree with your sentiment regarding the Pirate movies, I never thought of them as steampunk either. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen made the list in 2009 (if you look back to the original post) but has since been voted off the list.

Personally, the biggest surprise the me was that Wild Wild West was voted off the list. Love it or hate it, that is one the most steampunk movies (not counting anime) ever made for the main stream.

You make some other fine suggestions (a personal tip of the hat to the Young Sherlock Holmes) although I'm not familiar with Frankenstine, I'll have to get my hands on a copy and investigate further!

Bart said...

Here is a link, my Captain. I am reminded by my better half that it may more-appropriately be called "candle-punk". But the Promethean story sings true to Steampunk, in my opinion

And I understood that this was from IMDB. I was just so flabbergasted by what some people consider to be 'Steampunk'. To each there own, and all that, I guess.

Renquist Von Reik said...

Ahh yes, now the vaguest of memories are surfacing of DeNiro playing the monster. I'd totally forgotten about this version, and what an impressive cast it has. It shouldn't be hard to find at least!

Candlepunk, I like that term. Immediately Sleepy Hallow pops into mind hehe ;)

(you would NOT believe some of the movies on the list of steampunk at IMDB, I was shocked and saddened by some of the movies I saw fact I ignored one completely and shifted the others down a spot. I just couldn't bring myself to put it on the list at all! I can barely speak its name...)

Renquist Von Reik said...

I fixed the link to the original top 10 movie post so it works now

Anonymous said...

I wonder if IMDB people think that steampunk means using actual STEAM? that is the only reason I could think that "one you left off" is on the list.

and I'm still not understanding why so many of the pirates movies are at the top. *confused*

Does anyone know how to update the imdb list so it's more appropros?

and again thank you captain for this post (and the original) at least the dialogue has given me some options! :)

Renquist Von Reik said...

I am with you, dear anonymous, in your musings as to why so many pirate movies are in the top 10. I fear that the majority really doesn't understand steampunk as you implied.

As for setting the IMDB straight, that is a wonderful idea and I shall look into straight away! Let's make sure next year's top 10 is truly reflective of steampunk!

Heidi said...

I think it should be a top 20 list as there are so many more great movies with Steampunk elements, which have already been discussed here.

I too am baffled at the inclusion of the Pirates movies. While the costumes could easily be incorporated into the genre little else is really Steampunk.

I also don't understand why Spirited Away beats out other aforementioned anime. While there are the occasional nods to steam technology, and the suet creatures are darling, it just doesn't have the overall Steampunk feel.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is my two cent's worth on the subject. Excellent discussion. Danke.

Somnambulist said...

How about "The Golden Compass", "The Prestige", "The City of Lost Children"? To my taste, they deserve a place here.

Miss Stan said...

Good evening dear gentlemen,

I could never imagine that "Spirited Away" would be considered Steampunk . I only saw it when I was out and creation of a most remarkable and unique designs I've seen. I really like this version burtonesca of Sleepy Hollow. Sherlock Holmes is interesting only in the literature.

~ Miss Stan.

Renquist Von Reik said...

With regards to Spirited Away, I am as confused as the rest of you! There are some steamy bits here and there but it doesn't feel steampunk in the least to me.

The City of Lost Children is considered a classic on the Von Reik estate and held up to the same level as Brazil, a cinematic wonder!

Personally, Miss Stan, I did feel the Sherlock Holmes movie was "steamy enough" shall we say. It wasn't an alternate history so much as the right time period and some clever gadgets disguised as sorcery. I did rather enjoy it ;)