Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Only Reviews That Matter - Yours!

As I've said before, I have not cared much about posting reviews of the Astro Boy movie from mainstream media outlets. But if you've been paying attention out there, it's pretty clear to see that many of these reviews just didn't quite get it. While the response from the general public who gave the film a chance has been mostly positive, the critics have, in some ways, spoiled the fun.

Well, I'm not going to let that happen!

It's been several weeks since the film's release in North America and other places around the world, so now that everyone has hopefully had a chance to see it and formulate their opinions, let's do our best to preserve this time. You've read my review, now it's your turn! This post if for you, the AstroBoy World readers, to post your reviews of the film. Let's make this into a time capsule that will be the true voice of how the fans feel about the Astro Boy movie.

Please use the comment feature to leave either a short paragraph review of the film or a link to some sort of permanent website or blog post with your review. Feel free to discuss anything regarding how you feel about it. Let's do our best to make sure that we, the fans, will have a part in deciding how history will judge the Astro Boy movie, so that those boring critics who didn't like it aren't the only opinions that are out there.

So, get posting! Spoilers are allowed, so say whatever you want!

(Readers in the UK and other international locations, hang tight. This will still be active by the time the movie is released in your country.)


Anonymous said...

Astro Boy is a delight to the eye, mind and heart. The production design is especially enjoyable; from the futuristic Art Deco architecture of Metro City to the open innocence of Astro's face, the film gives the viewer a pleasing visual palette unsurpassed even by Pixar. The action sequences are top-notch and inspire excitement and exhilaration, especially when Astro takes his first flight into open sky. The voice actors were well-chosen and give moving performances: Nick Cage as the grieving, conflicted Dr. Tenma and Freddie Highmore as the courageous, put-upon misfit Astro are standouts. But the most significant achievement is the movie's ability to wring the heart of its viewers. Astro inspires our sympathies with his struggles and our cheers when he finally proves his worth. He is easily the successor to another wronged cinematic hero, Simba of The Lion King. This film deserved far more attention and praise than it got. I hope that when it expands into international release, the rest of the world will catch what too many in the States missed; that Astro Boy is one of the best animated films of 2009. I've seen it 4 times; seen, over and over, the delighted reaction to the film from children and their parents; and I would willingly see it again. And I can't wait to buy it on DVD.

Matthew said...

I'll be rather brief.

Things I liked:

1.The nicer Dr. Tenma: I know some Tezukaphiles are gonna slam me for this, but I really like the more fatherly Dr. Tenma. I prefer this Tenma over the more maniacal Tenma from the 2003 series (which I hated)

2.Astro's personality: definately more casual. Quite the contrast from the overanalytical Astro of yesteryear.

Things I did NOT like:

1. Toby's age: what were they thinking? Astro's youthfulness is really what got me into the series in the first place. Modeling the new Astro after a teenager was a big mistake.

2. Cora: I didn't really like her all that much. If they had made her younger with less of an attitude, I probably would have liked her better.

As I said before, I prefer this version over the more recent anime, but there a few kinks which would have made this better.


I wonder what the film would have been like had Disney got a hand in it. Looking forward to The Princess and the Frog :)

Anonymous said...

Aww, I liked Cora! I thought she was strong and smart in a believable way, not strong and smart in a I-am-woman-hear-me-roar kind of way (I hate token female characters like that).

Anyway, since we've been asked, I also liked:

1. ASTRO!!! He was even better in this film than he was in the old series. I loved Freddie Highmore's voice, he put so much into his performance. He made Astro so human and my heart ached sometimes listening to him. Freddie should win an oscar for his performance.

2. Cora!!! See reasons above.

3. Trash Can the dog. He was funnier and cuter than even Dug from Up!

4. The fights! They were awesome, especially the robot fights.

5. Cora's gang. I thought they were pretty neat kids and I wish we'd seen more of them. They were all really good in their scenes. And Grace with her chainsaw! LOL!

What I didn't like:

1. President Stone. He was a cool mean villain at first, but then he was politicized in a very stupid way. Only bad part of the film.

I loved this movie! I wish there'd be more!

Manetoys said...

Astro Boy was an excellent movie. With action, heart, and drama.
What I liked;
1. Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy. Sure, his voice was a wee bit deeper than I would've immediately expected it to be but he gave the character justice. He was certainly better than the dubbed voice of the 2003 series. I also didn't mind that he was about 13 rather than 9 because Astro's character and general cuteness was still intact.

2. Cora. I found her to be a cool character. Strong, take no crap kind of girl. The kind of girl that actually was missing in the series until now

3. Hyoutantsugi references. If you know what you're looking for, you can find this mascot of Tezuka on billboards and posters through out the movie

4. The so-called political "agenda." Because Tezuka wasn't afraid to address modern issues (of the time) so people working with his characters should either

No movie is perfect so these are some of the bad things

1. Toby's scene seemed kind of rushed. As if they were trying to get through the depressing part quickly and get to the action

2. Nicolas Cage as Dr. Tenma was pretty bland.

3. While Nathan Lane played Hamegg excellently, I do have trouble understanding why they decided to make him so tubby

All in all, quite possibly the only anime movie actually worth seeing

Firefly24 said...

NOTE: When reading my opinions, please keep in mind that before seeing this movie, I had only seen bits and pieces of the 2003 Astro Boy. Ever since I saw the movie, though, I've been watching the Astro Boy series' of the 1960s and of 2003. I haven't gotten to the 80s one yet. So these opinions are from the perspective of a new Astro Boy fan, not a long-time fan who has been familiar with the characters and story for many years.

But on with the review.

I'm doing this first because it was the first thing I noticed. The art was gorgeous. Although done in CGI, it still had an unmistakable anime-like look to it. It looked exactly how a CGI anime adaptation SHOULD look. The animation was equal to Pixar in quality, and the orchestrated soundtrack was beautiful!

I absolutely loved the cast for this movie, especially Freddie Highmore as Astro. It is true that he doesn't sound anything like any of the previous versions of Astro, but you know what? He didn't get the role because he was a sound-alike. He got the role because he is an excellent actor. And, personally, I feel he played the part perfectly.

Nicolas Cage as Tenma was great, too. I think his acting was spot-on for the character he was portraying. The Tenma in this movie was different than the Tenmas before him. He was much more calm and collected, more regretful, and also slightly less insane. Still crazy, but not so much so as to allow it to overshadow his grief. Nicolas Cage portrayed this Tenma's new personality wonderfully.

All of the other characters' actors were rightly cast as well. Nathan Lane and Donald Sutherland were fantastic choices for the bad guys!

Before seeing this movie, I didn't know anything at ALL about Astro's origins. And yet I quickly figured out-- by the time Toby was in the car-- that he was going to die. People who do not know about this prior to watching the movie should not be able to see it coming that soon. It kind of ruined the whole Peacekeeper scene for me. Instead of sitting there in suspense waiting for them to save Toby, I immediately knew that he would not be coming out of the scene alive. Maybe it's just me, but I thought that was just a little too predictable.

However... the overall plot was amazing, even if it was a bit predictable at times. My favorite scene in the entire movie was when Tenma was ordered to shut down Astro Boy. Just watching the looks that Astro gave Tenma and hearing what he said to him was heartbreaking.

The only other thing that I didn't care for was the ending. The surprise alien attack was... well, a surprise. It was completely unexpected and I wasn't really sure how I was supposed to react to it. What exactly were they trying to accomplish by ending the movie that way? Was it supposed to be a joke? A cliffhanger to make you come see the sequel (if there will be one)? Whatever it was, it came too suddenly and I think the ending may have benefited if the whole alien invasion idea was dropped entirely. It wasn't necessary; all it seemed to do was shove the heartwarming conclusion aside and make everyone in the audience ask the person next to them if they missed something.

But every movie has its flaws, and to be honest, Astro Boy had far less flaws than most kids' movies I've seen. And its story was so easy to get sucked into that the weak points didn't even matter. They were easily forgivable simply because everything else was so great. The emotional story, the incredible action scenes, and all of the fantastic characters made this movie deserving of much, MUCH more praise than it received.

For a kids' movie, it was very deep and had pretty complex characters-- much more so than some other kids movies that rely more on cliche humor than on telling a good, memorable story.

Astro Boy gets an A+ from me; a 10 out of 10. It was an incredible movie. Good enough to see again and again and again... and, if it was still being shown in my local theater, AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

Astro seems a bit too old/mature. Freddy Highmore is much better as his voice than I expected from the trailer. "Goodbye Dr. Elefun" is stuck in my mind.

Tenma is much better than the TV series characters. Normally I don't care for Nicholas Cage, but he did alright here.

The octopus at the end is totally out of place. The ending to Incredibles at least has some filler before jumping into sequel material.

There is absolutely no "politics" in this movie. Quite a lot of people are really just not able to get over Obama's victory. Production of this film was certainly well along before Obama was even nominated.

I am an engineer and for me the things that bother me are the really impossible stuff like a floating city dumping all the garbage to the surface.

Astro's hands probably can't dig through a mountain and feel like a child's hands.

When he got out of bed did he notice he had red boots on?

When Astro's eyes first open they are on vector but not on focus. They would have noticed if they made this in 3D. And I'll bet more people would have seen it too.

I don't like the hat either.

xenorama said...

I did a review at my blog-
and I liked the movie OK. I did wish they had played the "Astro Boy" theme song at some point, or at least mentioned the lyrics.

great blog here, by the way!


Anonymous said...

i had wachid the movie

Manny O said...

Hey Atom suscribers. This is Manny who is having a new blog caled Manny's Corner. I want all of you to check it out and i'll post you as soon as possible. I want you to check out my Astro Boy review on and tell me what you think.

Conan94 said...

The Astro Boy movie is, in my mind, a delightful movie which I found joyous, humourous and moving in equal measure; I personally think the movie is a great success and I would like very much to see a sequel.

I would also like to give my agreements/disagreements to comments that other reviewers have made:

1) I partly agree with Manetoys (comment no. 4) on the comment that the start of the movie featuring the human Toby was "rushed", though I still think that all the necessary emotions were appropriately put into that first 12 minutes of the movie.

2) I disagree with Matthew (comment no. 2) and Anonymous (comment no 6) on the comments made on Astro/Toby's age; I did not dotice the difference at all and may very well never have noticed it had I not read a description of the movie on the internet encyclopedia Wikipedia.

3) I agree with Anonymous (comment no. 1) on the comment made on the movie being one of the best animated films of 2009; I myself have watched the movie 4 times, and I still find it a joy to watch.

4) I partly agree with Matthew (comment no. 2) on the comment made about the "more fatherly Dr. Tenma"; I do like this potrayal of Tenma better, but it is because the 2003 T.V. series potrayal of him confuses the plot (if Dr. Tenma created Astro to replace Toby(or, as he was called in the series, Tobio), his son, why create tasks to make him "evolve"?).

5) I partly disagree with Firefly24 (comment no. 5) on the comment made on Astro/Toby's voice not sounding like it did in previous Astro Boy shows; although Freddie Highmore's real voice is much deeper than Astro/Toby's voice should sound, the voice in the movie sounds to me exactly like previous Astro Boy shows, most likely thanks to excellent digital voice modification by the voice studios.

6) I partly agree with Firefly24(comment no. 5) on the comment made on the alien attack at the end of the movie; although I think there most likely will be a sequel to the movie, the alien attack at the end was rather unnecessary, though I do like the way Astro marks the end of the movie by punching the alien's eye (the screen) to reveal the end credits.

7) I agree with the comment made by Firefly24 (comment no. 5) about the "Artwork, Animation & Music" (paragraph 3), and the overall summary of the movie (paragraphs 10-12); I have nothing more to add to this; please refer to the above paragraphs (3 and 10-12) on Firefly24's comments.

Finally, I would like to add that the movie's alteration of Astro/Toby to make him look, as some commentators have said, "slightly older", was done to, in my opinion, compensate for the removal of the stylisation which was used in the manga comics as its removal would otherwise give him a very baby-like appearance which would then make him look too young.


Conan94 said...

I would like to add more to my previous comments:

Firstly, I think that the three Robot Revolutionary Front (R.R.F.) robots were brilliant comic relief; particularly when they came to Astro's "aid" during Hamegg's Robot Games, and during Astro's battle with the Peacekeeper.

Secondly, I would like to add to a comment that Xenorama (comment no. 7) had made: the comment pointed out that the Astro Boy movie did not feature the theme song; I would like to point out that none of the 3 T.V. series of Astro Boy had the same theme song: the 1960's and the 1980's series had the same tune but different words, while the 2003 release had an entirely different tune altogether; therefore I am not surprised that this version has yet another different theme song.

Lastly, I would like to point out a minor spelling error in my previous comment: in my second agreement/disagreement I discovered after a second proofreading that I had spelled the word "notice" as "dotice". I apologise for any confusion this may have caused.

Aaron Adams said...

I really liked the movie, it turned out to be better than I expected.
What I liked:
1. I actually liked it better when Astro is older as a teenager instead of being an elementary school kid because it's easier to respect and trust a 14 year old teen then a 9 year old kid.

2. The chase and the fights were pretty awesome, I would of liked to see him use his arm cannons in the robot arena.

3. The RRF were a funny group to add into the movie, they did a good job of lightening up the mood of the movie.

4. Cora and the rest of the crew, especially their home with Hamegg.

All in all it was a fantastic movie, but I wish Imagi would consider making a sequel with even more action than the first and adding Uran/Zoran.

Anonymous said...

ahm may i ask...there's a part 2 in astro boy movie...???i'll hope there's a part 2 because the movie is awesome and cool

Anonymous said...

I loved the movie...I really hope that they make a second one and add Uran(Zoran/Astro girl)...