A few years ago, Warner Bros. announced plans to give “The Iron Giant” a new Blu-Ray release, and merely was content with stuffing the DVD port over to Blu. Director Brad Bird was not happy with the announcement and asked fans to demand so much better as “The Iron Giant” deserved a lot better than a mere DVD transfer. I was one of those fans that tweeted and asked Warner Bros. to give “The Iron Giant” much better treatment than a simple transfer. I’m happy a shortly after, Warner has allowed consumers the option of two special deluxe editions of “The Iron Giant,” and Brad Bird is able to give fans a bang up edition that is pretty much the ultimate realization of his masterpiece. Not only is director Bird able to deliver his film in High Definition, but he manages to add a few small scenes here and there to inject more nuance and character depth. These alterations work in favor of “The Iron Giant” adding a bit more dimension and length for folks that always hoped for an extended edition.
It’s nice to see director Brad Bird inject a new sense of excitement and novelty in to the “Mission Impossible” movie series, as it now embraces its episodic origins to completely reboot the epic story of Ethan Hunt. After the pretty good third outing, “Ghost Protocol” sports an entirely different atmosphere, where the team from the IMF are still out and lurking about, while Ethan Hunt has become a pariah, now jailed in a Russian prison. After Simon Pegg’s character Benji stages a caper to free Ethan from prison, Ethan discovers that the world must be in dire trouble if he’s being turned to for help.
Brad Bird is certainly a fun storyteller filled with ideas about science fiction that’s a welcome break from the normal grim and grit of the modern era, I just wish “Tomorrowland” were a masterpiece. If not, I wish it were more than mediocre. As it is there’s a great movie somewhere in the script, there’s just too much narrative and disjointed writing to really see it rise to the surface and hit a home run. “Tomorrowland” is one of the more entertaining messes of the year. It’s a film that doesn’t introduce its heroine until thirty minutes in to the movie, and completely cuts her out of the equation in the finale. “Tomorrowland” is not a bad movie by any means, it’s just the writing is so scatterbrain and haphazard, I couldn’t really appreciate the whole shebang, in the end; which is sad, because I certainly wanted to love “Tomorrowland.”
“You are who you choose to be.”
Director Brad Bird’s “The Iron Giant” didn’t make much of a ripple when it premiered almost fifteen years ago. But ever since I sat down to watch it on a borrowed VHS, I haven’t stopped coming back to his science fiction animated film. I probably continue coming back to “The Iron Giant” because not only does it delve in themes of friendship, but it’s also about mortality, and the inherent violent nature of humanity.
<!–more–>Surely, the iron giant that crash lands on Earth is a monster sent to wreak havoc on our planet, but that’s only by the design of another species altogether. We’re never clued in to what kind of alien species built the Iron Giant, and what it had planned for us. All we know is that the Iron Giant crash lands from another planet, and is lucky enough to meet Hogarth Hughes.
One of my favorite modern storytellers in the animation genre happens to be Brad Bird. Not only is the man a wonderful writer, but he gets modern story themes and basic characterization, all the while building on adult themes that children can understand but will also appeal to adults as well. One of the most underrated and innovative filmmakers in film today, Brad Bird only seems to get better with every film. “Iron Giant” was a masterpiece of friendship and alienation, “The Incredibles” was a wonderful take on the dysfunctional family in modern suburbia, and now Bird yanks Pixar from its horrible “Cars,” with this fantastic follow-up “Ratatouille.”
I was pleasantly surprised at what I was watching when watching this movie. It is a gem to behold. The movie’s animated style is probably the most unique of the movie as it fits well with the fifties pop aesthetic. Many of the characters look very similar to the style of folks like Chuck Jones or Bob McKimson, offering a new innovative style that sets it apart from other animated movies.