New Reviews Added At The Bottom Of The Page!!!
Folks, I feel strongly about this film. August 6th is a busy day, and I can tell you out of the 3 films I've seen thus far for that day, MYSTERY MEN is a solid entertaining film, THE SIXTH SENSE (review coming) is the best studio supernatural film I've seen thus far this summer (better than STIR OF ECHOES and THE HAUNTING) and then there is the classic film. The one that I believe is hands down a film for the ages and that would be THE IRON GIANT. Today (Sunday) in select theaters it's screening as a paid sneak, where audience people (people like you) can pay as if you were seeing any ol movie and watch THE IRON GIANT. Then at 7pm (E.S.T.) on the WB there's an IRON GIANT special. Find this film. DO NOT LET WARNER BROTHER'S SUBPAR ADVERTISING KEEP YOU AWAY! Remember how bad they made L.A. CONFIDENTIAL look? They're doing it again. Last night, there was a cast and crew screening of the film that Moriarty went to, HOWEVER, these reviews came from OTHER screenings that took place in different cities around the U.S. If I had received a BAD REVIEW I would publish it, but so far... out of the 100 plus reviews I have received, I have not received one single bad review yet. The reason? Because this is a classic film. A great movie. Seek this film out. You will not regret it. I don't like to give ratings to movies... You know... Like the four star or five star bits. Because I don't like to label films. But in a rating system, I'd give this film the highest possible recommendation. And, below, I've included a sampling of the least enthusiastic reviews I have received in the last two weeks. Beginning with The Giant Squid...
The Giant Squid here. I've been reading your site for quite some time now and have heard all the hoopla about The Iron Giant, and yesterday, the gods of celluloid smiled down upon me and led me to a sneak preview screening of it.
I slithered in and found myself in a theater filled with parents and kids, and I stuck out like a sore thumb. I had a lot of high expectations about the film after reading so much about it on your site, and I am happy to say that all my expectations were met and then some.
WARNING SPOILER PARAGRAPH AHEAD, SKIP IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!!!
I know this comes as no surprise at all for you, but this film has to be the single best animated American film ever. I've never been so touched in so many places by an animated film before. Even now, a day later, images and moments from the film are stuck in my mind. The deer, the talk about souls, the Giant's reaction when he almost hurt Hogarth, the paranoia of the people around him, when he takes flight for the first time, and finally soaring to the sky at the very end and, ahhh, "Superman!"
END OF SPOILER PARAGRAPH CONTINUE!!!
This is animation that's grown up. This is a story with a message. After the movie, instead of hearing the kids around me singing a cheesy song, I heard a little child ask what the Giant meant when he said, "I am not a gun." This is the kind of film that kids need to see. At the end of the film, there was applause from the audience, but not just the pitter-patter of children's hands, it was from their parents. This is an important film, especially in this day and age. The lack of marketing for this film is almost stunning. Everyone needs to know about it. Parents, run with your kids to see the first possible screening of this film. Everybody, force your friends to see this film with you. We can't let this film be a flop. This is the future of animated film in America.
This movie is so good, I've forgiven Warner Bros. for Eyes Censored Shut.
And Harry, keep up the good work. I salute you with all ten tentacles.
Until later, I've got to go sink a ship.
- The Giant Squid
And here is Wraith 7000's review...
Greetings all who are cool,
I have just viewed The Iron Giant and though you might like to hear my take on it. If this idea pleases you, please read further, if not, turn back now.
Here's how it goes; I'll try and keep it short, sweet, and as spoiler free as possible. I have been anticipating this film for some time, so when my cohorts informed me there would be a special secret viewing of the print for Sunday's sneak, I was all about it. When we got to the theatre I went to the restroom and then quickly trucked on down to the auditorium with digital sound, I opened the door and curses, someone was in there watching Deep Blue Sea. Hummm... so I proceed to the next auditorium and there the select lucky few were waiting on me in order to start the film. I walked into that auditorium and yikes, the air was broken so it was like being in a big stagnant sauna. Oh well, regular sound and a steambath it would have to be, because if this movie is as good as the word I had been hearing, I knew all those factors would fade into the background.
The movie started, and at first I thought humm...this looks ok but is this going to be the same animated movie I had seen many times in the past, but when Hogarth's character is introduced and the other characters make their appearances they really start to fill in and interact wonderfully, I could begin to feel that this wasn't like so many animated films I had seen in the past. (the sauna around me was starting to disipate...sound starting to improve). This movie really began to seem like it wasn't animated at all, the animation was seamless and the chioce of music fit perfectly in each scene, and best of all the giant didn't leap up and sing a duet with Harry Connick Jr.,(even though that might have been pretty cool, I have seen Harry twice in concert and would love to see him on tour with a 100 foot robot) but anyway, the thing that is really great about this film is that there are scenes of wonderful innocent humor, in which we laughed so hard I almost started to cry. These scenes are great because they're not goofy (i.e. goofy sidekick character) or raunchy (i.e.South Park) but are genuine funny beacuse the characters are so well represented in every aspect. Now I'm not saying The Iron Giant is a comedy, just that there are good and proper comedic scenes in the film. Along with these scenes there are also some equally as great heartfelt scenes of sadness and understanding. Everything in this films works together wonderfully and the direction in this film is superb, especially the subtle little things added here and there that really bring this film and it characters to life. I know this my be wishful thinking and that it really doesn't matter in the scheme of things, but I really would like to see The Iron Giant nominted for best picture and director, of course I'd also like to see it for Eyes Wide Shut, but that's another story.
The Iron Giant is a great film and it really does show that an animated feature can be created and work on many different levels without having to have a song and dance routine in every other scene. I think kids as well as us old folks will really take to this film. I hope everyone who gets to watch The Iron Giant will enjoy it as much as I did, because it really is quality filmmaking at its best ... it is like one of those great films that you remember from your childhood, a fond memory that you welcome back every chance you get.
Here is T.O.D.D. (Totally Ordinary Death Dealer)'s look at it... and this review has some strong spoilers, so you may want to skip this part all together and move on to the next review!
My name is T.o.d.d. and I love your site. I've been coming here for years and I've been informed many a time by the nuggets of info this site has to offer and now I have something for you to feed to your readers . I just got home from The Iron Giant private screening here in Buffalo and I must say that this film is a wonderful masterpiece of a story. Going into this film knowing absolutely nothing about it was actually a relief because I was able to capture a wonderful feeling called fun. This element is so lacking in film these days so much. The story is set in the 50's and in a time of paranoia and the red menace. A wonderful backdrop to the story I may add too. It later added much depth to the fear you'd expect to see on screen because of this monstrous creation. The robots character is easily adorable as his relationship with the boy Hogarth Hughes grows into a strong friendship. The whole movie I felt as if I never wanted anyone to discover the robot because it was just inevitable that we'd see the government stick its nose into this story and want to blow it back to kingdom come. Its really easy to fall in love with the robot because of his innocent demeanor , but his nature as a creation is that of war and it's hard to watch as he becomes a powerful machine of destruction when threatened. You sympathize with the robot in every aspect because we understand the confusion of being new on a planet with no memory of where he came from. I'm not going to ruin this movie for anyone, all I'll say to you is go see this movie on August 6 and prepare for a funny, touching film that you'll soon never forget.
Here's our long time reviewer, LongShot!
The Longshot here again. Just went to a screening of 'The Iron Giant' this morning. I'm not going into the plot, since it has been covered enough on this site. There were certainly plenty of kids at this one, so it was good to judge reactions. Everyone was clapping at the end. Lots of promise next weekend, even with the busy schedule.
As for the movie, I have to say this is one of the most wonderful animated films I had seen in years. A must see. I couldn't see the seams between the computer animation, like I could do on occasion with Tarzan. I enjoyed Tarzan and I think it is the best Disney has done in a while, but this raises the bar and did what I hoped Prince of Egypt would do. This is going to be a great year for animated features, with Mononoke Hime, Heavy Metal, Toy Story 2, etc. all coming up this year.
And lastly we have the Unsigned with their hopes and prayers for this film.
CHRIST, Harry. Just saw "Iron Giant" and it BLEW ME AWAY!!!!!!! It's so friggin' cool I could hardly stand it. I felt like I was 10 years old again (and I'm 33). The story, acting, and craftmanship on every level felt as though sweat and blood went into every frame. The sincerity of the effort shines through and affected me in ways no recent movie has (and I'm talkin' since "The Butcher Boy" last year...). I'm wary of the internet hype, but in this case, you've hit it smack dab on the nail. Fingers crossed that Warners will realize what they have on their hands and give it a bigger push than they have. If that doesn't happen, toes crossed that the public will warm to this film and make them look like fools!!!!! DIE MEDIOCRITY DIE!!!!!!
Here is Nick Nightingale with his opinion of THE IRON GIANT!
Harry, I know you're getting flooded with Iron Giant reviews so I'll keep my contentions short and to the point. The Iron Giant is the best film I've seen all summer. This is quite simply why I love movies. Star Wars and Eyes Wide Shut were both outstanding films, but they pale in comparison to this beautiful and endearing film. I've always been a firm believer in the notion that the most significant films will always take the world by surprise. Not only did The Iron Giant take me by surprise, it exceeded every virutal expectation I had. It is the definitive summer 99 movie. God only knows how much attention and admiration this film would've gotten if it opened on the coveted July 4th weekend, which was infested by Wild Wild West this summer. One quick question: Did the WB executives even WATCH The Iron Giant? Did they not know that they had lightning in a bottle? Who knows...The only thing I know for sure is that I feel lucky to be a part of this experience. I promise you that I will look back on this film in twenty years with the same amount of awe and wonder that I felt today. I cherish many movies that were made decades ago, and all I can think of is what it would've been like to be around when they were released for the first time to relish the hoopla if it's justified. Well...Now I know. This may be a striking blow to my masculinity, but towards the end of this film I was choking back tears. Yeah that's right TEARS!! This movie pierced my hardened, cynical shell that I vigorously display whenever I see a film. I love this movie, it made me feel like a kid again. This is not only one of the best films of the year, it's the best family film in what seems like ages. Every frame, every line, and every situation is chock full of unbridled energy and imagination. Did I forget to mention that I'm a twenty year old pool table installer who is quick to bash a film for any minor imperfection? That personal fact should exemplify just how universally admirable this film is. Do yourself (and your soul) a favor and see this film as soon as possible. Nick Nightingale out...
And here's how passionately Stone feels about this film...
Harry, please, I'm begging you to post this.
This isn't a scoop, or really even a reveiw. An homage....? No, not even.
I went to see "The Iron Giant " this afternoon. We don't get any sneak previews up here in Hamilton Ontario often, so when a movie I have heard nothing but praise for gets a sneak 6 days early I jump at the chance.
I simply haven't got the words. It was summerized really well about a month ago by someone who wrote in who had seen a REALLY early preview. It was "The Iron Giant review" posted in the "Reviews" section, around the same time as "Tarzan". His review is what sold me on it. I.....I just don't even know what to say. Really. Normally I am very well spoken, wordy even. But this movie has trown me into a stupor.
The point of me writing was to beg all of you to take a few minutes of your time and e-mail WB to thank them. Yes, that's right, THANK THEM. And Brad Bird too. I'm sure Harry can provide the correct e-address at the bottom of this, 'cause I don't know it. I really want everyone you reads this to;
A) Go see "The Iron Giant. Take A sick day, ditch your "no-cartoon buddies", tell your wife/husband you'll be out for a few hours. Just go. Go by yourself, take your little cousin, hell...take a neighbours kid. Just go. Don't worry about having the movie "spoiled" by someone (like the little cousin) , your gonna go see it again anyway.
B) Take a minute and let WB, Brad Bird, all the others that were involved, and in the end, the media and the rest of the world know how much you like this movie and how grateful you are. Not grateful to them just because they made it, grateful because SOMEONE is still able to make these movies. The good ones.
I feel like I'm 10 or 11 and just discovered a really cool thing. I had meant for this letter to be inspiring. I only hope that it actually garners a response of EVERYONE sending in an e-mail to WB to let EVERYONE know how good this is.
Someone is gonna say I work for WB I'm sure. I don't. I just really want everyone to feel as good as I do right now.
This came in from Eisenstein...
I saw Iron Giant about an hour ago, and I was absolutely moved and stunned by the experience. From the opening shot of the Earth, I knew that the film was in the hands of a master. Brad Bird had every shot containing something very original visually for the audience. With this film, Brad Bird moves onto my list of great directors regardless of animation or non-animation. He has created the most exciting film of the year over directors who had more money than him and had the latest visual effect technincians working for them (Star Wars-Lucas, The Haunting-Jan de Bont, The Mummy, The Matrix, Entrapment, Wild Wild West, Deep Blue Sea, etc.). Iron Giant is going on my top five films of the year which now includes Eyes Wides Shut as #1, Blair Witch, Cookie's Fortune, and Limbo. Hopefully, the audience will not ignore this film on August 6th.
Here's George Bailey's review
Here's more happy noise about The Iron Giant. Saw the sneak today with my number one son. He's 9 and I'm 40-something. We went in with expectations, some similar, some (obviously) different. I lived through the Cold War, Commies in the closet, duck-and-cover drills (yeah, rrrrrright) and MAYPO commercials!! Did we like it? As I write, I hear the sound of my son in his room, playing and saying "Hogarth, no follow now..." It's an instant classic in these parts and we'll be searching out the toy relentlessly til we come across at least one. Then, we'll fight it out for ownership!
The film itself is a lovely mix of traditional animation with some near-seamless computer stuff. In some of the forest scenes, I'd swear they'd dug out one of Uncle Walt's old multi-plane cameras. The script radically changes the original Ted Hughes storyline while retaining all of the warmth and charm. On the ride home, we called the wife and the kid told her about the times he laughed until he cried and then I told her about the times I just plain cried. I can't wait to take her with us next weekend.
Tell everyone, go see this gem, you'll long remember the iron man who has a heart...and a soul.
This one came from E.R. (Ever-Ready)
The best film I have seen in ten years.
Here's THE GRADUATE's look at the film... Warning about spoilers though! He gave it 3 out of 4 stars for an alleged 'slow middle act'...
Hi there! The Graduate here with a review of the latest treat to come from the Warner Brothers, this year’s Comeback King (ignoring a few missteps like WILD WILD WEST). I was fortunate enough to catch word of the nationwide sneak preview of THE IRON GIANT mere minutes before showtime. Thanks to my brand new wheels, I was there in a flash and snagged a primo seat as well.
The buzz on this one, at least among animation lovers, has been strong. The movie’s a week from release, and already phrases like "instant classic" and "masterpiece" are being bandied about. Is it? Well, not quite. But it IS by far the best picture to come out of Warner Brothers Feature Animation and the first animated film in years to successfully defy the "Disney formula." There are no distracting songs, no unnecessarily sidekicks, no forced love angle. Instead, there’s just a well-crafted story and some honestly interesting characters.
The setup, for those who don’t know: a giant robot descends from the sky and is befriended by young Hogarth Hughes. Hogarth enlists the help of a local hipster, Dean, to hide the robot from his mother, not to mention a nosy government agent, Kent Mansley. One of the film’s most wonderful strokes is the setting: not a fairy-tale kingdom, but right here in America, Maine, autumn 1957, smack dab in the middle of the Cold War. It’s an unexpected place to set an animated film, but it fit the story perfectly: from the action comics and monster movies Hogarth craves to the "Red scare" paranoia of the government agent, the setting honestly added to the character’s motivations.
The animation has been heralded, but to me the backgrounds felt less lush than recent Disney offerings. The character animation seemed little "cartoony" at first but did allow the characters a good range of expression. The voices all fit seamlessly with their characters, though I felt the standout was Jennifer Aniston as Hogarth’s mother Annie, a single mom who has her hands full with her son. She’s desperate to protect him at the same time he craves adventure. Aniston seized the chance to voice a character she isn’t quite old enough to play in live action films, and it makes me crave the chance to see her in some other meaty roles.
But THE IRON GIANT is, at its heart, an homage to old 50’s-era monster movies, and its title character is really what makes it shine. And what a character. The Giant is superbly animated, and Brad Bird’s one significant achievement with this film is the seamless integration of a 3D computer effect with traditionally hand-drawn characters (something even the Mouse House hasn’t managed). The Giant’s physical expressiveness is a joy to watch (particularly as he picks up on and imitates Hogarth’s physical quirks), and it’s not until late in the film that you learn what he is truly capable of. The moment is wonderful and terrifying, and it makes me want a giant of my very own. The climax is thrilling, the conclusion and epilogue powerful and unexpected. The ending is by far the best part of the film.
The only major flaws are a slow middle act, which focuses on Hogarth’s increasingly futile attempts to hide his new friend, and the somewhat one-dimensionality of Kent, the government agent (though, like the Giant, it’s not until late in the film that we learn what HE’S capable of). While the film has nowhere near the body count of the (absurdly) G-rated TARZAN, it confronts issues of violence and death in a surprisingly straightforward way. And ultimately, I have to give the writers credit for not sweeping those issues aside in time for a song or joke. Oh, there’s plenty of humor in THE IRON GIANT, even a share of toilet humor, but it’s never random and always advances the plot. And the climax is so thrilling because those notions of death and the danger of guns have been brought up, and so we’re never quite sure how it will turn out for any of the characters, particularly the Giant.
Final tally: Three stars out of four, and a fervent prayer that Warner Brothers Animation has the courage to continue to make films in their own style.
Here's a look from Lord Chamberlain
Earlier today ('bout 3:00) I decided it was time to crawl out of the lair (after getting four wisdom teeth ripped from my head on thursday) and head out to Baton Rouge with my poorly film-neglected Father and sisters to catch a sneak of Iron Giant. I've been checking up on the film (thru Aint-It-Cool for quite some time and hoped beyond hope that it would well live up to everything I'd heard.
Luckily by the time we reached the theater, there were ample tickets still available. Some were snatched up by wonderful parents that were looking for some "afternoon" entertainment for the kids. Beyond myself and the two "evil demon" sisters (count yerself lucky harry, two is the number of the beast) and my father there only seemed to be two other people there over 11 in the theater that didn't have kids along.
It didn't take me long at all to get swept up in the tale of Hogarth's Giant. The kids really seemed to get into it, even though (and especially because) it didn't try to cater to anyone specifically which is rare for any kid's film lately, not to mention an animated film. It also showed a lot of heart without subjecting anyone to the often sappy lines that get thrown out in Hollywood(I.E. "Can I call you mom?"). Hopefully the Giant will get some good and well-deserved word of mouth and maybe even get Disney to review their ideas of a "formulated", or "safe" film. It just baffles me how Warner can sit on such a wonderfully marketable film and WASTE it. Hell, I'd buy a happymeal to get the Iron Giant toy, and I'm sure that the kids outside the theater who were running around playing Iron Giant would too. Coming out, I felt like a six year old again coming out of Neverending Story (but I liked the Giant more). Now I REALLY want to see Ray Gunn.
Here's what Futureboy thought after taking his daughter...
I just wanted to add my comments for what they are worth to the raves for The Iron Giant. I saw the sneak preview this afternoon with my 7 year old daughter and I believe I may have enjoyed it even even more than she did (I'm 35). I can't honestly recall when I have seen a movie with such heart. Like another reviewer, I was choking back tears at several points in the film. Without question, this is my favorite film of this summer and I wouldn't be at all surprised to look back at the end of '99 and pick The Iron Giant as my fave for the year. Do yourself a favor and see this film. See it more than once. Let's make this movie the blockbuster it deserves to be.
Here's Little Lord Fauntleroy..
BELIEVE THE HYPE! I was astounded by the intelligent dialogue, the awe-inspiring animation and the more-realistic-than-Disney voice acting (Jennifer Aniston, Christopher McDonald and Harry Connick, Jr. are stupendous). No stupid sidekicks and annoying songs either. Just a truly heart-warming (admittedly it is similar to Short Circuit but better) story and a protagonist who for once is a LIKABLE kid. The tributes to old sci-fi and comic books were great, plus it was in 2.35:1 ratio (have been waiting to see another animated feature in this ratio since Anastasia). The animation is a true work of art, I love the design of the Giant. In many ways it is more rewarding for adults than children. A HIGH *** 1/2 (out of ****) or A-
Here's talkbacker... Darth Siskel...
Today I was given a gift.
With Iron Giant, Brad Bird and Warner Bros Animation gave us a new hope.
The movie was so good, I cried several times. I wasn't crying because of the connection I felt with the characters, but because at several points during the film, it become overwhelmingly apparent how beautiful the film was.
Incredible talent and immensely good taste went into this film, and every frame of it shows. I hope this film tramples the box office. Things are looking up for us.
Here's a look from Teko...
I know you're getting letter after letter praising Iron Giant, but I just want to add a few words to the pile.
This is without a doubt the best American animated film in my lifetime (that's two and a half decades). There's no Deep Canvas, no headlining star voice (beyond the uber-cool Harry Connick Jr.), no razzle-dazzle Broadway songwriting duo....just a beautiful story, spotless craft, and the one ingredient Disney has lacked for so long: heart. This film trusts its viewers.
Hogarth isn't an animated version of a kid...he IS a kid, fully realized up there on screen. He's got more feeling and personality than any animated character I can remember. His expressions and gestures were so captivating and heartfelt that at no time did it feel like an animated version of a 9-year old kid. It felt like a real child had been captured on film.
I don't think I stopped grinning for joy for a single minute of this movie. It's wonderful and magical, and by god I hope it does well, because it could change the way animated films are viewed and made.
Here's HOBBS70, who was skeptical in TALK BACK below, before seeing it... Here's the review he just sent in!
After reading the many good reviews on your site of The Iron Giant I just had to see the special screening that was shown here in Atlanta on Sunday. I have to admit I had my doubts just because I haven't seen much marketing for the film so I felt like WB wasn't very confidant in the movie. Call me a skeptic but sometimes your "reviews" don't hit the mark with me either. I'm a tough critic.
After sitting down in a theater of mostly kids and their moms I personally became transported back to 1980 when I was 10 years old myself. I felt young again and laughed out loud at this movie's natural charm and good wit. This is a film that will stand the test of time and will be just as good in another 20 years.
I truly enjoyed the voice work of Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick, but most of all the actor who did the voice of the young boy, Hogarth. Thank you Brad Bird for your directing. Above all else the story really made this movie fly. The animation worked really well especially showing the Giant in battle. And finally the good score tied all of the pieces together perfectly.
There is not much else I can say that hasn't already been said but that I hope this movie does well because it deserves to be a hit. I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel either!
Thanks for the heads up Harry because I wouldn't have bothered to see a movie like this without your recommendation. This time, you were right on the mark. Now please excuse me, I'm off to buy my own Iron Giant toy before they sell out!