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More Praising and Celebrating of THE IRON GIANT! And... shock... a single negative look out of hundreds of positives!

This is no regular film. This is a film to take with you wherever you go, for as long as you go. I love this film, and I'm not alone. I have still yet to receive a negative review for the film. (This just changed and the review can be seen below by an 'Official Online Film Critics Society member' of which I refuse to be a member of) The strongest complaint I've seen is a wish that it were a bit longer, but what classic movie is long enough? My experience with the greatest films I have seen is often followed by a profound desire to hear 'the rest of the story' to 'learn even more about these characters', but that's not THIS STORY. We're here for the relationship of Hogarth and The Iron Giant. And the film is as long as it takes to tell THAT story. The way I'm going to spend more time with this film is through REPEAT VIEWINGS. I've seen it 3 times now... that's nowhere near enough. Read and go see this movie. Here's Darque Guy...

Longtime reader here who has never contacted you about any info...until now.

Not even info so much as a review on the movie I had the pleasure to see tonight...the Iron Giant.

This is, simply put, the best movie of the summer. Eyes Wide Shut was a haunting look at the human sexual condition by a master of the art, South Park was a raucous and much-needed stab at the parent groups and ratings boards that are trying to make our decisions for us...but as brilliant as both of those films were, they can't touch The Iron Giant. This is a film that perfect captures everything that was good (B-movies, Silver Age comic books, the space program) and bad (the overwhelming fear of anything that is un-American) of the 1950s and wraps them into a beautiful, creative package. This is a film that was clearly made by people who are interested in character and story as opposed to Tarzan, which, while better than the recent Disney fare, was nonetheless put through the Disney formula by people who are interested in seeing their film at # 1 at the box office. The characters are richly realistic (especially Hogarth, the young boy in a position we all wished we could be in at that age and the villain of the piece, who is scarier than anything Disney has come up with in the last few decades...because he is real. He represents people like you and me at our worse), the dialogue is crisp and fresh and the plot is that rare gem in children's films where adult and child viewers alike will be entertained without being insulted or overlooked, respectively. The movie delivers a message to it's viewers, especially poignant given the recent events and subsequent mood of this country, without subjecting us to a preachy message with the subtlety of an Afterschool Special. It is hysterical, it is touching, it is everything that a good movie should strive to be.

This is light-years away from anything Disney has created since Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast became the norm that all Disney films live by...and I truly doubt that any of the powers-that-be at the House of Mouse will develop the balls to put a film like this forward anytime soon. Everyone involved with this project should be very, very proud.

DarqueGuy

Here's the longtime netizen, Frankenseus with his look at the film...

IRON GIANT

Despite the decade's reputation for depravity and lowest common denominator crappiness, the 90's have actually produced a whole slew of intelligent and superbly crafted family films. From wickedly imaginative fantasies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach to more down to earth dramas like Harriet the Spy and Fly Away Home, a wide range of high quality films have brightened up what might otherwise be known as the John Hughes kicked-in-the-balls period. Now there's a new movie to add to the modern family classics category, a movie that will also take its place among the best all around films of the '90s and the greatest animated features ever made. And to my delight, this movie happens to be about a giant robot.

Iron Giant delivers as a giant robot film, depicting all manner of robotic adventure for its wonderful, retro-styled title automaton. You get to see the robot flying, fighting, carrying people, shooting beams out of its eyes - everything you'd expect. But for this film, that stuff is only the surface - even if it doesn't need to be. Most likely, Iron Giant is not what you expect. It could easily join Toy Story and Babe in a trilogy of warm, compassionate fairy tales with universal appeal. Like its predecessors, Iron Giant is a nearly flawless masterpiece of cinematic storytelling. The basic premise - boy befriends giant robot from space - is an old one, but it comes out feeling like something entirely unique. It is fortified with healthy doses of humor and invention that will appeal to adults even more than to children. At the sneak preview screening I attended, the audience was mostly made up of adults who seemed to think they were just treating their small children to the latest kiddy flick. They ended up laughing loud and hard from beginning to end.

Most importantly, Iron Giant continues the Toy Story/Babe tradition by instilling a strong sense of humanity and emotion into a character we wouldn't have imagined could be so moving. I never in a million years would have expected to care about a talking pig the way I do Babe, so that was one of that film's most surprising qualities. It also seems a bit odd to get tingles from a clunky action figure of a spaceman super hero, but that's just what happens when I watch Buzz Lightyear realize he's only a toy and try to fly anyway.

I did expect to like the giant robot of Iron Giant, because I'm the sort of guy who likes that sort of thing. But I couldn't have hoped for such a moving, Frankenstein's-monster-like personality inside this cool-looking mass of metal. All of the characters, even the humorously xenophobic villain, have enough dimension and humanity to them to make the story inescapably compelling. At one point in the movie it occurred to me that the giant might live out a certain tragic tradition of giant robot stories, and suddenly I found myself crying. Now that I didn't expect.

Unlike recent non-Disney hits like Anastasia and Prince of Egypt, it's actually difficult to think of Iron Giant (which was produced by Warner Brothers) in terms of Disney animation. Despite being an all ages animated fable, Iron Giant is a completely different animal. I like Tarzan, and the way it sticks its toes just a little bit outside the borders of the Disney formula. I think it is more dramatic and emotional than most Disney films, and I appreciate the lack of musical sequences. When compared to Iron Giant, though, Tarzan seems laughable and by-the-numbers. Iron Giant doesn't skewer animation tradition, but it doesn't follow formula at the expense of story. You don't get the feeling that this is a commercial endeavor, where merchandising and marketability are first or even second priorities. They're not even a factor at all. This is just good old fashioned storytelling that seems to be effortlessly universal in its appeal.

Iron Giant isn't a musical either, but unlike Tarzan it doesn't bow to the Toy Story inspired Middle-Aged-Rock-Crooner-Replaces-Show-Tunes formula. The story takes place in the '50s, and most of the music (besides Michael Kamen's mythic score) is period source music that usually wafts out of some distant radio, like in the kitchen of the café where young Hogarth's mom works. We're talking sound design more along the lines of Jaws than Beauty and the Beast. It helps to give the film a realistic, live action feel. The atmosphere is somewhat akin to that of Kiki's Delivery Service - a magical animated fantasy that manages to depict reality a little more convincingly than many live action films.

(It is significant to note that producer Pete Townshend recorded a rock opera concept album based on the same Ted Hughes book the film is based on. Keeping this in mind, it's hard to believe the filmmakers were actually able to fulfill their vision. Call me pessimistic, but I think Disney would have forced songs on them.)

Tarzan, despite its fairly serious tone (I am still very fond of the scene where Tarzan kills a leopard and hoists its corpse above his head) is saddled by a couple of cartoony comic relief sidekicks who occasionally let their zany antics and references interfere with the story. They're tame by Disney standards, so they don't seem that bad in Tarzan.

But Iron Giant has no comic relief characters or wacky sidekicks. At the same time, I can't think of a Disney movie that made me laugh half as hard as Iron Giant. Instead of having characters in the story whose job it is to be funny, the main characters themselves are funny and face funny situations. Director Brad Bird helmed early episodes of The Simpsons and helped establish many of the show's longstanding storytelling techniques, so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that the many funny scenes in Iron Giant are masterfully executed.

It is surprising, though, or at least refreshing, how genuinely warm and human the movie is. I think a lot of people will see that it's a non-Disney animated feature and expect the kind of saccharine pseudo-sweetness they get from movies like Balto or the sinister works of Don Bluth. You know, the movies where shots of cute animals or sad orphan girls batting their eyelashes are what passes for emotion. Hogarth is the real thing - a believable and likable child protagonist. You can relate to him because he's smart and self-reliant and likes to watch monster movies.

In his Family Dog episode of Amazing Stories, Bird displayed a knack for depicting realistic children and getting great performances out of child voice actors. This tradition is continued with Hogarth, who is superbly portrayed by Eli Marienthal. In most ways, Hogarth behaves just like a normal kid, reading comic books and playing in the lake. To me he seemed just like the kids who were in the theater, telling each other that the giant wouldn't harm anyone because "he's a good guy." But while Hogarth seems like a normal kid, it also seems perfectly natural when he forms unusual friendships and performs acts of genuine heroism. I think a lot of filmmakers, and not only those who work in animation, could learn from the characterization in this movie.

Hogarth's relationship with the robot begins with a situation thematically similar to the unforgettable pitbull rescue in Babe: Pig in the City. Hogarth encounters the huge metal creature stomping through the woods and he thinks - maybe even correctly - that it's trying to kill him. Hogarth gets his chance to escape when the metal monster trips into a web of power lines. Seeing it writhe in pain, Hogarth perhaps sees that there is something human about the giant, and he risks himself to save it from electrocution.

This act of kindness is the beginning of a relationship in which the boy helps the machine realize that he can be more than a weapon. The giant turns out to be almost more of a boy than Hogarth, so much so that he idolizes Superman. Even if Iron Giant were a shoddy piece of filmmaking, I'd probably be suckered just by that wonderful notion: the powerful giant robot from outer space who likes to play Superman. Lucky for me (and everyone who's not a sucker) that's just one of many beautiful touches on this animated masterpiece, which is easily my favorite film of the year so far. It's an instant classic which will surely be remembered alongside the likes of the aforementioned Kiki's Delivery Service, Toy Story and Babe - movies that make you smile just thinking about them.

Frankenseus

Here's Acaana's look at THE IRON GIANT

Greetings from the Great White North! God smiled on me yesterday and I managed to get to a sneak preview of Iron Giant. Just thought I'd add my quick thoughts, as a budding animator.

The best word I could come up with to exclaim my wonder at this masterpiece is GLORIOUS (hope I spelled that right.. don't wanna look like an idiot...). I was absolutely blown away, no matter what hype I had read I was not prepared for such a beautiful film. It looks like the WB is now back on track with their animation dept., after the past few years worth of crap. Hope springs eternal that this is a sign of things to come. The characters, the story, the crisp animation... it was perfect! If it were not for my Christian-bias, I'd say it was even better than Prince of Egypt, but I won't...

Anyhow, I just noticed that you put up some reviews of this sneak preview weekend already, so I doubt mine will be added, but I just like the thought of Head Geek reading my opinion.

On a completely different note, I just found out that a co-worker of mine is from New Zealand and Peter Jackson grew up next door to him, dated his daughter, etc. and is in touch with him often, so I am hoping to someday drop you a bomb with SOME sort of LotR news. Or maybe I can squeak in there as a hobbit extra or something...

Anyhow, I've taken up enough of your time. If you DO print this (is that the term on the net?) then just sign me:

Acaana the Beorning

Here's a look from Roper

After I watched a preview screening of Iron Giant, I felt weird. This movie, like none other, somehow got INTO me and stirred my soul. Dont get me wrong-there is really NOTHING groundbreaking in the lines of Deep Canvas or Toy Story CG stuff here. What makes IG so AWESOME is its total dedication to the two most important (but somehow lacking these days ) elements in moviemaking :

STORY and CHARACTERS. Iron Giant had both.

As I was watching it, memories of the way Pinocchio and Dumbo made me feel rushed back in a torrent. Unlike Tarzan with its whiz-bang deep-canvas technology, GIANT never once calls attention to its technology. It keeps the story and characters at the forefront.

As the movie ended, I was reminded that this is why I LOVE animation in the first place.

This is why I LOVE IRON GIANT.

From one great robot, Optimus Prime, about another THE IRON GIANT, comes an Autobot review

Right off the bat I'll call the Iron Giant a animated classic. Much more so than all the so-so films that Disney labels every animated film they do. And if it is a hit, which it well deserves to be, expect that damn Disney formula finally to be broken in American animation.

This is an film with a story, a heart, and yes even a message. It is one of those rare films that captures your complete attention for the whole time. It doesn't rely on cheap gags, such as the comedy side-kick of Disney. There are no annoying moments of characters breaking out in song, to fill us in on how we should be feeling at that moment.

Somebody called this an E.T. for the 90's, and that is the best definition I can give it. Although I think it actually works better than E.T. That is because it is animated. Animation makes the fantastic seem more possible, your not thinking about the computer graphics, or the puppetry that makes the creature move, you just think about the Giant as another character.

I guess I should give some story details. The story has been told numerous times, The Iron Giant, is a visitor from outer space. He befriends a wonderful boy, the kind of boy that doesn't quite fit in, with the huge imagination and lust for life. The kind of boy that grows up to be a Steven Spielberg. The government is of course threatened by the Giant, and they want to destroy it. But it is mostly a story of two great friends.

Here are some quotables for the Warner Brothers marketing team. This film will make you laugh, make you cry, and most importantly it will make you think. This really is a film that kids and adults will love.

Please try to ignore the horrible advertising that has been put together for this film. And if successful, please don't cheapen this film with that horrible trend of straight to video sequels. Optimus Prime telling everyone young and old to see this movie.

AHA! Finally a fairly negative review of THE IRON GIANT! I knew there'd be someone out there with coal for a heart, here ya go....

Hey, Harry...Online Film Critics Society member Dustin Putman here with my review of "The Iron Giant," which I saw at the sneak preview Sunday afternoon. Since it is actually a mixed review, much different than the unanonymously positive ones we've been getting on your site, I thought you would be interested in what I have to say, and hopefully let your readers see a somewhat different opinion on the movie...here's a link to my website, by the way: Dustin Putman's Film Haven.

The praise Warner Brothers' new animated film, "The Iron Giant," has been getting is phenomenally positive, with a few critics who have gone as far as to call it a classic, the best animated film in a long time, and WB's first successful venture into the world of animation (after dismal results with "The Quest for Camelot" and "The King and I"). Thus, going into the movie theater was a hopeful, relatively assured experience; I was ready to like, and embrace, the film, just as long as it was as special as everyone has been saying. It isn't, and actually surprised me in how lacking the whole film was in almost every respect, despite its more mature themes than the usual animated flick. For me, at least, WB's losing streak continues, even if it is worlds above the dreadful "The King and I."

Based on the 1968 novel by Ted Hughes, "The Iron Giant" begins as a giant robot from outer space crashes into the ocean during a hurricane, but is able to reach land unscathed. Rumors begin to circulate around the tiny New England town of Rockwell, Maine, circa 1959, about a huge creature that a sailor allegedly glimpsed while out on the waters. Hiding within the tall forest directly above the town, the robot, named the Iron Giant, is equipped with weapons all over his body, basically programmed as a destroying machine, but due to a dent in his head caused from falling to Earth, he doesn't remember this. When 10-year-old Hogarth Hughes (voiced by Eli Marienthal) is home alone one night watching a scary movie (his mother, voiced by Jennifer Aniston, sometimes has to work late at the local diner), the television abruptly goes to static and, investigating, Hogarth discovers that their antenna has been eaten, and a large path has been made into the woods behind his house. Following it, he meets the Iron Giant, whom he is frightened of at first until he realizes he is a kind robot that just needs a little discipline. This unlikely pair soon become close buddies, but Hogarth fears their friendship will be threatened if anyone else finds out about him, especially when oily government agent Kent Mansley (voiced by Christopher McDonald) sets out to find the unidentified being from another planet.

While it can be appreciated that "The Iron Giant," directed by Brad Bird, features several adult themes that you do not usually find in animated films (including serious talks about death, faith in God, and the nuclear holocaust), and we are thankfully spared singing characters and cute (read: annoying) animal sidekicks, the film is disappointing and flawed for many reasons. For one, the movie feels overlong while you are watching it, even at a scant 85 minutes, but in retrospect, virtually nothing occurs outside of the major storyline between the robot and the young boy. Unfortunately, on this level alone, even amidst its tranquil nature and innocence, the film is almost shameful in its extreme similarities with the 1982 classic, "E.T." Replace a small alien with a giant robot, tranport the time period back some 22 years, and turn the three-dimensional, well-developed human actors into one-dimensional, thinly-written animated characters, (mix well) and you've practically got the same movie.

The character of Hogarth's mother is an example of a wasted, thoroughly undealt-with creation. Working as a waitress and obviously struggling to raise her son on her own, a possible subplot is briefly brought up in which you expect to learn more about her and her personal problems, but apparently director Bird felt that anything revolving outside of the cliched robot storyline would make children squirm. I beg to differ, however, since Bird is ambitious enough to discuss several heavy topics, and send out worthy anti-gun and anti-violence messages, and the children in the audience didn't make a peep. Aside from the robot himself, the film is refreshingly realistic, and because of this, children will be more likely to relate to the characters and situations, while adults will appreciate the distinct period flavor, including how, during the Cold War, school children were instructed to climb underneath their desks in case a nuclear bomb was to hit. If the film had gone a little bit further in portraying this particular era, including using, perhaps, an array of popular '50s tunes to underscore the goings-on, it might have been more enjoyable on this level.

"The Iron Giant" is not a complete washout (it's a little too aspiring for that), but remains a missed opportunity. The film strains to follows the cookie-cutter basics of the plot, in which "boy-meets-robot, boy-befriends-robot, boy-must-bid-farewell-to-robot-when-his-safety-is-threatened," and not once strays from this well-worn path. The entrance of agent Kent Mansley is irritating and a throwaway stock villain character, while the other supporting animated figures play as more of an afterthought. Finally, young, precocious Hogarth must briefly say goodbye to his beloved friend in the supposed-to-be-heart-tugging climax, but all I could really think about at that moment was, "I've seen this all before, and to much more powerful effect." Animated feature or not, "The Iron Giant" attempts to stray from the beaten path of Disney, but really, who is Warner Brothers kidding? I'll take Disney's superior animated entertainment, "Tarzan," over this any day of the week.

And here's THE PRANKSTER's look at the film...

Hey there, The Prankster here, also known as "Blah Blah". Just your average corporate shill, oops, I mean impartial reviewer. :)

Yes, I've seen Iron Giant now. Sooooo...is the hype justified?

Well, yes and no. It's like...imagine if The Shawshank Redemption or Forrest Gump had been hyped the way Episode 1 was. That's sort of what this movie was like. The hype might lead you to expect a "thrill ride" or, in the case of this movie, something on the level of Toy Story. It's not that kind of movie, but it's an entirely different kind of "good". It's quiet and low-key...at the beginning, anyway. The final sequence is just as cool as the mutants in Toy Story or the big amusement park battle at the end of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

Most aniamted movies focus on the cool visual sequences and the characters...this one starts from the story and the relationships. As a result it's not as visually incredible as many animations, but it is more touching.

And yes, it is adult. Adults will enjoy it. It's still a "kid's movie", the same way Star Wars or E.T. are. But it's more mature than just about anything we've seen animated before, even Toy Story or POE. One quibble--after the amazing "acting" in POE, the flourishes in Iron Giant seem a bit melodramatic. The voice acting was superb, though.

Oh yeah. And this movie has a message. People will probably start complaining that it was heavy-handed once they've seen it. Well yeah, if you're a cynical bastard who can't stand an instant of honest emotion. There are things I guess you can laugh at in this movie. It gets tear-jerking at times, and you might try to brush it off with laughter. All I can say is...it worked for me.

You know, I can't help but feel WB got it right by not giving this thing a huge marketing push. Yeah, I know, call me a blasphemer. But this movie is in the ranks of There's Something About Mary, The Shawshank Redemption, and Forrest Gump. It's not something you can or should advertize in advance...instead you should "discover" it. I have a feeling the critics will like it (except those so blinded by "The King and I" and "Quest for Camelot"...and really, who could blame 'em?).

Regards

The Prankster

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 3, 1999, 5:59 a.m. CST

    Frankenseus Rules!!!!

    by Moriarty

    Hey, all... Nice to see the King of Usenet here, and he's really summed up the film beautifully. As far as this "Official Online Society of Film Critics," or whatever the hell it's called, give to me a break, please. Oh, and, uh... I'M FIRST! "Moriarty" out.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Putman, check Souls R Us...yours is missing.

    by Ninja Nerd

    Dustin Putman is the epitome of the "movie critic ate up with themselves". Those who somehow are smarter and wiser than the dumb movie going public and must educate us. I mean, who pissed in his Post Toasties? Did he see the same movie we saw? Has he gotten laid this decade? C,mon man, this is no-brainer...one of the best movies in years and he obviously doesn't get it. Hey, his loss. I feel sorry for him. BTW, I recall the year as 1957, not "circa 1959" as he states in his review. quibble, but how close WAS he watching?

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Go see THE IRON GIANT this weekend!

    by The Graduate

    And the positive reviews keep pouring in . . . This weekend is a huge treat for moviegoers, what with this and THE SIXTH SENSE and MYSTERY MEN and THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR and the continuing expansion of BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (which I was shut of last Saturday). But you can't lose with this one. I've been thinking about this one since I saw it on Sunday and posted my review here. And you know what? There are two types of movies: those where you remember the bad scenes, the mistakes, the worst moments. And then there are those where, when you think of it, you remember the best scenes and smile. That's what this movie is like. I don't think it's Oscar caliber, as some are saying, but when I think of this film, I remember watching Hogarth and the Giant getting to know one another, the hipster Dean, the jokes, the touching moments, and especially, especially, the last 20 minutes. And I didn't say this in my review, but this movie did make me cry, and it's the first one to do that to me since LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. And, thinking back, this is the same feeling. Crying from mingled sadness and joy. I am straining to avoid spoilers, but everyone who has seen it knows what I am talking about, the words that are said. So basically, don't skip over THE IRON GIANT this weekend thinking it's a "kiddie movie." It worked its magic on me, and I don't have kids, don't even really like kids. But THE IRON GIANT is a great story, well-written, well-drawn, and well-voiced, and definitely worthy of your hard-earned bucks this weekend, no matter what your age.

  • I don't understand it. We saw it happen on this site with Star Wars, when I was the brunt of a lot of the bashing, and now, just two months later, once someone expresses a differing opinion from the norm, Putnam has no soul either. How does that follow? I don't particularly care for E.T., and I know I'm in the minority with this one, but I happen to find it predictable, overbearing, overdone, melodramatic, and kind of boring. I guess that a sure sign that I am soul-less. But what does that actually mean? Near as I can tell that is a term applied to anyone who doesn't enjoy any supposed children's film that is supposed to be good. Guys, I hate to break it to you, but you haven't written the book on souls, and you can call Putnam whatever names you like, but if you really wish to make a point, why not actually tell him why the film is so wonderful...

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Has the time come when we will see...

    by spike lee

    the reviews posted on this site featured on tv spots and posters for films. I can just see it Harry Knowles of AICN says it reminds him of the time he went fishing with Father Geek..and thats a great thing, or Film Man of AICN says this one f*&king rocks, or what about Kubrick Cloud says he would rather see this movie than bone Katie Holmes. Im looking forward to the advertisements for Iron Giant.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 8:02 a.m. CST

    oh PLEASE..

    by Valinor

    The only opinion that matters is your own, that thought is echoed here over and over, and is epitomized by Harry's reviews. But this artsy-fartsy 'negative' review turns my stomach. To talk about THE IRON GIANT in terms of clinical plot review and sterile, academic tones is missing the point. I've seen it and it killed me.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 8:46 a.m. CST

    I wanted to take a break from movies, but. . . .

    by Crickers

    After seeing four movies in a week last week, I vowed that I would take at least two weeks before venturing into the theatres again. But now, this weekend more movies are opening that I simply HAVE to go see. THE SIXTH SENSE looks great, and I've heard nothing but good things about it. MYSTERY MEN looks funny, but I may be able to wait for the second-run theatres. THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, I may be able to hold off for video. But now come all these reviews for IRON GIANT? I admit when I saw the preview I thought it looked like an interesting kids' movie, and maybe I'd rent it. . .being 20, why pay for a ticket? But with all these reviews pouring in, I suddenly have this immense urge to go see the movie RIGHT NOW!! I may just have to skip work to go see it.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Classic? Priceless!

    by Devils Halo

    Well, going to see Iron Giant again confirmed my enthusiasm for it. I just love this movie! I laughed and cried, it's warmth touched my emotions even though I've already seen it weeks before and I knew what to expect. Maybe I'm giving it more credit than it deserves, or maybe I'm not. I dunno, there's just something special about this movie. It's hard to say how good the story is, because there are so many little intricacies to it, so many other undertones, yet there's one main story of friendship. There haven't been too many movies that were 'academy' material so far this year (granted I haven't seen everything), but this one (to me) is still the closest to a win a couple in the major catagories that I've seen so far. Iron Giant is what I was hoping Episode 1 would have been, a movie made for kids without forgetting it's adult audience. I walked into the theater to see 3/4 of it filled with 5 - 10 year olds and their parents. This movie had all of them glued to the screen, not only were the kids having a great time, but so were the adults. That's how special a movie this is! So many are comparing this to Spielberg's E.T. and there are many similarities, but I closely associate this one with Simon Birch. Ok, so Simon and the big Iron dude aren't exactly built to be the same, but closer inspection reveals that they both are outcasts who are trying to find themselves with the help of a best friend. I'll be seeing this one a few more times.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 9 a.m. CST

    THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!!...

    by EL Duderino

    How dare someone bash thee Iron Giant! They need to be sacrificed to the Iron Giant! They have no soul, they are EVIL (echo)!! Is it just me, or are the majority of the people on this site a little TOO into movies. Their for your entertainment, and sometimes they can make you think a little differently if it really made an impact on you, but it's not a religion people! I'm probably going to see the Iron Giant even if it's in a tiny room full of vomiting babies and obnoxious fat guys that laugh extreniously at every joke thrown at the screen (the first part happened during Tarzan, and the second part happens at almost every movie I see). A negative review isn't going to change my opinion very much if it's one out of hundreds.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 10:08 a.m. CST

    FINALLY--a Mature Animated Feature!

    by Irie

    After the hefty promises and then the self-aggrandizing disappointments of both "Prince of Egypt" and "Antz," it's nice to see that Brad Bird has made a film that cares more about STORY and CHARACTER and most importantly ENTERTAINMENT--all while respecting the audience attention span and intelligence. While the Dreamworks features wallow 100% in Katzenberg's bad taste and lame idea of what audiences "want" to see (and never being any more "adult" or challenging than any recent Disney feature) "Iron Giant" is content to TELL A STORY and do it well--at the same time being entertaining and compelling. THANK YOU MR. BIRD!!!!!!

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Another bad review...

    by 0007

    I will give you another bad review: Gee, being from space lands on Earth, befriends young boy, government intervene, boy protects space being from harm until the two of them realize they are too different to be friends. Can we say E.T., Mac n' Me, et cetera...Get some new ideas!

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Another bad review...

    by 0007

    I will give you another bad review: Gee, being from space lands on Earth, befriends young boy, government intervenes, boy protects space being from harm until the two of them realize they are too different to be friends. Can we say E.T., Mac n' Me, et cetera...Get some new ideas!

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 10:40 a.m. CST

    He wanted more of the mother's story!?

    by Darth Siskel

    Hello!! The movie was about the boy and the robot!! I could give a rat's ass about his mom, & so could everyone else. She brought just enough to the story, why focus on her anymore!? That WAS a 'Bad' review.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Did We See The Same Film?

    by Bytebox

    I saw this film early in its test stages. I went with three 8 year old girls. While the kids liked it, (not loved it) I thought it was the longest 85 minutes ever spent. True, we had a great deal of this movie still in pencil draft animation. But the story seemed dated, the animation less than stellar, and the story (even for me, a child of the 50's) very difficult to relate to warmly. Didn't care about Hogarth (who named their kid THAT???)or anyone else. I cannot believe the reviews on this. A classic? Sorry, don't think so.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Agent Apple Fritters, part 2

    by Powerslave

    So, Spike. You want to see reviews from this site in movie ads? It's been done. Remember Agent Apple Crisp and how much he thought 'An Allan Smithee Film' "rocks?" In fact, he thought it "rocks" so much, he couldn't wait to take his girlfriend. And we all know how well 'Allan Smithee' did...

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Dustin Putman, MUCH PRAISE TO YOU!!!

    by quentin2

    Finally!!! An intelligent film critic with guts enough to stand up amidst the zombie-like crowd in a valliant attempt to show them the error of their ways. As I said before, this film PRETENDS to be more intelligent than it really is! Adult themes, my ass! It is extremely easy to throw in some "mature" ideas and topics into a kiddie movie, but does it warrant words like "CLASSIC"??? NO!!! This is a crappy animated film, that will hopefully be forgotten soon.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 12:19 p.m. CST

    People and great films...

    by Le Max

    You know, there are plenty of people who hated Titanic; I've heard them all: bad acting, boring story, stupid screenplay, unoriginal. There are also plenty of people who hated Blade Runner, Aliens, The Blair Witch Project, The Lion King, Star Wars, A Fish Called Wanda, South Park The Movie, The Matrix, Ben Hur, The X-Files (TV), Star Trek: TNG, The Simpsons, Twin Peaks, and I could go on and on. Do you recognize yourself? The same goes for The Iron Giant. What I'm trying to say, is that no matter how good we think something is, there is always someone who didn't get it, or wasn't hooked, or takes pleasure in disagreeing with others, or just don't share the same interest. We don't need to come here and tell them that they have no soul for it. Don't get me wrong, I hate it when someone I know says that Cameron can't write a good screenplay, or that animation is for kids, but what can I do? Doen't mean they aren't human, all the contrary. People disagree, it's a blessing and a curse. Meanwhile, I will return this weekend to see that wonderful magical film about a giant robot and his human friend. And for those who "compare it" to E.T., name one movie that is based on a subject that hasn't been done before, ever. Everything is always based on something else, whether it's a book, a tv show, a radio show, a song, a news article, a legend, history, or...another film. I just feel sorry for those people, they're missing something great when they hate something that is great.

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Clarification to earlier post...

    by Ninja Nerd

    Folks, I'm sorry I stated that Dustin doesn't have a soul. It was an attempt (obviously a bad one) to make light of his "bad" review by referring to a theme from the movie - souls don't die, et al. Hey it made sense at 7:00 a.m. this morning. Dustin is entitled (as is 0007, etc.) to not like the movie as much as most of us did. Was it derivitive of other works like E.T.? Sure! As some others have pointed out, what story, book, movie ISN'T based on something from the past? So, I'm sure Dustin has a soul, but I still feel sorry for him because he just doesn't sound like a happy camper. Perhaps I should have said "lighten up, it's only a movie". Some advice I'll take for myself. :-)

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Don't get carried away

    by 5555

    I did see the premiere of Iron Giant on Saturday on the official site and it was good.This is Warner Bros. best animated picture in a long time.It is what fans of Warner Bros. were hoping and expecting from them.But to comment against Don Bluth is pretty stupid. He has made 10 animated films.People still buy An American Tail the Land Before Time which spawned four new series tapes for kids,All Dogs go to Heaven which was shown on WGN family classics in the 80's and is still bought and the first animated feature in Anastasia to make 60 million dollars a non Disney film.After all those projects and to still be in business not like Ralph Bashki the guy knows secrets of animation.And boy,wait to you see Titan A.E. It's going to be nothing like you've ever seen before.Sure Iron Giant is going to be good and I'm glad for Warner Bros. which I am definately going to see on Friday but Don Bluth is a great animator.And believe me he is.Just wait to you play Dragon's Lair 3D which he is making for the PC.Don't make a mistake about Don Bluth he is good

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Has anyone realized...

    by Slashman

    That a lot of the "intellegent reviewers" who find this story dervative of ET failed to notice that line in the beginning of their reviews... "...book written in 1968?" How is it possible that a movie based on a book over thirty years old is derivative of a movie made after the book was written? I'm a little confused. But seriously, I'm really looking forward to The Iron Giant. Why? Because it might have its flaws, it might have some problems, but what movie doesn't? After leaving Episode One utterly disgusted at what a horrid piece of filmmaking I had just seen, and being none too impressed by the other "big" summer fare, I get the feeling that Iron Giant is going to meet or even exceed my expectations. I've seen a few negative reviews, but some people just love to trash something, to go against the flow, and other people want every movie to be Citizen Kane and measure an animated feature like TIG on the same level as the classic films that made Hollywood. I'll take the words of people who say they've been touched by this movie, and then make my own opinion on Friday. But for the record, the old saying still applies... "Those who can't do, review." I think you can maybe change that to, "Those who can't do, give bad reviews."

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Has anyone realized...

    by Slashman

    That a lot of the "intellegent reviewers" who find this story dervative of ET failed to notice that line in the beginning of their reviews... "...book written in 1968?" How is it possible that a movie based on a book over thirty years old is derivative of a movie made after the book was written? I'm a little confused. But seriously, I'm really looking forward to The Iron Giant. Why? Because it might have its flaws, it might have some problems, but what movie doesn't? After leaving Episode One utterly disgusted at what a horrid piece of filmmaking I had just seen, and being none too impressed by the other "big" summer fare, I get the feeling that Iron Giant is going to meet or even exceed my expectations. I've seen a few negative reviews, but some people just love to trash something, to go against the flow, and other people want every movie to be Citizen Kane and measure an animated feature like TIG on the same level as the classic films that made Hollywood. I'll take the words of people who say they've been touched by this movie, and then make my own opinion on Friday. But for the record, the old saying still applies... "Those who can't do, review." I think you can maybe change that to, "Those who can't do, give bad reviews."

  • Aug. 3, 1999, 8:07 p.m. CST

    RE: Lemax

    by Veidt

    Thanks for your comments - while many have expressed the thought that we all have our own opinions, to list some of the number of films that are generally regarded as classics that have still found themselves slagged by some puts a great deal of the current talkbacks on BWP, Eyes Wide Shut and now Iron Giant into a perfect perspective. I've seen Iron Giant and while I liked it a great deal my reaction wasn't as enthusiastic as Harry's and some others here. But I'm GLAD that this movie affected anyone so much. So many people on various talkbacks here seem to resent to the point of hatred anyone who dared to like a film that they thought was boring or weak or derivative (and usually their reasoning to as to why said film was so apparently godawful is highly subjective at best and at worst just plain misinformed). We all have films that we've reacted to in a deeply personal way. Sometimes our opinion is shared by most, other times we seem to be among the few to appreciate a particular film. No matter how bad or mediocre I thought a film was I've never been upset to find out that someone thought it was fantastic (and almost every film - certainly every genre film - has its fans). Instead I'm glad they found something in it that I did not.

  • Aug. 4, 1999, 3:23 a.m. CST

    It's been two days since I saw Iron Giant

    by Nordling

    and I'm still in awe. Please, ignore the haters. They are WRONG. Quentin2, you are WRONG, and when you're on your sick bed, 50 years from now, you'll still be WRONG. This is a great film. This isn't about opinion. This film is greater than that. The Iron Giant is brilliance. It's lightning in a bottle, and it's sheer perfection. I'm open to other opinion, but not on this. The haters are WRONG. Period.

  • I know that no one holds spelling or grammar in high esteem on this site, but one would think that a member of the "Online Film Critics Society" would actually be able to write a coherent review. I won't even get into all the grammatical mistakes in this review. All I have to say is that I could never put any stock in Putnam's review after he wrote: "much different than the unanonymously positive ones"; the word is "unanimously". How someone could mistake one for the other is beyond me. (Or perhaps he actually meant unanonymously, which would mean that he thinks `Moriarty` and `Optimus Prime` are their real names.)

  • Aug. 20, 2006, 1:13 p.m. CST

    It's not like the movie has naked pics of Jessica Alba.

    by Wolfpack