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Iron Sky (Blu-ray Review)

In the last moments of WWII, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by making a daring escape to the Dark Side of the Moon. In the intervening 70 years they have re-colonized, re-armed and silently plotted their revenge.  When an American astronaut stumbles upon the Reich’s secret Moon lair, the Fuhrer (Udo Kier) decides to unleash their devastating armada upon the Earth.  Now every man, woman and child must unite to stop the Nazi UFO invasion and save humanity.  Women, guns, science fiction, explosions, political incorrectness, satire, oh my!  “Invasion? Y’all must be trippin’. ”

Film  

70 years ago the Nazis lost WWII and shook the spot to the moon. They’ve been hiding out and re-building their forces ever since. Granted, they may have moved to the moon, but their technology is certainly not up to snuff. They do have a whacky looking moon base, schools that teach German history, they play 10-minutes worth of Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and comment on how that film is a tribute to Hitler, and so forth. It’s not until the U.S. sends a two-man mission to explore the moon that the liquid poo hits the fan.

Astronaut/Model James Washington (Christopher Kirby) is on this mission, but when his comrade discovers the moon base, Kirby is captured and taken as a prisoner. What follows next can be taken right out of Blazing Saddles in terms of hilarity and political incorrectness.  Renate Richter (Julia Dietze) is a Nazi teacher who teaches the children of the moon base all about Nazi ideals. Klaus Adler (Götz Otto) is Renate’s squeeze and promised one. According to some random Nazi test he took they’re 97% compatible with each other and by Klaus’ calculations meant to expand on the Aryan race.

Back on Earth and in the current year of 2018 Sarah Palin, I mean, President of the United States (Stephanie Paul) is losing popularity, but is willing to do anything to stay in power. Even starting a war is not out of the question, because it’s been proven that every sitting President that has started a war gets reelected for a second term. It’s obvious that by the end of the film there will be a Earth vs. Nazi’s From the Moon intergalactic war with lots of explosions, etc.

As you can tell, Iron Sky is a scathing satire. You’ve got Nazi’s on the moon, and a Sarah Palin caricature as POTUS. If you go in there and take this movie seriously then there is something seriously wrong. The film cost 7.5 million Euros, which were raised by various production companies and investors along with a crowd funding  source (not Kickstarter) and the filmmakers were on their way. Iron Sky is a Finnish/German/Australian production. The only other film I am aware of that comes to use from the same filmmakers of Iron Sky is Star Wreck, which was a parody of sorts that was available as a free download back in 2005 and was later released on DVD. It became a smash cult-hit and fans wanted more from these filmmakers. The official idea for Iron Sky was born in 2007.

Iron Sky has some great production values – I’d remembered seeing the trailer around the time Dark Knight Rises was in theaters and was genuinely interested in the material. The action, special effects, and comedic aspects got me interested.  The majority of the film was shot on sound stages, but they do shoot in actual locations here and there. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously, but does pay tribute to a lot of internet/viral pop-culture.

Personally, I can’t wait to see what comes next from these very talented and resourceful filmmakers. I believe Iron Sky has secured their future in cinema. Give it a go.

Video 

Iron Sky is presented in 1080p, 2.35:1 widescreen. This one is a bit puzzling, but no big deal. For such a rich production palette, I don’t understand why there are certain scenes where black levels don’t look as black as they could. Contrast levels are stable and never run hot, but my biggest complaint are that black levels aren’t as deep as they should. This goes a bit beyond crush, but the rest of image is fine. Colors are bold, softness does creep up, but it’s mostly due to aesthetics – Iron Sky has that Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow thing going, so skin tones and environments will look smoothed out. It’s intentional.

Audio 

Iron Sky is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1. There’s English and German dialogue throughout the film, but subtitles are available when needed. The lossless track on this Blu-ray handles the job nicely. Dialogue in both languages is clean and clear. It’s an action packed movie, so the rest of the channels handle explosions, gunfire, and all sorts of futuristic and archaic weaponry smoothly. There’s great dimensionality found on this disc that left me pleased. It’s a great mix.

Extras 

Considering that Iron Sky was birthed via crowd funding means (some of the money was, anyway), I would have loved to have seen what that process was like in terms of raising the cash, but unfortunately we do not get many details on those efforts. What we do get is an awesome commentary track by co-writer/director Timo Vuorensola and producer Samuli Torssonen. The lads are excited to be there and let the viewers in on the entire journey, which began in 2007 until now. It’s a breath of fresh air to listen to filmmakers that are excited about the craft of film. It’s getting kind of rare these days. A making-of, behind-the-scenes, and trailers round out the set.

  • Making-of Featurette
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Teasers and Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary with Producer and Director

Summary 

Iron Sky is a film that we need more of. At least films like this. The filmmakers had a vision and made it come true by using some unorthodox measures, and in my opinion, the final product paid off. Is the film a classic or important? No. It is a lot of fun and it doesn’t take itself seriously. The video is a bit problematic, but not by much, and the audio is above average and dynamic. Extras could have used a bit more padding, but overall I am a happy camper. I’m asking myself what would Mel Brooks think of Iron Sky? Hmmmmmmm. 😉

 

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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