The Iron Giant (1999) and Happy Christmas (2014)

I watched a couple of movie over Labor Day weekend but haven’t really had time to write up reviews of them. Also a side note it has been reported that The Last 5 Years film will be coming out on Valentine’s Day.

Iron Giant: This is a film that got lost amongst the other films of 1999 and tanked at the box office but over time it has become one of the animated classics. This was Brad Bird’s first feature film. It is often listed as one of the best animated films of all time. The film is based upon the book  The Iron Man by Ted Hughes. The film itself is about an Iron Giant who has crashed down on earth in 1957. A young boy, Hogarth Hogan, spies the Iron Giant one evening and goes after it. The giant is electrocuted by an electrical substation and is saved by Hogarth, they become friend. Word of this Iron Giant has spread and Washington sends up someone to investigate. Hogarth hides the giant at a scrap yard so it can eat to its heart content. The Iron Giant is a wonderful film that still feels fresh today and the message is wonderful “You are who you choose to be.” This is something that we need to remember it is us who decides who we are, we do not have to be those violent individuals that society depicts us as.

Happy Christmas: This is one of those mumblecore movies. They all seem to fit in the same mode is a film about someone in their 20’s who is struggling to find direction in their lives.  Anna Kendrick stars as Jenny who after breaking up with her boyfriend moves in with her brother (Jeff) and his wife (Kelly) and their child (Jude) in Chicago. This causes friction as Kelly believes that Jenny can take no responsibility and early on is proved right as Jenny get wasted and Jeff is needed to bring her home one evening and after agreeing to babysit Jude sleeps through it so Kelly calls in a babysitter (Kevin). Jenny and Kevin hit is off. The film like most of Joe Swanberg’s works has improvised dialogue. i really like the way this make the films feel vaguely like a documentary. Although it is September the film still make it feel like coming home for the Holidays it is difficult for everyone and at times you butt heads with people but since you are family it’s not like you can get that far away from them. One of my big problems with mumblecore movies is that they just end. This can be with some resolution or with none.

If you haven’t seen The Iron Giant this is the one that I would recommend that everyone see it is a great film and not that many people have seen it. I hope that animation can someday return to this combination of traditional and computer animation. Happy Christmas is more along the lines of if you liked Drinking Buddies you might like this, give it a shot.


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