Iron Sky (Blu-ray) (2012)
Audio Commentary-Director and producer
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
|Year Of Production||2012|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Timo Vuorensola|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Audio Commentary
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It is 2018 and the unnamed female President of the USA (Stephanie Paul), who looks a lot like Sarah Palin, is facing re-election. Her campaign advisor Vivian Wagner (Peta Sergeant) comes up with a plan to win votes: resume the lunar space program and send black male model James Washington (Christopher Kirby) to land on the moon. The landing is successful, but James finds something he did not expect; a base full of German Nazis who quickly shoot his partner astronaut and capture him!
It seems that in 1945 at the end of WW2 the Nazis had used their rocket technology to send a group of die hards to the moon with the intention, some time in the future, of reinvading the Earth. Now under the leadership of Fuhrer Wolfgang Kortzfleisch (Udo Kier) and warlike Klaus Adler (Gotz Otto), who wants to be Fuhrer himself, and with machines developed by the dotty Doktor Richter (Tilo Pruckner), the Germans are almost ready to attack the Earth and destroy all the sub-human races. Almost; their technology has fallen behind the Earth’s and is still essentially mechanical, and so their ultimate weapon, the mighty Gotterdammerung spacecraft, cannot be launched. But the Nazis are impressed by the computer power of James’ smartphone and resolve to send Adler and James to Earth for more. Stowing away on their spacecraft when it leaves is Doktor Richter’s daughter Renate (Julia Dietze), a naïve teacher who believes the Nazi propaganda that they intend to return to the Earth to help mankind.
After arrival on Earth and a couple of misadventures, Adler forms an alliance with Vivian who uses Nazi slogans to help the President’s re-election campaign. No-one, however, takes Adler seriously despite James’ attempt to warn them that the threat of invasion is in deadly earnest. When the Nazi invasion is launched and spaceships and giant Zeppelins attack, the nations of the Earth, more or less unified, fight back exposing the Nazis’ technological weaknesses. Adler returns to the Moon with some advanced iPad technology, which means that Renate and James must join forces to try to stop him from launching the Gotterdammerung and destroying the Earth.
Iron Sky starts with a brilliant idea, and plays it out with style and exuberance. The film is not always totally successful because it tends not to know when to stop and to mix in too many styles, including Dr. Strangelove satire, Mars Attacks! silliness, Independence Day battle action scenes and jokes about everything including colour, race, gender, politics, the UN, the American way, politics and everything in between. The film looks pretty good. Many sequences were shot with the Red One digital camera against a green screen, and the backgrounds computer generated like in Sin City or 300, but with only a miniscule percentage of the budget spent on those films. The result is some softness and obvious CGI but this adds to the film’s appeal. Iron Sky also sounds great, with spacecraft, explosions and effects all across the sound stage, just as one would want from a film of this type.
The result is a film that looks and sounds good, is colourful and wildly entertaining. While not totally successful, Iron Sky plays its premise for all that it is worth, and then some, and does it with such exuberance and good humour it is impossible to dislike. Iron Sky is an absolute hoot.
Iron Sky is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original aspect ratio, in 1080i using the MPEG-4 code.
The film was shot using digital Red One MX cameras mostly against a green screen, and computer generated backgrounds added. The result is a clean print, with the close up detail on the flying saucers, Zeppelins, various space craft and the mechanical huge wheels of the Nazi moon base good enough, although detail in the distance is softer, reflecting the film’s limited budget. Many scenes are also backlit, increasing the softness of the main image. Digital manipulation of colour has occurred, but it is not overdone. The moon and the Nazi base have very much a gunmetal grey hue, but the scenes on Earth are natural. Blacks are good enough, shadow detail can be unclear.
There was occasional slight ghosting with movement against some mottled backgrounds but otherwise I did not notice any artefacts of any kind.
English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available. When not enabled, white English subtitles automatically translated the substantial sections of German dialogue. I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors.
Technically the film looks fine.
The only audio track is nominally English DTS-HD MA 5.1, although there were substantial sections of German.
Dialogue is clear and centred, although occasionally it came from the surrounds from characters out of the frame. The surrounds are full of music and ambient sound, including the mechanical sounds of the Nazi moon base, but exploded into action during the invasion. Engines roar and rumble, rockets and gunfire fly around the room, explosions resonate. The subwoofer is also frequently in action adding bass to the music but again it is the scenes with space craft going at each other that rumble very nicely.
The score by Laibach is bombastic and very Wagneresque. This suited the tone of the film, so it nicely enhanced the visuals and added to the film experience.
Lip synchronisation was fine.
The audio was good, giving a wonderful aural surround experience.
|Surround Channel Use|
An interesting collection of extras, all relevant to the film.
Director Timo Vuorensola and producer Samuli Torssonen provide an amusing and informative commentary, in English. They make jokes, but talk about a number of aspects of the production including the shooting locations in Queensland (during the worst floods in decades) and Germany, the cast, developing the script, green screen shooting, the support of the fans and how they did certain shots. Well worth a listen.
Not an EPK but an interesting look at the genesis of the film, shooting in Queensland and Frankfort (standing in for New York), the actor’s views on green-screen filming and generating the CGI effects. Comments from the director, DP, various producers from Finland, Australia and Germany, the production designer and the principle cast members plus film and behind the scenes footage. Informative and well done.
18 separate sections of behind the scenes footage showing the preparation and filming of some stunts, using the green screen, rehearsals, the director in action and other bits and pieces, some quite short. Each can be selected individually and there is a play all option; it is interesting to see in some sequences just how little of the set was real! Worthwhile.
31 film images. No sound and the pictures advance automatically taking 3:33 to get through.
Three teaser trailers, totalling 5:25.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Other than adding a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, the Region A US Blu-ray of Iron Sky is the same as ours, except that they appear to be 1080p. The Region B UK has a digital copy, but seems to have only the “making of” as an extra. This would make the Region A the preferred option.
Mix Dr. Strangelove, Mars Attacks! and Independence Day, action scenes and jokes about everything including colour, race, gender, politics, the UN and the American way, and you get Iron Sky. It is silly, exuberant, and hugely entertaining.
The video is good, the audio great, and there are a nice range of genuine extras. An excellent Blu-ray package.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|