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The Nazis set up a secret base on the moon in 1945 where they hide out and plan to return to power in 2018.
For more about Iron Sky and the Iron Sky Blu-ray release, see Iron Sky Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on September 27, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Timo Vuorensola
Writer: Johanna Sinisalo
Starring: Julia Dietze, Peta Sergeant, Götz Otto, Udo Kier, Christopher Kirby, Kym Jackson
» See full cast & crew
Iron Sky Blu-ray Review
Mooning for a new world order.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, September 27, 2012
For sheer audacity of premise, you'd be hard pressed to come up with a more outrageous setup than that which is front and center in Iron Sky. In this film's (literally) lunatic alternate universe, a horde of Nazis has managed to get to the dark side of the moon during the closing days of World War II, building a swastika shaped moon base while raising several generations of Aryans who are primed to return to Earth to instill their particular brand of order. In the meantime, a Sarah Palin-esque President of the United States has decided her best chance of getting reelected to a second term is by sending a new mission to the moon, replete with a handsome black model as one of the astronauts. When these two radically different worldviews collide, you get the weird and wacky world of this film which fairly screams "high concept". Funny Nazis may strike some as an anachronism, but of course everyone from Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator to Mel Brooks in The Producers has mined this seemingly questionable material for considerable laughs. Iron Sky is perhaps a bit too outré for its own good, however, and while it does deliver some significant chuckles along the way, it's also so odd so much of the time that many viewers may be scratching their heads in consternation rather than laughing out loud.
A lunar landing module makes its way toward the surface of the moon, where it sets down and the unfurls a couple of banners that proclaim "Yes She Can", replete with a bespectacled brunette politico who bears a striking resemblance to a certain former Governor of Alaska and Vice Presidential candidate. Two American astronauts dismount and being gallivanting across the moonscape, whereupon one stumbles upon the rather incredible discovery of a huge preexisting moonbase manned by German soldiers. That astronaut meets a quick demise, but the other astronaut is captured and taken inside the moonbase. It turns out this man is in fact not a real astronaut, but a towering African American model named James Washington (Christopher Kirby) who it turns out was chosen by the Palin-esque President (Stephanie Paul) simply for the marketing opportunities it provides to her for her reelection campaign. Washington is therefore spectacularly ill equipped to handle having been captured by a bunch of Nazis who are actively plotting a return to Earth to inaugurate what one supposes would be a Fourth Reich of National Socialist rule.
Washington is prodded for information by a crazy Nazi scientist who daughter Renate (Julia Dietze) is primed to become the wife of the man scheduled to be the next Führer, Klaus Adler (Götz Otto). The scientist injects Washington with a solution meant to turn him into a true Aryan, which only has the effect of morphing Washington into one strange looking quasi-Caucasian. In the meantime it becomes patently obvious that Renate finds Washington, in whatever color he may currently be appearing, far more attractive than her supposed Nazi paramour. With this bizarre set of circumstances set in place, Klaus decides to return to Earth to retrieve a bevy of cell phones, a technology Washington has introduced them to, to use the devices' minicomputers to power their space dirigible (yes, just like the Hindenburg) to get the Nazi hordes transported en masse back to terra firma.
When Klaus and Washington return to Earth, with the promise that Washington will get Klaus to the American President, it turns out that Renate has stowed away. Though she insists she's there to support Klaus, one get the distinct impression she's at least as interested in being with Washington. Klaus and Renate end up meeting the President's smarmy publicity director, Vivian Wagner (Peta Sergeant), who is initially in damage control mode since it has been assumed the moon mission has ended in disaster, but who then sees Klaus and Renate as an exciting new marketing opportunity. Iron Sky is perhaps at its smartest, if also its scariest, in this aspect, as Wagner slightly changes their swastika logo, subtly rewrites their National Socialist talking points, and then appropriates their "peace and security for all Mankind" messaging for the President to deliver. In the meantime, Washington has been sidelined and has become a street person carrying around a warning sign that an invasion of moon Nazis is imminent.
Things devolve rather quickly after this, especially once Klaus' superior, the current Führer (Udo Kier), shows up to make sure his underling is doing what he's supposed to be doing. The film starts to stumble more seriously here, with some tonal imbalances that tend to undercut the already bizarre humor. When you have a supposedly major character dispatched by gun toting Nazi storm troopers it tends to put a damper on any incipient hilarity. But the film has already teetered precariously in trying to be provocative without delivering enough gut busting humor. In fact the most effective bits here are smaller moments, as when Washington and Renate are taken in by the police after an on street scuffle, and Washington, who looks exactly like every frightening street person you've ever seen, goes off on a rant about having been on the dark side of the moon with a bunch of Nazis who are primed to invade the Earth.
Iron Sky benefits from its completely unique and unabashedly wacky premise, but it's also never quite as funny as it should be. The film has a number of really excellent ideas, and in fact some of its social and political commentary is quite piquant, but there's something that's just slightly off here, something that keeps the film from completely bursting through to the heights of The Great Dictator (which is openly referenced in the film) or even the manic hilarity of The Producers. The film might have been funnier had it been played entirely straight in an understated way. As it stands, combining a hyperbolic premise with equally hyperbolic writing and performance styles may simply be too over the top for the film's own good.
Iron Sky Blu-ray, Video Quality
Iron Sky is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Entertainment One with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.35:1. Substitute 300's ancient Greece and golden hued ambience for Iron Sky's retro-futuristic Nazis and slate gray palette and you'll have a good idea of what this largely green screen shot feature looks like. Close-ups reveal some excellent fine object detail (take a gander at that extreme close-up of Kirby's face for a great example). The CGI has an intentionally artificial look which also has a sort of smooth, flat ambience that is quite reminiscent of 300's similarly intentionally shallow appearance. Also like 300, the artificially created sets and backgrounds often have a smooth, textureless appearance. While there hasn't been an overt amount of color grading applied in post here, there is a slight tendency toward desaturation and the gray side of things which tends to keep midrange and wide shots from really popping. On the whole, though, this is a very sharp, clear and appealing looking transfer that should easily satisfy most videophiles.
Iron Sky Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Iron Sky features a very nicely rendered lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that is mostly in English, but which also contains several scenes in German with English subtitles. There is some very fun (and even funny) use of sound effects throughout this film, with clear pans as spaceships zoom by and good LFE via the rat-tat-tat of submachine guns and other explosions. Dialogue is cleanly and clearly presented and the film's score, which quotes liberally from Richard Wagner (in "new, improved" versions which almost verge on disco at times), sounds great. Fidelity is top notch, there's decently consistent immersion and dynamic range is quite wide.
Iron Sky Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Iron Sky Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Iron Sky has a fantastic premise and it works in fits and starts, but there's a lack of tonal balance here that tends to undercut the film's humor. This is a film that may have sounded great on paper or in the planning stages, but which just slightly misses the mark some of the time. Still, it offers some flat out funny scenes, even if one feels the actors are generally trying way too hard to compensate for half baked writing. The production design here is quite winning, with some good looking CGI and nicely done green screen elements. There are evidently already two more Iron Sky features already in the pipeline, so we haven't heard the last of these Moon Nazis. Despite not quite being as funny as it really should have been, with caveats noted, Iron Sky comes Recommended.
Iron Sky: Other Editions
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Iron Sky Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Iron Sky - September 29, 2012
Blu-ray.com and Entertainment One are offering ten members a chance to win a copy of Iron Sky. This Finnish film (in English with some German language sequences) is a satirical science fiction adventure which deals with Nazis who have fled to the moon as ...
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