Review: Iron Sky: Director’s Cut (Blu-ray/DVD)

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Title: Iron Sky: Director’s Cut
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Studio: Entertainment One
Original MSRP: $29.98
Number of Discs: 2
Language: English
Subtitles: English
MPAA Rating: NR
A copy of this movie was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy.

Audio Review:
The audio review for this movie is available on Episode 362 of the podcast.

Story:
In 1945, a group of Nazis left Earth from a secret base in Antarctica and headed to the dark side of the Moon. A little over 70 years later, the President of the United States (Stephanie Paul in a caricature of Sarah Palin) sends a mission to the Moon as a publicity stunt to help her reelection campaign. One of the crew is captured and the other killed and thus begins the long Nazi march back to Earth.

It’s fun to see the Nazi technology mired in 1940’s state of the art along with their ideas of what the Earth is probably like at this point. They see themselves as liberators of the poor starving masses in the failed Governments and economies. They’re completely baffled when our hero, James Washington (Christopher Kirby), tells them he’s a model and that he gets paid to have his picture taken.

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This movie is an action-comedy romp and never pretends to be anything more than that. There’s a surprising amount of character development, most of it added back in to the movie in this new Director’s Cut. A good 20 minutes or so has been added along with some upgraded effects allowing the story to unfold at a better pace. So why a Director’s Cut on such a campy movie? Director Timo Vuorensola explains it this way:

The reasons were both time and money. We didn’t have enough time to finish the film to hit the Berlin premiere in February’12, so we decided to cut some corners and focus on getting the film out. Second, as you know, we were always tight on money, and we just didn’t have enough resources to finish some of the more complex sequences with adequate quality. But it’s not to say that the Theatrical Version would’ve been anyhow lesser or minor version of the film; the two versions are quite different and it’s interesting to find out which one you will prefer. Theatrical Version is much faster paced and dashes on relentlessly, where Director’s Cut takes a little more buildup, staying a bit longer on scenes on the Moon and establishing the characters, thus rendering the pace to a more epic and grander scale movie. Both have their pros and cons. I prefer the Director’s Cut.

I fully agree with him here. The Director’s Cut takes a fun little movie and adds a bigger scale and much better pacing leading to a much more satisfying experience. The first scenes from Earth were pushed further back into the film so that a ton of time is spent on the Moon, getting a better sense of the characters. Learning more about Nazi Earthologist Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), the main villain Klaus Adler (Götz Otto) and our hero James Washington really does add a lot to the movie.

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It’s nice to see that pretty much everything added was originally shot and ended up on the cutting room floor because of time and/or money. There really was no need to film anything new but it ended up being a long and arduous process nonetheless. Adding even a few seconds to a scene means new effects work that was never finished as well as recording the score all over again and reworking it to fit the longer time frame and the results are excellent.

Video:
Along with the boost to the story, the video gets a nice upgrade with this new Director’s Cut, mostly because of all the new sequences and better effects work. When Washington is captured, we get a great, long sequence that shows off not only the base itself but how he gets there. The effects certainly aren’t Triple-A Blockbuster type stuff but they’re much, much better than your typical low-budget fare and even most TV shows.

The Blu-ray obviously looks much better than the DVD but the DVD is a really solid presentation on its own. There was definitely a ton of green-screen work done here but it’s all very seamless, especially in the Nazi base. There’s no way they built physical sets of some of the more complex areas but you’d be hard pressed to find the digital versus the practical.

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Audio:
The dialogue is clean and clear (and often hilarious) in the center channel while explosions and other effects are placed nicely in the surround mix. The music is excellent and all the work they did in changing and adding to the score to accommodate the longer and added scenes really pays off.

Bonus Features:
Packaged in a Steel Book Combo Pack, Iron Sky: Director’s Cut comes with some pretty sweet bonus materials. A 32 page Concept Art book shows off some great stuff with a series of sketches, storyboards and artwork. A number of teasers for the Director’s Cut are also a nice addition but the real highlight of the video features is the incredible Making-Of that’s nearly as long as some movies.

  • Making-Of-Featurette (1:18:32) – Wonderfully detailed look at how the film came to life, how the story came together over five years, the character development, financing, everything; it’s definitely worth a look after you’ve seen the film
  • Photo Gallery (1:23) – A series of photos from the set in a short slide show
  • Theatrical Trailer (2:00) – Standard trailer
  • Teaser 1 (2:49) – Probably the best of the bunch, showing archival footage of the Nazis leaving Earth in 1945 and setting up their base on the moon
  • Teaser 2 (1:47) – A dramatic vision of the Nazi war machine gearing up on the Moon and leaving for Earth
  • Teaser 3 (1:02) – Much like a shorter version of the trailer showing off the basics of the story

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Conclusion:
This is more than just ‘the funniest movie about space Nazis from the moon’, it’s an absolute treat. It could have easily devolved into B-grade schlock but the script is genuinely funny and the actors really work hard at making this movie everything it can be.

The bottom line is this: Even if you’ve seen it before, there’s enough in the Iron Sky: Director’s Cut to give it a second pass. The pacing and effects are better and the comedy has been ramped up making this a much better movie overall.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the movie using the Elgato Game Capture HD Pro screen capture feature.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

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