I love The Iron Giant, and I think you will too. This movie was on my radar all the way back in 1999 when it was first released. I heard that it was a great movie that nobody saw. It took me 14 years, but I finally got to see it at my annual movie marathon of 2013. Watching this movie for the first time was a joy. Discovering this movie reminded me of other great discoveries from my past movie marathons like Casablanca, 12 Angry Men, and Goldfinger. Finding movies like this reminds me why I have movie marathons. My kids loved it too, and they still re-watch it as one of their favorites today.
The plot centers around a boy who discovers an alien giant robot who crash-landed on earth. The movie explores themes of heroism, life and death, and choosing who you want to be – even in the face of prejudice from others. It is set right in the middle of the Cold War and nails the paranoia and jittery snap-judgement of authority figures at the time. It also beautifully evokes 1950s era sci-fi design. You see it both in the cheesy films playing on TV during the movie, and with the Iron Giant himself. I can’t tell you how happy I was when the Iron Giant “transforms” later in the movie. I won’t spoil the surprise, but this sequence triggered fond memories of my own young days watching 1950s alien invasion movies.
The movie has heart too. Pixar is famous for evoking many emotions in its films. Brad Bird joined Pixar after directing The Iron Giant, and he must have fit right in. The Iron Giant runs the gamut from joy, to wonder, to sadness, and to bittersweet satisfaction.
Is it too early to start proclaiming the best films of the 21st century? After all, this century is only about 16% complete. Shouldn’t we wait until at least 51%? Of course not! Otherwise, the BBC would have to fill their website with boring content like world events and dry British humor. And I would have to write original content instead of just linking to better websites than mine. Do you think I have that sort of time (answer: yes)?
Anyway, as I’ve noted elsewhere, most of the “best 100 movies” lists from movie critics are suspiciously devoid of movies made since 1980. I like watching classic movies as much as the next film snob, but sometimes I want to see a good movie where iPods and YouTube could be reasonably expected to appear. Thankfully, the BBC and about 200 film critics have the answer, with a list of the top 100 films of the 21st century.
Looking through the list, I was surprised to see I’ve only seen 13 of the 100 films listed. This is despite me having a couple of decades to address this problem. It sounds as if I have a new list of movies to get into the annual movie marathon rotation.
Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan is hosting their 17th annual “Hollywood Nights” 24-hour movie marathon on Friday, November 11th! If you raise at least $125, you get you unlimited movies, drinks, and popcorn. You even get lunch and dinner! Raise more money and you get more goodies. Finally there is a way to contribute to society while pounding down vast quantities of entertainment, salt, and caffeine! Beat that walk-a-thons!
LOCATION: Emagine Theater Novi DATE: Friday, November 11th, 2016 through Saturday, November 12th, 2016 TIME: 10AM – 10AM REGISTRATION: Opens Friday, November 11th at 9 AM and remains open throughout the day. ADMISSION FEE: Each participant must raise a minimum of $125. Funds can be raised online through personal fundraising pages, mailed in, or turned in at the event check-in. FAMILY PACKAGE: A family of four who raises $150 total is eligible for the Fantastic Four Pack, which includes two movies of your choice, dinner, and unlimited popcorn and soda.
When Avengers: Age of Ultron premiered, some were brave enough to watch all the previously released MCU films in one 27-hour marathon. Some pop culture reporters attended these marathons, and their movie marathon diaries are a hoot to read. My favorite quote is from the AV Club’s Alex McCown, who said:
The movie induces a sense of floating. All cares have subsided, all desires sated, all needs met. It’s like 1984: I’m at a Marvel movie marathon. I have always been at a Marvel movie marathon. I will always be at a Marvel movie marathon. This is life.
And that, right there, is the pure, transcendental experience good movie marathons provide. Wasting time with meditation and self-reflection is for suckers.
11:36 p.m.: Two tubs of popcorn later, I’m thirsty enough to try cracking open my can of Monster. I discover that the worst thing about Monster is how good Monster tastes. It’s like how cats love the taste of antifreeze because it’s so sweet.
Anyway, take a look at their harrowing accounts of 27-hours of spandex-clad superheros. Maybe a Marvel movie marathon is finally within your grasp! Like, you know, ultimate power or something.
So 24hourmoviemarathon.com was hacked a couple months ago. It wasn’t a surprise, given all of the valuable data this site contains. Where else on the internet can you get lists of movies and dumb opinions?
And if you think the public content of the site is spectacular (of course you do!), just think of the private draft content that the hackers got access to! I’m sure they are plagiarizing my article fragments right now for their Ph.D dissertations. Because, as everyone knows, hackers are typically film and video doctoral candidates. They give doctorates in film and video, right? Paging Dr. J. J. Abrams!
Anyway, rest assured the site is now back on-line and ready to serve you again for all of your 24-hour movie marathon needs. Thanks for waiting!