Looking Up To The Iron Giant:
Letters From the Converted
Written by:  Alex Sandell

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First, there came the review.  I didn't just call The Iron Giant the best film of the summer, but the best movie of the decade!  Critic after critic, and webmaster after webmaster, agreed with me.  Now, how could all of us enthused and loyal writers convince the disillusioned and tired public to see yet another cartoon?  Most movie buffs already wasted 90 minutes watching Disney's Tarzan, and at least a couple hours staring at The Simpsons, which more than filled their annual "cartoon quota."   Not to mention, this one wasn't really ever advertised, and the few times that it was, it was done so in a horrible manner.  A million other movies were out, most of them with a lot of "buzz," like The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth Sense, and whatever other movie kept itself in the headlines by making people puke (I mean that literally.  I'm sure you've all heard about The Blair Witch causing the motion sick amongst us to vomit all over, due to its shaky camera and annoying actors.  It's worse than being in the bathroom of a crowded bar at closing time.). 

This was DEFINITELY an uphill battle for us dedicated critics and webmasters, and we ended up, for the most part, failing in our quest to turn the movie into a hit.   Still, we put up a good fight (I've been to dozens of websites that dedicated page after page to nothing but "go to The Iron Giant" type articles.  I didn't put up my review for Bowfinger, which was a good movie, in fear it would get some of you to go to that, rather than try out The Iron Giant.  The almighty Entertainment Weekly itself added an article about how great this movie is, and why people should make an effort to see it at the theater, before it's too late.), and a lot of people who wouldn't have, DID end up seeing the film, because of it.

I figure that, if the film doesn't pick up in business this weekend, it will be all but gone from every theater the next.  Maybe if people reading this page read stuff from other people who read the page, they'll finally be convinced, and will go see the movie.  I'm printing 17 of the 19 emails I got about the film below.  Not one of the 19 were negative.  I would have printed the other two, but I didn't want to.  Just keep in mind that each individual who wrote in loved it.  Read on, and see for yourself.

Dear Alex -

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!  I loved this movie more than I ever believed I would!!!!!!!!!!   I've never felt like I was in someone's debt because they recommended a movie but this one was so good I feel like I owe you my life in exchange!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Super funny!  Super sad!  Super REAL!  It's everything you said it was!!!!!!!!  The only thing I didn't like that much was that it seemed like it was ripping off The Simpsons in some of the parts when they were making fun of school films and stuff.  I'm not saying those parts weren't HILARIOUS but I didn't like seeing The Simpsons get stole from. 
-Jill

Alex Responds:  Jill - Brad Bird, writer and director of The Iron Giant, was with The Simpsons at the very beginning.  He had a BIG hand in making it the hilarious hit it is today ("hilarious hit".  Now it sounds like I'm writing for fucking TV Guide.).   He also worked on The Critic and King of the Hill.  This is why you got that special sort of Simpsons' feeling in those satirical parts in the classroom.  There, now the film is perfect, again. 

Alex -

I think the only place you made a mistake in was by saying The Iron Giant is the best film of the decade.   It's the best film that's ever came out.  Period. 
- HellSnatch

Alex Responds:  HellSnatch - I don't have anything to say to that, I just wanted to type "HellSnatch" again.

Alex -

You have saved me countless times from seeing shit movies.  There is no critic I trust as much as you.  The ONLY time I've disagreed with you on a film is Eyes Wide Shut.  I thought it sucked and you thought it was great.  I prayed that that wouldn't happen again with The Iron Giant.  I thought this movie looked like shit.  I wasn't going to even RENT it.  Then I read your review and I went that night because I trust you and it was only a $8.00 (damn New York tickets) gamble.  It turned out to be the best gamble of my life.  I love this movie more than anything else this year.  I have phoned everyone I know and told them to go.  I hope it turns into a hit.  I don't want to see a classic like this destroyed.
- Murray

Classic movie!  I loved it as much as my kids!
- Steve

Thanks, dude!!!  Two thumbs up!   Best fucking cartoon I've ever seen!
- Absent Boy

Disney is dead!  This fucker buried them.  To hell with Mulan!
- Jay

Alex, hon -

You did it again, babe!  Picked out a movie that made me leave the theater with a goofy smile.  Thanks for the fave.
- Denise

That's the kind of movie you walk out of and don't even have to ask your girlfriend if she liked it cuz you know she did cuz no one couldn't.
- Mike

Alex -

If a studio hired you, you'd make it the best studio around.  You sure can pick 'em!  Iron Giant will go down in history as the best movie no one ever heard of.  I loved it!
- Adrian

Dear Alex -

The Iron Giant made me cry. I don't cry in movies. Occasionally I feel tears coming but I usually manage to hold them back. Nothing could stop them this time. I'm glad they didn't choose to make it with real actors and a CGI giant. An added bonus was that there are no cute animal sidekicks (the squirrel doesn't count) or musical numbers. As much as I like the songs from South Park (I even bought the soundtrack) they break up the movie and get tedious. I'd also like to add that I would have missed this gem if it hadn't been for you. 
- Birdbrain

Alex Responds:  The giant was actually CGI, but I know what you mean.  If I tickled your nipples would you grab onto my honker?

Best movie this century!!!  Does that mean I think it's the best movie ever?  Yep. 
- Joe

I sat through it TWICE!  I can't fucking believe I was going to skip this one!  Thanks for the tip!!!
- Ben

Three cheers for the Giant!  This is the kind of hero we need in the wake of the Columbine tragedy.  I did really love this movie more than I thought I could ever love a cartoon.  More than "Futurama" even!
- Bender

Best movie of the last three years!This movie had everything!
- Ivy

Alex Responds:  With exception made to full-frontal nudity.

You're now my new favorite person!   Thanks for introducing me to The Iron Giant.  Life wouldn't be the same if I didn't see it.  I feel bad for anyone who missed it.
- Matt

IT'S A FUCKING TRAGEDY THAT THIS MOVIE BOMBED!  I wouldn't mind killing everyone who helped this fail and made shit like the Haunting piece of crap succeed.  Bastards.
- Jade

Alex Responds:  Killing everyone would kind of go against the message of the movie.  But, I do see where you're coming from.

This is the best movie you ever reviewed!  You gotta put this in your top 50 movie update!!!
- Trent

Alex Responds:  Good point.  I'll do that right now.  So long, Out of Sight.  To see the NEW, UPDATED "Top 50 Movies", click here!

All contents 1999 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved] With exception made to Iron Giant movie still which is copyright 1999 Warner Brothers [All Rights Reserved].

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