No announcement yet.


    Ian Jane

  • Igor

    Click image for larger version

Name:	igor.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	20.7 KB
ID:	384822

    Released by: Fox
    Released on: January 20, 2009.
    Director: Tony Leondis
    Cast: Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Molly Shannon, John Cusack, Arsenio Hall, Eddie Izzard
    Year: 2008
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Directed by Anthony Leondis (the same man who brought us Lilo & Stitch 2!),. 200's Igor is the story of the titular hunchback (voiced by John Cusack) who toils day in, day out as a laboratory assistant for a mad scientist whose base of operations happens to be in the dismal, dreary and dark land of Malaria. Igor, however, is not all that happy in his role as a laboratory assistant and he hopes to blow the mad scientific community's mind one day with his own developments in the wide world of
    creature creation.

    Igor toils away on his own project and eventually decides he's ready to unveil his creation - a female monster named Eva (Molly Shannon) - but she turns out to be far, far to kind and caring and Igor is left wondering what to do about his creation and about his own ambition, not only in terms of where he wants his life to go but in terms of how he'll become part of the scientific community who see him merely as a peon.

    A strange animated mix of Tim Burton's stop motion animated films and the old Universal classis horror films with maybe a welcome does of Hammer Horror gothic style, Igor wears its heart proudly on its sleeve. While a lot of the characters are completely predictable clichés to those who have seen the pictures that inspired it, younger viewers to who this movie has been marketed to, likely won't notice or even care. Sure the movie borrows a bit here and there but despite that obvious issue (call it a flaw if you like, as it does take away from the movie a bit), it's hard not to get sucked in just a little bit. Igor himself is a likeable enough character and Cusack does a fine job supplying a completely appropriate voice for him. Other voice actors, like John Cleese, Steve Buscemi, Eddie Izzard, Jay Leno and of course Molly Shannon all add to the fun but Cusack is the one who really carries the film and he does a good job of it.

    One of the best aspects of Igor is the bizarre character design that you'll see throughout the film. At times reminiscent of The Nightmare Before Christmas by way of a preschooler's cut and paste imaginative tactics, Igor is a really unique looking film. There's again, a very obvious nod to the films that Universal was churning out in Hollywood's heyday, with plenty of ornate laboratories, lightning rods, test tubs and electrodes to catch the eye, but they've been given an artsy and at times almost minimalist face lift here. It might sound conflicting, but it works - the movie really benefits from some exceptional character and background design work.

    This is, as is noted in the commentary, a movie about 'standing up' and on that level Igor is actually fairly inspiring. You can't help but want Igor to make a go of it, he's a likeable guy who deserves his fair shot at the big time just as we all do. If these more inspired moments make the script feel a little cliché ridden or corny to adult viewers, keep in mind it's really a film meant for younger audiences and compared to most of the generic fodder out there designed to dull the sense of today's younger viewing audience, Igor at least presents a positive message with style. Grown ups will dig the Universal Monster's vibe while kids will no doubt appreciate the simple story, neat animation, and physical/slapstick humor. It isn't perfect by any stretch, but Igor is one of those rare films that can entertain a mutigenerational audience.


    MGM presents Igor in a very strong 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen 1080p transfer that uses MPEG-4 AVC encoding. In short, the transfer is excellent. There's a lot of detail and depth to the image which at times almost looks three dimensional. Color reproduction is gorgeous while black levels are nice and inky without ever getting too murky or obscuring fine detail during the darker scenes. This isn't a film that uses bright and vibrant colors like a lot of animated features do, it's a darker and more somber looking film, but this Blu-ray release really does do a great job of presenting it in fantastic quality.

    The primary audio track on this release is a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix in English with an optional Spanish language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound track. Optional subtitles are provided in English SDH and Spanish. The audio is generally very strong with this release. Levels are well balanced and there are no issues with hiss or distortion. There's plenty of activity from the rear surrounds and nice, tight bass response as well. Dialogue is always easy to understand and the bouncy, lively surround sound mix on this release really does a good job of bringing the movie to life. Compared to the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix supplied on the standard definition release, you'll notice more clarity in the rear channels, stronger bass, and a slightly punchier soundtrack. MGM has done nice work here.

    First up is a commentary track with director Tony Leondis, writer Chris McKenna and producer Max Howard. This track has a sense of humor from the start with the three participants noting the obvious differences in their voices. From there they talk about why the opened with clouds, why you should watch the movie without the commentary on first, and how they went about setting up the land of Malaria. There's some good joking around as well as a far bit of information about some of the set ups and challenges that they ran into while making the film as well as some of the ideas that they originally had and didn't use or changed during the course of the production. They talk about the film's visual style and how certain design elements tried to incorporate the inner workings of a clock, how and why the art director designed the forest the way that we see it portrayed in the picture, and what sort of influences came into play while coming up with design work for the movie. It's interesting to note that influences as varied as the Claude Rains Invisible Man to French painters all worm their way into this picture in various ways, and it's fun to hear the filmmakers elaborate on this in this commentary.

    Aside from that, Fox has supplied an amusing alternate opening scene (3:17, 1080p HD, anamorphic widescreen), concept art galleries covering characters, set and production designs, storyboards and posters, and last but not least, animated menus and chapter stops are also included.

    The Final Word:

    While the Blu-ray release is a little light on extra features, the transfer and the DTS-HD mix are top notch. As to the movie itself? It's a fun, family friendly monster movie that wears its heart plainly on its sleeve. While it may not be a modern classic, it's certainly an entertaining and stylishly spooky effort for kids of all ages.
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles