Review: IRIS from Cirque du Soleil – A Journey Through the World of Cinema

We were excited to come out and cover the Red Carpet event for IRIS at the Kodak Theatre as well as be invited to come to a press preview of this new show a few days later.

At the Red Carpet event, we got to speak with Danny Elfman about the challenges he had with creating the music for IRIS:

We also spoke with the writer/director Philippe Decoufle – he talks about the journey over the past 3 years in developing this show:

Here’s a video clip that shows a little of the amazing choreography of a Cirque du Soleil Show – IRIS “on the Rooftop”

Creating the show – it starts with music

Transforming the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles for IRIS

Our Review of IRIS

IRIS - Cirque du Soleil

IRIS - Cirque du Soleil

There are 23 Cirque du Soleil shows around the world, i’ve seen seven of them (La Nouba, Mystere, Dralion, O, Criss Angel Believe, Kooza) and as of tonight, Iris, their newest show. Their shows are all awesome, by the very definition of the word, though to varying degrees. O, I saw in it’s 3rd year, and to this day I have never seen anything as monumental. The other shows I’d seen, all were second year and beyond, all very well greased machines, it was nice to finally see a freshman Cirque show like Iris, because there were still a few visible seams and loose strings here and there.

Tonight’s show, one of the trapeze artists missed a mark, and was stranded midair for a couple of beats, when she got back on her swing, she sat out for a little, leading me to think she had injured herself midair, but just then she rejoined the other aerialists for the rest of the routine. That was the most noticeable moment.

Other than a few shaky human pyramids, and a landing here or that that didn’t exactly Stick It. I knew there was no imminent danger for anyone, and when the spotters came out for a few of the more ambitious acrobatic feats, it was obvious that the performers were running at the edge, but weren’t 100% hitting their stride, that made Iris the most human Cirque show i’d ever seen. And I liked that.

IRIS - Cirque du Soleil

IRIS - Cirque du Soleil

Though some of the scenes felt too long. The running story was also left to the wayside a bit. The first half, I found myself analyzing the characters and their symbolism in ‘The World of Cinema’ and i had to stop, because i was obviously over thinking it.

The costumes were great, of two of the clowns, one reminded me of a young Steve Martin, dressed like a Matador in a Tuxedo, and another reminded me of Martin Short, just in a dance bit though. Though the clowns disappeared in the messy cacophonous numbers that the second act was full of, where everyone was on stage, huge choreographed dance numbers being upstaged by aerialists, I was sitting in the Mezzanine and didn’t know where to look. This works well for Believe, but the key to a Magic show is misdirection, which was an unfortunate side effect for Iris. Misdirection. The show progresses from the early days of cinema, with the props evolving, too subtly. But the tone changes with the show as well. Like the trapeze artist, the show missed a mark.

But after a few weeks of notes, i have no doubt that everyone will find and maintain their footing. I’d like to see the show again in six months to see how it progressed, as it was obviously still finding itself.

For More Information and to Get Your Tickets – Click Here  


Previews begin July 2011 for IRIS A Journey through the World of Cinema(™), the first permanent production from Cirque du Soleil® in Los Angeles and taking up residence exclusively at the world-renowned Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.

IRIS is a lyrical, fanciful, kinetic foray through the world of cinema bringing together dance, acrobatics, live video, and filmed sequences and takes spectators on a fantastic voyage through the history of cinema and its genres.

Featuring 72 performers, 200 costumes, 8,300 square feet of floor surface, 174 loudspeakers, 603 lighting features, 20 video projectors, and 166,000 watts of sound, IRIS joins the other Cirque du Soleil resident productions in scale, scope and size.

IRIS is written and directed by French director-choreographer Philippe Decouflé, whose credits include opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. IRIS features music by Grammy® and Emmy Award® winner and Academy Award® nominee Danny Elfman.



Why You Should See “Real Steel” this Weekend – Review – No Spoilers

We’ve been sharing clips of the movie “Real Steel” along with photos from Comic-Con and other red carpet events (more below) with you, our readers not because we are pretty excited about this movie.

First, personally speaking, I’ve never been disappointed by any movie that Hugh Jackman is in. But, when you start seeing the clips coming out and like the story, you start getting excited about going to the movies and knowing that you won’t be disappointed. With that said, we’ve done a double duty here with coverage of the movie – now in theatres today and a review from one of our staff, who maybe isn’t the “target” audience… not a mother, father or single woman swooning over Hugh Jackman. The following review is from a twenty-something male who is a gamer, producer, and has been in front of the screen and behind it (yeah, card carrying SAG member), who has a love for all things movies (and TV) and is someone that I’ve been collaborating with for as long as he’s been able to share “what’s your favorite part” of this movie with me.

“First let me say that Shawn Levy is no Michael Bay, where as Bay would have taken a script for a ‘Robot Boxing Movie’ for what is is at face value. The rainy day favorite of my youth ‘Rock’em Sock’em Robots’ with Sylvester Stallone’s “Over The Top” – You remember, the one where Sly is a truck driver and makes cash on the side being the greatest arm wrestler this side of the Mississppi, then gets a telegram saying some woman he knocked up died, and he’s got to come get the kid he abandoned to keep his truck driving life style, while the kid’s mother’s family desperately wants to raise the kid, and the dad is enough of a dirtbag to sell his child to the other side of the family? well, it’s that. even for the same amount of money, $100k. ‘Over The Top’ came out in 1987, when $100k was A LOT of money. Real Steel takes place in 202X, where $100k is still apparently a crap load of cash, i guess the economy never really recovers. Which, once you get past the rehashed story, that’s where the beauty of the movie is. the little details of what tomorrow may bring. Which, looks a lot like today, aside from some teasing angles of a Cadillac Sixteen (google that, you’ll thank me), a Nokia future phone, HP acrylic & LED displays, and Virgin & Bing having their own stadiums in Detroit and New York, respectively. None of that seemed that far out of place (except the Cadillac Sixteen) all that is pretty much tomorrow tech- there were no flying cars, teleportation, or iPhone brain implants- all the technology was reasonably accessible*. Except, shall i not forget the eight to eleven foot tall ambulatory fighting robots. 

In my screening, Danny Elfman’s score had most of the audience in his hand, cheering and gasping as if he were in the room conducting them. They were involved. The movie was, to them, much more than Hugh Jackman eating Thomas Jane’s lunch (Tom wasn’t in the movie, but you say ‘i want my kids back’ i see Tom Jane). It was more than a hokey advertisement for a crappy childhood game that was impossible to put away. It had the fervor of a Holyfield match with BattleBots. The explanation of why Robot Boxing was cool was a throw away line from Hugh, but the understated stuff is what made the movie work for me. When really, there was nothing new brought to the table. Other than the lack of kitsch.

Rating: Better than expected (reblogged)

Hugh Jackman REAL STEEL Los Angeles Premiere

Hugh Jackman REAL STEEL Los Angeles Premiere

Steven Spielberg and Sugar Ray Leonard at Screening of Real Steel

Steven Spielberg and Sugar Ray Leonard at Screening of Real Steel

Here are some interesting behind the scenes facts about the movie that you can share with your friends to show you are really in the know:

  • Sugar Ray Leonard was the film’s boxing consultant and trained Hugh Jackman for his appearance in the ring
  • Costume designer Marlene Stewart created a retro wardrobe for Hugh Jackman’s character Charlie inspired by looks the rugged Americana looks from the 1960s
  • Dreamworks used motion-capture technology and practical-built, full-scale robots to film the robot boxing scenes. The motion-capture elements were performed and shot on a stage in Los Angeles ahead of time and the fighters were put in the ring wearing data-capturing jumpsuits and then their motions were converted into robot avatars on the computer and then instantaneously appeared on the monitors on set. Then, later during principal photography, the filmmakers lined up their cameras on an empty ring and the motion-capture data streamed through their cameras, allowing them to watch and frame the robot fighting in the ring in real time
  • Each of the robots each have a distinctive look, personality and color scheme and range in size from 7’6” to 8’5” in height
Midas - One of the Robots from Real Steel Movie

Midas - One of the Robots from Real Steel Movie

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See Our Coverage – Hugh at ComicCon 2011 , Real Steel Movie Coming Soon, And in this Corner