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We saw an advanced screening on Sept 22. I thought it was going to be
another one of those cheesy, campy, not really believable, warm fuzzy,
type of underdog/rags to riches movies. I was actually surprised. It
had some great plot twists, it had a real story line. And while yes,
there is some language sprinkled throughout, it did make a good family
movie for older kids, 10+ (my opinion). The ending wasn't quite what I
was expecting, but looking back I think I liked it better for that. Who
wants an ending they can see coming the entire movie?
It had some great comedy moments. The relationships between the actors felt genuine and not overdone or forced.
The robot animatronics was good. The robots themselves were fun and imaginative and definitely made me wish we really had this sport. I would so be there!
Any movie that gets the audience involved in a positive way and leaving cheering is an excellent movie. It is like Rocky on adrenaline and with a whole lot better acting. Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly and Dakota Goyo all have great performances. Dakota who plays the son really makes the movie, but all the actors performances are great. The guy who thought it boring... well, you lack passion and your soul must be dead. Real Steel is the absolutely hands down best movie I have seen in a long time. You will cheer, cry, laugh and be thoroughly entertained. I had to sit and watched the credits at the end just to catch my breath. Great movie.
I wasn't expecting much when I saw this movie - and I'm not really a
fan of movies where kid's are the lead - but, I was pleasantly
surprised with this one.
Even though this was a "formula / underdog" type of movie, it had me cheering for Atom, Hugh Jackman was great and so were the cast of characters.
The CGI was excellent, I really connected to the characters, and it was just a fun, guilty-pleasure (c'mon, boxing robots - who DOESN'T want that !) type of movie.
Not quite "A Space Odyssey:2000" but then again, it's not supposed to be.
FUN. ENTERTAINING. GREAT ACTION.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Real Steel" is the cheesiest movie I've seen in quite some time. After
a promising start, flick starts getting over confident in telling its
story. A Story we've already seen before in "Rocky" and its many
Set in a future where the only difference seems to be fighting robots. Hugh Jackman plays an out off work boxer and grade A a**hole, who is hopeless at getting new robots fighting. Jackmans life is supposedly turned around when the son he abandoned as a baby turns up and helps in finding an old robot, who ends up being great in the ring.
As I wrote above, the film starts off well. Jackmans playing a character that only cares about money and winning until the kid turns up. Even the kids doing well until he starts teaching the robot how too dance (and yes he even teaches him "the robot," sigh!) and like most over confident child actors, becomes the irritating c*cky kid in the movie.
I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that the old robot wins and Jackman ends up caring about more than just himself by the end off the flick, but the way they go about this is seriously corny, and the way in which Jackman started out makes me not want too root for him so much by the end.
Overall the films story maybe isn't as predictable as you'd think, and is saved from a worst rating by this, and its light sprinkiling off funny moments and cool robot designs. Round one though is better than round two. Which seems determined to out-do "Rocky" and all its many imitators, in an attempt to win the award for corniest movie ever.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I only found out this movie was a Spielberg production when i saw it on
screen. I immediately knew i'd be faced with a lot of cheap kodak
moments and teary-eyed kids wrapped in a formula of family-fun Steven
has been repeating since ET.
I wasn't wrong. But i had no idea how bad it was going to be. At least Goonies 2, i mean... Super 8, managed to actually be entertaining. This movie has no surprises, it's just predictable turn, after predictable turn.
The acting is terrible across the board, but i can't blame the actors for not putting an effort into such a depressing tale. Goyo is a promising talent, unfortunately the lines he was given are so out-of-character and cheesy for a kid his age, no amount of talent could be convincing. He likes Robot boxing and he's so into video games he's even fluent with Japanese, but he's no nerd, he's all grown-up and can haggle like a moroccan couscous salesman on a couscous black Friday, and to top it all off he looks like the coolest kid ever, even though his mom has just died days ago. And, like that's not horribly incongruent enough, he spends half of the movie showing off his dancing skills like a Bieber wannabe. That's one seriously schyzophrenic kid!
But the bad acting and atrocious storytelling doesn't end there. Some of the people in Real Steel are more cartoonish than the robots: Ricky, Tak Mashido, Farra, look like villains out of a Disney Channel Show. Most of the footage of James Rebhorn and Hope Davis should've stayed on the cutting room floor. They are lost on screen, clearly with no chemistry as a couple and not enough lines on the script to work with. Every time they're interacting on screen you can actually crack a laugh at how they flay their arms at each other clueless, like two crash-test-dummies in slow motion. But the way they keep awkwardly eyeballing Hugh Jackman during every lousy dialog like they're asking to be put out of their misery just makes you terribly sad again.
The final scene with everyone crying in rapture at Hugh Jackman performing video-fitness, had me ripping hair out of my head! I'm in awe of all the positive reviews this movie is getting. Either this movie premiered on IMDb's opposite day, or i had no idea this site had such a huge userbase of 9 year olds.
What a little gem Real Steel could have been. Well before its release,
and before any intricate plot details became known, this sounded like
an intelligent film in which robots are forced to engage in brutal
fights for the entertainment of their human masters. Where the story
would've gone from there is left to the imagination, but it appeared to
have all the makings of critically acclaimed, self-conscious science
fiction. The final product differed heavily from initial expectations,
however, and we are left with a hollow, albeit bearable alternative
prompting those such as myself to ask: What could have been?
In the very near future (2020, according to director Shawn Levy) the human art of man-to-man combat has become obsolete. One-time fighters have been replaced by robots that do the dirty work while their human controllers reap the rewards. Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is one such promoter, recently down on his luck and who lives not for the bright lights, but to make just enough money to survive. At this most inopportune time, he is forced to take care of his estranged son (Dakota Goyo), whose burgeoning friendship with an outdated sparring 'bot named Atom convinces Charlie to give the big time one last shot.
For a movie that has the skeleton to accommodate exploring the concept of human qualities in machines, a la Blade Runner or Artificial Intelligence, as well as (warning: pretentiousness ahead) the theme of 'ethics and morals of humanity', it actually does everything it can to avoid those topics entirely. My hopes for such a film were all but dashed with the casting of a child- a sure sign that the story would be strictly focused on Max and Charlie's relationship, and in that respect the plot seems unnecessarily restricted. This results in an inherently out-of-place scene in which Atom, all alone before a big fight, gazes into a mirror as if to question his existence. Its inclusion into the final cut is sure to whiz above the heads of its pre-teen target audience, while more mature viewers might interpret it as a cheap attempt to inject some heart far too late into the story.
Indeed, its family-friendly status is the biggest letdown of Real Steel. At the forefront is the misguided characterisation of Charlie's son, who is portrayed as, in my opinion, a spoiled brat who's so cocksure of himself all the time that a little part of you wants to see him fail. The child as an authority figure may appeal to those of Max's age, but it detracts from the contrasting, gritty realism of Jackman's character, and shuts down any hope of character-based realism in the process. Other attempts to please the male tween market include obvious allusions to toy lines and video games, as well as a mind-boggling assault of product placement, which becomes more than a little irritating during the second half.
The script is not disastrous. The writers dabble in clichés occasionally, but not quite to the point where it numbs the mind. On a more negative note, the screenplay does allow for an assortment of cringe-worthy moments (which some might call 'heart-warming', depending on personal perspective) that include dancing robots and the introduction of more than one excessively cartoonish side character, again limiting the level of engagement one can make with this movie.
The action set pieces in the film were visually pleasing, exploiting a decent amount of camera angles to give the viewer an intriguing look into the mechanics of robot rumbling. The CGI is impressive, and the clunky (as opposed to slick) movements of the robots actually work well, reflecting what a realistic fight between two heavy machines would look like. Jackman does his best as always, but he alone can't salvage a once-promising prospect that instead settles for being the very definition of blockbuster mediocrity.
*There's nothing I love more than a bit of feedback, good or bad. So drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you thought of my review.*
Real Steel is directed by Shawn Levy and collectively adapted to the
screen by John Gatins, Dan Gilroy and Jeremy Leven from a Richard
Matheson short story called Steel. It stars Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo,
Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis and James
Rebhorn. Music is scored by Danny Elfman and cinematography by Mauro
Set in the near future, robot boxing is a big crowd pulling sport. After a struggling robot operator is introduced to an 11-year-old son he has never known, they stumble upon a discarded robot at a junk yard....
We can all moan about the mimicry of an idea and the clichés that dominate Real Steel, but you really got to hand it to the makers for what they have achieved. They have crafted a family film that's perfect in this day and age. The story is one that any adult Sylvester Stallone fan can acknowledge and appreciate, the human heartbeat pleasingly steady, while the premise of big colourful robots beating the crap out of each other delights youngsters and us adults who are young at heart. Film pretty much does what any other film of this type does, lays on the syrup in the last quarter where second chances and family strife come thundering through the plotting. Undeniably it's hugely derivative, events are joystick operated to get an emotional response from a family audience, while product placement reins and the script often sags under the weight of unoriginality. But it does uplift the spirit and getting to the end is easy since it's so much berserker fun. Yes it's Atom the people's champion, yes it's David V Goliath and yes! It's Balboa V Creed. Nothing wrong with that really.
The cast don't really have to offer up much beyond being adequate within the context of the material, though a muscular Jackman finds good paternal chemistry with young Goyo. In fact Goyo is pleasingly not annoying, always a bonus is that. Inevitably the robots are the stars, they're a triumph of design and visual effects and a sight for sore eyes, while Levy has a good handle on staging the fight sequences; even when cribbing from Balboa. The near future look is terrific as well, with Fiore's colour photography very appealing. Coining in over $290 million at the worldwide box office (over £180 million in profit), Real Steel found the family audience it was looking for, proving once again that there is a market for simple and effective popcorn carnage. It's not high art or intelligently scripted, but was anyone seriously thinking that was going to be the case here? If you want brains with this premise then seek out Twilight Zone episode "Steel", starring the excellent Lee Marvin, otherwise just sit back and enjoy the ride and let the botty bots and human interest raise the pulse and gladden the heart respectively. 7/10
Home format release is a sparkling print, extras are annoyingly short but the blooper reel is fun, we get a stunt deconstruction, and we learn about the influence a certain Mr. Spielberg had on the production.
My response to Real Steel is almost parallel to Hugh Jackman's reaction
to the robot fighter Atom in the film. Upon initial advertising and
trailers, I wasn't impressed by the film one bit. It looked like
another film that glorified the "coolness" of robots, and then tried to
tack on a contrived story of a father and son relationship. Never did I
believe I'd see it and actually award it a positive score. Just like in
the film where Jackman doesn't believe Atom has what it takes to be a
successful fighter, and then is greeted with a rude awakening.
The film takes place in the near future, 2020 according to director Shawn Levy, where human boxers have been replaced by large metal monstrosities that do the dirty work while the humans occupy the controls and the commands for them. Charlie Kenton (Jackman), a former boxer, now spends his days using the robots to fight, but finds himself in a rough patch of failures.
After being informed his ex-girlfriend has died, whom he had a child with, Charlie must now take care of the kid for three months until his aunt and uncle return from their second honeymoon. The kid is eleven year old Max, played efficiently by Dakota Goyo. The two meet awkwardly, but experienced moviegoers like myself know that these two will soon become a cheerful father and son duo.
During a junkyard visit where Charlie and Max are searching for new parts for their robot, they stumble upon Atom, a small, yet relentlessly strong bot who is abandoned but still able to fight. They repair him, and then discover that with voice recognition and shadow effect, where the robot mimes the moves of a human) that he is a bot with a strong amount of potential for success. The rest of the film depicts the father and son's efforts to take Atom all the way to the championship.
The digital effects work very well together, and are much more eye appealing than the similar ones used in the Transformers series. For one thing, the fight scenes are coherent, entertaining, and extremely well scored by Danny Elfman, who this time gives us some delightfully different music.
The robots are captured using a variety of digital techniques. Some are animatronic, some are used through motion capture animation, where actors get fitted for special suits and imitate the motions of the character, and some just plain ol' CGI. All of these three techniques are blended very well together, and make for a very entertaining visual spectacle. Even the motion capture isn't as sketchy and glitchy as it normally is. In Ang Lee's Hulk back in 2003 it was clearly jerky and underdeveloped, in Mars Needs Moms, this same year, it was unnecessary and obtrusive, but here, it seems the effects team has gotten their act together.
I think the only fault here is the screenplay. but what makes it a bit better is the fact that the cast approaches it with optimism and the mentality that they will "make it work." Jackman certainly does, pulling off a sleazy, ignorant father who grows to appreciate his son and his job a bit more, and Dakota Goyo, like I said before, hits almost every note just right. The problem is the screenplay hammers us with several movie clichés we've seen many times before. The rags to riches story has shown itself many times, not to mention one's rise from humble beginnings to a successful career. At least Real Steel recognizes the movies it's paying homage to, like the whole end scene that slightly mirrors Rocky.
Director Shawn Levy has successfully made success out of two underdogs; the film itself and Atom. His previous flicks like Just Married and Night at the Museum were lightweight innocent features that failed to include anything on the same level as Real Steel. By the end, the film had given me a feelings I like to possess when I come out of a film I thought was going to be lackluster; reassured and surprised.
Starring: Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo. Directed by: Shawn Levy.
I had been waiting to see this movie for a long time, saw it today and
it was worth all the wait.
The move has a perfect blend of emotions, Robo-fight(very Importantly not over done) and some comic scenes, what else do you want?
For me the robot fighting was great. Have been following Huge Jackman's movies off late and all have them have been good including this one. But apart from all of that the movie has an embedded message that there are things that sometimes you can not handle or overlook when you have other priorities but you can always make things right, it may be hard but it can be done.
The kid Dakota Goyo did a good job as well.
So I would say go out there and see the movie, worth every penny that you will spend for the ticket.
I had low expectations and I am sure many people did so too, however I
did rather quite enjoy the movie for various factors in which I will
List: Every scene had purpose - No pointless scenes which have no
impact on the audience. The Ending - Original and Motivating, showed it
had a moral to the story (If you watched the movie, you would know)
HOWEVER, unfortunately the kid put me off immensely. I appreciate his confidence in acting but his screaming and his cheesy lines were just off putting. I also noticed that his technological understanding was ridiculously high, which is rather unrealistic...And that is an understatement.
That being said, I can sense a 'Real Steel 2' and would hope it turns out as good as this first one. Sequels are very hard to perfect especially for this movie, but I digress.
This movie is worth watching and if you plan on watching it, be sure to prepare your tissues.
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