Movie Review: Real Steel

Since Comic Con International, I’ve been waiting for a movie to hit the theaters, “Real Steel”.  At the convention, we got to see the robots that will be used in the movie.  Hugh Jackman was there to promote the movie, and not only did my sister, Miki, get to meet him where he signed a poster for her, we saw him later on the streets of San Diego.  Later, during my Los Angels trip, we met up with another crew member from “Real Steel” who also worked on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze”.  And the last connection, which made this movie cool, is that it was filmed in Detroit, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve grown up just north of Detroit.

When we got the tickets to go see “Real Steel” we felt that this was full circle of our trip this summer.  Our showing was Wednesday October 5th, at one of our local theaters, the crowd at first didn’t seem thick when we got in line as I’ve seen longer lines but the full theater filled up quickly, and I even heard they were turning people away. As the lights went low and the movie started I did not know just how much I was going to enjoy the film ahead of me.

The story is about a man, Charlie Kenton,  who put his career ahead of having a family. He was a Boxer, who kept moving along with the times as robots became the boxers and he got robots.  He met a woman and when she had a child, he stepped out of her life and kept chasing his dream, falling into some rough times.  The mother of his child has now passed away, and he had to appear in court to sign over his child to her sister.  Though some deals were tossed around and he got his son, Max for the summer.

Max forces his way into his dad’s life, pushing forward to be a part of Charlie’s boxing career and watches to see how far Charlie has fallen.  While trying to come up with parts for his broken robot, Charlie breaks into a junk yard where Max finds his robot, Atom.  Working all night, Max digs Atom out of the ground and brings him home yelling how this is his robot.  Once they find out that the robot does work, Max wants his robot put into the fights.  While Charlie did not think this old junkyard robot was going to be a winner, Max convinces his father to give it a chance and the story goes full swing into the two boys really getting to know each other, learning to respect and work together, seeing a better time in their life.

Though when Max is brought up to see if he would sell the Robot to a big company, he stands firm and makes a public challenge to fight the large’s company champion robot, Zeus.  Can this Junkyard Robot stand the fight and win against a large team of professionals with the newest and best Robot on the market?

Charlie was played by Huge Jackman, an actor known for many of his roles including Wolverine from the “X-Men” movies.  He was also Drover in “Australia” and the voice of Memphis in “Happy Feet”.  I’ve been a fan of his for awhile now and he did not disappoint in this movie at all.  Max was played by Dakota Goyo, while young this boy has been in the movies for about six years now so he knows what he’s doing on camera.  Recently he was in “Thor” as Young Thor.  Dakota really brought you into the feeling of a child who really was just disappointed in his father.  While hurt by what’s going on he still wanted to move forward.  The acting put into bringing Max to life on screen was something you have to see with your own eyes.  And I recommend seeing Huge and Dakota together on the big screen.

The other cast members who brought this movie to life was Evangeline Lilly as Bailey Tallet, a lady who’s watched Charlie go from training to pro and into the struggle he has now.  Trying to help him through this path, though starting to loose hope herself.  As well as Hope Davis as Aunt Debra, who loves Max and been in his life the full time.  Though she does not feel that Charlie is good for him because of how he left her sister after learning of his son.

The areas they used in Detroit really did work well for the movie.  It’s great to see something so good come out of the Motor City.  They used really well known buildings in Detroit, like the Renaissance Center which is now known as the GM building.  I’ve mentioned the Renaissance last year in my Youmacon review.  Spending more time there in the last year as I have in a long time, it was really a thrill to see it on the big screen and know “Hey I go there!”.  They also used the Cobo Arena, Detroit Fire Department Headquarters and the old Zoo from Bell Isle.  The Bell Isle Zoo can be seen in Cowabunga Corner #10.

The movie was written by Dan Gilroy and Jeremy Leven, then John Gatins came to turn this story into the screenplay that Shawn Levy did a wonderful job Directing.  So well in fact that the full theater I was sitting in for this film was pulled into the film.  Sitting on the edges of our seats to see what happened next, hating the people that we were suppose to hate, feeling for the struggle between Charlie and Max and hoping for Atom to win the fight.  How do I know that this crowd was this pulled into the film?

There was many scenes where you heard the crowd gasp, people grumble about the bad guys, people laugh, though what really showed how well we enjoyed it was during the fight scenes with the robots.  A fight scene so well done that the believability was able to jump out of the screen at us.  To where at one point during the film when Atom did a fantastic move, the full crowd on the film was cheering and clapping, while the full crowd in my theater was doing the same.  To a movie screen…  not a live boxing ring… a movie screen!  At that moment the movie became more than a film flicking by on the screen we all felt we were there cheering on Atom and we expressed it with our loud cheers.

To be able to pull so many people into a film you need a lot of key things, from writing, directing and acting to really make the audience feel everything.  Though you also need a great looking picture, the robots had to be just as believable as the actors as they too are a part of the cast.  Making the robots come off as real, they went all the way and made animatronic props!  Though not all scenes were they able to use real robots, when ever the robots were walking and fighting they used the same technology developed for “Avatar”, Simulcam Motion Capture.  Combined, they were able to do just what they wanted to do, bringing the robots to life.

Overall this movie was great, filled with emotions, actions and character growth.  The effects were very well done and the fight scenes had great coordination!  I do recommend this movie for everyone as I know I would like to see it a few more times at the theater, and I know my family will buy the Blu-Ray/DVD set when it comes to the stores.

Entertainment Earth



Robots Full Screen Edition...

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