Real Steel

Shawn Levy wants to fornicate with Ron Howard. Or maybe just his Oscar.  Or maybe try to procreate a baby Oscar from his fornication with Ron Howard that will be the baby half-brother to Ron Howard’s existing Oscar. You see, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Real Steel, is a Hugh Jackmanification of John Nash, without the economics, plus a dash of Iron Man.  The over-the-topness and Hollywoodishness oozes like cheese whiz through every bolt and every joint of the poor abused robot Atom.  I shall elaborate about how Shawn Levy wants Ron Howard through providing a good deal of evidence that shows, at the very least that Shawn Levy is trying to get you to ooze with cheese like his idol does.  This is his vain attempt to replace Ron Howard in the eyes of the US media consumer.  I say don’t fall for it!  Shawn Levy is only about 70% of the heavy handed cheesiness of Ron Howard, so don’t give in!  Ron Howard may be bald but he is far from dead!  Plus Levy doesn’t have a porcupine-shaped sidekick like Brian Grazier, so not even a competition.  I mean the dude doesn’t even use classical orchestra to definitely hammer in his give-away standing ovation moments….

Evidence ONE – The plot: The movie draws you in with promises of cool effects with ultimate fighting, rampant injury (and possibly death!) and  machines and robots from the future, but REALLY it’s a manipulative plot to get grown men into the theaters to see the tale of an estranged father re-connecting with his emotionally retarded son and emasculate them into puddles of tears.  Yes, you will cry.  Unless you have a heart of steel like mine and laugh in the face of the cheesiness.

Evidence TWO – The kid’s name is Dakota: Ok so, not Dakota Fanning, but similar in the sense that the kid is  freckly fresh faced little boy named Dakota Goyo with a spunky attitude and you quickly get the point of his role.  To get at your heartstrings.  HA! Only if you are a pathetic sucker

Evidence THREE – The robot looks like WALL-E:  Now who is the most beloved robot of all (with a possible exception of Rosie from the Jetsons, Vicki from Small Wonder, oh and R2D2 and C3PO of course, and I also really do love my Roomba, but yeah, you get the idea)?  WALL-E!  the cutest mute robot in the whole darn universe.  Not only does Atom look like WALL-E, but it even has this slightly eerie smile…slightly eerie potentially cuz it’s always there…

Evidence FOUR and possibly the most compelling evidence – The dialogue: I don’t have all the dialogue with me here, since I don’t have the script but the ones I remember are the following (BTW Charlie Kenton is Hugh Jackman and Max Kenton is the kid, Dakota Goyo):

Charlie: I know I’ve done all kinds of wrong by this kid. I’d just like to do one thing right.

Charlie Kenton: What do you want from me?
Max  Kenton: I want you to fight for me.  That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Max Kenton: I need you to teach him to box.
Charlie Kenton: Are you kiddin’ me?
Max Kenton: You know this fight game inside and out. He needs your moves, your commands!
Charlie Kenton: I can…I can’t!
Max Kenton: Yes, you can!

I hope you will see, ladies and gentlemen, that this is clearly an attempt to be and be with Ron Howard.  I say NO! Don’t let it happen.  No one can replace Richie Cunningham in our hearts and minds….rest easy Ron, I’ll stand by you.

And does anyone complain about robot-abuse in this movie?  All the poor robots, beating up on each other like a page from Michael Vick’s private playhouse but do I hear any complaints?  NO!  and why?  oh the infamy….$4

If you heart Real Steel:

Recommendations from Bernard Liptenstein LLC:
Iron Man
A Beautiful Mind
Apollo 13

X-Men: First Class

Thrilling.  Entertaining. Thoughtful.  Successful.

This prequel is probably the best I’ve ever seen in a movie series.  Especially, given the last two failures in the X-Men film franchise.  X-Men: First Class is set in the creative context of WWII and the Cold War.  There was a whole lot of set up dedicated to character development and establishing relationships.  Even though this time was taken from action sequences, I appreciated the care placed in the origin story of X-Men.

Even more, the development of the story including Magneto’s experience in the Holocaust and the USA/Soviet show down provided really interesting insight into the rift between Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender).  Moreover, Magneto’s story makes you empathize with his future evil self.  You feel moved by his pain and you understand his perspective.  This makes for an interesting villain, although, he’s not really the villain in this story.  But what a great dynamic duo of good and evil.  Magneto and Professor X, first friends, but then dear enemies as a matter of principle.  Even as enemies, they treat each other with mutual respect and civility – I love how complicated it is.

Then there’s the relationship between Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X – what a beautiful touch.  And oh – Hank McCoy – one of my favorite X-Men.  I was happy to see him materialized onto the screen.  Although Beast wasn’t nearly as handsome as I had hoped.  Sometimes action movie humor really grinds my gears, but these little jokes and cameos (Rebecca Romijn and Hugh Jackman) got me on my good side.

The action sequences are thrilling.  Director Matthew Vaughn had a great vision for the interpretation of the mutant powers – especially the Nazi villain – Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).  We all love to hate the Nazis.  Shaw can suck in nuclear energy and spit it out like fireballs – sweeeet!  I was a little disappointed in Angel Salvadore, Azazel, and Riptide – I wish the villains were more bad ass – but you can’t get everything, right?  And now for some gratuitous eye candy…

X-Men: First Class continues the socially conscious message of the film series that mirrors the Civil Rights Movement, it fits the time period, too.  This prequel showcases the young, teen-like angst of the cause.  These earlier X-Men still struggle with their identity and rebellion, wrestling with the decision to “pass” as “normal” or be proud of who they are (even in blue form).  I like purpose in my action films… $7

If you heart X-Men: First Class:

Recommendations from Yolkie:

X2: X-Men United
The Dark Knight

%d bloggers like this: