100 movies: Real Steel

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100 movies of 2012
Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

Real SteelReal Steel (30/08/12)

Set in the near future, where robot boxing is a top sport, a struggling promoter feels he’s found a champion in a discarded robot. During his hopeful rise to the top, he discovers he has an 11-year-old son who wants to know his father.

Let me set the scene. It’s Friday night. I’m feeling somewhat lazy after a tough day spending money at everywhere from IKEA to the hairdressers’ and B&Q. The evening rolls around and I’m thinking I need a film to watch. But nothing too ‘thinky’. Enter, Real Steel.

Real Steel made a lot of noise when it first entered the cinemas. I did remember wanting to see it on the big screen. Robots. Hugh Jackman. Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis’ names both being attached to this film. Sounded like a lot to enjoy. Though the rumblings from the cinema goers was that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

I now agree with those cinema goers. Watching Real Steel on Friday night was fine. It didn’t stretch my brain. It didn’t make me think. But it didn’t stir much in me really. Neither love nor hatred. Real Steel is one of those films that is just so utterly mediocre that it stumps me for anything to say.

Real Steel should have been an emotional and heart warming film about a boy, his estranged father and their battling robot. But I just got no heart from this film. It takes very little to make me cry and this film couldn’t even get one tear out of me. Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo were a very convincing father/son team but there was just something missing from the film. I can’t put my finger on what exactly, but it lacked that spark. The film went from start to finish without a real deviance from the predicted story.

Oh well, at least the robots looked great and we were treated to Hugh Jackman without a shirt at one point.
Rating: 2/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

69 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)
  48. Insomnia 3/5 (16/06/12)
  49. Rebel Without a Cause 4/5 (22/06/12)
  50. A Lonely Place to Die 3/5 (26/06/12)
  51. Killer Joe 3/5 (29/06/12)
  52. The Amazing Spider-Man 4/5 (03/07/12)
  53. Raising Arizona 4/5 (04/07/12)
  54. Horrible Bosses 4/5 (06/07/12)
  55. Broadcast News 3/5 (07/07/12)
  56. We Need to Talk About Kevin 4/5 (07/07/12)
  57. Miller’s Crossing 4/5 (18/07/12)
  58. The Dark Knight Rises 5/5 (20/07/12)
  59. 21 Jump Street 5/5 (29/07/12)
  60. The Mystery Team 3/5 (07/08/12)
  61. The Help 4/5 (11/08/12)
  62. The Bourne Legacy 3/5 (13/08/12)
  63. The Expendables 2 4/5 (17/08/12)
  64. Brave 5/5 (19/08/12)
  65. Dracula 3/5 (19/08/12)
  66. The Woman in Black 3/5 (24/08/12)
  67. The Mummy 4/5 (28/08/12)
  68. Lawless 3/5 (30/08/12)
  69. Real Steel 2/5 (31/08/12)


  1. Surprised to see you didn’t like this one, Jaina. I thought it was pretty decent. Predictable, yes, but still an entertaining watch. In the U.S. it seems like it fared much better, because of the people I talked to in person, all of them liked it.

    • Yeah, it wasn’t much loved here. The product placement really got to me too. Doesn’t usually. It was fine. Just .. eh.

  2. Ahah, even shirtless Hugh Jackman doesn’t really entice me to see this… or Australia for that matter. I saw a movie with robot in it too, and I’m sure it’s a heck of a lot better than this. You know what’s funny, Jackman seems like the type of tall, dark and handsome guy I’d go nuts for, but for whatever reason he doesn’t do anything for me.

    • You just need to watch that one film with that one role of Jackman’s that’ll draw you in. I remember when he was a possibility for Bond!

  3. I really quite enjoyed this one; nothing amazing, but I did see the heart in it, and the robot fights were really cool I thought. Kind of a Rocky story but with robots and people who can act! Yup, I liked this one, and nothing to do with Jackman getting his shirt off!

    • The Rocky story was kinda sweet and the final fight, if predictable, was fun to watch. It just didn’t draw me in that much.

  4. Good review Jaina. I had a lot of fun with this flick and even though it does end predictably and go in places you’d expect, it still has some heart to it and a nice central performance from Jackman that made it work. Can’t remember the last time I actually saw Jackman ACT, but the guy can do a magnificent job when he does.

    • I think the last time was … The Prestige. He was great in that. Yet to see The Fountain, which is one of those love it/hate it films, but he’s meant to be good in that one too. I am hoping we get to see him really ACT in Les Mis.

  5. I’ve always wanted to watch this movie…but I guess like you…thought it wasn’t worth going. That’s too bad it was such a mediocre movie. I would think there would’ve been some emotional insight between the father and son, at least!

    Oh wells, thanks for taking the bullet for the team.

  6. I’m probably going to watch this one some time, mostly for Evangeline Lily, wish she had better career, maybe The Hobbit will be her breakthrough.

    Shirtless Jackman is always a bonus indeed!

    • Evangeline Lily – was never a fan. As Kate, in Lost, I could do without her! But she hasn’t really done much since then.

  7. This movie was a tough one to grade. 😀 It was stupid as hell, but also enjoyable. So I wouldnt disagree with you at all… But at the same time I gave it a better grade cause I had fun while I was at the theatre… it should get credit for that, you know?

  8. I kinda liked this movie but I fully understand its faults and it certainly is annoying in some areas. I think the main reason I enjoyed it because it was a wonderful day at the theater with my son. If I had seen it alone…probably not as memorable! lol

    • I’m wondering if I had seen it in the cinema would my thoughts have been different? I know I get more of a buzz out of a film seeing it on the big screen. Especially films like this.

      Great you got to share this one with your son!

    • Evangiline Lily was utterly pointless. I think she was there to just be that movie stereo type of hottie mechanic.

    • Thanks Rachael!

      I was a fan of Game of Shadows. All down to RDJ and Jude Law – love their bromance!

      And yes, the shot of the seed heads is mine. Think I took it a year or so ago in Portugal.

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