100 movies: Real Steel

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]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![/yellow_box]

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…

120+ movies: I am Number Four

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

I Am Number FourI Am Number Four (23/10/11)

Aliens and their Guardians are hiding on Earth from intergalactic bounty hunters. They can only be killed in numerical order, and Number Four is next on the list. This is his story.

Not a groundbreaking film, but a decent film. I enjoyed watching it. It might have had a tendency to drag in some parts. There weren’t any real surprises. And yet I enjoyed it.

I’m not sure what else to add! It’s just a watchable, action/adventure film. With a nice bit of Timothy Olyphant in it.

How’s that for a film review?
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far:

120+ Movies: Legion

120+ Movies of 2011

LegionLegion (27/08/11)

A group of strangers fight for the welfare of humanity.

All I can think is Dennis Quaid and Paul Bettany – WTF?! I am lost with this film and just how boring it was.

Think of it as the last season of Supernatural. God and Angel vs. humanity. It was nowhere near as good as that season of Supernatural. Mostly it was incredibly boring.

Just avoid. Wasted about 90 minutes of my day on this thing.
Rating: 1/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far:

120+ Movies: Long Overdue Update

120+ Movies of 2011

Long time no update! Well here’s finally an update to my movie tally for the year. I’m getting there. Though if I want to hit my target I might need to speed things up again.

Sucker PunchSucker Punch (02/04/11)

A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility.

Well, erm, it looked fantastic. That counts for something. Well for me that counts for at least 1 point out of 5 that I’ve given it. It all starts off brilliantly, but as soon as we slip into the various fantasy lands things go very wrong. The fantasy lands look amazing though. Some stunning set sequences. Sadly the storyline, characters and dialog aren’t the strongest parts of the film. The dialog in particular, at times, made me cringe it was so bad. And I like films like Fast & Furious, which isn’t known for having great dialog! OK, along with looking very slick the film does have a fantastic soundtrack. Which is on my list of things I need to buy very soon.

Nice attempt from Zack Snyder to create his own movie but it just didn’t work for me. Would have made a great plot line for a console/PC game though. Shame there wasn’t a game tie-in.
Rating: 2/5

CarriersCarriers (03/04/11)

Four friends fleeing a viral pandemic soon learn they are more dangerous than any virus.

I thought this was going to be a straight up road trip movie turned zombie flick. I think it got half way there. From the outset I think, as a viewer, you’re meant to think it’s an average college road trip film. But they jump into the apocalypse type world slightly too quickly, as if they’re worried you’ll lose interest if they don’t throw it in from the get go. None of the characters are particularly likeable, so it’s hard to root for any of them when things start going wrong. However I was grateful for the bleak ending. Not everything’s happiness and sunshine.
Rating: 1/5

Source CodeSource Code (06/04/11)

An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.

From the director who brought us Moon. That fact alone had my bar raised significantly for this film. Maybe the bar was set a little too high, but that’s not to say Source Code isn’t a brilliant film.

In the beginning I felt as disoriented as Colter Stevens. Though as Colter began to get a grip on things it felt like I did too. Sure a lot of the main plot of the film is devoted to your standard get the terrorist but you’ve got Colter’s story interwoven in that fairly well. Loved the twist at the end. Great performances from everyone. Didn’t quite reach the levels of slack-jawed wow that Moon got from me, but still, one of the better and more intelligent sci-fi films to come out this year.
Rating: 4/5

3:10 to Yuma3:10 to Yuma (09/04/11)

A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who’s awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

My second Western movie remake of the year! Probably my last too. Only because I can’t think of any others. Oh wait, The Magnificent Seven. Maybe I should aim to add that to my list of films to watch this year.

Really liked the film. Ben Foster plays a creepy villain. Just had sadistic written all over his face. Russell Crowe and Christian Bale were great as the two leading men. I was more impressed by Logan Lerman in this than his recent role in Percy Jackson. Thought he did much better in this film!

I haven’t seen many Westerns so I don’t think I can compare it to anything. Fun to watch with some great action sequences. Can’t ask for much more in a Western.
Rating: 3/5

Walking TallWalking Tall (12/04/11)

A former U.S. soldier returns to his hometown to find it overrun by crime and corruption, which prompts him to clean house.

Second film remake on this update. Though with this one, I had no idea it was a remake. This was just one of those films that happened to be on whilst I was up and I sat there like a lemon and watched it.

Not a great film at all. Though I had fun spotting various Canada based actors like Ryan Robbins, Aaron Douglas and even Cobie Smulders in it. Lots of action, but none of it anything more than loads of bullets getting flung around. I think I lost the main plot of one man’s mission to single-handedly clean up his home town in amongst the action. Johnny Knoxville actually amused me in parts. Which worried me a little.
Rating: 1/5

Your HighnessYour Highness (13/04/11)

When Prince Fabious’ bride is kidnapped, he goes on a quest to rescue her… accompanied by his lazy useless brother Thadeous.

I think when I first heard about this film and saw clips/trailers I had my hopes set fairly high. I was imagining something like The Princess Bride crossed with Pineapple Express. Almost, but not quite. Thankfully just before I went into the film, I had my hopes knocked down a few pegs.

It’s your typical stoner film with the usual kinds of jokes thrown into a fantasy-esque setting. There was a lot of effort thrown into the film for some of the bigger set sequences. The score soundtrack from Steve Jablonsky did a good job of creating some sense of gravitas in said set sequences. Even though on more than a couple of occasions I was reminded of Transformers and was expecting to see some Autobots roll out.

The accents were all over the place, the jokes were lewd and obvious but I laughed more than once and had fun watching it. It’s what filmage is about!
Rating: 3/5

El MariachiEl Mariachi (14/04/11)

A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.

I love Desperado. I think it’s my favourite Robert Rodriguez film and I promised myself one day I’ll sit down and watch the film that spawned that and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

Had I not been such a fan of Desperado I’m not sure I would have enjoyed this film as much as I did. Spent a lot of the time watching scenes unfold and remembering those same scenes, polished up a fair bit in Desperado. None of the acting’s particularly good, but that’s not the point. In fact there’s one actor in it who’s Spanish was pretty damn bad.

Once the action started going it got more of a fun film to watch. Though I found it amusing seeing the blood packs underneath a lot of the guys shirts when they were shot. A shot later, the blood pack would be gone and all you’d see is a torn shirt! Magic!
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far:

100 movies: Robin Hood

100 movies of 2010

I really do love the summer blockbuster season. Every single week there’s a new film out that I want to see. I haven’t been this often to the cinema in ages!

Robin Hood (15/05/10)
Reuniting Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe for a good olde historical epic film. It’s not going to be a horrendously bad idea, considering their last historical outing together – Gladiator was damn good and pretty much set the bar for movies of its kind.

Robin Hood doesn’t disappoint. I won’t give away too many plot points, but as most non-spoilery reviewers have said, it’s not the typical Robin Hood story. More of an origin story of a sort. Which is good, as you get to see the film in its own light, rather than comparing to previous Robin Hood stories.

The battle scenes are epic and brilliantly done. There’s a nice bit of humour in the film as well. Here and there, and not overly done. Accents however are a bit patchy, mostly Russell Crowe! I honestly don’t quite know what he accent was meant to be, but I’m guessing Yorkshire. Kevin Durand’s Scottish was pretty good and Scott Grimes’ Welsh wasn’t bad, though I honestly thought he was meant to be Scottish at a few points!

It’s no Gladiator, but a damn good film in my eyes. The beginning is strong, loses it towards the middle, but picks up towards the end of the film. Worth watching for a bit of history. Can’t guarantee many truths in the history.
Rating: 4/5

Read more to see the full list of movies I’ve seen so far this year.