Posts Tagged ‘robots’

Real Steel – It’s The Real Deal

Posted 04 Nov 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Real Steel, USA / India, 2011

Directed by Shawn Levy

Real Steel is a genuinely lovable movie. Boxing movies all have one thing in common, especially boxing movies these days, in our generation: there’s that moment of pure bad-assery that lets you know things just got real. The hero, our hard-boiled yet soft-hearted fighter, is getting beaten down, physically and emotionally, and you have every reason to believe it’s over – there’s no getting up off the mat, no getting out of the corner or off the ropes, and no closing those wounds – but the motion will slow, the music will stop, and the boxer will look at his opponent and do something that should make that opponent very afraid: smile. Things just got real.

That’s probably in my top five movie cliches that don’t actually put me off to the whole project. Real Steel, fortunately, has a moment like that. If you’ve seen one boxing movie, you’ve seen Real Steel. While this isn’t exactly Rocky (1976) or Cinderella Man (2005) with robots, it has the same idea; you have your rundown fighter on his last legs, trying to make it all work, while overcoming all sorts of adversity. In Real Steel, that adversity comes in the form of gambling addiction, debts, and a kid. Of course, the kid proves to be the one thing that holds our hero together. That’s not a spoiler, that’s a formula. Don’t yell at me. Read More

Oceans – Definitely Sinks To The Bottom

Posted 03 Feb 2010 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Corey Birkhofer

Oceans, France / Switzerland / Spain, 2009

Directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud

disney  nature oceans

Okay, I’m going to admit it: I absolutely love nature documentaries. March of the Penguins (2005) and the BBC’s Earth (2007) are two that come immediately to mind as nature pictures that have stayed with me since watching them. The latter, a brilliant work narrated by James Earl Jones, was interestingly acquired for U.S. release by none other than Disney’s new-kid-on-the-block independent nature documentary group, DisneyNature. Being as moved as I was by Earth, when I found out DisneyNature had put together their own documentary, I was ecstatic to hear it’d be getting a Japanese release so I could see it over here.

With its ambitious attempt to document the massive bodies of water that cover three-fourths of our planet, Oceans is a visual and auditory masterpiece put together by French directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud. On a visual level, I have to be honest and state that I have never been moved to “ooh” and “aah” more than I was when watching Oceans. And yet, as beautifully shot, edited and scored as the film may be, what didn’t I get about it?

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Robots

Posted 23 Aug 2009 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Corey Birkhofer

Robots, USA, 2005

Directed by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha

Rodney Copperbottom and Herb Copperbottom

Hello again, folks. Thanks for checking in. This time around, I’d like to switch gears from live-action and focus on a 20th Century Fox animation called Robots. Being a huge fan of all forms of animation, from old fashioned cell to state-of-the-art CG, the little kid inside of me still gets a little giddy every time I’m about to watch an animated film I haven’t seen yet. It was no different when I happened upon a film released in 2005 that I had heard very little about, called Robots. Now I’ll go and see just about anything Pixar puts out, but I’ve had mixed feelings when it comes to Fox’s animation attempts. I want to see Fox put out great works so Pixar has some competition to keep them on their toes, but unfortunately, Robots was definitely a movie that I did not get into.

Spoiler Alert

The premise is simple: the Copperbottoms (voiced by Stanley Tucci and Dianne Wiest) are a happy robot couple who live in their peaceful world, filled with spare parts and resources in abundance. They decide to build their own robot son, Rodney Copperbottom (voiced by Ewan McGregor) and raise him the best they can. Rodney is a good son with dreams of becoming an inventor like his hero Bigweld (voiced by Mel Brooks). Rodney’s inventions never seem to quite work out the way he intends, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to show his latest invention to Bigweld and become a famous inventor in the big city. So here we have a simple “small town boy wants to make it in the big city” premise that seems like a reasonable enough base from which to build. Despite its lack of originality, I was still intrigued enough to go along for the ride at this point. Unfortunately, things went downhill from here.

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