Movie Review and Giveaway: Real Steel – good enough to knock my block off

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My son and I watched a screening of Real Steel (DreamWorks Pictures) earlier this week. The movie is about a man (Charlie Kenton), his son (Max), and their boxing robot (Atom). When I first saw the trailers for this film, I thought it was about the old Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots by Mattel. There was a scene that reference the toy, but the movie isn’t based on the old Rockem Sockem toys. It’s actually based on Richard Matheson’s short story (titled Steel). Matheson also wrote the story that the I Am Legend movie was based on. Bottom line: Real Steel is about a father and his estranged son developing a bond through their love of robot boxing. I thought the movie was very entertaining. The ending was predictable, but the robot boxing scenes kept me on the edge of my seat. I found myself rooting for Atom the robot even though Atom was clearly a machine and didn’t have any personality. Real Steel opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow (Friday, October 7th). Read on to find out more about the movie and how you can win a Real Steel prize pack.

Real Steel movie (DreamWorks Pictures)

The story take places in the future
Real Steel takes place in the near future when robots do all the boxing. Apparently in the future, people rather watch robots destroy each other instead of human boxers pummeling each other. In his younger years, Charlie Kenton was a boxer. Now he roams the underground boxing venue with his low-end bots. After another disastrous fight, Charlie is reunited with his 11-year-old son (Max). At first the two don’t like each other, but then they start to develop a bond when they find and restore an old sparring bot (Atom).

It’s Rocky all over again
The final bout between Atom and Zeus reminded me of the first Rocky movie. Like Rocky Balboa, Atom is small and a huge underdog (or should I say underbot?). Zeus is huge, fast, and powerful. Zeus is the champ, has never been defeated, and no other robot has ever made it past the first round against Zeus. On paper, there’s no way Atom will last a minute against Zeus. But this is Hollywood, so you already know Atom will give Zeus an epic battle.

It’s a dancing robot
The most entertaining scenes in Real Steel involve Atom dancing. In the movie, the robots are controlled either with a remote or via voice command. However, Atom also has a shadow function that lets it emulate the movement of a person or another robot. In a few scenes, Max puts Atom in shadow mode and starts dancing. Naturally, the robot imitates Max’s movements and soon the two are dancing in-sync. The dancing was very entertaining.

Kate Austen is no longer lost
The love interest (Bailey Tallet) was played by Evangeline Lilly, who is probably best known for her role as Kate Austen in the Lost TV series. Real Steel also features Hugh Jackman (Charlie Kenton), Dakota Goyo (Max Kenton), Anthony Mackie (Finn), Kevin Durand (Ricky), Hope Davis (Aunt Debra), James Rebhorn (Marvin), Marco Ruggeri (Cliff), Karl Yune (Tak Mashido), Olga Fonda (Farra Lemkova), John Gatins (Kingpin), Sophie Levy (Big Sister), Tess Levy (Little Sister), Charlie Levy (Littlest Sister), and Gregory Sims (Bill Panner). The movie was directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum and Date Night). Steven Spielberg was one of the executive producers.

Rated PG-13, but should have be PG
Real Steel is rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action and brief language. I don’t recall a lot of bad language and most of the violence involved robots. In my opinion, the movie was intense but still should have been rated PG.


Real Steel trailer (Charlie and Max) YouTube video

Real Steel Giveaway
Thanks to DreamWorks Pictures, a reader of my dad blog will win a prize pack consisting of a Real Steel t-shirt (adult sizes of S, M, L, XL), bottle opener, set of sticker sheets and temporary tattoos. The deadline to enter the giveaway is Saturday, October 15th (Pacific time). The giveaway is limited to readers in the USA and Canada. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment about your favorite robot, android, or machine.

Two Bonus Entries (leave a separate comment for each entry)

  • Like Real Steel on Facebook
  • Follow Real Steel on Twitter and send out a tweet with a link to this giveaway. Something like:
    “I entered the Real Steel Giveaway @realsteelmovie @daddyforever http://daddyforever.com/2011/10/06/boxing-robots/ #realsteel”

[Disclosure: The giveaway prize will be provided by DreamWorks Pictures, but they are not the administrators of the giveaway on my blog. I am not liable for the prize. I was invited to see a screening of Real Steel to review the movie. As always, the opinions expressed are mine and I am not obligated to write a positive review.]

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75 thoughts on “Movie Review and Giveaway: Real Steel – good enough to knock my block off

  1. My favorite robot is Atom. When he beats up Zeus at the very end, mmm, it just makes me want to get up and punch my brother in the face.

  2. Bender is my fav robot! My son can’t wait to see the movie and has been driving me crazy for a month! We are going to see it tomorrow!

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