I saw a couple of Oscar nominated films yesterday that couldn’t have been more different. On the one hand I saw The Artist a black and white ode to the silent era and on the other Real Steel, a film about fighting robots.
Both were good and I can see why the academy is going nuts over The Artist. It’s well acted and very different. I did get that Oscars backlash feeling of that it is a bit gimmicky though. It hammers home its points with as much subtlety as a post advert recap on an American reality show. It was quite short, and its the sort of film that critics will look down on you if you haven’t seen it and your friends will annoy you about until you check it out. Well make up your own mind- for me its good but not great. The sort of film that people love if they don’t see many non mainstream films. The sort of film that in my mind gets worse the more people over rate it.
Real Steel on the other hand is nothing new. It’s basically a mix of Over the Top (Dad takes estranged kid on the road to competition glory) and Rocky (journeyman gets his shot). Oh yeah it also features robots, though sadly no baseball cap twisting action in this one (an Over the Top reference in 2012- score one for the good guys). Jackman is likeable, the girl from Lost (Evangeline Lilly) is fit and the kid is not too annoying. The robots though are fucking awesome- the CGI is way more believable than transformers and the fight scenes are easily followed and not too fast (Bay take note!). I finished the film thinking of films like Arena and Robot Jox that I loved as a kid. I am sure there are lads everywhere who love this film with the posters on the wall and action figures (not actually sure there are action figures but damn there should be!), and that would of been me 20 years ago. Great family film of robot destruction.
On a side note this film is set in the not too near future. We know 100 thousand dollars is still a lot of money and that even 1000 dollars is a significant amount. If that is so why can Jackman buy a cool robot for 45,000 near the start of the film? If they only cost that much why wouldn’t everyone just buy one? That annoyed me. Get your robot economics right bastard film makers! Robots are serious business.