The Scrap Yard

Review of “Real Steel”

Real Steel. A movie that isn’t just a 3D rerelease of a past Oscar-winner, but is instead unique, heartfelt and has enough robot decapitating to make anyone happy.

The premise of the movie is simple but effective: A robot-boxing dirtbag (Hugh Jackman) reaches the rock bottom of his career, and then gets forced to take care of his biological son (Dakota Goyo) when his ex-girlfriend dies. So the two of them work as a team towards defeating robots for financial survival. As simple as it is, the plot makes you feel a lot of emotions, and is surprisingly heartfelt. When the underdog robot, Atom, is climbing the ladder of success, you just want to root him on. When father and son get beaten up (minor spoiler) by the bad guy of the movie, you feel sad enough to almost stop watching. When the dad acts like a jackass to his boy, you want to smack him upside the head. Every event in this movie does an amazing job at making you feel connected. That is largely due to the great acting by both of the lead actors. Wolverine- I mean Hugh Jackman does a great job as the horrible father who undergoes emotional maturity as the movie progresses, and Dakota Goyo does a superb job as the tough-kid wannabe that he portrays.

The key to a successful movie centered around robot carnage are the visuals and soundtrack, no matter how good the acting is (Transformers, anyone?). Real Steel delivers in both categories, having an impressive rock ‘n roll soundtrack with lots of widely popular songs being in the movie, and visuals that look so realistic you almost forget that they’re CGI.

Overall, I loved Real Steel. I don’t know how on earth it got such low ratings from all of the critics, because it is an amazing movie. The acting is some of the best I’ve seen in a long time, the story and visuals are amazing, and the experience as a whole is remarkable. I definitely recommend you go out and buy this on DVD.

The Scrap Yard

Review of “Hugo”

I’ve decided to branch out a little. I’ve seen a lot of movies on top of my gaming experiences, so why not review both? So, is this movie adaptation as good as it’s original book counterpart? Read on to find out!

Hugo takes place in Paris, where a little boy named Hugo Cabret lives in a trainstation’s clocktower due to his drunken uncle’s abandoning of him and his father’s death in a museum fire. The set for this movie is gorgeous, with everything feeling fairly realistic to actual France with the exception of the overly stereotypical curly-Q mustaches and berets. But the train station is beautifully digitalized, looking like an updated Polar Express. The outdoor scenes look great as well, and for the first time I’ve seen in a movie the snow is actually believable. I congratulate this movie’s presentation.

The music to “Hugo” definitely sounds like it belongs in a European-based film. I like the music, it sounds like a light-hearted cover of Fiddler on the Roof, although that might be a bit of a stretch. My only gripe is that the main theme is a little overused throughout the movie.

But what’s the most important thing in a movie? The acting, of course! It’s surprisingly good. Asa Butterfield does a marvelous job portraying a poor, lonely child with hidden genius for mechanical devices. Ben Kingsley does a fantastic job as the grumpy, mean and yet somehow innocent and lovable old toyshop owner. I by far can say as a reader of the book, he portrayed his character the best out of anyone. Even Sacha Baron Cohen does an outstanding job as the nosy inspector… although his French (?) accent is questionable.

Being based off of an amazing book that was filled to the brim with carefully penciled hand-drawn illustrations and an interesting plot, this movie had a lot to live up to by trying to be interesting but not an over the top cash-in action flick. I give the movie props for what it is, being a well-acted and fairly intriguing tale, but I think this movie was sort of screwed from the start. It starts at a slow pace, and there’s only a handful of action sequences which keeps it true to the book but hard for children to stay interested in, which is this movie’s target audience. I recommend it for anyone looking for an artsy, clever and faithfully portrayed movie of the book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”.