Movie Review: “Real Steel” Blu-Ray

Real Steel stars Hugh Jackman as the absent father who gets one chance to connect with his son before finalizing of custody for his son to other relatives but it’s the robots that make the big difference in both their lives.

Film making 18/25

Video 24/25

Audio 24/25

Bonus Features 10/25

Total 76/100

Hugh Jackman plays Charlie Kenton, a former boxer who now puts his knowledge toward robot boxing but only has the leftovers from bigger competitors for his robots. World Robot Boxing has become the new form of entertainment with as big a following as real boxing used to have and money for almost everyone.

Charlie had a son by a girlfriend but he never was the father type until his ex-girlfriend dies and Charlie has to attend a custody hearing. He figures to just show up and leave his son to relatives until he sees the aunt and uncle that are looking to take custody.

Charlie suddenly becomes very interested in his son, not about his welfare or custody but the potential money he can make from them in exchange for his full cooperation in the custody. The aunt and uncle want a second honeymoon before tackling the day to day routine of taking care of their nephew so Charlie agrees to take his son Ricky for a few weeks.

Ricky becomes interested in robot boxing and sees the potential in an old design when Charlie loses several fights along with the robots he uses in them. They find an old sparring robot that can take a lot of punishment but not give it out and after outfitting it with new systems discover it can win the World Robot Fighting championship.

The film is loosely based or feels a lot like many movies and the plot may be a bit thin but there is something here that is entertaining. Just like Rocky and other films where you get a rush seeing guys beat the tar out of each other you get the same feel but there is no blood and broken noses.

Robot parts fly when real bulls are put up against Charlie’s first robot and other moments are equally as enjoyable if not deja vu inducing. The film is enjoyable but not actually original, more of a high tech Rocky with about the same amount of feeling and emotion.

Real Steel may not go down in the books like Rocky did but the film does have some very good video and audio with a surprisingly 7.1 surround sound audio track. The video transfer to Blu-ray is near perfect and the colors along with just about everything else look fantastic.

The video is without any grain or problems and the contrast between the clean new robots and the old ones Charlie and Ricky are forced to use really highlight the visuals. Audio is also excellent with a full 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound track that is flawless even if it is a surprise.

The film has plenty of audio to fill in with the robot matches and a good mix of songs for a great soundtrack along with the great use of surround. The audio really puts you in the middle of both the action of the fights as well as the various locations from the small town fairs and rodeo to the big arena at the end of the film.

Bonus content for Real Steel on Blu-ray has about 45 minutes of extras including a making of feature, some deleted and extended scenes, a short blooper clip and the choice to view the bonus content on a second screen. I was pretty disappointed in not getting more behind the scenes footage of the robots being created or fighting or something else when this was such a big part of the film.

The mockumentary of Charlie Kenton is a goofball piece of bonus content in a “real life” look at Charlie Kenton but it just points out the fact that there is not much else here. The bonus content is actually a bit lower keyed and really missing the point of having all this disc space to fill and not doing much to fill it.

Real Steel is a pretty good film and one of those movies that makes a great film to take out from time to time and watch for some no brainer fun just like other “real” boxing films. I can recommend Real Steel for a purchase if your into boxing and science fiction mixed or just a decent movie about being part of a family.

Real Steel Website

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