Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Movie Reviews for Movies I Haven't Seen: That Dumb One About The Fighting Robots

This movie that’s coming out (I believe it’s called Real Steel but I could be wrong and I refuse to look the title up) that’s about the fighting robots looks absolutely terrible. Essentially the plot is something like this: it’s the future and giant fighting robots have somehow become interesting to watch. Apparently Wolverine gets involved and by figuring out how to link this one, highly special (I’m assuming) robot up to his own movements, a la some kind of motion capture technology, he not only goes on to win whatever stupid fucking competition he and his robot are involved in (I’m assuming here that the stakes are extremely high, like maybe it’s a dystopian future where your robot’s fate determines your own [which would make the whole let’s-link-the-robot’s-motion-to-my-motion angle highly reflective and, if you’re a fucking idiot, poignant]) but he also apparently becomes a great role model for/restores faith in humanity for/saves the life of some little boy who’s probably his son or his stepson but may just be a ragamuffin-y, spunky orphan with an aptitude that other adults have chosen not to notice because they’re too busy scoffing at his social status/dorky demeanor.

This is just what I can glean from the trailer. I’m filling in the details with guesses based on what I know about terrible movies in general, and I bet I’m at least 80% right. This is possibly the absolutely dumbest looking movie I’ve EVER seen an advertisement for. Let’s break down why briefly, shall we?

The movie is about robots fighting. That’s at the heart of the film, right? Right. Well, that’s not interesting. Remember the show Battle Bots? That show was one of the most uniquely dull programs ever forced into my home. And it failed spectacularly, which makes me wonder why on earth some studio person would go so far out on a limb as to make a large budget motion picture out of its horrible premise. Fighting robots aren’t interesting for the same reason that two robots fucking aren’t interesting. There’s absolutely no tension there. There’s no sense of sympathy, empathy or verisimilitude engendered by two machines just performing functions. If there were, then cogs in a gigantic clock or a functioning oil derrick could conceivably get us in the mood to fight or make our dicks hard but, with the exception of a few pretty awesome perverts that I’m just guessing probably exist, that shit’s not even anywhere NEAR anybody’s reality. People care about machines, but they care about machines that are THEIRS and they care about them like this: “fuck! I lost my phone. Now I’ve gotta get a new one!” That’s less than people care about their fucking goldfish and a movie about fighting goldfish would be…well, nevermind. That would be awesome.

You know what would be a better premise? People fighting. Or dogs. Or anything but robots. But you know what? Fuck it. If you MUST have robots make at least make it interesting. Like, if the robots controlled the people and it was the people who were in the ring. Do you see why that would be better? Because then there would be a visceral issue at stake. I’m sure, in fact I’d bet anything that in some way the fate of the robot is tied to the fate of Wolverine and the boy that he cares for like a father, and that they’ll either die or be sent to some terrible place if the robot loses, but the thing is, I can tell from the trailer that the robot wins. SO, that’s pretty much the whole thing. The guy stands on the sidelines and ‘fights’ while the robot takes the hits, so the guy’s not even in any real danger at any time. I know that without knowing anything about the movie. It’s fucking stupid.

Now, revealing the whole movie in the trailer isn’t always bad. Free Willy, which was geared to kids, kind of needed to show everyone the “hey, not only does this movie have a happy ending, but this whale jumps OVER THIS FUCKING KID!!!!!” scene in the preview to let people know that an upbeat payoff existed (because seriously, a live action movie about a whale and a boy and their friendship? Puh-lease). Similarly, that movie 50/50 that’s out right now is a comedy about cancer. The guy who the movie’s based on is one of the writers and he’s doing publicity tours now, which means, obviously, that his character doesn’t die in the movie, but that’s a very important fact to have out there when you’re trying to make a feel good comedy about one of the darkest subjects humanity will ever face.

When it comes to a bunch of stupid fighting robots, however, you can’t even leave a shred of mystery? Really? So there’s nothing at stake, but it’s okay because the good guys win, right? Whew. Sign me up for the 3D experience and the Blu Ray. What a fucking turd.

Now, in closing, I’m sure this movie is intended to be a gateway film for 8-12 year old boys, ushering them into the world of action movies with a low-stakes Transformers-meets-karate-kid mashup, but here’s the thing: I watched Karate Kid, where Ralph Macchio gets pushed down the hill on his bike and gets his ass whupped by skeletons. In the original Transformers, Optimus Prime, the protagonist of the whole movie, DIES half way through! I watched the Goonies where pervy old men were after young kids and wanted them dead. If this is, as I expect it is, a lazy example of the softening of the edges of the cultural and psychological landscape for not only our children but also to spare our OWN wimpy little feelings, well, then this movie isn’t just stupid, it’s dangerous.

But one thing is for sure, it’s fucking stupid.

28 comments:

Donnie said...

This movie does look awful, but so do 90% of the movies being released...

I think Real Steel is also a Dreamworks movie, and that kind of explains its crappy-ness.

Dan B said...

It's Rock'em Sock'em Robots! They should have just called it that. Apparently its based off of a Twilight Zone episode bu i'm not too sure about that.

sheila said...

What about YOUR movie? has it been released yet?

Jayzilla said...

i havent been to the theater in over a year .. thanks for reminding me why

Robb said...

Was discussing this the other day. Agree with you about this flick, but as an acquaintance said, the reasons for its existence are obvious. I'd remarked that after the mass scale carnage of Transformers, two robots in the ring seems laughably underwhelming in comparison, a regression. He pointed out that folks love MMA (seems to be some of that goin on here - more than standard boxing it seems), and Transformers did gangbusters, and boom. But it just reeks of something written at least a decade ago that's sat on the shelf (for obvious reasons) until now (bet anything the MMA angle was written in recently). I mean you'd think the rock em sock em robots adaptation would've showed up in '97 and been the logical progression to a live action Transformers. To make it worse I'm pretty sure the whole 'bot's fate determines yours' angle isn't even there, so even that element of risk is absent. It's just a father reconnects w/ estranged son sports drama in the near future where robo fighting is the new high octane shit! By the far the most I've ever written Transformers.

Candice said...

kangaroo jack has my vote for the dumbest movie ever made (that i haven't personally seen).

sheila- i saw the trailer and it's like a legit real movie! can't wait see the whole thing!

dustyfloors said...

Only thing your forgot is that Wolverine is single and his woman left him when he was down in the dumps or she died. Then this kid he becomes the father figure to has a hot single mother that's been raising him all by her lonesome. Then they bang at the end.

Robb said...

O/T but re: Karate Kid I was thinking the other day about all the times Karate Kid has been rehashed. Besides the official remake there was Showdown in '93 (Billy 'secret pervert' Blanks!); Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift (think about it), and Never Back Down, which actually follows the template more than the 'official' remake. And I'm guessing at least one of those 'Step Up' movies was basically KK with dancing. Others?

Robb said...

Tokyo Drift may be more KK II than I. And then there was Next Karate Kid w/ lil Hilary Swank, basically a remake. There's also a recent Korean flick from a few yrs back called 'Art of Fighting' which is a more realistic KK and contains the ultimate 'bullied kid gives bully a beatdown in front of everyone' scene. Recommended as a torrent download. Gettin pretty nerdy, huh ladies?

Anonymous feat. The Ben Walters said...

There's a worse movie coming out around the same time- a stylized Three Muskateers. I cannot adequately convey how fucking stupid it is beyond the implications of that statement but watch the trailer because it definitely gets worse

Matt Ramone said...

It's actually based on a Twilight Zone episode which itself was based on a Richard Matheson short story.

So this has been gestating since 1956.

Anne said...

Undoubtadly it will make millions. I'm so outgroup on this blog, saying anything is risky. But I do it anyway. I'm Irish living in a small town in the US and they feckin' hate foreigners. I like reading this blog and the comments are fun.

It's A Me, Martucci said...

Uh, synopsis of the Twilight Zone episode, Steel:

"In the near future boxing has been outlawed and is performed by mechanical robots. To replace his broken client, the manager decides to enter the ring and replace him."

Synopsis for RS:

"In the year 2020,[2] robots have replaced humans in boxing. Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) loses a chance to become a boxing champion when robots take over, and he becomes a small-time promoter. When he has difficulty making a living, he reluctantly teams up with his son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build a robot that can contend for the championship."

Yeah that sounds identical. 'Cept for the part about the main protagonist jumping in the ring and squaring off against the (giant, hulking, solid steel) robots (as opposed to human-sized androids in the TZ/Matheson story) himself...and the contrived father-son bonding subplot...and the mma stuff...and everything else.

...Let's be honest, RS may be "based" on the Twilight Zone ep/Matheson story, but the actual similarities stop at "future + robots fighting".

It's clearly Rocky + Rock em sock em Meglazoidz + insert movie where father gets second chance with his eccentric estranged son.That's the real steal! Real steal! Ahahahahaha

Carriella Gypsy said...

have you seen this preview? fucking great. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZkWHZ3hJtY&feature=player_embedded

PIXI said...

That movie looks awesome! It would be even better if Brendan Kelly and Jason Ellis were in it!

It's A Me, Martucci said...

^ Fav line from that trailer: "How did we go from...rebelling against our own parents to become parents our selves??"

Well I guess you had intercourse and had a baby, genius. Just a guess. Oh was it like rhetorical? Yea I'll def watch that at some point though. Prob just Fat Mike's parts actually. Flea? Cmon

It's A Me, Martucci said...

^ Director of that documentary appears to be a 48 yr old woman. It'll be interesting

Brandon Dauer said...

http://vimeo.com/29589320 From this Juggalo to you Mr. Kelly. I know that you are fan of Juggalo Watching so I thought maybe you would enjoy this.

Robb said...

"This show American Horror Story looks absolutely retarded"

there's a tweet for ya

Robb said...

Alright so be honest y'all - how many of you knew of Steve Jobs' death, before my comment right now? I'm always comically late on these celebrity/cultural figure death notifications, but I feel I made decent time on this one.

jbody said...

made me realize my "in case I get pancreatic cancer" cash jar is a little silly.gonna snatch that new Igizmo instead.my stab at extremely shitty irreverent death comedy.hate that shit.eeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww makes shit easier but not reaaaaallllyyy huh little faggot?.......doritos eeeehhhheeeh

jbody said...

imagine how much danny masterson likes dead baby jokes.godammit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jbody said...

anyway the jobs thing bummed me out

Anne said...

I knew about Steve Jobs death. My daughters Ipod hasn't worked for months and it suddenly began working again. We suspect that Steve is going to live out his afterlife here at our place.

Robb said...

Anne's on top of it. I feel like Sheila and perhaps Seagull Steve knew as well. Dustyfloors, 50/50; BK yes; Neil strikes me as quietly on top of these things; Can you imagine how fucking early Frank Turner knew; Skiba will hear Saturday

Robb said...

I'll match your 'Anonymous' tweet with "I think A Dangerous Method looks awesome, but why do I already feel like I'm wrong?"

Forecast calls for extreme dramatic license and revisionist history on both counts!

Be funny if in trailers for these new high profile Cronenberg flicks they started sayin "From the director of Shivers and Videodrome!" and make audiences be like whaaaaaaa!??

Alright yall Im gettin off internet now

Kirsty said...

Agreed. I was pretty much gobsmacked with this one.

Kirsty said...

@Candice ... keep it that way. Do not see Kangaroo Jack.