• Story
  • Picture & Sound
  • Bonus Features

Now available to own on Blu-ray and DVD is Dreamworks Studios’ “Real Steel”.

Set in the not too distant future, Real Steel follows Charlie Kenton, a former professional boxer, who took to robot fighting after his own fighting career ended.  Charlie now takes his robot around looking for fights to enter him in.  There is a professional robot boxing league, but Charlie’s not a part of it.  His robot fights usually take him to places like an underground match or having his robot take on a bull at the state fair.  Charlie hasn’t done so well for himself and it seems he owes money to just about everyone.

Charlie learns (or always has known) that he has an 11 year old son, Max.  Max’s mother recently passed away and Charlie shows up at a court hearing in which he plans to give up all rights to his son so that Max’s Aunt Debra can adopt him.  Debra doesn’t really seem to know Max either, but she’s got an older rich husband and thinks she can give Max a pretty good life.  Besides, she really doesn’t like Charlie much anyway.  Charlie finds out at the hearing that Debra and her husband are leaving the country for the Summer and they want him to take Max for the Summer until they return.  Charlie agrees and makes a deal with Debra’s husband (on the side) that gets him the money he needs to buy a new fighting robot since his last one got trashed.

Max goes with Charlie and watches him take delivery of both the money, and later the new fighting bot that he bought.  Max seems to know a great deal about Charlie’s new bot, Noizy Boy.  Noizy Boy used to fight in the professional robot fighting league and has been overseas in Japan for the last several years.  Despite his size and upgraded capabilities (like voice command)  Charlie rushes to get Noizy Boy in a fight before fully learning how to use him.  He enters into an underground fight and goes up against the top fighter.  Charlie bit off more than he could chew, as his new toy gets broken and beheaded.

Later that evening, Charlie breaks into a junkyard looking for parts to build a new bot.  By chance, they end up finding Atom.  Atom was an old sparring bot and seems to pre-date a lot of the fighting bots of the time by several years.  Despite his simple appearance, Atom is tough and can take quite a beating in a fight.  After winning several smaller matches, Max and Charlie get a chance to take on the top robot fighter in the professional league, Zeus.  Zeus is undefeated and no bot has even made it past the first round in a fight with him.

By this time, a pretty good bond has formed between father and son.  One that Charlie didn’t see coming, and it seems that Max really has the instincts of a good fighter, as well as being pretty handy with technology.  Max was pretty resourceful in being able to pull the voice command circuitry from Noizy Boy, install it into Atom and even reprogram it.

I won’t go on and spoil the ending here for you so you can go and see it for yourself.  I will go on to say that I really enjoyed this movie!  I remember after seeing the first trailer for it (on the Blu-ray release of “I Am Number Four”) and thinking “Oh great! Looks like Rock Em Sock Em Robots got a movie”.  I didn’t have very high hopes for it, but was glad to be disappointed by my low expectations of the film.

Picture and sound looked fantastic on the Blu-ray I watched.  I should also mention that this movie has been nominated for an Academy Award in the category of  Visual Effects for the amazing work they did in bringing the 2000 pound, 8 foot tall fighting robots to life.  This is the second Academy Award nomination for Erik Nash (previously nominated for I, Robot in 2004) and first-time Academy Award nominations for John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg.

Bonus Features:

3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (1 Blu-ray Disc + 1 DVD + 1 Digital Copy)

  • All 2-Disc Blu-ray Bonus Features
  • All DVD Bonus Features

2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (1 Blu-ray Disc + 1 DVD)

  • REAL STEEL SECOND SCREEN
  • Countdown to the Fight—The Charlie Kenton Story
  • Sugar Ray Leonard: Cornerman’s Champ
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes with introductions by Shawn Levy
    —Extended “Meet Ambush”
    —Deleted “Butterfly” Storyline
  • PLUS All DVD Bonus Features

1-Disc DVD (1 DVD)

  • Making of Metal Valley
  • Building the Bots
  • Bloopers

HIGH-DEFINITION & STANDARD DEFINITION DIGITAL

  • Sugar Ray Leonard: Cornerman’s Champ
  • PLUS All DVD Bonus Features