1. Real Steel (Touchstone Pictures, 3,440 Theaters, 127 Minutes, Rated PG-13): This will either turn out to be one of the silliest misfires in film history or start a trend where tired old tropes are freshened by adding robots to the mix. Personally, I hope it’s the latter because I can’t wait for the first all-robot romantic comedy.
The film takes place in the near future where robot boxing has replace human boxing in popularity (no word on how MMA is faring in this future). A struggling promoter (Hugh Jackman) finds a robot that might just turn his business around. At the same time, if that wasn’t enough, the promoter reestablishes a connection with his 11-year old son.
I am conflicted about this film. It seems utterly mock-worthy, but I can’t help but feel that there might be some potential here. It could be completely stupid, and odds are good that it will be, but I have a feeling it might be a little bit more.
2. The Ides of March (Sony/Columbia, 2,199 Theaters, 101 Minutes, Rated R): On paper, it’s hard to see where this could go wrong. It’s a heavy political drama being released just on the cusp of Oscar season and when politics is all over the news, it has an all-star cast including a lead with a whole lot of buzz, and an actor/director who has made the most of the intriguing choices he has made.
The film focuses on an idealistic young campaign worker (Ryan Gosling) working for a charismatic Democratic presidential candidate (director George Clooney). During the course of his job, he uncovers some incredibly damaging information about his boss. This rocks his faith in his employer, the political system and might have more damaging personal effects than he anticipates.