J.J. Abrams’ production company is called Bad Robot. Abrams has nothing at all to do with next year’s boxing-robot drama Real Steel, I just thought the name sounded like a perfect fit for this Dreamworks Pictures futuristic-pugilist flick slated for an October 2011 release because a) it’s about robots and b) looks like it has the immense potential to be bad. Decide for yourself with the trailer below:

Now, I don’t know much about this film, other than the fact  it stars Hugh Jackman as a has-been fighting great who now works as a promoter in a near-future world where the sweet science is performed by what look like failed Iron Man designs rather than human punching bags. For extra geek cred, Lost‘s Evangeline Lilly has left the island to co-star, but you can barely tell it from the preview. Now, robots are pretty f’in cool — Robocop, Tetsuo, The Terminator, Iron Man, all living proof of this inalienable fact. But if I’ve learned anything lately,and I try not to, its that shiny, CGI-rendered robots beating the metallic snot out of each other are NOT actually cool. The deeply idiotic Transformers movies shat out by Michael “Explosions Every Second!!!” Bay have proven this. And Real Steel looks like some sort of unholy high concept hybrid: Transformers meets Rocky. Say it with me now: Ugh.

That this is being produced by Steven Spielberg doesn’t give me hope, because Steve also produced Bay’s already-mentioned abominations (BTDubs…what is with Spielberg and robots lately? First Transformers, then he was attached to something called Robopocalypse and now this.)  Worse yet, lets get a look at the man who Spielberg has wisely chosen to helm this project: Shawn Levy. For those that don’t know the name, let me give you a rundown of some of his other credits:

Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum 2: Battle for the Smithsonian

Date Night

Cheaper By the Dozen

Big Fat Liar

The Pink Panther

Just Married

Oofta, that list just hurt to type. Oh, and amongst the four listed writers are credits for such cinema favorites as Dante’s Peak, Hardball, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, The Legend of Bagger Vance and the Freddie Prinze Jr baseball classic Summer Catch (what, you don’t remember that one?) With Battleship, Monopoly and Stretch Armstrong movies already announced, this looks like someone was trying to beat a live-action Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots movie to the, ahem, punch. For those interested — and if you are, I have the feeling you may have taken a few knocks to the noggin yourself — Real Steel is currently set to enter the ring October 7th.


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