Reel Steel was fun. It might not be a classic but the robot fights were good and the story outside the ring held my interest. (Sometimes in a boxing movie that does not happen ) Hugh Jackman stars as Charlie, a former boxer and trainer of robot boxers. (I am still not clear on how the robot boxing technology really developed in the near future, I think the movie is set in 2014 or so.) He and his son get an old fighting robot and put it in fights.
Ides of March was good but Richard Roeper (and maybe Roger Ebert) were right. There is a subplot that brings the movie down. (I don’t want to go into too many details, so it might be better not to say anything else on that point.) It was nice to see Paul Gimatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman in supporting roles but they could have used another scene together. The movie is more about Ryan Gosling’s character than George Clooney’s. (Clooney might be top billed). I think the movie could have been great but it is not.
The question is it better to aim high and fail or to aim not so high and succeed. I think Ides of March wants to be a classic film and thought provoking. It almost makes it. (That subplot hurt the movie.) Reel Steel doesn’t aim as high but it is more successful.
It has been a good year for Ryan Gosling. He has had 3 movies and he delivered good performances in each one. He even branched out a into a comedy. I think Drive is his best film of the year.