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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Film Reviews: Real Steel (2011) and The Impressionist (2010)
Real Steel (2011). Directed by Shawn Levy, and in part based on the short story by Richard Matheson. Set in the USA in 2020, the film is centred around Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman), who tries to make money from robot boxing. Kenton appears to be singularly unsuccessful though and has also run up a string of debts. Things are further complicated when he is contacted by a lawyer and informed that his ex-girlfriend has died, and that his ex-girlfriend's sister wants to adopt the 11-year old son he essentially abandoned. The basic problem I had with Real Steel is that it is presumably targeted at 8-year olds who like to see robots fight, hence I'm not the audience for it. The story is very basic and predictable, and Jackman's character is mostly unlikeable (Evangeline Lilly plays a 1 dimensional semi-girlfriend). So as per above if you're 8-years old and like fighting robots you may want to give it a watch, otherwise I suggest avoiding. 2/5 (Poor)

The Illusionist (2010). Directed by Sylvain Chomet, and based on a story by Jacques Tati. The film is animated, and there is little if any actual clearly spoken dialogue. The film is initially set in France in 1959. The central character is an ageing illusionist that goes by the stage name of Tatischeff. When his audiences dry up he is forced to move to London, and when similar happens again he ends up moving to Scotland at the request of a drunken guest at a party. There he meets a shy young girl, who he bestows a gift to. The Illusionist is fairly depressing and slow paced viewing, despite being studded with Tati's trademark comedy. There is controversy regarding the original story, and that Tati wrote it either as a "letter" to his eldest daughter, or an estranged daughter. Recommended for fans of bitter sweet comedy that don't mind the animated style. 4/5 (Good)