Friday, October 28, 2011

Castelar at the Movies: Real Steel & Killer Elite

It is a true pleasure when a movie lives up to the hype that surrounds it. Shawn Levy directs an astounding film that is a true blockbuster in every sense of the word. This film is a modern sports science fiction tale which is full of emotion, action and phenomenal special effects. The main character of this story is a man named Charlie Kenton who used to be a professional boxer, but in the year 2020 humans have been replaced by robots in boxing. Hugh Jackman portrays this flawed human being as a man who has lost what gave him a true purpose in life and a person who has made many bad choices along the way. Charlie adapts to this harsh new reality by buying robots and making them fight in illegal underground boxing matches so that he can pay his debts, but lately his debts keep piling in and he seems to be running out of options on how to support himself. 
     Suddenly, Charlie finds out that his ex-girlfriend has died and that he must attend a meeting in order to decide who will get custody of his estranged son Max. When Charlie gets to the meeting he finds out that Max’s aunt Debra and her wealthy husband Marvin want full custody of the boy. Being desperate for money Charlie makes a secret deal with Marvin in which he agrees to hand over his son to him and his wife in exchange for a large sum of money. However, Marvin and Debra have to go on a trip and Charlie must take care of the boy for three months. Max is a kid who has some bitterness in his heart, because he knows that his father was never there for him because he isn’t a reliable person. Charlie is a man who runs away from the things that he doesn’t want to face because he doesn’t know how to deal with the consequences of his actions. Both characters are at a crossroads in this particular point in time and they are both trying to find something that will improve their lives.

    There is an evident sense of animosity between Charlie and his son Max. However, Charlie's friend Bailey Tallet acts as the voice of reason for this father and son duo. Bailey who is portrayed by Evangeline Lilly runs the boxing gym of her deceased father who trained Charlie when he was a professional fighter. This woman truly understands Charlie as she has never turned her back on him because she has a deep sense of loyalty and fondness for this man. When Max shows up Bailey takes a liking to this young boy because she sees that he is someone who is just trying to connect with his father in any way that he can. Bailey clearly understands the importance of family as a parent can guide you through the good times and the bad times while giving you the necessary support to find your path in life. The other element that establishes a positive relationship between Charlie and Max is an old robot named Atom who they find in a junkyard.

This robot was the catalyst that brought a sense of unity and gave these protagonists a purpose to do something together that they both loved to do. Common interests can lead you to see just how similar two people can be and by the end of this film both Charlie and Max clearly understood how important they were to each other. This movie has a heart of steel as it shows that if you have the necessary support from the people that you love then you can overcome any obstacle that stands in your way.  
Killer Elite

     Living a life which is full of violence can corrupt the purity of the human soul. In this hostile world, many ruthless people pay a lot of money to eliminate their enemies.  The best contract killers in the business are lethal and calculated human beings that do not rest until their mission is completed. A true stone cold killer doesn’t have any pity or remorse for the people that they kill. On the other hand, as time passes by even the mightiest killer may be consumed by guilt for all of the horrible deeds which have been committed in the past.

The protagonist of this film is Jason Statham and he portrays a vicious assassin named Danny Bryce who is sick and tired of all the violence and the bloodshed which he has caused. Bryce is a man that is tormented by his inner demons as he struggles to keep his sanity in a world that is full of chaos and turmoil. After a lifetime of murder and mayhem, Danny decides to retire from his dangerous profession. Unfortunately, his mentor named Hunter who is marvelously portrayed by Robert De Niro is held captive and this leads Danny to come out of retirement. The best scenes of the entire film are the ones where we have Robert De Niro and Jason Statham acting together since both of these actors are truly fun to watch, because it seems that these men have a genuine charisma which is truly priceless to watch.  

     Danny slowly learns that if he wants to save his friend, he must kill at least three members of the British Special Air Service (SAS). The man who hires Danny to do these dastardly deeds is an Arabian Sheik who seeks vengeance against these men because they have killed 3 of his sons. Sheik Amr is a man who has all the wealth in the world, but he is dying. His final request is that before Bryce kills the men that were responsible for the deaths of his sons he must make each of them confess to what they did while recording it. Of course, this threat does not go unnoticed as a former SAS operative named Spike Logan figures out are what Bryce and his team are up and he decides to stop them by any means necessary. Clive Owen portrays Spike Logan as a man who has a bitter mean streak inside his soul. Spike is a former soldier who doesn’t want a normal life because he considers it to be a dull existence. When Logan is given a specific mission he feels that his life has a purpose and a meaning which isn’t worthless. Obviously, we have two polar opposites in Bryce and Logan as one man wants to disappear without ever harming another person again while the other man wants to remain active in a world which is full of death and destruction. Overall, this action film is a battle of will and wits where one mistake can have serious repercussions in the lives of our protagonists.


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