“REAL STEEL” – Reels of money-making crap starring Hugh Jackman

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Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

REAL STEEL – the latest from DreamWorks, is going to ring the bell in Box Office sales this weekend. It is the total dream work come true in computer generated animation effects – that being, the fabrication of the most important championship fight ever in the history of WBA Heavy Weight robots. So, this is happening, like, way into the future, right? By then, local gyms are struggling to stay open. Who needs ‘em? Since the first middle-weight 10-foot robot was taught to throw a punch, the biggest arenas you ever saw have been packed by millions of die-hard Americans hungry for the blood (or disconnected debris) of state-of-the-art remote-controlled pugilistic bots who’ve been trained to fight their opponents to the death – to their absolute obliteration – if that’s what it takes. And it does. Just like in Rome, way-back, when it was totally legal.

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HUGH JACKMAN is “Charlie Kenton” in Real Steel

The current World Robot Champion, at the moment, is “Zeus” – a tatooed monster and certainly the darkest force for no-good and mayhem since Godzilla – except, somehow, smarter. Zeus is owned and operated by a conniving Asian (Karl Yune) with a penetrating gaze who’s accompanied by an icy Russian / Octopussy-type bitch of a Chief Controlling Officer girlfriend (Olga Fonda). Zeus may have greased the palms of the judges who declared him winner against “Atom”, the junkyard hybrid contender owned by the former boxing has-been who coulda been somebody, Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman). So, at least some things haven’t changed in Action Fantasy.

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Director Shawn Levy and Hugh Jackman

And Mr. Jackman – now with arms bigger than the butt on the Colossus of Rhodes – is the perfect dodo-head for the biggest loser hero with a perpetual day-and-a-half growth who lives on beer and hamburgers and can recover instantly from a beating “within an inch of his life” by the thugs he owes gambling money to. The multitudes in the Visual Effects Department alone at Dreamworks are dreaming of a working sequel. It’s possible! Because there was this vague kind-of unfulfilling ending that left Atom in second place as “The People’s Choice”, but with the relationship of Charlie and his precocious 12-year-old robotics-genius son (Dakota Goyo) somewhere on the ropes.

Never mind about that script. Following a slight smattering of applause and in my haste to exit the theater, I heard at least one guy say, “I really liked it.”

Way to go, Hugh!

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Atom and Charlie sparring outside a chain motel



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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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