Lite’s Review Room: Weekend Movies – ‘Ides Of March’ & ‘Real Steel’

Another weekend upon us and another Lite’s Review Room to take a look at all the cinematic glory entering the theaters this week.  This week we are looking, and mostly staring at two movies with huge stars in the lead roles.  Let’s take a look at George Clooney & Ryan Gosling (don’t have to ask us twice) and Hugh Jackman (if we have to) flicks.

We’ll start off with the double dose of leading man, and hand over the reigns to our very own Queen of the Silver Screen, Julie Fisk:

Ides of March:

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“The Ides of March” stars Ryan Gosling as a campaign staffer during a Presidential Primary, when he realizes his candidate has some chinks in his armor. I had really high expectations of this movie. Ryan Gosling starring in a film directed by & co-starring George Clooney. How could you go wrong?

Well, I’ll tell you. Ryan plays an idealist working for a Governor he supports in every sense. Then he finds out his candidate has some dirty laundry and we watch as this bright-eyed optimist becomes a hardened part of the political machine. Sounds good sure, but the problem is we’re not learning anything new here. When Ryan’s campaign staffer finds out his boss has a weakness, HE is the only one surprised. We in the audience expect that kind of behavior from our politicians and it seems naïve that someone in the business would not.

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The ensuing cover-up is supposed to feel clandestine, but we’ve seen it all in past elections. Smear campaigns, affairs, shady agreements, none of this is shocking anymore & there is certainly no allure to watching it on the big screen. It’s not that “The Ides of March” is bad. It’s an interesting story, well portrayed by some great actors. Yet I walked out of the theater feeling AWFUL, because I know that all the gross things happening onscreen really ARE happening.

George Clooney, who also co-wrote the screenplay, doesn’t shed any new light here. He just reinforces everything we hate about the election process & that’s why I’m giving “The Ides of March” a C+.

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In fact, the only thing I learned from this movie is that politics is no longer sexy. Not EVEN with George Clooney and Ryan Gosling and THAT speaks volumes.

Real Steel:

Hugh Jackman stars as a former boxer who is put out when the boxing game changes from people boxing to robots.  He’s down on his luck and can’t seem to put a fighting robot together.  When his estranged son comes back into his life and reinvigorates him by finding a small sparing robot who shouldn’t win anything.   Jackman uses his former fighting  skills to teach the robot how to fight and an improbable father/son journey begins.[photogallerylink id=57714 align=right]

The story seems nice enough, where Jackman excels as a rebel who just can’t get his life together but shows enough care and passion for his son that you get on his side.   If you can look past the ridiculous robot fighting theme there are some redeeming qualities to this film, Hugh Jackman being a big one.

Also in the Cineplex: (Last Week’s Gross)


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