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In Theaters: 'Real Steel' Goes Toe To Toe With 'Ides of March'

by Katie Walsh
October 7, 2011 7:49 AM
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Happy Friday ladies and germs, are you all ready to get your Rock'em Sock'em robots on? "Real Steel" hits theaters with Hugh Jackman in its corner this weekend. The Year of Gosling continues with George Clooney's campaign drama "The Ides of March" and oh goody, another "Human Centipede" movie. Aren't we all just the luckiest movie goers in the world?!

Poor "Real Steel" has been giggled at since it was announced. Hugh Jackman training a robot to box. Other robots. This we gotta see! Hugh plays a down on his luck boxer and boxing promoter whose son finds a sparring bot they train to the top. Our review says the film is a kids movie cliche, and it "works well enough on its own terms to technically deserve to be called a success, but it’s no knockout." With Evangeline Lilly. Rotten Tomatoes: 58% MetaCritic: 56


In Ryan Gosling withdrawal? Not to fret, he's back in theaters this weekend in the George Clooney-directed and co-starring politico flick "The Ides of March," an adaptation of the play "Farragut North." Gosling plays the young top dog in Clooney's candidate's campaign, but backroom maneuvering and poaching sends his world into a tailspin. Our review from Venice says it's Gosling's show, with a terrific supporting cast and a "witty" script that makes for a "very watchable" film and "confirms that Clooney the director is here to stay." With Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, etc. Don't forget to check out our Political Movies feature either! RT: 82% MC: 67

Juno Temple plays an Oklahoma bad girl looking for her father in "Dirty Girl," written and directed by Abe Sylvia. Our review says the film is rife with "clumsy historical anachronisms, slipshod plotting, and thematic thinness" and that it's "all about a kind of shimmery swagger but what strikes you most, at the time you leave the theater, is how square it is." RT: 24%

Ick ick ick. It pains me to report that also in theaters this weekend is "The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)." Apparently this one is way grosser (HOW???) than the first, adding layers of gore and metatextual interactions with the first film. Our review says it "might very well make you sick to your stomach, no matter how much experience you have as a gorehound. Where the first film pulled, this one pushes, to an unpleasant degree," but that ultimately it "falls behind its predecessor because it cannot deliver on its fairly ambitious scope." RT: 23% MC: 20

Sam Shepard stars as Butch Cassidy in "Blackthorn," a sort of spiritual sequel to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" from writer Miguel Barros and director Mateo Gil. See, Butch's been living the quiet life in Bolivia for many years now and has decided to return home to the US of A, before he gets sucked into one last con. Our review says it "can’t live up to Butch Cassidy, and while the man himself will continue to live on years after his death, Gil’s film will peacefully but forgettably ride off into the sunset." RT: 73% MC: 62

"The Swell Season" documents the post-Oscar road of the sweetly singing duo from "Once," Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Our review says the doc "excels at showing us the band on the road and two people whose love for each other is replaced in time with great care and devotion without intimacy. It’s gripping without trying too hard to be so, and if there is one complaint to be leveled against the doc it’s that it doesn’t do much beyond giving us an inside look, but maybe that’s enough for now." RT: 58%

Required viewing, music fans: "Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone" tells the story of the iconic ska punk funk bands and their rocky road over the past 25 years. Our review from CMJ says "a compelling documentary for both music and film enthusiasts," and "you don’t have to be a fan of Fishbone to be enthralled by their story." Be there or be square. RT: 100% MC: 64

Remember those OTHER Sheens? Martin and Emilio (Estevez, repping the family name)? They are in theaters this weekend with "The Way," about a father completing his deceased son's trek along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Directed by Estevez himself. RT: 78%

My favorite named human, Lee Bing Bing is in "1911" this weekend, a period political drama about China at the turn of the 20th century. With Winston Chau, Joan Chen, Jaycee Chan, Dennis Tao and Wu Jiang. RT: 6%

Freddie Highmore and Helena Bonham Carter get Iron Chef with a cook off for the attention of his father in "Toast." Simply adorable. RT: 68% MC: 57

Zombies have taken over Africa in "The Dead." RT: 63%

A bourgeois Frenchman befriends the Spanish maids in "The Women on the 6th Floor." RT: 58%

"The Sons of Tennessee Williams" doc follows the gay drag balls of New Orleans Mardi Gras and their fight for civil rights. RT: 56%

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