Real Steel

Robots have been all the rage in Hollywood over the past few years with Michael Bay's popular Transformers trilogy. I haven't been a big fan of any of those films, but I have to say that each has been an audio and visual treat on Blu-ray. Well, here comes another robot movie, but unlike the aforementioned garbage, there's actually a plot (though hardly original), good acting, and a lot a heart. What it does have in common with the Bay films is a reference-quality presentation with exquisite detail in the video encode and some of the most intense bass you'll ever experience in your home theater.

Bull Fight

  • Chapter 2, 00:07:26
  • Detail, color saturation, frequency response
  • As the robot struts into the ring, check out the detail in its battered armor and how clear the background remains. When the battle begins, the music blares through the soundstage, but the true highlight is when the robot lands its first blow to the poor bull. Feel the impact of every punch as the chest-pounding bass shakes the room.


  • Chapter 9, 00:55:04
  • Detail, dynamic range, frequency response
  • During the press conference, you hear crystal-clear dialog from each of the actors, and you see tons of detail in clothing and flesh tones. At its conclusion, listen to the robotic sounds of Zeus as he moves through the crowd. Relish the detail in his jet-black armor with its neon green accents.

The real deal

  • Chapter 16, 01:44:48
  • Dynamic range, frequency response, detail
  • Listen to the crowd cheer on the robot warriors. When Zeus lands his first crushing blow, the soundfield explodes with power. While the pair duke it out, be sure to take in the exquisite detail of the robots and their surroundings.

Release Date: January 24, 2012
Studio: Dreamworks