When director Shawn Levy’s Real Steel opened last October, it surprised quite a few people. For one, the so-called “robot boxing movie” packed a whole lot of heart. While some may have been expecting wall-to-wall robot fights, they soon found out that buried beneath this sci-fi adventure was an emotional father-son story. Secondly, audiences discovered that Real Steel featured some of the best visual effects of the year. I nstead of relying solely on CG for the numerous robot-boxing matches, Levy opted for a nuanced blend of practical effects and cutting-edge motion capture technology. What resulted was some of the most seamlessly blended effects in recent memory. When it came time for the Oscars to announce the contenders in the Best Visual Effects category, it was no surprise that Real Steel popped up on the list.