Wreck-It Ralph

Looks like John C. Reilly to me. Giant fists and all.
"Get ready for a new kind of hero."

Hey y'all, welcome to the Tuesday edition of The Tagline! I finally got to the movies to see Wreck-It Ralph, so I want to give my immediate impressions and feelings about it, while the movie is still fresh in my mind. Wreck-It Ralph Stars John C. Reilly (did anyone else like Walk Hard? I thought it was funny in a really intensely stupid way) as Ralph, the bad guy in his game, Fix-it Felix. Ralph is sick of living in the dump while Felix (Jack McBrayer, best known for his role in 30 Rock as NBC Page Kenneth Parcell) is showered in medals and accolades. In an attempt to turn his fortunes around, Ralph goes to the modern shooter game Hero's Duty, where he's heard he could get a medal himself (settling a bet he made with one of the supporting characters of his game). This doesn't go the way Ralph hoped, and he ends up blasting off into the world of go-cart racer Sugar Rush, where he meets the diminutive and annoying Vanellope Von Schweetz (played by Sarah Silverman, a funny lady who I am both attracted to and legitimately scared of). Ralph unfortunately trails a cybug from Hero's Duty into the world of Sugar Rush, and that is... well not good, because those bugs are real bad. Sergeant Calhoun follows after the bug (Jane Lynch, probably best known currently as Sue Sylvester on the TV show Glee) to try and stop its rampage.
Zangief talks about crushing men's skulls with his thighs.
This plot is an interesting take on the sort of story that Toy Story sort of pioneered in animated movies, where when the arcade closes, the games and their characters keep on living their own lives. The fun of the movie comes out in the attention to detail that the movie makers took in creating this world. You see games that look and act like real games. That might sound kind of unimpressive, but often representations of everyday things get pretty unconvincing treatment by Hollywood, leaving us with movies filled with technology that doesn't act remotely like it does in real life because I guess technology is for nerds or something. Not here though. Fans of games will note cameos by a number of iconic characters (Not Mario though, I'm sure Nintendo would charge infinity dollars for that, we'll have to settle with Bowser). As one would expect of a Disney funded film, the worlds portrayed in the movie, and the movie's characters are all lovingly rendered, and look pretty great. 

I think someone's been playing a lot of Starcraft.
As a person who has played (and still plays) a lot of video games, the movie has a lot of nostalgia value. Wreck-it Ralph's resident game Fix-it Felix Jr. is a classic style arcade game that is very reminiscent of the sorts of real arcade games that prevailed during the brief advent of arcade gaming. Sugar Rush, the racing game, reminds me of the endless hours my friends and I spent playing Mario Kart, and who didn't spend most of their childhood shooting killer bug aliens in a sci-fi shooter. What, everyone didn't do that? Well I did so sue me. Despite the nostalgia appeal for me, I think this movie has appealing characteristics regardless of your background. At its core, Wreck-it Ralph is a story about an outcast who becomes a bigger person by the end of the film , and makes a whole bunch of friends as a result. If you don't like heartwarming endings, then I am truly sorry. Don't watch this movie probably.

Ralph gives alms to Qbert and his homeless friends.
Critics have mostly been pretty positive in their response to Wreck-it Ralph, citing the nostalgic amusement and rock solid performances I mentioned (it's worth noting too that John C. Reilly requested that they record voice segments in the same room as other actors, and I think that was a good call, it really seemed to improve performances) though a lot of reviewers suggest that this is a movie best watched with children in tow. I don't think that has to be true. Critics who didn't like the movie made grandiose claims about how it wasn't as good as a Pixar movie (I find that funny because Disney owns Pixar now, suggesting to me that Pixar employees could have worked on this) and that it gets lost in the details of its own plot. As is so often the case, I must have been watching a different movie than those guys, because I thought this was pretty straightforward, while being very funny and witty.

Sarah Silverman has no problem being a spastic candy racer.
In the end I'd say A+ to Wreck-it Ralph, if you can you should get to theaters to catch it. I also want to mention the cute black and white short "Paper Man" that was aired at the beginning of the film (again making me think Pixar guys) it was a pleasant intro.

That's all for today! I'll catch you all on Thursday, the jury is still out on which movie I'll be talking about! Also look forward to my AWESOME BREAKING DAWN PT 2 REVIEW. That's right around the corner.

1 comment:

  1. Uh...better late than never on this response? :P

    Anyway, yeah, I really enjoyed this movie. I especially thought the linkages among all of the gaming machines were awesome and made the idea of being a video game character way more charming.

    Also agreed on "Paper Man." That...that was really heartwarming.


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