Saturday, 3 November 2012

Movie Review - Wreck-It Ralph



Game on!

   From the get-go, Wreck-It Ralph looks like a fun, wild movie.  Video games are thrilling enough with their hyper fast action, over-the-top power-ups, extreme super abilities, out of this world landscapes but game characters interacting and running amok in different consoles and lands?  Outrageous!  There'd be tons of references and cameos to be spotted and analyzed both by casual gamers and hardcore players.  Loads of nostalgia triggers would appeal to old schoolers.  Exciting visuals, interesting sprites, kick butt action would welcome those willing to be introduced into the world of gaming.   That's what is to be expected.
Walk the walk, talk the talk.
   What Wreck-It Ralph turned out to be is a film with a whole lot of heart. The game references are the icing and trimming in what is a deliciously, heart-warming and meaningful center of sweetness.  The main course is an under appreciated misfit who tries to change his situation and, along the way, finds value in himself.  That's what Ralph does.  Tired that he is always overlooked, he leaves his uncomfortable comfort zone to try and improve his current station.  He meets a fellow outsider in a similar situation and discovers what good a bad guy can do.
Not a cherry bomb.  That happens later.
    It isn't that Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, was a good guy stuck in a bad guy role. He wasn't perfect. He lied, he cheated and he stole. This was underplayed because he was still the protagonist and it just made him out to be more of an everyman, someone that everyone can identify with.  Who doesn't want to break out of the daily grind, even if your job is to grind bricks and break stuff?
Are angels suppose to be on the left or right shoulder?
   As for the other game characters, Sarah Silverman's Vanellope might be stereotypical as an annoyingly cute and adorable little girl at first but her disability gives her extra facets to deal with.  The movie is almost about her predicament as it is about Ralph.  Tough as nails Calhoun was almost lifted straight out of live action in the form of Jane Lynch, though she replaced her megaphone with a BFG.  Her no-nonsense attitude belies a tragic past but don't you just love the way she turns a phrase?  Jack MacBrayer as Fix-It Felix is a goody two-shoes who is suppose to play the counterpoint to Ralph but stays a little underdeveloped as a supporting character.  He really should have done more with his incredible hammer.
Practically a carbon copy, haha.
   Without giving away the rest of the story, I love how there were no obvious bad guys, well, aside from the obvious bad guys, obviously (in the therapy group. Who's worse than M. Bison and Eggman?). The outspoken Nicelander acted like a jerk but he wasn't evil.  King Candy of Sugar Rush was strict because he's looking out for the well being of the game kingdom.  Even the runaway Cy-Bug was just doing its job, which is to eat and survive.  There's no malice in its programming; it just is.  Actually, there are a few villainous individuals.  The other Sugar Rush racers didn't have to be such mean girls / bullies with the way they treated Vanellope, haha.
You could just eat off the ground.  Or just simply eat it.
   We didn't see too many game worlds out there but the ones featured were lush and vibrant, especially Sugar Rush.  The colors and texture of the confectionery made the candy land a dream come true for more than a few, haha.    I would die from sugar shock in there!  Hero's Duty was a marvel in high-tech hardware but what sold the scene would be the monstrous insect-like lifeforms flying and crawling about the landscape with their sickly green glow.  The Fix-It Felix game was suppose to have dated graphics but it didn't look low tech within the arcade world.  The shapes were simpler, sure but they went the extra mile by giving the native Nicelanders stilted and jerky movements synonymous with consoles during that era.

It's clobbering time vs hammer time!
   Now Wreck-It Ralph won't just appeal to the old schoolers.  It welcomes newcomers, kids and adults alike, who will appreciate the classic feel in juxtaposition with modern entries into the console community.  But a general warning would be not to place too much empathsis on the game references.  The heart of it all is still Ralph and his journey.  Movies like these are guaranteed to be become old favorites and that kind of retro will always be in.
Wreck and Rule!

  Don't forget about the 'Paperman' short that is bundled with the film.  It is a wonderful play on contrast and music applied to a whimsical flight of fancy, haha. 
Spoilers are bad news for bad guys.
  SPOILERS!!!  Avoid if you don't want Ralph to, uh, give you a stern talking to.  And we take our time to give thanks to Walt Disney Studios for the lovely pictures and the awesome movie!
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Ralph will be disappointed in you if you read the spoilers.

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A medal is equal to one measly coin, haha.
   Like I mentioned, Ralph really isn't an all-out good guy. He lied to the surge protector about bringing illegal fruit. He cheated by climbing the tower while the game was not in progress. He stole the soldier's armor and took the medal he wasn't worthy of. Just needed to point that out.
Upside down short cake and such.
  On Vanellope, she was a little jerk at first.  Even before the revelations, she was acting really selfishly, dangerously so. In search of 'fame' or being recognized by the players, she was jeopardizing the whole kingdom, even possibly killing herself, just for a chance at the spotlight.  Of course, it was actually in her 'code' to be a racer, that's why she's pushing herself.

   Her glitch feature is to be taken account. One could take it like she was disabled.  She was able to take control of it and turn it into an advantage in the end. Not everyone can do this, especially if, say, you lost an arm.  Being in a case like that shouldn't get one down and you can still function with it but Vanellope's case shouldn't be taken generally.

   I figured Felix would use his hammer to cure the glitch part of Vanellope but she kept it. She would still be trapped in the game if it ever goes down.

   What kind of game has a randomized character select? There's a choice of 16 characters but only 9 are displayed as playable at a time. They're not even secret characters that can be unlocked. It's like the game brings out characters randomly every day or when its reset. What about balancing the character abilities? Unless they all have the same strengths and the differences is just cosmetic then the game is being too random with the players.
Eat yer heart out, Kano!
   Woohoo!  Mortal Kombat Kano did his fatality move on the House of the Dead zombie!  I rather like Kano :)

   Clyde the ghost wasn't acting like a thug like he did in the old Pac-Man cartoon.

   Sonic didn't really do a lot in the movie but he had a speaking role!
He wasn't even one of the boss characters in Street Fighter.
   Zangief isn't a bad guy, sheesh. And what's with the rolling on his thighs thing? A meme?  LOL at the underwear bit.
   Blanka being included in the credits was awesome!  He's my favorite Street Fighter character to use.

  I zero'ed in on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game during the montage moment, haha.

   Tapper is apparently a real game but, yikes, beer! Or root beer.  Was the word beer even mentioned?  It is Disney, after all.

   They did the Konami code and they did it correctly! I forget of you have to do 'b' 'a' twice or if once is enough but they still got the up, up, down, down, left, left, right, right part correctly.
What game is this guy from?
   Just adding that perhaps Kano is suppose to be the new Bionic Commando?  He has a bionic arm and a green, sleeveless shirt.  Maybe he was Radd Spencer but  got changed to Kano?

Kano doesn't have a bionic arm...

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