Old 10-31-2012, 07:23 PM
Wreck-It Ralph


Directed by Rich Moore

Written by Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston

Starring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, and Alan Tudyk

Rated PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence

Running Time of 108 Minutes

A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.

My review:

For years Hollywood has been attempting to adapt video games into feature films. With comic book adaptations ruling at the box office (and with certain films reaching a surprisingly high level of quality), video games seem like the next logical step. Despite a very few exceptions, though, we got stuck with the likes of Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia, and the illogical Resident Evil films. A successful genre this is not. Yet with Wreck-It Ralph, Disney and writers Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston alongside the clever director Rich More have conceived of an ingenious conceit that allows them to explore the possibilites of video game films without specifically adhering to one particular title. The film shift gears halfway through and becomes a more standard Disney fable, and yet it is all executed with such nostalgia and warmth that it put a constant smile on my face and left me feeling good about the potential future of video game filmmaking.

Wreck-It Ralph introduces us to the world of Litwack's Family Fun Center, an old fashioned arcade that has the newest style titles (Dance Dance Revolution types, Mario Kart-esque co-op racing games, and intense action shooters such as the fictional Hero's Duty) as well as classic titles such as the one our titular character, Wreck-It Ralph, hails from. Ralph is the villain in a classic Donkey Kong style game called Fix It Felix Jr., and he is going through a crisis of conscience. As as character, Ralph is a major success: nuanced, somewhat complex, and surprisingly lovable. Ralph may be a villain, but his plight is relatable and we have all questioned our place in this world, the way others perceive us, and if we are capable of more. John C. Reilly (who is also credited with "additional story material" on the film) gives a fantastic vocal performance that brings warmth, humor and great depth to Ralph that makes him a genuinely lovable character.

Ralph's quest is split in two. The first is a madcap adventure that introduces us to many legitimate classic video game characters as Ralph hops from game to game. The jokes come fast and quick, playing great reverence to video games and their fans. This is a film that plays heavily in nostalgia, and it would be easy to say that it panders. Some of the jokes are perhaps a bit too obvious, yet I found myself laughing because it is clear that those involved with the film have a great and genuine love for video games, and in particular the classic arcade. As a child of the late 80s/early 90s, I have many fond memories of going to arcades with friends, popping quarters in the machine, and playing for hours. This film brought back those memories in a fun and powerful way, and despite the potential pandering it pandered directly towards me and I accepted it with glee. I expect many to feel the same way.

The second part of Ralph's quest is when it veers into more traditional Disney territory and also when the film drags a tiny bit. Ralph develops a relationship with the very quirky and sweet Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) and becomes invested in helping her regain her rightful place in her game, Sugar Rush. Sugar Rush is a childish cart racing game with a candy theme, and the film has a surprising number of candy jokes as well. Regardless, the world of Sugar Rush is beautiful and fun and Alan Tudyk does hilarious work as its ruler, King Candy. Ralph and Vanellope's relationship becomes the secondary heart of the film, and it is through her that he begins to understand that he is indeed capable of more than just being the villain. Too much time is spent developing Vanellope, though, and she is simply not as strong of a character as Ralph. The film plays almost exactly as you would expect, but it is accomplished with wit and very clever structure and rules. Like any great video game there are rules that Ralph must follow and watching it unfold brings great joy.

Wreck-It Ralph is a gorgeous film with crisp and beautiful animation. Sequences such as Hero's Duty (featuring quality voice work from Jane Lynch) are beautifully rendered and brings to mind games like Halo and BioShock. In Ralph's game (featuring Jack McBrayer continuing his career as a goofy do-gooder) the way the animation subtly plays with 8-bit qualities makes for some hilarious visuals. Henry Jackman has composed a fun and jaunty score, highlighted with tracks by Skrillex and Owl City that make for a propulsive audio element.

Director Rich Moore, an experienced animation director from The Simpsons and Futurama, brings those specific tendencies to play. This is a film riddled with pop culture references and jokes yet these elements are utilized to create this very specific video game world. Most everything feels vital and necessary, not overstuffed or thrown in purely for the gag, except for perhaps some of the candy jokes. As a video game fan and an arcade junkie (as I suspect many filmgoers are) this film struck a specific chord and it finally felt like someone got the video game movie right; it merely needed to be constructed in a metatextual fashion. Furthermore, and best of all, the film plays broad and strong enough with great characters and an emotional undercurrent that will allow it to play for all audiences and makes it a strong success for Disney that everyone can enjoy.

Note: A short film entitled Paperman by John Kars screens before this feature that has gorgeous and unique animation and is completely beautiful. Make sure you are on time so you can see this beauty.

Last edited by SpikeDurden; 11-04-2012 at 11:35 AM..
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:12 AM
I loved this movie. It was a beautiful homage to all video games throughout its history all the way down to the subtle details in both the characters and the virtual worlds that were represented (and also in how they crossed over the games).

Initially, I thought that this was going to just be a cheap way for Disney to exchange money with a bunch of video game companies in the form of licensing deals (and there's plenty of official cameos to prove it), but they did more than just that. They used them to their full potential, and they not only included the characters of the games, but they also included the real life pop culture and gaming life that surrounded them (note the graffiti that's written on the walls of Game Central Station, along with the characters that walk within the area and sit and wait). I loved how they even paid homage to Walter Day of Twin Galaxies in the character Litwak, the owner of the local arcade (having the facial hair and the ref's shirt), as small of a role as it was.

The original content seemed to have blended in seamlessly, as if there really was a FIX-IT FELIX, JR. arcade from that long ago. The interaction between the fictional and real life video games really did show exactly how I imagined those conversations would go, especially with Q-Bert and his characters out of work, now that their game was gone. It added another level of feeling and emotion that a gamer really develops for the characters.

I thought this was a great film, and I'll gladly see it over and over again to my heart's content.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:17 AM
I cannot wait to see this! Being a gamer since the late 80's, this movie really excites me. I'm delighted that so many people are praising this movie.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:05 PM
I really loved it. Saw it late last night - and wow.

The story telling, animation, script - it was soooooo funny. Absolutely 100% loved it.

The one detraction is the 3D. As is the case with so many other films in 3D it's useless and adds nothing to the film. Aside from that - great great movie.

Also the short before the film - The Paperman - beautiful.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:36 PM
I really cant wait to check this out
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:39 AM
Seeing this in little over 2 hours
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:50 PM
Saw this in 3D and damn I'm really starting to turn around with the 3D technology. First it was Hugo and now this is starting to make me a believer. It still is ridiculous how much they charge for a 3D showing.

Very good movie btw, I wouldn't have a problem with it winning a best animated feature award. Just as many references to sweets/candies/etc as to video games. A lot of fun.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:03 PM
Originally Posted by creekin111 View Post
Saw this in 3D and damn I'm really starting to turn around with the 3D technology. First it was Hugo and now this is starting to make me a believer. It still is ridiculous how much they charge for a 3D showing.

Very good movie btw, I wouldn't have a problem with it winning a best animated feature award. Just as many references to sweets/candies/etc as to video games. A lot of fun.
Animated films in 3D generally I find the most enjoyable/impressive.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:13 AM
Even i can't wait for this movie. Ths story of the movie is awesome. There are too many videogames come in this movie. The gamer's paternoster, makes an appearance but the real success of the film is its emotional core and the relationship between the two misfits.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:00 PM
Saw this opening day with the little one. I liked it, but it wasn't great. I thought it was a little slow at the beginning. I was worried it was going to lose my daughter's attention. But, here comes Sarah Silverman to save the day. She steals this movie. Great call in casting her and John C. Reilly.

The video game nostalgia is great, but doesn't completely prop up the writing. Much better than the last animated feature is saw: Hotel Transylvania. But not as good as Brave.

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:26 PM
Review - Wreck-It Ralph - a nostalgic homage to video games and one of the best films of the year - http://wp.me/p2CCWq-2jA
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:58 AM
I loved the short Paperman, it was charming and well animated.
The feature film was decent, nice to see the cameos of famous game characters.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:37 PM
Finally caught this. How did Brave win over something as funny, original, heartfelt, and sincere as this? Brave is awful.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:47 PM
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
How did Brave win over something as funny, original, heartfelt, and sincere as this? Brave is awful.
Well, if Brave had lost, it would've been because America definitely hates women, and...no, that's stupid.

Your post is QFT.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:05 PM
Originally Posted by Lazy Boy View Post
Well, if Brave had lost, it would've been because America definitely hates women, and...no, that's stupid.

Your post is QFT.
Yeah, it's ridiculous. Even as a supporting character, Vanellope is a far more interesting female character than Merida. Merida makes an agreement with a witch that could put her mother in serious danger just because her mother doesn't want her to shoot arrows. Her mother then turns into a bear and, well, you know the rest. Pixar is slipping. A company that could once be counted on for a solid to great film every year is now churning out morally questionable crap, with stories that some friends and I could come up with after a few hours at the pub on a Friday night.

Last edited by Bourne101; 03-11-2013 at 09:14 PM..
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:26 PM
I have seen this on a trailer MFC and have to say it does look really good but it hasn't aired in Australia so it is still a waiting game to go and see this
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:20 AM

a fun animated movie with a great voice cast. nice video game nods. this should have won the Oscar over Brave.
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