Sunday, December 9, 2012

Movie Review: Wreck-It-Ralph

First off really fast, my blogging schedule. I'm going to try and get a review up every day this week with the Tuesday and Thursday reviews being the books I should've covered last week. After that I'll go back to the special five-a-week schedule (regular four posts+an extra book one on Wednesday so I can cover everything I've seen/read this year before midnight, January 1st), now to see if I can actually pull that off with exam week....

Got a chance to see this over the Thanksgiving break with some friends and I went in cautiously optimistic that I would like it. I was amused at how Disney was making a more Pixar-esque film (in terms of plot and art) and how Pixar had made what was literally a Disney Princess movie this year, an interesting switch but after seeing Brave I was already convinced that Disney got the better end of this deal.


Summary: Ralph is the villain of the video game Wreck-It-Ralph where he destroys an apartment building until the games hero, Fix-It-Felix Jr swoops in to save the day and Ralph is thrown off the building. After 30 years of this he's rather tired with his position and wants to be accepted (not feared) by the other characters in the game and when one casually says that if Ralph had a medal they'd accept him he's off playing through other games for a medal. But of course it's not that simple, crossing games is allowed but frowned upon and if he's gone for too long his own game might get canned and then everything will be ruined for good!

The Good: Wow, there were more references and puns in here than you could shake two sticks at, I'm sure once the movie comes out on DVD/BR that plenty of people are going to be going frame through frame in some scenes to see all the easter eggs. The story wasn't especially inventive but it worked fine, Ralph was sympathetic enough to be likable and the humor worked well, from the self-referential bits to the situational humor I enjoyed it a lot. Also, I'm getting dangerously close to a spoiler so that's all I'll say, I'll admit I didn't watch a lot of trailers so I might have just missed this but the PR people did a really good job keeping a bit detail from the climax from leaking out and (while it was foreshadowed well enough that I wasn't surprised, the way a good story should be) it's been a while since I didn't have a really good guess how the movie would go when I started watching it and I enjoyed that.  

The Bad: I was a bit unhappy with the climax since I thought I knew what was going to happen and then the movie did something different which I thought was much more predictable and boring*. I found it a little odd that the theme of the movie seemed to be "accept yourself and you'll be happier" (considering that Ralph had a good reason to be unhappy in the beginning) but I guess I'll give Disney the benefit of the doubt there?

The Audio: Not much to say music wise here, I had heard Owl City's credit theme before the movie but thought it worked a lot better with the movie than on it's own oddly enough and didn't really pay attention to the rest of the soundtrack. As for the acting, I feel like I'm going to get in trouble for this but I didn't like Vanellope's voice. It wasn't badly acted, the opposite actually, but her tone was really grating for me and I wish it had been just a bit different so it was more bearable. Didn't have any real opinions on anyone else, all of the acting was just fine, I simply have a lower tolerance for high pitched, squeaky female characters than most cartoon fans it seems.

The Visuals: I liked how they translated Ralph's 8-bit world into a more fleshed out 3D world yet still gave it a similar visual style (like the characters' jerky ways of moving around). Everything in this movie looked great actually, I already talked about the truckloads of easter eggs that were dumped in which I think helps sum up how this movie looked, it was super detailed and well thought out design-wise (at the very least) and I would catch this movie again with friends just for a chance to see what I missed the first time around.

Oh and some quick thoughts on the Paperman short before the movie (since I saw a lot of people saying they liked it more than the movie itself): eeeeeeeh. It's a romance and a romance in less than 10 minutes, there's a limit to what you can do there and (as an un-romantic person, comparatively speaking) that means there's a limit to how much I'll be amused by it. I do really like the art style they used, it was a combination of 2D and 3D which looked a bit rough in places but overall was rathe nice and I wouldn't mind seeing more shorts (or a feature film) in that style, just not a romance please.

In any case, as I said, I'd see the movie again to look at it but otherwise I think I'm good. Don't have a burning desire to rewatch it/buy it, although I will recommend it to people who haven't seen it yet and like animated movies, I'm just not as passionate over it as I am over other things. Hmm, now that I think about it, I wonder what movies Disney is putting out next year, the Monster's Inc prequel (which good lord came out when I was in elementary school) and I wonder if there's anything else....

*since this involves the climax of the movie, SPOILERS. Basically I thought the way they would clear out all the bugs would be to have Vanellope cross the finish line which would reset the game, fix everyone's memories, and kill all the bug easily. I can understand why they instead made Ralph have an (almost)heroic sacrifice, he's the hero of the movie after all, but instead of having a girl save her own world they had an outside guy come in and do it, hopefully that phrasing explains why I was miffed that the movie took a much more boring way out. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice review Helen. Definitely a bit too cutesy at points and its message is a well-traveled one, but there wee enough cool visuals and video game references to delight my inner geek.