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November 2nd, 2012

Movie Review - Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph


Starring: John C Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Raymond S Perci, Ed O'Neil, and more.


Directed by: Rich Moore Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston Additional Story Material by: John C Reilly Original Music by: Henry Jackman


Premise: Ralph has been wrecking things for the Mr. Fix-It Jr. game for thirty years. He has no friends, he lives in a junkyard of bricks, and he gets no recognition for his contribution to the game by the other members. So when one of the building's tenants get upset at him and tells him if he gets a medal, he can live in the penthouse, Ralph decides he'll go off and do just that. Unfortunately, leaving his game during arcade hours has repercussions. Dangerous repercussions Ralph had never thought about. (Rated PG)


Review:


1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: John C Reilly is very convincing as the misunderstood and underappreciated Ralph. Sarah Silverman is utterly adorable as Vanellope. Jane Lynch is a lot of fun as Calhoun, especially when reliving her game backstory in flashbacks and having to deal with Felix (Mr. Fix-It Jr.) 


2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: For the adults in the audience, especially those who liked or loved video games (and for those that still do), the film will well up tides of nostalgia as different games and the art used in them flash across the big screen. Having played most of the games mentioned in the movie myself, it was an utter treat to see my old friends brought back to giant sized life in the film.


From 64 bit to HD, old and new games are well represented. The artistry really shows though, once we enter the gaming world. Those with better, more complex software, even within their own game, move easier and better than others. This gave a nice touch of individuality to the characters, while also showing the restrictions on being who they are. The obvious research that went into the film with regards to old and newer games truly shows in their wonderful attention to detail.


Once Ralph goes to Sugar Rush though, that's when the art really impresses. With the Real 3D effects added on, the cotton candy, the giant gum drops, and the taffy swamps really gain texture, making the experience even more amazing.


3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: While in real life we look at games as often being clear cut as to the roles of the characters in them, in the gaming world, life is as complex as the human one, despite the characters' programming. And as is so often in life, sometimes those who seem good are not, and vice versa. Plus even good people can make bad choices.


On the surface the story seems simple and straight forward, but ends up having a few plot surprises and more depth than expected. And while kids will enjoy the movie a lot, this is one which will also be a big hit with the adults. Between the nostalgic elements, the deeper emotional currents, in-jokes, and play-on-words, parents might just end up even more entertained than the kids. 


Conclusion: Fun film filled with both comedic and heartfelt moments. For video game players, young and old, the film will be a treasure trove of relived memories.


Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price To See Again!)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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