Monday, October 29, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is just a big oaf-y "bad" guy that's entire job is to wreck things as part of the old school Fix-it Felix video game; or so Felix and the townsfolk of the game think.    In reality, all Ralph really wants is to be liked and respected.  Thinking it will earn him the respect he desires, Ralph sets out to earn a medal in a nearby game, Hero's Duty.  In the process Ralph unleashes a potentially deadly enemy, jumps into yet another game then meets a kindred spirit of sorts and they set forth on a course to fulfill both of their needs.
Wreck-It Ralph is a generally fun story. The relationship between Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), the kindred spirit he meets, is playful and full of sarcasm. The movie has laughs, action and adventure (will they save they day?) and is sure to delight your older child and video game fan.  As a parent and a child of the 80s I enjoyed the references to old school games such as Qbert and Pac-man

 While a bit longer than I would have liked, the movie is entertaining and you'll find yourself rooting for Ralph and Vanellope and cheering them on.

Wreck-It Ralph opens in theaters November 2 and is rated PG for some rude humor and mild animated violence.

Disclosure: I was invited to screen the movie for free. Opinions are my own

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tim Burton delivers the Goods with Frankenweenie (Movie Review)

Frankenweenie, a 3D stop motion animated film, is the story of young Victor and his dog, Sparky. After unexepectedly losing Sparky; Victor, inspired by his science teacher Mr. Ryzkruski, decides to use science to bring his beloved pal back to life. The end result is a crude, home sewn "Frankenstein-esque" creation.

While initially kept in Victor's attic, the "new" Sparky escapes leading to a somewhat comedically action packed, suspense filled unfolding of events.

Frankenweenie is a wonderfully odd, darkly funny film with an underlying sweet message. Ultimately, it's about Victor's love for his dog ; it's fantasy with a side of reality.  A philospher once suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative.

That's Frankenweenie.  It's classic Tim Burton, quirky and dark, yet brilliant in his ability to infuse human interest with truth enough so that you suspend disbelief in that moment.

Frankeweenie opens tomorrow in theaters. Be sure to check it out. One word of advice to parents: your very young children may not be the best audience as while animated there are some "gruesome" scenes that may be a bit jarring. However if you have 9ish (the age of my children) and above my guess is they'll be captivated and appreciate it almost as much as I did.

Disclosure: I was invited to screen the film for free. All opinions are my own.