Wreck-It-Ralph vs. Flight

Kenny D November 2, 2012 0
Wreck-It-Ralph vs. Flight

I am on the fence with Disney. Their 2D musicals (pre-pocahontas) are nothing short of magic. Their CG animated movies, on the other hand, are lackluster at best. Of course, Tangled is the exception here. But when they announced an animated riff on old-school arcade classics, I couldn’t have been happier. Let’s see if it pays off when it goes against Denzel Washington in his new airline flick.

Wreck-It-Ralph
disney, video game movie, street fighter mario, gaming movie, pac man movie
I’m sorry everyone…I’m pimping you out to get adult men to see my movie.

This movie starts off with a great black and white animated short that feels reminiscent of 101 Dalmatians. I was won over with a love story told in 5 minutes. Then I saw Steamboat Mickey in 8-bit chiptune form. Greatness. Things were off to a great start. Then Ralph started…

Wreck-It-Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the Rampage/Donkey Kong villain in Fix It Felix Jr’s classic arcade game. His purpose is to crush windows and scare the building’s pixelated tenants. For 30 years, this has been his mission and it is very unrewarding. The tenants all praise the hero Felix (with his fix it hammer) with parties, cakes and hero’s medals. The scorn becomes too much for Felix and he thinks he can win favor by winning a medal in another game. Obviously that is frowned on in the arcade world. The next two games he visits are Hero’s Duty, a Gears of War/Halo copycat, and Sugar Rush, think Mario Kart meets Candy Land. In Sugar Rush he meets an outcast little girl named Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) who steals his medal. She bribes him to help her win the cart race and get his medal back.

Have you seen the trailer for this movie? If you have, you are expecting a classic love letter to old and new video games ala Roger Rabbit. Unfortunately, the trailer shows you 80% of the scenes that reference actual video games. Seriously he spends 3/4 of the movie in Sugar Rush.

It’s what we call a Bait and Switch. Come for the video game love, but instead get a Candy Land movie.

Well played Disney. Plenty of men will offer to take their kids to this movie and they will be sorely disappointed. Are there fun game references to like? Absolutely. (Konami Code) But you should realize that after 20 minutes you will be forced to laugh at jokes about Laffy Taffy, Nesquik, Sour Jawbreakers, Mentos, and Diet Coke. Why?

This movie isn’t awful. But it feels like a lie. There are 5 times I politely laughed but I walked in with the expectation that it would be an 90 minute nergasm.

Your kids will like it. It’s colorful and it’s a movie about candy. And don’t worry, there are plenty of fart jokes to keep them laughing. You will be able to sit through it because it made a small reference to Metal Gear Solid.

If I sound harsh, it’s only because I’m very disappointed that this movie isn’t what it claimed to be. I am not the biggest Pixar fan, but even I have to admit that they would have done their homework and had better writers. Ah, what could have been.

This movie gets a rental.

Flight
flight movie, denzel, airplane movie, drunk pilot, sully movie
When I said “Catch you on the flip side” I didn’t mean literally…

The second misleading movie of the week. Seriously, the people cutting these trailers are skilled, but they are also dishonest. If you watch the trailer for Flight you think the movie is about a plane crash and the court proceedings and accusations that haunt Denzel Washington’s character. Wrong.

The plane crash happens very early in the movie. And it is a whopper. You feel the panic as you watch the plane nosedive from inside the cockpit. It is great cinema. But then it feels like 8 different writers all added their own stories to the movie. I couldn’t tell if it was a Big Lebowski-esque comedy, a country romance, or a broken family drama. There is one consistent idea in the movie, and that is Denzel Washington’s pilot character is an alcoholic. He doesn’t even stop for air.

So if you think you’re going to this movie for courtroom drama or airplane action, you are dead wrong. What you’re getting instead is 2 hours and 20 minutes of an alcohol addiction story, and everything else becomes an afterthought.

It actually felt like a well made Lifetime original movie with a big name cast. Yes I think the deterioration of a man’s life and career due to drinking makes for a good human story, but no one should pay 10 dollars to see it on the big screen.

Washington just seems like he’s getting old. He’s a great actor, but he seemed to be impersonating a drunk rather than making you feel like he has a serious issue. John Goodman makes a memorable cameo in 2 bizarre scenes that don’t fit at all in the movie. Don Cheadle plays Washington’s attorney and he fails in a grand way. His only line is “I’m gonna kill the tox report.” I kid you not, he says it at least 8 times in the movie.

I don’t know what the message was here. I did learn a few things. Apparently snorting cocaine is a sure-fire way to kick a hangover, Christians are weird, and heroin junkies are good moral compasses.

If you cannot tell, I did not enjoy this movie. Robert Zemekis has returned to live-action directing and subsequently crashed and burned.

Do not see this movie. Save your money for Skyfall next week.

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