Friday, November 16, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph 3D

This week I saw Wreck-It Ralph, Disney's latest CGI feature. Ralph is the likeable bad guy in a low-res video arcade game. He's so hamfisted that his knuckles are the size of his head. He lives in a cyberworld inhabited by the arcade's video game characters, & the fun of the movie is in the interplay of the different game worlds. The low-res characters in Ralph's game comically jerk from pose to pose & are astonished by the high-res characters from a 1st person shooter. The candy-themed environment of Sugar Rush is so over the top that it made my teeth hurt. If you played video games in the 1980s, the movie will make you laugh. The film's dive bar is called Tapper.

Interestingly, the characters are well aware that they are virtual beings. There's even a scene where a character hacks his own game's code, which is depicted as a floating network of interconnected nodes. The movie has several plot strands, & the story line seems over-worked. When Ralph discovers an underground lake of Diet Coke & stalactites made of Mentos hanging over it, you know what's going to happen in the finale. John C. Reilly sounds naturally cartoony as Ralph, but the character & voice of the little heroine Vanellope irritated me.

Wreck-It Ralph was preceded by Paperman, an animated short combining elegant line drawings with CG animation. The black-and-white film stylishly evokes a New York City of the 1940s, & the 3D has an airy feeling.

§ Wreck-It Ralph 3D (2012)
director: Rich Moore
101 min., USA

§ Paperman (2012)
director: John Kahrs

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