Ralph Breaks the Internet (originally titled as Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2) is a 3D computer-animated comedy produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the sequel to the 2012 film, Wreck-It Ralph, making it Disney’s 57th feature-length animated film. It is directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston (who wrote the screenplay with Pamela Ribon), and executive-produced by John Lasseter, Chris Williams, and Jennifer Lee. As far as children’s animated films go, this one was quite busy, loud and fun. I do know Ralph Breaks the Internet has received mostly positive reviews from critics, who called it a “worthy successor” and praised the animation, humor, characters, and plot, as well as the vocal performances. I’m not a big fan but I do agree the film teaches (in it’s own way) a few lessons about how the hi-tech world operates.
Six years after the first movie, Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz have been best friends. They’ve been hanging out every night after work in Litwak’s Family Fun Center and Arcade. While Ralph (John C. Reilly) is content with his current life, Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) admits to being bored with her game’s predictability and wishes for something new. One day, Ralph attempts to fulfill her desires by creating a secret bonus track during a race. Vanellope overrides player control to test it out, but the resulting conflict between her and the player ends with the cabinet’s steering wheel being broken, thus, no functionality within Sugar Rush. Since the company that made Sugar Rush is defunct, one of the kids finds a replacement for Mr. Litwak (Ed O’Neill) on eBay. The only problem is Mr. Litwak deems it too expensive and has no choice but to unplug Sugar Rush from the arcade, leaving the game’s characters homeless and Sugar Rush unavailable.
Later that night, after talking with Fix-It Felix Jr., (Jack McBrayer) Ralph decides to enter the internet via Litwak’s recently installed Wi-Fi router to obtain a replacement wheel on eBay. Ralph brings Vanellope with him, and although they place a winning bid of $27,001 to obtain the wheel, they cannot pay and are obligated to finalize the purchase within 24 hours.
**** SPOILERS ****
The two turn to J.P Spamley (Bill Hader) to quickly make money, receiving a lucrative job of stealing a valuable car belonging to Shank (Gal Gadot) from the MMORPG Slaughter Race. Ralph and Vanellope steal the car, but are forced to return it. Shank compliments Vanellope’s driving skills and points the duo towards Yesss (Taraji P. Henson) at BuzzzTube, where Ralph decides to make a series of viral videos playing off popular trends to get the money. As Ralph’s videos become a viral sensation, an excited Vanellope joins Yesss’s staff in spamming users with pop-up ads. Ralph convinces Yesss to send Vanellope to a Disney fansite, where she meets and befriends the Disney Princesses, who encourage her to address her sense of unfulfillment. Vanellope reaches a musical epiphany when Ralph calls her upon earning enough money to purchase the wheel. When Vanellope does not show up at eBay, Ralph’s second call causes him to overhear her confessing to Shank that she wants to stay in Slaughter Race because its unpredictability and challenges make her feel more alive than she did in Sugar Rush. Horrified at the thought of Vanellope leaving him, Ralph turns to Spamley for a way to make Slaughter Race unsatisfying for her by slowing down everything in the game.
There’s not much to say about Ralph Breaks the Internet because it sort of speaks for itself. It’s a children’s film that is pretty well put together and even sends a good message. The adventure is long but fun for children. There are quite a few known celebrity voices that make up the movie i.e., Jane Lynch as Calhoun, Alfred Molina as Double Dan’s conjoined brother Little Dan, Taraji P. Henson as Yesss, an algorithm that determines the trending videos on BuzzzTube, and Alan Tudyk as KnowsMore. just to name a few. If you need to take your child(ren) to see a good animated movie, I recommend Ralph Breaks the Internet — Check It Out!
[Ralph breaks the Internet is Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature Film]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alan tudyk, alfred molina, bill hader, buzzztube, calhoun, disney fansite, double dan, ebay, ed o'neill, fix-it felix jr, gal gadot, jack mcbrayer, jane lynch, john c reilly, jp spamley, king candy, knowsmore, mr litwak, pamela ribon, ralph, ralph breaks the internet, sarah silverman, shank, slaughter race, taraji p henson, vanellope, yesss
Kong: Skull Island trailers didn’t do the film justice. I actually wasn’t that motivated about seeing the movie. I couldn’t imagine the what they could possibly throw together to make another Kong movie worth making or paying good money to see. I was surprised by the plot and the relevancy of Kong, not to mention the passion I felt. I dare say, there are some brilliant writers around who really know how to tug at ones heart, get a message to the audience all while entertaining the crap out of you.
Skull Island takes place in 1944 with two WWII fighter pilots engaged in serious combat (one American and one Japanese). The fight was really intense and just when one of the pilots seemed like he was about to win the fight, an enormous hand raises up out of the earth, causing both soldiers to pause in shock. Fast forward to 1973, where a former British Special Air Service Captain named James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) is being hired as a hunter-tracker by a US government agent, Bill Randa (John Goodman) to guide an expedition to map out an uncharted island known as “Skull Island”. A Vietnam veteran helicopter squadron called The Sky Devils, led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), is also recruited to accompany the Skull Island crew on their expedition along with Major Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell) and Captain Earl Cole (Shea Whigham), who are both high ranking “right hand” members of the Sky Devils, and are responsible for escorting the entire team to Scull Island. Photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), joins the team as a photographer but is planning to expose whatever is found, believing it’s a secret military operation with dark purposes. So the team consist of a military escort, an expedition team that believes there’s something good to be found on Scull Island and a team of locals to track, record and help set up.
Skull Island proved difficult because of a storm they had to fly through to get there. Once they arrived, to determine if the ground is hollow, Packard’s men begin dropping explosives developed by Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), a young geologist and graduate of Yale University, recruited for the expedition by Monarch (a secret government organization) for his groundbreaking theories on seismology. Conrad strongly objects. The helicopters are suddenly attacked by a 100 foot-tall bipedal ape known as “Kong”, and many are destroyed. The survivors are split into two groups, their only hope for rescue is a resupply team that will meet them at the island’s northern end in three days time. In the meanwhile, Randa reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch to Packard and the expedition’s real purpose: to acquire proof of the existence of forgotten monsters, fearing that they may soon return to take back the world from humanity.
On the way they encounter a giant spider that kills one man before Packard kills it. One team learns there are local Iwi natives on the island and meets Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), an eccentric but wise and virtuous Chicagoan lieutenant of the 45th Pursuit Squadron who spent 28 years stranded on Skull Island since World War II. He knows the creatures of the island, and is a friend of the Iwi natives. Marlow reveals crucial information about Kong. The teams encounter many more creatures such as a large octopus, a giant stick insect, a giant buffalo, pterosaur like creatures, Skullcrawlers and a place called the Forbidden Zone.
If you think this is another King Kong movie, you’re sadly mistaken, it’s not — the plot, the acting, the special effects, the twist and turns, the suspense, the emotions, the anger and the overall message is worth every second you spend watching this movie. Don’t judge Kong: Scull Island by the trailer, it is truly a work of art and every reason we go to the movies!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged bill randa, bipedal ape, brie larson, captain earl cole, corey hawkins, hank marlow, houston brooks, iwi natives, jack chapman, james conrad, john c reilly, john goodman, kong, kong: scull island, mason weaver, preston packard, pterosaur, samuel l jackson, shea whigham, skullcrawlers, toby kebbell, tom hiddleston
The Lobster is a very dark futuristic comedy that I think of as eccentric. I found The Lobster hard to stay focused on and extremely strange. David (Colin Farrell) discovers that his wife has left him for another man and is escorted to a hotel. The hotel manager, (Olivia Colman) reveals that singles have 45 days to find a partner, or they will be transformed into an animal like David’s brother who is a dog. David chooses a lobster, due to their life cycle and his love of the sea. David makes acquaintances with Robert (John C. Reilly), a man with a lisp, and John (Ben Whishaw), a man with a limp, who become David’s quasi-friends. John explains that he was injured in an attempt to reconnect with his mother, who had been transformed into a wolf. YOU CAN ALREADY SEE HOW WEIRD THIS HAS BECOME!
The hotel has many rules and rituals: masturbation is banned, but sexual stimulation by the hotel maid is mandatory, and guests attend dances and watch propaganda extolling advantages of partnership.
When Robert is caught masturbating, the hotel manager burns his fingers in a toaster. Relationships require partners to have a distinguishing trait in common. John is told a woman has arrived with a limp, but he says she limps from an injury that will heal and is not a suitable match.
Residents can extend their deadline by tranquilizing single people in the forest; each captured “loner” earns them a day. On one such hunt, a woman with a fondness for biscuits offers David sexual favors, which he declines. She tells him that if she fails to find a mate, she will kill herself by jumping from a hotel window.
The remainder of The Lobster is even crazier, so I’ll leave it to you to watch if you dare. Obviously, I didn’t like it and I don’t recommend it. The Lobster was a little too weird and convoluted for me, however it’s now on DVD/Blu-Ray for those of you who would like to see how it ends.
[THE LOBSTER is nominated for Original Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged angeliki papoulia, ariane labed, ashley jensen, ben whishaw, colin farrell, david, ewen macintosh, jessica barden, john, john c reilly, lea seydoux, michael smiley, olivia colman, rachel weisz, robert, roger ashton-griffiths, the lobster