Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wreck-It Ralph Blu-Ray Reviewed

If there's one thing animated films excel at it is asking "What If" or "What happens next...". You may say that is the job of all movies, but only animation has the power to take that answer anywhere they wish with no budgetary restrictions due to special effects and such. Blow up whateeever you want...they'll make more. Toy Story asked what happens after you leave the room and your childhood playthings are left to their own devices. As an adult with a legion of playthings, I'd like to think if anyone tried to break into my apartment, the toys would mount a suitable defense and all I'd find upon returning would be like..a shoe, the tool used to jack open my door and my toys sitting around slightly askew from how I'd left them, doing their best to pretend nothing had happened....but somewhere out there, there's a dude with one shoe limping home. Now Wreck-It Ralph answers the question "What happens after the arcade closes?" The movie proposes that the arcade is a universe unto itself with all games attached to a power strip, uniting them. To be unplugged from the strip equals digital death. ....Oh many nerdy questions.

1. All the games can't be on one power strip so does each power strip make up one complete universe with other strips existing in other universes completely separate from another's perception??

2. In the movie being unplugged equals death but the code lives on in the game should it be plugged in again, so do all the characters just starts from their default settings, in that case, forgetting whatever "experiences" they've had from the last time they were plugged in? It stands to reason if the high scores are wiped is everything else. SO..if a game came back to the arcade after being fixed, all those characters might be like amnesiacs. Interesting.

3. In the movie, Wreck-It Ralph swipes a combat suit from "Hero's Duty" to attempt to earn a medal. The action of changing his clothing constitutes changing his code, since he is only programmed to wear one thing. You can argue the point that putting the suit on over his old clothes doesn't really count, but he leaves the unconscious trooper he swiped the suit from in a closet wearing next to nothing, so in effect, he hacked the code. Would continual code hacking mean the rules of other games wouldn't apply to him? We suppose if he went back to his own game, he'd be locked into those rules as he is a part of that world, but outside of that world..knowing what he knows....would he be like Neo??!! THERE IS NO SPOON!!!

Brain exploding. Let's get back to the story.

It's a quickie. Wreck-It Ralph is struggling with his role as the bad guy in the classic video game Fix It Felix Jr, but more importantly, is not happy with the way he is treated after the game is done. After all, being the bad guy is just his doesn't define who he really is. NO LONGER able to handle the abuse of his in game neighbors, Ralph jumps games on a quest to find a medal marking him a hero so he can claim the respect he feels he deserves.

The film makers were sure to pack in miles of video game geekery (within the limits of whatever licenses they could use, of course), so characters from Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man and Street Fighter populate this world along side tributes to classic and modern games alike. For the diehard gamers, you'll find little easter eggs where ever you look, so repeated viewings will be justified, and as painless as can be. Wreck-It Ralph is an instant classic with a manic pace, non-stop laughs and solid writing providing light drama where necessary. Most importantly, this movie is FUN, with things that will make the adult kids in the house laugh as hard as the kid-sized kids. Instant buy...even without the extras!!

Now, Wreck-It Ralph's one big handicap is that it follows the release of Brave, which had about 20 or so extra features/ commentaries/ galleries to dig through. THAT was a labor of love. Ralph's extras include the fantastic Paperman short, which of course is worth the price of the Blu-ray alone....were it not available for free on YouTube. you get to OWN that's your thing. Have at it. Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of Wreck-It Ralph shows the genesis of this project, birth of the characters and little bits of info on animation you may have just taken for granted on your first viewing. NEVER AGAIN!! Disney will show you every little nook and cranny so you'll smile just a bit bigger when you notice their hard work. Virtual pats on the back. Deleted and Alternate Scenes show those moments that didn't make it into the film with story boards and voice actors taking you through it all. These are fun, but prove that their absence is nothing to be missed. There IS a Matthew McConaughey-esque character removed from the film's final cut that will make you laugh..if you like a good McConaughey that's something. Video Game commercials for the film's arcade setting will give you flashbacks with adverts for Fix It Felix Jr, Sugar Rush and Hero's Duty representing their respective time periods.

Pressing pause on the movie sends you spiraling into a world of non-stop nerdery with Chris Hardwick pointing out elite gamer in-movie easter eggs and other minutia you may have missed or just dismissed as plain old animated eye candy. Yes, friends, there is so much awesome in this film, we need Chris Hardwick to point it all out. This starts out amusing and then gets to a point where you'll want to hit pause several more times to make the bad man stop. Seriously, you will be nerded into the ground.

Is Wreck-It Ralph worth the price of the Blu-ray set? Absolutely. Just to watch this incredibly imaginative film in as high a resolution as humanly possible is worth the cost. Do the extras pump up the value? depends on your perception of "extras" and "exclusivity". CLICKING HERE will dump you into the YouTube collection of clips, making-of featurettes, interviews and fakey commercials Disney have collected for you on the topic of Wreck-It Ralph. Some are in the Blu-ray pack. Some are not! One could argue that there are actually MORE features found in that link than you'll find in the Blu-ray set..but of course you'd be sacrificing Chris Hardwick. How could you live with yourself?

Thanks to Disney for the Wreck-It Ralph Ultimate Collector's Edition for review!

Amazon has the Wreck-It Ralph Blu-ray/ DVD combo pack at 30% off, so click it and own it!
CLICK HERE to see all the Wreck-It Ralph Toys!
CLICK HERE to learn how Wreck-It Ralph was born!
Finally, CLICK HERE to dive into a gallery of toy images and movie art!

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