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On being good

Saw some movies

So last week we saw some movies–Namely Argo, Silent Hill: Revelation and Wreck It Ralph. I liked them in exactly that order.

Honestly, I know I’m in the minority on this, but I was really disappointed in Wreck it, Ralph. From the trailers, I assumed it was all about a villian trying to find himself as a character and accept his place in the world, journeying through different video game genres along the way. And for the first 45 minutes or so, that’s what the movie is, and it’s wonderful. There’s loads of really awesome cameos, cute in-jokes for gamers (my favorite being a Ken + Ryu moment when the arcade closes), and in general it seems like a really awesome world. But then, the movie shifts tones as Ralph goes into a hyper-cute Mario Cart-esque world, and the movie really stops being about Ralph. The jokes stop being witty and instead go into Spongebob Squarepants territory where they’re playing off “duty/dooty” and in general having the characters mug for attention. This would be fine in a movie like Madegascar or the Shrek sequels, where you expect crappy jokes and lots of camera mugging. But the first act of Ralph was so smart to have it kind of fall apart was really disappointing.

Likewise, you can see where it’s going from a mile away. It’s not particularly clever nor particularly well executed. It honestly feels like the first part of the movie was written by a different set of people than the second set–the first part being by people who actually grew up with games and respect them, and the latter half being suits who just want a movie that’ll appeal to children without having any respect for anything. I feel like in the hands of Pixar this could’ve been a brilliant movie, with Ralph and Felix journeying as a n odd couple, learning to respect each other similar to Pixar’s Up. Because that’s the thing–Ralph is a wonderful character full of nuances, and Felix is incredibly likable as well. Jane Lynch’s character was…fine….but fell apart when in Candyland, and Sara Silverman’s character and everyone else were Madegascar-level of cartoon annoying -_-;

So yeah, for Ralph, I say rent it because again, the first part is really well done and the Ralph character is really awesome. But ultimately it’s a waste of a really awesome setting, so here’s hoping that Pixar or the How to Train Your Dragon team makes their own video-game movie.

Silent Hill 2 I will say outright is a terrible movie. However, I found it more enjoyable than Ralph because at least there were cool things to look at (and Sara Silverman’s character was THAT irritating XD ). Both the good and the bad thing about the movie is that they try to follow the game a bit closer for this one–Good because hey, it’s always cool as a fan to see stuff you recognize from the source, but bad because it burdens the movie with a LOT of exposition. Pretty much every word out of Heather’s mouth is explaining something, and she’s not a strong enough actress to make it sound like anything other than telling the audience exactly what’s going on. While the movie, like the first film, does use a lot of the scores from the games, it also attempts to remix and make new tracks and these tracks are all pretty bad. It’s also a pretty anti-climatic movie–as if the writers kinda got lost when the decided to divert from the plot of the 3rd game and kinda just said ‘Screw it, we have to shoot something, so whatever’.

So while it doesn’t have the really awesome atmosphere/effects that the first movie has, it does have some nice moments. The mannequin monster is really coolly designed and there’s some really awesome Pyramid Head scenes. I also liked that they really capture the spirit of the games where essentially, you’re a lot more successful running away from the monsters than actually shooting at them. Overall I’d say you probably want to watch this movie if you’ve got nothing better to watch, or you’re just a super SH fan. I won’t recommend seeing it in a theater at all, but it’s got some kinda cool stuff.

Argo is amazing. And honestly, the less you know going into the film, the more you’ll be blown away. I =highly= recommend seeing this in the theater, as it’s incredibly suspenseful, really well acted, and will hopefully win a ton of well deserved awards.

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