Tag Archives: John C Reilly

Perfect for gamers on Valentines day? Wreck It-Ralph

13 Feb

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If you haven’t run out to watch Wreck It Ralph since it hit cinemas on Friday, then I reckon that’s the first thing you should do after you read this review, as I have nothing but good things to say about this film. Disney is back with a genius animation which appeals to audiences of all ages, from the hot shot ten year old gamer through to the forty year old who understands 8 bit terminology like the back of their hand.

The scene is set, inside the inner workings of an arcade – where Fix It Felix (Jack McBrayer) takes pride of place amongst keen young arcade enthusiasts. For the last thirty years, this game has been entertaining kids with squeaky clean Felix repairing his beloved tower block from Wreck Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 16.00.40It Ralph (John C Reilly), the bad guy who demolishes the block level by level with no recognition or gratitude.  After years of doing this, Ralph wants a change, he wants to be a good guy, so he goes out to find the one thing that can prove that bad guys aren’t all bad, the heroes medal.

For me the most fun element of this film is its nostalgia. Most people know Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac Man and Streetfighter II. All iconic games and all show up in this film in some form. Apparently there are around 188 individual characters in Wreck It Ralph, which is far higher than the standard animation we see in cinemas, but with this, you have the fun job of noticing an old computer game character or two who you recognize from yesteryear as you watch the main action unfold it just adds something a little special to this already cleverly constructed film.

Throughout Wreck-It Ralph you are taken on a spectacular journey from ‘bad guys support groups’ featuring funny turns from M Bison, Zangief and an anonymous zombie, through to Game Central Station where characters travel from one game to another when the lights go out in the arcade and its time to relax – the detail of which is a geeky gamers delight and completely stunning.  Finally you end up in Sugar Rush – a Mario Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 16.00.57cart esq racing game made entirely of sweets where Ralph befriends Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) a kiddie racer banned from the sport for being a ‘glitch.’ A sibling like friendship plays out as the heroes medal plays second fiddle to helping Vanellope prove she’s got what it takes to be one of the top racers on the track.

The precision in which each character is portrayed and voiced is what makes this film stand out from the others. You are in for a visual treat as every corner of the screen has detail that allows the audience to immerse themselves in the colour and texture on show. The characters, have a warmth about them and a level of humour which is just right to make you laugh out loud in some places and feel their emotion and sadness in others. These characters talk (with a brilliant bit of irony) like how you would expect these characters to talk, and to move how you would hope they would, to achieve a fun filled ride into not only your local cinema but awards glory too.

And finally, if you want to continue the film yourself, the brilliant Wreck-It Ralph app is available on the iPhone and its the perfect time waster!

4 Stars

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Wreck-It Ralph’s 8 Bit Lane hits Brick Lane…

17 Jan

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So yesterday I managed to catch a screener of the Oscar nominated animated film Wreck-It Ralph. It was absolutely fantastic and well worth the praise it’s currently getting. I’m writing a review on the film in more detail shortly, but I wanted to share with you the genius marketing campaign Disney has produced for the film.

Last weekend in London’s Brick Lane, Disney transformed the streets into an 80’s computer game in this incredibly clever installation. Check out the video below to see how it was all done!

8 Bit Lane also showcased the world’s first Blipp-able building using Blippar’s visual discovery app. When Wreck-It Ralph fans ‘Blipped’ The Nicelanders house on the wall, the house emerged in 3D and they were invited to play a game featuring Ralph himself.

A little bit about the film itself….

“Wreck-It Ralph” takes moviegoers on a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping journey in which Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly)—tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, Jr. (voice of Jack McBrayer), the “good guy” star of their game—sets off on a quest to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.

“Wreck-It Ralph” features cameos from both classic and modern real-life games. Lending their voices, among others, are Roger Craig Smith (Ezio from franchise “Assassin’s Creed”) as Sonic the Hedgehog, and from “Street Fighter”—Reuben Langdon (“Street Fighter”) as Ken, Kyle Hebert (“Street Fighter”) as Ryu, and Gerald Rivers (“Street Fighter”) as M. Bison.

Great work Disney, and everyone, when Wreck-It Ralph hits cinema screens, I urge you to go watch, it is  fab!

 

BFI London Film Festival – Two doses of Gorgeous George – The Ides of March and The Decendents

21 Oct

I would have been annoyed if George Clooney did a John C Reilly and didn’t turn up to a festival which showcased not one but two

of his films, but luckily he didn’t disappoint. In fact, he over delivered. Having rushed from the screening of  the Clooney directed film The Ides of March to the press conference, I was so happy to find we weren’t only having a press conference with the man himself but also the incredibly talented Philip Seymour Hoffman and Evan Rachel Wood. However, I seem to have been the only member of the press attending who noticed that this Oscar winner and Indie darling were also in the room as the rest of the audience seemed (if they managed to get a question in – which I unfortunately did not get the chance to) to only be able to direct their questions to Gorgeous George. One particularly cringe moment was (apart from the double question asking George’s view on the Irish upcoming elections – please we’re here to talk film!!) when a member of the press clearly forgot the other actors names and addressed these Hollywood heavyweights as ‘members of the panel’ As Steve McQueen put it – SHAME!! These actions mirrored those in the film 360 and had an effect on the rest of us as Philip Seymour Hoffman was so annoyed that he was hardly addressed in this press conference that he flew in especially for, that he refused to do any press on the red carpet later that evening – well done journo!

Anyway – Back to the films, lets start with the big one – The Ides of March

The Ides of March

A political thriller – not something that I would normally be desperate to see in the cinema – more of a DVD movie for me. However I have to say that this film is going to be a keeper, I’m glad I saw it on the big screen as I could watch it intently without distraction and it’s probably a type of film with the ‘stay appeal’ which means its most likely going to end up on people’s DVD shelves for years to come as a ‘go-to’ movie. I really enjoyed this, lead by the sickening talented Ryan Gosling, the awards buzz which surrounds this film is very much earned. Its smart, sassy, intelligent and has a brilliant level of humour which comes just at the right time to break up scenes containing strong dramatic tension. Its cast is a goldmine of talent: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Giamatti and Marisa Tomei – you know you’re onto a winner when you’ve got them on board.

The film looks at the inner working of a campaign. The media minds and the politics behind the politics – is nice guy Mike Morris (Clooney) really that nice? Can Gosling be bought out by the opposing side? And what does loyalty in this situation really mean. It’s a game of chess expertly directed by Clooney (who sees his twilight years behind the camera rather in front) who has offered to the table a feast of top class acting, engaging dialogue and a story full of game players and no winners. It for me brings the resurgence of great political films back to the silver screen – proving that we may have had a thirty year gap of missing good films of this subject, but with a film like The Ides of March, it was most definitely worth the wait.

The Descendents

I like Hawaii. I like the idea of it, that it represents happiness and people throwing their cares away as they play lazy on the beach as the sun shines brightly above them. As we see from Alexander Payne’s (About Schmidt, Sideways) offering, he immediately focuses on the non tourist/commercial view of Hawaii and what its like to be living there – in the real world. This glimpse is not the main focus, in fact this story is one of family George Clooney’s character’s family, and the few days they take to come to terms with the untimely death of his wife following a boating accident. I think this film will divide audiences depending on your own personal experiences with grief, and handling such situations.

Although I enjoyed the film – it has some brilliant humour which will get you laughing till you cry – having gone through quite a similar situation in my own life, I found the characters slightly ridiculous, farcical and unemotional. Next to me in the cinema was my colleague Rosanna, who also went through similar circumstances, but unlike myself, dealt with her situation in the same manner as the family in the film, so found it hilarious and incredibly touching and moving. Two very different opinions, neither of which criticised the mechanics of the film, its well written, clever, well cast and entertaining. The content however may leave audiences divided in terms of how they view the story and how sympathetic they feel towards the characters and situation.

So there you have it folks – two very different films which will appeal to two very different audiences. Both very much worth a watch and proving that at the ‘tender age’ of 5o, Mr Clooney both on and off-screen still has the charisma and charm to keep him at the top of his game for many years to come.

BFI Day 6 – We Need to Talk About Kevin – Women Be Warned this will put you off motherhood!

19 Oct

Not bonding with your child is one thing. Giving birth to Damien from the Omen is quite another! My favourite film of the festival so

far this expertly put together and acted film makes me proud that the director, crew, financing and lead actress are all British. I’m hearing award bells ringing left right and centre and and hoping its wipes the floor with the competition.

In a nutshell the story is of a mother – once free spirited, well travelled and with the world at her feet, finds later in life that she is pregnant. Once the child is born, despite best attempts, she cannot bond with it and through the years sinks lower and lower into depression over the fact that her child, Kevin, is one person to her and another to her husband. This isn’t as you’d expect from the trailer a film which focus’s solely on a Columbine esq shooting, it goes much deeper into the psyche of a child (hugely intelligent) and his unexplained resentment/torture towards his mother. The film is just punch after punch of heavyweight acting from Tilda Swinton (who was so passionate about the project that she spent five years with Lynne Ramsey trying to get this project off the ground) – and she will reap the rewards come Oscar time!

Ezra Miller who is the third actor to step into the shoes of Kevin, shows that he’s destined for big things following his performance. Intense, disturbing and like his character this hugely intelligent portrayal should put him as one of the kookiest members of the A-List pretty damn soon! The two younger Kevins should not go without a mention either, it’s a stroke of genius how Ramsey managed to get a three year old to look quite so damn psychotic by just playing ball!

John C. Reilly again brings a stellar performance as the blindsided husband who cant get to grips with Swinton’s exhaustion, frustration and ability to blame all errors on her child. If anything, in his mind it should be her that needs to be locked up not their son.

All in all this is an artistic film – adapted beautifully from the book which I can only say has inspired the film rather than provided a step by step structure for the finished product. Its not for the faint hearted and builds to a heart stopping climax. Truly a brilliant film with a fantastic director and a well formed cast.