ON DVD & Blu-Ray: March 5, 2013


Sometimes the best thing about going into a movie where you have no idea where it could go is how much it surprises you. I felt good about Wreck-It-Ralph from the beginning though and no matter if the broad idea was present in the previews I still didn't anticipate what might happen next or how much the Sarah Silverman-voiced character might play into Ralph's evolution. Turns out that Ralph, who has been the villain of the game Fix-It-Felix for thirty years has now become tired of being overshadowed by the guy who gets all the prizes and the glory. The guy who is considered a hero simply because that was how he was programmed. Ralph is tired of being the bad guy even if this doesn't necessarily make him a "bad guy". The group therapy session is a stand out scene if not for the presence of several well known baddies, but for the pledge each of them make that defines their acceptance of their roles. This ultimately serves as a through line for the story and for Ralph to come out on the other side with a sense of purpose and appreciation from his peers. What was a real pleasure to see unfold though was how well paced the film is. Not only do we first get introduced to the wonderful world within which all these characters from the different games in the arcade exist but we then are thrown into the depths of different genres of games and meet the likes of Sgt. Calhoun, King Candy, and Vanellope von Schweetz. Creative bits like having game central station exist within a surge protector and how characters whose games have been unplugged are relegated to beggars in the station are both funny and observational in its humor. A

Having not yet been born when the original Red Dawn came out and it seeming to leave very little of a mark on pop culture I was never really motivated to look it up. Even when news came of a remake I found it hard to summon any real enthusiasm for the project. This seems to have all been with good reason as the new version of what seemed to be nothing more than a guilty pleasure in 1984 is now a laughable attempt to cash in on a recognizable name with a slew of pretty young faces running around, shooting guns and doing little to make sense out of anything. We know it is going to be a pretty rough go when the opening credits have been so mangled and re-tooled to shift the focus from China to North Korea, but if you knew that you already knew what to expect seeing as this was shot back in 2009. Even worse is when Josh Peck shows up in the first scene as the star quarterback of a high school football team. Working hard to shed his Nickelodeon image and sustaining his confidence after his weight loss the guy did pretty fun work in Jonathan Levine's The Wackness a few years back but that film, and its story lent itself well to the actors cocky persona, here it only makes him seem more like a tool rather than the innocent kid who is supposed to become a leader. Peck is not the only offender in the bad acting class here though. This Red Dawn is full of undeveloped characters and unexplained plot lines, much less a reason for any of it happening. I expected a fun time, a light film that had a campy quality to it but what we were given was a lazy, irrelevant movie that will hopefully be forgotten soon. D-

Also Out Today: 

This was supposed to be released earlier this year, but this little french film that could is finally making its way to U.S. shelves today. Earlier this week news broke that Omar Sy would be joining the cast of the sequel to X-Men: First Class and studios are already planning an American version of the film with Chris Tucker reportedly in talks for role Sy originated. I have yet to see the film, though I've heard nothing but wonderful things about it and look forward to watching it very soon.










Two weeks and two Gerard Butler flops coming to DVD & Blu-Ray. Last weeks Chasing Mavericks didn't make a dent at the box office and this Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness) directed rom-com with an all star supporting cast didn't fare well with critics or the box office in early December. Telling the story of a former sports star who's fallen on hard times starts coaching his son's soccer team as a way to get his life together. The DVD and Blu-Ray feature the same skim special features and will likely make anyone who decides to check this out question why so many big names were drawn to such a film. I haven't seen this film and have no desire to change that.  





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