Watch This Not That

Reboots

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Mortal Kombat Legacy

untitledWhat do you do when one of the best video game movie adaptations is ruined by a horrible sequel? Let the idea simmer for several years and then bring it back as webisodes! Kevin Tancharoen started the web series when no one would fund another Mortal Kombat movie. The web series focuses on origin stories and looks deeper into the characters we know and love. Throw in some great sci-fi actors (Tahmoh Penikett, Jeri Ryan) for Season 1 and give the tale some love and BOOM! Mortal Kombat is awesome once again.

…Not That

Star Trek

J.J. Abrams has put his messy hands all over this franchise making spectacle a priority and qualistar%20trek%20into%20darkness%20650%20paramountty takes a back seat.  I am not a huge Abrahams fans. He often starts with great ideas and then goes crazy with them. The first in this reboot series was a subpar film with at least some science fiction fun with a nod to the old generation. Into Darkness begs the question is this reboot or remake? The movie also stereotypes the basic characters giving them no depth. The films try for growth with Kirk and Spock and each falls short because it does not go along with the universe they are in. Overall it’s Star Trek with a younger cast, lots of visual effects, but no heart.

British Book Adaptation

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Wuthering Heights

master_heights_rain_450_252This Masterpiece Classic version of Wuthering Heights stars two British men who are currently on the American hot list: Tom Hardy and Andrew Lincoln. Hardy is Heathcliff an orphan welcomed into the home of British money and falls in love with the man’s daughter. Circumstance leads to rivalry between Heathcliff and Linton (Lincoln) and many tragic deaths ensue. This adaptation really explains the book though it changes some aspects. It made it possible for me to actually finally read the book and understand it. Plus, this adaptation adds a little sweet to the end of the tragedy.

…Not That

Atonement

First, it has Keira Knightly in it–in a main role.  I have a strong distaste for her as an actress. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy Atonement movie imageI don’t think she has much range and she is often a character that plays some sort of bitch. She’s good at that really, to the point where I don’t like her or her characters. The second issue is the story itself. It has a horrible ending. You think the characters all live happily ever after but no, they all die tragically.  I can handle tragic deaths (see above) but after I thought there was a happily ever after? No way. Not even James McAvoy makes me want to watch this again.

Ralph in Videogame Land

Wreck-It Ralph

2-D, 3-D

I have a thing for Disney movies, and I have a thing for video games. Combining the two puts me in Nerd Girl heaven. I had high hopes for Wreck-It Ralph and was not disappointed. WIR combines video game icons, moralistic story telling and humor to make a family friendly film for the generations.

Ralph is the delightful villain of the fictitious game Fix-It Felix Jr. After his stump is moved to a landfill, Ralph is so mad that he takes his anger out on the local apartment building reeking havoc on the citizens. Felix Jr. uses his magic hammer to repair the building and earn a medal that makes him the hero of the complex. But the animosity doesn’t end when the arcade closes; Ralph is shunned by everyone within the game. In an effort to win a medal and become a hero himself, Ralph leaves his game. On his road to self discovery, he travels through a first person shooter and a carting game that gives him a new perspective on life: he’s not the only misfit.

Gamers will be excited to see homages to their favorite games. Either in physical representation or verbal mentions, the movie runs the gambit of genres. In the Villain Support Group,  legends from Mortal Kombat, Sonic and Super Mario Bros. get together to accept their roles as villains. Game Central Station is teaming with character life and you can familiar creatures such Marlboros floating around. These are just a few examples how the movies take you into the game world, and I could spend all day making connections.

It’s more than just the cameos that make this a movie worth watching. In fact, non-gamers will enjoy the humor and story in this movie. The age old tell of discovering who you really are gets a 20th century face lift, but still tugs at the heart strings. In Sugar Rush, Ralph meets Vanellope, a glitch that is shunned by her fellow racers. The two makes friend and Ralph start to overcome his lack of self confidence by helping this little girl. The character’s growth is evident through out the movie keeping this from being some nonsensical child’s entertainment. It balances its sappiness with side splitting humor.

John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman really carry their characters. Reilly’s Ralph is great with the ones lines, and Vanellope shines with Silverman’s iconic potty mouth. (This includes the best gag in the movie involving a homophone gag on Hero’s Duty). The two actors are like their character, completely opposite but come together in a very harmonious way. This gives true depth to the character’s relationship.

WIR looks great. While it does not maximize its 3D capabilities, the CG is well done and brings a variety of character into a uniform look. The various video game characters do not seem out of place at all. But the best moments are when you see the games through the gamers’ eyes. The film takes on the look of the 8 and 16 bit games having some great fun with nostalgia.

This is a great family film that will thrill children and entertain adults. Gamers will be excited to see their favorite games represented on screen. It seems that this movie is on thing Ralph hasn’t wrecked.