Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall catch-up

I have not written a straight up movie review since July. This summer and fall have been very busy and I may not have been seeing movies at the rate that I usually do, but I certainly have been seeing movies. It's time to catch up because Oscar season is just around the corner.

Wreck it Ralph
This Disney animated movie takes place in the world of videos games and has an adorable concept. An arcade game bad guy, voiced by John C Reilly, is fed up with his existence and decides to venture into other games in the hopes of earning some respect in his home game. His adventure takes him to a modern Call of Duty type game, featuring an awesomely kick-ass Jane Lynch, and to the candy covered land of a go-cart racing little girl voiced by Sarah Silverman. The animation captures various genres and eras of video games in excellent detail. I predict that Wreck-It Ralph will join Brave in the Best Animated Feature race this year. The animated short "Paperman" that preceded the full length movie was sweet and is also a strong contender for Best Animated Short.
To be fair, I was predisposed to like this movie because of Ben Affleck and a historical topic. The era of the Iran hostage crisis is well captured and Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman and Victor Garber make up the strong supporting cast. Fun trivia, Victor Garber married Jennifer Gardner and Ben Affleck after playing her father on Alias for five seasons. George Clooney co-produced the film and Jimmy Carter speaks about the real life events over the end credits. This one is likely to have award season buzz.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
I did not expect this film to be as dark as it was but it certainly captured the high school experience. There were many moments of humor and the three young leads, Logan Lerman, Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in Harry Potter) and Ezra Miller are fantastic. Paul Rudd is also excellent in a small role as a freshman English teacher. As a kid of the 80s and 90s I had to love the references to mixed tapes and early 90s time frame. Though I have not read the book and can not comment on the strength of the adaptation, interestingly enough the movie's director is the novel's author Stephen Ghbosky.