Wreck-It Ralph Review

From the first time I saw the trailer for Wreck-It Ralph, I had to see it. An animated film about video game? How could I resist such a good idea. I didn’t have much expectations I just wanted see what could be done with it. I was completely blown away by this beautiful tale filled with vibrant characters, powerful moments and incredible imagination. Wreck-It Ralph won me over with its broad themes and its redemptive story reminiscent of the masterfully made Pixar films, in fact I honestly don’t think Pixar could’ve done it better themselves.

Wreck-It Ralph tells the glorious tale of Wreck-It Ralph, a video game villain who wants more out of life, to be a hero. He’s necessary to his game like any other villain, but he’s sick of getting no recognition and living in a dump next to the building that represents the setting of his video game. Ralph’s journey introduces him to vast new lands and faithful friends for there’s much more to the story than initially established.

This arcade world that the film is set in is spectacular. This world is just established perfectly with set rules and regulations that just make sense. Clever jokes are made along the way, but the story and the characters are always at the forefront. It’s a very mature film and it’s clear that a lot of care and time went into the plotting and the creation. While offering a brilliant story fit with subtle and potent morals, Wreck-It Ralph is also consistently supremely entertaining. You can’t keep your eyes off the spectacle of it all.

The images are vivid, the characters are unique and the story is innovative and completely captivating. The film is able to touch on such wide array of emotions that you forget you’re watching a children’s film. Wreck-It Ralph is a beautiful film about accepting who you are and finding the people who love who you are. It’s a wonderful film all around and if I had to guess, you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t find enjoyment in watching this film.

Grade: A

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Top Six Paul Thomas Anderson Movies

With just the creation of six films, Paul Thomas Anderson has solidified himself as one of the greatest directors in existence. If his career in filmmaking were to end right now it would still be one the most enigmatic, beautiful, poignant and spectacular careers that will have ever been crafted. I could watch any one of his six films at any time and be completely happy. He’s made six spectacular films, five of which I would consider masterpieces and that’s all there is to it. This is a list celebrating him and his illustrious career.

6. Hard Eight

It just amazes me that I’m putting Hard Eight last on my list. This is how you debut a career in filmmaking. Anderson regular, Philip Baker Hall, gives his career best performance as protagonist Sydney with John C. Reilly doing just as great as usual. It’s completely consistent of Anderson to have rich and incredibly-well written characters. You’ll find exactly those kind of characters in Hard Eight. I would expect nothing but a truly spectacular movie from Anderson and that’s exactly what my least favorite Paul Thomas Anderson movie is.

5. Magnolia

Paul Thomas Anderson was quoted as to saying that for better or worse Magnolia will probably be the best film he’ll ever make. Where as I hate to disagree with such a genius, I do. Magnolia is just as much of a masterpiece as my top three on this list, but I did have to decide on an order and this is where Magnolia falls for me. This examination of life and the oddities there in is nothing short of breathtaking. The film offers one of the greatest ensemble casts ever and it goes without saying, but the direction is outlandishly good. Magnolia simply proves that Anderson is a director without boundaries.

4. Boogie Nights

With Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson offers a movie that is as character-driven and riveting as Raging Bull, almost as epic as Apocalypse Now and as fun as your average Quentin Tarantino movie. That’s quite a feat on its own, but when you add the fact that it’s a film tracking the rise and fall of the porn industry between the 70s and 80s, the idea of it is rather ridiculous. Boogie Nights tells a timeless tale and does so with unrelenting gusto. It’s hard not to be seduced by the world that Anderson has laid out in front of you and once I was consumed by it, I was left speechless right up until the credits rolled. Boogie Nights is an extravaganza of the things that make for a truly classic film and the best way to describe the experience is unforgettable.

3. Punch-Drunk Love

Punch-Drunk Love offers up one of the greatest cinematic love stories ever told and one as only Paul Thomas Anderson could tell. It definitely does not need to be said, but I’ll say it anyways; this is by far Adam Sandler’s best performance and none of his movies even come close to being as fantastic. Punch-Drunk Love tells such a beautiful story of contempt and the defying ability of love, that the idea of  artful direction could fall as a moot point. Instead Paul Thomas Anderson takes the beautiful story he’s crafted for himself and creates the masterpiece that it truthfully deserved to be. Punch-Drunk Love usually falls by the wayside and is eclipsed by his other films, but I love the film and I always will.

2. The Master

The Master tells the tale of a confused and troubled man, a drifter, who’s looking for his way after World War II. The drama ensues with a chance meeting with Lancaster Dodd. That is his name, but it becomes apparent that the title more often used to refer to Dodd is “Master”. He is an enigmatic man, he’s likable, he’s articulate, and there’s a sense of power to him. He is the master of his own religious movement. However, this eloquent tale deals with a lot broader themes than just religion.

The Master is a masterpiece. It’s Anderson’s sixth and latest film and at this point it’s as if I can expect nothing less than a masterpiece from this brilliant artist. The always spectacular Joaquin Phoenix gives his career best performance as Freddie Quell, while Lancaster Dodd is also portrayed flawlessly by Philip Seymour Hoffman. The film centers around the relationship of these two characters. One is a leader and one is a follower and the two characters are utilized to tell a chilling and beautiful tale of obedience and control.

1. There Will Be Blood

Paul Thomas Anderson is a master of his craft and one of my favorite directors working today, but it’s with There Will Be Blood where he proves himself to be one the greatest directors of all time. Some may call Punch-Drunk Love his best and I could see a lot (or most) of people calling either Boogie Nights or Magnolia his best. No matter how much I love Anderson’s other masterpieces, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would call There Will Be Blood his best film.

In Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnum opus you’ll find the greatest character study ever put on film. The word ruthless was never as evident than when the character Daniel Plainview was on screen (which was practically the entirety of the film). He’s conniving, cruel, vindictive, monstrous, and he’s the protagonist. Daniel Plainview is a character so gloriously layered and so distinctively dissected that only a truly masterful performance would have sufficed. Daniel Day-Lewis offers that and more in one of the greatest performances in the history of film.

There Will Be Blood is extraordinary in every sense of the word. It is the most flawless film in Anderson’s career of spectacular movies. Every detail is meticulously slaved over and what results is a film that is gorgeous in its scope and a masterpiece that showcases film as the art form it is. There Will Be Blood is above all else, a perfect movie that serves as a testament to the true prowess of its creator.

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Carnage Review

It’s difficult to wrap my head around exactly how I want to approach my review for Carnage. It was a film so unlike most movies and in just that way, among many other reasons, it was a very enjoyable film. It was also a very short film and certainly kept my attention through out. It was fun, well made, well acted, but unfortunately it just didn’t amount to as much as I hoped for.

The best quality of this film were unquestionably the performances. Jodie Foster is always hit or miss very me and she was pretty good here. John C. Reilly played the most likable character and had fun with it. Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses and she was fantastic in Carnage. The best performance came from the brilliant Christoph Waltz whose instigating character was played to perfection and though you could probably consider the character the antagonist of the film, the character was in no way an evil villain. It was nice to see a great performance from Waltz in a role that wasn’t some one as a cruel as Hans Landa.

The film centered on two couples and their verbal sparring after one of their sons hits the other couples’ son with a stick. What starts as a civil conversation eventually leads to what feels like warfare. It was based on a Tony-Award winning play and as a result the filmmaking here was nothing special as it just placed the play in movie form. Sure there’s no action or much drama, but the film was a lot of fun and an excellent watch.

My biggest compliant here would be that all of this constant bickering felt like it was leading to a very exciting climax, but unfortunately the movie just ended with out much of a satisfying resolution. Once I looked past the fact that the film didn’t get to the point I wanted it do I just realized that it was a lot of fun, but it just wasn’t amazing. The film’s biggest feat is in the way it could’ve easily felt redundant from time to time, but it never ceased to entertain.

Grade: B+

Step Brothers Review

I wish I coul d go back in time and tell myself not to see this movie because it was absolutely dreadful. It wasn’t even the kind of movie that you could call funny, but stupid, it was just stupidity from start to finish. It was as if, while I was watching the movie I was given the middle finger and being told by Will Farrell, “You actually paid for this shit, I can make any crappy movie I want and still make money”. There were only a few funny jokes in the whole movie. The rest of the time they just tried way too hard with pointless, immature, unfunny crap. I pray that Pineapple Express will be better than this crap. I know it will be though because Seth Rogen is the main character instead of the big jack ass we all know as Will Farrell. 99.9% of the movie I was just thinking to myself, were they serious when they decided to make this movie, is this some kind of sick joke. The other.1% I was laughing a little bit. Do yourself the favor of not wasting your money because I wouldn’t see this crap again even if I were paid. 

Grade: D-