The Curt Critic featured in the Wisconsin State Journal

The Curt Critic in the news: This recent Wisconsin State Journal article is validation that Liz Zélandais' quest to see all 53 Oscar-nominated films for 2013 is a fascinating enterprise worthy of public interest, rather than merely nuts.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wreck-It Ralph - 2013 Oscar Nominee for Best Animated Feature Film

"They invited Pac Man? That cherry-chasing dot muncher?" 
-Wreck-It Ralph

A la the 1988 feature Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Wreck-It Ralph parallels the Jessica Rabbit refrain:  "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way." Ralph is the video game villain who wreaks destruction, setting the scene for the hero, Fix-It Felix, Jr., to make everything right. When Ralph finally reaches his limit of being the bad guy and living alone in the dump, he sees his redemption in covertly inserting himself into a militaristic shooter game, snagging a medal, and being welcomed back into his own game as a hero. That plan, of course, brings about its own tribulations.

Wreck-It Ralph is cute. The animation is nice. The story line is sweet and has an uplifting moral. Have I adequately damned it with faint praise?  If I were a parent with small children, I would be grateful for a film appropriate for all ages that does not drive me to seek desperate escape by gnawing my foot off at the ankle. A bonus is that it opens with the delightful Paperman, an Oscar-nominated animated short. But at 108 minutes (too long for the very young) with portions that drag, the editing should have been far sharper.

Calhoun, voiced by Jane Lynchwho can make the phone book sound funnyis the best part of the movie. Clever lines abound, but not enough to overcome the diabetic coma induced by the endless "Sugar Rush" video game sequences.

I recommend Wreck-It Ralph to anyone seeking a movie to enjoy with kids. For everyone else, once it comes to cable, if you've clicked through all the other channels twice and nothing is appealing to you, it will offer a benign couple of  hours. Sample the trailer below.

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