Tag Archive: wreck-it Ralph

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


This past weekend saw the first games of the new indoor soccer league for St. Anne. It comes at the perfect time of the year when it is too cold to stay outside without snow to play in. Kids get to learn new skills and have a great time while beating end-of-winter doldums.


Image by karpati

Image by karpati

I saw kids having fun, kids kicking and passing and getting the game, even at the youngest levels. I loved sitting in the stands and watching the kids have a good time. The parents, grandparents, and friends seemed to get it as well, learning to clap at the appropriate moments and cheer for good plays.


While only a couple of kids forgot not to use their hands, others demonstrated their ability to do a header – using their head to correct the direction of an airborne ball – that made people gasp.


I know there are experienced players and newbies all mixed together. I would hope that kids new to the sport learn something from the kids with more experience. I hope that those new kids have something to give the more experienced ones.


But let me warn parents, grandparents and spectators on one thing. This could develop into a wonderful new addiction if you only let it.


This weekend, we made the effort to see a new movie on DVD and luck was with us when the kids found Wreck-it Ralph on the shelf at the grocery store. We have been waiting for weeks to see this movie because every time I went in, the movie was out.


Continuing the trying something new theme, I made calzones instead of pizza. It is good to mix things up every now and again.


Poster image from IMDb.com

Poster image from IMDb.com

The story is about a character in a video game who has come to the conclusion that he no longer wants to be the ‘bad guy.’ He has come to realize that the bad guy is never revered, he is only reviled. And so Ralph begins a journey to become a ‘hero.’


We parents know how that journey may end, especially after Ralph finds himself helping a little girl in a race game set in a land made from candy. But there is a bigger danger than Ralph even knows about, and it will take an outside force in the form of sexy warrior, Calhoun, and Fix-it Felix in order to get rid of that problem.


I am not sure what I loved more – the various color schemes and character styles mixed together, the pace of the movie, or the sincere angst of the lead character. It all worked well together, creating believable character development.

Granted, you have to believe that characters from one video game can move into another game with minimal problems. You have to believe that people can change, grow, and learn that maybe the skills they have can be used for good or bad.


The biggest test for me with any movie is would I watch it again. The immediate answer to that is a big yes. And let’s just say, I might have a little crush on Ralph.


Who wouldn’t want to spend more time with a character you really like, especially when they are a new discovery?


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Working Up to Animated Oscar

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


Can I admit that I have not kept up with movie viewing as much as I should?


I have been watching some movies. The other week a friend and I went to see Les Mis. But let’s be honest, the movie that is the most grand at being sad is the one that will win the Oscar. The one that tries to state the most about the human condition and its actors will be the one that wins.


This year I have tried to focus more on the animated features with the thought that I have seen those.


Once I looked at the list I realized I had seen just one – Brave.


Judging an animated movie means I am not looking at just the story and how well it is told and portrayed. I am also looking at the animation. What about the animation of a particular film makes it better than any of the others out there?


This year, the big feat was creating the curls of Merida’s hair in Brave.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

I assume that most animated characters have straight hair or a helmut of hair because it is very detailed work to make curly hair. Even the Japanese anime have hair that is a consistent collection of angles and sharp points. This way, hair does not have to change very much.


With curly hair, the story is different. Strands move with every tip of the head. You don’t have to merely move the shadow on the head, you have to move over 100 strands of corkscrew curls. That takes effort.


We did rent Frankenweenie after the nominations came out. The story is about a boy named Victor who re-animates his dog, Sparky, after the pet is hit by a car. But as competition for the upcoming science fair heats up, the other kids want the secret to Victor’s success. But problems occur, monsters are created, and only Victor and Sparky can solve the problem.


I like the stop action-animation, it worked smoothy and integrated well with the storyline. I also liked the black-and-white color palate which was a reference to every monster movie that would have inspired director Tim Burton.  This movie had many references that the parents or movie buffs would have recognized more readily than the kids for whom this movie was aimed.


I found the story to be very sweet, how actual love of a project makes it successful in terms of ending up the way you want it. But overall, I was under whelmed by Frankenweenie. It is a good movie, it is not a great movie. While that is good enough for deciding what to watch at home, is it enough for the grandest award in the film industry?


I would love to see Wreck-it Ralph before it completely leaves theaters. It is possible to rent The Pirates and ParaNorman but to be honest, neither of those movies appeal to me or my kids. Every time I say “Let’s get The Pirates,” they say “let’s not.”


When it comes to family viewing, sometimes what you want more than an award nominated film is something everyone wants to watch.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.