Film Friday #136

Wreck-It Ralph

Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the villain in an arcade game where he is pitted against good guy, Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer). Not satisfied with being treated like a pariah, Ralph decides to go rogue and jump to a different game where he can win a gold medal and become the hero he feels he is. Things soon go wrong and he finds himself trapped in a candy themed racing game, tormented by Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman), a racer excluded from the game because she is a “glitch”. As the two realise they might be able to help each other, they form an unlikely friendship that might just get them both the recognition that they crave. This is yet another Disney movie that I just didn’t get. Apparently the fun is in seeing characters from much loved games pop up, but I haven’t played any of them and only really recognised Pac Man. I blame it on a childhood spent reading alone. I also found Vanellope so annoying that I kept hoping Ralph was going to drown her in the chocolate volcano. If you enjoy the kind of gooey steeped with black and white morality that Disney brings, you’ll probably enjoy this but I was bored senseless. 1.5/5

Ralph was struggling to find anyone who would pop his cherry

Ralph was struggling to find anyone who would pop his cherry

A Royal Affair

English princess Caroline (Alicia Vikander) awaits her marriage to King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) of Denmark with great excitement.  On arriving in Copenhagen and meeting her husband for the first time, she quickly realises that he is a mad as a bag of frogs and controlled by his tyrannical council who are vehemently opposed to any of the reforms sweeping Europe. Trapped and alone, Caroline becomes miserable but when Christian takes on a new personal physician, German Dr Johan Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) she discovers and kindred spirit. As Caroline and Struensee fall in love and begin a secret affair, they become a formidable force for social change in Denmark, much to the horror of the council who will do anything to maintain the status quo. This stunning costume drama is based on a true happenings, which makes it that much more intriguing. It is beautifully acted and paced and features characters you can really engage with. The chemistry between Vikander and Mikkelsen practically sizzles and Følsgaard does an outstanding job of playing the child-like king. Highly recommended. 4/5

Actually this is the SMALLEST hat I own

Actually this is the SMALLEST hat I own

2 Days in New York

Parisian artist Marion (Julie Delpy) lives with her American partner, Mingus (Chris Rock) and their children from previous relationships in New York. On the eve of a show where Marion is going to sell her soul as a concept piece (yes, really) her father (Albert Delpy), sister, Rose (Alexia Landea) and Rose’s dodgy boyfriend, Manu (Aleandre Nahon) arrive to support her. Predictably, uptight Mingus is overwhelmed by Marion’s free-spirited French family, with humorous consequences. More interestingly, the exposure of this hidden part of Marion’s life that Mingus has not experienced before flushes out issues in their relationship that could bring it to breaking point. If you are or ever have been part of a multicultural relationship you will be able to identify with this cringe-inducing culture clash but in many ways it feels lazily stereotypical and Marion and Mingus are such awful people that it’s hard connect with them. The most interesting character is surely Mingus’s death-obsessed pre-teen daughter (Talen Riley) but you barely see her. Feels like it just didn’t live up to its potential. 2.5

Chris felt like his order of a "big breasted blonde" has been horribly misinterpreted

Chris felt like his order of a “big breasted blonde” has been horribly misinterpreted

Sherrybaby

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Sherry Swanson, a recovering heroin addict freshly released from prison and trying to get back custody of her daughter, Alexis (Ryan Simpkins). As Sherry struggles to stay clean and create a life suitable to being a parent, she realises it is not as easy as it looks and that her brother (Brad William Henke) and sister-in-law (Bridget Barkan) are not going to just hand over Alexis. Gyllenhaal is outstanding as the selfish yet vulnerable and damaged Sherry and this is a compelling if not depressing story about what it means to truly take responsibility for yourself. Initially it is frustrating watching Sherry make terrible decisions with mostly good intentions, but at the reality of her past unfolds she becomes a far more sympathetic character. Despite being gritty, realistic sand very touching, something about this film falls short and the whole is less than the sum of its parts. 2.5/5

Bras are for the weak!

Bras are for the weak!

3 Comments

  1. Oops – missed this one. Again, only seen one! (Wreck-It Ralph). Definitely liked it more than you did. And my hubby loved it. But he was a video game person – I wasn’t.

    1. Abbi

      I am utterly useless with Disney. I just don’t get it. Apparently this may mean that I don’t have a soul.

      1. I’m sure you probably have a soul. 😉 To be fair, I couldn’t get into this one as much as I was hoping because, yes, she was TOO bratty & annoying.

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