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Wreck-It Ralph Crashes Into Theaters Tomorrow…

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away my daughter, out of the blue, asked me if I heard about this "new animated movie featuring all sorts of retro video game characters" that was being made. She knows how frequently I blog about video games, so I am expected to know everything about them...and when she can pull a fast one and get something by me...trust me...I hear about it. And she got me on this one, because I hadn't heard anything of the sort. That was months and months ago and as time went on, obviously I did hear something about it. Now...in present time...I've seen the trailers on TV and read some articles and what not about it. Naturally I heard the title was Wreck-It Ralph, and true to her claim...it's about all sorts of retro video game characters.

Ralph is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, the "good guy" star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero. But the world of the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it's too late?

Well, it opens in theaters near you (maybe)...tomorrow.

The main character is voiced by John C. Reilly who can be hilarious. I loved him in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, but he's also done some rather dark and edgy films too. The movie has quite the voice acting cast with some other names I am fans of...from Alan Tudyk (most of you are probably wondering who that is - he was in A Knight's Tale which I really liked) to Dennis Haysbert (President Palmer in 24, also starred in The Unit and also the Allstate spokesperson). I like all of them and am actually looking forward to seeing this movie.

Part of the reason I'm looking forward to this movie is obviously because it features video games from the era when I was born and raised...but even more so because I' m curious to see just how well the movie does and what kind of audience it will attract. I know I will go see it - and probably force my daughter to take me...whether she likes it or not. But how many others will go see it thinking it's a kid's movie compared to those who go see it for the nostalgia and to relive the whole video game scene of the 80s and 90s?

Its interesting reading quotes from the cast who are no doubt off promoting the movie. One has to wonder if they're truly gamers (to the degree we are anyway) or simply helping market the movie to potential paying customers. I wouldn't be surprised if they are indeed gamers.

"I remember when it went from pinball machines to Space Invaders. That was the first one like - 'Oh my God!' There were no computers, no cell phones, I didn't even have VCR, so the concept of being able to manipulate what was on a television screen was this outrageously new thing.

 I spent a lot of money on that, lot of change. Pac-Man was the next big one after that, they just kept coming -- Centipede, Asteroids, and then Defender. I played a lot of Defender. The first time you could go in reverse! Your spaceship could go that way then it could double back that way. I would start out being really good at games and then get worse and worse the more I played..." -John C. Reilly

"I grew up with Atari and arcade games. We lived near ... an arcade called Space Center and we used to go there in the evening, my sisters and I. I loved it. There was a game called Joust that was in our local Dairy Queen that I mastered between cones." -Sarah Silverman

"I'm not a gamer. It was an education for me. I'm not an arcade person, I never was as a kid. I played Asteroids in college...but I was usually very drunk. I barely remember the game." -Jane Lynch

Read more here.

Something else I find equally interesting - as you well know, so often video games and movies don't mix, certainly not movies inspired by video games. It's often a disastrous combination (although I have a theory on why and how to fix it as discussed in this blog) that leaves gamers exasperated and non-gamers puzzled. But what about a movie that recognizes video games, features some of the legendary characters from the most popular games and makes being a gamer seem kind of cool - how will that be received?

Watching the trailer, you see popular characters like Bowser, Sonic, Clyde (one of the ghosts from Pac Man), and Q-bert. The cast for the movie also mentions Charles Martinet as a voice actor for Mario and Luigi...which is cool because he has done voice acting for a ton of different video games including a bunch of Mario games. If they don't make an appearance, sounds like we'll at least hear from them.

As much as I usually avoid critic reviews, I did read a handful of them just to see what I was getting myself into. Of course there were a few lukewarm one's, but overall there were quite a few that strongly praised the game and it's throwback to earliest days of gaming.

I plan to see it tomorrow...and if you plan on going to see it too...I read that you'll want to stay until the end and watch the post credits clips. I have no idea what it is (Mario and Luigi maybe), but hear it's the "ultimate video game reference".

Cheers.

 

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