Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Pick Me Up I Needed

Christmas is here, and I'll admit, I'm finding it rather rough this year.  Finances are a lot tighter that I thought they'd be, and when I'm out there getting my shopping done, whenever I look at price tags, I feel like going home and crying.  Like I've told a couple of friends, you know you don't make much money when you're interviewing the folks from the food bank, you accidentally let slip how much money you make, and they suddenly switch from pressuring you to donate to pressuring you to take home a hamper.

That's just a sad truth of the radio biz, kids:  there's not much money in sitting on your butt and talking.

But still, I have responsibilities and obligations, and at this time of year, that means getting the Christmas shopping done.  This seemed like a good weekend to do it, and so I was off to the city!

High on my list was taking care of my nieces, so I was heading for Toys R Us.  I've been told that one of my nieces is reaching the pony age that all little girls go through, so I was off to the My Little Pony aisle.  I wanted to get in and get out quick, so I wouldn't be mistaken for a Brony.  Far be it from me to criticize another's fandom, but I just think that middle aged virgins should stick to the Star Wars action figure aisle.

With that done, and the final names on my list checked off, I was in the mood for a movie.  Not much out there right now that I want to see.  I saw SkyFall a few weeks ago, and The Hobbit doesn't come out until next week, so I settled on Wreck-It Ralph.  I'll admit, the trailers for Wreck-It Ralph weren't grabbing me.  I had a similar issue with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  Yeah, I had an Atari when I was a kid, but I never graduated to a Nintendo or a SNES.  I've just never been much of a gamer.  So, I don't get all misty-eyed for The Legend of Zelda or Street Fighter II like some of my compatriots do.  As such, the trailers for Wreck-It Ralph were just looking like Video Game Nostalgia: The Movie.  But, I was reading lots of good reviews from the geek circles and the film websites, so I figured I'd give it a chance.

It all takes place in an arcade.  After hours, all of the video game characters come to life and hang out with each other.  Our hero is Wreck-It Ralph, the villain in a video game called Fix It Felix Jr.  And Ralph is getting tired of being the villain and being hated by everyone and the dude just wants a little appreciation for what he does.  So, these feelings make him decide to abandon his game and journey from game to game in a quest to prove himself a good guy for once.  And his quest eventually leads him to a cart racer called Sugar Rush where he becomes the only friend and ally to a little girl, Vanelope Von Schweetz, who's going through pretty much the same thing he is.

The one review I read online that finally convinced me to see it was one that read, "In 2012, it's like Disney made the Pixar movie and Pixar made the Disney movie."  And I totally understand that now.  Brave follows Disney's "princess" formula pretty closely, and Wreck-It Ralph follows Pixar's "buddy movie" formula pretty closely as well.  And since I'm programed to be a Pixar junkie, I wound up falling in love with Wreck-It Ralph.  I found this movie to be surprisingly good.  The friendships that form in this film, and the character development, it all seems genuine.  I felt for these characters, and whenever a movie can make me do that, I regard that as a good movie.

As I blogged many years ago, seeing a good movie can be a great pick-me-up.  And Wreck-It Ralph provided me with just the pick-me-up I needed to get through this holiday season.  Granted, the season isn't done yet, but it's getting better. 

One last thing I want to mention before I go.  Perhaps the most subtle joke in all of Wreck-It Ralph.  Way back in the early 1980s, when arcade games were becoming a thing, a duo called Buckner and Garcia recorded an album of novelty songs all about the video games of the era.  It scored them the one-hit wonder, Pac-Man Fever.  Well, for Wreck-It Ralph, Disney found whatever casino Buckner and Garcia are currently performing in and got them to write a song about Wreck-It Ralph.  Just might be worth picking up the soundtrack for it.

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