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Cinema Scoop

Ralph primed to wreck Denzel's Flight

Greetings film fanatics, it's time to take a peek at what the cinema has to offer us this weekend.

     Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game's perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes... so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan - win a medal - but soon wrecks everything, and accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph's only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman), a young troublemaking "glitch" from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it's "Game Over" for the entire arcade?

     My Take

I have to say that when I saw the trailer for this several months ago a huge smile came upon my face and it instantly became one of my most anticipated films of the fall. It's the latest from Walt Disney's Animation Studio and it looks simply wonderful.

This film should appeal to people of all ages. Kids are going to love the action, visuals and humourous characters, while anyone over the age of 30 will likely wax nostalgic at the sight of all of the classic video game characters from the 80's and 90's. The filmmakers have reportedly included almost 200 different cameos by characters from popular games of the past three decades.

I absolutely love Pixar films, and even though Wreck-It Ralph is not officially a Pixar release it is executive produced by John Lasseter who is the founding father and creative force behind Pixar's numerous works of genius.

I don't consider myself a gamer at all, in fact the last time I was even interested in video games was back when I would play Donkey Kong and Tron on my old Intellivision system (yeah, that's how old I am) or if I ventured out to an arcade it would be to play Pac-Man and various Pinball machines.

I think however, whether you're a gamer or not, Wreck-It Ralph should contain enough humour and heart to entertain everyone.

This should be a great choice for a family movie outing.

     Flight

Academy Award winner Denzel Washington stars as a seasoned airline pilot who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, he is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane.

     My Take

This film is already getting strong critical buzz and there is even talk that Denzel Washington might score another Oscar nomination for his role as the troubled pilot. Joining Washington in this strong cast is John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo and Bruce Greenwood.

I have high hopes for Flight, primarily because it's directed by Robert Zemeckis, who has made some fabulous films like Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Contact. This is his first live-action film since Castaway in 2000.

The story depicted in Flight is a work of dramatic fiction but it was loosely inspired by the 2000 crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, in which the pilots briefly attempted to recover from catastrophic loss of control by flying the aircraft upside down. That crash, however, had no survivors.

I have a feeling that Flight is going to be a riveting and compelling drama that is sure to appeal to those looking for a film with some emotional weight behind it.

This might just be the kick-off to Oscar season, so don't miss the Flight.

     The Man With the Iron Fists

On the hunt for a fabled treasure of gold, a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon a village in feudal China, where a humble blacksmith looks to defend himself and his fellow villagers.

     My Take

With an international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu this martial arts extravaganza is a collaboration between music industry heavyweight RZA and cult horror director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel).

Even though the ads state that Quentin Tarantino presents this film, don't be fooled into thinking that he actually had any creative say in it. He agreed to attach his name for marketing purposes only since he is friends with RZA and Roth. In fact, RZA worked with Tarantino, producing the soundtrack for his Kill Bill films, and it was on the set that film that RZA had the germ of the idea for The Man With the Iron Fists.

This is likely to be a really fun, hyper-violent action film that combines elements of martial arts films, spaghetti westerns and Blaxploitation cinema. Hey, now that I think about it, it's exactly the type of film that Tarantino would likely make.

If this type of over-the-top, chop-sockey pulp fiction is your thing then you are surely going to want to check out The Man With the Iron Fists.

Also starting on Friday at the Paramount Theatre is a pair of documentaries that are likely to appeal to those who view life a little more philosophically.

Hellbound? features an eclectic group of authors, theologians, pastors, social commentators and musicians discussing the contentious debate over the Christian doctrine of hell. It is written and directed by Vancouver-based screenwriter Kevin Miller. Miller will be at the Paramount for a Q & A after the early show on Friday night.

Samsara reunites director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson, whose award-winning films Baraka and Chronos were acclaimed for combining visual and musical artistry. Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means "the ever turning wheel of life" and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, Samsara transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

I think that Samsara looks like a fascinating and visually stunning piece of work that likely needs to be seen on a big screen to be appreciated.

Well, there's plenty to choose from again this week, so I hope to see you all at the movies.



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