“Wreck-It Ralph”: Non-Pixar animated film from former “Simpsons” writer Rich Moore about a video game villain (voiced by John C. Reilly) on a quest to become a hero. The majority of modern children’s films have a cinematic value equivalent to that of a Big Mac, but this one stands apart. It’s funny but not gratingly gag heavy, it’s sentimental but not soggy, and it’s visually impressive but not in that Pixar way of very carefully animated mundane things. The film isn’t revolutionary kid’s movie and time will tell how its pop culture reference heavy humor holds up over time but right now its stands as the most enjoyable animated film in a long while. Featuring the voices of Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Alan Tudyk.
Special features: A digital copy of the film, a 3D presentation of the film, the Oscar winning “Paperman” short, two featurettes, deleted and alternate scenes, and fake commericals for the video games featured in the film.
“Red Dawn”: Remake of the 1984 film of the same name about a group of high schoolers and their Marine leader (Chris Hemsworth) forming a resistance cell during a North Korean invasion of American. The film is a pretty racist, sexist, and wildly xenophobia piece of propaganda that doesn’t even have the redeeming value of being particularly well-made action movie despite the credentials of director Dan Bradley. It does succeed in making terrorism look really sexy, young, and exciting which could not have been the intention but you take grace where you can find it. Read my full review here. Also starring Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, and Adrianne Palicki.
Special features: A digital copy of the film.
“Playing for Keeps”: A former soccer star (Gerard Butler) tries to pull his life together for the sake of his young son but is stymied by his inability to stop giving laid constantly. Ostensibly a standard issue romantic comedy, the film ended up being one of the most reviled films of last year. It’s easy to see why, the film has one of those plots that is so bad it supports the notion that the American romantic comedy genre is dead and it stars an actor who has given only one compelling performance in his entire career. Hopefully the film’s box office failure will prompt some consideration in the how films like this are made going forward. Also starring Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Dennis Quaid.
Special features: A digital copy of the film, deleted scenes and two featurettes.
“The Intouchables”: Crippled up tight white guy (François Cluzet) learns to live again though his vivacious black assistant (Omar Sy). I wouldn’t watch the movie if it meant I got to see an unreleased Stanley Kubrick film directly afterwards but people across the world made this Academy Award nominated film a bigger hit than the last “X-Men” movie. Regressive racial politics beat regressive racial politics with superpowers, I guess. Also starring Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot, and Clotilde Mollet.
Special features: A digital copy of the film and deleted scenes.
Mario McKellop has written about film on Examiner for the last three years and can be reached directly at email@example.com