Wreck-It-Ralph, Flight, The Sessions, Midnight’s Children and The Invisible War: reviews
It’s the last weekend for the Granville Theatre, the last movie house on the street that used to have many of them. (The Vogue is mostly a concert venue these days). I was there when Garth Drabinsky opened it with great optimism sometime in the 1980s, maybe the late 70s. (Yes, the same Drabinsky who was just allowed day parole exits from prison where he was sent after a fraud conviction over a different enterprise in Toronto).
The theatre was state of the art at the time but over the years declined into a move-over house. The sound system needed upgrading and the escalator sometimes didn’t work at all. Like most people I hardly went there anymore, except during the Film Festival. Then I was there almost every day.
It’s hard to lose it. I’ll be back one more time for one of the films in the South Asian Festival. (see below)
Here’s the list of reviews for this week:
Wreck-It-Ralph: 4 stars
The Sessions: 3 ½
Midnight’s Children: 3
The Invisible War: 4
Three Festivals: --
The Man With the Iron Fists: --
WRECK-IT-RALPH: An animated film is the best new one this week? Yes. Take your son or grandson. Go even if you don’t have one. This one is funny, fast, and completely enjoyable. And how many kids’ films invoke a “heart of darkness” or constitutional democracy? There’s a lot going on here.
The story is set in a video arcade, both outside, and mostly inside the games. Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is tired of being a bad guy, assigned to repeatedly wreck a building so that do-gooder Felix, a Bob the Builder type, can fix it. He’s hurt to hear he’s not invited to an anniversary party while unrelated characters like Pacman are. So he wanders over into a modern shooting game, all grey and militaristic, hoping to win a medal and become a good guy. He succeeds, sort of, but circumstances force him into another game called Sugar Rush, where another outcast, a scrappy young girl with a programming glitch (Sarah Silverman), has used his medal to enter a car race. The local boss, King Candy, with an Ed Wynn voice, has to stop her. Meanwhile both Felix and a woman with a big gun from the shooting game (Jane Lynch) are in pursuit trying to avert a sort of video-game Armageddon. The film is cleverly written, with lots references gamers will recognize ( among them Sonic the Hedgehog and Q*bert) and an hilarious bit with oreo cookies and the Wizard of Oz. But it also has heart, lots of it, and a lesson about doing what’s right. (International Village) 4 out of 5
THE SESSIONS: Two things make this film remarkable. First is its sensitive, no-joking treatment of sex. It’s candid, direct and unapologetic, as evidenced by the stark naked scenes of Helen Hunt standing without a hint of self-consciousness. The second is that her sex scenes are with a severely disabled man and they do not make you uncomfortable. They’re actually sweet and innocent.