Mike S (CloudStrife84)Sweden
Mike's Recent Reviews
The Man. The Myth. The Polo Sweater. Cult-declared Apple founder Steve Jobs was barely laid to rest before Hollywood initiated the transfer of his life to the silver screen. Sacrilege or not, he won't be turning too askew in his grave. Half a rotation possibly, but it could have been far worse. The depiction of the digital pioneer is, for the most part, serviceable and interesting.
Jobs is played by Ashton "Dude, Where's My Car?" Kutcher, which beforehand felt like a somewhat laughable choice. Something has transpired since his stoner days though. He has grown, even inhabits the role quite well, despite a strange, remarkably forced adoption of Jobs' peculiar walking style. Kutcher is moreover a striking look-a-like.
The worm in the apple is not the acting, but the shallowness in the portrayal. The film reflects many facets of its titular figure - the passion, the egomania, the dictatorial tendencies - but rather gives the impression of a list being checked off than an inspired study of a complex visionary soul. The college years are diddled away. The family subjects barely paid a thought. At the same time it wants to be moving, but achieves a mere so-so effect with its violin-playing over-sentimentality.
The upside, which makes it worthwhile, is the entertainment value in the journey. From circuit board-tinkering in the parents' garage to board meetings in fancy offices. Personally, I've never owned an Apple product. Neither iPhone or iMac. But it doesn't really matter here. Steve Jobs, the man and creative trailblazer, doesn't evoke any less fascination.
Just a shame I can't put any dots over the i's in "innovation icon".
Ralph suffers from an identity crisis. For 30 years he has been the villain of the arcade game known as Wreck-It Ralph. But he infers that it's not him, not his true self. Understandable, because who wants to be pigeonholed into a folder? When Fix-It Felix, the game's protagonist, bids to a 30th anniversary party, Ralph is not invited. He's ostracized, the elephant in the room, even though it's his own name that reads in the game title.
Dispirited, sitting on the pile of bricks that constitutes his home, an idea springs to his mind of how he can gain the veneration he so desperately desires. By "game-jumping" to Hero's Duty, a shoot-em-up game in the same arcade, he hopes to a win a shiny medal that is bound to be met with his colleagues' admiration. Something, however, goes disastrously wrong, letting loose a digital plague which threatens to obliterate all the games of the arcade. Unless measures are taken, it's "Game Over" for them all.
That Rich Moore is holding the joystick here doesn't surprise me at all. The director, who has previously worked on early seasons of The Simpsons and Futurama (back when they were still funny, that is) has conjured up a story that is as explosively fun as the effect of mixing Diet Coke and Mentos. The art direction, the savvy humor - it achieves impressive high scores on all levels.
Granted that I've always had a penchant for game-related adventures, but even if you haven't grown up with the likes of Street Fighter and Pac Man, it's a very touching parable about friendship and staying true to yourself. Neither too dark nor too saccharine, even if the little squirt known as Vanellope von Schweetz is about as cute and sassy as an animated girl can get.
Retro and contemporary all at once, it's a nostalgic and reference-brimming love letter to both the 8-bit icons of the past and their modern equivalents. That it also scores some major points with its stunning visuals, cements Wreck-It Ralph as not only a creation above the median, but also as the best to have happened to the animation genre since Toy Story 3.
Or as Q*bert so articulately put it: "@!#?@!".
Mike's Favorite Movies
Mel Gibson's monumental masterpiece, of which he is both the leading star and the director, is a sweeping and majestic ode to one of history's most beloved heroes, William Wallace. Each and every scene a pure cinematic delight, this is a motion picture for the ages, that just gets better and more dazzling with time. Breathtaking scenery, sensational, Oscar-winning action scenes and one of the most beautifully orchestrated music scores ever produced, merits this grand and stunning epic a very special place in my movie-loving heart. Say what you will about Mel Gibson's sanity and the historical accuracy of the film. For at the end of the day, he knows how to make quality that counts.
Cinematic perfection! An unforgettable and masterfully directed epic, from the brilliant mind who brought us such timeless classics as "Alien" and "Blade Runner". It's not often I use the word masterpiece for a film, but this spectacular piece of historical action deserves nothing less. The story, of a Roman general named Maximus, who goes from a soldier to a slave to a gladiator champion in the majestic Colosseum, is one of the most moving, impressive and triumphant tales ever told. Roused by the amazing battles and stirred by its emotional power, I always come out of this film with a lingering sense of awe and wonder. I wish I could erase my memory, only to experience it for the first time again. For this is epic story-telling at its finest hour and one of my favourite movies of all-time. If you haven't seen it yet, you have certainly missed something!