Disney’s latest 3D flick may include some of your favourite video game characters like Bowser, Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog. However, none of this would have been possible without the guidance of animation director Rich Moore.
But even if you’ve never heard of Moore before, chances are you’re familiar with some of his work. Having directed episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama, he is actually an accomplished director with two Primetime Emmy Awards under his belt.
Speaking about his new film Wreck-it Ralph during a phone call, Moore let us in on what it was like to create a movie about video games.
Wreck-It Ralph focuses on the bad guy:
An underdog story, the film surrounds Wreck-It-Ralph, a video game villain with dreams of becoming a hero. Tired of being overshadowed by good guy Fix-It-Felix, Ralph goes on a quest that ultimately brings havoc to the whole arcade he lives in.
Believe or not, “hero” Fix-It-Felix was originally supposed to be the star of the film. But when Moore and screenwriter Phil Johnston weren’t really getting traction with the project, they scrapped the idea and decided to focus the movie on Wreck-It Ralph instead.
“In a feature, the main character has an arc, a journey. They learn something or something changes in that character,” Moore says. “It was tough to build a nice comedic story with a lot of heart around (Fix-it-Felix).”
The flick features appearances by 190 characters and the voice talents of some of Hollywood’s biggest names:
Featuring cameos by Sonic the Hedgehog’s Doctor Eggman, Street Fighter’s Chun-Li and even Paddles 1 and 2 from Pong, the film also includes original characters voiced by John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch and Alan Tudyk.
While working with everyone has been a treat for Moore, he was particularly pleased to have Reilly on board as the title character of Wreck-It Ralph.
Reilly, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work in Chicago, was so invested with his role that he even asked Moore to meet with the animators who created his character.
“(Reilly) was so hands on and so instrumental in fleshing out who Ralph is and what he’s like. Every character he plays feels like a real human being. You really care about his characters and you want them to achieve what it is that they want and desire.” Read more…
Directed by Jay and Mark Duplass who have received a lot of hype from their last film Cyrus with John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marissa Tomei – but this could likely seal their mainstream success. It continues Duplass’ theme of family dysfunction with Segel as a naive mopey slacker named Jeff living in his mother’s basement searching for the meaning of life. He reconnects with his brother Pat (Helms) who soon discovers that his wife is having an affair – meanwhile, their mother (Susan Sarandon) is depressed. Holy dramedy, Batman!
It looks to be in the same vain as Helms’ Cedar Rapids or Segel’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall rather than their other efforts – it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to great reviews and is due in theatres nationwide on March 16th.
Short snippets of the video have been circulating around on TV and online, and the short-film does not disappoint. Featuring a battle-royale of sorts between the 1986 Beasties (Danny McBridge, Seth Rogan and Elijah Wood) dueling the future Beasties (John C. Reilly, Jack Black and Will Ferrell) and their acid-tripping rampage. Along the way, run in’s with various famous faces: Stanley Tucci, Jason Schwartzman, Susan Sarandon, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Bateman, Amy Poehler, David Cross, Kirsten Dunst, Steve Buscemi, Rashida Jones, Rainn Wilson, Maya Rudolph and Chloe Sevigny. Oh yes, Orlando Bloom drops in for the shenanigans also.
Adam Yauch wrote and directed the footage of the trio’s short film and music video, in connection with his indie film company Oscilloscope Laboratories.
“Normally the song is king and the footage has to kind of bow down to it. With this I flipped it,” he said, explaining how he used sound effects and toyed with the track’s tempo to fit the narrative, such as it is.
The group’s ninth album, “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two,” is due May 3.
Don’t like the Beasties? Well, check out the casting call: Elijah Wood, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, John C. Reilly, Seth Rogen, Jack Black, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, David Cross, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jason Schwartzman, Adam Scott, Rainn Wilson, Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny, Alicia Silverstone, Martin Starr, Ted Danson, Rashida Jones, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA.
The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival last month and received a mix of reviews. In the video, we find the Beastie Boys (Elijah Wood, Seth Rogan, Danny McBride) in 1986 the day after the legendary “Fight for Your Right (To Party)” video took place. It is rumoured to be a long-running Saturday Night Live skit from there on out.
Judging by the preview, it appears to be some battle royale between past and present versions of the Beastie Boys. At the same time, it is between comedy of today versus yesterday. Some fascinating double-entendre, I do say.
Ch-ch-check it out!
Here’s the thing about Will Ferrell: I feel like I can’t say anything bad about him. As someone with a former “Saturday Night Live” obsession, I hold him in the highest regards. I still do impressions of his “Zoolander” and “Anchorman” characters.
But the fact is, he hasn’t made me laugh much lately. “Talledega Nights” was a brutal, laugh-free couple of hours for me; “Stranger Than Fiction” was cute enough, but not laugh-out-loud funny; and I didn’t even bother seeing “Blades of Glory” or “Semi-Pro.”
So when I say that “Step Brothers” is good, I really mean it.
It follows, of course, two middle-aged losers living at home and eating it up, having never really mentally grown past middle school. Their sad situation bonds their single parents, and the men quickly become siblings.
There is the mandatory phase of hatred and fighting, which is a great mix of childish behavior and actual violence. Mary Steenburgen delivers a great performance that’s actually pretty endearing as Ferrell’s supportive but frustrated mother. Eventually, after mutually terrible blows to the head, the pair realize their similarities and become best friends, becoming an unstoppable annoying force. Together, they drive their parents absolutely insane, ruining their happiness. The boys are then forced to get their act together to save their family.
The movie delivers tons of temper tantrums, beatings, underage bullies, and classic Ferrell and John C. Reilly lines. The dialogue is completely ridiculous but Ferrell and Reilly commit to it fully. That being said, some of the funniest moments are when they bring it down a little. The best part of the movie for me was when the two are verbally sparring at the dinner table and Reilly throws back the comment, “That’s so funny, the last time I heard that I fell off my dinosaur!” Instead of an over-the-top reaction, Ferrell makes a tiny wince of pain.
Another great thing about the movie is that they actually let a girl in on the comedy action. Adam McKay movies – and really, all of the big comedies coming out these days – are huge sausage fests that really use women as decorations. The women are always pretty to look at but always look like they’re trying very hard to “act”, instead of just going for it. But Katherine Hahn goes completely, 100 per cent balls out. She plays their sister-in-law who becomes sexually obsessed with Reilly’s character after he punches her husband in the face. Hahn is just as committed and nuts as the leads, and delivers truly some of the funniest moments of the film. Her sex scene with Reilly, where she basically lifts her leg up and steals his virginity, is hysterical.
While I did thoroughly enjoy the movie, there are inevitably some moments that fail. Making a young kid use a gay slur, for example, just isn’t really comedy to me. Heads up on extreme language as well; just in the beginning of the film they manage to use a long list of curse words in about 90 seconds.
Overall, the movie is definitely funny, which is all that matters. The soundtrack is good, the outfits are amazing; the pacing and storytelling are very smooth, if a little pointless. And Ferrell and Reilly manage to add in just enough charm to make you not want to punch them in the face the whole time for acting like 10-year-olds in desperate need of some Ritalin.
“Office” star Jenna Fischer got a little raunchy in her recent MySpace blog about her new film “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”
Wrote Fischer: “[Walk Hard] is very raunchy and sexy and the humor is hard core. Think 40-Year Old Virgin but with full-frontal male nudity too. That’s right ladies, we have penis. There is a ton of nudity in this movie actually… I don’t get naked in the film… But I do showcase the ladies quite a bit. I had to be sewn into most of my costumes to make sure they were as tight as possible. My wardrobe assistant’s main job was making sure my boobs didn’t fall out. It was hilarious. I would see her across the room starring at my chest all day.
“I should also say that [my co-star] John Reilly is a great kisser. He sure knows his way around a lady. His wife is a VERY VERY lucky woman. Wow! And, he has a really nice ass. That is his real ass in the movie. Not a double. You’ll see what I mean.
“So please go see my boobs, John C. Reilly’s ass and a man’s penis starting tomorrow night…Walk Hard!”
Fischer said that she fit right in on a set full of potty-mouthed actors. “[In real life] I may not run around in raunchy outfits… but I do have a dirty/dark sense of humor. I loved that I didn’t have to censor myself in any way on the set. We were pretty crazy. We basically just made COX jokes all day. I was in heaven.”
On a serious note, Fisher also wrote about how much she admires Reilly, who learned over 30 original songs for the film and has been nominated for a Golden Globe for the role. “I’m so proud of him and sort of in awe. I’ve never worked with anyone like him before. He is classically trained and he approached this like any other movie. I look up to him a lot.”