Cary Wrecks Winter Movies!

At the end of summer, I usually see enough movies that season that I can write a blog about them.  And sometimes during the winter, I see enough movies to do that, too!  And this is one of those times!  So here are my impressions of new movies I’ve seen in the past few months.  I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but in case a small one seeps out here and there, you’ve been warned!  OK let’s begin!

The Grinch

This movie came out before Thanksgiving, but I didn’t see it until after that because who wants to see Christmas movies before Thanksgiving?  Anyway, this was a computer animated version of the Grinch story, and it was done by Illumination.  I know a lot of people are like, “Ew, Illumination.”  But I don’t really think they are that bad.  Sure they’re not Pixar quality, but not everything has to be.  As long as it’s entertaining, I’m happy.  And The Grinch movie certainly was entertaining to me.  It was a heck of a lot better than the live action Jim Carrey Grinch movie anyway!  I remember when the live action one came out, Konami made some 3-D platformer versions of the Grinch into a game.  I reviewed it for The Dallas Morning News, and I wrote the review entirely in rhyme!  I got a lot of feedback from that review.  Anyway, after the new animated Grinch movie, we stopped to eat at IHOP.  At the time, they were doing a Grinch movie promotion and had special items on their menu.  We had green Grinch pancakes and I had a Who Roast Beast omelet.  It was basically an omelet with Arby’s style roast beef and jalapenos in it.  It was also huge.  I was able to only eat half of it and took the rest home in a to go box.  But it was all fun.

Wreck-it Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet

I really liked the first Wreck-It Ralph movie a lot.  So much so that Wreck-It Ralph himself became one of my top five favorite Disney characters.  Right on up there with Chip N Dale, Scrooge McDuck, and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.  So I knew I wanted to see the sequel, even though I just suspected it to be Disney’s version of The Emoji Movie.  I’m glad to say it was a lot better than The Emoji Movie, but I still liked the first one more.  The first movie focused more on classic arcade games, whereas the second movie focused more on the Internet in general.  I know more people know more about the Internet, but I liked it better when it was just about classic arcade games.  And all the references to games in the sequel were just recycled stuff from the first movie.  The movie deals with topics like friends moving away or having their own lives so you don’t get to see them as much, and that really hit home for me so I actually came out of that movie a little depressed.

Ralph Breaks VR

OK technically this wasn’t a movie.  But I did do it in a movie theater.  Where the arcade used to be, one of the Cinemark theaters now has a VR attraction.  Most VR games you just stand there, but this one was more advanced and you could walk around and pick up stuff and whatnot.  I’m sure we were just walking around the same two cubicles, as you do a lot of double backing, but it was still very neat.  Once they can get the costs down on this, I’d say this will be the future of arcades.  Well, I don’t think it’ll replace arcades entirely, just be an attraction alongside of them.

Anyway, in this VR game, Ralph and Vanellope want to take you into the Internet to play this neat new online game.  But since we are just regular people, we had to get disguises so we looked more like “Netlanders.”  Would that be identity theft?  Anyway, you pick these cards of cartoony characters, and that’s what you’d look like in the game to the other player.  You got to keep the card, too, and I also recommend playing this game with another player, as it is a lot more fun.  Then you get suited up with a vest that rumbles and your VR helmet.

Once in the VR game, you enter a tram that Ralph and Vanellope are piloting to the Internet.  But there is a technical difficulty and you have to play a coding game to get past.  It’s basically just whack a mole on the wall, but if you hit the wrong thing, it’ll show your hand getting shocked and you’ll feel a rumble on your vest.  Then you enter the online game, which looks like a cross between Galaga and Battlezone.  You can swat at bugs with your hand, and push a button on the wall to fire a turret at other bugs.  It was pretty neat and made me wonder what other classic arcade games would be great with this kind of VR treatment.

But then, something goes wrong and the game gets all buggy.  Ralph helps you escape, but now the bugs are infecting cute little kitties and bunnies.  You know how in the trailer to the sequel, there is the game where the girl feeds pancakes to the bunny and the milkshakes to the kitty?  Well you kind of get to do that here.  You get to pick up a gun (yes it’s real) and when you pump the reload thing on it, it’ll change from shooting pancakes to milkshakes, and if you look at the gun, it shows you what you are shooting on the barrel.  You then go through some shooting gallery sections, first in the kitchen and some aerial shots in the internet world.  The neat thing is that in the kitchen, a fire breaks out and they blow hot air on you!

And after that, it’s all over.  The game shows you your score, but you can also look at it at any time by looking down at your wrist, and you’ll see a watch with your score popping out on it.  Neat!  They also have a version of this VR game with Star Wars characters and settings, and I’m sure it’s pretty much the same kind of thing.  I’d like to do that, too, but the whole thing is pretty expensive at 30 bucks a pop, so I doubt I’ll do it again anytime soon.  But I’m still glad I got to experience it at least once.  After the game, we got our pictures taken holding a plate of pancakes and a milkshake.  The game is pretty impressive, I even tried to see if I could flip my brother off and have him see it in the game.  It showed that I held up a finger, but not my middle finger!  Still pretty impressive, though.

Spider Man: Enter the Spider-Verse

I’m not a big fan of Spider-Man or any of the movies.  But with that said, this is the best Spider-Man movie out there.  I took my brother to see it because I figured he’d like it and I ended up liking it, too, even if it was a little weird.  It’s a great movie to take the family to see, as it has a lot of good messages in it.  I only had one problem with it, and it’s the same problem I had with the Grinch movie.  Both movies were animated, and both had 2-D and 3-D versions you could see.  I saw the 2-D versions, because I’ve been blind in my left eye since birth and can’t see the 3-D effects.  But I don’t think they made the transition from 3-D to 2-D in these movies very well, because a lot of the backgrounds and action scenes were a little blurry.  Even though I can’t see 3-D effects, I know how they work, and I know those were the 3-D parts.  And I’m not the only one who noticed that, too, so it’s not just me.  I hope that doesn’t become a trend in future animated movies.  I don’t like seeing blurry movies.


Now THIS is how you do a Transformers movie!  I didn’t think I’d like this movie as much as I did, but I think this was one of my favorite movies I saw in this batch.  The movie is set in the 80’s, so all the music is from that time, so the soundtrack is good.  I’m so glad the 80’s is cool again.  I also loved the beginning part which was done in all CG and the robots were fighting on Cybertron.  I wouldn’t mind a whole CG movie about that.  It reminded me of the Transformers: Fall of Cybertron game that was on the Xbox 360.  I loved that game.  Usually I don’t play third person shooters but I played all the way through on that one, so you know I must’ve liked it.  And since the movie was based on a toy line, I’m glad they didn’t take things too seriously.  Heck, they even dedicated a scene in the movie to Bumblebee and friends trying to TP a house!  Even the teenage romance thing they shoved in there didn’t make me want to puke too much.  As a kid, I liked the Transformers toy line and cartoon for a little while, so you can kind of call this film: “Cary’s Childhood: The Movie.”


This movie came out a little before Christmas but I didn’t see it until afterward.  It’s just a fun little super hero movie you can take the family to see over the holiday, that seems to be what they designed it to be.  Just turn your intelligence off to fully enjoy it.  The movie had a lot of robot fish, and it made me think of the old Taito shooter Darius.  I kept expecting words to fly across the screen saying “WARNING!  A Huge Battleship ‘Queen Fossil’ is Approaching Fast!”

The LEGO Movie 2

So don’t get me wrong, I fully enjoyed this sequel.  But it suffers the same fate as the Wreck-It Ralph sequel.  They just reuse the same jokes and concepts, so it’s not as impactful as the first one.  It still has some good messages and is a great movie to take the whole family to see.  Plus you know I’d have to see it anyway if I review the video game of it.  And I usually get to review most of the LEGO games out there.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Just got back from watching this one actually. I have to say that I think the How to Train Your Dragon movies are the best things DreamWorks has done so far, as they can be almost PIXAR quality sometimes.  This one was no exception, as it looked great.  Only problem I had with it was that I predicted the story even before the movie started.  I don’t know if I’m getting better at predicting movie plots or if movie plots are just getting stagnant.  It’s just that the last two movies had something unexpected happen in them, but this one not so much.  It was still a fun movie, though.  Now I have to review a game based off of it, so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks.

Spring Movies?

And those are all the movies I saw this winter.  I did catch a couple of movies on Netflix.  One was Venom, which was kind of weird.  Another was Christopher Robin, which was cute and had some good messages in it.  There are a lot of movies coming out this Spring that I want to see, but I may wait for some of them to come to Netflix since there are so many.  Captain Marvel looks neat because female superheroes are oftentimes more interesting.  I wonder if Marvel will ever make a She-Hulk movie?  I’ll probably hold off on the Shazam movie until Netflix as it looks a little too goofy, even by my standards.  I’m a big fan of Laika’s work, but I’m a little on the fence on Missing Link right now.  I’ll probably have to go see Avengers: Endgame so I can see how they wrap up that cliffhanger from last time.  And of course I’m going to go see Detective Pikachu.  It looks bad, but entertaining at the same time.  I’m a big fan of Aardman’s clay animation, so I do want to check out Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon.  When I looked at a list of Spring movies, there was a Minecraft movie in the list.  I didn’t know about that.  And finally, I was such a big Godzilla fan as a kid that I’d like to check out the new Godzilla: King of Monsters movie, too.  Which movies did you see this winter and which ones do you want so see?  Let me know in the comments section!  Later!  –Cary

One Response to “Cary Wrecks Winter Movies!”

  1. I had the same issue with the new Spider-Man. I really enjoyed the movie but the weird “3D effect” in a non-3D movie was a big turnoff. I don’t think it was a mistake, I think it was an art direction they chose, but I don’t agree with it. I think the idea was that blurring backgrounds and offsetting the colors a little bit (like when a newspaper’s color process is slightly misaligned) is supposed to evoke the way old comics looked, and focus attention on the characters, but it just reminded me how much I hate 3D movies instead.

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