We can all agree that the Internet deserves a good breaking, which makes the animated movie, Ralph Breaks the Internet (Rating: B-plus) our lead-off movie of the week. In this sequel to 2012's Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and his pal, Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) leave the arcade and find themselves on the Internet, a digital cityscape of brands, viral videos and eBay auctions.
Jim Slotek says the film combines impressively sharp satire along with a kid-friendly relentless pace. Bonus round: Bonnie Laufer talks with Ralph's everyman star, John C. Reilly, about working with Sarah Silverman and his bevy of upcoming films.
Also timed for the U.S. Thanksgiving is the eighth Rocky movie, Creed II (Rating: C), in which Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) takes on the gigantic son of the Russian fighter who killed his father. It’s a sequel which Liam Lacey says is strictly punch by numbers.
The new Robin Hood (Rating: C), which aims to be this generation's version of the tale, features pretty stars (Taron Egerton, Eve Hewson and Jamie Foxx) but, says Kim Hughes, the quips and arrows fly with insufficient zing.
Those looking for more soul-nourishing fare should check out Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's The Wild Pear Tree (Rating: A Minus) a portrait of the artist as a young man, offering philosophical rewards for the patient.
Julian Schnabel brings an artist's eye and Willem Dafoe digs deep as Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity's Gate (Rating: B), which Jim Slotek says is a beautiful, if languid, contemplation of the creative process.
Karen Gordon was entranced by Border, Sweden’s offering to the Oscar race. Written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the author of Let the Right One In, it “walks the line between art-film and creature-feature.”
Also, Liam Lacey applauds the ideas and performances in The Drawer Boy (B-plus), an adaptation of Michael Healey's celebrated play about a young actor mining the memories of a couple of middle-aged bachelor farmers.
Finally, we have a new weekly podcast! Go to our site to listen to moderator Gene Valaitis as he chats with Jim Slotek, Bonnie Laufer and Liam Lacey about this week's releases, the awards season, Original-Cin's origin story and the time Bonnie called Chevy Chase a bad word.
Have a great weekend!