Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ralph Breaks the Internet Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
The sequel to the wildly popular Disney movie Wreck-It-Ralph is now available to own. John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman are back as Ralph and Venelope. They are joined by the voices of Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Alfred Molina, and Alan Tudyk (in a new role). Six years after the antics from the first film, Ralph and Venelope take an adventure to the internet via a wi-fi router and discover a whole new world.

Film (4 out of 5 stars)
Wreck-It-Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Venelope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) are best friends.  Every night after work (when their video games are shut down) they get root beer and hang out until morning.  Ralph is content with his life.  Venelope is bored. Her game, Sugar Rush, has been fully explored.  She knows every turn and it is no longer challenging. When a customer breaks the steering wheel on the game, the owner of Litwak’s Family Fun Center and Arcade decided to unplug the game. Although Ebay has a replacement wheel, it costs more than the game makes in a year.  Unplugging the game means that all the characters in Sugar Rush are homeless.

Thanks to Mr. Witwak’s new router being plugged in, Ralph now has access to Wi-Fi.  Ralph and Venelope sneak into the router and make their way to the internet. They plan to visit e-bay and save Sugar Rush. Ralph and Venelope get a little crazy bidding on the wheel after they learn about money.  They owe $27,001 and must pay within 24 hours. They find a job, which will pay their debt. They must steal a car from the game Slaughter Race belonging to the character Shank (Gal Gadot). The auto theft is only briefly successful, and Shank points them to BuzzzTube. With viral videos and enough likes, Ralph hopes to pay for the steering wheel. While Ralph is trying to get Venelope home, she is discovering that Slaughter Race might be the home for her.

Ralph Breaks the Internet sees the return of Jack McBrayer as Felix, Ralph’s in game nemesis. Felix is married to tough girl Calhoun, the main character in the game Hero’s Duty. New characters include replicating virus Double Dan (Alfred Molina), search engine KnowsMore (Alan Tudyk) and algorithm Yesss (Taraji P. Henson).  The film is full of cameos and easter eggs.

Wreck-It-Ralph is one of my favorite recent Disney movies. I never understood why my son didn’t get more excited about it. I’m pretty sure the 10-year-old went to see Ralph Breaks the Internet just to humor me. Venelope and Ralph are very sweet, and I like their stories.  Ralph Breaks the Internet has a lot of internet detail that the adults will appreciate. The design team did a very good job bringing that world to life. This film was just as enjoyable as Ralph’s first adventure and it's clever and well-acted/voiced. In typical Disney fashion, Venelope even gets a big song. The film even has a pretty cool soundtrack with music from Imagine Dragons and Julia Michaels.  
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
Ralph Breaks the Internet’s digitally created content looks very good, but not great Blu-ray. The colors are bright and vibrant, and the images are sharp with excellent detail. Although colorful, the saturation is a bit less than expected. In the darkest part of the old abandoned internet, the detail and action still come across well. I honestly expected perfection from Disney. 4 out of 5 stars isn’t bad but it was a small let down based on my hopes for this film.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
The Blu-ray features a DTS-HD Master audio 7.1 soundtrack. The volume overall was a bit low and I watched the film well above the normal levels for my tv. There is a lot going on in the internet and that offers a lot of peripheral sounds to take note of. The soundtrack and other supporting music are well balanced. Sound effects from the racing sequence and other action moments ring true but without true directionality. Dialogue is consistent.
Extras (3 out of 5 stars)
Ralph Breaks the Internet features the following bonus features on Blu-ray:
  • Surfing for Easter Eggs (3:37) – A little help discovering some of the hidden secrets and special references.
  • The Music of Ralph Breaks the Internet (10:19) – A look at the score, Venelope’s quest song, “A Place Called Slaughter Race”, The sound of the internet, Julia Michael’s pop version of Venelope’s song and the Imagine Dragons song “Zero”.
  • BuzzzTube Cats (1:47) – A series of cat videos created by Disney for research and to fill the internet in the movie.
  • How We Broke the Internet (32:57) – Available individually or with play all function:
    • Introduction – Filmmakers discuss the new chapter for Ralph’s story, research and the opportunities the new world of the internet made available.
    • 'Netizens, Netusers – A look at the avatars representing the internet users and the characters that work at websites.
    • Knowsmore – The search engine and its inspirations.  Includes footage of Alan Tudyk voicing the character and props for the actor.
    • eBay – The site well visited by filmmakers and the award-winning auctioneer they brought in to make things feel authentic.
    • Older Net – The dilapidated old internet home to Double Dan the virus.
    • Slaughter Race – Characters, movement and the research that led to accurate stunt racing.  The evolution of Shank is detailed here.
    • BuzzzTube – The layered look of the video site, evolution of the visualization of likes and the character Yesss are explored in this featurette.
    • Oh my Disney – The site where many cameos are present.
    • Ralphzilla – Ralph as a villain, both protagonist and antagonist in this film.  Filmmakers discuss the fire ant inspiration and challenges to bring the larger than life character together.
  • Deleted Scenes – Into the Internet, Opposited, Domestic Hell, Bubble of One and Recruiting Grandma.
  • Music Videos
    • “Zero” performed by Imagine Dragons
    • “In this Place” performed by Julia Michaels
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun and sweet continuation of the friendship between Ralph and Venelope. This film is not superior to the first film, but it is a nice chapter to their story. People who haven’t seen the first movie can certainly figure out what’s going on, but I recommend getting to know the characters in Wreck-it-Ralph first to really appreciate this movie. The returning and new voice actors all inhabit their characters fully and brought their own personalities to the roles. The Blu-ray is technically sound, although not perfect. The list of extras is a bit shorter than I expected but does consist of interesting details.  Recommended.

Order your copy today!

No comments:

Post a Comment