A Quick Thought On A Couple Of Old Movies

I have always liked movies.  Really the only complaint I have about having a kid is that after she was born, I went about two years without seeing any movies.  Even now, I rarely see movies, but, thanks to TV and Netflix, I’m starting to catch up on all the movies I’ve missed.  And I’m absolutely delighted that she is able to watch movies with me now.  She’s a big fan of Disney movies, which is fine with me because they’re great.

In 2012, a couple of Disney movies came out that I wanted to see, but didn’t.  One was Disney Pixar and the other was Disney Disney.  The Pixar one was Brave, and the regular Disney one was Wreck It Ralph.  I wanted to see them for different reasons.  Brave looked like a very good movie.  Wreck It Ralph looked like a nostalgia trip for a child of the 80s.  But, I was disappointed to miss both of them.

An odd thing happened after the Oscars.  Joe Posnanski wrote this:

. . .Wreck-It Ralph is better. I’m not saying I think it’s better the way I think Peanut M&Ms are better than regular M&Ms. I’m saying it’s better the way Lou Gehrig’s .340 lifetime batting average is better than Tony Gwynn’s lifetime .338 batting average. It’s just BETTER. I mean no offense to the geniuses at Pixar, who make amazing movies, I’m just saying that Wreck-It Ralph was funnier, smarter, more touching and it had a better story. I’m saying our girls liked it a lot more than Brave. I’m saying we adults liked it a lot more than Brave. I’m saying it’s a better movie on every single level. Brave was fine. Wreck-It Ralph was better.

I probably would have completely forgotten about it, but over the past couple of years, he has kept harping on the fact that Wreck It Ralph is a better movie than Brave.  I like Joe Posnanski quite a bit.  I first started reading him when he started writing for Sports Illustrated.  I certainly don’t agree with him about everything, but I respect his opinions about sports and I enjoy his writing.  I also like his idea of a movie plus-minus system.  You can read his post about it here, but in a nutshell it is a way of factoring expectations into movie ratings.  If a movie is better than expected, it is a positive score and if it is worse than expected, it is a negative score and a zero would be a meets expectations.

I have finally seen both Brave and Wreck It Ralph.  Based on the movie plus minus system, Wreck It Ralph should have been the clear winner.  All I was expecting from it was a bit of pixelated nostalgia.  That means if it had the nostalgia and was even decent, I would have been thrilled.  And for Brave, I was expecting a good movie.  I know Pixar isn’t perfect, Cars was terrible, but most of their movies are great.  If Brave was anything less than great I was going to be disappointed.

I turns out that Brave was even better than I expected, but Wreck It Ralph was hugely disappointing.  Not only was it a bad movie, with a bunch of miscast voices, but the nostalgia completely missed.  It’s better moments were boring and the rest of it was annoying.  I felt like they had seen Finding Nemo and liked the scene with the vegetarian sharks so much that they decided to make a whole movie about it, only instead of sharks they would use fake video game bad guys that were kinda sorta like 80s video game bad guys.  I’m just glad I didn’t pay to see it.

The other disappointing things is that I no longer know what to think of Joe Posnanski.  If he can be so wrong about Wreck It Ralph and Brave while being so confident that he is right, I don’t know if I can trust his opinions on other things anymore.  Maybe RBIs are the best way to judge a hitter.  Maybe pitcher wins are the best tool for evaluating a pitcher.  On base percentage is probably overrated.  And Cleveland probably deserves its title drought.  It’s sad to say, but if those things are wrong in a bizarro world where Wreck It Ralph is a better movie than Brave, then they must be true in the real world, right?

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