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(Courtesy photo) Melanie Lynskey (right) and Christopher Abbott star in the offbeat romantic comedy "Hello I Must Be Going," directed by Todd Louiso.
Friday movie roundup: 'Wreck-It Ralph' rolls in
First Published Nov 02 2012 07:40 am • Last Updated Nov 02 2012 07:40 am

The first movie weekend of November is highlighted by a bad guy going good.

The big movie this weekend is Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph," a funny and sweet computer-animated comedy about a videogame villain (voiced by John C. Reilly) who — after 30 years of wrecking stuff in his "Donkey Kong"-like game — wants to be the hero for a change. The movie finds great humor bouncing around the different videogame worlds, from a violent first-person-shooter game to a candy-themed racing game where Ralph encounters the acerbic but good-hearted Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman). The voice work, particularly by Silverman, give this hilarious movie its heart. (Read The Cricket's interview with director Rich Moore.)

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"Flight" marks the first live-action movie that Robert Zemeckis has directed since "Cast Away" in 2000. Denzel Washington stars as an airline pilot who performs a miraculous move to save a plane from a horrific crash. But the investigation into the crash raises questions about his alcohol abuse. The movie becomes a straightforward drama about substance abuse, but Washington's strong performance makes it work.

One more studio movie wasn't screened for critics: "The Man With the Iron Fists," a kung-fu extravaganza that stars and is directed by RZA (founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan).

On the art-house side, there's a little post-Halloween horror in "The Bay," an effective found-footage thriller directed by Barry Levinson ("Rain Man," "Diner"). It depicts a biological epidemic striking a Chesapeake Bay town over a Fourth of July weekend, shown via smartphone images, surveillance cameras and other cool tricks.

"Hello I Must Be Going" is an offbeat romantic comedy, about a divorcee (Melanie Lynskey) moving back in with her parents — and starting up a relationship with a much younger man (Christopher Abbott). It's sharp and funny, and Lynskey is delightful.

The French thriller "The Big Picture" starts with a Paris lawyer (Romain Duris) learning his wife (Marina Fois) has been unfaithful — and spins out of control from there. The movie, based on a novel by American author Douglas Kennedy, is tension-filled and intriguing.

Lastly, several Megaplex theaters are screening "Christmas Oranges," a made-in-Utah melodrama based on the popular holiday story about a kindly orphan (Bailie Johnson) teaching a mean orphanage operator (Edward Herrmann) the meaning of Christmas. It's syrupy stuff, with the emotions laid on with a trowel.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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