The cutthroat world of competitive video gaming has its pantheon of unrivaled champions that can turn even the lowliest of mortals into revered demigods of geek culture. Regrettably, such attention and worship is fleeting, as the erstwhile Fix-It Felix Jr. champ, Garlan Hulse, discovered when his high score and celebrity were shattered as quickly as they came. Now a socially inept adult clinging to the memory of his six weeks of stardom, Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore travels to California to learn more about this shadow of a man and his obsession with the arcade game that inspired the animated movie in Garlan Hulse: Where Potential Lives.
Though the mockumentary is a spot on parody of King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters, the film manages to be absolutely brimming with raw, awkward human emotion, making it impossible for us not to feel some shred of empathy (or embarrassment) over Garlan's nosedive into obscurity. Plus, it demonstrates the fact that one can never be certain as to when the cruel finger of fate will flick you off the roof of your proverbial Niceland apartment and into the mud of abject failure—wearing nothing but a mesh shirt and socks with sandals. Does Garlan succeed in pulling himself out of the muck with his dignity intact? We’re not going to spoil it for you, but he does manage to accomplish at least one of the two... if not barely.
Did you buy Wreck-It Ralph on DVD last week?