My 2015 Movies: Pixels (#23)


You all must think I’m crazy, and you’re right. I am. Does that change my mind? No. I heeded the warnings from everyone and their mothers who told me this was a piece of garbage. However, I like Adam Sandler, and I like retro video games. Of course I’m going to see it regardless at least to see what exactly went wrong. And you know what? I actually liked it.

Adam Sandler is a pro arcade gamer who now works as a home-theater installer. One day, the world finds itself attacked by an intergalactic force who mistakes a time capsule sent to space in the 80’s as a declaration of war. Their methods are to use the contents within the capsule (retro video games) against us. In response, President Kevin James assembles a team of pro gamers to respond to these 8-bit threats. The “game” is simple. Each party is given three lives symbolized by successful attacks. After Earth’s third loss, the aliens will destroy the planet.

Look, I know I’m all alone in my opinion here. I’m not asking you to agree with me, but at least hear me out. There are many people who probably avoided this film due to the buzz, but there are some redeemable qualities to be had here. And I’m not saying this was amazing. It’s sub par at best, and I can acknowledge that.

I’ll start with the comedy which has a bunch of ups and downs. I did laugh during Pixels. The jokes in this movie are no different than that of any other recent Sandler movie. In addition, none of the Happy Madison elites play characters they haven’t played 10 too many times before. It’s simply no better or worse than the other Happy Madison films. This should tell you whether you’ll like this movie or hate it. Sandler fans will have fun with this while others won’t. The only additions comedically come from Josh Gad, who I found enjoyable, and Peter Dinklage, the best and funniest performance of this movie.

While the concept is awesome, the story is decent. It’s straightforward with events you’ll see coming a mile away. The film isn’t boring by any means, though that’s contingent on whether you’ve laughed in the past five minutes. The writing on the other hand has a few bugs. It’s factually incorrect at times. For example, there are no cheat codes for Donkey Kong. And I found their depiction of a modern gamer slightly off. I think even a 10 year old kid knows the difference between classic gaming and modern gaming; at least able to acknowledge that Call of Duty isn’t retro. It’s not awful or demeaning, just a bit inaccurate.

Those are the subjective parts of this movie, but what isn’t are the effects. They’re fantastic. The way they incorporate sprites into the world was just right, and I like how most of the aliens’ weapons turn people or objects into pixelated blocks. It’s very smart. And all of the game characters like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man look great and are well placed for fun and intense action scenes.

I think this movie was better than people give it credit for. It’s far from being a great movie, but a fun one if this is your kind of film.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

View #22 here!

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