Pixels: Movie Review

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Pixels is a new movie starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James. I have to be honest, my hopes weren’t high. I was expecting Click, but with video games. This expectation was met, and I was disappointed. I wanted it to be better. I really did. Sitting in that theatre I thought the opening was really good. I wanted the plot of the movie to go much differently and I found myself rewriting the story in my head. Here’s how I wanted the movie to go based on the opening scene:

Boy kicks ass at arcade cabinet games.

Boy is defeated in video game competition.

Boy loses interest in games and as he grows older works for a computer related company (probably sales clerk)

A childhood friend who was with him at the competition routinely hangs out with him in a bar. Said bar holds a competition with more modern games.

He declines entry.

Friend enters him anyway and he does the tournament, loves games again and yada yada yada we’ve seen this story many times.

That’s just how the movie would have gone after opening few scenes if the writers weren’t taking basically every kind of drug. That said, part of the reason I decided to pay the admission to the theatre was the fact that I might get to see references to games I haven’t heard of. That didn’t happen at all. They played a total of 4 games. Centipede, Pac man, Galaga, and Donkey Kong. There was a few random ones like Duck Hunt, Qubert, and Paperboy, but no really obscure titles. This just made me more excited for the book Ready Player One to hopefully, eventually get put on the silver screen.

There was also a specific scene that bothered me as a gamer. I know, it was a joke, but dammit! Adam Sandler told a ten year old kid that he was good at playing classic games. So this kid says, “Oh, you mean like Halo?” As a retro gamer, I wanted to bunch him in his little on screen face. Like, that’s not a “Classic” game! That’s well into the 3d era of gaming. So you’re telling me this kid with his PS4 and Xbone has never picked up an Iphone and seen that glorious app that is the Atari collection? Or the Galaga app? Or Final Fantasy? He’s just kind of accepted that everything is what it is and Halo was the furtherest back he could reach? No one showed him Pong? *ahem* Sorry, that was a problematic scene for me.

But there are some rare funny or cute moments that try to pick up the rest of the film’s slack. I have to say that my favorite part of the movie was seeing the Atari style recap of the film in the credits. Then I thought that maybe that should have just been the whole film.

Regardless, I tried to like it. I wanted to like it. The visuals were pretty good, I guess, but I’m just grasping at straws for something positive to say about it. If you’re up to seeing a movie this weekend, I’d say go see Paper Towns, it’s based off the book by John Green and it’s super adorable. That said, I’d give Pixels a 4/10.

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Photo Credit: Pixels Movie

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One thought on “Pixels: Movie Review

  1. I know that experience of starting to rewrite a story (or melody) in your head while it’s running so well.

    I played Galaga. I had it for the NES. ^^ (And recently acquired a newfangled supercharged version of Pac Man.)

    Slightly curious about the movie, but I recently saw this: https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-group-hits-indie-creators-for-using-the-word-pixels-150808/
    and that context can really spoil the fun.

    The Halo joke … well, I can accept the cynical humor, but it might not work that well with a title that is merely the first part of a whole series that extends into the present.
    (BTW Many people know Metal Gear Solid but have no idea that the first game in the series is called “Metal Gear”. No solid.)

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