Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pixels (2015)

Fair warning, I go into heavy spoilers in this one. If you don't want to read that, just know I do not recommend the movie. It was awful.

Pixels is a movie about arcade games coming to life and attacking our planet. The idea is a alien race got ahold of some tapes we shot into space that were part of a arcade game tournament many years ago. They mistook them as threats and us challenging them to real life versions of these games in order to take over their planet. The aliens spent years devising the technology to make this a reality and have now accepted our challenge of war. First to lose 3 games loses their planet. This is further built upon by the fact that the aliens have now all taken the form of old video game characters, and are presented as 3d representations of the pixel forms. So basically all blocky looking. This is important as it is part of my biggest complaint against the movie, but that comes later.

Adam Sandler is a genius at old games, not so much the new ones. His mind sees the patterns the enemies are taking and he can react to them accordingly. This allows him to reach the finals of the tournament that was being taped before losing to Peter Dinklage, aka the firebolt. This is of course when they are children, then the movie shoots ahead to current day. Sandler is installing tech in peoples houses, tvs and sound systems. His best friend played by Kevin James is now the President of the United States, and Dinklage is in jail. Josh Gad plays the final member of the group, and is still creepy and weird and living in his moms basement. His character is a play on the negative stereotype associated with nerds, and goes all in on every negative they could come up with. I hated it.

Gad refuses to have cable television as the government uses it to spy on you. He luckily notices a transmission from the aliens he picks up on his antenna and reports it to Sandler who gives it to the POTUS. The aliens give the coordinates to he next attack, and a time. The movie is mainly about us trying to fight back using newly developed tech.

Acting is pretty much what you expect in this movie. Sandler and James tend to overact, and guess what, they do that once again. Dinklage was quite bad as well, which given what I normally associate with him was shocking. The writing was just awful, and any time the movie could have benefited from a serious scene they instead go overly silly and try to force some awful joke onto you. I know it was supposed to be a comedy, but that doesn't mean the entire movie has to take that tone. They also tend to insult or take shots at their core demographic a lot, and pretty much anybody else that they can. The Prime Minister is a ugly women who can't string together a intelligent sentence, and they call her out on it multiple times. Gad's whole character is just insulting and the way they tie up his story is even worse. He is in love with a video game character, another stereotype, to the point he has a shrine to her. She is of course brought to life by the aliens, but for some weird reason she is not pixels but a real person. He decides to let her kill him, as he can die happy if it is at her hands, and she now suddenly loves him and turns against her entire race. She is now killing her own people for him. In the end when we win the war, their planet is forfeit and their people are killed except for the 3 we get to keep as trophies. She was not one of them, but Q*bert is. Don't know Q*bert? He was the star of a great game back in the 80's. Gad's character shames him because he has lost the love of his life, but Q*bert being a trophie was allowed to live. Q is so distraught over this he movies his gender and appearance into the female and Gad is suddenly fine again. He marries and fathers children with her, who are all little Q*berts.....I wish I was making that up. We kill a entire species over a miss-understanding. We then shame one of their only survivors into giving up their identity to sexually gratify one of our own. That was the ending to the movie.

Other huge issues with the movie, how they handled the source material and integrated it into the story. We learn that Dinklage only beat Sandler in the Donkey Kong finals by using cheat codes, however there are no codes for the arcade version of that game. Dinklage then Later uses pac man cheat codes in the real world to speed up his ghost allowing him to win that battle. Other then the absurd idea that he can somehow magically enter a cheat code into our world, that game also does not have a cheat code for that. This is a major plot point as the aliens rule it as a forfeit for us and launch a all out attack. They then challenge Sandler to a last match, winner takes all of Donkey Kong. Sandler then cheats and wins the game by attacking DK directly with the hammer instead of winning the game the correct way. The aliens decide this time cheating is okay and kill themselves. There was no consistency, and it was almost as if the writers had no idea how the games they were writing about actually worked.

If you like Sandler's recent comedies, you will probably like this. If you don't, pass on it.

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