Pixels (2015)

 Video games have become almost the norm in popular culture. Everywhere one looks, chances are there is a video game being promoted. But the classic games of the past like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong will always be in gamer’s hearts as the one they grew up with. Unfortunately, Hollywood has a reputation of turning popular video games into bad movies; movies about video games, on the other hand, have had a good reputation. The only downside to all of this is that now we have an Adam Sandler film that goes into the games of yesteryear. And it sucks. The movie “Pixels” is a strong definition of how to make a bad movie. Ridiculed with lame jokes, and mostly nostalgia, this movie just fails at everything it tried to accomplish. “Pixels” is a bad video game movie with a lot bugs attached to the project.

The plot is interesting, but we’ll focus on that later on. Aliens have come to Earth to take it over, and they use classic video game characters from 1982. Now, a ragtag team of misfits must defeat the aliens before something horrible happens.

“Pixels” is just a bad movie. How bad is it, you may ask? Well, for the starters, the plot does sound interesting, for short; which is ironic since this movie is based off of a short with a similar premise. But trying to expand a short film into a 104 minute movie makes the experience boring, and padded with filler. The video game references are a nice touch, but the whole movie is full of stupid moments, you just wish for the aliens to conquer the world.

The direction by Chris Columbus isn’t terrible, but it just begs for a more talented director at the helm. Speaking of which, the whole production just feels bland, and something that we’ve seen a million times before. The sets are generic, the costumes make the actors look like they’re wearing something for a convention rather than a big budget movie, and the overall experience just feels wasted on the audience.

However, all that is excused as the absolute worst item in the movie is both the acting and the casting. The actors and actresses all play dumb characters, and each one is almost as stupid as the next one. For you see, Adam Sandler plays the the generic hero, and Michelle Monaghan plays the generic love interest. On top of all of this, we have Kevin James playing the president of the United States; poor casting on this reviewer’s part. Then, we have Peter Dinklage playing a hot shot, who’s so over-the-top, he puts all the other actors to shame. And then we have Josh Gad playing Ludlow; he’s the worst character in the entire film.

Ludlow is this conspiracy nut, but it is taken way too far with the direction he’s given. His dialogue, just like the rest of the movie, is horrible to begin with, but the fact that he’s considered a main character, makes him even more annoying. Overall, this character should have either gotten better direction, or, better yet, improved dialogue.

Now, with that being said, is there anything good about the movie. Well, the visual effects on the video game characters look good, and that’s about it, really.

In conclusion, “Pixels” is just a lame attempt to bring back gamers from the past with the chance of bringing in some action for the kids. Just save your quarters and see something else.

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