Monday, 5 October 2015

Pixels Review (Updated)


Release Date: 10th September 2015 - Australia 

Production Companies 
Columbia Pictures (presents)
Happy Madison
1492 Pictures
China Film Co. (in association
L Star Capital (in association with)
Film Croppers Entertainment (in
association with)

Sony Pictures Australia 

Genre: Action/Comedy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 106 minutes 

Budget: $129,000,000

Box Office Gross: $244,874,809

Plot Summary 
As kids in the 80s, Sam 
Brenner, Will Cooper, 
Ludlow Lamonsoff and 
Eddie "The Fire Blaster" 
Plant saved the world 
thousands of times - at 25 
cents a game in the video 

Now they're going to have 
to do it for real. In Pixels, 
when intergalactic aliens 
discover video feeds of 
classic arcade games and 
misinterpret them as a 
declaration of war, they 
attack the Earth, using the 
video games as the models 
for their assaults -- and now 
-U.S. President Cooper must 
call on his old school arcade 
friends to save the world 
from being destroyed by 
PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, 
Galaga, Centipede and 
Space Invaders. Joining 
them is Lt. Col. Violet Van 
Patten, a specialist supplying 
the arcaders with unique 
weapons to fight the aliens.

Adam Sandler - Sam Brenner
Kevin James - Will Cooper
Michelle Monaghan - Violet Van Patten
Josh Gad - Ludlow Lamonsoff
Peter Dinklage - Eddie Plant
Brian Cox - Admiral Porter
Matt Lintz - Matty
Denis Akiyama - Toru Iwatani 
Sean Bean - Corporal Hill
Affion Crockett - Sgt. Dylan Cohen
Ashley Benson - Lady Lisa
Jane Krakowski - First Lady Jane Cooper
Dan Aykroyd - 1982 Championship M.C.
Thomas McCarthy - Michael the Robot
Serena Williams - Herself (Cameo)
Martha Stewart - Herself (Cameo)
Anthony Ippolito - 13-Year Old 
Jared Riley - 13-Year Old 
Andrew Bambridge - 13-Year 
Old Eddie
Jacob Shinder - 8-Year Old 
Daryl Hall - Himself 
John Oates - Himself
Matt Frewer - Max Headroom (Voice)
Fiona Shaw - Prime Minister (Uncredited)

Producer/Director - Chris Columbus
Based on Short Film "Pixels"/
Executive Producer - Patrick Jean
Screen Story/Screenplay/
Executive Producer - Tim Herihly
Screenplay - Timothy Dowling
Executive Producers - Johnny Alves, 
Barry Bernardi, Martis Bouchard, 
Benjamin Darris, Jack Giarraputo, 
Seth Gordon, Yuka Kato, Steve Koren, 
Heather Parry and Ben Waisbren
Producers - Adam Sandler, Mark Radcliffe, 
Allen Covert and Michael Barnathan
Co-Producer/Music Supervisor - Kevin Grady
Production Designer - Peter Wenham
Director of Photography - Amir Mokri 
Editors - Hughes Winborne and 
Peck Prior
Visual Effects Supervisor - Matthew Butler
Music - Henry Jackman

I wasn't exactly sure of this video game-oriented action comedy of PIXELS when I heard about the negative reception shortly before its release. I was astounded to discover that it was based on an animated short and the film's storyline is about video games attacking the planet which is a plot that is borrowed from the episode of FUTURAMA. Lastly but not least, the notable writer and director Chris Columbus is at helms with this overlooked motion picture. There are no films that can easily contrast with PIXELS, excluding WRECK-IT RALPH (click here) which was animated in three years. Not exactly the game changer that the arcade game enthusiasts had in store, PIXELS is a misunderstood movie mainly criticised by those who disliked its main actor Adam Sandler after his latest movies bombed callously to audiences everywhere. I probably would wonder why Chris of all fillmmakers was determined to direct the middle aged comedian in a feature with an actor he had not ever worked with before.

I think a strong market point for a movie of this calibre is to create a sense of nostalgia for video game fans to recreate the old video game characters that gamers once treasured. Columbus did an incredible job in bringing the visual expertise on PIXELS to recreate the 8-bit video game characters and elements of PAC-MAN and DONKEY KONG in pixelation. Many of the jokes and references aimed at adults were a hit and miss and I don't intend to criticise the scene of the Smurf being vaporised by one of the main characters, mostly because I'm not a huge fan of the Smurfs. I enjoyed seeing Peter Dinklage as being in a supporting role as opposed to the main lead roles that were heavily handpicked for Sandler, Josh Gad and Kevin James. 

I then lastly liked the song placement of "We Will Rock You" from Queen. One last issue about the other leading actors is that James is probably unsuited for the role as the President and Gad's character is poorly written but unfunny.

Not every critic should judge PIXELS as a flop unworthy of a replay mode as it is fair to say that this film does have themes appealing to those who have played these kinds of game classics at home or at the video arcades. Thanks for reading my review, sorry to say, this is game over. 

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

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