Thursday, July 23, 2015

'Pixels' Should be More Fun

Brenner (Adam Sandler) and Ludlow (Josh Gad) show what it takes to beat "Centipede."
Brenner (Adam Sandler) and Ludlow (Josh Gad) show what it takes to beat "Centipede." (Sony)

Movie Review

Do you remember when you were a kid and you went to the arcade to waste away all your quarters on your favorite video games like PAC-Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong and Centipede? Remember how you had to wait in line behind the better, more experienced players before you got your turn? Sure, it's fun to watch them play their game … for a bit. After awhile, it gets a little old. That is pretty much the same feeling you get while watching Adam Sandler's Pixels.

It's not that Pixels doesn't have its funny moments, it does. And the special effects are pretty cool too. When the aliens start hitting things on earth and they disintegrate into flashing cubes, it is fun to watch and is full of mystery. But overall, the film feels unfinished and it appears that the makers are unsure who their target audience is supposed to be. Like the example up above about the local arcade, younger generations cannot relate to it. If you are of a certain age, you experienced when video games went from playing “Pong” to “Donkey Kong.” This film seems to appeal to that generation, while also extending an olive branch to younger viewers, but the result is uneven at best. Being that this film was directed by Chris Columbus (Night of the Museum, Harry Potter), I expected more.

Violet (Michelle Monaghan), Brenner  (Adam Sandler), Ludlow (Josh Gad) and Eddie (Peter Dinklage)
The Dream Team: Violet (Michelle Monaghan), Brenner
 (Adam Sandler), Ludlow (Josh Gad) and Eddie (Peter Dinklage). 
Pixels begins in the early '80's where Brenner and Cooper, (young Adam Sandler and Kevin James look-alikes) are kids attending the grand opening of a new video arcade. To Brenner's surprise, he finds that he has a knack for following the patterns and conquering the games. Cooper encourages him to sign up for a video game competition. It is there that they meet Ludlow the “Wonder Kid” (a lonely brainiac who finds conspiracies everywhere and falls in love with a computer game character) and his ultimate opponent, Eddie, who challenges him to a game of Donkey Kong that doesn't end well.

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