Written by guest contributor Cameron Gallagher
Adam Sandler makes absolutely stupid movies... but his last two films have actually impressed me. Most people are hating on Pixels, but I was excited for two reasons. After seeing his last film, The Cobbler, which I loved, and seeing the Nostalgic 80’s video games, I knew it would be downright stupid, but worth a watch. This was EXACTLY that!
Pixels is about a nerdy kid who loses a 1980’s Arcade Gaming Tournament, but after Aliens invade using 80’s arcade games as a front, his talent comes in handy. So, this movie is not a good movie when it comes to cinema except for two things. The visual effects were OUTSTANDING, and the story was well crafted to actually seem very realistic. Of course this film began with the idea of making 80’s video games come to life, but Adam Sandler came up with the perfect way. I love how a Time Capsule was taken as a threat and became this movie. It is so off but felt so real (the only real way this would make sense). So, yes it’s dumb, but worked.
Let’s talk about the visual effects for a minute. This film had so much over the top effects, but this also goes back to acting, NEVER ONCE did I look at this and say “Wow, that looks so CGI” or “Wow that is definitely on a green screen” Now of course it is CGI and green screening in some places, but even the pixels of the creatures seemed to have so much texture and light within the shots. I would believe they actually made a bunch of these as references for the actors to work with, but I know that is most likely not true. I was very impressed, even at the climax, where they are completely in a CGI world, they seemed to look way more real then another fully CGI film I know *cough* Phantom Menace *cough* But all joking aside, it was very impressive.
The problem with this film is in its simplicity and cliché comedy scenes. It basically is a recycled comedy with a new face. That being said, it was still very fun, well made, and just plain stupid. I’ll give Pixels 3/5 mainly for its visuals and fun atmosphere.
Pixels Director: Chris Columbus Writers: Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling Studio: Columbia Pictures Running Time: 106 Minutes Release Date: 7/24/15