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Monday, July 27, 2015

Movie Review- Pixels

Josh Gad demonstrates how everyone should flee from the film, Pixels


Introduction

I think it's safe to say that most video game inspired films suck. Let's be honest with ourselves. They are poorly written, extremely lacking, and generally end up being so far removed from the original source material, that they're a mere shadow of their former selves. Take the first film ever made that was based on a video game, Super Mario Bros.; It had a simple premise to work off of but noooooooo. The studios had to tinker and tamper with it until it ended up being such a joke and financial failure, that most of the actors involved still leave the film off of their resumes to this day. I don't blame them. Did they really think that giving Dennis Hopper (Speed) dookie braids and a forked tongue would honestly convince the audience that he was King Koopa? I have to admit though, I love the Mortal Kombat movie (the first one only. Mortal Kombat: Anhilation is probably the worst damn sequel ever made). I know it's bad but, there's still a sense of fun with it and more things are done right than wrong. Hollywood tried to bring in bigger actors to sell more tickets, to little avail. Jean-Claude Van Damme (Bloodsport) and Raul Julia (The Addam's Family) were brought on to legitimize the god awful Street Fighter film. Even bringing Angelina Jolie's big boobs and Oscar winning talent to Tomb Raider, couldn't keep it from being completely forgettable. With bottom of the barrel crud like Double Dragon, House of the Dead, and Alone in the Dark, to mediocre time fillers like The Resident Evil Series, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and Max Payne, no wonder people don't flock to the theaters in droves to see video game movies. The fans of those games don't like their heroes and storylines being tampered with. When you spend countless hours immersed in these characters and their worlds, you sometimes build an emotional connection to them, like a good movie that you watch over and over again. So Hollywood, keep it simple and don't mess with the original. And don't even get me started on Doom, that piece of shit. They couldn't even get the simple premise of demons attacking humans on Mars correct. How in the hell can you have a movie with The Rock in it and it still.......... Shut up Joe. Just get on with the review.
 
 

Pixels

 
Now the film Pixels, isn't based off of a video game. It's based off of a bunch of videogames, a much better 2010 short film from a French filmmaker (Patrick Jean), and the ever growing banality of Happy Madison Productions (founded by Adam Sandler). They're (H.M.P.) kind of like the No Limit Records of the film industry; Good at first, then pumping out substandard product over and over again and as quickly as possible until even the leftover talent has become a worthless carcass. What really bugs me about this movie, is that most of the people involved with it grew up in the 70's & 80's (during the emergence of videogames). They were there to see all of these things in their infancy and yet, they act like infants themselves with the whole thing. Instead of taking a little extra time and creating a better film that honors the era of which it exploits, the filmmakers decide to treat the video games and their 80's pop culture connections, like a throwaway punch line. This film doesn't respect itself, its actors, nor does it respect good comedy. How a cheap sitcom uses a laugh track for even the weakest jokes, Pixels replaces its laugh track with unintentional crickets. Every joke falls flat, so flat it's painful. At least this year's San Andreas was hilariously bad. I laughed at that film. With this one, I just shook my head in parental disappointment, like as if Mr. Sandler and company pooped on the carpet or got a D+ on a report card. It is just sad. What adds to the disappointment, is that the studio decided to cater this film to children by dumbing down the story, over-dubbing the uses of the word 'shit' with 'stuff', and giving a stupid voice to the classic character of Q*bert for cute comedic relief. Oh sure, the visuals are absolutely beautiful but, nothing is done with them that gives this film any soul. Pixels is like a microcosm for everything wrong in the film industry; The bigger the money, the more devoid of substance.
 
Even with a decent cast of actors like Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Kevin James (Grown Ups), Michelle Monaghan (Source Code), Josh Gad (Frozen), Brian Cox (Super Troopers), and Sean Bean (Goldeneye), they are so blandly written that none of them can be taken seriously. I'll give Bean a pass, though. He was only in a couple of scenes and he was humorous. But even Dinklage I can't defend. He was like the best of the worst. You can tell that he was really into his arrogant douche of a character but, it was still a waste. Everyone that's involved with these contrived roles and situations, are in a film that hasn't seen this much BS since Independence Day. Monaghan's romantic subplot with Sandler is as believable as it is important to the story. It's as forced as everything else. Speaking of Adam Sandler. Besides the paycheck, why is he still acting? He looks and acts like he'd rather be getting a prostate exam from the Incredible Hulk than be in any more movies. The light in his eyes died out long ago like a lion at the zoo celebrating its fourteenth year in captivity by just lying there and taking poo facials from the cocky Spider Monkeys across the way. I don't think that even he believes his own BS anymore. His lack of enthusiasm throughout the film only makes things worse than they already are. His buddy who's conveniently the President of the United States played by Kevin James, is also supposed to be taken seriously while he mimics the likes of George W. Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. No, just no.
 
 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Pixels

 
The Good- I used my free passes to get into this so, I didn't give it any of my money. Sean Bean survived, for once. It makes Super Mario Bros. The Movie seem a little less crappy.
 
The Bad- I wasted all of my insults up there ^^^^^^^^
 
The Ugly- Did they really throw in a Full House style morality lesson about cheating while aliens are attacking the planet?!
 
 

Final Thoughts on Pixels

 
Do yourself, your family, friends, coworkers, and even your enemies, a favor. Keep them from seeing Pixels at all costs! Unless you're an aspiring filmmaker. Then this film is a great how not to. Pixels is boring, insulting, and just overall sad. I would rather sit through a three hour seminar co-hosted by Woody Allen and Kim Kardashian about good parenting, than see this again. I would rather rochambeau a kangaroo for One Direction tickets, than see this again. I would rather staple my......... never mind. You get the point. My god, there's a film worse than Transformers: Age of Extinction. Worst film of the year, so far. See Wreck-It Ralph instead if you want to experience any kind of video game characters with more than just a shred of backbone.
Rating- 1 out of 10
 
Running Time- 105 Minutes
Science Fiction/Comedy/Video Games/Action
 

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