Monday, August 3, 2015

Movie Monday: Pixels (Spoilers)

Ayen: Steps out of his house to get the mail and stops in a large shadow on the ground. He looks up to see none other than...

Pac-Man: Stares at Ayen
Ayen: Stares at Pac-Man
Pac-Man: Continues to stare at Ayen
Ayen: Gets out a cereal box and feeds it to Pac-Man Here you go, buddy.
Pac-Man: Devours the cereal because he's Pac-Man
Ayen: Pets Pac-Man That's a good boy. Walks over to get the mail and comes back barely dodging a barrel that drops onto the ground HEY!

Donkey Kong: Jumps around on the roof of Ayen's house throwing barrels
Ayen: What did I tell you about throwing barrels!?
Donkey Kong: Beats his chest
Ayen: You can't do that! And for the love of God let that woman down!
Donkey Kong: Pushes Lady off the roof causing her to land flat on her face
Pac-Man: Looks at Ayen Waka! Waka!
Ayen: I heard it as soon as I said it. Enters his house

 Good morning, Ayen!

Ayen: Good morning, Q*bert. Why do you sound like a Minion?
Q*bert: Voice acting is hard!
Ayen: You're telling me. Puts away the mail and sits down at his computer and starts browsing through comments
Internet User #58: Pixels is the worst movie ever!
Internet User #82: Game Over for Adam Sander's career!
Internet User #112: This is worse than an Uwe Boll film!
Internet User #223: I knew this movie was going to be bad, but saw it anyway, and IT'S REALLY BAD GUYS!

Ayen: Wow. Leans back in his chair and looks down at Q*bert How can something about lovable video game characters from the nineteen eighties be so terrible?
Q*bert: The same way all the other movies based off loveable video game characters were terrible?
Ayen: Touche. Well, I got nothing better to do. Let's go to the movies!

The two heads back outside and approaches Ayen's car.

Ayen: Hey, guys, we're going to see Pixels. Do you want to come?
Pixels: Screams at the top of his lungs and runs away
Donkey Kong: Jumps off the roof and into the backyard
Mario: Runs right into a goomba on purpose and dies
Ayen: I guess not.
The two enter the car. Ayen adjusts his rear view mirror and that's when he sees...

Ayen: AHHHHH! Holds hand onto his chest and turns in his seat to look at Alma Alma, you aren't even a video game character based off the eighties. It makes no sense to have you here.
Child Alma: Glares darkly at Ayen
Ayen: But you can come if you want. Starts up the car
Q*bert: Uh, do you know how to drive?
Ayen: Of course I do. I played Rush.
Q*bert: Eyes widen in fear

Couple hours later at the movie theater.
Ayen: Looks on in silence Huh.
Q*bert: Huh?
Ayen: Well, it's not a great movie, but I'm not seeing it as the abomination of 2015 everyone is advertising it to be. It has its problems, but there are some highlights, too.
Q*bert: Like what?

I'm not going to sit here and try to convince you that Pixels is a great movie, or anything of the sort, but worst movie of 2015? Sorry, I'm not seeing it. If you don't like Adam Sandler or Kevin James, fine. Chances are you aren't going to like this movie, but that doesn't make it deserving of the amount of hate its garnered. This is Pixels.

  Time to show I'm a candidate for Fast and Furious 8!

Adam Sandler plays Sam Brenner, a video game expert/nerd down on his luck ever since losing a video game tournament twenty years ago. I'm serious. He contributes being stuck in a dead end job he doesn't like because he loss a video game tournament. It's not like he came in last place, he was the runner up, and the winner of the tournament IS IN PRISON! Your life isn't over because you loss at a video game!

I like that the movie plays up Sam's skills to quickly memorize and adapt to the various patterns found in video games explaining why he's so good. That's the way you have to do it, even in current video games, though the movie doesn't seem to agree on that last point. What I don't like is that the movie acts like he can't do anything with those skills. The guy could go on and make independent video games based off the arcade classics and sell it on Steam for crying out loud!

Apart from that, he's average. There are some genuine funny moments with him on screen and he isn't trying to be funny every other take. 

  I don't have a funny caption, I think the picture speaks for itself.

Next up on our list is President Will Cooper, played by Kevin James. The only character who has a success story right at the start. One of the nerds got to grow up and become President. How he managed to secure enough votes I'll never know, but if George W. Bush can be elected twice, I'll believe anything. He also got to marry a super hot wife who drops out of the film as soon as quickly as she's introduced!

I'm not going to lie, if you're familiar with King of Queens then you know what his performance is. Will Cooper is basically Doug Heffernan in a suit. I'm surprised they didn't get Leah Remini to play his wife. I guess that would be TOO obvious. That being said, I enjoyed his performance. I get why people wouldn't find him funny, but he doesn't ruin the movie for me, and if we're going to go on a rampage about actors who just play the same character over and over again, we'll be here all day.

Ayen: So far, so average. Sticks hand in popcorn
Adult Alma: Also sticks hand in popcorn
Ayen: Feels the hand and freaks out removing his own from the popcorn bag

  Aww yis! You're about to get the dink!

Peter Dinklage, the only part where people was willing to give this movie some benefit of doubt, plays the hotshot video game champion, Eddie Plant, who's so big for his britches he comes up with his own nickname. Unfortunately, the character doesn't get that much screen time and he's introduced halfway through the movie.

Eddie is found out to be a cheat after the Pac-Man stage, and just when you think maybe we'll get some character development, Eddie Plant has a change of heart off screen. You don't get to see him realize that his selfish, cheating ways just put the whole planet in danger, or anything like that. It's waved off with some dialog and we go back to shooting old video game characters.

  This is the sweetest thing ever!

Here we have our resident conspiracy theorist stereotype, Ludlow Lamonsoff, who still lives a t home with his mother having yelling contests with her. Really? We're ripping off The Big Bang Theory, now? But don't worry, he also has another endearing quality of obsessing over a female video game character well into his adult life. And that's it, basically. Come on, guys, we don't go THAT crazy over women who don't even exist.

Ayen: Turns to see Samus Aran sitting next to him and grins Hi.

His best contribution to the movie is when Pac-Man is chasing him around and the others just leave him for dead on the street. Should have left him for dead in the casting studio. Oh, and I guess the character is supposed to be bi or something? There are some gay moments from him that are just play for laughs, and they're more on the creeper side than anything. Keep an eye on the sex offenders list, you may find him in there some day.

  I need scissors! 61!

Violet, while being a Colonel, mother, and assisting in the creation of the weapons they use to battle the aliens, is more or less just there to be Adam Sandler's love interest. The entire love subplot is forced and doesn't need to be there. You're a movie about aliens taking the form of eighties video game characters! Focus on that!

Their romance is as cliché as you can possibly get. Boy meet girl, boy and girl don't get along, boy and girl fight, boy and girl start to bond, and they become a couple. The end. That's it. If I wanted to see a movie about a guy getting the lady, I'll go see a romantic comedy.

In her defense, at least she ACTUALLY has a personality and isn't meant as just eye-candy. I don't hate her. Lady Lisa is even worse when it comes to females who are just there as the love interest. She has no personality, no dialog, and is literally only there to get with Gad's character. Why? What's the point? Where's the humor? And for the love of God why is she the only video game character who isn't pixelated? All the other characters are, including ones based off humans, so why does she look like an actual human being? I'll tell you why, because the movie needed eye-candy. That's the only reason she's there.

Child Alma: Is on her feet dancing around the theater
Ayen: Can you please pick an age and stick with it!

Okay, we got the characters out of the way. Now, let's get to the reason anyone wanted to see this movie in the first place.

  YEAH! A giant fucking Pac-Man eating shit! This is badass!

When we finally, FINALLY get to the actual video game portion of the movie? That when it gets good. They have Centipede fighting the army, and the army doing terribly because they never played the game before, and the nerds have to save the day. The Centipede then breaks off into the street attacking people where he comes across an old lady in the middle of a workout, and actually stops to enjoy the video. That was a genuine funny moment.

Pac-Man. What can I even say about Pac-Man? That was easily the best part of the whole movie. You have them running around in cars emulating the ghosts from the game, Pac-Man gets a power pellet to become strong enough to eat them giving us our first major “Oh shit” moment, the creator Tōru Iwatani cameos and tries to talk to him, it's just a lot of fun to watch, and I think they might have made a mistake not having that be the grand finale of the movie. Because it was easily the most enjoyable.

At the end everything goes to hell in a hand basket with characters from all sorts of games attacking Earth. Mario is running around, the Tetris blocks are collapsing buildings, the ducks from Duck Hunt are flying around (wait a minute they weren't an arcade game), these little ninjas are chasing people, and then finally Donkey Kong himself appears throwing barrels and trying to set Adam Sandler's on fire! The movie might have done better if he actually succeeded in killing Adam Sander's character, but it's still a blast!

Had the movie focused more on these things, than the lame romance plot, and other plot threads that they just up and drop anyway, I think it would have been a whole lot better, because when you get right down to it? The plot is an excuse to shoot at video game characters. Though I will admit a lot of the special effects here are ripped right from the original short.

Bender: Ahem!
Ayen: Turns around in his seat to see Bender What?
Bender: Don't you think you're forgetting something?
Ayen: Sigh I haven't seen the Futurama episode people claim this movie ripped off, and I don't care either way. In the infamous words of Eric Carmen, “Everything's been done, Butters.”
Bender: H-haven't seen the episode!? Stands up You'll skip on that, but you'll sit here and watch this poison? Why I'd outta–!
Ayen: Alma.
Child Alma: Melts Bender with her mind
Bender: Is melting Eat my melting liquids! Dies
Q*bert: It's really a good episode, Ayen, you should watch it.
Ayen: I think it's about time we wrapped this up.

  Kong Kong ain't got nothing on me!

At the end of the day, this movie has a lot of problems and I can see why people didn't like it, but I don't subscribe to the idea that it's the worst movie to ever come out. Next to things like Jurassic World, Terminator, and Ant-Man, yeah I kind of see it, however that's Least Favorite movie material at best.

If you're looking for a movie that recreates old video game characters and has fun with it, I think you may enjoy this movie. Already, I'm seeing that a lot of kids and their parents are getting some fun out of it, so it's not a complete waste of cinema.

This film is very much suffering from what I'm going to call “Reverse Psychology Syndrome.” People are going so far out of their way to talk about how terrible this movie is, that it's going to make people, like me, want to see the movie to see if it's really as bad as everyone claims and come out of it going, “It's really not.” Going back to the ever familiar, “Any press is good press.”

Despite that, I don't see it making back what it owes. Look at its competition, Ant-Man, Mission Impossible, Fantastic Four, it doesn't stand a chance. Best it can hope for now is to get a cult following. Who knows? In a few years we may forget about it entirely. If nothing else, the movie made me want to play Donkey Kong. Have a good week.

Adam: Enters with a mop Thank you for choosing Phoenix Theater, have a nice day.
Ayen: You too.
The group leaves the theater and then stops.
Ayen: Was that–? Nah!

Try it

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