Pixel Movie Review

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Last night, I went with Vinil, Sanjeev, and Deepika to the preview of the new Adam Sandler film PIXELS.  Fast-paced, fun, and ridiculous, the action is on-going from start to finish. There is plenty of action, humor, life-sized arcade game characters, and a subtle yet endearing love story to unfold.

When the young Adam Sandler (Brenner) makes it to the arcade championships in1982 — pitted against (Eddie the Fire – Blaster) –, it is recorded for posterity, and a copy of it is included in a time capsule that NASA shoots into space. Aliens misinterpret the video feeds of the classic arcade games as a declaration of war, and they attack the Earth with life-sized video game characters, adhering the rules of each game, challenging Earth to play for the survival of their planet.

The screenplay, written by Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling, and based on a short story by Patrick Jean, was directed by award-winning Chris Columbus (Harry Potter, Home Alone, Goonies, The Help).

If you’re of the age to recall them, all the old favorites are presented, including, but not limited to Pac Man, Galaga, Centipede, Lady Lisa, Space Invaders, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Q-bert and many others. And in 3D!

Of course the U.S. and U.K. militaries are not properly equipped to engage with a life-sized Centipede attacking them from the sky above. So in a last ditch effort by the under-qualified President (Kevin James), he makes a risky call against the advice of all his advisers, including the warmonger Admiral Porter (Brian Cox): “Let the “arcader” nerds take over.”

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Brenner and the Wonder Boy defeat the aliens in Centipede, but they’re going to need help to win this best of three contest.

Eddie the Fire Blaster has to be given a release from prison to join the team. When the president agrees, the egomaniac Eddie has conditions: an island, no taxes, and a girl sandwich with Martha Stewart and Serena Williams. He settles for a date with Serena. I told you it was silly.

With Eddie on board the stage is then set for Brenner, Eddie and the Wonder Boy to take on the aliens. They encounter a 20 foot Pac Mac as it wreaks havoc on downtown NYC, gulping up anything in it’s path; Tetris is leveling buildings; things are looking grim.

But this is an Adam Sandler film, so things are going to workout. And, of course, ther has to be a love angle, which in PIXELS comes in the form of the beautiful and likable Michelle Monaghan as Lt. Colonel Violet Van Patten. The cast was spot on: Josh Gad as Ludow (the wonder boy) and Peter Dinklage (Eddie) often steal a lot of the scenes, with Adam Sandler being the kind, warm-hearted smart ass his fans have come to love.

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As with most of his films, the new Adam Sandler film is endearing, provided that you like Adam Sandler. He is one of those movie stars whose films people love or don’t. If you like him you’ll like this film; if you don’t, you likely won’t.

Even though it is a silly romp, the execution of the film was really good, with no break in it’s pace, and the very last scene will make you laugh out loud. So I give it 4 stars.

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