Movie Review! Pixels

Hello all! Today I’ll be doing a review of the new Adam Sandler movie “Pixels”.
I wasn’t too keen on seeing this film. I’m not a huge gamer so I wasn’t sure I’d understand the jokes & also…it’s an Adam Sandler film. Let’s be real. My expectations weren’t too high. I don’t hate Adam Sandler, but my favorite films of his are, “Little Nicky” & “Click” – older material. I haven’t been interested in his more recent films such as “Grown Ups” or “Jack & Jill”. Although too be fair, I don’t think many people liked “Jack & Jill”, so I don’t think I’m alone. Moving on!

“Pixels” centers around a time capsule sent into space in 1982 that is eventually intercepted by aliens. A video of the 1982 Video Game Championships is included in the time capsule featuring games like Donkey Kong, Centipede, Pac-Man, Galaga, etc. The aliens misinterpret the video games as Earth threatening to start a war. They retaliate with video game “soldiers” modeled after our 1980’s video game stars. The main cast, Sandler, James, Gad, and Dinklage, were all kids that competed in the 1982 Championships with Sandler and Dinklage coming in at second and first place, respectively. James’ character is now the U.S. President & he calls in his old buddies to help defeat the aliens as they are the best at playing the old games. Hijinks and shenanigans ensue – but do the nerds save the day?!

Keep reading to see my likes, dislikes, final thoughts, & rating of this film! Be warned – SPOILERS!!!
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Likes:
– I really enjoyed watching this cast work together. Yeah, you have to deal with Adam Sandler & Kevin James working together as they do for most of Sandler’s movies, but can you blame them? If I was a really rich/famous actor I’d want to make movies with my best buds all day too! It’s not the whole crew, no Rob Schneider or Chris Rock – which could be good or bad depending on your view. I was super excited to see Josh Gad & Peter Dinklage. They were a breath of fresh air in a typical Sandler film & played their parts excellently. Thankfully, overall the acting was pretty good. Even the celebrity cameos, like Serena Williams & Martha Stewart were well done.
– Obviously the film centers around ’80’s video games, so big icons like Donkey Kong & Pac-man make appearances. My favorite, video game “cameo” was by Q*Bert – SO CUTE!! To be totally honest, I don’t know who he is, I told you I’m not a gamer. Still, one of my favorite things about the film.

Dislikes:
– There were quite a few anti female “jokes”/references that I didn’t appreciate. Women are having a hard enough time making their presence known in the gaming & military world, & this movie jumped right on the “women don’t belong” bandwagon. Yes, Monaghan’s character is a high ranking officer but her main purpose is a love interest for Sandler. There were maybe only 4 other females in the film. 2 don’t speak at all & they all were love interests or assistants to male characters. In the trailers I saw a scene where Monaghan has efficiently killed some aliens, to the astonishment of Sandler and his crew, & she says something along the lines of, “What? You boys think you were the only ones that spent time in the arcade?”. However, in the film, they changed that scene to her killing an alien shaped like Smurf then saying, “Please don’t tell anyone I just killed a Smurf!” I was SO annoyed! The power of language is so amazing. Even while doing the same action – killing – one response makes her a total bad ass with non stereotypical feminine interests, while the other reduces her to a stereotype – weak & emotional, filled with regret over acting aggressively.
– There were some odd continuity issues/plot holes. When we first meet Monaghan’s character she’s drinking out of a baby’s sippy cup & I swear I saw baby food in her kitchen, yet there’s no baby. In another scene, Peter Dinklage’s character, Eddie, says he’s been in prison for a certain number of years, yet in doing the math it doesn’t come out to be 2015 or later. I assumed the film took place in at least 2016 as Obama has already served based on other dialogue. SPOILER!!! Another plot line I took issue with was in regards to the cheat codes, but this might have been confusing for me because I’m not a gamer. When Eddie reveals he used a cheat code written on his sunglasses to defeat Pac-Man, he says they’re the same sunglasses he wore to beat Sandler’s character at Donkey Kong in 1982. How does the same cheat code work for two different games? I might be showing my ignorance, so if someone could explain that in the comments I would be really grateful!
– Visually painful to watch. Super bright & fast moving with lots of explosions. I get headaches very easily, especially from 3D films. I didn’t see this film in 3D but I found I had to look away during the big action scenes as there was so much going on.

Final Thoughts & Rating:
– Overall, I suppose this was just a cute silly movie. Don’t dig too deep – which is probably the point of most films, especially Adam Sandler films. I’m not sure who the audience of this film was supposed to be. I don’t think children will find a lot of entertainment in the ’80’s references & I don’t think adults that can appreciate the references will find the rest of the content entertaining.
My Rating: C –

Have you seen “Pixels”? What did you think? I’d really to talk to someone that enjoyed this film & hear your reasoning. Please leave me a comment at the bottom of this post & let’s hash it out! If you liked this review, please feel free to share it (or any of my posts) on your social media! Thanks for reading!

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