Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Goodluck Trying to Convince Me to See Pixels

This is the year where Adam Sandler will get picked on by just about everyone, and maybe some of his fans.

With the release of Pixels, the reviews have not been kind. But I don't think many of us were expecting a different outcome. The plot line was unimaginative and throwing in Peter Dinklage was not going to save the movie. Critics have panned it. The movie attending audience is raging against it. Some reviewers are trying to combat the hate by giving the movie a higher score because they feel bad for all the flack it's taking. Which, by the way, not a great idea if you want to be taken as a serious reviewer.

A number of people are pointing to Adam Sandler as the culprit for the movie being so bad. He not only produced the film, but helped with writing the script and casting choices. I realize that the hate train for Adam Sandler is running high right now after the Sony hack, where leaked e-mails included those talking about Sandler and how people in Hollywood don't like working with him. But he sells seats in a theater, so they put up with it. And it's true. For those of you who don't like Sandler, enough people still do to bring in box office numbers that make it worth having him stick around. But there's a change going on here. Fans of the man-child are starting to grow up, and they're not finding the actor/comedian as entertaining as he use to be. 

Comedy is growing in an ever-changing medium. There are some staples that will always work, such as fart jokes. But you look at movies like Trainwreck, and how far they are pushing the genre, audiences are waking up and seeing that they want more in their films. And Sandler's brand of humor may no longer cut it.

I personally have not seen the film. And I'm not a fan of Sandler. The only "comedy" movie of his I can sit through is Happy Gilmore, where he as adult enough to take on responsibilities and didn't act like a boy through 99% of the film. The other is Punch Drunk Love, which is not comedy. Dark comedy if you want to make an argument. An awesome script and cinematographer helped make that a great movie.

And even though I have spent over half of my life studying films, I know I'm not immune to reviews and critic responses. It's how I'm able to process content efficiently at times. Because I don't have the ability to watch every movie or tv show. Or read every book. Or see every play. I rely on reviewers whose ideology mirrors my own, and take a cue from them. It doesn't mean that I won't see Pixels, but I'm less inclined to do so when my reviewers of choice pan the movie. Or when Vanity Fair publishes a piece on how Pixels really is a "boys only" movie, and failed to capture that audience as well.

I've read a few reviews defending the work, saying it's not bad and could have been better if the concept was given a chance to develop. Initially when I saw the promotional images, it reminded me of the episode of Futurama where the Professor invents a machine that allowed the team to ask it questions on how their life would different "if." One of those scenarios was from Fry and "what if" life were like a video game? Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong all took center stage...just like in Pixels. The idea works for an animated show. Not so much a real-world movie. 

Do I care about Adam Sandler? Not really. No. And maybe he doesn't need to change his career path. Maybe this is the one misstep, but his next man-boy movie will do well? I don't know. But when one of my favorite reviewers uses the term "ball pit" as a comparison to the plot line of Pixels, I know it's not worth spending the money on. But if you enjoyed it, great! Glad that you did. It fits your description of a fun movie, then by all means enjoy the crap out of it. I'll sit over here with the Director's Cut of Blade Runner where my kind belongs.


  1. I'm pretty sure Pixels was based off the yesteryears of successful video game types. Judging from the trailer it still looks worth it to see, well at least for me.

    1. And that's totally cool! I hope you enjoy it! They are def. playing off of retro gamer love that is currently trending. I just know for me from the reviews I've read, I'm not planning to watch it. Adam Sandler aside.


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