Pixels (2015)

logoDirector: Chris Columbus

Writer: Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling (Screenplay) Patrick Jean (Short Film)

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Matt Lintz, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Dan Aykroyd

Plot: When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Never Really Levels Up

Story: Pixels starts in 1982 with Brenner and Cooper as the first video game arcade opens in their town where Brenner shines before entering the world championships. At these Championships Brenner and Cooper meet Eddie for competition and Ludlow as a new friend, these games get filmed and sent into space. Even though Eddie wins the championship Brenner and Cooper remain long term friends.

Move forward to the current time Brenner (Sandler) works as an engineer, while Cooper (James) becomes President (yes it is true Kevin James is the president). Brenner meets fellow divorcee Violet (Monaghan) to start to potential romantic angle but more to the problem comes aliens invading using 80’s video games which leads to Cooper calling in Brenner to help with the situation.

Ludlow (Gad) finds the answers and the alien race wants to challenge Earth to the video game with the losing planet being owned by the winning planet. Brenner ad Ludlow need to train the soldiers to go into battle against the aliens, before they take over the assault with the former champion Eddie (Dinklage).

Pixels tries to play on the nostalgia levels on the gaming fans, and on that part of the story the film really works but then you add the Sandler factor which sucks all the fun out of the film. I want to give this a positive review because I do think the idea is a great idea but I just think they used the wrong humour throughout the film. You could see this film reaching the levels of 21 Jump Street with they had played the correct comedy level and used smart jokes but in the end just stick to Wreck it Ralph. (5/10)

Actor Review

Adam Sandler: Brenner is the former gaming prodigy who never used his skills in life. He now works as an engineer but when the alien video games invade his skills come to the forefront as he leads the attack against the video games. Adam give us his used lazy comedy that really doesn’t work for the film world created. (2/10)brenner

Kevin James: Cooper is the best friend on Brenner who is now the President of the USA, when the alien games invade he calls to his best friend and former gaming community to save the world. Kevin does work in the role and that fact it is him adds to the comedy. (6/10)coopr

Michelle Monaghan: Violet starts off as just a random customer for Brenner before we discovery that she works for the President and is the romantic interest for Brenner. Michelle is just used for eye candy never really being a major part of the film. (5/10)

Peter Dinklage: Eddie is the former champion who now is a criminal but he is the best so Cooper turns to him to help with the battle where his ego still hasn’t changed. Peter gives us a solid performance getting extra laughs but just not to the level he could reach. (6/10)eddie

Josh Gad: Ludlow is the former gamer who has turn into a conspiracy theorist who joins Brenner in the battle for the planet, he gets most of the funny lines because he will change mood instantly. Josh is the highlight of the film that easily gets all the laughs. (7/10)ludlow

Support Cast: Pixels has plenty of supporting cast members that all try to add extra comedy that works sometimes in the Sean Bean character but doesn’t in others.

Director Review: Chris ColumbusChris is a class director and I think he could easily have made this great but he doesn’t reach the levels he could here. (5/10)

Action: Pixels has good gaming action used throughout which I think gets created well. (7/10)

Comedy: Pixels has some funny moments but falls from grace when Sandler jokes take over. (3/10)

Sci-Fi: Pixels creates a good idea with aliens using video game characters to attack Earth. (7/10)

Settings: Pixels has basic settings with well known landmarks being the targets of the alien destruction. (5/10)
Special Effects: Pixels has good effects to create the alien invaders which make things look like they have been taken out of the games. (7/10)

Suggestion: Pixels is one to try but I would say you have to deal with Sandler level humour throughout. (Try It)

Best Part: Pacman.

Worst Part: Sandler.

Action Scene Of The Film: Pacman game.

Funniest Scene: Josh Gad in Pacman game.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $68.5 Million

Budget: $88 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: Play for the Planet

Overall: Disappointing Effort of smart idea.

Rating 40

 

Oscar Winners Early Work 5 – Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore won her first Oscar in 2015 for Still Alice but what roles have we forgotten about that made us all love and respect the talented actress. I would say there are some brilliant films that went under the radar but also some terrible ones in there too, though her performance was never in question. An interesting fact is that she replaced Jodie Foster in two roles one being Clarice Starling in Hannibal and later in the Carrie remake.

I will start with just a couple of mentions that being ‘Chloe‘ and easily forgettable thriller, and ‘Blindness‘ a brilliant and underrated sci-fi where everyone suddenly goes blind except Moore’s character.

5. Brenda Martin – Freedomland (2006)freedomland

Brenda is the victim of car theft but her child is in the car at the time, this leads to her working with detective Council (Samuel L Jackson). This thriller went under the radar and is filled with twists but most people lost a lot of money.

4. Telly Paretta – The Forgotten (2004)forgetton

Telly wakes up one day and nobody has any memory of her child, what follow is searching for the truth and while the twist is shocking many people slammed it as being lazy.

3. Lila Crane – Psycho (1998)psycho

In what is wildly considered one of the worst remakes solely because it was a shot for shot remake this mega cast but this was slammed.

2. Dr Anne Eastman – The Fugitive (1993)fugitive

In what is a very small role in a very popular film most of her role got cut.

1. Benny and Joon (1993)bennt

In what is one of the most entertaining films of the early 90’s that really showed how big of a star Johnny Depp was going to be, Moore took the role of love interest of the titular Benny.

New Release – Steve Hackett “The Man, The Music”

steve hacktIn candid and personal interviews, filmed over a number of years, Steve reveals the joys, tensions and success of a life in progressive rock.

Starting with his early childhood years to his arrival at Genesis, playing a key role during their most innovative era on seminal albums Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the film goes on to trace Steve’s multifaceted solo career.

From classic albums Voyage of the Acolyte and Spectral Mornings, via Steve’s virtual invention of the classical-crossover genre with Bay of Kings and Sketches of Satie, right up to the recent album Wolf Light and the hugely successful Genesis Revisited project, Steve Hackett remains a singular voice in music.

Exclusive studio sessions feature Steve reliving his key musical moments and offers a virtual masterclass in his electric and acoustic guitar techniques.
* Timed for release at the start of Steve’s extensive USA & Canada live concert tour

* Brand new DVD documentary about the life and career of Steve Hackett, one of the true pioneers of progressive rock

* Steve talks to the camera about his life from his days with Genesis, GTR and his highly successful solo career

* Interwoven with music and masterclass demonstrations, this DVD also features interviews with his family, bandmates and such luminaries as Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Chris Squire (YES) and long-time producer and musical director Roger King


* Includes bonus extended interview with Chris Squire – one of his final interviews before his recent sad passing