Pixels [Region Free]
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As kids in the 1980s, Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant (Peter Dinklage) saved the world thousands of times – at 25 cents a game in the video arcades. Now, they’re going to have to do it for real. In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens discover video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth, using the video games as the models for their assaults – and now U.S. President Cooper must call on his old-school arcade friends to save the world from being destroyed by PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Centipede, and Space Invaders. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.
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Adam Sandler plays a arcade wizkid, with the ability to see the pattern in computer games. Unfortunately 30 years later these skill have not served him well. Until now when a alien race attack in the form of 80s computer game characters, now Sandler's ability to see patterns and defeat computer game have become a hot commodity. Teaming up with his old friends and greatest rivals can their gaming skills save the world. This is an enjoyable movie, but you have to have a soft spot of retro gaming to love it and get all the in jokes.
I also couldn't help feeling that this was an Adam Sandler benefit show (a bit like a sportsman's testimonial match near the end of their career...), with far too many of the Sandler family involved for my liking - wife, two kids and a nephew too. Not sure why Brian Cox, Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage got involved with this, though - it certainly didn't need their acting talents, so maybe they're just topping up their pension pots as well. But it was nice to see a bit of recognition for the inventor of Pac-Man, Toru Iwatani, who also appeared in a cameo role (as an arcade game repair man).
I've rated it 3 stars as the video game action was a lot of fun, but the rest of the film was dire - keep your ffwd button handy is my advice...
This universally pleasing aesthetic is woven with the not-so-simplistic comic genius of Adam Sandler who is the sardonical Sam Brenner. His character updates us from the 1980s to the 2010s, as we see the nerd who had to grow up; but who never recovered from losing to 'Fireblaster' Eddie in the 1982 Donkey Kong World Championships. Watch as our heroes unite, to combine with no less than the President of the USA (Kevin James, you are goofily wonderful) to take on an alien conspiracy threatening to turn planet earth into pixel dust! It would be nice to see a female hero who can be cast as the star of the show without having to be a slender butt-kicking gymnast. So I understand critics who say this movie is frustratingly stereotypical in the gender department. Maybe it doesn't develop the film in the way it could - I mean the possibilities of women who could play Lieutenant Van Patten could be so much more versatile. And the way men and women treat each other could always be better generally in life. But come on people: this is a wonderful show, bursting with imagination, humour and action.
The picture quality was good. I can't comment on the "extras", as I don't tend to watch them - sorry!