I know it’s been out for a month, but I finally saw Pixels last week and I wanted to give a brief review of it (possible spoilers for those who haven’t seen it).
I thought the movie was awesome. It was a lot of fun and had me on my feet for a good part of the show.
I thought the effects were astounding. The producers were able to stitch together seamlessly the live action characters and settings of the film with the animated characters. The way they were able to give dimension to these images while at the same time maintaining their pixelated look was intriguing. The soundtrack was very upbeat and played to the action very well (especially the use of songs such as "We Will Rock You" and "Game On").
Some people I had talked to before seeing the film expressed concern over Adam Sandler and his typical shtick comedy. Having (admittedly) not seen enough of Sandler to recognize his typical shtick, I thought he actually did a good job in this film as the leading nerd Sam Brenner; I think he played his character in a very relatable way. Kevin James did a good job in his role as the President. He was the bumbling, almost foolhardy, authority figure of many a parody who was always sticking his foot in his mouth, but when it mattered most, he was able to get his hands the proverbial mud. The other characters fit in nicely to the film; the dynamic between Brenner and Lt. Col. Violet Van Patton was entertaining, as was the interactions between other characters, like Brenner and Van Patton's son and the friendship between Brenner and the President. Josh Gad (Frozen's Olaf) as Ludlow was able to play the role of a crazy conspiracy theorist in a very comedic way. And the inclusion of Q*bert provided for some additional plot as we saw his growing love and sympathy for humanity, which leads to him helping the nerds get to the mothership and ultimately embracing a human relationship.
The film had a lot of nostalgia in it. You of course have the nostalgia with the use of classic arcade games that many adults today grew up with as kids; but in addition, the aliens communicate with humans using manipulated footage. For example, in the first message transmitted, you have figures such as President Ronald Reagan and Madonna addressing humanity as the aliens.
The film is basically the fulfillment of every nerd’s fantasy, from the chance to live out your dreams and be the ultimate hero and the thought of having your character crush come to life before you (I’ll bet there’s a lot of nerds out there who, seeing Ludlow hook up with the video-game character Lady Lisa, had their own characters in mind).
Was the movie perfect? Probably not. There were some areas that could use a little improving, a few awkward moments and maybe a small plot-hole here and there, but the same can be said about every other movie that comes out. If you go in with certain expectations, you probably won't enjoy it. But if you go in looking for a good time, I think you'll have it. Overall, I think Pixels is a fun feel-good movie with a lot of action and a lot of laughs and I look forward to getting the DVD when it comes out.