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Pixels (3D Blu-ray Review)

29 Oct, 2015 By: John Latchem

Sony Pictures
Box Office $78.6 million
$30.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 3D BD
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some language and suggestive comments
Stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Brian Cox, Ashley Benson, Jane Krakowski.

As if driven by a Pavlovian reflex to automatically throw shade at anything involving Adam Sandler anymore, critics were unsurprisingly harsh on this innocuous sci-fi comedy when it hit theaters.

The original marketing campaign might not have helped, making Pixels out to be some sort of Independence Day-type epic with the aliens imitating 1980s video games, with Sandler and friends forced to step in to save humanity.

Well, Sandler’s character does kind of share similarities with Jeff Goldblum’s from ID4, in that both have innate potential wasted in dead end jobs, but that and the alien invasion are about where the comparisons between the two films end.

Instead, Pixels is just a fun, dumb comedy that gives Sandler and his co-stars a chance to throw out cheap quips while giving director Chris Columbus an excuse to transpose video games such as Galaga, Pac-Man and Centipede into the “real world.”

Sandler plays a guy who was a video game champion as a kid, and is recruited to the fight because his best friend (Kevin James) happens to be the President of the United States. That right there should tell you how seriously to take this film (which is, not much).

The military whips up some quick weapons to fight the video game creatures, and Sandler and team set off to save the world geared up like a bunch of low-rent Ghostbusters. This is a film that does exactly what it set out to do and doesn’t aim for much more.

Pixels is based on a same-titled 2010 short film that isn’t included on the Blu-ray but can easily be found online.

Anyone interested in an uncomplicated nostalgia trip who doesn’t mind Sandler should enjoy this one. It’s especially fun to see it in 3D and sort of get immersed in the aliens’ presentation of the games.

The Blu-ray has the usual array of making-of featurettes, including a number devoted to how each of the major video games was re-created. There’s also a Good Charlotte music video.

Those who do enjoy the film can download an app that lets them play along with the movie.

About the Author: John Latchem

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