I don't understand why Sony (or their movie division) decided to release Pixels in theatres. Or anywhere. Why does it exist? Obviously they saw the success of Wreck-It Ralph a few years ago and wanted to replicate it... except live-action and with Adam Sandler (acting and producing). I can't give a detailed analysis about the differences between Wreck-It Ralph and Pixels and why the first was critically acclaimed and well-liked by moviegoers and gamers alike, and why Pixels is just garbage. I'm a videogame blogger, not a movie analyst.
I do know this, though: Damn, Pixels really sucks. Not that I've watched it, mind you. But I don't think this is a case of "you can't trust the reviewers."
|I like that it's a critic consensus that, apparently, Pac-Man is one of the worst arcade games. |
These critics should go into gaming.
If you don't know the plot of Pixels, apparently NASA (this is an alternate universe where they aren't more concerned with getting more Muslims into science) sent a time capsule into space featuring 1980s arcade games. For whatever reason, aliens take this the wrong way and rather than do their inevitable invasion of Earth (because aliens don't have anything else to do with their time) under the guise of their normal selves, they decide to replicate the arcade games sent along with the capsule.
It actually reminds of of the Kid Icarus Uprising Aurum alien invaders. They were plagiarisers too and took the forme of knock-offs of the Underworld Army and the Forces of Nature when invading Skyworld. This was humourously reacted to in-universe.
One critical difference is that the Aurum had smooth jazz. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming there is no jazz of any sort in Pixels. So it's a worse set of aliens.
|"Pac-Man is a bad guy?" - Adam Sandler. Well, DUH. He murdered Claira!|
From the trailers anyway, Pixels doesn't seem to be self-aware and humourous. It's serious!
If there's one good thing that came from this movie, it's that it granted the world another Billy Mitchell interview. Billy Mitchell isn't in the movie (which would make it a must-watch), but he was interviewed about it (though not really about the movie but about Pac-Man, though he never says positive things besides calling it popular) and a primary character in the movie is based off him.
So... Let's analyse this. Sony made a movie that doesn't really appeal to gamers, because it uses arcade nostalgia that doesn't connect to most gamers today. Arcade culture is also either associated with mobsters or drunk frat boys eating nacho cheese, and gamers want their own culture separate from that. Wreck-It Ralph had that. Disney showed that they understood gamer humour and culture. I don't think Sony gets that. Sony and Adam Sandler put together a juvenile (but not endearingly juvenile) plot to throw a bunch of 8-bit special effects for characters no one cares about.
Sad to say, is that Nintendo promoted the movie a few times on social media because they licensed Donkey Kong to appear in it. Or more accurately (but no one involved in the film cares), Cranky Kong.
|When they told us Nintendo would be licensing their properties more, is this what we get as a result?|
Nintendo doesn't really identify with their arcade roots other than by saying, "Oh, this is how Shigeru Miyamoto got game design skills before we launched the NES." So even they don't truly care. And they shouldn't, because there really isn't a base of people who care about this movie. Besides, like, dedicated Adam Sandler fans? (Who the hell are you?)
|Another picture of Pac-Man being a bad guy, this time eating off his creator's hand.|
...Again it doesn't help that it's apparently a pretty poor movie. Oh well, guess gamers should be playing games and not watching movies about them!
Ludwig himself doesn't watch movies in theatres much. ...Very, very rarely. He has never appeared in an arcade game and never wants to. Have you watched Pixels? If so, how was it?
Ludwig instead thinks gamers should be watching movies about how the IRS abuses Americans.
Ludwig also would have watched a movie about the gaming-related "Madden Curse"... but it was canceled after a long series of KoopaTV-exclusive investigations.
With Nintendo now announcing a full-fledged movie business, Ludwig might go back to the theatres.
Billy Mitchell gets his own dedicated article, though it is about his integrity.