Friday, August 14, 2015

You heard Hall and Oates - you blew it!

You ever hear those stories of famous people describing the moment they made it? Depending on the celebrity, this can be a real f--k off and die moment. We were driving, and like, I heard *my song* on the radio! OMG. 

But sometimes, it's this tearful story of when they bought their hardworking mom a house. When they were able to pay for their younger sibling to go to school. Or when they could finally stop giving handjobs behind the 7 Eleven. Whatever the case may be, even the best stories still sort of rub me the wrong way. Why? Probably because I haven't made it, and likely never will. But if I do? You know how I'll know? Because somewhere in my house, there will be something I've wanted my whole life:

A Ms. Pac-Man arcade game.

Tabletop style.

Pixels is probably just as bad as you think it is, maybe even worse. But as someone who legitimately loves old-school arcade gaming, it's not the complete kick in the nuts that I had expected. More like a good grazing if anything. But let me give you a heads up, okay? You want to have a good time? Bring a kid. A (delightfully) nerdy one, if possible.

Though he liked Ant-Man [review] and Minions [review], it turns out Adam Sandler's latest was the film my son really wanted to see. And like the rest of the world, when the people were talking he couldn't have cared less. But when one of those dastardly gaming icons appeared on screen? He lost his damn mind. 

And as his was kind of awesome. 

Anyway, for the rest of you, I don't know, normal movie goers, this alien-invasion movie is a grainy 8-bit dump on your chest. If Earth's fate rested in the hands of Sandler and his crew, safe to say we're all f--ked. Unless, of course, the aliens weakness is overwhelming indifference! 

Sure Sandler has seemed uninterested for years, but you'd think his co-stars could at least muster up a little effort, right? Unfortunately, no. As apparently even the once-bankable directorial efforts of Chris Columbus amount to two things when it comes to human emotion: our old friends jack and shit. Actually, that's not fair. I did feel a little emotion during this movie. Sadness. Every time one of the video game characters died. Because they actually meant something to me.

Speaking of things that mean something to me, here are the Yays and Boos.  Just kidding. I hate them, too.

F--k, Marry, Kill, GO!
Uh....I'll marry Monaghan, Kill James...and f--k Sandler?
  • Dude, Cheap Trick's Surrender easily makes the Soundtrack Hall of Fame. And also the Guitar Hero Hall of Fame (even if it's the lame cover-version).
  • Occasionally (and truthfully, not occasionally enough), the whole screen turns into a giant video game and it's sooo f--king rad. One of the few times in my life I actually thought, man, I wish this was in 3D.
  • Michelle Monaghan? I could watch this woman in the least inspired movie ever made. Oh wait, I just did, didn't I? 
  • I'm 99% Sue from Veep was in this movie...playing, well...Sue from Veep.
  • Oh, I guess I should include something relevant to the movie, right? Well, when the aliens send down their messages, they have major television icons delivering their ominous warnings. Sure, none of the eight year-olds in the theater recognized Tammy Faye Baker, Ronald Reagan, the little dude from Fantasy Island, or even Madonna (eighties version, before she turned into a sex panther), but it was pretty cool regardless.
  • Though they featured nine-tenths of it in the preview, I can attest that the whole Pac-Man chase is pretty frickin' badass. There's an especially funny bit where that guy playing the creator of Pac-Man describes the real Pac-Man. Something about how he wanted kids to think of him as a friend, or someone they could grab a burger with. That's so f--king ridiculous, I think I peed a little.
  • I don't know when this officially became a thing, but having the end credits tell a totally succinct version of the entire movie in the most visually compelling way possible is definitely something I can get behind. In fact, maybe save us ninety-minutes and lets just watch that.
  • Yo, the Donkey Kong finale is super bad-ass. It's especially great because the effects are tremendous. No bullshit, it's maybe better than Avatar. No for real. In this scene, if you look real close, Adam Sandler looks like he's awake. It must be amazing in 3D!
  • And finally, all dickery aside, my son routinely squeaked during the battle scenes. He's recovering from a tonsillectomy, and this was about as happy and loud as he's been. Dad, Dad! The dog from Duck Hunt! PAPERBOY! FROGGER! Dad, it's SUPER MARIOOOOOOO! Awe. Some.
This should be the greatest thing ever.
It isn't. Okay, fine. It's close, but still.
  • Damn. Hell. No lie, these are two of the first eleven words. Thankfully we got to warm up before shitballs.
  • F--k you, Fireblaster. Peter Dinklage is a funny dude, but you wouldn't know it here. His character is a total a-hole. more importantly, an unfunny a-hole at that.
  • Kevin James plays the President. And he can't read very well. Maybe at all. I'd say this is unbelievably absurd, but honestly, I might vote for an illiterate Kevin James versus some of the actual candidates.
  • Speaking of, Monaghan's son? That kid totally has Trump hair. Like, what the shit is this?
  • Josh Gad gets to let loose here and there, and let me tell you, it's so painfully bad...I was hoping the sun would melt him. If only, to speed up his slow death.
  • Q-Bert speaks English? And is a f--king moron? Couldn't they hire the one from Wreck-it-Ralph?
  • Jane Krakowski is in this. Why? You'd think that orange juice money would keep her out of this kind of shit.
  • Lady Lisa from Dojo Quest. First, I'm booing this because Who? From what? And second, she's totally hot, right? Right. But it goes to a place that I'm rather uncomfortable with. Rather uncomfortable.
  • Oh, in case you weren't 100% positive. Yes. This movie is basically Ghostbusters. Just replace ghosts with aliens. And cleverness with the sound of paychecks being cashed.
  • And finally, even though this might actually be a Yay, it's impossible how many jokes are total misfires. Damn near everything that was supposed to be funny left me shaking my head in utter disbelief. Like, if no one on the set breaks a smile, that might be a sign to go ahead and try something else. And if there's anything I know, it's misguided attempts at humor. Uh, it's kinda my thing.
It looks like this is going to unfortunately be my last theatrical movie of the 2015's summer season, as school starts for teachers on Monday. It's a shame that I'm going to go out with an uninspired movie that relied waaaay too much on special effects and nostalgia versus imagination and trying to do something unique. There's always next summer, right?



  1. I probably would've loved Pixels when I was 9, but I just can't bring myself to see it now.

    But LOL to "giving hand jobs behind a 7/11"

    Great review!

    1. Yeah, I think 9 and under is the ideal demographic, at least the ones with moderate attention spans anyway.

      I'd like to think there's someone out there who has that fond memory of that...and a Slurpee.


  2. When I first saw the trailer on TV, I was pumped until I saw Sandler's face. All the air went out of my balloon. Ugh. At least your little guy enjoyed it. Yes to an illiterate Kevin James for president. Double yes to a tabletop version of Ms. Pac Man in the home.

    1. One of my students early last year told me about the premise, and I was like, Sounds brilliant. Who's in it? And when they said, 'uh, that Adam Sandler guy' my hearts sank a little bit, too. But, let's be honest, who else would be in a movie like this? Franco and Rogen?

      My son told me it was the best movie of the summer. So after he got out of timeout, we had to have a little conversation about choosing the right word.

      Dude, a tabletop anything would be so rad, right? I mean, it's so functional. Not to mention, super classy.

  3. I'm sorry...did you just say you'd kill James?


    Let Sandler take the bullet. F*** Monaghan and marry James. That's kind of the only answer.

    I love that you shared this experience with your son.

    1. I went for the easy joke. When I say 'f--k Sandler', I mean, you know, 'f--k him and all his shitty movies'. Not, like, insert your penis into his body.

      Oh, and I love that discussion ends with 'sharing an experience with your son'. Hahaha. That's awesome!

  4. I'd probably cheat on F--k, Marry, Kill, killing both James and Sandler but if it came down to one guy I'd kill Sandler because without Sander there is no James.

    1. You're pretty much Neo in the Matrix bending the rules to your liking...but, I'm fully behind this.

      James at least seems to care, even if just a little bit. I'll give him that. Sandler face looks like he's been on hold with the credit card company for the last two decades.

  5. Oh God you saw this? Please tell me you also saw Rogue Nation, because it's a great movie!

    But it's so cool your little boy liked it and had a good time!

    1. Oh, dear Sati, it's really looking like I'm going to miss Mission Impossible. Total kick in the dick, I know. When we saw Pixels, it was that or Fantastic Four. I don't think my kiddo would have given a damn about anything else.

      Man, kids are lame.

  6. Yours is probably the kindest review I've seen. I still can't believe Adam Sandler is allowed out of the attic.

    1. Hahaha. Well, my sidekick had a lot to do with whatever enjoyment there was to be had. But...yeah, it's not very good. it weird that I feel bad for the guy?

  7. I love Peter Dinklage in "Game of Thrones" and "The Station Agent," but then I saw the Rotten Tomatoes rating. Yowza.

    I am indifferent to Sandler and the only thing I've seen Kevin James in is "Paul Blart Mall Cop" which hasn't exactly endeared him to me. It's devastating enough they made a sequel. That made money :/

    I'm not nine. I like slower-paced foreign and independent films. And I don't like video games. Yeah, I'm totally the target audience for this movie *eye roll*

    1. My mom swears by The Station Agent, and I loved what little I saw of him in Game of Thrones (I only saw the first 5 episodes...not, um, nevermind...). He's incredibly bad here. The character is pretty much dogshit, but he somehow makes it worse.

      You never saw Hitch? That'd be James' best film. At least in that one you can see him be charming. And, you know, giving a damn.

      Wait? You're not nine? I thought everyone that visited this site was single digits! Damn. I guess it's just me.

  8. You guys are idiots. This movie rocked. I'm sure it will have a HUGE underground following for many many years. I thought it was funnier than shitballs.

  9. Best comment ever.

    Unless, you know, you're serious.