Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hey, 'Pixels' Isn't the Worst Movie of the Year After All

Considering the fact that Pixels was critically slammed when it came out earlier this year, I’ve no real interest of watching it.  But I recently found myself doing so for the first time – and, very likely, the last time, as well – and I found that, indeed, it’s simply another entry to Adam Sandler’s growing catalogue of tiresome, awful comedies.

The story is a mess of extremely dumb details.  There are attempts to be clever in its themes and jokes, but there’s not much effort behind them.  The characters are flat.  Worst of all, Pixels bastardizes an awesome premise (actually, this movie is an adaptation of an award-winning short film.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ll bet that it was better than this full-length adaptation).  An alien invasion by classic arcade games that have been brought to life is a silly but unique concept, and Pixels wastes it.  This movie thinks that it has properly utilized the nostalgic appeal of these games, but it’s apparent that it fails at it.  There’s no tinge of magnetism or impact that could be found.

However, the good thing I can say about this movie is that it’s not as godawful as I was expecting it to be.  In fact, there are some parts that I found to be actually – gasp! – fun and entertaining.  Here are a few likely reasons why I thought so:
  • Understanding that this movie is going to be bad before watching it probably allowed my subconscious to tremendously lower my expectations.  Lesser the expectations, lesser the disappointments.
  • The Fantastic Four reboot is significantly worse, and I get to watch that one first earlier this month.  Most bad films will relatively look like Citizen Kane with that atrocious movie as point of comparison.  With that around this year, Pixels is safe from becoming my pick for worst 2015 movie.
  • I have somewhat of a tolerance for bad Adam Sandler movies.  There are some critically panned Sandler movies that I personally think are good and underrated – e.g. Hotel Transylvania, The Longest Yard (love the “Mean Machine” team), and 50 First Dates – and there are a couple of bad ones that I think are likable and entertaining.

So, yeah, there’s no denying that Pixels is an objectively bad movie.  But I didn’t hate watching it.  I don’t think it’s as crappy and funless and unwatchable as many assessments of this movie articulated.  Simply, Pixels is tolerable but forgettable.

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