During Senior year of college, every Monday night, my housemates and I would watch a terrible movie. Not because we hate ourselves but because terrible movies are fun to watch in group. There exist a spot between mediocre movie and worthless movie where the movie are so bad, there ironically good. Nobody needs to pay attention to what happening and everyone pitches in jokes about how bad the movie is. Grab yourself a drink a watch something incredibly bad like the live action DragonBall Z movie.
Don’t watch it as a serious attempt at an adaptation of the Manga and anime but a parody of itself. There some great terrible movie like the Super Mario live action movie, or the DOOM live action movie, the George Clooney Batman movies. These movies, while having no merit in and out of themselves have this punching bag quality to them. Their jokes are lame, the plot with more hole than swiss cheese or early CGI effect that look like an Nintendo 64 game but that what makes them what they are, complete unintended self parodies. I also think that terrible movie help us appreciate great movie even more, by providing us a base reference on what an awful movie is.
That sweet spot of terribleness is pretty narrow however, and some movies just go beyond the point of no return, movies without ironical redeeming factor, movies like the recently released Pixels.
The teaser got me excited at first. Real life arcade game coming to destroy the planet seemed like a good, if somewhat extravagant idea. I am a big fan of video games and I have soft spot for retro arcade games and game consoles. Heck I have a Tetris arcade mother board and most of the pieces I would need to build my own arcade machine. I haven’t gotten around to it yet but soon.
And then came the trailer and the first sign of what was to come: Adam Sandler. Though I had never seen any of his movies, I had heard of how his acting skill were so atrocious that mere words couldn’t adequately describe them. This worried me greatly, but I still had hope that the movie could have same redeeming values I saw in those other terrible movies I would watch with my college friends, hope it would be so bad it would be good.
Nothing could have prepared me for this ungodly abomination of a movie. The dialogue felt like they were written by a six year old, the acting was would make grade school plays look academy award worthy. It even tried to simply hide how dreadful the acting was by using catchy tunes during boring action scenes, hoping to distract us from its stench. This truly was a Lovecraftian horror movie, forever stupefying the audience by how unapologetically awful it was.
I am going to stop with the hyperboles and be serious for a moment. While the movie is horrible overall there seem to be have been some good ideas at the beginning. If you remove all the dialogue and boil down the plot to its bare essential, it had potential. The character themselves are interesting and could have made for some good character development. The main issue with this film is obviously Sandler. No matter how good of idea Sony originally had, Sandler ruined everything by writing boring dialogue, creating 1 dimensional characters that are closer to walking stereotypes than anything and just not been able to act worth a damn. Throughout the movie, he never changes facial expression and never changes his tone of voice. He never shows any kind of emotion or excitement or fear or anything. It’s always the same blank face and droning voice. Peter Dinklage’s character is almost funny and probably the closest thing from a redeemable aspect of the film.
I think they should remake this movie but get rid of Sandler and his incompetent script and instead let some like Josh Whedon or J.J. Abrams do it. This could have been a decent, if not great, movie but someone had to put their grubby hands in the production and ruin it.
Want to watch a good movie about classic arcade games, watch King of Kong. It’s a documentary about the rivalry between two of the best Donkey Kong players in the world and their attempt at stealing the record from each other. Even it feels more dramatic and has better real life characters than Pixels.