Sunday, September 6, 2015

Your Throwback Theater Treat: PIXELS

Following after the heels of Wreck It Ralph comes another arcade game-centric film made more poignant, thanks to the appearance of major characters designed to squeeze every bit of hairsprayed nostalgia out of you.

You'd think Pixels was actually geared towards the parents rather than the kids who came into the cinema. What with '80s 8-bit games, Holiday-esque Madonna, and Ronald Reagan coming into the fray. But the generation gap was almost seamlessly bridged. And we owe it all to Pixels' brilliant animation and every 10-year old gamer's capability to scour the internet for oldies-but-goodies games pre-movie viewing. I say 'almost seamless' simply because when Hall and Oastes came on, my kids were like, "Who the heck are these big-haired people?!!"

You know what missed the bridge though? The main premise of the movie.
Seriously? This intergalactic war came about because of a little miscomm? Sounds like a typical day at the office. Listen, sending an '80s time capsule into space is an okay idea with me. But communicating with aliens using video games as delegates, not so much.

Ah, but I guess that is not the point. The entertainment value lies in that all-too-cool possibility of being front and dead centre in a video game. Turning these flat pixels into larger than life 3D computer graphics that can abduct or amputate. Game rules dutifully applying in the real world: 3 lives, power pellets, 10 seconds of ghost vulnerability. I have never geeked out so hard!


Space Invaders



Donkey Kong

Especially when Tetris came in tearing buildings apart level by level! Uh-huh. Tetris is so boss.

Shining moment? I liked it how Pixels brought up the dissonance between ancient games and modern-day games. In the 80's, you relied on patterns to win and earn arcade fame. In today's gaming world, you relied on skills and a peppering of rage so you don't die. How the concept of fun times have changed.

Drabby bit? I didn't like it that Lady Lisa had to assume human form. She should've stayed pixelised like every game element recreated for the alien attack. If she was in pure bit-map glory and still had a love affair with arcader Ludlow Lemonsoft --that would've been cooler! And more fair. *pats Q*bert on his cute head*

Pixels! Get your game on and get over to the cinema nearest you. It stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James --so how can you possibly lose?

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