Both “Pixels” and Sandler “catatostrophic”

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The motion picture ‘Pixels’ stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James as a pair of video game enthusiasts who fight off alien video arcade game enemies trying to destroy the planet.

Julia Hettiger, Staff Reporter

It’s game over for Adam Sandler in the new motion picture “Pixels.”

I saw “Pixels,” starring Sandler and Kevin James with my father, younger sister and kid cousin, and I can tally the number of times we collectively laughed without running out of fingers.

While “Pixels” may be cute and alluring for children or someone desperate for arcade games to be all the rave again, it sure looks like Sandler’s career in comedic Hollywood is dwindling down to an end. His normal, crude humor was out of sight, having been replaced with childish, mostly unfunny jokes, although everyone laughed at James’ “catatostrophic” joke (because illiteracy is funny now). Sandler was great in the ’90s, so let’s just pretend the last 20 years never happened.

“Pixels” revolves around a war enacted by an alien race who received a package NASA sent out into space in the ’80s. The package contained information about life on Earth at the time, like information about arcade games, Madonna, Hall and Oates and popular television shows. The aliens received this package and interpreted it as a threat, hence the whole war enactment.

Sandler plays Sam Brenner, a video game enthusiast and software installer, whose next customer just happens to be someone he’ll inevitably fall in love with.  James plays his best friend, Cooper, also known as the president of the United States (ha).

Sandler is drafted by the government to help fight off the aliens using his skills with video games. Who else is drafted? None other than his love interest-typical-Violet Van Patten, played by Michelle Monaghan. Peter Dinklage portrays the part of Eddie Plant, Brenner’s childhood enemy and world “Donkey Kong” champion, who is called upon as a last resort to help save the world.

Also, Josh Gad plays another video game genius, but his character is mostly there for comic relief.

Major aspects of the movie were predictable at best, with most of the bigger surprises being given away early on in the film. I’m sure there were some who were shocked when Peter Dinklage’s character was exposed as a nasty cheater, but other than that revelation, “Pixels” fell flat.

The film tried merging different genres including sci-fi, comedy and romance. Sandler and Monaghan’s onscreen romance was pretty cute. I’ll admit I exclaimed an “aww” a few times, but it was still too predictable for it to amount to anything. The science fiction side of the movie was rad, but the comedy, however, was not.

One thing I will admit liking about the movie was the animation used from the games. Whether or not it’s actually something of artistic value, if classic arcade games were to come to life, that is exactly how I would envision them. It would make for a good theme park idea, where you enjoy park rides destroying classic arcade game characters with a light beam shooting gun (please don’t steal my idea.)

The premise of “Pixels” was quite interesting. Aliens, old arcade games, being at war with another planet, possible annihilation; everything about it had potential. Give it another director, take out Sandler and add in some authentic writing and you’d easily have a classic. The idea of the world being overrun by aliens has been done time and time again, so you have to get creative with it. Have the aliens declare war using classic arcade games, and you have a fresh perspective. Add in  Sandler and you get every other  Sandler movie rewritten using Mad Libs. In the end, “Pixels” turned out to be quite “catatostrophic.”