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Blu-ray 3D Release: Pixels

October 27, 2015

By John Corrado

Pixels Blu-rayThis week, Sony is releasing Pixels on Blu-ray 3D.  When our planet is attacked by versions of classic video game characters, sent by aliens who mistake footage from a 1980s arcade competition as a call to war, President Will Cooper (Kevin James) enlists the help of his nerdy old friends Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler) and Ludlow (Josh Gad), along with their incarcerated nemesis Eddie (Peter Dinklage), to help defeat the pixelated enemies.

Loaded with nostalgic references, Pixels does have some moments when the visuals and nicely rendered classic characters make it all come alive, like a fun street chase involving Pac-Man, and a Donkey Kong finale that makes clever use of the multiple levels.  During these set pieces, the film revels in a sense of goofy fun, and is a throwback to a more innocent time for gamer culture.

But the admittedly cool premise is largely undermined by a cheap script that includes tiring amounts of manchild humour, and overt sexism in its troublesome handling of the sole female character, military specialist Violet (Michelle Monaghan), who is never allowed to rise above being the obligatory love interest.  There is also an inherent creepiness to some of the character interactions.  Although Pixels has a few fun sequences and solid visual affects that pop in 3D, including an adorable Q*Bert, it’s far from the best work of director Chris Columbus and is often frustratingly mediocre to watch, a film that only has flashes of the promise that its central premise holds.  This is a big budget disappointment.

The Blu-ray includes multiple featurettes on the classic characters, a music video and photo gallery.

Pixels is 105 minutes and rated PG.

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