Dis­ap­point­ing ‘Pix­els’ falls apart be­fore it be­gins

The China Post - - ARTS -

they’re as un­be­liev­able as Paul Blart as pres­i­dent. Josh Gad plays Lud­low La­mon­soff, a for­mer video-game prodigy turned reclu­sive con­spir­acy the­o­rist. He stows away in Sam’s van for some un­ex­plained rea­son and ends up part of the mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion. Peter Din­klage is “The Fire Blaster.” He's still wear­ing a mul­let, but now he’s in jail for crim­i­nal hack­ing. The pres­i­dent frees him, be­cause as the 1982 video-game world champ, the Fire Blaster needs to help pro­tect the world from the alien in­va­sion.

Din­klage is a bit un­even — he goes in and out of his tough-guy ac­cent — but he gets the most laughs. Gad is al­ways en­dear­ing, and his per­for­mance of a Tears for Fears song saves this film from a dis­mal half-star rat­ing. Jane Krakowski is ter­ri­bly un­der­used as the First Lady. An Emmy-nom­i­nated com­edy ac­tress, she’s given few lines here — none funny — and is left with noth­ing to do but gaze ador­ingly at the goofy pres­i­dent.

The few bright spots in “Pix­els” come from the mu­sic, celebrity cameos and spe­cial ef­fects. The sound­track of Cheap Trick, Queen and Span­dau Bal­let match well with the ‘80s game im­agery. View­ers who were alive dur­ing the ’80s will also ap­pre­ci­ate cameos by the likes of Tammy Faye Baker and Max Head­room. And the spe­cial ef­fects daz­zle. The alien videogame crea­tures pix­e­late ev­ery­thing they touch. Too bad they couldn't get their dig­i­tal hands on this script. Adapted from a true story and di­rected by new fe­male di­rec­tor Lingo Hsieh, The Bride tells two sto­ries that seem un­re­lated yet are deeply at­tached. What is the con­nec­tion be­tween a hap­pily mar­ried cou­ple and a high school girl?

English with Chi­nese sub­ti­tles Crime, Drama 2014 Ukraine, Nether­lands

132 min A deaf teenager strug­gles to fit into the board­ing school sys­tem. With­out any spo­ken di­a­logue, love and hate be­tween the deaf stu­dents can still be seen and felt. Di­rected by Miroslav

Sla­bosh­pit­skk With Grig­oriy Fe­senko, Yana

Novikova and Rosa Babiy

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