Disappointing ‘Pixels’ falls apart before it begins
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
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