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The Curator of Schlock #117 by Jeff Shuster

Pixels

It’s everything you expected it to be.

Happy New Year everybody! It’s your Curator of Schlock here wishing you the best in 2016. Hopefully, it won’t be one more year of the same old crap. We’ve got that Batman Kills Superman movie to look forward to.

Sigh.

To be fair, 2015 was the year I fell in love with going to the theaters gain. I saw some good movies like the one with the dinosaurs and one where the French guy tightrope-walked between the Twin Towers. But there was one movie I avoided seeing until now: Pixels.

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We all saw the trailer. They played it before every major motion picture that made it to theaters last year. You must have seen it, the one where Professor Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, gets his hand bitten off by a giant Pac-Man. I guess it was funny in the trailer, but everyone knew the movie was going to be a turkey as soon as Adam Sandler’s name was attached. Attacking Adam Sandler at this point would be redundant, but I don’t think he’s the worst thing about this movie. Pixels is a sloppy attempt at pulling on the heart strings of children of the 80s like myself.

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For many 80s kids coming home after school to play the Nintendo or Sega was the only bright spot in our miserable childhoods. That and a new episode of Mr. Belvedere on Friday nights.

As an adult, I still know about all of these damn games from the 80s so showing that stupid cylinder thing from Arkanoid destroying the Taj Mahal doesn’t impress me. I know what Arkanoid is and I know it came out in 1986. The whole premise of the movie is that NASA sent footage of a video game tournament out into space and a bunch of aliens got hold of it and treated it as a declaration of war and created weapons in the shape of video game characters to come and kill us. But the footage was stuck on a satellite in 1982, four years before Arkanoid came out in the arcades. The movie is bullshit.

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Sean Bean is in this! You played Richard Sharpe, dude! Peter Dinklage? I loved you in The Station Agent! Michelle Monaghan, you were on the fantastic True Detective Season 1! Not to be confused with True Detective Season 2 where I found myself 8 episodes in and was still not sure as to what mystery the detectives were trying to solve. I think there was a murder…

Brian Cox is in this Pixels! Actually, Brian Cox is no stranger to video games. He played Lionel Starkweather, a director of snuff films and the main antagonist of the video game, Manhunt. You played a death row criminal who this sadistic rich guy let’s out of prison so he can watch you slaughter a bunch of serial killers and pedophiles roaming the city streets. The whole scenario is done for his amusement as he whispers things in your earpiece like, “You’re really turning me on.”  If you had Playstation headphones, he would say these things right in your ear. Not that I ever played this game.

Anyway, the real reason I’m down on Pixels is because the aliens in the movie talk to us by pretending to be deceased 80s personalities like Ronald Reagan, Tammy Faye Bakker, and Madonna. Stupid, but not a big deal. And then they make themselves look like Max Headroom.

Ahem. Max Headroom isn’t dead! He’s an artificial intelligence. He can’t die! In fact, why aren’t they giving Max Headroom his own movie instead of this crap? Why aren’t we getting TRON 3 instead of this crap? Pixels is nothing, but mindless 80s nostalgia and I’m through with it. Popular culture did not begin in the 1980s. And as you’re Curator of Schlock, I will now make my New Year’s resolution. I will not present a single movie from 1980 upward for an entire year!

Five Things I Learned from Pixels

  1. Adam Sandler just doesn’t care anymore.
  2. Kevin James should never be elected President of the United States.
  3. Josh Gad looks like he should be in a movie about Steve Jobs. Oh wait. He was.
  4. Q-Bert isn’t cute. Q-Bert will never cute.
  5. Don’t make major motion pictures based off viral videos!

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Jeffrey Shuster 4

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.

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