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October 8, 2018 | by  | in Film |
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Reviewing a Film I’ve Never Seen Before

Three days after I was born a witch cursed me and said, “If you ever watch an Adam Sandler film, you’ll fail all your university exams.” I’ve never watched one, and I’ve never failed. See, it works!
(The miniscule amount of uni exams I have had over the years may or may not have something to do with that.)
Pixels is a film that came out in 2015. It was a defining moment of my university life, if I’m honest — my friend won tickets to it from VUWSA, tried to make me go see with her and I refused.
Sometimes I wonder if my life would have been better if I’d gone to that film screening.

Somehow I doubt it.
Pixels is yet another one of Adam Sandler’s ensemble movies. He gets a bunch of his mates together, makes up some bullshit, sells it to theatres, and everyone hates it.

I think.
I don’t know — I’ve not actually seen this movie. I have, however, watched CinemaSins’ Everything Wrong With Pixels more than 10 times, so I’m basically an expert in the subject.
Adam Sandler’s character — whose name doesn’t matter — is a Gamer Boy as a child, and loses a Massive Important Gaming Competition to another Gamer Boy. This defeat sticks with him for at least thirty years.
Thirty years later, there’s some conflict. I believe aliens come down to earth and issue a Gaming Challenge — or something like that. Adam Sandler and a bunch of his mates: including Kevin James (who plays the literal president of the US), and Peter Dinklage (being a total effing Chad) must beat the aliens at their own game to get them to go away.
Adam Sandler saving the world, huh? I’ve not seen someone so un-suited for their job since Trump became president.
There’s also sexism, awkward comic machismo, and all the Sandler-esque nonsense that one could ever want. It reinforces all of the stereotypes about gamers that you hate while not even attempting to subvert the tropes we know so well.
As I said above, I’ve not actually seen this film, but I do know that Josh Gad hooks up — and has babies — with Q*bert. The video game character. From 1982. I’ve not SEEN this film and I know that.
What an impact on the cultural consciousness this piece has made, eh?
I could live without that thought in my head, to be honest.
It’s been described by many as one of the worst films of all time. I’d politely like to direct those critics to the wonder that is Birdemic — and all of Netflix’s shitty sci-fi/horrors — before passing judgment, but I do understand their complaints.
I doubt Pixels is a good film — or even, a passable film — but at least it’s still a film.
Some people don’t even get that far. A lot of creators set out to make a movie and can’t find distribution, or don’t even make it past the scripting stage.
Is mocking films like this punching down? Are film critics just beating a dead horse? Should we just let Sandler fade into obscurity?
I don’t know.

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this