2015 Summer Movie Review: Pixels

Adam Sandler and his buddies team up to stop aliens in the form of video game characters from pixelating the world in "Pixels"

Adam Sandler and his buddies team up to stop aliens in the form of video game characters from pixelating the world in “Pixels”

How can a movie involving aliens in the form of retro video game characters such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Centipede taking over the world not get you hyped up? Pixels, the latest from Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone 1 & 2, Harry Potter 1 & 2, Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief), isn’t the worst Adam Sandler movie I’ve ever seen. But it’s far from good. It feels like it takes forever to get to the action, while I’m sitting there watching Sandler doing his usual shtick. Even though it is the least offensive out of all of the movie he’s starred in, he’s just spewing out lazy-ass jokes that are intended to be funny. Almost every single joke leans toward the stale side. There are a few parts in which I chuckled (but didn’t laugh-out-loud); particularly Josh Gad. He plays the nerd who has a crush on a fictional video game character named Lady Lisa in an amusing but kind of creepy scenario. So much so he creates a flip book about the two making out. Once the action starts, it’s a lot of fun. The visuals are great, the action is clever (especially when Pac-Man takes over NYC by storm), and the ’80s soundtrack is pretty awesome. A lot of people are complaining that Pixels rips off an episode of Futurama, which I understand. If the movie came out in the early 2000s, it would actually be pretty damn good.



Movie Review: Mission: Impossible III


Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team in “Mission: Impossible III”

Now we’re back on the right track with Mission: Impossible III. J.J. Abrams brings the series back into its full glory with actual spy stuff.

Retired from the IMF, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is now married to Julia (Michelle Monaghan). However, he gets assigned by John Musgrave (Billy Crudup) to save IMF trainee Lindsey Ferris (Keri Russell). She has been kidnapped by an evil arms dealer named Owen Davien (the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Once Ethan and his team – his old pal Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen Lei (Maggie Q) – save Lindsey, a tiny bomb that is implanted into her skull detonates. When the team abducts Davien in the Vatican, he mentions a nuclear device called the Rabbit’s Foot. Then, Davien escapes and captures Julia, which leads them all the way to Shanghai. For his theatrical debut, Abrams knows what made Mission: Impossible a great movie. Ethan Hunt, again wonderfully played by Cruise, going back to be the spy he used to be, not a 007-esque playboy. Hoffman is an excellent villain, even though there is minimal background of his character. The action, especially on the bridge, is suspenseful. Everything looks real. The series seems to be getting better and better!