Friday, March 20, 2015

We're stupider for every ticket they sell.

You know what kind of bums me out? This movie trailer (please don't click on it, you'll only make it worse). It was viewed 34.3 million times in its first 24 hours. 34.3 million. It's for a movie called Pixels, which as far as I can tell, is the second most blatant attempt to disguise a car commercial as a film about 80's nostalgia.
The first being the Transformers tetrology in which the heroic Autobots
defend the human race from the evil Deceptions while at the same time raising our
awareness of GM's excellent line of products. Transform and roll out...the savings!
But it will leave you feeling that
they ripped-off Futurama...
What's it's deal anyway? Well, I looked it up and it's a full-length film version of a French short done a few years ago in which New York is attacked by 80's video games. Actually, it's kind of fun. It's cute. It's two minutes long and it won't leave you with that slightly dirty feeling you get when you realize that something you've been enjoying is actually a thinly-veiled advertisement. Pixels the movie on the other hand, is a two-hour Mini-Cooper commercial about aliens invading the Earth in the form of classic arcade game characters.

 In many ways this movie will also
be an advertisement for blow.
Wait, how's that? Well, according to the exposition-heavy trailer, it's because back in 1982 NASA launched a space probe full of retro games into space as a message of peace or something. Which, who needs prime numbers, right? Let's just send them Centipede. I'm just going to ahead and chalk this one up to cocaine. Lots and lots of cocaine. And yes, I realize that I'm totally judging this film based upon the trailer, speculation and the Wikipedia page. Is it fair? Of course not, but then Sony Pictures and Mini Cooper are going to trick a lot of people into sitting through it so I don't feel badly about this at all.

Ok, back to the, uh, story: so aliens are invading and the world's only hope is obviously a former video game champion played by Adam Sandler. To defeat the aliens, Sandler must team up with the President of the United States, played by Kevin James-yes, let me stop again to emphasize the fact that the unbeatable star-power that brought us I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, is reunited at last.
Yeah, that two-hour gay joke made back in the way less
enlightened year of 2007-wait, holy shit, really? 2007?
Pictured: The precise moment when the
world lost respect for Peter Dinklage.
So Sandler and Paul Blart: President are soon joined by rival video-game champion Peter Dinklage and together this rag-tag team must defeat the alien leader who has taken the form of Pac-Man. Logically, the only way to pull this off and save the world is by hoping into a fleet of candy-colored British sub-compacts and pretending to be the ghosts from the video game. Because...uh, again, I refer you to the cocaine. You're probably now left with some questions.

"It's the only way to be sure."
-Ellen Ripley
Reasonable questions like, why would the aliens bother with Atari-themed disguises instead of simply nuking us from orbit? Or why the President would rely on Adam Sandler's video gaming skills instead of, I don't know, scientists or the military or something? Of course, the only question we should be asking is 'are you goddamn kidding me, Sony Pictures?' This movie could potentially be the stupidest thing they've ever done and they almost started a war with North Korea.

Look, I'm not saying that every movie has to be Citizen Kane, but can we at least start calling out shit like this as a movie studio getting us to pay for the privilege of being advertised at? I mean, I know product placement has a long and storied history, but the least they can do is put up the pretense of subtlety. 
"Alright everybody, we're mankind's last hope. Well, us and the smooth ride and roomy interior
of these Mini Coopers. When this is all over, we should all head down to our local Mini Cooper
dealerships and take advantage of their historic spring sales event!"
-Adam Sandler in Pixels,
 the opposite of subtlety

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