Adam Sandler: I always had a great connection with Israel

25 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box Office: Adam Sandler’s ‘Pixels’ Stumbles With Mediocre $9.2M Friday.

The top new movie, and the top movie overall for Friday, was Pixels. Adam Sandler’s nostalgic video game comedy “Pixels” outdid teenage romance pic “Paper Towns” at the Friday box office, but both newcomers have to deal with holdover hits “Ant-Man” and “Minions.” Sony’s “Pixels” generated $9 million in Friday showings, on track for $25 million on the weekend.Adam Sandler and Kevin James’ latest action comedy, Pixels, about aliens who invade the planet as vintage 80s arcade games, was not loved by critics.

Based on the short film that inspired it, Pixels follows enlarged versions of classic 80’s arcade video game characters such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede and others who attack Earth.Because it seems that YouTube critic MovieBob really wasn’t too keen on the movie, in which Sandler finds himself having to fend off an invasion of earth from aliens disguised as classic arcade game characters.

Sony’s $90 million sci-fi comedy, about a group of former arcade players who are recruited to save the world from aliens who attack in the form of 80′s coin-op classics, comes courtesy of director Chris Columbus and star Adam Sandler. Well, it’s not so much a review as a 10-minute vitriolic rant in which he swears no less than 60 times and attempts to convince his listeners, that this might just be the worst film ever made.

We rounded up the best critic slams of the movie. “Some movies are so interminable that it seems they might never end, while others are assembled with such indifference that you are essentially left waiting for them to start. In fact Bob barely pauses for breath during his merciless attack, during which no-one is safe – not Sandler, nor co-stars Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad as he questions what on earth they’re doing there. The Christopher Columbus-directed pic will play in 3,723 locations. “Pixels” has been criticized for lacking heart, though; the Variety review contends that the plot’s “apocalyptic stakes are treated with no more consequence than an air-hockey match.” Behind “Pixels” is Marvel hit “Ant-Man,” which raked in $7 million on Friday. And just when you think he can’t possibly find any more scathing insults to hurl at the movie he manages to drag out several more in the space of just a few seconds – describing the film as ‘cinematic strychnine…celluloid chlamydia.’ ‘Director Chris Columbus has finally made a movie worse than Nine Months…it demands some sort of new metric below the stars or thumbs scale, such as how many fingers should the people responsible for this piece of s**t be allowed to keep?’ ‘I wanted to run this movie over with my car, repeatedly.

The size-challenged superhero is poised to win the weekend with $25 million, which will up its cumulative haul to $106 million after it opened to a strong $58 million last weekend. The script might as well have been penned by the same clueless aliens doing the invading.” “Pixels is also insanely sexist, culminating with the winning male characters each rewarded with a woman. They literally call one a trophy.” “A dimwitted ’80s nostalgia trip best appreciated by those who have waited years for Adam Sandler’s fine-grained intelligence and Chris Columbus’ filmmaking mastery to finally converge.” “Even on its own silly terms, Pixels is not a very good movie; it’s painted up like a Ghostbusters-style fantasy-comedy but plays like so many slapdash Happy Madison productions before it.”

However, with Pixels this is not the case as it’s clearly evident that either Sony or Sandler have learned their lesson, with the filmmakers making sure that the Blended star treads carefully. In fact only former arcade favourite Q-Bert seems to get off lightly – and even his portrayal in the film doesn’t totally emerge from the review unscathed. It’s basically up to Sandler’s co-stars Gad, Dinklage and James – who effortlessly overshadow the star, particularly Gad, who somehow steals the show despite his over-the-top performance becoming a little tiresome after a while – to drive the film along.

But if you were in any doubt as to his opinion of the whole thing, stay tuned until the end when he rounds things off by angrily telling us: ‘F**k this movie, f**k everyone who made this movie and if you pay money to watch this movie f**k you too…’ Early estimates had the coming-of-age story pegged for $16 million to $19 million range at 3,031 locations. “Paper Towns” won the Thursday night race over “Pixels,” pulling in $2 million to $1.5 million for “Pixels,” but the tide is likely to continue shifting in “Pixels’” favor through the weekend. With renowned filmmaker Chris Columbus (director of the first two Harry Potter films) at the helm, Pixels is well structured as the film has a fair amount of action, humour, drama and never deviates from its story.

Like its predecessor, however, “Paper Towns” will more than make up for its $12 million budget. “Pixels,” on the other hand, might have a tougher time making back its $88 million budget. I still think that PG-13 was a mistake, but at this point targeting kids harder would have put it in the path of Universal/Comcast Corps.’ Minions and Walt Disney’s “also shoulda been PG” Ant-Man. I can’t fault Sony marketing, and I’m not just saying that because Sony has a bunch of interesting films lined up for the rest of the year that I want to see as early as possible (not just Spectre, but yeah, totally Spectre). Now clichéd is not always necessarily a bad thing, as there are many films that while predictable, are still able to enthral and entertain audiences at high quality levels. Pixels features innovative action sequences that completely stand out and will almost certainly entertain viewers as it’s a mesmerising visual feast for the eyes.

As mentioned above, Pixels is quite a balanced film (and so is the action), so maybe if Sony had instead broken the balance and thrown in more action (yes, the action is that good), then Pixels might’ve benefitted more as this could’ve easily made it a better film. He had fourteen $100 million domestic grossers between 1998 and 2013, and I imagine he’ll have another one this September with Hotel Transylvania 2 (also Sony). He clearly knows this, which is part of what fueled his move to Netflix, but he was a pure face-on-the-poster movie star before, during, and after a seismic shift in Hollywood and its would-be star system. To be fair, Sandler has always been in an odd position where his better movies earned the worst box office, almost to the point where he was being penalized for trying.

Lately he’s gotten scorned for trying (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Funny People, The Cobbler) and then scorned for not trying (Grown Ups 2, Just Go With It, Blended). Having said that, I can only wonder if a film with as surefire a concept as Pixels starring any number of other comic stars (Seth Rogen comes to mind) would have resulted in a better movie and maybe a $30 million weekend instead of a $24m one.

You have to wonder if Sandler (combined with that PG-13, with the reviews confirming that it was mostly for smarmy material) acted as a slight anti-draw among certain demographics. But a big budget, high-concept, sci-fi action comedy opening just below Jack and Jill and just above Funny People (with fewer tickets sold) says grim things about Sandler’s once untouchable star power.

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