Pixels

It was supposed to be a hot day, and it was a hot day. I tried to get my computer working the way it should. I used the 1R and the 72R buses to get to Jack London Square. I had an hour to get to the theatre, and I got there in 42 minutes. I was there to see “Pixels.” It did take me back to 1982, when I played video games, although I didn’t play such a wide variety of those games. I liked Space Duel and Joust. I wasn’t too sure that this movie would appeal much to the younger generation. I thought there was a problem with the casting of Adam Sandler. I couldn’t root for him to be a hero and get the girl. I couldn’t see why they had to add this material about divorce and personal relationships. If the movie is going to be about a video game war, you should get right to the action. I spent half the movie trying to figure out who the woman reminded me of. I finally came up with the name, and it was Theresa Russell. It seemed like an amazing coincidence that Sandler would be called out to a job at her house before going to the White House at the same time as she did. The plot of the movie reminded me of the first Star Trek movie. We send some information about ourselves out into the universe, and some alien life form discovers it and replies. We also saw this in “Starman” with Jeff Bridges, which I guess would be my favorite of these three. The Galaga game reminded me of Craig Ferguson, who talked about it on his show. I thought that Centipede was a good game, although I didn’t play it that much in the old days. I thought Pac-Man was a good game, too. I didn’t really see how these gamers could play the game very well driving around in cars. There’s a different perspective when you’re in the middle of the action. I liked Donkey Kong, too. According to the movie, the difference between the old video games and the new is that you could detect patterns in the old ones, while in the new you’re reacting quickly. I’m getting older and don’t have the good vision and reflexes, so my skills are deteriorating. The military wasn’t given enough credit. They should have been able to adjust to situations and do a good job. I thought the Centipede sequence was pretty fun. I thought about it had to be an ultimate fantasy to think that the skills of playing video games from 1982 could be useful in any way. There were numerous 1980s references, although I didn’t know who Madonna was in 1982. The use of “True” and “Working for the Weekend” on the soundtrack was funny. Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” was from 1978, although it was mentioned in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” I thought the Fantasy Island and Hall and Oates bits were amusing. I wondered if any of the kids in the theatre had any idea about Max Headroom. Kevin James wasn’t the presidential type in my eyes, even for a comedy. You can’t go from Paul Blart to the White House. The little guy mentioned Serena Williams and Martha Stewart, so I expected to see cameo appearances from them. I did not expect the world to come to an end because then there could be no “Pixels 2.” Toru Iwatani was the real creator of Pac-Man, but his character wasn’t convincing. Well, if you try to do a serious evaluation of this movie, it doesn’t hold up because of the recycled plot and the thin characters. It’s a movie that relies on special effects and action to work. I think the dramatic flaw in turning video game action into real action is that we can’t take the video game action seriously even if we’re told it’s real. If the aliens had any kind of intelligence at all, they could have figured everything out. What did they think the scores were? I thought the movie was something of a mess, trying to appeal to different age groups. I thought they would have done better just concentrating on all the video game nonsense. “The King of Kong” was a pretty good movie. The person sitting two seats to my left told me that he thought the movie we’d just seen was not a bad movie. It was moderately entertaining, and probably better than “Tron” from 1982. I wouldn’t readily recommend it as a movie for kids. There were a couple of references that would be uncomfortable to explain to a young child. I don’t know if Chris Columbus is capable of making a very good movie. I took the buses back home and waved to someone I recognized from the circulation desk at the library. I had a late lunch of a sandwich, and I went out to buy a Beatles shirt. I thought it would be a good time to my laundry to have fresh clothes with another hot day ahead of us. Over at the record store, I bought the DVD of “Silent Running.” It was perhaps my favorite science fiction movie of my childhood. I had to like the elements of Bruce Dern, Douglas Trumbull, robots, and ecology. On the CBS Evening News, the big story was Tom Brady’s suspension. Reportedly, the man is a cheat. It seems like the Patriots are taking over the position of the Raiders of decades past. I watched Eva Gabor give some odd answers in Match Game, and then I saw an hour of The Big Bang Theory. A graduate student attached herself to Sheldon and asked to share credit on some work. I watched a Joan Crawford movie called “Berserk!” She was part of a circus, just like she was part of a circus in her real life. I really loved a couple of those scenes from “Mommie Dearest,” and I couldn’t understand why Faye Dunaway didn’t see how we could find them funny. The soap opera and the board meeting were classics. I watched a few minutes of Adam Sandler in “Bulletproof.” It seemed that he hasn’t improved a bit as an actor. Bruce Dern was in “Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte.” He was in a scene that must have been shocking for its time. Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Victor Buono, George Kennedy, Ellen Corby, and Mary Astor were all in the cast. The opening credits didn’t begin until fifteen minutes into the movie. I guess Bette couldn’t stand to work with Joan a second time. Robert Aldrich’s greatest movie had to be “Kiss Me Deadly.” Some of the people who died on July 29 include Robert Schumann (1856), Mama Cass (1974), Luis Buñuel (1983), David Niven (1983), Jerome Robbins (1998), and Tom Snyder (2007). Today is a birthday for Wil Wheaton (43) and Sharon Creech (70). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 28, the “Grease” soundtrack was Number One on the album chart in 1978. In 1983, “National Lampoon’s Vacation” was released. In 1994, Jim Carrey’s “The Mask” was released. In 1998, Jerome Robbins, choreographer of “West Side Story” died at age 79 in New York City after he suffered a stroke. In 2007, Tom Snyder died of leukemia at age 71 in San Francisco.

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