I can just imagine the pitch meeting for this one: “It’s a crazy sci-fi romp, ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ meets ‘Galaxy Quest’ meets ‘Grown Ups 2.’” “Uh, sorry, what was that last one?”
“Pixels” is the film in question, and Sony Pictures said yesterday that it would be a “tentpole” of next summer’s releases, to start filming in a month and be released on May 15. Directed by “Harry Potter” two-timer Chris Columbus, “Pixels” will star Adam Sandler and Kevin James as former childhood friends who team up to fight invading aliens — aliens who have misinterpreted videogame violence against them as a declaration of war.
It’s unclear why aliens who have the technological prowess to attack another planet have only seen the games beatable by the “old-school arcaders” who team up to save everyone. It’s like a really lame and flabby version of “The Avengers’ — Earth’s pastiest heroes! But unlike the awfulness of “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry,” that’s something you can’t pin on Sandler and James. “Pixels” is based on a two-minute viral video, released in 2010 and directed by Patrick Jean.
The original short was packed with clever freeze-frame gags (did you see the Atari logo?), something “Wreck-It Ralph” also did often and well. So, here’s hoping the “Pixels” movie has easter eggs to look for while we’re ignoring the scene where Pac-Man upchucks on Kevin James’s car, or whatever.