Pixels Rant: Unfiltered, Uncensored


Where do I begin with something like this?  Do I begin with the fact that this was the first movie in theaters that I’ve walked out on?  Do I begin with the fact that Adam Sandler is somehow still making shitty movies?  You know what?  Fuck it.  I’m gonna wing it.  I have never, EVER, seen a movie that pissed me off the way that Pixels did.  I’ve seen a lot of crappy movie in my time, but Pixels makes The Room look like Citizen Kane.  At least I finished The Room.  I knew going in, that Pixels was going to be awful.  Most of the reviews that I’ve seen and read have torn this fucker to shreds, and I’m going to do the same.  Let me tell you something first, I paid 7.25 to get into the theater, and that was way too much for the amount of stupid that I sat through.  The film starts off innocently enough in 1982 with kids going to a new arcade to check it out and have fun.  That’s what kids did back then.  So what went wrong?  Everything.  Every. Fucking. Thing.  The casting was unbelievably atrocious.  Kevin James as the President?  Are you kidding me?  It’s clear that they were poking fun at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  Josh Gad as the resident Conspiracy Theorist?  I am aghast at that man.  I’ve never seen a character so fucking irritating.  The writing:  Jesus Christ, this crap is awful.  From the awkward moments between Michelle Monaghan’s and Sandler’s characters to the horrid jokes that were being told throughout.  Who the hell wrote this thing?  While Adam Sandler is surprisingly, from what I’ve seen, the least problematic part of the film, but his production company, Happy Madison is behind the whole thing.  This movie was based on a short by the same name that was released in 2010:



This was better than the crap-fest that was released into theaters last week.  The people behind the Adam Sandler movie should be ashamed of themselves.  No, worse: They should be made to watch the film from beginning to end, A Clockwork Orange-style, with their eyes forced open multiple times.  Adam Sandler’s Pixels is the cinematic equivalent of torture.  I wouldn’t wish this garbage on my worst enemy.  I don’t know how or why people keep going to see Sandler’s movies.  I really don’t understand it.  He hasn’t made a good movie since Happy Gilmore.  It is abundantly clear that he’s gotten lazy in acting and writing.  The only real good thing Pixels has going for it, were the visuals.  They were genuinely interesting.  But having to slog through some of the worst writing and acting I have seen in years, isn’t worth it.  Just…Just don’t.  Don’t go see it, don’t pay for it.  If someone wants to take you to go see the film, kick them in the balls or give them a titty twister and tell them to fuck off.  I said earlier that I have never walked out on a movie before.  That is the truth, and as such I cannot give Pixels a proper review.  I can only review movies that I have seen in their entirety.  But I can report on what I have seen thus far, and what I have seen is pure shit.  I left the theater with steam coming out of my ears.  It also didn’t help that the movie was extremely loud.  I was cringing whenever something got turned into rubble.  I grew up with the games that the movie was trying to deal with.  Pac-Man, Q-Bert, Centipede, Donkey Kong, and Galaga were games that I grew up playing.   Boy, did they shit all over that.  Just watch the short that I posted above, and avoid the damned Adam Sandler movie.  I know he’s still got his fans, but I really don’t know what they see in him anymore.  Fuck this movie.  Yeah, this is a short post, but I can only keep a rant going on for so long.  So for anybody who is used to my regular PG-13 rated posts, I apologize, but I needed to do this.  Adam Sandler and Company deserve a spot in the Dunce Corner.  I’m not going to apologize for that, either.

X-Men Days of Future Past Rogue Cut


Released: Theatrical-2014, Rogue Cut-July 14, 2015

Director: Bryan Singer

Run Time: Theatrical Release – 131 Minutes, Rogue Cut – 148 Minutes

Rated PG-13

Hugh Jackman: Logan/Wolverine
James McAvoy: Charles Xavier
Michael Fassbender: Erik Lensherr/Magneto
Nicolas Hoult: Hank McCoy/Beast
Jennifer Lawrence: Raven Darkholme/Mystique
Peter Dinklage: Bolivar Trask
Anna Paquin: Rogue
Halle Barry: Storm
Ian McKellen: Future Magneto
Patrick Stewart: Future Charles Xavier
Ellen Page: Kitty Pryde

A few months back I did an article on extended versions of movies and the different types of extended versions.  There was a kind of extended cut that totally slipped my mind, but is equally important as far as movies that re-released with additional footage: The Alternate Cut.  An alternate cut of a movie is not necessarily the preferred version of the film, from a director’s perspective.  What an alternate cut of a film shows how certain scenes play out differently, even if the outcome of the story is unchanged.  Sometimes the ending does change, but it’s rare.  So, why an alternate cut?  There are various reasons, but generally the footage that was cut, was cut for logistical reasons.  Pacing, time, money, and importance of such footage are some of the things that directors and editors have to take into account when making a film.  Some things are going to get sacrificed.  It’s part of the process.  There is some footage that directors really love and feel that it doesn’t necessarily detract from the experience, therefor they try to reintegrate that footage for a home video release.  Bryan Singer is one of those directors who doesn’t really like doing director’s cuts, or special editions, but X-Men: Days of Future Past, he made an exception.

For this post, I’m not actually going to review the film again, but I’m going to go over the changes that Bryan Singer and company had made to this re-release of Day of Future Past.  I gave the original version of the film very high marks, and I regard it as one of the best X-Men movies to date.  Anna Paquin, who plays Rogue, was initially supposed to have a very substantial part in the film, but due to budgetary reasons and pacing purposes, her role was cut down to what amounted as a basic cameo at the end of the movie.  So, what happened was that Bryan Singer got together with some executives at Fox Studios and got permission to go back and re-introduce Anna Paquin’s character into the film with additional visual effects and action sequences.  There’s a scene in the film where Kitty Pryde is trying keep Logan from waking up in the future, when he inadvertently slices Kitty across her torso and she’s basically bleeding out.  The original intention was to have Iceman, Magneto and Professor X try and find Rogue so she could take Kitty’s powers and keep Logan’s consciousness in the past.  All this footage for Rogue is set in the future.  Basically, Magneto, Iceman, and Professor X head to the old mansion which had been taken over by whoever was running the Sentinels, and they discover Rogue being experimented on in Cerebro.  They break her out only to run into more Sentinels.  So how does this version of the film compare to the theatrical version?

While there are other extended scenes and alternate takes with additional visual effects, none of this really affects the final outcome of the film.  It’s very interesting to see Anna Paquin back as Rogue in a very important part of the story.  It actually makes a lot more sense that they brought her back, because with Kitty being severely wounded, there was just no practical way that she could continue doing what she was doing.  Rogue is brought in to help keep Logan in the past so they can end the war before it begins.  I actually rather like this cut a bit better, because the character of Rogue was given more to do, instead of being the damsel in distress like she was in the previous films.  We also get to see the older Magneto and Xavier take on one last mission together to rescue her.  It’s kind of a last hurrah for the two.  That was the bulk of the footage that makes up the “Rogue Cut” of the film.  We also get see some of the characters have a little bit more to say.  Honestly, getting to see the remnants of the old X-Men headquarters was pretty cool.  Overall, there was 17 minutes of footage re-introduced in the film.  It didn’t really feel like it, though.  That is a testament to how good Bryan Singer is at making movies.

There is a bit of contention, though, regarding the Rogue Cut.  See, the Rogue Cut was announced before the home video release of X-Men: Days of Future Past.  The idea of double-dipping didn’t strike people as a particularly attractive.  For the most part, I agree.  However, in the case of The Rogue Cut, I understand why they did that.  Singer needed additional time and money to finish up the footage and visual effects so they could effectively be spliced back in.  People aren’t happy about it, because the Rogue Cut also includes the theatrical version of the film on the same disc, if you got the Blu-Ray.  It’s understandable, why people aren’t particularly happy about that, considering that movie studios have basically divided special features across multiple versions of the DVD/Blu-Ray.  What that means is that you get certain features depending on where you buy the disc, and I find that to be egregious.  In the case of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Rogue Cut is absolutely worth it.  It’s still a fantastic film at the end of the day, but it’s a different look at how things could have ended up.  So, I appreciate that Bryan Singer took the time to do something like this, when he really didn’t have to.  When you do do an alternate version of a film, this is how you do it properly.  So, which version do I recommend?  Honestly, both.  Both of them are fantastic, and the additional footage will excite fans of the films.  I personally prefer the Rogue Cut, because some of it makes a little bit more sense to me.  Overall, though, I’m going to give the Rogue Cut the same score I gave the theatrical version, 9.5/10.  It’s still a damn good movie.

The Land Before Time

Released: November 1988

Director: Don Bluth

Rated G

Run Time: 69 Minutes

Judith Barsi: Ducky
Pat Hingle: Narrator
Gabriel Damon: Littlefoot
Helen Shaver: Littlefoot’s Mother
Candace Hutson: Cera
Will Ryan: Petrie

As a kid who was born in the early 80’s, I watched a lot of cartoons and a lot of animated movies.  Truth be told, though, the first movie that I honestly remember seeing wasn’t an animated movie.  No, it was Star Wars.  I remember at times, asking my parents for permission to watch the movie, and most of the time, they let me.  It was such an amazing experience.  But a lot of the other movies that I saw during that decade were animated.  Obviously, I watched a lot of the older Disney films like Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, and Snow White.  Looking back at the 1980’s, there really weren’t a whole lot of animated Disney movies.  I count 4, including The Fox and The Hound, and The Little Mermaid.  The only one of those that I remember with any kind of fondness was The Fox and The Hound.  Disney had released a lot of movies during that decade, but most of them were live-action, and some of them were more than a little creepy.  Along comes a man named Don Bluth to fill in the gap.  Ironically, while Bluth gave us some of the most memorable animated movies during the 80’s he was an animator for some of Disney’s movies.  There were four big animated non-Disney movies that Don Bluth gave us during that decade: The Secret of NIMH, An American Tale, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and The Land Before Time.

The Land Before Time opens as Littlefoot is born.  After being able to walk, Littlefoot begins to explore his surroundings and eventually getting into a little bit of trouble with the local Three-horns(triceratops).  Attempting to make friends with Cera, Littlefoot is essentially ignored and pushed away.  After spending time with his family and trying to make friends, Littletooth and his family are suddenly attacked by a monstrous Sharptooth(T-Rex).  During this fight, Littlefoot’s mother is mortally wounded and he is separated from his herd by a massive earthquake.  With her last breath, Littlefoot’s mother tells her son to try and find his way to The Great Valley where the rest of his herd has gone.  Alone and heartbroken, Littlefoot finds some new friends and together, they begin their perilous journey to The Great Valley.  The Land Before Time was often criticized for being too depressing for children.  Death is not an easy subject to tackle, especially in a kid’s movie such as this.  I have to give the filmmaker’s credit for managing to have the mother’s death have a lot of weight to it.  The death of a parent would extremely traumatizing for a child, and Don Bluth tackles the subject tactfully and tastefully.  I will fully admit that when I was a child, I bawled my eyes out when I saw Littlefoot’s mother die.  Even as an adult, I still get choked up about it.  It was a very emotional, memorable, and important moment in that movie.  27 years later, the story is still very compelling.

One of the things that I remember most about The Land Before Time, was it’s animation.  This is an incredibly detailed film with some very creative animation.  The details on the dinosaurs, especially the Longnecks, is astounding.  The wrinkles and the colors all help to really illustrate how incredible these creatures are.  The art-style is extraordinary.  The different environments, which range from deserts to volcanic regions, all have their own distinct look and feel.  It really helps give scope and magnitude to Littlefoot’s journey.  The music by the late James Horner, gives The Land Before Time, a very powerful and epic feel that just really resonates throughout the picture.  Having a colorful cast of characters never hurts, and The Land Before Time really delivers on that front.  From the innocent, yet, brave Littlefoot, to the quirky and hesitant Petrie, we’re given characters that we truly care about and don’t want to see hurt.  Each one has their own unique personality.  Cera is kind of hard-headed and very prideful, yet vulnerable when she makes mistakes.  Ducky is the loudmouth of the bunch and yet, is very charming.  These characters behave like kids, because they are kids and were voiced by kids.

While the film certainly has its darker moments, it’s truly a family film at its heart.  There’s a lot that kids can take from this movie.  The fact that despite obvious differences you can still work together to achieve something great, and you can make friends with people who look different.  These are some of the lessons to be learned, but it’s a fantastic adventure at the same time.  It’s exciting, it’s funny, and it’s emotional.  It’s got all of these feelings and more wrapped up in an incredible package that should be seen by everyone.  The mark of a truly great movie is regardless of how many times you see a movie, it holds up with each viewing.  You need to have a solid story, great characters and writing.  The Land Before Time is one of those movies.  It’s definitely one of the most memorable films from my childhood that is still amazing.  Yes, it packs an emotional punch, but it is absolutely worth it.

For some reason, The Land Before Time got 12 official sequels and an animated TV series.  I haven’t seen any of those, because, I know that they will never, ever be able to capture the magic and the imagination of the original film.  Don Bluth has crafted an extraordinary experience that needs to be seen by people of all generations.  It is simply that good.  There were certainly other movies that Bluth had directed during the 80s, but The Land Before Time stands out for me, because….well….dinosaurs.  Even today’s children can find something to take away from this movie, whether it’s friendship, courage or humor, but I remember it because Don Bluth and his writers had the courage to give the film an emotional impact the way they did.  It’s an amazing adventure that I would absolutely share with future generations.  I’m giving The Land Before Time a perfect 10/10.  I love this movie, in case you haven’t noticed.

Batman V. Superman Comic-Con Trailer

When Man Of Steel came out back in 2013, the public reaction to the film was firmly split down the middle.  Half the people, like me, loved the hell out of it.  It was a different take on the Superman story and a bit darker than what we are used to see from the character.  I enjoyed the film, because it allowed Superman to dish out punishment to his enemies, unlike Superman Returns, where he didn’t throw a single punch.  A lot of people complained that the film used Zod as the main villain.  Here’s the thing:  General Zod has always been a great villain, especially since in the comics he’s been portrayed as a patriot of Krypton.  That’s how he’s portrayed here, despite his methods.  Michael Shannon’s performance was simply fantastic.  Yeah, Terrence Stamp did it first with Superman II, but Shannon comes across as less campy, and you tend to sympathize with Zod this time around, but he does care about his people.  People also had issues with Metropolis basically being leveled in the last 40 minutes of the film.  I like the fact that there are consequences to Superman fighting Zod, and that’s where Batman V. Superman comes in.  It deals with the aftermath of the attack on Metropolis.  This time around, Batman is involved.  I bring this up because a couple of days ago, Warner Bros. released a new Comic-Con trailer for Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  What I’m going to here is, I’m going to show the first teaser trailer for the film, and discuss what I think went wrong with it, and then I’ll show the new one, and discuss that one in detail.

Okay, it’s great that they released the teaser as soon as they did, but it felt very under-cooked.  Why?  We have no real idea what’s going on, and it seems that Superman is being painted as the bad guy.  We see a statue of him that’s been vandalized with the words, “false god.”  Obviously, after the events of the previous film, some people really aren’t going to be thrilled with the fact that Superman is on Earth.  We also see what appears to be soldiers kneeling in front of Kal-El.  Did he get an army or something?  We also get a brief glimpse of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, and while he certainly looks the part, he doesn’t really do anything.  The new Batsuit looks freaking amazing.  When we see Batman confront Superman, he’s asked if he bleeds.  We don’t know if that’s Batman’s voice or somebody else’s, it’s confusing really.  The little bit of explosions and action that are in the trailer are very brief, but interesting.  However, there’s nothing substantial here that made me excited.  In fact, the teaser actually made me worried about the film.  The original teaser trailer for Man of Steel was far more compelling.

Now THIS is definitely a proper trailer for a movie of this magnitude.  There’s definitely a hell of a lot more going on in this trailer than the previous one.  This was released a few days ago, but it really gave fans the chills.  The trailer starts of during the attack on Metropolis with Bruce Wayne witnessing his building getting wrecked.  He charges into the fray and finds a lone child, while he looks to the sky in anger, and he is pissed.  I’m definitely sold on Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman.  The character is older than we are used to seeing and he’s a lot more world-weary.  Then we see Superman going on trial to explain his actions in Metropolis.  He didn’t have to, but this action definitely paints the character as a good guy.  There’s a lot more action going, with big explosions, and all sorts of mayhem.  With Batman, it seems like he had given up his life of crime-fighting, because the character lost too much, but it seems that Superman is the reason for Batman coming back.  Again, the suit is absolutely pitch-perfect.  Seeing Batman actually take on Superman is breathtaking, despite not seeing very much of it.  I should also mention that Jeremy Irons will be playing Alfred Pennyworth, and I think he’s perfect for the job.  Now, a few months back, Zack Snyder released some pictures of Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, and that caused some controversy.  I wasn’t buying her as the character, because she didn’t physically look like she could handle that particular role.  The outfit is darker than I would have expected, but seeing her in action, I’m a little bit more optimistic.  Not a whole lot, mind you, but a little.  If there is one issue that I have is Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.  I’m not particularly thrilled.  Not a lot of people are either, considering Eisnberg’s attitude towards the character.  Bryan Cranston would have been a better option.  I like the idea of Luthor possibly manipulating the conflict between Superman and Batman, but Jesse Eisenberg just doesn’t seem to fit the character.  When we see Wonder Woman fighting, we have no idea who or what she’s up against, so it appears that Luthor is not the main villain.  There is speculation that it may be Doomsday, and I really hope it isn’t.

The whole Doomsday story-line is one that would take three movies at least.  I’ve read the comics and the novel, and there is so much to that story, and it’s so important to the character of Superman, that to shoehorn Doomsday into this movie strikes me as a disservice.  It’s too early for that.  That being said,  my final reaction to this new trailer is that I’m stoked.  I’m actually excited for this sucker.  I just wish it wasn’t 8 months out.  The film is scheduled for release in 2016 and stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Lawrence Fishburne, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, and Gal Gadot.  This could be next summer’s major blockbuster.  I’m looking forward to it.  With the Justice League movies announced, Warner Bros., and DC Comics could catch up to Marvel.  Unlikely, but I’m actually getting burned out on Marvel’s movies right now, so seeing the trailer for Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice is refreshing.