Like everyone with a sense of visual wonder, we adored director Patrick Jean’s “Pixels” short film. The 2010 film, which depicted an invasion of New York by the characters and imagery from 8-bit video games, was a thrilling two-and-a-half minute ode to the glory of the classic days of gaming and its visual iconography. When that same short was later announced as a feature from Columbia Pictures, starring Adam Sandler, “cautiously optimistic” might have been the phrase that would have best described our outlook–Sandler hasn’t been very funny in a long time, but the concept and source material were good enough to pique our curiosity.
While the movie doesn’t open until tonight, one critic who shared that curiosity has made his contempt for the final product clear in a hilariously foul-mouthed expression of sheer shock and outrage. Bob Chipman, who reviews films on his YouTube channel as The Movie Bob, crafted a 10-minute response to Sandler’s Pixels that savages the film as “celluloid chlamydia” and “Scott Pilgrim, but for assholes,” and the people behind the film–including easy targets like Sandler and Kevin James, as well as beloved stars like The Dinkles–as “shit gargling fuckwits.”
Chipman’s response to the film is a masterpiece of nerd-rage, going in on everything from the film’s disrespect for its premise and the fans who paid money to see a product that delivers on that premise (“pay us money to remind you that Joust existed,” as he puts it) to the context-free pop culture-referencing that products like Family Guy and Kevin Smith movies churn out in lieu of clever jokes, to the way its female characters literally become trophies for the male characters to receive for doing a good job fighting the bad guys. If Chipman speaks for Pixels‘ target audience–and the deep, abiding love for classic games that he expresses in his review, as well as the film’s 17% Rotten Tomatoes rating, suggests that he does–then it’s probably a sentiment that’s going to be mirrored by many over the weekend. Maybe even more than would have seen it before Chipman’s review–if only to see if anything can really be that bad.