Remember "Pixels"? I posted it here a few weeks ago. Take another look, refresh your memory:
Neat, right? If watching the video isn't something you're interested in or able to do, I'll summarize: New York City is invaded by a range of classic video games, including "Donkey Kong," "Pac-Man," "Frogger," "Tetris" and a few others. It's a really well done two-and-a-half minutes of video, one that is brimming with potential for a full-blown movie treatment. Adam Sandler apparently thinks so as well, as The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog reveals that his Happy Madison shingle has teamed up with the short's director, Patrick Jean, to develop it into a feature.
Minutes ago, I ranted at length about Sony's plans to adapt the business simulator "Rollercoaster Tycoon" into a feature-length film. I argue that there's such an abundance of fantastic story work in the medium of video games, there's no need to wrap one around an open-ended game that asks players to design and manage a theme park.
"Pixels" takes things one step further, and in the cleverest of ways. Video game characters break free of their virtual worlds to cause havoc in the real one that we live in. It's not an original idea (see: "Jumanji"), but it is an original twist. Will Jean's short work as a 90-minute movie? Hard to say. Can I see a Sandler-type character running around a New York City that's falling apart after video game characters are set free? Absolutely.
"Pixels" makes sense to me in a way that "Rollercoaster Tycoon" doesn't. Is it just me? There's certainly an argument for an unlikely property like "Tycoon" offering some interesting possibilities for story development. My problem there is that the story of someone building their dream theme park doesn't really capture the spirit of the game. On the other hand, "Pixels" embraces the spirit of several classic video games to tell a unique story. That's my read anyway. What do you readers think?