Being a child of the ’80s, it was a blast from the past as San Diego’s Hard Rock Hotel hosted the “Pixel” arcade event known as the “Electric Dreams Factory.” Sony Pictures Entertainment gathered a variety of ’80s arcade games to let fans have a chance to play the iconic arcade greats in which today’s modern day video games owe their gratitude. It was mesmerizing to see and more enjoyable to play (once again) such games as Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Centipede, Asteroids, PAC-MAN, Galaga and Q*bert. So, why are these games relevant to the storyline of “Pixels?” The variety of characters from these video games will be used by aliens in the film to lead various assault forces against the Earth. Back in April, director Chris Columbus (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”) discussed the elements that were pulled together for the film.
“By combining the visceral power of 80’s arcade games with state-of-the-art visual effects, Pixels will take the audience to a place they’ve never been before.”
One mystery was present at the Electric Dreams Factory. A video game by the name of “Dojo Quest” occupied a space, but this was not a video game featured back in the day. Apparently, it is a pivotal plot device in “Pixels.” Actor Josh Gad’s character is hopelessly in love with the video game’s heroine Lady Lisa. Although out of order at the Electric Dreams Factory, there was a note left by the game’s femme fatale.
Playing these games again brought back a lot of memories. Pumping quarters (tokens at this event) into each video game to see how many levels you could pass or if you could achieve the high score at the local arcade were always challenges. Aside from the machines, Sony went one step further by adding the dark atmosphere which captured the cheesy glow of the fluorescent painted lettering and images posted on the walls and carpet. It really was like taking a step into the past and it left a huge smile on my face. I know I’m going to go see this film when it hits theaters in May of next year. (Here are some more arcade photos.)
Here is the action/comedy/sci-fi film’s synopsis:
When aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (Kevin James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Jules Brenner, now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders to defeat the aliens and save the planet.
“Pixels” will open in theaters on May 15, 2015. The film stars Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan, Ashley Benson, Josh Gad, Kevin James, Brian Cox, Rob Archer, Jane Krakowski, James Preston Rogers, Matthew Lintz, Michael Boisvert, Howard Pont and Jared Riley. Timothy Dowling and Tim Herlihy wrote the screenplay based on the story by Patrick Jean and Adam Sandler. Chris Columbus directs.