Starting next week you’ll get the chance to see Adam Sandler battle classic video game characters come to life in Pixels. There are obviously going to be some serious CGI additions, but this new behind the scenes video gives you a feel for what the actors went through pretending that the likes of Pac-Man, Centipede, and Donkey Kong were really on the rampage.
This video is worth a watch for a couple reasons. Shot with a GoPro attached to various camera rigs, it really does put you right there as the cast and crew are filming, which is a perspective not a lot of us have been fortunate enough to have. It’s especially cool as the camera cranes up and follows the cast running down the street, dodging explosions and imaginary Space Invaders.

You also get feel, however brief, for how what it is like for the actors on set, pretending to interact with and react to things that aren’t there but that will be digitally added in after the fact. For example, here you see stars Adam Sandler and Josh Gad armed with big guns, blasting away at who knows what old school arcade character lurking somewhere in the sky above. That has to be a bizarre, somewhat surreal experience

The plot goes, back in 1982, NASA launched a time capsule full of images of life on Earth and relics of our culture at the time in the hopes of establishing peaceful communication with alien life of some kind. Well, the message was received, and horribly misinterpreted, and in Pixels, extraterrestrials attack Earth using various videogames as models. This includes Pac-Man, Arkanoid, Tetris, and many others. Their tech can change forms and turn any matter into more of itself.

As you can imagine, President Will Cooper (Kevin James) is way up shit creek, but fortunately he has an ace up his sleeve. Who better to battle video game-based invaders from space than an old school video game champion, and it just so happens the POTUS is best buds with Sam Brenner (Sandler), one such former champ. Brenner enlists the help of Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage) and Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad) to help save the world, which is really what these guys have been practicing for all these years.

Michelle Monaghan plays a military officer who is attached to the team, Jane Krakowski shows up as the First Lady and former romantic partner of Sam, Brian Cox is an Admiral, and Sean Bean shows up as a random officer who will very likely wind up eaten by Pac-Man or crushed by one of Donkey Kong’s barrels. That last part should be fun.

Directed by Chris Columbus (the first two Harry Potter movies), Pixels opens everywhere on July 24.

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