• Anthony Pizzo

    I can’t even hear Adam Sandler’s name without thinking of “I didn’t mean this young!” from the fake movie in Funny People. It’s such a perfect encapsulation of his whole ethos.

    Also, that fake accent for Professor Iwatani. Whoever coached Denis Akiyama into that accent should be shot.

    • I haven’t seen Funny People, but I think his whole ethos is laid out in the Just Go With It poster where he’s lounging on a beach with a drink in his hand.

      This seems like the most work he’s put into a movie since That’s My Boy!

    • Wad

      I feel like this is an appropriate place to link this essay on Billy Madison. I didn’t write it, but it goes a long way toward explaining why it’s long been one of my favorites and why it’s different than the rest of the work in his catalog.


      • Anthony Pizzo

        I think that’s one of last year’s Lovefest essays. It’s a very good piece.

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  • I have a feeling this movie will perform based on the appeal of the concept more than the cast (although if it’s a hit I fully expect to hear “Sandler’s back!” stories). I won’t lie, I’ll probably end up seeing this.

    • Anthony Pizzo


    • Matthew Stechel

      I don’t think his last couple of movies have flopped because people have suddenly become tired of him so much as people suddenly becoming tired of his movie formula. I think it he were to make another one of those high concept comedies (but one with a low-brow sensibility instead of an art-house one) that didn’t look exactly like 10 other movies he’s made–people might actually show up again. Hell people showed up to Grown-Ups 2 so its not like his audience has deserted him.

  • Patrick Jean

    PIXELS the feature is ADAPTED from my short film PIXELS. Nothing to do with Futurama and Freddiew. Stop trolling please, thank you.

    • Would you rather I went with the 2015 film Pixels is a rehash of Ghostbusters by way of Wreck-it Ralph?

      • Patrick Jean

        I prefer to cite the Last starfighter and Ghostbusters as influences. And the first TRON too. Futurama probably had the same influences, right? Also the Pixels movie was in development before Wreck kit Ralph even existed, so it wasn’t at all an influence.

        • To be fair, that segment seemed most derivative of The Simpsons‘ Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores (the first segment of Treehouse of Horror VI), where Homer steals a giant donut and causes the giant mascots to come to life and attack the city (famously ending in Paul Anka’s Just Don’t Look). Of course, that was also a Matt Groening series. And, I thought I remembered that being inspired by either a Twilight Zone or other short story but I cannot find that connection.

          According to the commentary on Futurama’s episode, the writer of that segment had the idea for Space Invaders: The Movie, about an army of aliens who invaded in the style of video games. That feature length idea was compressed to the six minute short at the beginning of the article.

          Of course, both The Simpsons and Futurama wore their culture mining on their sleeves, especially in the anthology episodes, so charges that they were influenced by (if not ripped from) other movies would probably not have bristled them. Some of the changes they made were merely “put characters in story and make funny,” similar to my statement that the feature Pixels Is just Futurama with Adam Sandler replacing Pizza Express.

          Though, I imagine the reason that bristles you might be copyright related.

          • Patrick Jean

            No Julius, what bristles me is that I know precisely where the idea the feature is based on came from, and I know it had nothing to do with that Futurama episode I didn’t even see at the time, so yeah, it kind of pisses me off when I read comments like “they basically ripped of Futurama”. How can you “ripoff” something you didn’t even see? That doesn’t make any sense. If you want, I can tell you how the idea behind Pixels was originated, just in case you’re interested in knowing the truth instead of just repeating what everyone else says. There we go, here is the long version, lucky you:

            Originally, in 2009, i wanted to direct music videos and short films. I came up with an idea involving a tiny terrorist Bomberman laying pixel bombs across Paris. Each bomb, instead of destroying stuff, would be a “pixellating bomb”. It might sound dumb, and it was, but that’s how it started. And it was for a MUSIC VIDEO at the time. It was using a Voxel plugin I coded years ago to create a 3D scanner, and which didn’t really work. Anyways.

            The idea was rejected for being impossible to make with the time we had, but my friend Ben, who was a producer at the company I was working with, suggested we shoot it as a short film in New York. Shooting in NYC wasn’t my idea.

            Later I expanded the concept to other games, the ones you see in the short. It still ends up with the bomb though.

            After I completed the short film, Sony Pictures loved it, and we pitched them an idea based on it involving real-life actors saving the world against a video-game invasion. They came up with the alien thing.

            The whole genesis of what became this film was a series of fortunate coincidences, and everyone involved kept adding their ideas as the process went forward. At no point was anything from FUTURAMA involved. And wait until you see the movie: it’s very different, in terms of story, pace, ideas… everything.

            I guess in the end, it’s possible that we came up with somewhat similar ideas starting from different paths, it happens all the time, even in nature. It’s called convergent evolution. Or noosphere. Or just similar influences.

            My issues are NOT with the copyright, I’m not a lawyer and I really don’t care. My issue is with people calling me, indirectly, a liar, or a thief.

          • Futurama was also what first came to mind when I saw the trailer for this. Frankly, I don’t think the movie looks that good, but I can imagine the comparison between the two, even though I’d say it’s accurate, gets frustrating since it’s so constantly brought up.

            However, I’d also venture to say it’s quite unfair to say Julius is “trolling” by bringing up similarities between the two entities.

          • Patrick Jean

            yeah, but this futurama thing was… a 6min cartoon. This is… a live action movie… not the same medium. plus… have you read what I wrote??? I am really tired of this. I give up! I spent wayyy too much energy on this already. I hope you will enjoy the movie, and if you don’t, well I’m sorry. It happens ! ciao.

          • Donovan

            THe instant I saw the trailer I went “they just stole a futurama episode.” As a creator myself, I know more than once I’ve made something and then someone says “oh that’s just like XYZ” and then I have to look it up and find out someone already did the same thing and I’d never heard of it. But at some point, you go “oh shit, someone beat me to it. I’d better come up with a fresh idea.” You dont’ go “who cares if I’m stealing!” and keep going.

          • junkevil

            yeah, you didn’t steal the idea from fututarma as much as shia lebouf didn’t steal his howardcantor.com idea from daniel clowes. the reality is that in the internet age you can’t get away with wholesale plaigairism of ideas anymore. you’re going to get called out on it.

            also, you say you never saw futurama and then say how your story is so much different. YOU NEED MORE NARRATIVE STRUCTURE IN YOUR LIES.

    • Donovan

      Except the plot is identical to a futurama episode…

  • Cleo

    Thank you for writing about this!
    This first time I heard about the Pixel movie all I could think was “Hey! they totally ripped that off from Futurama!”
    The weirdest part is they didn’t even rip off an episode; they copied part of an anthology.
    It’s just weird.