Pixels gives Pac-Man creator his moment of fame

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Pac-Man is NOT a bad guy, says the Professor. Photo: Columbia Pictures
Pac-Man is NOT a bad guy, says the Professor. Photo: Columbia Pictures

Sure, it’s an Adam Sandler/Kevin James summer blockbuster with a ridiculous premise: the Earth is besieged by huge video game characters bent on destroying everything by turning stuff into pixels.

While Peter Dinklage and Jane Krakowski might elevate this potentially awful movie, Pixels, to something more cult status than forgettable popcorn fodder, it’s the nostalgic use of Pac-Man himself that made us watch the trailer in the first place.

First up, we’ve got the Mini Coopers all painted up to look like the iconic Pac-Man ghosts, Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde, which is all kinds of awesome. However, it’s the lovely tribute to Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani, portrayed by Denis Akiyama (Johnny Mnemonic, Dead Ringers) at about 1:52 in.

The erstwhile Professor Iwatani is sure that his “sweet little boy” isn’t the bad guy that everyone else seems to think the giant chomping creature is. The professor walks up to the glowing yellow ball and reaches out to it, lovingly.

Of course, in this movie, Pac-Man is a monster created by aliens to attack the planet, so it chomps off the professor’s hand. Poor video game creator; you are so naive.

Even though this is directed by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter, Gremlins, Goonies), we’re pretty sure it’s going to be another bad video game movie that just doesn’t get it. Adding Billy Madison and Paul Blart Mall Cop to the mix is in no way making us feel any more confident in the flick, either.

If nothing else, though, honoring the creator of perhaps the most iconic video game character in the world gives us a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, which just might be enough to get us to watch it in second, $3 movie theater release. With a bunch of beer and nachos. Maybe.