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Pixels (2015) Poster

(2015)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (3)  | Character error (1)  | Continuity (6)  | Errors in geography (2)  | Factual errors (4)  | Miscellaneous (1)  | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (13)  | Plot holes (1)  | Revealing mistakes (2)  | Spoilers (10)

Anachronisms 

In the opening scenes, set in 1982, characters discuss their favorite celebrities. Madonna and Samantha Fox are among those mentioned. Both women had started their careers in 1982, but neither was a celebrity.
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In 1982, a video game contestant wears a Karate Kid-style headband and uses the crane kick stance. The Karate Kid was released in 1984.
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Corporal Hill wears a uniform that is out of date. Modern British Army uniforms have their rank tabs on the front of their jackets not on the shoulders. The credits claim that the character is "SAS" (Special Air Service, a British Special Forces Unit) - the beret badge is incorrect for SAS and the beret is green, SAS berets are a 'sand' colour. Additionally, the camouflage pattern on Hill's uniform is incorrect. While the DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material) pattern shown was used by the British military, it was completely phased out by 2013 in favor of MTP (Multi Terrain Pattern), a Multicam derivative.
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Character error 

When Ludlow is talking to the President he says "latitude and longtitude". There is no such word as longtitude, he should have said longitude.
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Continuity 

The sword on Ludlow's neck changes position in two shots.
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When Brenner and Violet are drinking wine in the closet they are clearly inebriated. Then when they come out of the closet, they're completely sober, and proceed to each drive a vehicle to the White House.
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When Lamonsoff takes Brenner to his grandmother's house, there is a "Dojo Quest" poster seen in the background. The strap on Lady Lisa's shirt starts at her left shoulder and goes across to the right, while near the end of the film, the strap goes from her right shoulder and goes across to the left.
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In the opening credits, Young Brenner, on his bike, passes the same parked Camaro twice. In the first shot he pops a wheelie as he's passing it, and in the second, before he approaches the car.
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During the opening credits, Brenner passes a station wagon and Camaro that are parked on the road. Then as he approaches Cooper's house, the Camaro is parked in a driveway, while the station wagon is on the other side of the road.
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When Brenner arrives to do the AV install, one of the items he is told he will be installing is an 85 inch big screen TV, however when we see the TV it is no larger than a 50 inch.
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Errors in geography 

The coordinates given for the Centipede attack, (51 30' 29", 0 9' 42") are right in the middle of the River Thames, yet during the attack they are in Hyde Park roughly 17 miles from the point stated.
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In the street scene right after Ludlow and Lady Lisa come face to face for the first time, the traffic lights shown are the ones used in a Canadian city like Toronto, where the movie is filmed, and not for any U.S. city.
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Factual errors 

When Brenner is first let into the Van Patten household, Matty mentions the Playstation 4. However when Brenner begins the install of the TV, you can see just to his right a Playstation 3.
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When Ludlow is in his basement talking to Sam, he correctly mentions that a base was attacked by "Galaga", but points to a picture of the white protagonist ship from the original Galaga video game. The actual Galaga (called a Boss Galaga) is the main ship the aliens use, not the white Fighter Lud pointed to. That ship is called a Gyaraga or simply "Fighter".
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While not specifically mentioned, it is suggested that Violet is a Navy officer, yet she states she was the Vodka shot champion of her class at West Point. West Point is a US Army Academy. While there are numerous inter-branch cadets at the 3 United States Military Academies, she would still technically be a Naval Cadet from Annapolis and would ultimately graduate from and be a member of a class from that school.
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Michelle Monaghan's character is repeatedly referred to as Lieutenant Colonel Violet van Patten. When she is shown in uniform, she is wearing a Navy uniform. The Navy's uniform is white shirt with black skirt. The Air Force uniform is blue shirt with blue skirt. While an O-5 in the Army, Air Force, and Marines is a Lieutenant Colonel, in the Navy O-5 is Commander. A Navy Captain is a Colonel in the other branches.
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Miscellaneous 

At the beginning where Will is cutting the grass, you can see he is totally faking it- he doesn't have to scream as he talks while the mower is supposed to be running, and you can see he is not cutting any grass.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Several of the game figures that the aliens use for their patterns are from games released after 1982, such as Tetris, Arkanoid, and Paperboy. However, it is never claimed that the probe was launched in 1982, only that it included footage from that year. It could've been launched years later and included footage from later years too. Long delays aren't that rare in NASA. Also, the aliens could've updated their data by picking up Earth transmissions after the probe got their attention.
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Although the movie is titled "Pixels", the attacking aliens are actually composed of voxels. Pixels are 2D and Voxels are 3D. However, it is never claimed in the movie itself that aliens are made of pixels, and the name of the movie is just a name, not a statement of fact. Of course, the movie couldn't have been called "Voxels" in any case - this term is too obscure for marketing purposes (see Trivia section for details). Anyway, since the movie itself is a two-dimensional medium (3D is just an illusion created by two 2D rails), technically there are no real voxels in the movie.
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Arcade games in 1982 used CRT screens, while the ones shown in the beginning have LCD screens (no curvature, no scan lines, no phosphor persistence). This was not a mistake, but a deliberate choice by the filmmakers, because CRT screens would be very difficult to film. See the Trivia section for more details.
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Upon encountering Pac Man, both Brenner and Professor Iwatani are shocked to discover that "Pac Man is a bad guy," even though they had been preparing for hours to fight Pac Man, heard about Pac Man's earlier attack, and they arrived on the scene driving vehicles designed for fighting Pac Man. However, it's one thing to hear about a bad Pac Man and another is to actually see the carnage up close. Perhaps they didn't really believe in a bad Pac Man because they didn't want to, until they saw it with their own eyes.
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The main characters are explained to be perfectly suited for the task of fighting the aliens because of their years of practice with classic video games. Then how do handle firearms so well and race cars through a city? Some arcade games require the use of a physical gun or a steering wheel, so they are supposed to have those skills. The premise of the movie is that those skills are transferable to the real world. In any case, they are not using real guns, but special "light shooters", which are far more similar to an arcade weapon than a real one, so it makes sense. As for the cars, driving a car isn't a special skill and they aren't even doing anything particularly special with those cars.
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In the final act, the main character from Paperboy emerges from the ship. Paperboy came out in 1985. However, it is never claimed that the probe was launched in 1982, only that it included footage from that year. It could've been launched years later and included footage from later years too. Long delays aren't that rare in NASA. Also, the aliens could've updated their data by picking up Earth transmissions after the probe got their attention.
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The alien footage of Daryl Hall and John Oates was taken from the time when they were guest VJs on MTV, which took place in 1986. However, it is never claimed that the probe was launched in 1982, only that it included footage from that year. It could've been launched years later and included footage from later years too. Long delays aren't that rare in NASA. Also, the aliens could've updated their data by picking up Earth transmissions after the probe got their attention.
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An alien appears as the character Max Headroom to communicate with the humans during the final battle, even though Max Headroom didn't debut until 1985's Max Headroom. However, it is never claimed that the probe was launched in 1982, only that it included footage from that year. It could've been launched years later and included footage from later years too. Long delays aren't that rare in NASA. Also, the aliens could've updated their data by picking up Earth transmissions after the probe got their attention.
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Violet mentions that the probe contained footage of the Where's the Beef lady, which debuted in 1984. However, it is never claimed that the probe was launched in 1982, only that it included footage from that year. It could've been launched years later and included footage from later years too. Long delays aren't that rare in NASA. Also, the aliens could've updated their data by picking up Earth transmissions after the probe got their attention.
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The aliens seem to want to play fair and are unhappy when the humans cheat by using cheat codes. However, they do not give the humans any method of participating in the game to defeat them. Or do they? The government learned how to fight aliens by studying some "cubes" that the aliens just left lying around Guam, even though the attackers themselves were pure energy. Perhaps they did it deliberately, to give humans a fighting chance. In any case, since the aliens believe the humans declared war on them, they must believe that humans already know how to fight back and don't need any help.
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The aliens made a rule stating that both teams can not cheat. The team that cheats is automatically disqualified and forfeits their entire planet. Yet the aliens attack Guam and Taj Mahal seemingly without warning and with no opposing players, which might be construed as cheating. But after the Guam attack we learn that the aliens had been transmitting the invitation to the battle all along using 1980's technology, not realizing that humans moved on, except the paranoid Ludlow. Humans were present both in Guam and Taj Mahal. Just because a human player isn't ready to play the game when it starts doesn't mean the game is cheating on him.
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Lady Lisa is able to morph from a pixelated character to a seemingly "flesh and blood" version and later Q-bert transforms into Lady Lisa with no explanation as to how or why. However, in both cases it's not hard to guess. The aliens are just emulating whatever humans are expected to see and they can manipulate energy forms however they please. Lady Lisa doesn't become "flesh and blood" - her resolution is increased to give her a photo-realistic look to match the drawings in Ludlow's pocket (as he showed earlier to Brenner). At the end, the departing aliens feel sorry for Ludlow, so they transform Q-bert into Lady Lisa, at least in appearance. The last scene proves that in essence she's still Q-bert, who copies himself in order to simulate procreation.
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TD Bank logos appear several times in the New York chase scenes. TD Bank is headquartered in Toronto, but it has many U.S. branches, including several in New York.
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Plot holes 

In all of the video game battles, the alien attackers play the in-game opponents, while the gamers play the "player" role that they would have in the actual arcade game, exception for Pac-Man. For Pac-Man, the gamers play the ghosts, which never happened in the arcade game. Furthermore, despite having no advance warning, the gamers are not only specifically prepared to play Pac-Man, they have four customized Mini Coopers ready to go, complete with "cheat codes" for the ghosts.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Max Headroom is talking with the heroes, the people in the background are still running about, but there is a noticeable lack of any video game characters chasing them around.
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After Sam leaves the White House, it is revealed Ludlow has snuck into his van. Ludlow is clearly pants-less, as in you can see his full naked butt pointing away from the camera before he straightens up and startles Sam. However, after Sam back-punches him and he rolls out the back of the van, he has pants on pulled completely up.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

During the Pac-Man chase scene, Plant says Pac-Man has always been faster than the ghosts. The ghosts are faster on straightaways, while Pac-Man corners faster (particularly in later stages). Pac-Man is markedly faster only during the effects of a Power Pellet.
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Eddie Plant says he used cheat codes in Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. While the games had some bugs that a player could take advantage of, they had no cheat codes.
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Continuity 

When the Indian Teenage Boy uses his mobile phone to film the destruction of the Taj Mahal, the device switches from his left to his right hand and back again between shots.
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During the Centipede battle in the park, when a section of the centipede gets shot it turns into a mushroom, just like in the arcade game. But when Brenner chases down the last centipede that escapes from the park, the sections explode when shot and no mushroom appears.
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When The President is in the crane after catching Frogger you see the Arcader jumpsuit, but in the shot after Sam asks him what he's doing there, he's got a closed jacket and opens it to reveal the jumpsuit.
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During the final battle against Donkey Kong, Q*bert gets flattened by a barrel. A few minutes later he gets up again. However, before this, there was a wide shot which showed all the platforms and, during this, Q*bert was nowhere to be seen.
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Factual errors 

There were no cheat codes on the original Pac-Man and Donkey Kong arcade games, only a few glitches which most likely would not have helped the character Eddie win at the beginning of the film and definitely not as a ghost against Pac-Man.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Brenner defeats Pac Man by driving his car off the parking garage, he lands on top of an adjacent parking garage. Moments later when he is greeted by the people on the ground, he is seen walking up a ramp from what appears to be an underground level of a parking garage, rather than walking down from the roof level. As very few roofs have street-level access, this is not a goof, of course he took an elevator or stairs to the level that does have street access.
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President Cooper says that Donkey Kong is the one game Sam sucks at. Of course, he is mistaken, because we know that Eddie Plant cheated to win, but it's not an error, because the heroes aren't supposed to know about it at that point of the movie. In fact, the whole basis of Sam's character is that he believes he sucked at Donkey Kong. The fact that he ended up in the second place means nothing because there were only two players at that game, so the second place was also the last place.
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Eddie Plant is somehow able to use his cheat codes in real life to jump from place to place during the Pac-Man battle. Although it is never explained how he managed that, we can surmise that it had something to do with the fact that he was driving a car equipped with reverse-engineered alien technology, which, as the movie firmly establishes, includes teleporters. It is also possible that Eddie's cheat codes activated a teleporter on the alien ship, very possibly by design. The aliens would be all too happy to provide Eddie with an opportunity to cheat in real life, because it would mean an automatic victory for them.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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