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Thread: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
August 19th, 2010, 12:50 AM #1
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
My relationship with the Scott Pilgrim comic book kind of ended halfway through the first volume. It just left me uninterested, although I appreciated it to an extent. Trailers for the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World movie looked all kinds of awesome though, so I couldn't pass it up. And boy, am I glad I didn't!
WARNING! COPIOUS GUSHING AHEAD! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
OMG! This movie is so insanely amazing! It is hard to imagine, but with all the coolness oozing from the trailers, they don't show even a tiny bit of all the profound gorgeousness contained within. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World puts the "cool" in "geek", and puts it in a big way. The story is appropriately retarded - 22 y/o Scott (Juno and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Michael Cera) is "between jobs" and in an indy band. They suck. He is dating a high-schooler. She is Chinese and from a Catholic school. Then he meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead of Death Proof fame). She is not a high-schooler, she works for Amazon and she uses Scott's head because there is a very convenient subspace highway passing through there (don't ask - it's that kind of movie). Obviously he falls madly in love, and Ramona's kinda whatever about it but decides to hang around. Then along come her Seven Evil Exes. And if Scott wants to date Ramona, he has to defeat them. In Japanese fighting game style duels. With specials. And combos...
There are so many references to old-school gaming (mostly Japanese), manga and anime in Scott Pilgrim that it would take up the whole review just to list them. Suffice to say Scott plays a Final Fantasy II melody on his guitar, and all fights in the movie have things like health bars, "K.O." signs, and leave it at that. From the ridiculous pixelized Universal logo with its retarded MIDI theme to the gorgeously cheezy "door" ending, this movie is made to appeal to geeks everywhere, but it's so well made, that honestly - you have to be a little dead inside not to like it. Obviously Michael Cera is the perfect choice for the role, but in truth there is no one in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World that doesn't perform at top level. Even so-so actors like Chris Evans (Lucas Lee, Evil Ex No. 2) and Brandon Routh (Todd Ingram, Evil Ex No. 3) are hilarious.
There is no element that doesn't go over the top in this movie, and it would easily fall apart, were it not for the brilliant direction. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz' very own Edgar Wright has done a masterful job and Scott Pilgrim is a cornucopia of great moments, putting not only the "cool" in "geek", but also the "tasteful" in "absurdly extreme". Kudos to the cinematographer Bill Pope (not surprisingly all three Matrix movies among many others) as well! The cuts are fast, practically no scene is left uninterrupted, and the camera and characters act like they are in a manga - meaningful fatal looks, sudden close-ups, you know the drill.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World sports a funky soundtrack, as most of the non-story revolves around Scott's indy band (they suck). Obviously most of the OST album is comprised of indy music, and many of Sex Bob-Omb's tunes (oh yeah, forgot to mention their name sucks too) are actually done by Beck. It is not the kind of music that I would listen on its own, but for this movie it is spot-on.
No perfection is perfect, obviously, and neither is Scott Pilgrim. Around the final act things begin to drag a little, and serious drama gets a tad more serious than the movie requires. The cheesyness of the ending also shows a tiny bit more ambition than it should, but it's all good, we forgive small transgressions such as these. And who cares anyway?! You have Tekken-like battles, enemies burst into coins when beaten, Scott gains points for beating Evil Exes, and there is a scene involving Ramona and a huge hammer! And if it all seems like the ungodly progeny of a 16-bit japanese game and a J-pop music video with fake Canadians as the main characters, well so much the better I say! Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is comprised entirely of victory, and it is a major score for geekiness!
August 19th, 2010, 03:19 PM #2
Great film, though right now I'm not sure if I'd give it a 10/10. Of Wright's films, I'd rank Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz higher, but I absolutely love those movies and rewatch both of them (and Spaced) on DVD at least a couple of times a year. That being said, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a load of fun and I suspect it will have a lot of rewatch value. I'll definitely get it on DVD when it comes out, and maybe after a few more viewings I'll agree with 10/10
The fact that the movie did so poorly in the box office in its first weekend is a travesty. I can understand it being beaten out by Inception, which was awesome, and The Other Guys, which looks funny, got good reviews, and has Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's track record behind it (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers). But to be beaten out by a straight-to-DVD-esque generic actioner with kitsch value at best and a self-indulgence/privilege/narcissistic/tourism pic, both of which got mostly poor reviews? I can't remember the last time I was so disappointed that a film I liked bombed at the box office.
August 20th, 2010, 09:42 AM #3
I haven't seen this movie yet, I've been plowing through the books this week though...I prefer to read the printed version before I watch a movie based on comics or literature. Hoping to watch it this weekend.
August 20th, 2010, 10:11 AM #4
Same for me, generally, but the comic books just didn't work for me. I'll try them again at some point. Now that I've seen the movie, I guess I'll like them more.
August 20th, 2010, 04:36 PM #5
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Interesting comments about the film. Though it's only just coming out in the UK (this weekend) the word in the media is that, despite brilliant reviews, the film has bombed at the US box office: really badly.
Really interesting article HERE about why. Not sure I agree with all that's said but it's an interesting article.
I suspect that this will be a film that picks it up on DVD sales/rentals - though whether that can be $40 million is quite a target.
August 22nd, 2010, 11:13 AM #6
So sad :/ The movie doesn't deserve to flop.
August 29th, 2010, 04:14 PM #7
Yeah, they marketed it really badly here. They kept doing commercials that made it look like a comic martial arts movie, and that's not really what it was (well, not just that, though the fight scenes were awesome.) So you have non-comic book, non-video game viewers coming in expecting Jackie Chan and then being very confused. Basically, in the U.S., Hollywood is horribly bad at marketing anything that's satiric (unless say it comes from Britain perhaps.) And that movie was just beautifully, insanely satiric, and at a very fast pace. They talked at a rate as if they were in the show Gilmore Girls.
But you know, the same thing happened to Kick-Ass and they're making a sequel to that one. So I suspect over the long run, it's going to make its money back and be one of those classics that gets re-shown. I also wouldn't rate it quite as high as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but I think it worked somewhat better than Kick-Ass and has Wright's touch to it. And "pee bar" and "Vegan Academy" have now entered my family's lexicon. My teen daughter -- who really is the target audience for the film -- absolutely loved it.
A t.v. critic who knows the comic well said that it was a good film, but Michael Cera wasn't Scottie Pilgrim, and instead was a Michael Cera character. So if you really loved the comics series, then maybe it wouldn't entirely work for you. But they seemed to be very faithful -- they had characters in the movie who clearly wouldn't have been in it if they weren't being faithful to the comic.
I think it's well worth seeing and would highly recommend it to SFF fans. If you don't like any sentimentality, then maybe no, but otherwise, yes, fizzy fun. And Kieran Culkin rocked -- stole every scene he was in.
September 1st, 2010, 02:54 PM #8
Literally the first movie I have seen in a theater in 19 months when I caught it this past weekend. I truly enjoyed myself from start to finish.
Looking back, I think the first half - 3/4 were outstanding. The direction is definitely unusual, and sometimes requires 2 sets of eyes to keep up with the whole scene. But I laughed the whole movie.
Unlike Hot Fuzz - but what can be? - the climax loses the character development, and I was little disappointed by that.
But it made me stop by the bookstore to look for the graphic novels on Sunday (which I didn't find). So it did it's job there.
And I rented Kick-Ass over the weekend. Is Hit Girl now the coolest superhero ever?
September 2nd, 2010, 06:21 PM #9
Saw the movie, and I liked it. I thought it did pretty solid justice to the graphic novels, which I totally loved. I think they did a pretty good job with the adaptation, but like Kat G mentioned, the pacing was pretty fast.
My biggest gripes would be the casting of Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim. That guy is a one trick pony. I don't feel like the gal who played Ramona Flowers managed to capture the character very well either. Two rather un-dynamic performances by the pivotal characters.
September 7th, 2010, 01:06 PM #10
In the graphic novel, is there any discussion about where SP and Romana or Knives learn to fight? Or is it just understood? Seemed like in the fisrt scene in the movie when he does, everyone is a little surprised, but relatively non-chalant about it.
September 7th, 2010, 06:17 PM #11
No mention in the graphic novels as to where the characters learn to fight. I think it is just part of Bryan Lee O'Malley's themes...the books seem to be strongly influenced by arcade games, RPGs, and ninja movies.
October 31st, 2010, 01:28 AM #12
I am a 43 year old kid. Seriously. I loved this movie, yes, even the music. I didn't mind Micheal Cera as much as most folks, and I find Mary Elizabeth Winstead very attractive but Ramona seemed sort of dull. Other than that, this is definately one of my favorite movies and I wait anxiously for November 9th when the movie comes out to DVD.
Favorite scene: The music duel against the twins. That scene is rocking. I could watch it over and over just to see that big gorilla thing Sex Ba-bomb conjures to fight the two dragons. When SP kicks the pedal to turn up the music I just smile like a little kid every time.
November 9th, 2010, 08:03 PM #13
This is one of my new favorites. I am 37 so maybe outside of the target demo, but I loved almost everything about this movie. I especially loved the music as well. It all came together pretty damn well.
I didn't mind Michael Cera, but I have been a fan of his since seeing him in Arrested Development and I kind of like the "Michael Cera character". That being said, I think he does need to make a major change in the next film or two. Maybe a serious serial killer or something to get him outside of the comfort zone.
November 9th, 2010, 10:51 PM #14
You might like his film Youth in Revolt if you haven't seen it, where he does a Michael Cera character and an alter ego very nicely. Cera's just getting started. (I would kind of like to put him and Jesse Eisenberg in a film together and see what mutates.)
November 9th, 2010, 11:54 PM #15
I am really looking forward to seeing this and I loved kick-ass