*** Official SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Phil Florian, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    I was hoping to see if anyone had any early reviews of SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD from last night's preview. I am in Cleveland and was lucky enough to catch this film a couple weeks before it opens. I don't do many reviews for HTF so here goes.


    The hall was a smaller theater and not very full for what I hoped would be a packed audience but you get what you can on a Wednesday night in summer during a huge thunderstorm. As a huge fan of Egdar Wright since his amazing SPACED show from Britain and a huge comic book and video game fan I was looking forward to this as a target audience member. Turns out, the movie was clearly made for me. Just for me. This will make a hell of a Blu-Ray purchase for me down the road but I worry that its audience specific appeal may hurt it.


    I will avoid spoilers of course but one wee bit at the beginning will let you know the movie you are in for with this movie. The typical Universal Logo was done up in 8-bit graphics and music. As characters are introduced, you get little pop up windows ala video games with the character name, age, and role (plays bass, lead singer, whatever). Things that make noise do so with accompanying comic book labels of "Riiiing" or "click" or whatever. Musical instruments give off sound waves and bolts of electricity as they play. It is from this moment on you will figure out if you will like the movie or not, I would guess.

    I liked this aspect of the movie. It was present but never more than background (as noticable as the noise itself). This style movie really plays to Wright's typical directing style with fast cuts, stylized transitions and so on. If you were put off by Wright's style in other movies, it is on full on mode in this movie. That said,he does take some different ideas. Split screens that happen have a comic book panel layout. They use original artwork and frames from the original comics to tell backstories often, too. It is literally a comic book movie, more so than most out (only Ang Lee's THE HULK or the awesome AMERICAN SPLENDOR really made you feel you were watching a comic in action).

    The story is as people have seen in trailers. It is boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy fights seven evil exes to try to win her over. It is also love letter to garage music, video games and manga. Michael Cera was losing my interest having done basically the same role since being in ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT but I have to say he won me back with this great self-deprecating and surprisingly ass-kicking role. Mary Elizabeth Windstead was wonderful as Ramona but mostly played straight man to all the weirdness around her. Even better were the supporting characters (5 of the 7 evil folks were great...two didn't get as much to do so it isn't their fault). Kieran Culkin stole the movie when he was on as the cool gay roommate Wallace. His first girlfriend Knives Chau also stole her scenes playing a fun and believe it or not sympathetic character for such a potentially one-note role.

    The video-game-like world they lived in was an accepted norm for the characters. They never looked twice when someone breaks out into Bollywood song and dance while trying to kill Scott. Characters were only mildly surprised at the fact that Scott was very ninja like when he needed to be. Comic/video game physics were in play the entire movie and it made for a wonderful setting. For those that hated INCEPTION (not me, btw) and its coldly calculated dream world they get the opposite here...a wildly vivid waking world. And it works. The effects work well in this movie on the level of a video game they were going to emulate. It was great. There was a lot of kung fu fighting too and what was wonderful for me (a fan of the genre) was that this wasn't the usual Wright fast cuts. The fights played out at times in long, uninterrupted cuts that showed the over the top choreography to full effect and only mixed in some of the typical fast cutting needed for these scenes. It was a good change of pace.

    I can't wait to see what people say about it. My wife went with me and gives me hope. She just likes good movies with interesting characters. For this movie, she hated the music (which I loved...garage punk mixed with indie pop and techno and...yes, Bollywood) and has no interest in video games. She only touches comics to move them off the bed when I leave them there. That said, she really enjoyed the movie. All the characters were fun and well developed as much as needed (another Wright staple....he always gives good play to the supporting characters and this film is no exception). The writing was smart and sassy. It wasn't gut-busting laughs but more fun and quirky. Wright (who co-wrote as well as directed) mixes genres like no other. I hope people give this movie a chance to weave its romantic-action-comedy charms over them.
     
  2. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Great review!


    Just saw the movie in a well attended preview... Once I got passed the fact that the characters were in a living breathing video game, I sat back and enjoyed the ride. It was quite funny and I actually did have some laugh out loud moments. Someone will have to tell me what second and a half base is...

    On another note.... During the only preview, about folk stuck in an elevator where some weirdness happens... folks were getting into it until the name M. Night Shyamalan blazed across the screen... there was a very unified groan from the audience. I heard the exact same story from an earlier preview. My, how the mighty have fallen!
     
  3. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Way better then I expected. You will know in the first 15 minutes whether or not this is a film you can play along with or not, but if you're willing to buy in to a video game that is real life, the movie is a pretty fun romp with some great moments, good characters and some great dialog.

     

    This isn't the best thing I've seen this summer, but this is a fun night at the movies, and it's worth the price of admission, and this summer that's been lacking.

     

     

    B
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an
    Official Discussion Thread.




    Crawdaddy
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I had fun with Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World but it isn't for everyone. It's basically a comic book and video game with human beings. If that's something that you think sounds stupid, it's probably best to avoid this movie. If that sounds like something that you might like, I think it's worth checking out. Overall, I liked it.

     

    I'd be willing to bet that in a year or two, it'll be on lots of "Best Cult Movies" or "Top Movies That You've Never Seen" type of lists.
     
  6. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Loved it! 9 out of 10. My full review here - http://tinyurl.com/258pxxz
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I think I'm lukewarm towards this movie. True, it literally is a live-action video game movie with comic book sensibilities with a menegie of characters that stroll in and out whenever the plot needs to get moving again. I think the intended audience will eat it up, with all the nods to video gaming and comic book panel structure and live-action comic book visual sound effects, transistions, and frenetic action (along with slow-motion sequences too). I wished it was LOL funny, rather than "point-and-giggle at its own visual inventiveness" cute. But I give props to the entire cast because they kept in character throughout the movie, even though doing so gave off a superficial sheen to the characters, but totally understandable for a film mixing in quite a few genres from its sources of inspiration.

     

    I hate feeling that my reaction to this film probably means I'm finally getting to that "curmudgeon/old fart" stage of my life where "hip" and "young" movie fare doesn't get me jazzed up about films with roots from such entertainment venues. It had to happen some time...

     

    I give it 2.5 stars or a grade of C+ (might be higher on a subsequent viewing).

     
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm with Patrick on this one. I'll give it B-, but I'm not the intended audience so take my grade with grain of salt.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    I really liked it, and I'm older than the target audience by a bit - 43. But it all worked for me and there were a number of laugh out loud moments. Overall, just a fun ride.
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    If I have a problem with the film, it's that it's a bit front heavy. The first three exes (Matthew Patel, Lucas Lee and Todd Ingram) each get their marquee moment with a whole scene built around them and plenty of breathing room in between for more naturalistic stuff to happen. Everything through Roxy's first appearance is perfect; great pacing, great writing, great acting. But then the real fight with Roxy is just sort of shoehorned in, and the build-up and fight with the twins is a blink-or-miss affair. I'm still catching my breath from Todd Ingram and suddenly we're at the end of the movie. I enjoyed the character driven focus of the final fight, as Scott realizes he's at least as big of a douche as Ramona has been, and goes to right his wrongs as he battles Gideon. That being said, I thought the Gideon fight was probably the least inventive of the entire movie. I was expecting a bit more from the final battle. I loved the final scene, though, outside the Chaos Theater. Girls like Ramona/Mary Elizabeth Winstead just don't end up with guys like Scott/Michael Cera. When Ramona agreed to go out with Scott, she was undoubtedly looking at him as a pathetic rebound option that she could steamroll on the way to getting over Gideon. And yet she has (and we have) seen Scott do all of this amazing shit, including literally coming back from the grave, in order to win her over, so that in that final scene it's Ramona who's insecure and Scott that's in the driver's seat. And the film earned it. They each seen the other's ugly side, and all of the messy baggage, and head off into the sunset on a footing more stable than any of either's past relationships. (And judging from the back stories, Scott has quite possibly dated Ramona longer than anybody else, since the time span for most of the exes is measured in days rather than months or years).
     
  11. Al_S

    Al_S Second Unit

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    This movie is crazy weird but I did come away liking it. I'm not in lesbian with it but am in like with it.
     
  12. Brett_M

    Brett_M Screenwriter

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    Clever, fun and a laugh-a-minute.
     

    ****/*****
     

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