Wednesday, January 5th, 2011


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [Wikipedia link]

PLOT SUMMARY: A slacker musician must destroy the 7 Exes of the Girl Of His Dreams in order to win her heart.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Loser woos fickle slut by becoming insane serial killer.

PEOPLE: Where do I start? Soooo many people in this movie. A ridiculous number of characters! Band mates, roommates, 10 exes…

Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Spaced, Hot Fuzz), who co-wrote it with Michael Bacall (who is actually a minor actor, in Inglourious Basterds and Free Willy).

Scott Pilgrim is played by Michael Cera (George Michael Jr. from Arrested Development), who, while being kind of annoying and making you want to punch him, is somewhat appropriate for the role. Still… He seemingly just plays his George Michael character from Arrested Development in every movie. He’s like a one-trick pony. It maybe could have been better with someone else, but he was the right person for doing this now. His love interest is played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Grindhouse:Death Proof, The Thing 2011, Final Destination 3, The Ring 2). His gay roommate is played by McCaulay Culkin’s brother Kieran (Home Alone, She’s All That, The Cider House Rules, godawful Music Of The Heart that I was forced to watch on my honeymoon Vegas plane trip, and of course 1 ep of Frasier). His bandmates are played by Mark Webber (Whiteboyz) and Johnny Simmons (Jennifer’s Body, Evan Almighty). His sister is played by Anna Kendrick (Jessica Stanley from the Twilight movies).

The League Of Evil Exes are played by: Satya Bhabha, Chris Evans (The Human Torch from Fantastic Four, Nick Gant from Push, Mace from Sunshine, Not Another Teen Movie), Brandon Routh (Superman in Superman Returns, Zack & Miri), [highlight for spoilers] Mae Whitmin (homely “Ann” from Arrested Development is now a lovely, legal-aged blonde lipstick lesbian), Japanese musician twins Shota and Keita Saito, and Jason Schwartzman [as Gideon] (Ash from Fantastic Mr. Fox, Funny People, Ringo Starr from Walk Hard:The Dewey Cox Story, I Heart Huckabees, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Spun, Slackers).

Scott Pilgrim’s exes include Kim Pine, Scott’s drummer, played by Alison Pill (Dan In Real Life); Brie Larson as Envy (bit part in 13 Going On 30, United States Of Tara), and [highlight for spoilers] Ellen Wong.

Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation, Funny People) reminds me of Dildo Valerie in this movie.

A pair of cameos: Clifton Collins Jr. (“I need you like my elbow needs an asshole” from Rules Of Attraction, Tack from The Stoned Age, which was originally going to be called “Tack’s Chicks”, Crank 2, Extract, Star Trek 2009, Traffic, Boondock Saints 2) and Thomas Jane (Thin Red Line, Boogie Nights, Buffy The Vampire Slayer the movie, Magnolia).

Oh, and kinda funny – the little girl drummer from the other band is Abigail Chu, who played young Dren in the movie Splice. WTF!

And Bill Hader (Year One, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Adventureland, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Brothers Solomon, Superbad, Knocked Up) narrates.

HAIKU REVIEW: Seven ex-lovers —
Much like seven syllables —
are hard to manage.

QUIRKS: Based on a comic book, which is itself based on a song by Plumtree.

The director said it was done in the style of a musical, except instead of breaking into song, they break into fights. Videogame-esque fights of epic epicness.

Full of subtle and overt video game (Pac-Man, Mario Bros., Zelda, Sonic The Hedgehog, Street Fighter, Soul Calibur) and pop culture (Seinfeld, DuckTales, X-Men, Tank Girl, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, The Matrix) references.

Tons of trivia related to this movie.

Very purposefully mis-matched in pace. It starts out like an acid trip, and ends like a video game.

Very surreal.

VISUALS: Frenetic, video-game influenced visuals. Think Crank meets Code Monkeys (but live action, obviously). Great special effects. At first, it seems like they’re just adding visual english words for the sake of making it comicbooky, but by the end you realize this was just setting the pace for the later, more epic visuals.

SOUNDTRACK: I wasn’t particularly impressed, but I never am with made-for-the-movie music. It was passable for what it was. It worked. It could have been a lot worse. Sooo many soundtracks… I do like that rock beat electronica. Haaaaa!

MORALS: Any problem can be solved with enough violence. Even by Michael Cera.

GOOD STUFF: An epic of epic epicness! The tagline is kind of annoying if you haven’t seen the movie, but after seeing it, it really describes this well. Part comedy, part romance, part adventure, part action, part fantasy — this takes the best aspects of SO MANY EPIC GENRES and smushes them altogether into an amazing surreal fantasy-action-adventure-comedy-romance! It is said that this movie reverses your aging while you watch it. Chinese herbal medicine specialists are now conducting experiments to see if this movie has medicinal properties.

BAD STUFF: Variety says it is “an example of attention-deficit filmmaking at both its finest and its most frustrating” and that “anyone over 25 is likely to find director Edgar Wright’s adaptation of the cult graphic novel exhausting, like playing chaperone at a party full of oversexed college kids.” That sums things up well: If you’re a Watching Wuss, you might not be able to handle this. If you can hold your attention through something with crazy action, like Crank 1, Crank 2, or even The PowerPuff Girls Movie (which was quite good), then you can certainly handle this. This movie is more endearing than any of the ones I just mentioned. But yes, it might be too much for people. And people without a history of video games might not appreciate the references as much.

Personally, I had to think hard to find any flaw in this film. I did find two, but then realized one wasn’t even a flaw:

0) I didn’t like how Ramona Flowers [highlight for spoilers] “couldn’t control herself” [pff!] around Gideon. I think this means that she is somewhat not in mature control of her emotions and actions. This basically means that, even if they get married, she may just bump into a guy that she runs off with, since apparently certain people can make her not be able to control herself. It just makes her character less pure of heart, and thus less desirable, and thus a bit less perfect of a match than, say, The Princess Bride. But wait! Actually, she had a microchip implanted in the back of her head to control her mind. So really, this isn’t a flaw at all. It’s just another example of videogame surrealism.

1) I also had trouble with the beginning. At first I was like, “Oh no! This is some teen emo movie!” … It seemed too after-school share-your-feelings-y for a bit. But it was also paced like an acid trip during that part, so it took the edge off. It got SOOOO much better SOOO much faster. But still, it didn’t leap into perfection within the first 30 seconds like, say, Crank 1.

2) Hipster culture assimilating the geek culture it once made fun of. That much is always going to be annoying. At least we won in the end.

3) Was Michael Cera right? Maybe, maybe not.

These flaws are really minor to the experience of watching the movie.

CONCLUSION: OMFG this movie was awesome on so many levels!!!!!!!!!!!!! I may have to seriously consider this movie for my favorite movies watched in 2010!

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9.7/10. Not quite a perfect 10 due to the beginning not *instantly* being awesome. But still a 10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
TwoBeans: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 10/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.1/10, Netflix: 4.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 5.0/5 stars!! Can’t think of a time it was so definitive!!).

RECOMMENDATION: OMFG! THIS NEEDS TO BE SEEN! I recommend this as the feelgood fantasy-action-adventure of the year!

SIMILAR MOVIES: Look for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Animation on AdultSwim! It aired in August of 2010, and was produced by Titmouse (Metalocalypse, MTV’s Downtown, Megas XLR, G.I. Joe:Resolute, Freaknik:The Musical). I’ll try embedding a YouTube version of this, but it will probably be pulled by the copylords:


MOVIE QUOTE:

Wallace Wells: If you want something bad, you have to fight for it. Step up your game, Scott. Break out the L-word.
Scott Pilgrim: Lesbian?
Wallace Wells: The other L-word.
Scott Pilgrim: …Lesbians?

Scott Pilgrim: I’m in lesbians with you.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Everybody seemed to absolutely love this. Everybody. Everybody.

COINCIDENCES: (The Toxic Avenger 3, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) 2 movies in the same year with a plot involving the main character having to go through multiple levels in a videogame like manner, complete with on-screen displays indicating their progress. 5 levels for Toxie, 7 levels for Scott Pilgrim.
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