I love movies. I watch a lot of them. Unfortunately, work, life, shows, and 2 kids means I only see about 2-4 movies in a theater per year. Most of what I watch is from Netflix or DVD purchases. (Yeah, I’m still using a DVD player, if you think I should have Blu-Ray buy me one.)
Anyway, I figured I’d start blogging about the movies I’m watching on the site for a couple reasons. One, it will help me remember what I’ve been watching when Salsa asks me, “What you been watching?” each week. Two, it gives me a chance to share cool movies with listeners and get sweet recommendations from them. (Ahem, that means you have to leave recommendations in the comments, yo.) So, on to the first entry:
I have been excited to see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World ever since I first saw the trailer reposted on Riff’s blog Minimum Safe Distance. (Riff is one of the guys who works for Kingdom of Loathing that was not on Episode 4.)
I realize that may mean I arrived late to the Scott Pilgrim party, but I have no excuse. I had never heard of the comic before the movie trailer. (Though I plan to pick them up now.) I’m definitely a fan of comics in general, but I only read them in trade paperback form, not individual issues, so my exposure to new comics is a slow process. But, I’m digressing too far I think.
Back to the movie. The trailer hit me the same way a trailer for a Zach Snyder movie does. It’s exciting, it’s visually compelling, and most of all it looks like fun on a bun. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a big fan of both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and was prepared to watch Edgar Wright eat a bowl of cereal if that was his next project. I am also a Michael Cera fan, while acknowledging that he is basically the same character in every movie. The good thing is, that was the exact character needed for this movie.
Now, on to the movie itself. The basic story goes like this: Scott Pilgrim is a slightly douchey loser with a 17 year old girlfriend and a band called the Sex Bob Ombs. While at a party with his bandmates, Scott sees Ramona, the girl he has been dreaming about since catching a glimpse of her at the library while out with his girlfriend Knives. Scott asks around at the party, finds out he can get in touch with Ramona by ordering something from her employer Amazon.ca and does so. Scott starts dating Ramona without breaking up with Knives. Neither girl is aware of the other until the Sex Bob Ombs play the first round of a battle of the bands competition and the first of Ramona’s evil exes shows up to battle Scott. Scott then learns he must defeat each of Ramona’s 7 evil exes is he wishes to date her. Hilarity ensues.
I watched this one last week while in Florida with my family. The wife and I had an early night back from Universal Studios and picked up the DVD at a local Walmart. Because I don’t know the source material and I am pathologically opposed to research and studying, I am not gonna be able to make any claims as to whether the movie follows the plot of the comics well or if the tone of the movie was similar or whatever. I’m just taking the movie at face value.
My wife is neither a gamer nor a comic book reader, which I believe does handicap a viewer for this movie. There is enough to enjoy here that I think a non-gamer that simply enjoys quirky rom-coms can certainly have a good time as well, but you will miss a lot. The movie is filled with little homages to video game tropes and comic book sound effects are spelled out on screen a la the Adam West Batman show. Hell, even the background music is pulled from Zelda in a few places. All good stuff, but perhaps funnier if you are a fan of the source material.
Speaking of music, Scott Pilgrim’s band in the movie, the Sex Bob Ombs is my new favorite band that doesn’t exist. All their songs were written by Beck and performed by the actors themselves. Seriously amazing, gritty punk/folk rock. Reminded me of Bob Log III quite a bit actually. The soundtrack is great across the board, but to me the Sex Bob Ombs were the definite highlight.
The fight scenes in the movie are impressive and highly stylized. Very much evocative of the 2D fighting games of the Super Nintendo era. Everyone has impressive fighting skills, despite having no apparent training. Also, some people have some rather startling superpowers which bystanders seem to think are completely normal. This is something I think the movie does very well by the way, it creates these impossible scenarios and gives people these amazing abilities and everyone around them just goes about their business. Making the whole movie stay a little more grounded than it would have otherwise.
This is getting long, so I’ll wrap up by saying that I clearly loved this movie, and think everyone should watch it. Well, at least everyone with a nerd-sympathetic life. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back with another one of these sooner than you might like.
Check out the trailer here.