on 10 January 2011
First up, should you buy this film and, should you buy it on blu ray? One thing is for sure, the film looks and sounds fantastic on blu ray, which you'd expect given the vibrant colours and visuals on offer and the great soundtrack.
Will you like it? Well, if you like quirky, highly inventive, visually spectacular films with great action and sharp humour, you will probably love it, but I can see that some simply won't get it.
Basically, if you're buying this as a conventional action/comic book adaption I'd advise that you look at the basic component parts before buying - Michael Cera is the superhero (so you know what you're getting), it's filmed in Canada with an English director and an quirky, English sense of humour.
So, if you like your humour obvious, your story structure conventional and your characters/situations to be believable don't buy it. This is not a conventional movie.
What it is is 10 times more imaginative than the usual Hollywood output and, though that bravery means that not absolutely everything works, the film's scattergun approach means there is a refreshing, surprising and highly entertaining bit that does work perfectly just around the corner.
The action scenes are just brilliant and never fail to surprise and delight, the one-liners are frequently hilarious and the whole quirky love story is quite touching, with really likable geeky characters.
With so many saying Avatar will be the 'game changer' for future cinema, I'd like to think Scott Pilgrim will have more of a lasting impact. Because, while Avatar will indeed change things from a technology, commercial and marketing point of view (much like Star Wars in the 70s) in terms of storytelling and characterisation it was as conventional, uninventive and hackneyed as they come.
Scott Pilgrim on the other hand has some truly new ideas that we can expect to see copied massively in the coming years. The disjointed storytelling takes some getting used to and is, on occasion, diverting, but it is very refreshing.
I can see why some compare this to Kick Ass. Because, although very different films, they buck the recent industry trend that superheroes need to be dark and saddled with serious grown-up issues (The Dark Knight and Watchmen for instance). Kick Ass and Scott Pilgrim are both serious fun in a world (much like our own) where its finally OK for geeks to become rockstars or superheroes.
Very highly recommended as long as you don't mind something a bit different.
on 31 August 2010
Like a lot of people, I'm unfamiliar with the comic book, but that didn't stop me loving this day-glo salute to whiteboy twentysomethingness, when bands and gigs and girls with dyed hair are the Most Important Things In the World. Scott Pilgrim - bassist for too-cool-for-school no-hopers Sex Bob-omb - is just starting to get over a terrible break up when he meets and falls for Ramona, the coolest girl in the world. The path of true love never runs smooth, etc, and soon Scott is literally fighting for Ramona's love as he takes on her seven Evil Exes in mortal combat.
This very thin premise wouldn't carry the movie for ten seconds if it wasn't all pulled off with such hectic, humourous energy. The video-game nature of the battles, mixed with the achingly cool characters and the endless geek-friendly gags, would be too much in the hands of a less skilled director, but Edgar Wright keeps all the elements in check, and they are never allowed to overwhelm each other. It's also remarkable that a film with something like 11 one-on-one fight scenes never gets boring.
Most indie-kid obsessions - Japanese cool, retro kitsch - are referenced. The mindset of bands - neurotic lead singers and grumpy girl drummers - is affectionately spoofed. Vegans are mercilessly lampooned. Michael Cera has never been more engaging. Canada has never been so cool. A definite win.
on 25 December 2010
Like others before seeing the film I had never read the comics, having now read the entire series I can attest to the film being highly enjoyable for both fans of the comics and to those who have never seen it. Director Edgar Wright brings his own stylistic choices to the series but with the creator of the books, Bryan Lee O'Malley, lending extensive support to the film the end result is a very enjoyable adaptation of a remarkable series of graphic novels.
The film itself has a slow start (and a nauseating credit role as well unfortunately) but this serves as an enjoyable contrast with the later action. The scenes themselves are lovingly shot in Toronto itself and the attention to detail and special effects are outstanding. One thing in particular which seems remarkable is how much fun the actors and actresses are having (particularly Satya Bhabha and Chris Evans as Evil Ex 1&2). The films many references and homage's to classic games ('look I can play the Final Fantasy II base line') to anime and comics (spot the Akira reference for example), those for whom Nintendo and anime means little or nothing (and those over 30) are likely to find the film more difficult to enjoy and at time befuddlining with its eye popping special affects, pop-culture references and rapid fight scenes, the music is always diverse and exciting (featuring some great songs). One could complain that the final third of the film can drag a little, the final fight scene, while epic, drags on longer then it should, plus some of the more interesting side characters from the books are never touched on and others such as Kim Pine and Stephen Stills could have used some more development.
However as a whole the film is both funny, touching and exciting, anyone who enjoys video games, anime, comics etc will find it doubly so, 8.5/10
The DVD package is excellent, inside a nice shinny slipcase there are two discs filled with hours of extras. Disc One, apart from having the movie itself also has an alternative ending, some very funny outtakes, commentary and gallery. The second disc is crammed with extras, a full 50 minute documentary on 'The Making of Scott Pilgrim' which is highly enjoyable, a series of videos looking at the visual and sound effects, trailers, a very funny 'TV safe' version of the film with the sections with bad language having silly words inserted instead. Along with several other extras there is also the 4 minute short 'Scott Pilgrim VS the animation' an animated segment that looks back at Scott's history with Kim Pine (basically being a retelling of the second books, first chapter) it was so much fun I wish there were more shorts like it. Excellent package, 10/10
Conclusion - If you enjoyed the books or are looking for an inventive, unique film there is nothing quite as funny and enjoyable as this.
I had not read the graphic novels that this film was based on, so I was a little reluctant to watch this. I thought it may be better to be familiar with the story/universe before watching. However I was given a copy by a friend who said that I would like it. As usual, they were correct.
Even if you are not familiar with the comics, if you enjoy video games and geek humour you will get a lot of laughs from this film. I do feel that I wish I knew the story better and as soon as time and funds allow I will be sure to have a look at them.
The film is essentially a romantic comedy but there is also a strong fantasy/action element. Yes, the plot is ridiculous, but within the universe it makes sense somehow. I loved the video game style power ups and over the top action.
The film is good silly fun, with a little bad language (nothing major and not over used) and no nudity or gore, just comedy violence. Recommended if you've read the comics or not!
on 24 August 2011
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World must rate as one of the best films of recent years. Clever, funny, stylish and deeply different. It was so good I went to see it twice in the cinema. If you're something of a geek and will appreciate the video game and comic references you'll love this film.
So why am I giving it just three stars? Because whoever made the DVD version was unspeakably lazy and incompetent. It's presented in 16:9 widescreen - fair enough - but the film includes a lot of pop-up captions that go to the edge of the original cinematic frame. Had the makers bothered to move the cutting rectangle around to ensure these were included that wouldn't matter much, but they clearly think your money isn't worth the effort and so simply hacked these (often very funny) captions off in the middle leaving you missing important parts of what made the film so good.
We shouldn't have to put up with this kind of outright contempt from DVD makers.
The movie has no real parallels. It is Napoleon Dynamite quirky, and slightly reminiscent of 60's acid films (which may be the best way to watch this movie.) Scott Pilgrim is in a band with Stephen Stills and a guy name Young Neil waiting in the wings. He is currently dating a 17 year old Chinese school girl who wears Catholic school uniforms. Her name is Knives. They play video games together. Scott has a dream about a girl, then meets her in real life. They start to date and now he finds out if they are to continue dating he must fight (literally) her 7 ex-boyfriends. These fights take on the characteristics of video game battles complete with Batman like "Zonk" words, special effects, and magical weapons. The humor is at times laugh out loud funny. The dialogue is extremely clever and witty. Scott also lives with (shares a bed with) a gay roommate (Wallace), although Scott is not gay. Wallace has the ability to immediately text message Scott's sister whenever something happens in Scott's life. He can even do it passed out drunk. If you liked this film you might also enjoy "Kick-Ass" which also boasts quirky humor and special fight effects.
No nudity. No foul language. Adult situations. WARNING: This film is not for everyone. You will either love it or turn it off after 20 minutes. Instant cult classic.
on 9 June 2015
Edgar wright makes a move to the US with this adaptation of the cult comic book series of the same name, with an acquired taste latched on to it.
i can understand why this hasn't really hit the mark in the US, as it isn't your typical blockbuster, but a psychedelic trip the movie itself is.
Scott is in a band, and to cut a long story short, he falls for a girl and in order to date her, he has to defeat her seven evil exes in order to do so. In the form of some sort of video game/matrix/lightsaber duels.
Now the best thing about this film are the evil exes, each one having some great lines (or in the respect of two certain twins, great acoustics) and the set pieces for these respectful scenes are mind knowingly awesome.
As are a lot of the supporting characters, which seem to come right from the pages of ghost world.
Cera is good as the titular character, as is Winstead as Ramona, but the film would not have worked if it wasn't for the supporting cast.
They have a whale of a time spouting silly lines which are genuinely funny and endearing, and they all love Scott in their own special way. Wright does an amazing job with this movie, and he should, he knows popular trivia, and is a geek when it come to movies and video games (see spaced, Shaun, Hot Fuzz).
To be fair, I was seeing Pegg and Frost in the film as the two house mates for a little while, but then it drifted away just like this film drifted into some geeky drug fuelled video game heaven.
As I've said before, this will not be for all tastes, and i can understand why some people would hate this film.
It will divide people and become something of a cult in years to come, something i feel Wright was planning on.
Candy for the eyes, one up for the soul, bonus for the cinema-goer.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World was not a film I was expecting to be able to sit through much less love. From the trailers, the cover of the Blu-ray disk and the premise of the movie I was not expecting what turned out to be a really enjoyable movie that was as unique as it was fun.
This is definitely not a movie for everyone and certainly not for someone who enjoys their films to be grounded in reality. There is so much in this movie that would be on most film makers 'do not do under any circumstances' list but for some reason it works here.
I could go into great detail about what was great about this ridiculous story of a young man who has to battle 'seven evil exes' in order to win over a young woman he is infatuated with, but instead I will ask you to simply take a chance on it. The film is highly surreal and bares little resemblance to reality but that only ads to its charm.
VIDEO AND AUDIO PRODUCTION
The picture and sound quality of this film is top notch.
It is a great film to watch in blu-ray because the hyper clarity of the world in which this movie is set. The action sequences are well filmed and look brilliant in high def and the ultra high contrast and vivid colours will give your TV a thorough testing.
The audio as well can't be faulted. The sound is immersive but not overwhelming and only ads to the quality of the film.
Overall this is a highly enjoyable film that succeeds as both an enjoyable movie and a great Blu-ray production. Again it is not for everyone but for people looking for something a little different I recommend giving this a try.
on 2 January 2011
Just a brief note on the movie itself, it's tremendous. Directed by Edgar Wright of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Spaced fame and starring Michael Cera from Arrested Development, Juno and Superbad. It's certainly not for everybody but I enjoyed the very fast pace and witty dialogue. It's definitely a movie you either love or hate.
As far as the actual DVD/Blu-ray that you're buying goes, it's truly epic. The steelbook is a double play meaning it contains a DVD and blu-ray and the special features on the disc are fantastic. I chose to watch the special features straight after watching the film and it was a very eye-opening experience. There's a specifically brilliant 50 minute documentary which is like a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the movie, the deleted scenes with hilarious commentary from Edgar Wright himself (he details why each scene got cut and at one point, even states what he had for breakfast that morning), and much much more. It also includes the frankly stupendous Scott Pilgrim vs. the Censors, a look at all the TV-Safe lines they filmed for when the movie is shown on terrestrial TV which had me in stitches with lines such as 'ass' changed to 'owl'.
The most interesting feature for me, was the SFX breakdown, showing a detailed breakdown of how each of the amazing fight-scenes and such were constructed with the use of blue-screen and lighting rigs and such. The commentary during this reasonably short feature (about 20 minutes or so) is a little flat as it is by the SFX Supervisor who is far from charismatic but even when muted, it provides a very interesting and amazing look into the creation of one of the best movies of the year and even the decade. Not to mention the cover for this edition is much, much better than the one featured on the plain DVD.
If you're a collector or just happened to really enjoy this movie, this a must have! - but I wouldn't recommend shelling out the whole £17 if you're unsure whether you'll enjoy the movie or not, as I say, it's an acquired taste. A perfect partner for the stunning soundtrack.
Scott Pilgrim is a 22-year-old bass guitarist who meets delivery girl Ramona Flowers. Scott becomes obsessed with Ramona and asks her out on a date but he soon discovers that Ramona has some rather important baggage and if he wants to continue to date her he must defeat her seven evil exes.
I had heard a lot about how good this film, and the graphic novel it is based on, is for a while and now that I have seen it I must say it is just as good as I had been told. The film is brilliantly funny throughout and the computer game style special effects suit the story perfectly. Although some of them are slightly flat, all the characters in the film are fun and I have to say that Scott's roommate Wallace is probably my favourite character in the film as he is brilliantly funny. I haven't read the original graphic novel but it will definitely be going on my to read list for the future.
Overall this was one of the more entertaining films that I have seen for a while and, while I am sure it would not be to everybody's tastes, I feel it is well worth a full five stars.