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 Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World   Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:37 pm

Once Upon A Time... in Toronto, Canada. Cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley created a serialised comic book, almost like a manga, but Canadian Manga. The first book was called Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, about a 23 year old slacker in Toronto who falls for the mysterious Ramona V. Flowers, but has to defeat her evil ex's, who have formed a league. First published in 2004, the books became an instant cult hit, published by Oni Press. At the same time, Edgar Wright had broken into cinema with Shaun of the Dead (2004), which became an instant cult hit worldwide, he was contacted to do a film adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim books by Universal Pictures. He saw potential with this, but first, he had to do Hot Fuzz (2007), which saw his star rise higher and higher. Since Shaun, Wright had been offered Hollywood films such as You, Me and Dupree (2005), Failure to Launch (2006) and Drag Me To Hell (2009), and made big friends in Hollywood with Kevin Smith, Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg. But, Wright knew what he wanted to do for his first film Stateside, he had his eyes set on Scott Pilgrim, no matter what. And he got it made!! Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a loving ode to old computer games, manga and Toronto, at it's heart, it's a rock opera, but it's tone and structure is from Spaced. It's a passionate, action packed, hilarious and one hell of a visual feast.

Set entirely in Toronto. This has Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), slacker and bass-guitarist for Sex Bob-Omb, which consists of lead singer/guitarist Stephen Stills (Mark Webber) and drummer Kim Pine (Alison Pill), they rehearse in the house of Young Neil (Johnny Simmons), who is their biggest fan. Scott is dating 17 year old high-schooler Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), much to the protest of his friends and sister Stacey (Anna Kendrick), and even Scott's roommate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) isn't impressed. However, Scott then meets Ramona V. Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who has moved to Toronto from America, and he falls for her. But, this means he has to split from Knives, which is hard, but not as hard as it gets when he gets together with Ramona. To truly win her heart, Scott then has to defeat her 7 evil ex's. First up is the mysterious Indian-American Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha), then action star/skateboarder Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), vegan bassist Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh), ninja Roxy Ritcher (Mae Whitman), twins Kyle and Ken Katayanagi (Shota and Keita Saito) and the mysterious Gideon Gordon Graves (Jason Schwartzman). But, Scott won't give in, because he loves Ramona.

It should be pointed out that this might be the most faithful comic book adaptation ever made, even though alot of people haven't read the comic books yet. They make for entertaining reading, and key scenes are recreated with actions played out like a comic book. Wright clearly loves the source material, and has done it justice. The film is fast and furious, with fast editing and knowing nods and winks throughout to old videogames through. The 8-Bit Universal globe at the start sets the tone perfectly, this is a video game film, but not a video game film as you know it. It's not based on one, (though one has been adapted from the film). The action scenes come with Tekken/Street Fighter style sounds and health bars alongside them, and there's other added joys like a Pee Bar for a toilet scene and relationships come with obligatory "Continue? 10-9-8-7..." sounds. Wright loves video games, look at Spaced and Shaun of the Dead for proof. Speaking of Spaced, this feels alot like an episode of Wright's TV calling card that catapulted him to fame a decade ago, complete with on screen captions and camerawork.

The cast play an important role in the films success. Michael Cera was Wright's first and only choice for Scott Pilgrim, and he was right. This is a different role for Cera, best known for playing neurotic, intelligent parts in films like Superbad (2007) and Juno (2007). But, Youth in Revolt (2009) was a sign that Cera had more to him, and it's unleashed here. His Scott Pilgrim is confident, clueless and a good action hero to boot. Mary Elizabeth Winstead makes a likeable, mysterious Ramona, who is almost more mature than Scott will ever be, but goes for him anyways, even though her hair goes through 3 colours throughout the film. But the main standouts in the film are Keiran Culkin as Wallace Wells, Scott's gay roommate, Scott shares a bed with Wallace, but he isn't gay, but Wallace is likeable and funny, and acts as a sort-of mentor to Scott when things look bad, a rock if you will. Newcomer Ellen Wong's Knives Chau goes through alot in the film, and you even feel sorry for what she goes through. She's absolutely smitten with Scott, but Scott wants Ramona. Alot of how she gets her own back is in the comic books and/or cut from the film, but it's a deep character played well. Even the Evil Ex's have fun, Evans sends up the likes of Vin Diesel with his turn, and Routh's vegan rock star is against what he did as Superman, and Schwartzman's Gideon Gordon Graves is played with gusto and energy, and makes a formidable baddie.



It's a one of a kind film, and judging by how much money it's made, there won't be another one like it for a long time. Wright was the only man to have brought this to the big screen. Any other director may have left out the visual graphics and computer game action out of it. But, as stated, Wright kept it faithful. It's a film about young love and the computer games we used to play 20 or so years back, and maybe still do play now. It is an unbelievable film, set within a computer game existance, but that's a good thing. It makes the film more visually compelling, at times, you can't believe Wright was allowed to make this, even from the opening credits, you need to have a strong stomach for the speed and tenacity and pace this film goes at. It's alot to adapt 6 comic books into a 2 hour film, but Wright captures the spirit and essence of what made those books a hit. The cast are amazing, and it's a touching twentysomething romance done with Kung-Fu action and moves. This will put Wright in line for better things, Ant-Man next and maybe back to England for another film with Simon Pegg. But, as his first Hollywood film, it's an absolute success.
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World   Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:26 am

Seen it and loved it!


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World   Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:45 am

YAY!! steve
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World   Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:42 am

Does it cover all 6 books properly, or is it mainly an adaptation of just some of them?

_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World   Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:01 pm

Yes it does, although it went into production before book 6 was published, but author Bryan Lee O'Malley helped Wright out, and they did pick-ups earlier this year to help out. But, alot of book 6 is focused on the final showdown between Scott and Gideon Gordon Graves. But, it did well.
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