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SCOTT PILGRIM Conquers New Jersey!

Beaks here...

Last month, Edgar Wright's SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD test screened in Las Vegas. The reaction was very positive. Wednesday night, a slightly tweaked version test screened in New Jersey. The reaction was ecstatic. Here's one reader's opinion...

Hey Harry, I've written two reviews for AICN previously (Righteous Kill & The Love Guru) under the name "Jersey Jedi", and I was lucky enough to get into an early screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. My review is as follows... Well it turns out New Jersey isn’t the wretched hive of scum and villainy that everyone makes it out to be. What event could possibly have instigated such an unexpected turnaround? Why the second-ever screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World! The prior reviews run on AICN had the basic premise described pretty soundly, so I’ll try and tread wholly new ground. The only thing I have to regurgitate from the past two reviews is how great of a set-up the opening scenes are: The 8-bit Universal logo with MIDI soundtrack, followed by the Zelda sound clips and HUD descriptions of all the characters as we meet them is not only the geekiest way possible to introduce the main players, but perfectly effective in settling you into the ADD-addled world that Edgar has created here. You just know you’re in for an awesome ride. Getting the obvious out of the way first, Michael Cera stars as Michael Cera playing Michael Cera… but going under the pseudonym “Scott Pilgrim”. Cera’s shtick got old just about when he started driving around New York City and miraculously finding parking spots right in front of uber-popular clubs with Catharine Keener’s daughter from 40-Year-Old Virgin. However, in this case, Edgar Wright’s editing and shooting style is just so hyperactive and clearly the centerpiece of the flick, that Cera’s typical awkward bumbling delivery doesn’t even get a second to breathe. Congratulations Mr. Cera, you may have just gotten your second wind. Having said that, I’m sure there are plenty of readers out there thinking “I’m sorry, but I just can’t stand that dude and seeing another flick with him as the lead sounds about as appealing as experiencing “One Guy, One Cup” again.” (shudder) Well I’m happy to report that literally every other actor in this flick steals the spotlight from the moment they’re on screen. Ellen Wong is just plain adorable as Knives Chau, Chris Evans makes us forget Fantastic Four as Hollywood badass Lucas Lee, Anna Kendrick picks what has to be one of the best follow-ups to an Oscar nom as Stacey Pilgrim and Alison Pill is straight up wryly hilarious as the Sex Bob-Omb drummer Kim Pine. Out of this cavalcade of scenery-chewers, there are two that deserve special mention. First, Brandon Routh just KILLS as the vegan evil ex Todd Ingram. While the characterization and dialogue for this psychic-powered douchebag is the driving force behind his awesomeness, casting Routh was just an outstanding choice. Much like his cameo in Zach and Miri Make a Porno, this unabashedly plays off our preconceptions of him as a straight-laced nice guy to brilliant effect. But the true star of the flick is Kieran Culkin as Scott’s gay room/bed-mate Wallace. His delivery, coupled with the sight gags that Edgar executes, are the non-action highlights of the movie. I really don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t go into much detail. Just keep an eye out for a scene where Knives shows up at Scott & Wallace’s place, and Wallace helps Scott escape in he most obtuse way possible. So, the casting for this flick was top-notch… but that’s not the reason any self-respecting movie buff would be interested in Scott Pilgrim. We were there to see Edgar Wright follow-up his kick ass one-two punch of Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. And good science does he kill it in every way imaginable. What Shawn was to horror and Fuzz was to buddy cop/action, Scott Pilgrim is to comics and video games. Given the already hyperactive nature of those two mediums, Wright righteously took his already frenetic style and shot it will 10 hits of adrenaline straight in the face. The 7½ fight scenes are all utterly unique with a gleeful disregard or any semblance of realism or physical logic. While the effects were still a little rough, most were much closer to completion as compared to the previous reviewers’ impressions (no visible green screens, just some wires to be taken out and some effects to be polished). They are packed to the brim with comic-based conventions, over-the-top sound effects and Nintendo weaponry (at one point Scott’s other half, Ramona, wields a massive sledgehammer along with the requisite Donkey Kong sound effects). It’s difficult to put into words how truly inimitable the style of these fights are, as well as the movie as a whole. The closest movie that I could compare it to would be the infamous Speed Racer. Now before all of you haters cry blasphemy, hear me out: While the movie certainly had its detractors (and I honestly can’t blame them, despite completely disagreeing with them), the one thing everyone can admit is that the Wachowskis executed an unequivocally original vision. Even if you thought that vision was utter garbage and fundamentally flawed, they wanted a living cartoon and they executed it perfectly. Edgar Wright has done the same, but with that sharp wit and geek-edge that Wright’s previous collaborations have been known for. I have no doubt that this is exactly the crazy ride that Wright set out to make, and if that doesn’t make you giddy with excitement, check your damn pulse. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the second coming of the nerd Christ. Be prepared.

Plant? Nope. The movie is apparently that fucking good - and could, with additional tweaks, be getting better. Here's some more effusion from the Twittersphere.

@beefyfunk [non-haiku] saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World focus group tonight, great flick (to-be) (Love Aubrey Plaza!) about 1 hour ago from Digsby @CraigeryMontoya Saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. 'Twas epic. about 1 hour ago from web @PTAnderson Scott Pilgrim vs The World was unbelievably good. So stoked I saw it before it'll be cool to like that movie. Remember this tweet hipsters! about 1 hour ago from web @Bilal_Mian @radiomaru I saw an early preview of the ScottPilgrim Vs The World tonight and have to say it was AMAZING. Never read the comics, now i do. @skinnyboyBALKI @radiomaru Just saw Scott Pilgrim in a test screening. Edgar Wright did your books tremendous justice. @Erock88 Writing up a piece on "Scott Pilgrim" tonight. So effing good... about 2 hours ago fro @Daredevil327 I just came back from the special sneak preview of Scott Pilgrim, and I think that it was one of the best films of the year! #fb @MaddenOnRookie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was amazing...hipster-indie sin city @Bilal_Mian Just saw an early screening of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Michael Cera's best movie to date. Original, hilarious, witty, and great action. @JonRivera Just caught a surprise test screening of ScottPilgrim Vs.the World! Fantastic! @Christoff679 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Heard of it?@brendonbigley ur gonna love this. My dad saw a preview. he said its incredible @L2BT Scott Pilgrim was the nerdiest movie I've ever seen and it was awesome. Edgar Wright did an amazing job. What a fun film. @skinnyboyBALKI @edgarwright Just saw Scott Pilgrim in NJ, all I can say is wow. You surpassed my already lofty expectations. So I thank you. @CRusso815 Went to a VERY early screening of Scott Pilgrimvs. The World w/ @Erock88. The geekiest movie I've ever seen. AWESOME

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD doesn't hit theaters until August 13th, 2010. In the meantime, read Bryan Lee O'Malley's amazing graphic novels. I've a feeling they won't detract from your enjoyment of the film.

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