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Merrick here...
Jay Leno's iPhone App sent in some thoughts on SCOTT PILGRIM VERSUS THE WORLD. MODERATE SPOILERS lie ahead, but nothing too ruining I should think. In short, he/she really liked the film, very much. "This is the best movie I've seen in 2010 (only slightly better than Inception and Toy Story 3)" were his/her exact words. Would you like to know more? Read on...
Just wanted to share my thoughts about Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which was screened yesterday here in Los Angeles at the Arclight. I'm pretty sure this movie is finished, all the credits were done, front and back, the effects were top notch (except when they deliberately weren't supposed to be, like Gideon's pixelated sword), and the score was amazing (courtesy of Beck and his/Radiohead's producer Nigel Godrich). I'm not gonna go too far into spoiler territory, because this movie had so many great gags and moments that just have to be experienced in a theater with no pretense. First, let's get this out of the way. I've never read the Scott Pilgrim comic book series. I am completely unfamiliar with that story until now so I have no idea how faithful/unfaithful Edgar Wright is to his source material. For all I know he's changed things so drastically that fans of the comic are going to seek him out and beat him down mercilessly (I doubt that he has changed much honestly). But whatever he's done here, it was all worth it. This is the best movie I've seen in 2010 (only slightly better than Inception and Toy Story 3). It hooks you right from the very beginning with the Universal logo thru the opening credits and literally does not let go until the very end. The basic story is obvious to anyone who's seen a trailer. Scott falls for a girl named Ramona Flowers, and discovers that in order to be with her, he must defeat her 7 evil exes in battle, video game style. That's the basic, basic premise. The story also concerns Scott's somewhat troubled past with girls, particularly his relationship with a high school girl named Knives and a singer named Envy. His band, Sex Bob-omb (who is terrible by Scott's estimation), is set to perform at a Battle Of The Bands when Scott literally meets Ramona in a dream. Once he sees her in real life, he is convinced that this girl is the one. The way the two meet and get to know each other is believable and never seems forced. Then comes the fighting the exes part. It turns out Scott Pilgrim has some serious skills that he may not have even realized himself. Each "fight" is an escalation of the previous setpiece. Without going into detail, let's just say there are creative ways that Scott chooses to defeat some of the exes that don't always involve him actually fighting someone. I was always sold on the idea of this kid battling these people, similar to the way you would buy a kid fighting people in a video game. That is simply the world you're inhabiting, and you accept it because its a fun world to accept. The visuals are mind-melting during these sequences (and, for that matter, throughout the movie). But the movie wouldn't be nearly as great as it is were it not for that trademark Edgar Wright humor that drives the movie. A lot of my friends complain that action movies, and maybe summer movies in general are too serious and up their own ass these days. They feel like the Fun has been missing at the movies in a big way. This movie is here to bring that back in a big way. It engages all your synapses, strokes the geek nerve and tickles the funny bone. Every two seconds something happens that reinforces the big, goofy smile you have on your face and makes sure it stays there for the duration of the movie. A line of dialog here, a music cue there. This is pop art perfectly constructed. Edgar Wright has REALLY stepped his game up on this movie (and I'm a big fan of his first 2 films). Now, let's discuss Michael Cera, because obviously there is somewhat of a backlash against him and that "character" he plays in every movie. In this one, he is clearly still himself. He's not a master of dialects and disguise. He's always going to look like himself and sound like himself. You can't change that. You can't tell someone to change their face because you don't like it (well, you could, but that would just be mean). But there is a difference in this character that shines through, if you're willing to allow it. A confidence and strength that had previously been missing from his other characters. This isn't the same awkward kid who wears vests and can't talk to girls right. This kid has balls and heart and rocks out in a band. You glimpsed that confidence in the evil alter ego role he played in Youth In Revolt, though that confidence was filtered through a sociopathic lens. In this film, his personality is relatable, likable and downright charming. I know there are those of you out there who simply refuse to accept Michael Cera anymore, unless he looked and sounded completely different (What do you expect him to do? Put on 50 pounds of muscle and start talking in the Dark Knight voice?). I say to you, don't be unreasonable. People in this world have the capability to surprise us and show us new layers of themselves that we've never seen (for better or worse). Michael Cera just might surprise you in this movie. And even if he doesn't, there are so many other great performers in this one that you could have a great time just focusing on Brandon Routh, Chris Evans, Kieran Culkin, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzman and Ellen Wong. And of course, Edgar Wright. At the end of the day, this movie works because of the man behind the camera. And HOLY SHIT does this movie work. If you use this, call me Jay Leno's iPhone App
SCOTT PILGRIM will versus the world August 13.
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