Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [Blu-ray]
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November 9, 2010
Level Up! Collector's Edition Blu-ray + DVD
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Game on! Scott Pilgrim just met the girl of his dreams…literally. But in order for them to date, he must defeat her seven evil exes – a rogues’ gallery, including an infamous skateboarder, a vegan rock star and fearsome identical twins! From the genre-smashing director of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead comes “a true original” (Entertainment Weekly) powered up by wit, action and groundbreaking visuals that you will want to watch again as soon as it’s over!
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Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is still recovering from the loss of his girlfriend Envy (Brie Larson) who turned into a famous rock star. He’s so heartbroken he starts dating a high school girl named Knives (Ellen Wong) even though he’s in his twenties. Then he literally meets the girl of his dreams named Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). She’s cursed however because whoever dates her has to beat her 7 ex-lovers. The plot seems ridiculous and it is in a good way.
Pilgrim is in a band called Sex Bob-omb whose lead singer wants so desperately to be signed by a record label, but is riddled with insecurities. They enter a battle of the bands for instance and every time he sees the competition he freaks out because he’s convinced Sex Bob-omb will lose. Pilgrim is just as messed up about his loss of Envy hence his dating Knives. His friends and sister endlessly ridicule him for it. At one point she says she’s so young she’s never even kissed a guy. Pilgrim tells her neither has he. She falls in love with him which comes out as a pink cloud spelling out the words. Pilgrim just swats it away. When he gets an email from Ramona’s first ex he skims it and then deletes it because he thinks it’s a boring message. When he has to fight the 7 lovers it’s like a video game with points scored when they hit each other, lots of exploding graphics, and then when one is defeated they turn into a bunch of change, which Pilgrim collects. One time he’s bummed out because it doesn’t make enough for him to take the bus. Everything is completely over the top, which is why the movie is so fun to watch. There is also plenty of music scenes with the bands.
Edgar Wright’s romance comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010) is a blur of cute romantic moments surrounded by exciting action sequences set to a frenzy of loud rock music. Beck’s music for the movie’s main garage band is thrilling and a unique blend of indie rock, alternative rock, and punk rock. If that’s not for you, then you will not enjoy Scott Pilgrim.
For everyone else, I’m sure teenagers will continue to flock to Scott Pilgrim’s blitz of energy style editing from editors Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss. Edgar Wright’s films always contain tight editing with a frenetic style, so it’s no surprise that Scott Pilgrim is carefully wound up into a fascinating series of visual flairs. The video game and comic book type on screen additions are very fun. I do think they can be a bit clustered together and distracting, but you may appreciate them more on a repeat viewing. It does not help that some of the CGI looks awful, like the limbo desert sequences, which just feel jarring compared to the hardwired intensity of the bands playing or Scott Pilgrim’s cool hand-to-hand combat sequences.
The fast pace keeps you interested as does Bill Pope’s striking cinematography, that’s not always beautiful, but can get there. The romance parts are very well shot, while the action choreography is fun, enthralling, and quick, while not always coherent. The fast moves get lost in the confusion of the various outlandish battles, but it’s all fun, so the clarity of the combat is not too much of a detraction.
Edgar Wright’s direction is solid, but as inspired as Scott Pilgrim’s visual style remains, the writing is hit or miss for me. Many lines are still hilarious several viewings later, but others are cringe inducing and fall flat for trying too hard to be cool or edgy. Even in the same scene, some jokes do not work comedically to me. Like the “Vegan Police” bit is so silly that it’s always gets a laugh out of me, but Scott’s one-liner rhyming “vegan” with “be gone” is just lame and awkward. Too much of the comedy relies on awkward encounters and cringe inducing interactions between socially awkwardly lead and the far too stunning girls out of his league. Scott Pilgrim does not strive for realism, but it never even reaches a believability in the first place. Thus, I have no qualms with Wright’s break neck signature style of direction, but his writing alongside Michael Bacall is not spectacular the entire 112 minutes of Scott Pilgrim’s notable run-time.
I feel like Michael Cera is the first issue as he plays the nerdy, punk rock bassist, and slacker Scott Pilgrim. I buy Cera as a hopeless romantic loser with supportive friends and aspirations to be better, but he is horribly miscast to be a suave, likable romantic lead otherwise. I cannot get over the fact that Cera’s character could possibly have dated several gorgeous women with fun personalities while his Scott Pilgrim character is a selfish jerk with no charisma or charm. Cera was born to play Scott Pilgrim as he kills it when he is supposed to be shocked, frightened, or sad, but he’s so strange as the protagonist. It’s not even his fault, the script forces him to try to hit on all these women in the weirdest ways. Scott Pilgrim is simply a terrible role model for guys to be like to hit on girls.
Honestly, Cera excels at certain comedic moments and even finds a way to mimic Jim Carrey’s devastated romantic from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to a small degree. But I think Scott Pilgrim is inherently flawed when the good guy starts out as a 20 something year old dating an underage Asian girl, who he cheats on, after breaking several other girls’ hearts, and then he’s supposed to be this tragically misunderstood hero with an endearing personality and ultimate redemption arc. So Michael Cera is true to the character, but still unsatisfying as the lead actor.
Women are not written very realistically. Scott Pilgrim definitely feels like Edgar Wright saw Eternal Sunshine and thought he could conjure up a manic pixie dream girl of his own without a personality or character. Ramona Flowers is well played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, but she does little, has almost no agency, and never feels real. She’s a stereotype of a hot, goth, alternative girl that pathetic guys fantasize about being with just like Scott Pilgrim. I will say that Winstead captures an aloof and intriguing persona for Scott Pilgrim as Ramona. It’s so odd that you are rooting for them to get past being bad people, when they are surrounded by much more interesting characters.
Namely, Brie Larson is inspired as the sultry indie rock goddess and the ex that hurt Pilgrim’s feelings named Envy Adams. She’s very playful as the rock seductress as well as funny for the vengeful ex-girlfriend role. Kieran Culkin is hilarious and delightful as Scott’s gay roommate Wallace Wells with his endless quirky comedy. Culkin feels effortless in his role as Wallace as he quickly remarks some of my personal favorite lines in Scott Pilgrim.
Furthermore, Anna Kendrick is very funny and genuinely sincere as Scott’s gossip loving sister Stacey Pilgrim. Alison Pill is lovely and sarcastic to my delight as the spurned lover to Scott called Kim Pine. Pill makes for an awesome drummer for their garage band Sex Bob-Omb! Aubrey Plaza is her standard hateful sarcastic self in a brilliant casting choice for the always irritated Julie Powers. Plaza’s swearing is a great recurring gag throughout the movie.
Notably, I really enjoyed Brandon Routh’s role as the brilliant punk bassist and evil exe named Todd Ingram. His vegan telepathy is astoundly hilarious. Jason Schwartzman is excellent as the devious evil exe leader Gideon Graves. He gets arguably the greatest sword fight in the film.
Unfortunately, Johnny Simmons is underwhelming as Young Neil, but he’s only a minor character. Mark Webber overacts a bit as Stephen Stills, but he’s likable enough that I don’t mind his manic guitarist desperate for success. He feels genuinely relatable on a number of levels and he does get some nice moments between him and Scott that are not overdone. Mae Whitman, on the other hand, totally oversells it as the lesbian ex-girlfriend to Ramona named Roxy Richter. Her scenes are unbearable at times with awkward over-indulgence. Ellen Wong seems to be trying her hardest to be a likable and sympathetic figure as Knives Chau, but her character is too young and too contrived to come across as genuine. Her character feels like an Asian stereotype of the submissive Asian girl desperate to please and cater to her man. Satya Bhabha is both funny and ridiculous as Matthew Patel. I must be honest as an Indian, his character feels like an Indian stereotype in a movie rife with basic character types. I do enjoy his fight and the goofy Bollywood dance number, but it’s too much. Shota and Keita Saito are forgettable as the electronic DJ ex-boyfriends to Ramona dubbed The Katayanagi Twins as they get no lines and their battle is just a setup for some okay special effects.
Chris Evans’ cameo as Lucas Lee is unforgettable and surprising. Scott Pilgrim endeared Evans back to general audiences and it is well deserved as he is perfect as Captain America.
In conclusion, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is both an endearing romance-comedy and awkward mess. At least, it’s a very cool rock opera of sorts with plenty of style and wonderful supporting performances. I’d say Scott Pilgrim is Edgar Wright’s worst film, but that is saying something as it’s still truly entertaining and often endearing.
Top international reviews
The movie if you have not seen it is a fantastic conversion from the graphic novels. Michael Cera is the perfect Scott Pilgrim - there is in fact not a single mis-cast character in this movie.
The actual steelbook is really nice, its unusual to see a landscape depiction across the cover - and the image is actually embossed too so adds a bit extra to the quality.
The steelbook version is absolutely worth the extra money if you're a fan of the books or movie.. or just relate to the story of finding the literal girl of your dreams (then having to fight her ex-lovers for her)
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.
Maybe this is why, even though I enjoyed the SP comics, I found myself disinterested in Scott's and Ramona's movie romance. He's whiny, a jerk and has no charisma to make up for it. She's aloof and seems arrogant. What do they see in each other? I would have preferred to see the movie without these two in it. I liked Knives, Wallace and Scott's Band.
I bought it on blu-ray for less than £2 delivered which is a steal for such a great movie.
The soundtrack is awesome and it looks great in 1080p.
If you haven't seen Scott Pilgrim yet give it a chance it could easily become one of your favourite movies as it has for me!
If you like superheroes &/or gaming add an extra star :-)
A well put together film the amazon ratings are as I'd expect: mostly loved with small amount who just didn't 'get it'- shame!
No film will suit all tastes but this is a film that's worth a go imo: if you like it then its highly likely you'll love it.
Wish they'd make a sequel to it!
A hilarious rom-com with enough action for the dudes and enough romance for the ladies. Scott Pilgrim is the perfect family film.
LOVE MICHAEL CERA
LOVE DIRECTOR EDGAR WRIGHT
Just an amazing film all round