Scott Pilgrim Vs. Redbox & Netflix
I got really sick last week and was finally able to take some time off. I really wanted to see Scott Pilgrim and new it was released so I got on Redbox...nothing. When you type the name in the search feature it doesn't even tell you when it will be available. So I went to Netflix and it will be available on DVD in a month. Urrr, so I forked up the 4 bucks to see it on Amazon On Demand.
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Well, first off, did you like the movie?? I've now seen Scott Pilgrim 5 times (twice in theater, three times on Blu-ray), and I'm fairly convinced that it's one of my favorite movies of all time (but I've also been a fan of the comic, to which it does justice). I don't know your tolerance for blaring pop culture references, but if you aren't into things like video games, did you find all the references annoying? Or did you think they just worked when blended in with the rest of the chaos?
Also, I guess Paramount is the only studio that did a study and found that releasing movies on Redbox the day they are released doesn't hurt their DVD sales. But Pilgrim, being released by Universal, will have to wait 28 days.
And finally, as a huge fan of the movie, I thought I would spread the gospel on it again since another thread started! From a recent Scott Pilgrim screening at the Egyptian Theater, director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, all around creative guy) had this to say to the crowd:
"I'm here because I love this movie... This is a really important screening, because I think we all can go out to the world after this screening and tell every motherf---er out there to watch the movie. Why? Because anyone that didn't watch it is a motherf---er. We can tell them when they ask, 'Why does Hollywood make such sh---y movies?' Because when they do great ones, you don't f---ing show up!"
Sorry, I can't help but drone on about Scott Pilgrim whenever it comes up!
Well, first off, did you like the movie??
Yes, I loved the movie and want to watch it again. My wife watched part of it and said it looked like Napoleon Dynamite on steroids. My only problem with the film is that it felt like it took to long for Scott to go out with Ramona Flowers. It felt like that didn't happen until 20 - 40 minutes into the film. In the 20 minutes or so they kept doing that transition thing where we are not sure if he is dreaming or if they are showing a passage of time...that effect was cool but got old real quick. I'm not sure if I'm making any sense describing what bugged me...anyways, once he and Ramona hooked up that is where things got good for me. The scene where he jumps out the window had me laughing so hard it hurt. I loved the fight scenes and how the text came onto the screen. Very creative stuff. I've never been into comic books but I really liked the comic book look.
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Yeah, they didn't really explain the dream stuff in any kind of detail in the film. In the comic, subspace/subspace highways are used a lot more, by multiple characters (albeit kind of a nonsensical concept). Anything involving going through those star doors are the characters going through subspace portals. One of the subspace highways traveled through Scott's head, which Ramona used to deliver Amazon packages in a fraction of the time, which is what effected Scott's dreams. It might be confusing if you try and analyze it, but there are plenty of nonsensical elements to the comic (and film) like that that make it awesome. It's not quite reality!
Okay, I finally rented it this holiday weekend.
I thought it was just okay, I found myself surprised to not be a huge raving fan, based on you-all's reactions. Could be because I'm almost 50, though people who know me consider me a total "man-child". And I consider my tastes eclectic.
I wasn't familiar with the books before seeing the movie; I came to it fairly blank. We've spoken before about how nearly impossible it is to truly translate all of a book into a successful film format. If I'd have read the Graphic Novels first, I would have probably had more context for appreciating the film, OTOH, I probably would also have had a lot of issues with all the things left out of the movie, so maybe that would be a wash. So I took the movie on it's own terms, as I think we always should.
What I felt was, the characters as presented in the film were highly one-dimensional and not entirely likable or relatable. Part of that could be because they are in fact juvenile characters, who are still figuring out who and what they are. Since I'm raising kids not that far off from the ages of these characters, it tends to raise my worst stereotypical assumptions about their under-developed values and world-view at this tender age.
The visuals were very nice, but again, I'm not steeped in gamer culture, having aged-out of it just around the dawn of 8-bit games, and I never was a fan of fighting or quest games like Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, Contra, or Mortal Combat. I mean, I DO GET the references,and I used to kick butt at Joust and some Atari games, and the gaming references were mildly amusing, but it couldn't give me the kind of nostalgia kick it would an audience that was still in their 20's and 30's. So for me, plot and character development would be more important, and I felt this was sacrificed over the set-piece spectacle and effects sequences. I didn't believe the characters and their motivations and actions and re-actions.
And I guess I am just burned out on Michael Cera's schtick. It is all one note and the same in everything. If he's still trying to do this one character when he's in his 40's it will be quite sad. When John Cusak has nightmares about being typecast as Lloyd, a 40-ear-old Cera wearing a too-small hoodie and staring down at his ironic hipster shoes while mumbling in an androgynous falsetto will be what I imagine Cusak sees.
Entertaining diversion, sure. Seminal filmic portrayal of a generation? Meh. Not so much. I don't know that it's any better than "Less Than Zero". Just louder and more colorful.
Have I lost my indie cred for this? I hope not. I liked the music okay, and I thought the visuals depicted in motion what could only be inferred by a graphic novel. Maybe it tried to be too much and cover too wide a span in one go.
Well, it was a 6 part series that took place over a year in time span, so yes, the film did try and cover a lot of material. But also did a brilliant job tweaking it so that it took place in what appears to be about one week! I will admit, it would probably help to have read the books. Like any book, the characters have more depth than is humanly possible to fit into a single film. One aspect that carried over from the novels though, was the unlikability. In the books, there was also very little effort to make Scott seem likable. Because people like Scott tend to be very selfish and unlikable. Haha, I have plenty of friends like that.
And even though it is based on a comic the visuals are, in more cases than not, video game based as opposed to comic book based. Even in the comics, it's video game based. And more Nintendo/Sega than Atari. You can almost argue that it wasn't even nostalgic for a lot of fans of the film, as most of us still play these old games to this day. It never really left. I was playing Sonic 2 over the Thanksgiving weekend!
Pilgrim was intended to be thought of along the lines of a musical, but instead of singing there is fighting. I'm not a musical film connoisseur, but I can't think of a musical that didn't sacrifice character and plot development for set pieces.
And a lot of the side characters are one-dimensional, basically because they are caricatures of different groups of kids in this generation. With new characters popping up consistently throughout the film, it's hard to really make them all seem like fully rounded characters. They work better as an entire mass clump of people. That's how I saw it, don't try and analyze any one single character. This movie did a great job of portraying (in an exaggerated form, of course) a large chunk of current youth, and that's why I think it's a great portrayal of my generation. You can't make a movie that represents an ENTIRE generation, there are too many different kinds of people for that. But Scott Pilgrim did a great job, in my opinion, of representing this one. But if you ask someone else on the street who's my age about Scott Pilgrim, they could easily say it's terrible emo garbage... So who knows!?