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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

A 2010 American action comedy film directed by Edgar Wright based on the comic book series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

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Scott Pilgrim ROCKED my 8-bit world!

  • Aug 16, 2010

I heard about the Scott Pilgrim movie about 2ish years ago and my response was: No... no way.  How can they even begin to capture the pure epic awesomeness of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic book series Scott Pilgrim compressed into one movie?  It can't be done.  Wait?...  What is this you say ... Michael Cera's going to play Scott Pilgrim?  The cutie pie guy that fans the flames for geek girls everywhere?  Well that changes everything.

I have been a fan since Scott Pilgrim Book One and was resilient with the idea of SP as a movie, and I was afraid they were going to “Hollywood-up” this comic book movie.  But with Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, that was the first right step for the SP movie.  I am the type, when a movie of this magnitude, one that I am giddy to see... I don’t want to know much about it.  I want to be magically surprised.  The same reasoning goes why I don’t want to see the Harry Potter trailer. [I fear the next movie I see in the theaters is going to have the HP trailer.  NOOOOooooooOOO!]  A friend of mine would keep telling me more details than I wanted to know about the approaching Scott Pilgrim film:  Guess who’s playing Knives Chau!  They finally casted Ramona!  [Argh...Don’t tell me!]  But as the website for the Scott Pilgrim movie came out admittedly, I was getting pretty excited.  Now I can make a little Scott Pilgrim avatar.  The Scott Pilgrim vs. The World website periodically rains coins that you can capture for points.   

From the opening of the 8-bit version of the Universal logo that played before the Scott Pilgrim film, it was the hint of all the little gamer touches to come.  Even for individuals who are not familiar with the world of Scott Pilgrim, this film offers an action-packed hilarious movie that will not disappoint.  As skeptical as I was when I heard about the Scott Pilgrim movie, this was really well-done, and it meets and exceeds my Scott-Pilgrim-fan-high-expectations.     

One day Scott discovers, via email, he will be battling ... to the death ... with a Mr. Matthew Patel.  Mr. Patel is the first of the exes, and Matthew Patel arrives during Sex Bomb-omb’s gig to fight.  Shortly afterwards Scott discovers in order to date Ramona Flowers he must battle... no, DEFEAT... Ramona’s seven “evil exes.”  Ramona Flowers [Mary Elizabeth Winstead], the mysterious blue-haired girl that skates into Scott's dreams and life, and makes him forget all about Knives Chau [Ellen Wong] the seventeen Chinese catholic high school girl he’s dating.  The battle scenes all the stuff that is gaming: +1up [a pixelated drawing of Scott’s head]; coins awarded; life meters [or in the case of Scott, his pee meter].  The other evil exes sequentially make their appearances fairly quickly to battle Scott.  They are packing six trade books into one movie after all.  Just like a video game, the battles amongst the exes become increasingly difficult for Scott to fight.  Lucas Lee [Chris Evans] the skateboarder / movie star; Todd [awkward moment... Todd is in the band, Clash at the Demonhead where Scott’s ex, Envy Adams [Brie Larson] is the lead singer]; Roxy Richter [Mae Whitman]; the Katayanagi twins, and the evilest ex of them all Gideon [Jason Schwartzman].     
Edgar Wright, director of Shawn of the Dead, kept a lot of the visual elements found in the comic book form.  The comment boxes giving ratings and introductions to all the players in the Scott Pilgrim world [eg: Stacey Pilgrim.  19.  Younger Sister.  Rated T for Teen.] and the visual layout of ownership of items in Wallace’s [and Scott’s] apartment.  The sequence goes fairly quick but it’s word for word from the comic.      

These are tiny little visual details that make the total fans just applaud and cheer.  Especially when film delves into the romantic back story of Ramona Flowers, where the movie includes original art from the comic book.  Awesome.  I LOVE the fact that they kept the story set in Toronto.  Not that I care much for the city, but it just keeps up with the faithfulness to the comic book.  

The fighting sequences were really well done, even having Ramona and Knives fight in a few battles.  The only fight where I wish it was *more like the book* was the Matthew Patel battle, where Sex Bomb-omb [and Stacey & Wallace also] help Scott fight against the Hipster Goth army, replete with martial-art stances.  I could have done without the Bollywood-esque parts in the Patel fight.  The battle between the twins is probably the one that is least faithful to the comic, but book five contained a lot of “relationship drama” and the Katayanagi twins have a more complex story line.  Besides we get to see Sex-Bomb-omb rock some more.  In the book, there are parts where chord charts shows what notes Stephen plays during band practice. [It’s only three chords, Sex Bomb-omb is not that good.]  Which would have been a nice touch in the film, but film offers the comparable visual “D D D D D D,” the notes Scott strums away on his Rickenbacker.  

Kudos to the set dressers and people who provided wardrobe.  It was completely spot on from Ramona Flower’s star purse, Stephen Stills’ cactus cowboy shirt and all of Scott’s band shirts.   Spot-on.  The comic book was certainly the visual guiding force.

Sex-Bomb-omb was the most disappointing in casting.  Kim Pine [Alison Pill] didn’t really fit what I had envisioned what the Sex-Bomb-omb drummer would look like.  She did have Kim’s freckles though.  [Which sometimes was the only differentiating point to tell some characters apart in the comic book.]  In the film version it seemed there was too much of a spurned-lover tinge to her character, where she seemed fairly over Scott in the comic.  [In the comic she does have a makeout session with Knives Chau.  Ooooh.]  Stephen Stills [AKA: the Talent] seemed far more spastic in the movie rendition when he seemed much more mellow, deadpan sarcastic in the comic.  But this is merely a fangirl aside, and does not really derail from movement of the plot.  Wallace Wells, [Kierkan Culkin] was one of the funniest roles... sharing a bed with Scott and all his hookups.  Aubrey Plaza, my favorite actress of awkward comedy, played a so-so Julie Powers, the on / off girlfriend of Stephen Stills.  It seemed like a stretch for Aubrey to play a character who is constantly yelling, since the roles we have seen her in play her at fairly mousy.    

Cast the video game battle axes and karate-chopping action aside, ultimately, Scott Pilgrim the movie is a love story.  Some couples deal with the ghosts of relationships past and for Scott these exes take a physical form as he fights against all the other men that have been in Ramona’s life.  But the biggest obstacle that Scott must fight in order to be with Ramona, is the battle with himself.  Only then can he be with the girl of his dreams. 

Scott Pilgrim ROCKED my 8-bit world! Scott Pilgrim ROCKED my 8-bit world! Scott Pilgrim ROCKED my 8-bit world! Scott Pilgrim ROCKED my 8-bit world!

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August 17, 2010
I knew nothing about this Scott Pilgrim person or comic but if it's video game based and 8 bit no less, then I could be sold. Micahel Cera, not so much though but if it's a good movie, he can be overlooked for the other goings on.
August 17, 2010
I don't like Cera either but I managed to ignore him because of the movie's fun factor.
August 17, 2010
I'm not sure if I'm a fan of Cera or not. Sometimes he annoys me and sometimes he's ok. I enjoyed this review, though. I do hope to see this film one of these days.
August 17, 2010
Aww... :( All this Michael Cera hating is bringing me down. ;D True, he has only one character: Michael Cera. I still heart him anyway. But agreed, Cera fan or not, anyone can enjoy this movie. Thanks Adriana.
August 17, 2010
I like Cera too :) In my experience, no one over 26 likes him. Which is too bad. But I guess he's specific to this generation. My mom doesn't get it at all. . . She's only 38, but she hates the dork/geek hero premise and wants to go back to the 80s tough guys. The only movie she's wanted to see this summer is the Expendables :P
August 18, 2010
I don't HATE Cera, but everytime I see him in a commerical for a movie he's acting like a cute/awkward guy. I just haven't seen any of his movies yet.
August 18, 2010
@kaelix it a generational thing? hahah... 80s tough guy, huh? @TheJohn I only jest about the Cera hatin' ... but yea, that's pretty much it cute/awkward = Michael Cera's every role... except Youth In Revolt... which was a refreshing change.
August 17, 2010
wow! This is an amazing review and I am glad you even mentioned the 8-bit Universal logo. I couldn't get into the comic book, so I couldn't base my review off it. I know this was loosely based off the graphic novels but I thought it had the right energy for this type of movie. Spectacular review and welcome to our community! Hope to see more of your reviews...
August 17, 2010
ha. yup...the 8-bit Universal logo. I thought the movie was pretty faithful... the Todd battle is different in the book, but I think it's better in the movie. Maybe you'll give the comix another chance? Thanks. :D
More Scott Pilgrim vs. the World reviews
review by . August 15, 2010
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Let THE EX-BATTLES Begin in This Zany, Bizarre, Action-Packed Romantic Comedy!
We’ve all had nightmares about our girlfriend’s ex-boyfriends; some make us feel insecure, some make us feel proud while some…well, makes us forget about the whole thing. But hopefully, none of us have experienced being assaulted by the hordes of ex-boyfriends of the person we are dating. Well, those who are familiar with the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley may still have a hard time preparing for the film adaptation “SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD”. …
review by . June 15, 2011
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After 16 years of slamming Hollywood studios for never getting our video game movies right, we finally have one that gets it exactly right. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a video game movie, even though it doesn't have a basis in any actual video games.     Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is more of a visual and cultural tribute to video games than anything. Every other element of the movie, including the plot, takes a backseat to the list of power bars, status updates, and special …
review by . December 12, 2010
In terms of actors today, Michael Cera is kind of overrated. He plays the same character in every single movie he's in: the awkward, geeky teen who's either anxious to lose his virginity or just be generally geeky. That doesn't mean that every once in a while, he can turn in a good performance, and Scott Pilgrim is definitely one of them. This is an incredibly awesome movie, and epic of epic epicness indeed. It's also kind of hard to put into words unless the person you're talking …
review by . January 22, 2011
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This movie grabs your attention from the display of the Universal Logo.  The Universal theme music is like  the sound of an old video game.   Scott Pilgrim seems to drift from dream to reality and the scenes rapidly shift with written text to explain who the various characters are.       Scott is in a band with an ex-girlfriend and two other friends.  He lets them know that he is dating Knives, a 17 year old Chinese girl.  Everybody seems against …
review by . August 15, 2010
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Scott Pilgrim Saved my World
SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD   Written by Michael Baccall and Edgar Wright   Directed by Edgar Wright   Starring Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick and Mary Elizabeth Winstead      Stacey Pilgrim: Are you legitimately moving on or are you just being insane?   Scott Pilgrim: Can I get back to you on that?      By the time you reach a certain age, if you’ve tried at all to make connections with other human …
review by . August 17, 2010
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Just imagine for a second that your life is a video game.  One where the potential exist for you to beat up bad guys, live each new day of your life as though it were a level where you score points, get extra lives and pull off amazing stunts because you simply can.  This is exactly what Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is.  A movie that turns the life of one young man into a video game.  It's zany, it's over-the-top but it's a lot of fun.  If you don't like Scott …
review by . July 27, 2010
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Spoiler-Free Sneak Preview: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
One of my projects is watching Rotten Tomatoes' list of the worst movies of the last decade and, in doing so, I've pontificated at length on the misery that is movies based on video games. To recap: there are a bunch on the list, many are directed by Uwe Boll (perhaps the worst director of all time), the most critically-acclaimed video game movie ever is the not-so-great Mortal Kombat. Video game movies usually take themselves too seriously and fail by having to stick to story lines that …
Quick Tip by . February 05, 2012
Action, Romance, Comedy and filled with homage for all the things we love; this film is just a rockin’ good time! This stands as one of my favorite comic book adaptations and a refreshing change from all the super-hero movies that have plagued us of late.      C’mon, how can you resist a super-powered Vegan with telekinetic powers?      See Full Review here.     
Quick Tip by . January 04, 2012
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Surprising sleeper hit. This is one of those movies that seems like it was as fun to make as it was too watch.
review by . May 26, 2011
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Pros: entertaining! a little of everything-action, romance, comedy     Cons: Style and humor not for everyone     The Bottom Line: "I heart you, Sex Bob-omb!"     Struggling to recover from the gruesome break up with his Big Ex, Scott is currently dating Knives Chau, a high school girl five years his junior. He's enjoying the simplicity of just holding hands. Knives, sweet girl, is just a phone call away from stalker-intensity fan dom for …
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As library paraprofessional for my adult working life, I have worked in academic libraries, public libraries, in the dungeons of cataloging departments, on the front lines of circ ... and occasionally … more
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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a 2010 American action comedy film directed by Edgar Wright based on the comic book series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The film is about Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) meeting the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). In order to win Ramona over, Scott learns that he must defeat Ramona's seven evil exes, who are coming to kill him.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was planned as a film after the first volume of the comic was released. Director Wright became attached to the program and began filming in March 2009 in Toronto, Ontario. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World premiered after a panel discussion at the San Diego Comic-Con International on July 22, 2010. It received a wide-release in North America on August 13, 2010.

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    Director: Edgar Wright
    Genre: Action, Adventure
    Release Date: August 13, 2010
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Studio: Universal Pictures
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