Sunday, January 16, 2011

Galvinizing Review--Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

As if the 8-bit version of the Universal opening theme song wasn’t awesome enough to make you love this movie, the rest of the movie just kicks ass. Suffice to say that although I’ve never seen any other movies by Edgar Wright (I know, it’s a crime that I have yet to watch “Hot Fuzz” or “Shaun of the Dead” and I suppose I could watch either movie when it shows up on TV, but I hate commercials. So, Netflix queue, here they come!), after watching “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” for, like, ten times, I can say, by the authority vested in me as someone who loves kick-ass movies, that Edgar Wright is officially the most awesome director…at least of the past six months.

Because I love this movie so much, I’m not sure I can communicate anything coherently. So, in lieu of a brilliant, lucid, succinct review, and as a homage to Nick Hornby’s novel “High Fidelity”, I offer the following list: Ten Awesome Things about “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”
1. The soundtrack. The Pixies, low-fi bass rifts, Beck-inspired singles, and Beachwood Sparks and their cover of Sade’s “By Your Side” are just some of the reasons that this soundtrack rocks every second of the movie.
2. The Smashing Pumpkin t-shirts. Any movie that make any reference to the Smashing Pumpkins is cool in my book. (Sadly, though, not a single SP song is used in the film.)
3. It takes place in Canada. Canada’s cool.
4. It is framed as a classic video game of the classic Nintendo variety. (Who doesn’t remember playing Super Mario for all those coins?)
5. The trivia about Pac Man is erudite yet funny.
6. The soundtrack (Okay, it’s so awesome it deserves two slots on this Top Ten list.)
7. The script. It’s clever, witty, snappy, hella funny, and so true to-yet removed from real life with some of the greatest, most awesome-est lines ever. Here’s a taste and by no means is this an exhaustive list:
“Listen, I was thinking, we should break up…or whatever.”
“We gotta get some buzz goin’. We need ground swell. We need stalkers.”
“What? I’m not afraid to hit a girl. I’m a rock star.”
“You punched the highlights out of her hair!”
“I was just a little bi-curious./Well, honey, I’m a little bi-furious!”
“I’m in Lesbians with you.”
“Well if my cathedral of cutting edge taste holds no interest for your tragically Canadian sensibilities, then I shall be forced to grant you a swift exit from the premises…and a fast entrance into hell!”
“Dying’s gotta suck./You know what’s sucks? Getting killed by that guy.”
“Young Neil, you have learned well. From this point forward, you will be known as: Neil.”)
8. The movie is faithful to the story’s graphic novel origins. In fact, the complete 7-volume set is sitting in my wish list. (Hint, hint, nudge, nudge anyone for my birthday or just because!)
9. Bleeping out the profanity. It helped me allow my kids to watch it and love it with me. (Not that that’s ever stopped me before given that I agree with John Milton’s argument in “Areopagitica” that cloistered virtue is no virtue at all.)
10. Bass Battle. ‘Nuff said.

This movie is so awesome that a Top Ten list cannot do it justice. So, here are Ten More Awesome Things about “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” that didn’t quite make the list:
1. The character, Comeau, played by Nelson Franklin: a douche bag who knows everyone but knows nothing. (Greatest line, when listening to a live performance of a band, “You should see them live, they’re much better live.”)
2. Did I mention that the soundtrack rocks?
3. My wife and kids love it as much as I do. (Well, maybe not as much as I do.)
4. One of the shortest songs ever performed in a movie: “We hate you; please die.”
5. The pee-meter.
6. One of the coolest band names ever with the coolest intros. ( “We are Sex Bob-omb and we’re here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff.”)
7. Chris Evans (you know, The Human Torch from “Fantastic Four” and the next Captain America) as Lucas Lee, a caricature of the action hero with the commiserate caricature lines like “Kiss me, I’m dying,” or “The only thing keeping me and her apart are the two minutes it’s gonna take for me to kick your ass.”
8. Michael Cera doing choreographed martial arts proves that lanky geeks can fight!
9. Bill Hader’s over-the-top narration.
10. Vegan Police. (You’ll have to watch the movie to see what that’s all about.)

For these reasons, and so much more, I give “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” 10 out of 5 bass guitars.

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