Scott Pilgrim

This was a blast. I was sucked in from the opening of the Universal logo done in old NES-style graphics with an 8-bit version of the studio melody. And if that last sentence confuses you a couple of different ways, then this probably isn’t the right movie for you.

In the same way that zombie movie lovers got many more of the jokes in Shaun of the Dead, same goes here. You’ll get this movie more if you play video games and are one of the 20-something man-children that the NYTimes and Time Magazine are so upset about. But what’s also bugging those guys probably has a bit to do with the fact that who the hell still buys Time Magazine or the New York Times? Definitely not the N. American Man-Child. Thing is, that sub-species also doesn’t pay $12 to go sit in a movie theater. The movie kind of flopped this weekend. But as of right now on Piratebay, 1100+ people are seeding the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack and 1200+ are seeding the comic book series the movie was based on. That means with a decent connection you could download both for free in about 4.5 minutes. And in a couple of days a crappy version of the movie will be uploaded and spreading everywhere to be watched on iphones and 13″ computer monitors, possibly with Russian subtitles.

And that’s too bad because this movie really looks good on a nice big movie screen, preferably at a single screen theater, like the Vista.
6a00d09e4faa8fbe2b0109d06888ec000e-500pi.jpg (From here, I couldn’t find my own photos of the Vista.)

As in the also very cute Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Micheal Cera is again a good-hearted dweeb in a band that falls in love with a hottie. If you’ve seen the trailer, you know the plot. He has to defeat the girl’s seven exes, led by Jason Schwarzman. I’m sure it’s easy to hate this movie for being too hip or not hip enough or too glib about love or something, but why bother? There are more important things to hate. I want him to get the girl who works at Amazon and live in a Canadian border city that still has a record store. And of course he does. (spoiler)

I also tried to watch Public Enemies. What a fat yawn that was. 40 minutes. Bored. Stopped watching. What the fuck, Depp? Make a decent movie already. Fear and Loathing was twelve years ago.

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Mark Mauer likes movies cuz the pictures move, and the screen talks like it's people. He once watched Tales from the Gilmli Hostpial three times in a single night, and is amazed DeNiro made good movies throughout the 80s, only to screw it all up in the 90s and beyond. He has met both Udo Kier and Werner Herzog, and he knows an Irishman who can quote at length from the autobiography of Klaus Kinksi.

6 thoughts on “Scott Pilgrim”

  1. i saw it this afternoon and loved it as well. i do think it would have been a better film if pilgrim had ended up with the other girl, but fidelity to source material i’m sure.

    (the first evil ex is played by homi bhabha’s son.)

  2. Thanks Mark and Arnab. I was about to write this one off. Why? Because I read the New Yorker review by Anthony Lane? He gives it a lukewarm review, which I take as evidence of his not quite grasping it the way Mark does and fears he’s not hip enough but is ambivalent about how to deal with it. Or maybe I’m wrong.

    Thing is, I’d probably watch anything with Michael Cera in it. And I’d watch anything with Eugene Levy in it. And anything by Todd Solondz–I’m not going to wait until a critic tells me it’s okay to do so (as is the case with Solondz’s current release, Life During Wartime).

    Mark’s post is terrific on another level. What a strange and wonderful thing it is to see a film like this at the Vista, given that right now there are thousands of people waiting to be able to find a decent bit torrent (with Russian subtitles) and watch it without leaving their homes.

    I’d love to hear more from Mauer about his visits to those wonderful L.A. (east side, west side, don’t matter) theaters. Fuck, I miss them. May they never die.

  3. Which Homi Bhabha? Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the nuclear physicist who played a major role in the development of the Indian atomic energy program and is considered to be the father of India’s nuclear program?

    Or Homi K. Bhabha, who is nothing more than a mere schoolmarm, and is from a lower caste?

    John, alas, yesterday I went to see Inception at one of the Los Feliz 3 theaters. Theater 1, which is ridiculously tiny, just 7 seats across, lengthwise. So, it’s not all good.

  4. the film is deliriously good fun, and the technical whizzbangery is so organically wedded to the content that you never feel wrenched out of the story.*

    it did make me think of the wachkowski’s speed racer which is visually superior, i believe, and also got panned. the video game aesthetic may not translate at all to film critics who’ve never played video games.

    *spoiler: my only complaint, as i noted obliquely in my first post, is that ramona is a total cipher–no depth and it seemed to me increasingly devoid of attraction. i thought she was right when she observed at the end that knives and scott make a good pair, and was disappointed that the film didn’t stick with that.

  5. it did make me think of the wachkowski’s speed racer which is visually superior, i believe, and also got panned. the video game aesthetic may not translate at all to film critics who’ve never played video games.

    Good call. I also loved Speed Racer.

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