Posts Tagged ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’


Scott_Pilgrim_Vs_The_World_Teaser_Trailer_Pic_5-1024x585Comic books and graphic novels have provided the inspiration for loads of movies but rarely does a film really capture the spirit of its pen and ink muse. “Sin City” used a mixture of live action and digital trickery to bring its film noir story to visceral life and the “Spider-Man” series wisely focused on the characters for their big screen outings but “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” is the evolution of both these techniques. Director Edgar “Sean of the Dead” Wright strikes a balance between live action, manga, video game imagery and music videos to conjure up a wildly entertaining, if some what sensory assaulting pop culture confection that works as a film and stays true to the source material.

Based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” stars Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, a 22-year-old Torontonian who is rebound dating a 17-year-old high school girl named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). Knives loves Scott and his band, but Scott only has eyes for Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a recently transplanted New Yorker whose habit of changing her hair color from shocking pink to blue to green every week leads Scott to believe she is unpredictable. He may be right, but her fickle behavior is the least of his problems. As soon as they start dating he discovers he has to pass a test—actually seven of them—if he wants to be with her. He must first defeat her Seven Evil Exes in wild video game meets “The Matrix” fights scenes.

The experience of watching “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” is not unlike that sonic rush that accompanies walking into a videogame arcade. It’s noisy, flashy and somewhat disorienting. Director Wright flips from scene to scene with the speed of light, filling the screen with sight gags, surreal graphics flying on and off the screen and much visual mayhem.

It’s nonstop but unlike movies that are all style and no substance the look of the film is crucial to the spirit of the story. Some suspension of disbelief will be necessary when watching the movie—extras lives can be gained à la video game rules—but the underlying reason for all this flash is Scott’s journey toward self awareness. He’s a video game nerd and a comic book geek whose life is marked by the constant flow of information and stimulation that we’re all inundated with every day and the movie’s hyperactive style inventively portrays that world.

It’s a cool looking movie but that doesn’t mean that much if the characters aren’t engaging, and here again Wright steps up. Cera (the year’s most unlikely movie warrior) is treading familiar ground here—the sweet geek—but brings with him razor sharp comic timing and a likeable screen presence. His realization that you must fight for what you believe in and those you love may be presented in an outrageous fashion, but the underlying message is bang on.

“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” is a unique piece of work. It’s a wild ride that nails the pop culture zeitgeist but also tells a universal human story.

You should call Toronto the Big Smokescreen In Focus by Richard Crouse FOR METRO CANADA Published: August 13, 2010

videodrome12The new film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World begins with a title card that reads “Not so long ago in the mysterious land of Toronto, Canada.” It establishes that the movie is set in Toronto, but not the Toronto we usually see in films. That Toronto often subs for New York or Chicago.

The Toronto of Scott Pilgrim comes complete with Casa Loma, Lee’s Palace and other T-Dot landmarks. It’s probably the most expensive movie to feature Toronto as itself, but it’s not the only one. Here’s a look back at Toronto on-screen:

Lawyerin’ and doctorin’ jobs!
For many people, the first on-screen glimpse of Toronto onscreen came from the backseat of a 1960 Chevrolet Impala. Goin’ Down the Road, the story of Pete (Doug McGrath) and his pal Joey (Paul Bradley), two Maritimers who set out in a Chevy to find a better life in Toronto, (SCTV joked they were looking for “lawyerin’ and doctorin’ jobs”) is a city time capsule circa 1970.

Look for great shots of Yonge Street attractions including the classic Sam the Record Man spinning double disc neon sign. The signs are gone now, making their last appearance in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk.

Long live the new flesh!
Although David Cronenberg has made more than a dozen films in T.O. and says, “I love shooting in Toronto,” film critic Geoff Pevere says, “Toronto had never seemed weirder,” than in the director’s epic Videodrome.

The story of a sleazy UHF television station programmer who becomes spellbound by the hallucinatory power of porn movies, is set in Toronto and not only used many of the city’s locations, but its unique references as well. Civic TV allegedly refers to CityTV, which, in its early days used to air soft-core pornography late at night.

Yonge and Dundas and Beyond
For a look at the down-and-dirty Yonge Street Strip, once the body rub capital of Canada, check out Ron Mann’s 1974 Super-8 documentary The Strip. On the other end of the scale is Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, the story of a Toronto escort and the woman who hires her to test her husband’s fidelity. Toronto has never looked lovelier than this.

“At the level of metaphor, it’s interesting because Toronto is a prostitute. As a city, very often it pretends to be New York or Chicago or San Francisco,” Egoyan said. “So it’s interesting, since this is a film about that.”