Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Video review: "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"
"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is one of those movies that divides people into groups: Those who loved it and those who couldn't care less about it (and probably never saw it).
Despite generally glowing reviews and a lot of excitement from its geekeratti target audience, "Scott Pilgrim" died at the box office. The saga of a Toronto dweeb who must fight the seven evil ex-boyfriends of his new lady love -- all done with video game-style super powers and an indie hard rock soundtrack -- must've seemed too far out for most ticket buyers.
I thought it was fun and fresh, and certainly one of the more visually inventive films of the year.
Michael Cera plays Scott, an impish slacker who meets Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the ultimate cool girl. Scott makes it his mission in life to become her boyfriend, which he accomplishes in short order.
Alas, Ramona has those seven nasty exes, who have sort of pact to destroy anyone who would replace them.
Director Edgar Wright, who co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Bacall based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley, uses each of the fights as natural chapters in the plot. The evil boyfriends are played by stars such as Jason Schwartzman, Brandon Routh and Chris Evans.
Ultimately, "Scott Pilgrim" may have been too cool for its own good.
If you're a fan of this movie, you're going to want to buy your own disc just for the extra features, which are among the best I've ever seen.
The extras are the same for single-disc DVD and Blu-ray editions. There are four separate feature-length commentary tracks, including one by Cera and the other principal actors. There's also a blooper reel, still photo gallery, and 27 minutes worth of deleted scenes -- including an alternate ending where he and Ramona don't end up together.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is where things really get awesome.
On top of the stuff listed above, there's the standard goodies: A 50-minute making-of doc, a 16-minute feature on the various musical acts (including Beck) who wrote songs for the movie, and other featurettes on subjects like visual effects and sound design.
But they're just getting rolling.
A collection of pre-production video, including audition reels, animatics and rehearsal footage, runs 87 minutes all by itself. There are director's production blogs, music videos, and an Adult Swim cartoon based on Scott Pilgrim.
My favorite goody: "Scott Pilgrim vs. the Censors," a "TV safe" version of the film -- the joke being that it's only four minutes long.
Movie: 3 stars out of four
Extras: 4 stars