It’s September already and summer has just blown past. As I wave a tearful goodbye I am also taking stock of the dust this blog has begun to gather. I’m planning to remedy this, but before I start with some new content I figured I may as well share some of what I’ve been up to this summer. I’ve written a few reviews for Vancouver Weekly, the first being for Sarah Polley’s latest feature Take this Waltz. Although I really loved Polley’s first film, Away From Her, I really couldn’t get into this one.
I also watched a fantastic documentary about American musician, Sixto Rodriguez, called Searching For Sugar Man. This documentary is crazy powerful, and I heartily recommend it to anyone, particularly musicians and music lovers.
Finally, I watched another enlightening documentary about Chinese artist and social critic Ai Weiwei. The film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, is an intimate look at Ai Weiwei’s history, art, and his current struggles for expression against a government that fights to silence those like him.
Well two months later I return with another post. Apologies for the long wait which is due to extreme stress from moving, being without internet for most of September, and then just general laziness on my behalf. But I press onwards! Here is my latest review on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, hopefully still available for viewing in a theatre near you!
I was initially sceptical about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. As a fan of the original graphic novel by fellow Canadian Bryan Lee O’Malley, I was wary when I observed the cast list. Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim?! Horrifying; Keiran Culkin as Wallace Wells?! Highly doubtful! My hopes picked up when I discovered that Edgar Wright would be directing. Excited and anxious I entered the theatre to have my expectations blown out of the water. Wright dives fast and hard into the world of Scott Pilgrim in the opening sequences, offering audiences a visual feast and full submersion into O’Malley’s erratic imagination. The story is ridiculous. Scott Pilgrim, a geeky bassist, meets the girl of his dreams, American courier Ramona Flowers. However, in order to date her he must defeat her 7 evil exes.
While there is not very much in the way of character development, that is not what this film and O’Malley’s original vision is about. The film embodies a look and sound that is comparable to an electric shock with the visual style of the material borrowing heavily from video games and anime. The film is often hilarious, with several of the most entertaining moments taken straight from the pages of the comic. Besides the humour and the pitch perfect performance of Keiran Culkin as Wallace Wells, Scott Pilgrims long suffering gay roommate, the soundtrack is one of the strongest elements of the film. The fictional bands which appear in the film such as The Clash at the Demonhead and Crash and the Boys, all have music provided by top selling artists Metric and Broken Social Scene respectively. The music for Sex Bob-omb, Scott Pilgrim’s own self proclaimed ‘terrible’ band, is all penned by Beck Hansen, who is able to channel the grungy early punk sounds of acts like the MC5. The only downside the film carries with it is its run time. Like Edgar Wright’s other ventures, Hot Fuzz in particular, Scott Pilgrim out stays its welcome by roughly 20 minutes. The final scene’s of the film seem to lose their wind and feel too long and stretched out. However, this is a small concern, for the price of admission allows audiences entrance to a wildly entertaining movie-going experience.