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New Escapist Column! On Ten Years of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World turned ten years old this week, so it seemed an appropriate time to look back on the film.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a fascinating study of a particular type of masculinity, and a particular way that young men relate to women. The film begins as an archetypal quest narrative, as the title character works his way through a series of “bosses” in the quest to earn the love of Ramona Flowers. However, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World quickly complicates that narrative, in a way that feels like a prescient commentary on the issues of masculine entitlement. However, it’s not as a simple as a movie ahead of it’s time. It’s a snapshot of a discussion in progress.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Farewell to Nerds: The Big Studios & Comic Con…

Last year, around this time, I was discussing how great it was to be a nerd or a geek. Hell, Comic Con in San Diego seemed like an obligatory stop-off point for the major studios promoting their latest blockbusters to an overly geeky crowd, debuting the trailer for Tron: Legacy or announcing the cast of The Avengers, not to mention footage and panels based around any number of big-screen blockbusters designed to cater towards the geeks and nerds in the movie-going audience. So it feels like a rather dramatic shift that very few of the major movie studios appear to be planning much for the iconic (or, at least, briefly iconic) Hall H in San Diego this year.

Does this mean that the era of the geek is over?

Will Stars stop Trekking to Hall H?

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10 out of 10: The Ten Best Movies of the Year

Contrary to popular opinion, I was actually relatively impressed with 2010 as a year in cinema. It was no 2008, with a consistent string of impressive hits (both big and small). However, it wasn’t as bitterly disappointing as 2009 was, with letdown after letdown. Sure, there weren’t that many hugely successful sequels or reboots, but the vast majority of them weren’t soul-destroying wastes of film. So I’m quite happy. This year I actually had to cut several items from the list to get it down to a perfect ten.

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Non-Review Review: Hot Fuzz

“You haven’t seen Bad Boys II?” a character states in complete disbelief to police man officer Nicolas Angel. I’m fairly sure that Hot Fuzz is consistently clever and entertaining even if you’re never seen a testosterone-laden big-budget explosive action cop movie, but Edgar Wright’s parody/homage is absolutely ingenious to anyone remotely familiar with the concept. At its most basic, the movie asks what would happen if you asked Michael Bay to make a balls-to-the-wall action movie in a small English village. The result might look a little bit like this, but I bet it wouldn’t be half as charming.

Timothy Dalton takes the biscuit...

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Remember Me: The Box Office & Pop Culture Longevity…

I was reading an interesting article on Rope of Silicon which pondered whether Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was our generation’s iteration of The Big Lebowski. Much like the comparisons between The Social Network and Citizen Kane, it doesn’t matter whether the question is downright ridiuclous or even improper, it simple serves to illustrate the type of movie that people think of when they see these modern films. That people would even utter “Scott Pilgrim” and “The Dude” in the same sentence is a huge compliment to the latter, no matter what the literal result of the comparison. Of course, this is small comfort to the studio which is no doubt disappointed by the less than stellar box office returns. However, ignoring the obvious immediate and practical impact of box office receipts, do they speak at all to a film’s longevity?

Does the box office disappointment mean "game over" for Scott Pilgrim?

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Scott Pilgrim Treasure Hunt!

I just thought I’d pass on this sort of competition-y bit of news, because I’m a big fan of viral marketing. Anyway, the wonderful folks over at Universal Pictures Ireland have put together an internet competition – in fact, a “treasure hunt” – for on-line fans of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (which I wholeheartedly recommend), with the winner receiving a trip to Toronto. Check out their facebook page here.

If the entire movie had a sound effect, it would be "Awesome!"

Incidentally, yes, I originally hoped to be part of this treasure hunt – but it was not to be (difficulties with wordpress). You can still see little snippets dotted around the site which were meant to be part of all this – it’s a shame it didn’t work out. Ah well, maybe next time.

Lee Lucas Film: The Background Posters from Scott Pilgrim

I love little pieces of movie marketing magic – particularly those which offer little easter eggs of films coming out. It’s nice to have some hype material which manages to avoid spoiling the film, but also adds a little texture to the fictional universe. And so, from the minds behind Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, we have the fictional filmography of Lee Lucas, the second “evil ex” that Scoot must vanquish. Played brilliantly by Chris Evans in a performance that would make William Shatner blush (really, like Brandon Routh, he’s clearly having the time of his life), he’s a “sell out” – a skater turned movie star. And here are some of his hits – as presented by the guys at Empire. My favourite, and a movie which needs to be made now? Doctor Action.

“The good news is… you’re going to live.

The bad news is he is going to kill you.”

Click to enlarge.

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Non-Review Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

If it weren’t for Inception, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World would be the most visually impressive film of year. Maybe it still is. This tale of adolescent irrelevence might have a bit of difficulty finding an audience, but it certainly deserves one – it’s a pure kaleidoscopic sugar rush of youthful exuberence and energy, all focused through a simple but effective emotional narrative. Indeed, perhaps its closest companion is (500) Days of Summer, the breakout romantic comedy of last year – except this time the emotional complexity is dialed down and the visual flair way up. And neither of those are bad things. In fact, as part of Edgar Wright’s latest film, they are actually quite genius.

Scott packs quite a (cup of) punch...

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Internet Advertising…

I love it when movies make an effort to embrace new technology. It can be something as careful and precise as the carefully orchestrated internet campaign of The Dark Knight (“I believe in Harvey Dent”) or the slow and steady burn of Tron Legacy over two years, or it can even be more direct than that. I thought I might share two of the more wonderfully internet-specific trailers I’ve ever seen, released within a week of each other. These are pretty much ways of publicising a movie that could only work on-line. The first is the interactive Scott Pilgrim trailer. As if we needed more reason to get excited about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

A game changer? (click to view)

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