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'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' scores with visual originality

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“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

Directed by: Edgar Wright

Starring: Michael Cera,  Ellen Wong, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Jason Schwartzman, Alison Pill

Rated: PG-13

I am well on the way to being a total sucker for “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” I'm a student of pop culture,  I love rock 'n' roll music and Marvel Comics changed my life.  The only thing missing from the equation is the video game angle. I've never had enough manual dexterity for such things.

Director Edgar Wright is a different animal. His latest movie, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” is the most visually original film of the year. And while it doesn't overtly use the video game as a theme - it's not “Tron” or “The Mario Brothers” - it has the kinetic feel that will be easily recognizable to kids raised with a Wii, PlayStation or Xbox.

Michael Cera, moviedom's favorite nerd du jour (and that's not meant in a bad way), is the title character. The “World,” as connoted in the title, is his apt enemy - not really in an evil way, just in the frustrating way that can afflict teenagers and post-adolescents.

The movie is based on a graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O'Malley. So many great movies of late use graphic novels as source material. It makes sense. That art form is much like a film's storyboard.

Scott Pilgrim is 22 and in a band, The Sex Bob-omb. It's not a great band, but a good one.   

And he loves it. He loves it for the reason some guys get into bands: The music is fun, and he wants to attract girls. Sometimes it works.

Scott has a girlfriend, 17-year-old Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), who is sweet but deserving of her name.

Then he meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and he gets obsessed like one is prone to do at his age.

Winstead as Ramona is worthy of obsession. She's tough, beautiful and sassy, and she changes her hair color on a regular basis. She dresses in ultimate thrift store chic. Scott doesn't stand a chance. She's a great character.

Now, Scott has multiple problems. First, he has to break up with Knives (and it's apparent they have true affection for each other). Then he has to defeat - in various sundry and difficult ways - Ramona's ex-lovers - seven of them.

He also has to deal with his affection for The Sex Bob-omb drummer played deliciously by Alison Pill. She is the epitome of punk-rock elegance.

Wright uses a number of “drawn-on” graphics throughout and they are never annoying. They simply add to the frantic nature of the film.

Also adding a lot to the vibe and authenticity of the production is the music supplied by Beck Hansen. Beck has shaped his own career with music that has always been completely original while still maintaining a sound of familiarity.

Rock 'n' roll fans and baby-boomers with a sense of reverent nostalgia will love “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” Other people may not get it.[[In-content Ad]]


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