Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scott Pilgrim goes to Hollywood

You may remember that I posted a blog three weeks ago about the six Scott Pilgrim comics. The movie based on the books came out a day or two ago and I saw it with a couple friends last night. 

(May contain spoilers)

It was good! Michael Cera did a good job playing a deadpan everyman, and the director captured the spirit of the books well, for the most part. The visuals and music oozed style and nostalgia, and the gags and dialogue really seem to hit home with early-20s nerds and hipsters.

The first portion of the movie follows the comics just about verbatim and is extremely well-executed, though the last half of the movie seems to scrap just about everything but his confrontations with Ramona's evil ex-boyfriends, who are casted well and steal the show at times (Especially Todd, the one armed with Vegan powers).

Unlike the movie, the books are as much about Scott's exes as they are about Ramona's

This suprised me a bit, since the "boss battles" are really the least of his problems as the series progresses; one of the things I was disappointed to see missing in the movie was how Scott's life basically falls apart completely before he gets his shit together in the end. 

This focus on the action causes themes like "moving on" or "growing up" that are core to the books to be communicated poorly to the big screen, as Scott's moments of conflict and reconciliation with his past are simplified, downplayed or cut out entirely.

Other stuff I hoped to see:

This bit was hilarious

This one got animated as a promo, at least

The changes made to the source material were noticeable at times, but they may have been necessary to have it fit the medium better. 

The result is a fun and hip movie, easily one of the best to come out this summer.

 In spite of my nitpicks, I really enjoyed the film, and I think it deserved the loud applause the crowd gave it in the theater. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Starcraft II Solves the World's Problems

A timeline of the past week:

July 27: Starcraft II released. Gamers, federal judges and BP executives from around the world line up at midnight to get their hands on it.

July 28: Judge Susan Bolton blocks key provisions of SB 1070, the controversial Arizona bill.

August 4: Judge Vaughn Walker rules Proposition 8, the same-sex marriage ballot measure, unconstitutional.

Also August 4: On Day 106 of the oil spill, BP announces that their static kill procedure has been successful in plugging the oil well.

Three of the summer's big issues solved within one week of the Starcraft II launch? Clearly not at all a coincidence.