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mygif

Edgar Wright deserves ups for how well it turned out with as much stuff as he crammed in – I’m glad they didn’t go the Green Lantern (or Last Airbender) “Let’s just assume this will be a trilogy you guys” route.

Also, Ellen Wong is adorable and needs to be in more movies.

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mygif

No, and I’m very sorry. The books were better books than the movie was a book, but the movie did the books better than a slavish adaptation. Turning the whole “book five” arc into the simple third act downturn is a classic demonstration of how well Edgar Wright understands pacing and audience expectation. That entire crowd would have shut down five minutes into the whole “Scott’s Depressive Stupor” thing.

The books were books. A TV series could have adapted the books. For a movie, this was really a much better way to treat this story and those characters. However, I do think that the book six resolution was a bit more satisfying, particularly Ramona’s role in the showdown.

Either way — I know you said it wasn’t *bad*. It’s just that I thought it was *perfect*.

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mygif

I miss some bits (“Last Song Kills Audience”), but I’m not sure how much you could fit into feature length. Plus the books had the advantage of being a serial- they read well in one go, but there’s also more a sense of an ongoing saga.

Way I see it, any losses made up for by Ellen Wong and Kieran Culkin.

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mygif

Soooooo…. you’d prefer to say “the books were better than the movie” rather than “the movie was better than the books”? I just don’t think you can really put them against each other.

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mygif

Yeah, I’m going to have to go with Ilan. Wright got the books, he understood them, but he also understood what works in movies as opposed to books. You always end up telling a different story in a movie than in a long series of books, and he did, and that’s not only okay, that is in this case fucking awesome.

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mygif

The movie was better than I expected. Yeah they skipped some good stuff, but they also added some good stuff that worked better for the new medium, which was a good idea. Like Julie’s swearing thing. 😛 But the Scott/Ramona romance is done much better in the books, no question. I don’t see why Ramona liked Scott in the beginning of the movie, there didn’t actually seem to be a reason.

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Candlejack said on August 14th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Maybe she didn’t like him. Maybe she justed wanted her exes to kill him, and only got attached to him as he struggled on.

(Seriously, having a League of Evil Exes is a lot like having an STD: it’s really something you need to bring up in a conversation before it comes up on its own.)

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mygif

SPOILERS

There’s just too much good stuff in the books to be able to get it all in; Wright managed it as elegantly as possible, I thought, and even did some smart rearranging of the story (having Knives’ scarf n’ dagger battle with Ramona and Scott’s achieving of The Power of Love come at the climax were both really smart moves). There were also some great additions, stylistically, like the “CONTINUE” countdown.

The thing that really keeps the movie from greatness is that Scott and Ramona’s relationship is a little too much on the dysfunctional side–granted, that’s the point, but I feel like we needed one more big scene of them actually being happy and in love sometime around the 2nd or 3rd Evil Ex, so that it we got a better sense of what was at stake. As it was they seemed to do nothing but fight or work through issues.

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mygif

My one big problem with the movie was the ending. Unfortunately, it was a misstep so huge as to almost kill my enjoyment of the adaptation. To exclude Ramona from the final confrontation with Gideon seems to miss the whole point of the story, which is that Scott and Ramona can only succeed when they’re not working at cross-purposes. To replace her with Knives is even worse, because it suggests that the Knives/Scott pairing was anything other than Scott’s unhealthy retreat into adolescent “simplicity.” Awful, awful ending.

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mygif

You might want to put up a SPOILERS tag, there, bud.

Bear in mind, the movie is in a different context than the comics. The crucial thing at the movie climax is that Scott needs to acknowledge that he treated both Knives and Ramona badly. Letting Knives in on the action is his way of respecting her and patching things up.

And I’m not sure how you missed Ramona’s contribution to defeating Gideon, there. They made it a lot more straightforward than in the comics.

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mygif

Who on Earth would be reading this comment section without having seen the movie, and why would they not expect spoilers if they hadn’t?

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mygif

The movie’s only been out for a day and a half, and if people are reading a review there’s a good chance they haven’t seen the movie and want to get opinions. Why WOULD they expect spoilers, especially since it’s so easy to just write “SPOILERS” at the top of your post?

The internet seems to have caused everyone to forget that casually spoiling movies is kind of a dick thing to do.

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mygif

Wright and his co-writer did an amazing job of looking critically at the books and deciding what (a) would best translate to film, and (b) were the most important themes. That’s tough to pull off when you’re trying to remain faithful to the source material. To make a comparison, I’d look to “Watchmen,” which (with the exception of the ending) cleaved SO closely to the source that it couldn’t perform any editing at all. It ended up bringing the book’s flaws and as well as its successes to the screen, whereas the critical eyes of Scott Pilgrim’s screenwriters managed to bring the strongest elements of the book and chop out the weaker threads. And they even added their own cinematic jokes and scenes in to augment their strengths–an accomplishment that shouldn’t be criticized as “non-canon” but praised!

Additionally, I felt like the movie ending worked perfectly for the medium. It streamlined things understandably, it had the tension and excitement of the books, and it addressed the themes the movie chose to address. I felt that the ending of the books was slightly laborious and overwrought–not bad, but not quite on par with the rest–and that trying to cram it all into the movie would have been disastrous.

PS: Wallace was actually funnier in the film, which I thought would be impossible, but there it is. The scene of the four of them waking up in bed had me shriek-laughing.

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mygif

While the books are better, I don’t see how that impacts the movie at all. The movie is fantastic, and a very smart adaptation of material that would have been impossible to completely cover in 2 hours. The books, the film, and the game are all outstanding.

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mygif

As the Only Person On Earth That Didn’t Like The Scott Pilgrim Books, I loved this movie. I read volumes one and two and found them sporadically enjoyable, but the movie distilled everything good about them and fit it into a two hour movie.

Do the books pick up the the pace after the first two volumes or is the entire thing six volumes of staring into space and not making decisions with one good fight scene per book?

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mygif

Each book is better than the last, as far as I’m concerned. And there are a TON of fights and explosions in Book Three. And lots of sword battles in book 4.

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mygif

@ink: I hear what you’re saying, but while the Watchmen movie was too slavishly faithful to the superficial elements of the comic, thereby missing the spirit of the story, I’d argue that the faults are mostly all its own. For instance, Watchmen is a deeply understated, measured work on the page–inasmuch as comic book characters give “performances”, the performances in the comic were subtle and restrained and very human. The acting in the movie was atrocious and stilted (even from actors I KNOW can do a lot better); either Zack Snyder has no idea how to direct actors, or else that was his weird way of keeping the feel of static comics panels (“OK, act like you’re printed on paper!”) but either way, it didn’t work. At every turn, Snyder produced a fetishized, bombastic movie that doesn’t jibe at all with the low-key sensibility of the comic, which is its single biggest problem. Of course, it also didn’t help that Snyder thought cramming in Rorschach’s pointless dog-killing flashback was more important than making Adrian’s conspiracy make sense, or developing Silk Spectre’s relationship with the Comedian and her subsequent epiphany.

Yeah, I kind of think Watchmen is a masterpiece. I’ll be happy to admit it has flaws, but you really can’t blame the problems of the movie on the comic. They go way, way deeper than that.

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mygif

I’m not one for deliberately spoiling people, but jeebus, at some point you have to take responsibility for yourself. Don’t want to be spoiled on something? Don’t read a discussion on it from people that have obviously seen it. The world is not my spoiler zone.

So that I don’t spend two posts here without actually talking about the movie – I thought the film was a little unevenly paced – but then so are the books, and Kieran Culkin up and stole his scenes.

One thing I really appreciate about it is that chasing down the music from the trailer has led me to Blood Red Shoes, who sound so much like Elastica that I teared up a little.

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mygif

Yeah, I think the movie’s flaws are mostly those of the books as well. FINEST HOUR was kind of bloated by necessity of having to tie everything up, and even with a few subplots excised the film’s finale couldn’t help but have the same problem. Fortunately it’s not the worst problem to have.

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Anticorium said on August 14th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

“Also, losing the Honest Ed’s chase battle sequence is heresy.”

I agree. I also think that sequence would be basically unfilmable in the real Honest Ed’s, and building a soundstage that could do justice would have been prohibitively expensive. They already blew their recreate-a-Toronto-landmark budget on Lee’s Palace.

The Reference Library, on the other hand….

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mygif

The only reason the “bi-furious” line wasn’t the worst of the night was because we got the Skyline trailer, too, so we got Dan Rather’s inartful warning that “it didn’t go so well for the Native Americans.”

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mygif

Drove to Toronto to watch this with friends. Worship my nerd wang!

Ahem.

MGK basically hit the nail on the head in the OP. To expand a little bit and put my own spin on that, tho… just about everyone I’ve talked to (who has also read the books) said ‘too short, and very clearly they had extremely talented editors cutting everything together to make it come out just right. A lesser director than Edgar Wright would have crashed and burned.’

For myself, I think they could have cut MORE. I mean, yes. We all knew we weren’t going to see Lisa Miller, Jason Kim, or Mr. Chau. But the Negascott was unnecessary (that’s a plot well you don’t go to unless you have time to do it justice, its not a throwaway) and if you’re not going to use the Glow, you don’t need to have subspace at all. And if you’re not going to have the baggage that Kim and Scott carry between them play any role at all either between Scott and Kim, Scott and Ramona, or KIM and Ramona (which makes his personal apology to Kim weird) you flat-out don’t need to mention they ever dated.

Ramona herself seems to lack a lot of agency. She ditches Gideon (good for her) and then hangs around with this guy she barely seems to like and for whom she never articulates her affection (they chopped off a LOT of the important first date and then we go straight into them fighting) and rather than the weird metaphysical aspects of the Glow, we just end up with a mind-control chip. A really BAD mind-control chip. :)

That said, I eagerly await the potential directors cut, which I’m hoping is like a three and a half hour LotR monstrosity that really slows down and takes it time. We didn’t even see Mrs. Chau, and we KNOW they filmed the bus scene.

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mygif

“The action was decent”

Really? Just decent? I thought it was excellent. It was cleanly shot, and the choreography was very, very good.

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mygif

“So that I don’t spend two posts here without actually talking about the movie – I thought the film was a little unevenly paced – but then so are the books, and Kieran Culkin up and stole his scenes.”
@Reagen

See, that’s spoiler free, and legitimate discussion of the level that’s going into this.

And it’s not out in the UK for another 10 days, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. And I wouldn’t have had a chance to see it yet, anyway, on the grounds that I’ve been ill and travelling the past three days.

I’m not that mad, and I’m still not sure if I’m going to watch the film (though Edgar Wright and the fact that some non-comics friends of mine worked on the effects and say it’s great make me think I might.) But that’s one example of who won’t have gone to see it in the days just after its release

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mygif

Look, if my post was out of turn, or overspoilered,feel free to delete it. I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s viewing experience; I just wanted to discuss the movie, with reference to specifics.

SPOILER:

That said, I still think that just giving Ramona the Envy/Todd moment is pretty small beer, given that her character is fairly passive throughout the movie. The final fight shows Scott perfectly in synch with the girl he left, rather than the girl he’s heading toward. In my estimation that throws the Knives/Ramona balance off in a way that’s not easy to recover from. So much so that when I was leaving the theater, i cold overhear people wondering aloud why Scott went with the cipher-like Ramona, instead of the girl he actually seems to get along with. The climax should let Knives walk away with dignity, not with the whole damn movie.

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mygif

Well, I think this thread is pretty clearly SPOILERED at this point, so no big deal, I guess.

@murc: I really disagree, I thought all that stuff, particularly the Nega-Scott, were handled pretty effectively in the movie, just more briefly and in a different way. In fact, I kinda like the movie Nega-Scott better than the comics–the scene is funnier and makes the same point a bit more elegantly. And I thought we got everything we needed to know about Scott and Kim’s relationship without having to have it pounded into us, so why wouldn’t he apologize?

Of course I would have liked to have seen everything from the comic ever, but I thought this movie did an amazing job of trimming everything down. As mentioned, the only thing I thought they lost–admittedly, a big one–was a stronger sense of chemistry between Scott and Ramona, and even then I think they could have made it work if they hadn’t had her bail after Chris Evans.

There’s not going to be a director’s cut, by the way. Apparently Wright shot this really, really tightly to save money, so there’s not much extra unused footage. Unless they literally go back and shoot more scenes, which seems unlikely.

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mygif

When I saw it, my group was fractured because half of them wanted the 9:15 showing, so it was just me and three people at the 7:15 one.

During the trailer for Devil, the movie theater was silent except for someone (probably not me) yelling “Is this filmed in australia?” with the upside-down city. When M. Night’s name was shown on screen, there was an audible unanimous groan, and then immense laughter as we realized what we had done. I also fake-spoiled the movie for people outside, exclaiming my surprise that Gideon Graves was turned into Scott Pilgrim’s brother.

Anyway, I think the main way to mitigate the complaints is that the movie was shot in toronto, where wi-fi rays explode your brain.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/08/15/ontario-wifi.html?ref=rss

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mygif

@Prankster

The thing with Scott and Kim for me was that in the movie, they barely interact. You get the feeling that something was there; Kim’s most expressive scene was when she was telling Ramona they used to date. But there’s no real sense that Scott just totally fucked things up hugely (the way he did in the comics) between them, so…

Agree with you on the lack of chemistry between Scott and Ramona. Part of that is just because Michael Cera is Michael Cera, and part of it is time, I think. I’d have liked to see Ramona choose Scott the same way Scott chooses her.

It is disappointing there won’t be much materiel for a directors cut. I thought it was simply edited tightly rather than shot tightly (although I suspect now it was both.) I know that there are at least one or two scenes gone (If you check out BLO’s flickr page, he has some really good photos of Knives textbooks from when she meets Scott on the bus) but I guess we’ll take what we can get. :)

It’s disappointing that there won’t be a coll

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mygif

@Dan Lokhorst:
You aren’t the only person in the world who doesn’t like the Scott Pilgrim books.

After reading the first book, I can’t help but think that Scott is an annoying jerk that deserves a face-punch, and Ramona isn’t much better.

Some amazing love story? The first book shows Scott pretty much being brainwashed into loving Ramona, due to her carelessly riding through his dreams as a shortcut for her job. She’s truly made herself into his dream girl, when there isn’t any indication that he would have even have noticed her if she hadn’t been invading his dreams.

As for Ramona’s feelings for Scott, she doesn’t care that she’s warped him into her obsessed fanboy. The first date makes her look like she’s just looking for a convenient sex option, someone who will be willing when she is, but won’t complain whenever she isn’t. Or maybe she just finds brainwashed obsessive stalkers attractive. Or just wants someone to beat up her ex’s, or just wants her ex’s to beat up someone (particularly with the whole mystery of Gideon at the end.)

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Brimstone said on August 15th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

“(Seriously, having a League of Evil Exes is a lot like having an STD: it’s really something you need to bring up in a conversation before it comes up on its own.)”

my ex warned me about her Evil Ex before our first date. that was nice

as for me… there are all sorts of logical criticisms of both Scott and the movie. i thought the 3rd act was rushed, and the chip removed Ramona’s agency. but as a 20 something who likes retrogames, plays in a shitty indie rock band, and dates/crushes on crazy girls all the time i was too busy cheering and yelling ‘THIS IS HOW MY LIFE SHOULD BE!’ to care

anyone notice that Ramona basically Incepted Scott at the start of the movie? i know the comics came out way before Inception…

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mygif

@Quixim, That is an excellent and terrible thing to say outside the theater. I salute you. At the screening I attended the “Devil” trailer played and the entire theater burst out into laughter when the Shyamalan tagline appeared, then burst out a second time when we realized what we had done. I don’t think that was quite the reaction “from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan” was hoping for…

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mygif

You’re right, and I thought the effect grew more pronounced towards the end – parts of the start were practically transplanted from the comics (and very effectively). I realise they didn’t have the last comic to read at the scripting stage, but I drastically prefer the end of the comic to the end of the movie.

That said, by god the bits they got right were AWESOME. Wallace Wells and Knives Chau and Kim xD

And some of the btis they added worked well too – I thought the nega-Scott gag was hilarious.

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mygif

Who hasn’t laughed seeing M. Night’s name for Devil?

Anybody else pissed off that the movie came in fourth at the box office with a paltry $10 million?

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mygif

I’m pissed, yes, because I have a feeling that in 15 years or so, we’ll be looking back on this as fondly as we look back on John Hughes movies now.

Also, I’m going to have to add to the chorus that found the Devil trailer laughable. Still, that was a lot better then the one for Score. A hockey musical? Really? I’d like to know what whoever came up with that idea was taking, because that has to be some good shit!

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mygif

I hope that word of mouth gives it a boost overall. I think in the longterm, it’ll make its money back, most especially once it hits Blu-Ray/DVD.

While I agree with a lot of what MGK said, I think the movie is different enough from the comic in its own ways that it’s its on entity. Music, for example, is almost impossible to properly convey in comics and that’s something the movie does well in spades.

A friend of mine said that the movie feels more focused, since they concetrate on the whole Battle of the Bands for most of the ex’s battles. The focus, unfortunately, was at the cost of losing development of some of the secondary characters.

Honestly, most especially the ending, I…think I liked the movie a little more. It’s mostly the power of the music that helped, I think. I’m definitely going to see it a second time before it leaves theatres, just to be sure.

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mygif

Psst. Zack Snyder. This is how you adapt a comic and remain true to its spirit.

Just…y’know….for future reference.

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mygif

@Baines & Dan: People I’ve asked swear up and down it gets better. I’ve only read the first volume too, and my feelings are pretty much the same as yours (especially Baines).

I plan to get at least up to Vol. 3 and give it a chance, but after that, I just have to assume that I Don’t Get It. Oh well.

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mygif

Book 3 was the point where I started actually liking the series instead of reading to see what the fuss was about.

I also think the movie suffers from compressing a months-long relationship into like two week, giving us NOTHING to indicate that Scott and Ramona would still be together at the end of the month.

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mygif

Another thing to note is that Scott isn’t really a character you -should- wanna emulate. He has no job and he’s not a very good musician and he’s really sketchy dating a highschooler and he has a pretty lame jacket and he’s kind of a loser.

If you’ve ever played No More Heroes, think of him as being similar to Travis Touchdown, a moe-anime obsessed otaku loser who lives in a hotel and has to kill the 10 top-ranked assassins with a lightsaber he bought on Ebay in order to bang this hot thick maybe.

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mygif

I really really dug the movie, I think a combination of the pace being quicker and the humor being thicker on the ground made it a really fun experience, if different and slightly less substantial than the books.

Also, the music adds something pretty important. It makes a lot of the scenes vibrant in a different,and sometimes much better, way than the comic. I actually really dug “Threshold”.

Actually, a friend of mine can’t stand the books, but loved the movie. Apparently he felt like the books didn’t make it clear enough that Pilgrim was kind of a dick and Ramona was kind of a jerk, but the movie did.

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TheSlopmaster said on March 28th, 2013 at 8:58 am

I don’t think Scott is a good character to emulate either but that is an essential part of the story. Him being a git is that whole story so you can’t just erase that because he’s a bad role model! He’s not supposed to be a good person and he states that himself in the books!

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TheSlopmaster said on March 28th, 2013 at 9:00 am

Also your friend isn’t very good at reading characters durandal

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