Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Directed by: Edgar Wright

Synopsis: Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera). A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-old has just met the girl of his dreams…literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. Genre-smashing filmmaker Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) tells the amazing story of one romantic slacker’s quest to power up with love in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

Scott Pilgrim has never had a problem getting a girlfriend. It’s getting rid of them that proves difficult. From the girl who kicked his heart’s ass—and now is back in town—to the teenage distraction he’s trying to shake when Ramona rollerblades into his world, love hasn’t been easy. He soon discovers, however, his new crush has the most unusual baggage of all: a nefarious league of exes controls her love life and will do whatever it takes to eliminate him as a suitor.

As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues’ gallery from her past—from infamous skateboarders to vegan rock stars and fearsomely identical twins. And if he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all before it really is game over.

Release Date: August 13, 2010

Shaun of the Dead Romance

On the 10th anniversary of Shaun of the Dead opening in UK theaters, let’s talk about love. Not just the love we have for Edgar Wright‘s 2004 zom-rom-com but the love that is explored in the rom-com side of that genre-splicing equation. Forget the zed word. Pretend there’s no zombies in the movie at all. They drive the plot but they’re not really relevant to the story, which is of a relationship on the rocks and the obstacles in its way of succeeding. The zombie element only exacerbates (a word I genuinely learned from this movie) the situation, heightening the tension and increasing the difficulty level while also providing a mechanism through which the main characters are able to more easily get over their relationship hurdles. I use the term “difficulty level” because, in a way, Shaun of the Dead is like a romance video game where different bosses have to be defeated in order for Shaun (Simon Pegg, who also co-wrote the script with Wright) to win back his princess, Liz (Kate Ashfield). Wright would, of course, later do the same thing very literally in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and here not all the “bosses” are in fact adversarial obstacles, at least not before they’re turned into undead monsters. The two most advanced stages of the game, for instance, involve Shaun’s mum and best mate. And if you’re a grown man in a serious relationship, maybe even marriage, you should identify with just how tough those stages are […]

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Remaking a movie is a tall order, and transitioning a story from another medium to film is even tougher. So it’s no surprise that details frequently get changed to accomodate a new era of filmmaker or the different “beats” associated with a feature-length movie. It becomes a problem, however, when one of the things cut to accomodate an extra action scene turns out to be vitally important to the plot, leaving the movie with a scene or detail that only makes sense if you’re familiar with the original. Things like…

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As many of you might have guessed, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is what one might call a craze-induced summer blockbuster. The United States’ 16th President hunting vampires is actually the least of the film’s bizarro nature; this is a film with a vampire throwing a horse and the weaponization of forks against confederate vampire soldiers. Making all of this a world audiences can buy into isn’t a simple task for an actor, but Mary Elizabeth Winstead and the rest of the cast  go about it as seriously as they can. Timur Bekmambetov made a very specific film, yet Winstead is acting in one of her own since, when 99% of the lunacy is happening onscreen, Mary Todd Lincoln usually isn’t around. When she is onscreen, Winstead faces another kind of challenge with her extensive makeup. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter marks another entry in Winstead’s career with a world-building director at the helm, and, speaking with us at the press day, that seems like the main appeal for projects such as these. Here is what Mary Elizabeth Winstead had to say about Timur Bekmambetov’s “idea machine” method of directing, the specificity in physical & dialog-driven action, and the strong life of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World:

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Just as the fears of global cataclysm at the end of the last century fueled films like Deep Impact and Armageddon, the ticking clock to December 21, 2012 has led to more end-of-the-world movies that rely on something larger than a zombie outbreak or a deadly contagion (although those have been recently popular as well). The latest entry into Hollywood’s obsession with the Earth’s last days is the apocalyptic rom-com Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and if the Mayans were right, that might very well be the last one made. Film School Rejects responds to your concerns about the end of the world, as evidenced by the Apocalypse Soon feature currently running on this site. While you’re catching up on these films to see before the end of the world, we wondered who would be the best people to spend that time with. Steve Carell’s character gets to spend the end of the world with Keira Knightley, and here are some cinematic characters with whom we’d like to spend our last days.

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Ron Guyatt Jurassic Park

Imagine how impressed your dinner guests will be when they pass by the chocolate fountain in the hallway and spy the Isla Nublar map hanging on your wall – complete with detailed information on where the Raptor and T-Rex pens are. “Is that an antique from a wealthy. erstwhile relative?” they’ll ask. “Why no,” you’ll say, “it’s a Jurassic Park-inspired print from Ron Guyatt.” And they will swoon. Guyatt’s work is simple, but dynamic, toying around with the imagery of famous films, television shows and video games alike. Targets range from Kung Fu Panda to “Scott Pilgrim” to “Tetris,” and each print is curiously affordable. Check out some of the movie prints for yourself:

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Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collective of links and thoughts breaking down all the news and great essays from around the movie blogosphere. A celebration of quality programming, if you will. Thus, it becomes quality programming in and of itself. In short, it’s worth however long it takes you to read to the end (where we’ve strategically placed a Christopher Nolan-themed video as your reward). We begin this evening with the internet’s story of the night, Daniel Day-Lewis’ awesome Abe Lincoln beard, as shot by Virginia local Michael Phillips. He snapped a shot of the highly method actor in a Richmond restaurant (not far from where Steven Spielberg’s film is currently in production). Basically it looks like Abraham Lincoln with jeans on. So yes, that works. Also worth noting: It’s being reported that Day-Lewis has not dropped his Lincoln accent since March. That’s one hardcore mother-effing emancipator, right there.

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Drinking Games

Boy, that Brandon Routh is a real lady-killer. And in the movie Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, he’s a real lady-killer if she’s a monster and she wronged him in the past. We may not have seen much of Mr. Routh aside from his small parts in Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, but that doesn’t mean he ain’t working. Dylan Dog follows Routh as a private investigator in New Orleans who is brought back into the monster hunting game. But we don’t care about monsters. We care about New Orleans. For this feature, every day is Mardi Gras, and everywhere open containers are legal.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that just got back from a little vacation. No, it didn’t go to Comic-Con in San Diego. It feels it necessary to leave stuff like that to the professionals, namely Misters Abaius, Fure and Giroux. They did a wonderful job, did they not? And rumor is that they’re not done yet. That said, it shouldn’t come to you as a surprise if tonight’s entry is a little Con-tilted, or nerd-obsessed. It is part of the Comic-Con hangover treatment, after all. The above image, tweeted out by Community creator Dan Harmon, shows a sign erected at the studio where the show has begun shooting its third season celebrating the show’s zero Emmy nominations. “I want to win an Emmy for this show,” said Harmon as he and cast led a rousing panel during Comic-Con. They’ll get one. If not, we’ll make one and send it to them.

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Studio logos are an iconography all their own, but nothing puts a grin on my face like a spiffy send-up of a traditional company emblem tailored made to gel with the film I’m about to watch. Don’t get me wrong — nothing’s going to top classics like Alfred Newman’s Fox fanfare, Jerry Goldsmith’s Universal tune or the countless other openings ingrained in our cinematic memories. But when someone takes the recognizable logo and makes it their own…well, that’s when I get giddy. For decades, movie studios have been allowing filmmakers to tinker slightly with the prestigious logos that preface every film they release. Nothing too crazy — maybe a color shift or a throwback to a retired bumper — but nothing that would tarnish their reputations. These days, most movies are free to run wild. Many stick to the time-honored traditions of their studios, but the ones that don’t feel that much more special. Regardless of a film’s quality, a great logo is like the cherry on top for most movie buffs. Here are fourteen modern variants that bring a little extra magic to the pictures they kick off:

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Did you know that Thursday nights is Ladies Night here on Movie News After Dark? Yes it is, friends. It simply means that ladies get half off their door price, which as you know is zero. So I guess I’m not sure what the bonus is for ladies on Thursday nights. Perhaps it has something to do with the phases of the moon and my extremely manish musk. Or maybe is has something to do with another round of awesome clips from the world of movie news!

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A swift kick in the pants is all you need to get your midnight juices flowing, that’s an ideal that I’ve always held to be true. If you don’t have anyone to kick you, you can always simply read Movie News After Dark. It will either get you pumped up and ready for that late-night fast food run or put you to sleep, or both simultaneously. How did he do it, you may wonder after wrapping your car around a telephone poll while stuffing your face with an extra large gordita. Run for the border my friends, it’s time for movie news…

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As I expressed earlier in the week as our 2010 Year in Review began, I take it as a great honor that I am able to put together my list of the Best Films of the Year as part of my Editor’s Picks entry. And while I’m a massive fan of my own perspective and opinions, I’m an even bigger fan of the writing and ever-diverse tastes of the Film School Rejects reviewing staff. These are the folks who, through their sensational (and often divisive) review-writing, keep you coming back for more each and every day. They travel the world and brave the crowds at festivals, conventions, preview screenings and special events to bring you some of the industry’s sharpest, most honest film coverage. And I for one am honored to have them all on this team. Just as I did last year, I couldn’t wait to see which films each writer would put on their Top 5 lists as the best films of the year. And just as they did last year, they didn’t disappoint with their unique, ever-fascinating selections. So read on dear reader, as we present the crown jewel of our 2010 Year in Review: The Staff Picks.

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It’s that time of the year again: that brief span of time in between Christmas and New Year’s when journalists, critics, and cultural commentators scramble to define an arbitrary block of time even before that block is over with. To speculate on what 2010 will be remembered for is purely that: speculation. But the lists, summaries, and editorials reflecting on the events, accomplishments, failures, and occurrences of 2010 no doubt shape future debate over what January 1-December 31, 2010 will be remembered for personally, nostalgically, and historically. How we refer to the present frames how it is represented in the future, even when contradictions arise over what events should be valued from a given year. In an effort to begin that framing process, what I offer here is not a critical list of great films, but one that points out dominant cultural conversations, shared trends, and intersecting topics (both implicit and explicit) that have occurred either between the films themselves or between films and other notable aspects of American social life in 2010. As this column attempts to establish week in and week out, movies never exist in a vacuum, but instead operate in active conversation with one another. Thus, a movie’s cultural context should never be ignored. So, without further adieu, here is my overview of the Top 10 topics, trends, and events of the year that have nothing to do with the 3D debate.

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One of my favorite non-starters for articles is the very bland “as you may know.” There’s no doubt in my mind that you’ve seen me use it in the past (I’m doing it again right now). So when I thought about how to begin this year’s top ten article, I wanted to begin by saying “as you may know, one of my great honors around here is to deliver my list of the ten best films of the year.” But you may not know how much of an honor that really is. In fact, it’s difficult for me to put into words how honored I feel to have anyone read this at all, let alone the scores of readers we see on a daily basis here at Film School Rejects. It’s safe to say that I speak for everyone here when I say that I am deeply honored by the opportunity just to write about film. You, the reader, offer that to us every day with your patronage. So my hope is that I can do you proud, dear reader, as I present my list of the ten best films of 2010. This year saw a great deal of personal turmoil for me, meaning some movie-watching blind spots. But some late-year scrambling has pushed my total films seen number well north of 200. And of those 200 or so eligible films, whittling it down to ten wasn’t quite as difficult as it’s been in recent years. Does that mean that […]

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The race for the Oscar for Best Visual Effects is on, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has put it into full gear by releasing the list of films that will comprise the final 15 contenders. As you might remember from previous years, this only the first cut. Over the next few weeks, the Academy’s visual effects branch will narrow the list down to seven films, then watch 15-minute clip reels and bring it down to five nominees for a January 25th announcement. Which leaves us the never-difficult task of picking through the list and deciding two things: which films we think deserve the 5 nominations, and which five films will actually get the nominations. First, lets take a look at the list.

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Sometimes the perfect gift for a movie fan has nothing to do with the beauty of the image. Sometimes it’s all about the perfect audio seduction provided by an awesome movie score. And if there is one thing 2010 did right in movie land, it was movie scores. And here are four (technically five) that will truly make the life of a movie fan sound that much more awesome.

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We get it, you saw the movie and no one else did. We’re very sad about it, as well. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may have been one of the more entertaining and fun films to see a release in 2010, but that doesn’t mean it was able to take that quality to the bank. You know what the world needed? More people who had read the Scott Pilgrim comic series by Bryan Lee O’Malley. And even though the film’s release came and went, then came again on DVD and Blu-ray (another highly recommended gift — call that one a bonus), it doesn’t mean you can’t get someone started with the gift of Pilgrim. That’s where today’s treasure swoops in with the power of self respect.

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Drinking Games

Geeks everywhere can rejoice now that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is out on DVD and Blu-ray. (And per director Edgar Wright, anyone outside of the U.S. can order the region-free Blu-ray and “import away.”) While it may not have been the hit that everyone hoped, it is now available in its full glory for home viewing. So grab your drink of choice – whether it be beer, wine or Scott Pilgrim’s Coke Zero – and toast to the seven evil exes.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray, we give ample time to the Brits. God save the Queen, and all that. It’s unavoidable though, as both Doctor Who and a completely (and gloriously) reborn Sherlock Holmes come crashing in with sets that will have you using deductive reasoning to substitute buying Blu-rays for buying food for the next seven days. We also spend time with a favorite Brit filmmaker, Edgar Wright, as he brings Scott Pilgrim to the format of champions in a way that makes us feel complete. And it’s nice to feel complete. Unless, of course, you’re feeling completely surrounded by former comedic talents in an Adam Sandler-led movie about man-children. Then perhaps complete isn’t healthy. In the end, it’s another fun week of flicks and picks, all coming to you in glorious high definition…

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week once again sees a healthy number of releases worth buying and renting and only a few that should be avoided like a leprous Jehovah’s Witness. The much talked about but little seen Scott Pilgrim vs the World hits shelves today alongside Criterion’s release of Antichrist, Grown Ups, Ticked Off Trannies With Knives, and a few TV shows including the first season of the BBC’s excellent Sherlock.

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