Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Scottish program takes on the World

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What's this?! I'm reviewing a movie? On a blog that's been nothing but video games? Why yes I am but still oddly related to video games. You may or may not be familiar with it but the movie “Scott Pilgrim versus the World” Is based on a six volume comic book about a young man named Scott Pilgrim, who's kind of a loser, trying to win the girl of his dreams. Over the years of its publication it gained some popularity amongst video game enthusiasts for its frequent references to old video games and its namesake character often thinking in videogame logic. So naturally I had to see how this would play out as every movie to date that tries to “appeal to gamers” has always come off feeling fake.

The plot is mostly the same as the video game “No More Heroes” but as a romantic comedy but you've never heard of “No More Heroes” so I'll have to actually take time to explain things. Scott program is 23, unemployed, presumably out of school and in a GarageBand called “Sex Bob-omb”. Scott Is also an immature spineless jerk who is dating a 17-year-old high school student because he can't get over his ex-girlfriend who became a rock star after dumping him. Scott then meets the girl of his dreams (literally) but there is a lethal catch: if Scott wants to go out with her he needs to defeat her seven evil xis who are completely insane and battle Scott to the death; which in this movie means exploding into a mass of coins. And I do mean it when they see that they are crazy for it's supposed to be a mainstream movie the villains go surprisingly close to territory that is normally reserved for Suda51 and Hideo Kojima

The story isn't necessarily about them but video games are integral to the style of Scott Pilgrim. The Universal Pictures logo, for example, has its frame rate cut in half as its music is rendered by an NES. The opening scene takes sound effects and some music directly from “the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the passt” and I think I heard a sound effect from Sonic Hedgehog at one point. the concept of the “seven evil ex-is” is a lot like Mega Man's master robots. And the name of Scots band is a blatant reference to super Mario Brothers (that the average layperson will not get). A reference to a video game is a normal thing for Scott program there is no phony “novelty value”.

My biggest problem with the movie though is that it simply doesn't have time to love games as much as its title character. “Scott Pilgrim versus the World” has to cover a episodic story arc that was originally written across six graphic novels within an hour and half. what videogame references are their Feels very basic. And when the story is not a matter of life and death /coins I feel a little bored, but I think this is more my fault than the movies. Love is a abstract concept far removed from logic and I'm not sure if I ever understand it. However if it resorts to flashy duels with the loser explodes into a shower of coins maybe it's worth it.

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