Thursday, September 8, 2016

“Scott Pilgrim VS. The World” 2010 | Film Review

Known as one of the best comic adaptations to boys worldwide. An adaptation of the graphic comics that Bryan Lee O’Malley has written six volumes on, all put into one film which seems like a video game. Where the main character (Scott) collects coins, levels up whilst defeating bad guys, to impress the damsel. It’s the typical storyline where the guy goes after the girl; but there is a/are bad guy(s) who stop him from going after her. There is constantly someone or something that stops Scott (the good guy going after the girl) from being with Ramona (a modern damsel that’s trying to get away from her exes) which reminds me of the first few Super Mario video games (where Mario had to save Princess Peach from Bowser, multiple times). Although this time, the hero isn’t wearing a plumber’s uniform, and the girl he’s saving, isn’t a princess, but this isn’t the only difference to the typical storyline…

Target audience
Stereotypically, this film would be most suited for white, 13-16 years old teenage boys who love to read comic books and play video games on a daily basis; so they would’ve read/heard about Scott Pilgrim. The kind of people who go to events like comic-con, they would need the money to get tickets to these events, as well as money to buy merchandise for their favourite comical merchandise; which would class them in classes D-E. I don’t find this the best target audience, because the audience would be expected to have at least heard of the story before, but it’s impossible for everyone to have read those six volumes. However, this film does incorporate what they need from those books, and doesn’t confuse the viewers by going too fast pace, or leaving out details that helped the books make sense; of the world they were creating. It stops us from having to say “I haven’t read any of Bryan O’Malley’s work and I’ll need to read his comics on Scott Pilgrim to make sense of this bloody film.”

There is a modern-day surroundings used which makes us believe that it’s just a normal film, but then they use traits of video games (“Mortal Kombat” being a main aspect) to step away from our normal world, the last thing we need is another “big brother”; where they try to make us appreciate that we don’t have cameras watching our every move. Instead, this is one of those films where we wish our world could be like that, without taking note of the fact that most of us wouldn’t be able to survive in those situations. Don’t we just love these kind of films? There’s a love sword which Scott gains by confessing his love, and there’s also a sword of self-respect when he claims to fight for himself. The sword of self-respect turns out to be more powerful which teaches us that self-respect comes before love, like the old saying “love yourself before another”, how cliché. I like that they’ve shown Scott breaking away from being the hero who only cares about his love, instead we get to see him be who he is; and that the world isn’t collapsing, just because his girl was stolen. Unlike the usual video games, they don’t wear a superhero costume; they wear normal, casual (t-shirt and jeans) clothes, it signifies that they are from this time period, modern day, and it’s not a film where they fail miserably at showing that the film is set in the past, because of a clothing item being out of place. Casual clothing is used to empathise that Scott isn’t a superhero, he is just like us, as well as the rest of the characters. We are no different to them. The film goes to show that a normal guy can save a girl, as well as having self-respect. I thought all the actors done a good job, even though Scott’s mumbling was annoying, there was still a reason behind why he mumbled so often in the film, which I suppose made it a little less annoying. This being any normal reason why we would mumble (low confidence and self-esteem). As Michael Cera plays Scott, I thought he done a good job as being a normal guy; but happen to have a life similar to the video games we play at home. As the film progresses, we see Scott getting closer and closer to the girl, whilst she starts to break away from ‘the pushing people away’ phase; this is how the film shows its romantic side, by focusing on them, and showing how their relationship grows. Sorry boys and girls, but this is going to be another film where there’s a perfect relationship and they both love each other to pieces. There’s this cool scene where a guy known as ‘the talent’ talks over the music, where we can still hear the music but we can also hear him talking, which is hard to do with rock music. You’ll have to see the film to see how they do this, but it’s used to represent how good the band is, and that they’re scared they won’t be able to beat them.

Technical CodesThankfully, this isn’t another “Transformers 3” where the film is too fast, with too many explosions and it makes no sense, whatsoever. In the love side of this film, it sets a mood of the day being fast paced whilst the nights are slow, because he can’t stop dreaming about the girl. When the camera follows Scott’s life (tracking shot), and it’s in a normal pace, it gives a sense of realism, as well with what the characters wear (casual style). Framing is used the way it should be, but also the way it’s expected to be used; the screen frames on the character that’s about to attack another character. Camera angles are used in the typical way where a low angle makes the character look powerful and a high angle is used for the opposite of this. Continuity editing is used, I mean don’t you just hate it when fights are dragged on for an entire episode, or there are just fights, one after another shown, you’ll be glad to know that this film doesn’t do that. The film succeeded to present the idea that Bryan O’Malley first had when he wrote Scott Pilgrim. The film has a way of contradicting itself (juxtaposition) by making a normal person fight bad guys. When Scott collects coins; there is a “ding” noise (like you would normally hear in video games) and this is how the film uses non-diegetic sound. The soundtrack (which features a cover of the Rolling Stones’ hit song, “Under my Thumb”) is mostly used for diegetic sound; when we can see the bands playing. The lighting is natural which helps to add a sense of realism to the film, instead of one of those shows where they brighten the shots to make the stars look glamorous, it looks normal, and we’re able to see if they have any small beauty spots. The damsel changes her hair colour as Scott starts to learn more about her personality.

Pink can symbolise physical weakness; which means that she felt weak about letting guys into her life and being hurt, over and over again. This can suggest to the audience that she’s just like any one of us; she hides her feelings and pushes people away without letting them know her true feelings. Blue can show trustworthy, alive, balance and faith. Which means she was starting to gain trust for Scott, she feels safe with him, and she’s starting to feel confident that this relationship won’t end badly… She has faith that Scott will defeat them. Green shows envy, jealousy and evil. This can symbolise that this is the moment where one of the evil guys started to mind-wash her. He felt jealous of her relationship with Scott and he wanted to separate them so he could have her for himself. Or she could be just one of those girls who loves to dye their hair all the time, and doesn’t do it for a certain reason, but just for a change.


Just before a battle is about to begin, the shot frames on the bad guy, and then Scott; this is also used in video games. Using a linear narrative so it doesn’t give the audience a headache by going back and forth, and in case we get bored of the main character, the film uses multi-strand narrative. Just to annoy us, I’m afraid to say that this film has an open and closed ending in different perspectives. There could be a sequel to this film; as they use a “continue” countdown at the top of the screen. However, there is also the happy couple walking to a distant door which could be happy-ever-after. This film has a creative way of going back to the comics that helped this film become what it is, in the way it uses flashbacks; there are comic drawings of what happened used, whilst a girl explains what she remembers from her point of view. Leaving us to wonder whether Scott will be able to defeat them or if she’ll ever get away from them. Focusing on love by showing the relationship between Scott and his girl, and how it develops, how soppy. Don’t worry, this isn’t all that the film focuses on, it also focuses on revenge; Scott gets revenge on the bad guys by defeating them for taking his girl away from him. This suggests that the film’s genres are romance, comedy and action. These are the same genres that the comic books of Scott Pilgrim contain, which may make the audience want to read the comic books.

Action, Comedy and Romance. Action would make us assume that there has to be (a) good guy(s) and bad guys that go to battle with one another, so that they would be able to gain what was taken; in this case, it would be Scott gaining his girl back. In romance, we would expect to see A LOT of kissing but thankfully, the film doesn’t involve a lot of this. Otherwise the film rating (12A) would be higher. We would expect to see all sorts of jokes used within comedy; so that they’re able to make anyone with a funny bone laugh, this film doesn’t go by this stereotype, and instead it uses immature humour; to appeal to their main target audience (13-16 years old boys). I find it selfish of them to only aim towards the target audience, but it is hard to make a film that everyone will love.

Production values/stars
The budget for this film was $60,000,000. This tells us that it was done very professionally, it will mostly be shown in the United States and Canada because that’s where it was filmed. It will appeal to families with 12 or older sons/daughters. The soundtrack was written by: Nigel Godwich and produced by: Edgar Wright, Marc Platt and Nigel Godrich. Nigel is known for being a producer of “Radiohead”, whilst Edgar is known for “Shaun of the Dead” (2004), “Hot Fuzz” (2007), and more. Marc Platt is known for “Legally Blonde” (2001), “Wanted” (2008) and many more. The main character is Scott Pilgrim, who is played by Michael Cera who has also been in films, such as: “Juno” (2007), “Superbad” (2007), and more. I haven’t seen Michael in any previous films which makes it hard to make an assumption on him as an actor, but with his performance in this movie, I can assume that he’s not that different to Scott; underneath a famous actor, he is just like us, and hopefully he isn’t stuck up.

Scott is known as a guy who can be immature, and he mumbles around people he’s not confident about; people who make him feel like he’s out of their league and he shouldn’t even be talking to them, the tone of his voice on the first moments he spent around her is when this was shown, he talked quietly and mumbled. This is how most people would act when they try to talk to someone that’s out of their league, which makes it relatable. When I first saw pictures for this film, I assumed that it must include a geek (Scott), and when I saw pictures of Roxy (one of the bad guys) I knew that this film must have been created for men’s entertainment, or by men. After I saw the film, I found out that Scott isn’t a geek, and the film isn’t just what men would like to watch, but there’s much more to the plot. When Scott has his girl taken away from him, we are positioned to feel sorry for the poor guy. Overall, this film isn’t one of my favourites, but it was worth a watch to see why boys were so interested in this film. It’s not one of those films with un-deserved hype.

No comments:

Post a Comment