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Vroom Socko Sees SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD With Oni Press!!!

Hey, Vroom Socko here, and last night I saw SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD. Now, if you're just interested in my thoughts on the movie the Talkbackers are already sick of, scroll down to the standard review header. Forgive me, but I have to gush about the screening itself. It wasn't just a screening, it was a party, and Oni Press publisher Joe Nozemack was the host. Not just at the theater: there was an after party downtown, complete with a host of classic arcade machines provided by Ground Kontrol. This included a digital projector running Street Fighter, which resulted in an impromptu round robin tournament. The only thing that topped that was the crowd that Oni Press had invited to this private showing.
Portland is the biggest comics town west of the Mississippi, and the people in attendance proved that. I saw seats filled with the likes of Jamie Rich, Joëlle Jones, Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, Mike Allred, Greg Rucka and Jen Van Meter, James Lucas Jones, Kurt Busiek... I'm not sure, but I think I spotted Matt Wagner sitting in the back. Folks, this is the crowd to see a comic book movie with. A general audience may, may cheer when they see Edgar Wright's credit on screen. A Comic Con crowd would cheer Bryan Lee O'Malley's credit. This audience cheered Joe Nozemack's credit. Try and find an audience where that would happen. What my pathetic ass was doing there, I haven't a clue. Apparently, the people at Oni Press like my reviews.
But you're here for my thoughts on the movie itself, not idle gossip. So without further adieu:


Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright: Writers Edgar Wright: Director Universal Pictures: Distributor Vroom Socko: Don't talk to me about grammar!

Caveat: Going into this, I was a huge SCOTT PILGRIM fan, as seen in my recent review of book six. (For those keeping score, the series settled into my Top Ten at #8, in between Lee and Kirby's FF and PREACHER.) I was also a massive Edgar Wright fan, and this had me mildly concerned. You see, SCOTT PILGRIM is a twenty something romance filled with music, comic book, video game and general pop culture references. As is the first big success that Edgar Wright had. So as I took my seat, I couldn't help wondering, "Is this going to play out like SPACED in Canada?"
I needn't have worried. Sure, there were a couple of bits that had a SPACED vibe: the SEINFELD reference for one, the running gag involving Scott's hat for another. (It didn't hurt that the hat looked like something that Tim would wear.) Fortunately, these jokes worked in the context of the film. I wasn't thinking "That's like something out of SPACED!" while I was watching, mainly because I was too busy laughing my ass off. Getting a laugh wins out over other considerations.
Now, for those of you who are visiting Ain't It Cool for the first time in your life, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD is centered on the titular Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera.) He's the bass player of the Toronto based band Sex Bob-Omb, along with guitarist Steven Stills (Mark Webber) and drummer Kim Pine (Alison Pill.) He doesn't have a day job, but he does have a 17 year old girlfriend called Knives Chau (Ellen Wong.) Then one night, a strange woman appears in his dream, then shows up in real life. This woman, one Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead,) ends up having a night on the town with Scott. This puts Scott on the radar of Ramona's seven Evil Ex Boyfriends, who each challenge Scott in turn in single combat to the death.
I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of Michael Cera, although I hold no dislike for him either. I've only really seen him in JUNO, where he was solid if not very memorable, and SUPERBAD, where he was funny but overshadowed by Period Pants and McLovin. Sorry to those who venerate the show, but this does mean I haven't watched ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. Sorry, but Will Arnett makes me break out in hives. Anyway, here Cera has to carry the bulk of the film on his shoulders, and he does a damn good job. He's convincing not only as a likable doofus, but also as a skilled, cunning fighter, and as a bit of a sad sack who manages to grow into a self-confident heroic figure. He and Mary Elizabeth Winstead also play off of each other rather well, particularly during their first date. There's an innocent charm to these scenes that was romantic as anything.
The funniest part of the movie though is easily Scott's gay roommate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) It's almost impossible to describe, but seeing him stumble drunkenly into his apartment, collapse face first into bed, then texting while asleep is comedy the likes of which not put to film since the death of Harpo Marx. There's also Ellen Wong, who IS Knives Chau. Her scenes just sparkle. She has an eagerness, along with a straight up cuteness that is inherently watchable. Not to mention the fun when she picks up her namesakes and starts to kick ass. Hell, she makes Hit Girl look like a little kid.
Then there are the flashback moments, where Ramona talks about how she met her various Ex's. These scenes are essentially cut straight from the books, motion comic-stlye. Some of you may disagree, but I adore O'Malley's artwork, and seeing it on a 60 foot wide screen is a delight.
The only part that really doesn't work for me is Envy Adams (Brie Larson) Nothing against Ms. Larson, but the character feels too flat. Also, she's built up as this unspeakable horror throughout the first half of the movie, shows up alongside the Third Evil Ex, then disappears and isn't heard from again. There's not really a full sense of completion to her part of the story. Also, two of the Ex's, the Twins to be specific, are incredibly short-changed in comparison to the other Ex's. I'd have liked to have gotten into their heads at least a little bit, since they're some of the more cerebral villains in the book.
This is not to say that I wanted a SCOTT PILGRIM movie that is slavishly devoted to the books. That way lies Chris Columbus directed HARRY POTTER films. In fact, one of my favorite moments in the film is the payoff to the extra life gag, which is nothing like how the moment plays out in the book. In point of fact, I think the movie uses the conceit better than the book does. Then there's the confrontation that Scott has with his dark side, which took a turn I was not expecting, and had me in stitches.
And really that's the important thing: this movie is funny. Richly funny. Romantically, charmingly, sweetly AND violently funny. Is it the best movie of the year? No. That's still INCEPTION (Based on what I've seen, at any rate). But SCOTT PILGRIM is the most entertaining movie of the year. In fact, if I may reveal a small secret, there was a screening at the end of July that I also managed to attend. That makes this the only movie this year I've seen in the theater twice. And I plan to finally pay to see it a third time this weekend. You should do the same.
Vroom Socko, also known as Aaron Button, is a Portland, Oregon native who loves comics, movies, and the Portland Timbers. He doesn't make it over to Ground Kontrol as often as he'd like, but when he does you can usually find him playing the DOCTOR WHO pinball machine.

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:05 a.m. CST


    by tronknotts

    Also, Scott Pilgrim > Inception. Inception was pretty overrated

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:13 a.m. CST

    wanna see it but

    by rockness

    one question that was not answered in this review: does jason schwartzman make you wanna set up an emergency chute and ride on out of there like the guy from jet blue?

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:14 a.m. CST


    by crappyfun

    Everyone keeps saying how the band name is taken from Super Mario Brothers, but nobody mentions that it also references an awesome Flipper song...Guess I'm just old...

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Good Pinball choice!

    by gotilk


  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Oh, and I dreamed last night...

    by crappyfun

    That Harry finally updated the site and it was all cartoonish and awesome with Flash animation and vibrant colors.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Nobody cares about Michael Cera Vs. The World

    by MJs_Cold_Dead_Pale_Corpse

    Please move on

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:39 a.m. CST

    If I Were An UNdecided Voter

    by Aquatarkusman

    INstead of an internet trawler of early reviews, the marketing campaign and trailers would definitely have me saying "no way."

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Good old nerds...

    by Lemure_v2

    They hate Scott Pilgrim but they still click on the link just to bitch. Keep it up, please, it's hilarious.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:47 a.m. CST

    " the likes of which not put to film since the death of Harpo Ma

    by ricarleite2

    Worst. Plant. EVER.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:01 a.m. CST

    I'd definitely see this if . . .

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    it didn't look so fucking terrible.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:08 a.m. CST


    by CreasyBear

    I'll say this instead of "Plant!" since many talkbackers can't differentiate. (For a plant-review, check out the 3 Fast 3 Furious Tokyo sent-in review.) <p> Granted, it would be wise for studios to manufacture plant reviews, given the ENORMOUS push that AICN brought to Watchmen and Snakes on a Plane. Thanks to those invaluable plant reviews, the box office fucking skyrocketed! Those ingenius studio marketeers and their tricky plants! But personally, I'm too clever and cynical to fall for it. To be safe, I'll just assume that every single positive review is a plant. And for the reviews that bring up negatives, I'll be even MORE clever and cynical, and say that the negatives are just to throw us off the trail of the obvious plant-nature of the review.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:20 a.m. CST


    by BP_drills_america_a_new_asshole

    Never heard of Scott Pilgrim before but that review hasn't exactly piqued my interest.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST

    VROOM SOCKO a plant??!!??

    by onezeroone

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:22 a.m. CST

    More entertaining than The Secret in Their Eyes?

    by kolchak

    Or Mother? Fuck, even Harry Brown tops this from what I've seen so far.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:23 a.m. CST

    VROOM SOCKO a plant??!!??

    by onezeroone

    He's as much a plant as Harry. Contrary to what you all may believe, AIC?n *does* have a Comics section and I've seen Vroom Socko review comics before.<p> I mean, the way review is coded/structured is a dead giveaway that he's one of the @$$holes. But I guess you guys couldn't even pick the part where he mentioned his Scott Pilgrim vol. 6 review.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST

    I had tickets to a preview of this 5 months ago

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Arrived at the cinema only to be told they werent showing it becuase the director wasnt happy with it, I was not amused. And therefore will not spend any money to see this at all. Besides, I want to punch Michael Cera in his stupid face!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Not a plant - because he said Inception was a better film

    by Dharma4

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Any review

    by JoeD

    that does not align with talkbacker's cynical/angry/depressing world view is automatically a plant. I'm not too interested in seeing this, but good job on the review.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:21 a.m. CST

    An advert of advert advertness

    by palimpsest

    Enough, already.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    "Without further goodbye"...?

    by Yotz Von Frelnik

    I think that oughta be "Without further ado". Don't mean to make a lot of ado about it, but there you go. Adieu!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST

    I Quint

    by Foomas New song I did....need to share it here :)

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Bad Link Sorry

    by Foomas

    <object height="81" width="100%"> <param name="movie" value=""></param> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param> <embed allowscriptaccess="always" height="81" src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="100%"></embed> </object> <span><a href="">I Quint</a> by <a href="">Speaker Freeker</a></span>

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:35 a.m. CST

    fuck it !

    by Foomas

    I give up....HAve a great week fellow geeks :)

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:47 a.m. CST

    I skip AICN Comics, thus me calling him a plant.

    by ricarleite2

    So okay, he's not a plant. He's a fucking moron. "seeing him stumble drunkenly into his apartment, collapse face first into bed, then texting while asleep is comedy the likes of which not put to film since the death of Harpo Marx" - What? WHAT??

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:49 a.m. CST

    CAN'T WAIT!!!!

    by superhero

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST

    "comedy the likes of which not put to film since the death of Ha

    by redrain

    is without a doubt the fucking most ridiculous thing EVER written on this site! i stopped reading right there! GAME OVER! INSERT COIN

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:52 a.m. CST

    oh, and one more thing

    by redrain

    anyone who thinks that scott pilgram(or anything/one)in that film is funnier then the MARX BROS. can so totally suck the balls! WHAT THE FUCK!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Heh... "plant"

    by Chewtoy

    Seriously calling "plant" on a guy who has been a regular contributor for years is pretty damn funny.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Kilowog has man-boobs!

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    And looks not-unlike Dana Carvey as that turtle guy in the godawful Master of Disguise. Green Lantern is gonna just Schumacher all superhero movies!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Now that's the way to...

    by D o o d

    review a movie<p>Clear, Concise and Objective!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 2:02 p.m. CST

    It may be bad reading comprehention, or that I wrote this while

    by vroom socko

    I was at a party before writing this, after all. In any case, what I was saying was NOT that this movie is funnier than the Marx Brothers. (Whether it's specifically funnier than NIGHT IN CASABLANCA I leave to you to decide.) The "Drunk Wallace" scene is one that gets laughs mostly from what Kieran Culkin physically does, not from what he says. Is it better than Harpo? Christ no, don't be ridiculous! Is it the best work of that nature I've seen on film SINCE Harpo? Yes. Not better than Harpo, but the best of what has come since. <br><br> Now, water me and feed me compost!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 2:02 p.m. CST

    ...wrote this while drunk

    by vroom socko

    See above.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 2:14 p.m. CST

    you were drunk?

    by redrain

    ok i can see that, myself i like to watch the marx bros. drunk on new years eve. i'm not the demographic for that film anayway.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 2:21 p.m. CST

    oh, and one more thing

    by redrain

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Vroom Socko, as in Hectic Planet/Pirate Corp$...?

    by daggor

    Then you get kudos for a great character namesake. Go read Vroom Socko: Paid In Full, guys. I want to see a film version of THAT!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    also nobody gives a crap about the

    by rben

    douchbags who invented facebook. take those ads down so i don't keep opening up the trailer by mistake!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 4:58 p.m. CST

    If you're bent out of shape about this movie...

    by Burgundy82

    ...your loss. It's based one of the funniest comics ever written, and directed with love by a geek you can trust. So here, I'll go to the theater and laugh my ass off, and you stay here and complain. We'll compare notes later and see who had a better time.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 5 p.m. CST

    I hate Will Arnett too

    by tonyd1411

    He is completely devoid of talent. Unfunny, with a personality as flat as a board.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 5 p.m. CST

    I hate Will Arnett too

    by tonyd1411

    He is completely devoid of talent. Unfunny, with a personality as flat as a board.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    I Woulda Been More Into This If It Was Animated

    by LaserPants

    The comic is pretty cool, and I'd love to see OMalley's unique approach to manga styles animated. As a live action movie, I'm sorry, but it looks kindof retarded. I think it'll do well enough as a cult movie, though.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 5:31 p.m. CST


    by vroom socko

    This might be more your speed, then: <br><br>

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:27 p.m. CST


    by Squashua

    An AICN plant; he's an @$$hole.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 11:34 p.m. CST


    by Prof

    Vroom Socko is an obvious plant. Who else but a studio plant would like a movie before it's released. At least we are all smart enough not to be fooled. Go back to the studio backlot you live at!

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Vroom Socko Is Not A Plant...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ..fungus, maybe, but not a straight up plant with photosynthesis and all that school stuff.

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Curse you all!

    by vroom socko

    I am not a plant! <br><br> I am a CHIA PET!

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 3:21 a.m. CST

    I cannot wait to see this fucking film.

    by TinSpider

    But us folks in Blighty have to wait until 25th Aug. <br> <br> The Bastards.

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 9:23 a.m. CST

    I downloaded the videogame last night.

    by blackwood

    Honestly, it kicks ass. Like, completely genius throw-back to oldschool brawlers like DOUBLE DRAGON and STREETS OF RAGE, complete with gorgeous pixel art by Paul Robertson and 8-bit music by chiptune band Anamanaguchi.<p>More than any review or astroturfin' TB faker, the care they put into the game makes me happy and refreshes the concept for me. I feel like we've been hammered with PILGRIM for a year now, and there's such a thing as too much exposure. But the game is awesome and it makes me feel friendly toward the brand again, Cera be damned.

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    I Got A Chia Vroom Last Christmas

    by Buzz Maverik

    It was one of those office Christmas party type things, gift exchange. I gave Velma a Nutty Cheese Log from Hickory Farms and she gave me a Chia Vroom, which is a little adobe looking statue of my good friend Vroom Socko. You smear some glop on it (not just any glop, but glop they provide) and this little plant-like stuff sprouts all over Vroom Socko. It ended up looking like Vroom Socko as Vroom the Walking Afro.

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 12:11 p.m. CST

    And I Like Cera

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's funny, all these Cera haters. Like you're cooler than Cera. Cera's cooler than you and he gets more chicks.

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 3:28 p.m. CST

    For the mildly curious

    by vroom socko

    Pictures from the abovementioned after party are on Flikr:<br><br> <br><br> Don't worry, my goofy ass isn't in any of them...

  • Aug. 12, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST

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