John Scalzi - The Dollar Value of Nerd Love (Here's Looking at You, Scott Pilgrim)
John Sclazi is pretty much my favorite living author. He writes Sci-Fi books (even his fantasy book has sci-fi in it). He’s smart. He has a pretty open community with his fans. And, he writes a film column for AMC every Thursday.
This Thursday (well it’s Wednesday but his things normally go up on Thursdays) he’s talking about that hipster film Scott Pilgrim vs The World. The poor thing barely did 10 million this weekend. Sclazi points to nerd love as the cause.
Why? Well because really only the nerds were interested in it, and really only hipsters and nerds liked it. I went and saw the movie, on opening night, with the GF; the place was full of high school kids. I saw one little kid, and a few adults but the majority of the crowd was 6th-12th grade. And then there was the movie. So, here's my quick review.
Personally, I enjoyed it. The GF on the other hand thought the movie was a waste of time and was glad I had paid for it. Oops. Well here’s why: the villains kinda sucked, the entire cast was one dimensional, and we’re both sick and tired of watching Michael Cera awkward his way through a movie.
*Note* Spoilers ahead!
In a 112-minute movie, seven villains with and additional five minor supporting characters are too much. The first two villain fights were all right, though the first villain was lame and Scott’s defeat of the second was smart but also lame. The third fight wasn’t a fight but Scott getting pwned and then some how winning. The fourth villian’s fight was all right but Scott pulled the “I can’t hit a girl” card and I don’t remember it after the girls quit fighting. The fifth and sixth fight was combined into one. The fight was AWESOME, but combining them together felt like it was cheating to me, move them up to third and fourth on the list and then move the other two back, and give all of the villains on the list a back-story not just one, two, and three (well seven got one but it wasn’t treated the same). The fights needed to get more and more epic. Instead they got more epic, then faltered before the final fight.
And then there are the minor support characters; you’ve got the ex, the ‘talent’ the mini-Cera, the 17 year old, the gay roommate, and the sister. The gay roommate was fantastic, couldn’t have been done better. The sister could have used back-story but she was all right. The 17 year old was ok, she went a little crazy and I’m not sure it was called for…but then again she’s a 17-year-old girl, I don’t think many people actually understand them. Then you have all the band members (the ex, the talent, and the mini-cera). Ugh. First of all, for his closest friends, they all act exactly the same. They all speak in monotone, they all seem generally uninterested, and they all have little to no back-story. Mini-Cera (aka Young Neil) just sort of hangs around the band and is used as a Dues Ex Mechia a few times for the band, Pilgrim, and Knives. The ex (Kim) we should get more of a back-story to but we don’t (especially considering how the whole movie revolves around ex’s). And the talent’s just there, we have no reason to care about him.
The effects were great visually this movie is stunning. STUNNING! I loved seeing the comic book “Ka-Pow!” after hits and punches. The soundtrack was very hipster, but it fit the mood, not a lot of new up coming music is heavy, and to change the music too much would have ruined the atmosphere. I enjoyed the video game references. All that bad stuff I pointed out earlier is really why I think the movie just will not work for other audiences.
If you think you’re a geek. nerd, hipster, dork, gamer, emo, scene, or any combination of the above. Or if you know someone who fits any of the above categories, go see this movie. You’ll enjoy it and hopefully we can get some more money for this film that cost 60 million to make. It’ll be a shame to see this movie just die, I’d like to see it attempted again but maybe with better villains and no Michael Cera.