Posts Tagged 'character'

Wick-Quoting #21: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Movie of the summer with the highest hopes for: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Movie of the summer that is the biggest letdown: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

The main problem with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is how the story is sloppily put-together.  You can compare the movie to a messy peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  The humor is the peanut butter.  The special effects and crowd-pleasing action are the jelly.  The story, from beginning to end, are the bread slabs.  Basically, the movie has way too much peanut butter and jelly for the bread pieces to hold, making the sandwich really messy.  The film seems to try to focus on the yummy insides alone and neglect the story element, just as long as it holds.  What’s wrong with the story you ask?  There are two main problems.

Nuh uh, I'm not passing this film off that easy

1) The main character, Scott Pilgrim (no duh), comes off at the start of the story to be a greatly disliked character.  He has a history of treating girls with no respect, including the drummer, Kim.  He easily throws away his Asian girlfriend, Knives, after setting his eyes on Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).  He also cheats on his Asian girlfriend in order to be with Ramona.  So right at the start, the protagonist is labeled as a douche.  Why would we as spectators want to root for a “hero” like that?  Just because he fights battles with Ramona’s exes?  Why would he even fight for Ramona in the first place when Ramona doesn’t even seem like that great of a girl anyways?  She does, after all, have a shitload of baggage.

It is only at the very end where Scott realizes that he’s a douche and apologizes to the girls that he fucked up.  It is only at the end where spectators are given the chance to see Scott in another light.  The end is too late for that.

Am I also a douche? Yes, yes you are

2) The movie pretty much appeals to the male, white audience.  The movie has a white protagonist with white supporting characters.  He dumps his Asian girlfriend in order to be with a white girl.  The Asian male characters (the Katayanagi twins) don’t have a big role and their fight is the lamest of them all.  Also, the twins don’t even have speaking parts, and they’re grouped as one opponent.  So the film makes it seem like it’s ok for Scott to cheat on and throw away Knives, just because she’s Asian.  Her being Asian makes it a little bit “ok.”  And Knives is ridiculously infatuated with Scott (despite how he treats her) and continues to go around stalking him.  She even goes so far as to fight for him at the end, with a typical dragon lady appearance.  If Knives was a real girl, she would say, “fuck you” and leave Scott to fend for himself.  But of course, Asian girls in Hollywood cinema are stupid and hopelessly in love with white, male leads.

And why do the twins in the film have to be Asian too?  The second most deprecating roles in the film are once again, filled in with Asian actors.  It’s almost like saying making the twins Asian supports the idea that Ramona being with them both at the same time makes it all the more easier to indulge.  Out of all the exes, they get the least amount of film time, they don’t talk at all, and the audience aren’t even made aware of what their names are, as if it doesn’t really matter (which it really doesn’t).  Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is definitely a film that is white, male dominated.

Oh, so that's what their names were

Putting the terrible protagonist and story aside, the graphics and comedy are the top of its genre.  The gay jokes, to the bitchy girl, to Michael Cera’s awkwardness all makes the questionable story less questionable.  The humor serves more than just a comic relief.  It serves as a story relief as well.  The video game references, the Zelda song, and the action captions are all nice touches, but the movie seems to be a bit overboard with those.

Am I the only one who found the idea of fighting for self respect a little corny and ridiculous?  At least fighting for love is generally accepted in mainstream society.  Fight for yourself rather than for the person you’re trying to save is a little bit off course.

This is not the sword of love.. but the sword of self respect!!

If you’re going to watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, don’t expect much story-wise.  Just go to see the witty references and humor.  Don’t even bother going to see the action sequences.  All the battles are won way to simply, with Scott taking so much damage, then at the end he just gives his enemies one hit and poof, they disappear.  The total opposite of a video game if you ask me.  Nice try, trying to make the movie video game-like.

The film is still worth a view just for the humor and references.

6.9

P.S. My review can be pretty much summed up with a comment I found on the internet by chavi00 in response to http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2010/08/go-and-pay-to-see-scott-pilgrim-right-now.html

Scott Pilgrim is pretty on the eyes and light on the substance. It is filled with secondary characters who are more interesting than the leads. The plot is weak and there is a supreme lack of emotional depth. Ultimately, there is absolutely nothing to care about in this movie.

True that brother.

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Wick-Quoting #16: Toy Story 3

This is more of an analysis than a review.  There is no need for me to persuade you to watch Toy Story 3.  It is fawesome.  And seriously, if you haven’t watched it by now then you probably 1) will never watch it anyways and you’re 2) missing the hell out!!

It’s easy to say that Pixar has “done it again” as expected.  Toy Story 3 easily makes viewers laugh out loud (literary) and cry.  So far it has made about 570 million, which is almost 100 million more than the previous film, with a production budget of  200 million.  200 million is a lot more than I expected and it got the job done.  Toy Story 3 beats its closest animated rival, Shrek Forever After considering both money made and entertainment value.  Thank god.  It’s surprising how Shrek still does so well considering that it feels like they’re beating a dead horse (or donkey).  When the film first came out, I wasn’t even sure if it was the 4th or 3rd of the series.  They should’ve stopped at 3, but that’s what happens when you got little kids’ support.  If you think about it, Shrek to kids is sort of like Twilight to fan girls.  Because of little kids supporting Shrek, DreamWorks is wasting time reusing old stories when they could be making something completely fresh and original.  And as for Twilight, I see it fucking EVERYWHERE now.  It’s all about freaking vampires and werewolves – commercials, advertising, movies.  How can you even compare Twilight and Harry Potter?  Seriously, little kids and fan girls ruin EVERYTHING!!

Holy shit, those fan girls are crazy

Back on topic, ah yes, talking toys.  It’s really hard to choose a favorite scene in Toy Story 3, cause it’s all good really (excluding Jesse’s whining).  The opening scene is cleverly done and reminds viewers of the opening of the first Toy Story, only told in a different fashion.  But a general consensus is Buzz’s dancing scene.  It’s strange how a short time of dancing can be so freaking funny.  I laughed so hard watching it.  The only reason I was aware of my position as a spectator was cause of the laughter.  Which is a good thing, unlike being hella bored and catching yourself picking your nose or something.

Buzz Lighter al rescate!!

Pixar is known for their animated actors.  Their actors are actually much better at acting then real life actors.  They express themselves better which comes at no surprise for computer animation.  They say that acting is made up largely from the editing, which is true.  Image a man with a blank expression.  The camera then cuts to a shot of a sandwich, then back at the man.  Viewers would get the impression that the man is hungrily staring at the sandwich.  Now replace the sandwich with a fine woman.  The meaning from the man’s face changes completely from hunger to sexual desire.  It is this editing technique that helps actors in doing their jobs.  It’s what allows Kristen Stewart to act.  Now Pixar’s characters are able to completely overcome this trick, because their facial expressions are superb compared to real life actors.  This is not to say that the characters in Toy Story 3 don’t use editing to their advantage.  It happens all the time.  And some characters need the help more than others, especially the ones with limited movement (the ones made of plastic).

Their faces are not as expressive as Woody's

Yes, some of the characters I’m talking about here include Barbie and Ken.  These two characters are limited in their movement and expressions due to being made of plastic, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t great characters.  Quite the opposite, they are filled with personality, even to the point where a joke is made about Ken’s fashion statement.  These two characters, although they play minor roles, make the film a much more enjoyable experience.  Who can say no to a barbie now?

So there you were..

I’m glad that Toy Story 3 introduced a new side to Buzz that wasn’t previously seen before.  Buzz is frankly, compared to Woody, a boring character.  If you were to describe Woody, it’d be along the lines of loyal, stuck-up, wuss, determined, and leaderish.  If you were to describe Buzz, not the crazy space ranger Buzz, just plain ol’ Buzz, it’d be along the lines of brave.. and.. uh.. kind?  Having Buzz’s Spanish side brings a whole new light on the character, although it should be considered pretty much a whole new character in itself.  I’m not hating on Buzz, I’m just saying.  I’m really happy for you and imma let you finish but Woody is the greatest toy of all time.

Here we go again..

Without a doubt in my mind, Toy Story 3 beats the previous two and is one of this year’s best films.

9.1


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