Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

8/15/2010

Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Filed under: Art,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Movies,music,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:56 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent


ScottPilgrim

Originally uploaded by Network Geek

The movie so good it got me to blog a review after months of slacking.

Yeah, I loved it.
So, right, this movie is based on the award-winning and very popular independent comic series of the same name. The comic, and the movie, follow the love-life of the title character, Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera as he tries to avoid his under-age Chinese stalker, Knives Chau, played by Ellen Wong, and date, instead, the girl, quite literally of his dreams, Ramona Flowers, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The only problem is, to date Ramona, Scott has to defeat her seven evil ex’s in a battle to the death. But, nothing is quite as easy as it seems, and each ex is more difficult to defeat than the last, much like a video game.

In fact, as Scott defeats each villain, he’s rewarded in video-game fashion with a glowing numeric display of points and then they burst into coins. Yes, coins. Oh, and there’s plenty of video-game themed music, too. But, don’t think you have to be either a gamer or a comic fan to “get” this movie! I mean, if you’ve participated in pop culture at all and are under the age of 60, you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping up.
But, speaking of music, the sound-track on this film rocks! Literally! For starters, a significant contributor to the soundtrack is Beck. Not only as a solo artist, but also as part of Sex Bob-Omb, the band to which Scott and his friends belong. And, that band participation is significant to the plot as they battle other local bands to get a recording contract and a big gig at a big club. Seriously, though, the music is all great and adds a lot to the film. At least, I enjoyed it. Mostly a rock soundtrack, but with the addition of video-game tunes, which enhance the movie.

The whole thing was fun.
Sure, it was sort of a chick-flick, but not in a bad way or as much as you might imagine. I mean, yes, it is about dating and romance and the trials and tribulations of ex’s, but it’s far more fun than it sounds. Because, it’s a comedy, in case Michael Cera being in the cast didn’t give it away. Frankly, the whole thing is just fun and, wow, I can’t remember the last time I saw that in a Summer movie! Seriously! I mean, that’s what Summer movies are supposed to be all about, right? Well, this one actually is! Honestly, I wish I were dating someone so I could have taken her to see it, because it was such a cute, fun film that I’m confident it would have gotten me laid. Seriously.

Mostly, I can’t go into the plot too much, because it would be 100% spoilers, but it’s all about Scott and Ramona, and dating, and love, and music, and the band, and defeating evil ex’s. But, the basic plot is, well, that last sentence pretty well sums it up. I mean, Scott trying to get Ramona and make music with his band and, well, again, defeat those evil ex’s, is pretty much everything that happens in the movie, but, somehow, that paltry description doesn’t capture the fun and adventure of this movie. Trust me, though, when I tell you that it was fast-paced, filled with action, and romance and even a life-lesson or two.

Long-time readers of this blog know that I rarely see movies more than once in the theater, so, they’ll get the impact of this statement; I would happily see this movie again, at full price. I loved this movie that much.
Seriously.
If you like pop music, or if you’ve ever been in love, or if you’ve ever fought against impossible odds to pursue the companion of your dreams, you will love Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Go see it.
Trust me.

Update: Want to see what I’m talking about with the music?  Check out some selections from the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Soundtrack.

10/6/2008

Reviews: Burn After Reading & Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Movies,News and Current Events,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:16 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon


BurnAfterReading

Originally uploaded by Network Geek

Okay, so I saw two totally different movies this weekend.

I’m going to review them in reverse order, actually.
Sunday, at the earliest matinee, I saw Burn After Reading. Now, I have to admit, I went into this with pretty high expectations because, after all, it is a Coen Brothers’ film. Also, from the trailers, I was expecting a total comedy. Well, I’ll say this, I was certainly not sad that I went to see this film. And, it was very, very funny. But, it wasn’t really a comedy.

The story, in a nutshell, is this… Osborne Cox, a CIA analyst gets demoted, but quits in protest. His wife, a castrating bitch, is cheating on him, but also wants a divorce. He starts writing a memoir, which she copies to a disk along with a bunch of financial information to bring to her lawyer. Somehow, the disk gets, well, lost and falls into the wrong hands. In this case, the “wrong hands” is the staff at a health club, each of whom are messed up in their own way.
And, that’s just the first thirty minutes, or less, of the film! Oh, and that’s all without any of the subplots that all become hugely important later. It’s very much like Fargo, in all the best ways, even including a lot of the cast from Fargo, in fact.

Well, as always, without revealing any significant plot spoilers, let me say that this was a good movie, albeit complicated, convoluted and quirky. Of course, it is a Coen Brothers’ film, so I guess that’s to be expected.
The thing is, from the advertising and the trailers, I thought this would be mostly a comedy, but it’s not. Really, I’m not sure what it is, outside of being different and good. Well, it is funny, too, it’s just not full-out comedy. I mean, it’s better than that. It’s kind of hard to explain.
Okay, let’s just summarize and let me say that it’s worth paying full price to see this movie, and I almost never pay full price to see a movie any more.

Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is an entirely different animal.
As I wrote on Flickr, guys, if you take a date to see this movie and you didn’t get laid? Duder, you are doing something seriously wrong. I am not kidding.

Okay, look, I’ll admit it. I have a secret weakness for romantic comedies that are heavy on the romantic. Nick and Norah is such a film. It may not win any Oscars, but, if I had to pick a must-see movie, behind Dark Knight, of course, this would be it.
Two kids, seniors in different high schools in the greater New York area, have a mutual acquaintance in common. Nick’s ex-girlfriend and Norah’s arch-nemesis. They also share a love of music, which is featured through out the film.
Nick, the only straight member of an otherwise gay band, finds himself dragged out in search of a mythical band “Where’s Fluffy?” as he tries to recover from being dumped. Norah, a nice girl with a couple of self-image issues, gets dragged out to take care of a friend who invariably ends up drunk and, of course, by the lure of finding “Where’s Fluffy?”. Somewhere in the middle, they meet and…

Well, in my fine tradition of not ruining films I review with spoilers, I’m not going to tell you if they actually get together by the end of the film. But, let me reinforce that guys, if you are even the slightest bit nice, kind, sweet, gentlemanly, caring sort of guy that Michael Cera plays? This movie should pretty well make any normal, romantic, sweet, “bring her home to meet the parents” sort of girl you ought to be dating totally melt. As long as it’s your idea first, not hers, and you totally buy into the romance of this flick. You have GOT to believe it, brothers, or it will not fly.
But, uh, yeah, I need to find a date while this movie is still in the damn theaters. Like, pronto.

It’s been a great year for movies so far, and the rest of the year looks pretty good, too.
Stay tuned for more reviews. Oh, and another book review later in the week, too.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes."
   --Oscar Wilde


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