For everyone who was worried that the movie version of Scott Pilgrim wouldn’t live up to the books: You can stop worrying now. And, even better, it’s also more than just a live action version of what Bryan Lee O’Malley’s already done; more than just compressing the story from the six graphic novels, Scott Pilgrim Versus The World restructures the story on pretty substantial levels (including changing the fights with the evil exes!) while staying true to the spirit and attitude of what was on the printed page. Oh, and the soundtrack is as good as you hope it will be.
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But I’m getting ahead of myself; the surprise screening of the movie came at the end of Thursday’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where director Edgar Wright teased the audience with “special announcements” like “On August 13th, Scott Pilgrim will be released in 2D. How do you feel about watching a film without sunglasses?” and star Michael Cera wore a Captain America costume for the entire hour and deadpanned that getting in shape for the film left him feeling amazing, “mentally and physically.” Filled with character-specific teaser clips sure to end up as DVD extra features (including a wonderful short that compared shots from the movie with Bryan Lee O’Malley’s original art), a Q&A session with twelve of the movie’s stars (The highlight of which may have been Jason Schwartzman telling the crowd that his favorite scene was “the shower scene [between his character, Gideon Graves, and Scott]. That’s still in the movie, right? All that training really paid off,” to which Cera added, “the shower scene was really amazing. We filmed it over two weeks”) and a cruel, cruel tease that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were in the movie – which lead to both actors walking onstage to wild applause and cheers before Wright said, “Sorry, that should have read, not appearing in this film, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.” As the two wandered offstage, frowning and comedicly distraught, he added, “Sorry, guys. I really f–ked that up.”
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What he didn’t f–k up was the panel’s real surprise announcement: That audience members who’d been lucky enough to pick special 1UP buttons from those offered to each attendee would get to see the movie right after the panel in the nearby Balboa Theater, followed by a live performance from Metric, whose “Black Sheep” appears in the movie. Between the visually-stunning movie – which plays much more like a video game made celluloid than the books, but in a good way – the Metric set and intro support act Dan the Automator, the night lived up to Wright’s boast, “How’s that for free entertainment?” Make no mistake, though; Scott Pilgrim Versus The World the movie is worth whatever anyone could ask for it – Smart, exciting, funny and the geek movie of the summer, if not the year.
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