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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ Bursts With Special Features

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CHICAGO – Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” may have been (incorrectly) perceived as a box office bomb but a large cult grew around the film before it was even released and it’s a following that will only grow stronger with the fantastic Blu-ray release, a disc filled with more special features than even the most hardcore fan of the movie could have hoped for. The movie is still a bit flawed but it plays well at home and I can’t say enough about how wonderful it is when a top-notch studio like Universal treats a loyal film following with the respect they deserve.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

Set-up to fail by virtue of a buzz machine that somehow convinced people that a movie that thrived on comic books and video games would appeal to demographics all over the country, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” should never have been a blockbuster-in-waiting. It is too unusual and niche-marketed a title to ever have been considered a “superhero” movie as some set it up to be. Was it disappointing that “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” couldn’t break $50 million worldwide? Of course. But this was a cult-hit-in-the-making more than a guaranteed smash.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 9th, 2010
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 9th, 2010
Photo credit: Universal

One of the reasons it didn’t take off is because films this original don’t appeal to a large portion of the country. Edgar Wright’s third film can be frustrating but it contains enough flashes of genius to warrant your time and forgiveness of its flaws. You won’t see another comic-book/romance/comedy/video-game/action/musical this year or most others. We need to encourage this kind of creative expression especially from people this talented.

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is kind of a dick. He lives in a studio apartment with an abrasive gay roommate (Kieran Culkin), plays in a so-so band called Sex Bob-omb (with Alison Pill and Mark Webber) that’s so unknown that “all their gigs are secret gigs,” is dating a high school girl named Knives (Ellen Wong), and seems generally apathetic to the world around him. He’s at that age. Things change when the girl of his dreams literally becomes the girl of his dreams. He first sees Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) skating through his subconscious and runs into her the next day.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 9th, 2010
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 9th, 2010
Photo credit: Universal

Scott soon discovers that if he’s going to win her heart he will have to defeat her “seven evil exes” (including Brandon Routh as a super-powered vegan, Chris Evans as a cocky actor, and Jason Schwartzman as Scott’s ultimate nemesis). Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza pop up in entertaining supporting roles.

“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” can’t really be summed up in a typical plot description. It is pop-art meets video game sensibility meets romantic comedy meets John Hughes film meets “Moulin Rouge!” And that doesn’t even do it. Whatever criticism can be thrown its way, it is undeniably alive in every single frame as Edgar Wright has tried to capture the frenetic pace of the multiple books on which it is based. It more hyperactive than active with dozens of inspirations, concepts, and themes, often in the same scene.

The breakneck pace does mean that “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” never takes the time to get under its character’s skins because they’re not real characters. Scott, Ramona, and the rest of the gang are practically video game characters. And that’s not really as much of a problem for me as some critics, but I think it’s what turned a lot of people off. Personally, I think it’s consistent as Wright is trying to represent a trip through the mind of a young man at a crossroads of adulthood and the video game/comic book aesthetic perfectly captures that.

My problems with “Scott” are that the film drags at close to two hours and its approach combined with its running time results in a flat final act. The climax doesn’t have the weight it needed to be effective mostly because the romance never feels genuine. The movie doesn’t build as much as race forward. There’s still way too much to like here to not recommend a rental.

And if you know you like the movie, a purchase is in order. Universal continues to be a leader in the world of Blu-ray with not just excellent video and audio but a ridiculous number of special features. The film comes with FOUR audio commentaries, including a lot of the cast and crew. The making-of runs nearly an hour, the film features storyboard picture-in-picture through U-Control, and “Scott” fans will love the chance to see deleted scenes and alternate takes (even if they do merely prove that Wright’s instincts were correct the first time). It’s one of the most impressive special features collections this year.

Special Features:
o Deleted Scenes
o Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Bloopers
o Feature Commentaries
o Making Of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”
o “You Too Can Be Sex Bob-Omb”
o Music Featurette & Music Video
o Alternate Footage
o Visual Effects
o Adult Swim: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Animation
o Pre-Production Footage
o And Much, Much More!

“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” stars Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Alison Pill, Mark Webber, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Mae Whitman, and Jason Schwartzman. It was written by Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright and directed by Edgar Wright. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 9th, 2010. It is rated PG-13 and runs 113 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

KH MacLean's picture

The Alternate Takes

If my guess is right then you are referring to the Alternate/Original Ending of the movie when you mention Wright’s first instinct and the deleted scenes.

Without giving away the ending I would like to say that I agree with you. The original ending feels far more natural especially considering the dynamic between the characters and what I took to be the message of the movie (I.E. who he is fighting for). I really enjoyed ALL the characters in this film but I felt the ending, while undoubtably the most obvious choice, perpetuates a slightly forced part of the story.

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