I saw Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World a few days after its release, and have been thinking about it every day since. If only I could leave work right this minute and go down to a theater to watch it again, I would in a heartbeat. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed myself so much at a movie. What an imaginative and fun film this was! If you’re reading this blog, odds are you’re probably interested in some of the same things I am. That being the case, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy Scott Pilgrim on at least some of the same levels that I did, so I feel safe in highly recommending that you go see it as soon as possible. It’s smart, funny, heartwarming, and just a wonder to sit back and look at. You owe it to yourself to see it today. You’ll be glad you did!
And if you are thinking of catching it in theaters, you might want to get around to it pretty soon. The film debuted at #5 in its opening weekend and has struggled since, despite a healthy marketing campaign leading up to its release and overwhelmingly positive reviews (currently holding a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 81%). Neither the Internet nor word-of-mouth helped spread word of the film like they should have, leaving it in danger of bowing out of most theaters in less than a month.
Why wasn’t Scott Pilgrim a blockbuster hit? With a PG-13 rating, it was open to any kids to watch and potentially enjoy it (unlike Kick-Ass, which was undoubtedly hurt by its extremely necessary R rating), and up against such films as Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, The Expendables, and Eat, Pray, Love, it seemed poised to be the default film for any young people going to the movies in August to end up seeing (unless this honor instead went to Step Up 3-D). But alas, the film has underperformed and seems destined, at best, to be a future cult favorite once it’s out on DVD. Oh, and Blu-ray too (which along with Inception, makes me salivate over the prospect of eventually upgrading to Blu-ray and an HD television).
Do moviegoers simply crave predictably reliable sequels with characters they already know (Iron Man 2, Twilight: Eclipse), movies featuring cheap 3-D gimmicks and expensive ticket prices (Piranha 3-D, The Last Airbender), or films that spell out their entire plot in the title (Lottery Ticket, Predators)? Here’s an inventive and fun movie that’s bursting at the seams with ideas and energy, doing things on screen that I’ve never seen before. Isn’t this what people go to the movies for? Or, well… what they used to go for?
Box-office receipts aside, how well-received was the film was from fans of the books? My extremely-limited impressions gleamed from a handful of fans online seem to suggest… not very well. But who knows? Apparently, even the film version of Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa — almost universally-beloved by anyone with an interest in anime as film — falls short in the eyes of viewers who’ve read his epic manga of the same title. Does this say anything important about either film, or simply tell us what we already know about comic aficionados? I’ll definitely be reading both Scott Pilgrim and Nausicaa sooner or later, so hopefully I’ll find out.