Show #82 – Scott Pilgrim

scott pilgrim vs ladies by *021 on deviantART

Show #082 – Direct Download:

OP: "We Are Sex Bob-Omb" by Sex Bob-Omb from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
ED: "Scott Pilgrim" by Plumtree from the album Predicts the Future

More links to come. Probably.

  • Edgar Wright directed Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Spaced, and Scott Pilgrim, all worth watching.
  • That Comics Journal Article
  • The Day the Universe Changed with James "What’s His Dink" Burke
  • The "Grups" article
  • The NPR "Death of the Hipster" interview
  • The blu-ray is available now!
  • There’s like a 20 minute discussion of Juno
  • "At nice the ice weasels come"
  • Noah is the only person who likes the movie Hackers
  • We both fucking love Napoleon Dynamite
  • Noah is upset that that I gave Sekirei Rental Shelf instead of Perishable.
  • I love Summer Wars, Gerald didn’t – can we trust him about Tron Legacy?
  • Our image of the average weekly manga-ka has been making the rounds
  • Article: People under (or over) 30 won’t understand Scott Pilgrim
  • Miracle on 34th Street was originally released in May
  • An Open Letter to James Cameron – about visaual effects studios putting themselves out of business.
  • Moon is a totally sweet indy sci-fi film
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12 Responses to Show #82 – Scott Pilgrim

  1. Anonymous says:

    Scott Pilgrim

    I didn’t realize the screenplay had to be written before the comic was finished. That explains a lot and I’m almost willing to grant the movie some slack for its weak ending.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Scott’s roomate

    Hey, just to prepare Erin for the deluge of friendly reminders, Wallace Wells is Scott’s roommate. William Wallace is Braveheart. 🙂 You can tell them apart because the scenes with Wallace Wells are slightly less homoerotic.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I say that once a movie ends it’s theatrical run it’s okay to discuss the ending. A compromise would be to discuss the film’s ending last and to simply give a spoilers alert so people can turn off the podcast. I wish you had discussed the ending.

    As far as hammer space goes, it’s no different than what happens in most Looney Tunes cartoons. Bugs Bunny reaches off screen and grab anything his heart desires. There are also cartoons where Bugs grabs large objects out of a purse, hat, or his sleeve. Hammer space isn’t new or unique to video games.

    Ed Sizemore

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t Believe the Rumors, Don’t Believe Those VICIOUS LIES

    I am…certainly no fan…of this property, but if I had to lay blame on the cause of the film’s failure, it’s that it was deceptively marketed to the general public. Normally, this sort of criminal misstep is attributed to movie studios and advertising agencies, and certainly they’re culpable here to some extent. But with Scott Pilgrim, the fans of the original source material, the ones who dominate the message in the social media landscape, are primarily to blame here. This podcast, months after the fact, is equally guilty of the very same thing. And here’s why:

    Every single person–EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON.–who describes Scott Pilgrim says it’s about a guy who has to defeat a series of outlandish opponents in order to win the heart of the girl he loves, and there’s videogame and geek references galore. THIS IS A COLOSSAL LIE. If Scott Pilgrim were actually that, it would be like the videogame No More Heroes and its sequel, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. Those two are some of the greatest games ever made, so by all means I would watch a movie with that premise.

    HOWEVER! Those elements, while certainly present, are merely incidental to what Scott Pilgrim is REALLY about: a bunch of unlikeable aimless 20-somethings in the city “growing up” and “discovering themselves.” (Key phrase: “in the city.”) In other words, it is a goddamned ROMANTIC COMEDY-DRAMA.

    This is NOT a movie “primarily for gamers.” This is a movie primarily for a very small group of people, and it’s not “people exactly 30” becuase I’m exactly 30. No, it’s for people who are or were themselves aimless 20-somethings in the city “growing up” and “discovering themselves.” (Being in a band or having interest in such things also helps quite a bit.) Of course you guys liked it. Of course you say “our friends who saw it all liked it!” It’s because YOU are precisely the core demographic for Scott Pilgrim! It speaks directly to YOU. It is tailor-made for YOU. The rest of us can watch it and be like “oh, okay. Whatever, I guess” even though we understand all the gamer/geek references. (No, I don’t care WHO replies to this comment saying “well, *I* liked it and *I’M* not one of those people!” because clearly, Mr or Mrs Person About To Write That, you are an anomaly.)

    Analogy time. This Youtube video is the funniest thing in the entire world to my family members from Trinidad:

    815,000+ views and counting (for the record, I understand every word of that)…but it is very, VERY specific humor for a very narrow demographic. Everyone else will look at that and be mildly amused, if that. The videos at are another great example. Most people watching these will not laugh. But they have hundreds of thousands of views because to a very specific demographic, they come off as incredibly authentic (and as a result, side-splittingly hilarious). It speaks directly to them…and few others.

    So too does Scott Pilgrim. Personally, I liked the movie’s fight scenes…when they actually happened. It’s a full 30 minutes before the first action scene. Then after each fight, which was rather short, it felt like 10-15 minutes of more rom-com city life band drama before the next short fight. As such, this cannot be enjoyed as an action movie or SFX spectacle. If you’re not on board with its characters and their journeys–and I friggin’ hate THE ENTIRE CAST–you simply can’t like this movie. The comic, therefore, is significantly worse since the fights are shorter and the rom-com band junk is even longer.

    A lot of my favorite movies of 2010 tanked in the theaters. But at least Scott Pilgrim died on the vine too, because now lots of people know how I feel time and time again. The difference here is that Scott Pilgrim will never fade away into obscurity because its target demographic is relatively small but with a significant online presence. The commercial failure of the film means that Scott Pilgrim fans are now destined to be the new Firefly fans. Blah.

    PS: Noah is not alone in absolutely loving Hackers. People are flippin’ crazy about that movie, and not just because of who gets naked. Over a decade ago when I was still in college they were STILL releasing CDs of “music inspired by the movie Hackers.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: Don’t Believe the Rumors, Don’t Believe Those VICIOUS LIES

      Kind of a similar problem inherent in Green Lantern, don’t you think, Darryl? The trailer and story are tailored to a very narrow audience of comic fans, and while they seem to insist to the viewer that Green Lantern is a beloved icon, the last time Hal Jordan even registered to the general public was in Superfriends, circa the 1970’s. And that was as a bit player in a show about Superman and Batman. The publicity is rife with images of characters and catchphrases from a lore that most moviegoers are unfamiliar with, but the pretentious operatic vocals, the “In Brightest Day, in Darkest Night…” (which the filmmakers EXPECT the audience to understand out of context) all insist that these are epic concepts people should already know. What makes the character so special? He has “the power to overcome great fear.” Phrases like that read good in a comic until you hear them out loud and realize that EVERYONE on the face of the earth has that power, and if humanity didn’t have that power built in, we’d still be protozoa at the bottom of the ocean. So we look at the trailer and we have a lot of reassurance that Green Lantern is epic, but no actual evidence other than “hey, trust us, you’re going to love these random things we show you, because the fan-base can’t get enough of them.”

      To me, that’s a lot more obnoxious than Scott Pilgrim. Scott Pilgrim was about hipsters and their subculture, and while it did target a specific demographic, it was at least self-aware of what it was doing, whereas Green Lantern already has the makings of a straight-up hipster movie. It demands that you show reverence to a glorious past that never truly existed, and it is totally oblivious to a world outside of the hipster crowd that championed it. 70,000 readers is not a cultural phenomenon.

      But I mean, I haven’t even seen it yet, so for all I know, the movie itself does a great job of making the audience care about the characters. All I’m saying is that the trailer merely assumes that you care, or worse, insists that you care.

      Sorry about the words in all caps. Nerdom brings out the inflection in me.

    • Re: Don’t Believe the Rumors, Don’t Believe Those VICIOUS LIES

      Yes, yes, “well, you would say that, wouldn’t you?” Fair to admit that just because an attack is ad hominem that doesn’t mean it is wrong. I certainly thought that Scott Pilgrim would have had a much wider audience, based on what I believed the preferences of that wider audience to be, and I was surprised when this was not so (as, one should not fail to mention, the producers were, as well). I suffer from having a taste that is practically, although perhaps not entirely, separate from the mainstream, and I am met with disappointment at the box office — both the winners and the losers — more often than not.

      Learning that I am, once again, part of a much smaller demographic than I believed is nothing new. The question that remains is whether the vast majority of those who would have enjoyed the film recognized this fact based on the marketing, and that is something that can’t be easily assessed and we may never know (DVD sales may provide some indication).

      I also don’t deny that SP falls well within that most loathed genre the RomCom. I tend to hate those as much as anybody. They also tend to make fairly generous bank, which is why they get made so consistently. $100M is probably too much for a RomCom. Oops. Glad I invested only my time (which was eminently worth the investment) and not my retirement nest egg.

      Regardless, even as a commercial failure, just like Serenity, it was a narrative success, because it was well-realized and it will continue to have boosters because of that fact. You may have different preferences, but the point is not the popularity of the property, but the quality of the property as it was executed. If anything, it will probably discourage lookalikes of significantly less quality (Three Days in the Valley to Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, say) and that’s a good thing. It may result in fewer worthwhile adaptations being made from the independent comics market, and for the sake of market diversity that may be too bad… but as far as I’m concerned, the really compelling stories will still get picked up, eventually, regardless of where they originate.

      Anyway, haters gonna hate. The rest of us take joy where we can find it.

      • Re: Don’t Believe the Rumors, Don’t Believe Those VICIOUS LIES

        Obviously that was Noah. I just wanted to jump in and say I agree with this part:

        It’s because YOU are precisely the core demographic for Scott Pilgrim! It speaks directly to YOU. It is tailor-made for YOU.

  5. Re: Intro song

    Just like it says in the show notes:

    OP: “We Are Sex Bob-Omb” by Sex Bob-Omb from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

  6. vampt_vo says:

    This was a really great episode. Loved the analysis of the cultural relevance of the comic/movie.

    Just thought it was worth mentioning that the opening credits sequence seems, for my money, to be an homage to the work of Canadian experimental animator Norman McLaren. His early pieces often involved scratching images directly onto the film to create abstract shapes that moved in time with musical numbers.

    P.S. the seemingly impossible-to-attain crossover demographic of nerds and people in bands is actually ME.

  7. ltsk says:

    This episode made me feel better about loving “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” as much as I did.

    Of course, per usual, Surat is making me hate/doubt myself. I still love the movie, but I am now aware this means my taste sucks and I suck and I should probably die.

    • ltsk says:

      BTW, in re. old people/young people getting “Scott Pilgrim,” my mom really loved this movie. I’m not exactly younger than springtime, and she’s even less so. My teenaged nephews, when I showed them the DVD last Christmas, thought it was awesomeness. So pbbtbtbttbbt! on the age limit of who would like it. Granted, my family is weird. And, thinking on it further, I don’t think my sister—the nephews’ mom—, who’s a good deal older than I am, really got it. Still, I think the box office failure of “Scott Pilgrim” was more a failure in marketing than the film only being accessible to a hyper-niche market.

      Also, “Avatar” sucked ass. The special effects were well done, but everything else was sheer awfulness.

    • erinfinnegan says:

      It’s not too late, you could still win a date with Daryl Surat!

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