Exclusive: Two Glowing Scott Pilgrim Test Screening Reviews
by Alex Billington
April 21, 2010
A week ago, Universal ran a test screening of Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in Los Angeles (presumably to confirm that a PG-13 rating would still work with audiences). Two movie fans and readers of the site made it to the screening and decided to write up quick reviews because they both loved the movie so much. In fact, one of them says that it's their favorite movie of the year, even over Kick-Ass, and I don't even know how finished or unfinished the version they saw was. We don't normally publish reviews like this, but I wanted to make an exception today because their reactions to Scott Pilgrim were both so extremely positive.
Here's the first review from one of our readers:
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is such a great a title for this film - it fits perfectly, it's like the title of a cool video game, which this movie pretty much is. And it's one of the few heavy styles it has. Even though I only saw a test screening of it, meaning everything wasn't exactly final: all the visual effects, sound, editing, etc, aren't totally done and things could possibly change, like scenes being taken out, scenes cut short, and what not, Scott Pilgrim has become my #1 favorite film of the year so far, and it doesn't come out till August 13th. And yes I've seen Kick-Ass, which literally kicks ass and I really enjoyed it, but it's just a few notches below Pilgrim for me personally. So that makes Kick-Ass my #2 favorite film of the year so far. It's probably because I'm a sucker for movies that are love stories at their core, which Pilgrim technically is.
From the very beginning it sets you up greatly for what you're about to expect, as the Universal logo is presented in a 8-bit, old school, video game fashion. At the same time you hear this old school, nostalgic, video game jingle playing in the background and that sets the perfect tone for the film. In general, it has a lot of these elements throughout that make it into a video game, comic book, anime/manga, music driven, fighting, romance, geekgasm extravaganza, and that's what makes it's so unique. It's truly nothing like I've ever seen before in a movie. And it has such a good story that lots of people can relate to.
Everything that Jason Reitman, Greg Mottola, Kevin Smith, and Quentin Tarantino said from their mini review's of the film are damn true. All of the good buzz you read about on the internet from fans who also have been to test screenings is totally accurate. The movie just has this energy to it that lives and breathes comic books and video games. I have not read the comics yet, but I will say that it's one of the best comic book films ever made. It's greatly paced and flows so well. Edgar Wright was born to make this movie. It seems like everything he's done has been leading up to this point. He definitely put his stamp on it with a lot of his familiar stylistic shots and editing transitions from his previous work. He also includes things that we've kind of seen in other movies before, but he executes something that is so fresh, original and innovative that he makes it his own. The action is awesomely shot and is nicely covered; they do some different things with a few of the fights, so it's not too repetitive; it's just out of this world.
All of the performances are so good too. Everyone is just perfectly cast. I know that people think Michael Cera does the same thing just in different situations in his movies, but he's really good here. I can't imagine anyone else in the role. Since this movie is different and the situation is different, it definitely shows him performing something different as an actor. Not as crazy as Francois Dillinger in Youth in Revolt, which I enjoyed. But I mean he kick's ass in this. He does a lot of fighting in it, and I looked closely and it seemed like he did a nice amount of his own stunts. He also acts more confident and out-going which is nice to see because he's usually shy and awkward like. He still has the awkwardness but its executed differently in this movie. I'd say it's his best role yet.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is so cool and hot as Ramona Flowers. Kieran Culkin is brilliantly hilarious as Wallace, Scott's gay sarcastic roommate. Ellen Wong is adorably sweet as Knives. All the evil ex's are awesome, especially Jason Schwartzman. All the bands are really cool, especially Sex Bob-omb. Which brings me to another reason why I loved this movie - the music is so good, I just loved it. I totally enjoyed the songs from Sex Bob-omb. I've heard that real life bands Beck and Metric contributed music to the soundtrack, so for them I'd have to say that they did an amazing job. In the beginning of the movie it also has this sick beginning credits sequence that will forever be one of my favorite credit sequences. It plays this cool rock song played by Sex Bob-omb during their band practice. It just pumps you up for the movie.
I can honestly say while watching this film I was just genuinely happy and giddy from beginning to end. A lot of movies don't have that affect but this one definitely does. It's so entertaining, you'll never feel bored. I actually kinda felt that it's somewhat too awesome. Like once the awesome action kicks in, the rest of the awesomeness in the movie kinda over powers you and it gets a little difficult to process it all. And it seemed like it was lagging a tiny bit towards the end, but at the same time I was enjoying it so I didn't care. I actually didn't want the movie to end. It's a movie that you can watch over and over again like a fun video game you can play over and over again. I'm sure it will become a classic and an instant cult favorite when it comes out.
Here's the second review from another reader:
So last week I saw a test screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and man was it freaking awesome. Not all the effects were done and certain things might get changed, and I’m hoping one thing in particular gets changed. Don’t worry I won’t spoil anything for you though.
Good things. Overall the movie was great! I swear I saw a comic book/video game/anime come to life. The style of the entire movie was stuff I’ve never seen before and I watch all comic book movies, even the bad ones. Since the style was done throughout the entire movie, not once does it feel cheesy or forced. How he made it all work, I have no idea, but seriously, that man should do nothing but comic book movies from now on. So here’s hoping he does Ant-Man, next.
The acting was good. I’m one of those people who got over Michael Cera pretty quickly in everything he does, because he always plays the same guy. However, I have to give it to him in this because he doesn’t play that guy. There are hints of his usual self, but this guy is more confidant, and frankly a badass who kicks major ass. Mary Elizabeth Winstead did a great job as the weird, mysterious, illusive girl. But the person that stole every scene he was in was Kieran Culkin. He was hilarious as the gay roommate. I also want to give credit to the editor, cause he did an amazing job editing the crap out of this movie. When you see it you’ll see what I mean.
Now the bad. The pacing was a little off. In the end it felt a little long, running a tad over two hours I believe. Also, the fights were really cool, and really something else, but towards the end it did feel a little repetitive. Some were completely different, but others not so much. And last but not least, Ellen Wong. She did a good job playing Knives, but the character, Knives was a little annoying. The less I saw of Knives and the more I saw of the other characters, the better. I won’t say what I wanted to change, but there was something I didn’t care for that I felt should have gone differently story wise. I haven’t picked up the comics, but I will be doing that soon just to see the differences between both.
Overall, everyone who likes music, video games, anime, comics, comedy, and slacker movies have to go see this because honestly, this movie is amazing in everything it is. I feel many directors making comic book movies will try imitating Scott Pilgrim’s style but it will only work for a select few comic book movies. I give him credit for taking the risk and making it the way he did. Anyways, I’ve ranted long enough, go watch it when it comes out. I know I’ll be buying a ticket for it.