‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’: Blu-Ray Review

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The WorldScott Pilgrim vs. The World is, in a word, an experience. Between the 8-bit Nintendo style Universal Studios opening to Pilgrim’s band name of Sex Bob-Omb (a reference to Mario), it’s safe to say the flick has more pop culture references in it than an afternoon spent on Reddit. And it’s awesome.

The film follows 22-year-old Canadian Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) who falls in love with Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). And in order to date the girl of his dreams, he must fight her seven evil exes.

Now because I’m a huge geek, I loved Scott Pilgrim’s story. Throughout the film, Pilgrim is an idiot. Outside the whole seven evil exes thing, he’s constantly feeling sorry for himself and his tough life which isn’t actually tough. The dude has no job, no real commitments, and spends his days playing or listening to music. Usually, I’d hate a character like this. Self-loathing = not cool. But somehow, and I think this credit goes to Cera, I like Pilgrim. A lot. Maybe it’s because I see a lot of myself in him (I’m also narcissistic 20-some-year-old male), so it’s nice to see someone on screen portray problems — although they’re not actually problems — in a really dramatic way. And it’s also fun to see him work through them despite the absurdity of it all. So props to Cera. He really made Pilgrim likable.

Strictly from an editing and cinematography viewpoint, Scott Pilgrim is beautiful on Blu-ray. Those who have seen Edgar Wright‘s other movies — Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead — know that the director has created his own type of filmmaking. His films feel like mix-tapes, pulling different songs from different musicians all exploring one mood. Or perhaps more accurately, it’s like Wright is a mash-up DJ, blending individual tracks (or in this case, pop culture and video game references) into one long album. With Pilgrim, he’s managed to scrape nearly every genre of film out there — comedy, drama, action, etc. — and slam it all together. And the results are wonderful. The abrupt cuts and switches from scene to scene — especially on Blu-ray — flow together flawlessly. Plus, the sound? Wow. I never thought making the sound of a window breaking or a door shutting so crisp and clean would have such a dynamic effect.

Now, the special features. And holy crap! There’s like 17+ hours of goodies. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect anything less from a film made for nerds. So, duh, the obvious choice is to give the nerds something to nerd out about. After all, we’re probably the only ones who watch the special features and commentaries anyway. So it makes me happy that the filmmakers understood their audience and made a noticeable effort to cater to us. Now onto the stuff.

First, and this is actually available on the DVD copy as well, you can watch Pilgrim with four sets of commentary. The first set is the three writers: Wright, Michael Bacall, and Bryan Lee O’Malley. They talk about what went into the creation of the script and how they handled the transition from comic book to movie. The second is Wright again, but this time with Bill Pope, the director of photography. This one is really interesting if you enjoy the technical aspect of making films. The two address their approach to the creating this farcical, yet believable word of Pilgrim. The final two give the cast a chance to comment, splitting them into two separate groups, and it’s fun hearing thoughts from all the different actors.

In a film as tightly wound as wound as Scott Pilgrim, I didn’t find myself wanting to see the deleted scenes, because frankly, I didn’t think there was much missing from the movie. But I was wrong. There’s some great moments, including an alternate ending! Plus, you have the option to hear director Wright’s comments and you can learn why each scene didn’t make it into the final cut. Plus, if you were wondering how the entire film was put together, the Blu-ray includes a “making of” documentary that’s over an hour long. Considering how original of a film Scott Pilgrim is, it’s really fun to learn what went into casting, rehearsing, and production.

Overall, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is what the “Blu-ray experience” should be like. Crisp video and sound, tons of extra scenes and bloopers, making of documentaries, plus tons of more stuff not even mentioned. Bottom line: nerds, rejoice. This one’s made for us.