Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An epic of epic epicness

I actually have that poster up in my room...I'm such a loser...

So! Today was FINALLY the day. After six books, tonnes of hype and a year-long obsession, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the movie adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's awesome Scott Pilgrim comic book series finally hit Irish cinemas.

I was nervous, apprehensive, anxious and...well, excited would be an understatement. I couldn't calm myself down enough to get much sleep last night, and the emo joked that it felt like Christmas eve. I've been waiting for this day to come since he sent me the first instalment while I was on Erasmus last summer. I've been hooked ever since. Scott Pilgrim was my first, proper introduction to the nerd world, and luckily I took to it like a fish to water, proudly proclaiming "Ich bin ein Nerd" while engaging in deep, seriously intricate conversations about the series with die-hard fans and newbies alike. I introduced my good friend Dill to it, too, and then gave out shit to him for not getting as excited about it as I did.

See, to me, Scott Pilgrim is more than just an awesome comic book series, it's a representation of my own generation in the most honest, hilariously accurate way. And, of course, given my own shitty relationship history, I saw more than a bit of myself in the character of Ramona Flowers. I fell in love with the comic books instantly and I eagerly anticipated the arrival of the movie adaptation, feeling ever more frustrated by the "post-production" notices on IMDB. The trailers whetted my appetite somewhat, and the additions of Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzman, Chris Evans and, most of all, Kieran Culkin, to the roster of stars made me even more excited. However, the decision to cast Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the leads left me somewhat underwhelmed. But I was never going to go easy on this movie, though, because I love Scott Pilgrim far too much for that. But anyway, here are my thoughts.

The emo and I arrived at the cinema to find queues of nerds eagerly attempting to purchase tickets for the showing we'd selected. We stood, terrified and silly in our newly-purchased Scott Pilgrim T-shirts (not matching, and from the comics, not the film) and waited for our turn. Luckily, we got tickets by the skin of our teeth. The screening we attended was PACKED and more than a few teenyboppers who'd clearly only recently hopped on the bandwagon pissed us off before the credits even rolled to signal the beginning. Luckily, nothing could turn us off, we'd waited too long.

The opening sequence was fantastic, and caught my attention immediately. It was funny and looked as if the artwork of the comics had been directly translated to the screen, but not in an incredibly obvious way. It wasn't too brash and comic-booky but it captured their essence nonetheless. Even the credits looked cool.

The film itself, which shoved all six books into just under two hours, was funny, great to look at, well-acted, perfectly scripted and ingeniously blended the style of the comic books into the film. Mark Webber (Stephen Stills), Ellen Wong (Knives Chau), Kieran Culkin (Wallace Wells), Anna Kendrick (Stacey Pilgrim), Allison Pill (Kim Pine) and Johnny Simmons (Young Neil) were all part of a fantastic supporting cast. Chris Evans was particularly hilarious as Lucas Lee, and Jason Schwartzman nerdy but still threatening as the evil Gideon.

The fight scenes were perfectly choreographed, the video game references were well-executed and, thankfully, the whole feeling of the comic books translated very well to the big screen, thanks to superb direction from Edgar Wright. The addition of 60s Batman style sound effects such as POW! in bright, colourful bubble writing was a particularly nice touch, and the wit of the comics was delivered through little inserts of speech blocks here and there. The dialogue was snappy, the jokes from the books were perfectly executed and the characters truly came to life with a wonderful score against the beautifully wintry backdrop of Toronto.

In fact, the only negatives in an otherwise perfect film, were the two leads, Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Ramona Flowers). Since I'm a die-hard Scott Pilgrim fan, I was most displeased when I found out that Cera, who to me is the same in pretty much everything he's in (although his goofy, nerdy George Michael character in Arrested Development is hilariously funny) was to be cast in the lead. Michael Cera cannot play Scott Pilgrim. Michael Cera cannot play anything besides Michael Cera. And, as I'd predicted, he played Scott Pilgrim as if he were doing an impression of Michael Cera. Although he was goofy and silly, the character was not brought to life in the same way as the others were. He did a good job delivering some of Scott's ridiculously silly one-liners, but that of course has more to do with O'Malley's superb writing than Cera's sub-par acting skills. Critics are claiming that he just barely pulled it off. I strongly disagree. He looked like Scott Pilgrim, and his dialogue sounded like him. But he wasn't him in the same way Kieran Culkin was Wallace Wells or Mark Webber was Stephen Stills.

Furthermore, Mary Elizabeth Winstead turned Ramona, who is the bad-ass, mysterious, dream girl who appears out of nowhere and forces Scott to re-evaluate his life and, ultimately, fight for the right to call her his girfriend. It's true that many fans of the series detest Ramona. They think she's an evil bitch, that Scott shouldn't have to fight for her, etc, etc. It should be noted that the fans in question are mostly bitter nerdy dudes in their 20s who either never got the girl or never tried.

I, on the other hand, adore Ramona. I saw a lot of myself in her from the very beginning, despite how controversial she is. She has these evil exes who refuse to let her be happy (so much so that they've joined forces to stop anybody else from being with her), she's afraid of being hurt, she refuses to really get close to anyone and she's always running away from her past. She kicks ass and she changes Scott's life. In the series, she leaves to clear her head, and when she returns, Scott fights Gideon (the boss, if you will) for her love and wins. They finish the book by deciding to give their relationship another try. It's a positive, realistic message of young love and, to me, it was perfect.

The film is slightly different. Ramona runs off with Gideon in the end and then Scott has to fight to save her. First, this makes no sense. Ramona was never a damsel in distress. Nor did she ever intend to willingly go back to Gideon. Furthermore, Winstead has clearly taken the bitch label to heart as she plays the character cold, emotionless and completely deadpan. She smiles a total of twice, and the kisses she shares with Cera are completely forced and ice-cold. The wigs she wears are laughably bad, and don't move for the entirety of the film. She doesn't seem to feel comfortable in Ramona's skin and is more than a little standoffish towards all of the other characters.

Although she does kick some ass (namely Roxy's, using her awesome hammer), mostly she just stands around looking bored or pissed off. It's difficult to sympathise with Cera's Scott, because he seems kind of lost throughout, but at least he learns his lesson in the end. Winstead's Ramona is so cold and uncaring and...bland that it begs the question - what the fuck does he even see in her!? This chick is supposed to be THE dream girl, not just some kooky bitch with coloured hair and rollerblades. I dunno if Winstead is a talented actress or not, seeing as I've only seen her in this and the silly but fun Final Destination 3, but I have no idea what kind of Ramona she was trying to represent, unless it was the angry nerd boys' bitch Ramona (which is not the real Ramona, if you ask me).

Anyway, besides those two slight downfalls, the movie adaptation of Scott Pilgrim was absolutely fantastic. It looked amazing, the dialogue was great, the acting, for the most part, was on point and, above all else, it did the excellent series justice. I was nervous, but I need not have been. It just made me love the series even more. Hats off to Edgar Wright and Bryan Lee O'Malley for making a near-perfect comic book adaptation that really did the series justice.

I can't wait to see it again and I really REALLY can't wait to get my tattoo!!!

Song of the day: The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Life As Joey

Lately I've been watching this silly MTV mockumentary called "My Life As Liz", which stars this cute, nerdy, skinny little hipster chick called Liz, who doesn't really fit in at her high school and hangs out with all of these nerdy boys and has lots of mad thoughts and collects comic books, etc, etc. It's totally sad for me to be watching it, seeing as I'm 22 years of age and actually claim to have a life most of the time, but I'm doing so anyway because, as much as I hate to admit it, I quite like it. It' s not very often that the female protagonist of a TV show or movie or whatever is nerdy, gawky, weird, awkard or, most of all, tomboyish. And it's nice to see. So that's why this entry title is what it is. I really am that cool and inventive.

So I haven't blogged in a while because...time has been flying by lately and I haven't really been able to find any time to do...well...anything, really! I've been incredibly lucky this summer. I'm working about...three or at this point (one of which is brand new as of a couple of weeks ago, and is a proper, grown-up job with a salary and I can't wear my piercings for it and I have to dress like a normal person and smile lots and it's soooo exciting!) and I'm absolutely loving it. I feel like, at the age I'm at now, I'm finally FINALLY settling in to who I am. When I was about 18 until I was about 20, I was sort of forced into trying desperately to be somebody I was not. I was all overtly sexual and burlesque-y and, although it was fun, I wasn't happy and I certainly wasn't comfortable. As I've said many times before, I'm more Hayley Williams than Dita Von Teese and, after many, many years and mistakes, I'm finally accepting that and refusing to fight it anymore. And I have lots of people who love me just as I am, which is fucking awesome. I'm actually kinda glad to be me.. A few weeks back, one of my boys said to me "You just love being awkward, don't you?" and I blushed like crazy because I hadn't realised that I was being awkard but I guess I was and...anyway, yeah, I like being treated as an equal. It beats being treated like...a girl... Urgh...

I recently came into a shitload of money and, like the ridiculous excuse for a girl that I am, I dumped a load of it in my Paypal to spend on band tees and other cool shit from America, got some new Criminal Damage jeans, got a new piercing (the worst pain I've had yet - even worse than nipple, which is truly bizarre because I didn't think that possible) and spent the rest on drinking, new Converse, catching up with my buds, seeing movies (Inception blew my mind) and...oh yeah, more band tees! I'm seriously addicted to them, I think I have a problem. Although I still don't have as many as my girl Scoob, who can't even fit hers into her dresser anymore! Having money again is fucking awesome, and thankfully I'm not as much of a dumbass with it as I once was. I've also managed to squeeze in a few dates with the emo along the way, which has been a lot of fun. When we hang out, he just feels like one of my boys...but we kiss and hold hands and fuck and all too, so it's kind of like the coolest relationship I could ever imagine! He gives me so much shit too, and vice versa. I love it!

I am so, so, so happy with my life right now. I dunno why, but it's as if everything has just clicked into place finally. Obviously, nothing is ever perfect, but it's pretty damn close! Everybody seems to be doing really well right now, actually.. My boy Noodles just got back from touring the UK with his awesome band, meaning he is a real rock star now. Surprisingly, when he arrived home, we ended up going clubbing with my other boy, Dill, instead of our usual plan of going to get hammered somewhere where rock tunes are playing and everybody gets really sweaty and messy. Although we did get very messy. I hadn't been clubbing in FOREVER and it was so much fun, although I could barely keep up with the amount they were drinking and I definitely wasn't dressed for the occasion (Vans...ahem). I've always thought that I could take a decent amount of drink (especially compared to most chicks) but they really gave me a run for my money that night! Oh yeah, and we danced in foam with 18-year-olds. And I woke up in bed with an inflatable dolphin we'd named Markus. I should probably mention that Noodles is currently engaged in a bit of a bromance with my newest boy (who I guess is still in training and has yet to see me puke or bruise me or bust my balls...oh wait, never mind...) but the less said about that, the better. They are very cute though. And their sweet reunion when Noodles got back from tour melted my little black heart!

What else... Oh yes! Graduation is coming up! Sadly it's the day before Halloween, which means the Grad Ball falls on my favourite holiday, but no matter, it'll be fun anyway. It has to be, it's the end I dunno what else it's supposed to represent. I'm not into the girly side of it, obviously, so I'm not as excited as most other girls would be... I don't care about my make-up or anything. I might get my hair done that day or the day before, but that's more because I need a haircut! I want to wear Docs, too, but I dunno whether my mother will try to force heels onto me before I leave the house... I need to make a trip to Camden to get a dress, but who knows when the fuck that'll happen. First of all I have to book and get my next tattoo, which is going to be AMAZING. Thankfully, my artist is back this week after being away for almost a month, so I should be able to go in and see him in all his sexiness soon. After seeing my piercer, I was a bit weak at the knees, so I'll probably faint when I go in to book my tattoo. I do love my boys alt and weird, after all. I dunno why, just do.

The Scott Pilgrim movie is out this Wednesday, so the emo and I will probably do a little date that day (provided my sis doesn't tag along) and either rave or give out about it for much of the day... We'll wear our T-shirts (not matching, thank fuck) and be all hyper and loud and complain about the hipsters in attendance who are only there to see Michael Cera, but even so it's going to be fun! I dunno whether I'm expecting the film to be shit or great, I'll probably have mixed feelings either way. But I'm excited. It'll probably suck, but I'm excited anyway! I'll probably end up blogging again this week after I see it, actually.. I shouldn't have said that. Now I have to. Fuck.

I dunno who the fuck I'm even talking to with this! Blogging is so weird...

Song of the day: That Maniac choooon from when I was, like, 12 cos they played it in the club the other night and it's been stuck in my head ever since!

Currently reading: Generation Dead - Daniel Waters. I love zombie stuff.
Currently listening to: Lots of pop! And Paramore, cos I'm still really REALLY excited to see them. Oh, and Less Than Jake cos they do some great summer songs.
Currently wearing: All of my new band tees! I got some AMAZING Paramore ones. I got a great, green zombie chick tee too. She's got great boobies. I like her.
Currently feasting my eyes on: Lots of Tim Burton stuff. I've had a mad Nightmare Before Christmas thing going on lately. I'm trying to decide where to put my Jack Skellington tatt, and who I want to draw it for me, so I've been looking at loads of Tim Burton artwork lately. (I spotted Tim Burton playing cards in a shop the other day and I was sooo tempted to buy them, even though it'd be a really dumbass purchase). And Kristen Stewart! (Cannot WAIT for The Runaways to finally come out in September). And Jared Leto, who is FIT but a total twat.