Aug 20, 2010

Pilgrim

Half of the electricity in my apartment gave out. I'm hot in here and I made that no going out decision. But on a day like this the last thing I want to be is in. Well I got art and the internet so why am I complaining. I said I wouldn't.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim, the comic, and then the movie, is about this guy who is obsessed with a girl(wait that sounds like--). Except he actually goes out with her(oh), so thats our signifier that this is fiction.

Only the mildest of spoilers are in this so read on. I watched Scott Pilgrim the other day. I liked it a lot. But my familiarity with the comic made me a little jaded. Like I knew most of it's tricks. Which is not the fault of the movie but inevitable to people who have read the comic. The fact people are going to turn into coins and become visible high scores was already something I was familiar with. Plus just as a comic reader I was familiar with all kinds of tricks that originated before Scott Pilgrim but were done for the first time in this movie.

Visible sound effects were already stolen from comics and used in the 60's Batman show every time someone hit someone. But Scott Pilgrim went above and beyond with sound effects and special effects(like flaming swords and moving in perspective with speed lines). My personal favorite sound effect in the movie is where someone shows their ring and the ring sound effect from Flash Gordan sounds. I laughed because I had written that same sound effect into my second screenplay(The Goode Apples). It was a plot point in mine.

Plus the last pages of August I was working on echo the moment that everything in his apartment is labeled(which in turn echoes Fight Club). I was really worried there would be a lot of overlap considering the similarities in some aspect of Thought Balloon Man and Scott Pilgrim, but the differences are just too big. My strange storytelling devices are not the same as his. His are mainly video game based. Mine are just weird, like time traveling, small excursions into Disney movies, and talking to my dick(Those are the ones I can say without ruining anything). But in the end my story is about real life and how you can't change it, regardless of what dream sequences or post modern devices I use. While Scott Pilgrim is about overcoming the hard parts of reality using every film, video game, and comic book reference you can.

I thought it started a little slow. And it even felt like it may degrade into some Michael Cera style hipster/emo/indie bullshit. But then the first boyfriend comes around and the shit hits the fan. Things get crazy. At one point during this part my friend leaned over to me and said what the hell is going on in a sort of delighted way. She hadn't seen the commercials and she had never heard of the comic.

Michael Cera actually did the part pretty well. Definitely more proactive than the typical characters he plays(aside from in Youth In Revolt where he played the rad french dude). I really thought that Mary Elizabeth Winstead dialed down how hot she is for this movie and came off as more really cute. The Culkin in this movie who plays Micael Cera's gay roommate is pretty much funny in every scene he is in. He almost steals every shot that he is in. Jason Schwartzman's character is a little weak for being the leader of the League Of Ex-Boyfriends that Scott Pilgrim must defeat. I think he relied too much on charm, which is probably not his fault as it seems he was just underwritten. I wanted to hate him more. I wanted his quirks to build up so his downfall would be all the more glorious. Plus I think his impression of me in the movie Shop Girl is still one of the best Adrian impressions on film(except I'm painfully not clueless and still do what I do while he is painfully clueless in that movie and does what he does). One of my favorites in the movie was Chris Evans who really did both a caricature of all the hollywood stars he is probably friends with while at the same time it was realistic because those people are so far out there.

Basically when the movie really kicked into gear and the boyfriends show up the movie gets really kinetic and really fun. But you have to like that kind of fun. Romance, video games, comics, cute girls, and their fucker ex boyfriends. I actually feel that this movie not making enough and fading away is this huge missed opportunity by the mainstream public to embrace the strengths(minus a lot of the weaknesses) of "geek culture". This was the mainstreams chance to finally get it. And they missed it. So instead we are going to get more Twilight spoofs and lame action movies and lamer comedies. Great job!

Go watch this movie at least for the maverick way that Edgar Wright(Shawn Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) directed it. Scenes drifting into other scenes with dialogue as a bridge. Special effects that even the characters can see. Playing with the conventions of video games and music and comics like they are all the same thing. Never flinching at how crazy it can all get. Watch it.

Plus the very first page of my comic August features Scott Pilgrim as drawn by me(the phone call part is part of another chapter that precedes August). So go out and read his comic. It's pretty great.

Greta Gerwig

I watched this movie called House Of The Devil about two or three months ago. It starred this beautiful Kate Bechinsale looking woman as the lead. And the friend was played by Greta Gerwig. While the lead was obviously beautiful it was Gerwig who caught my eye. She was only in a small part of the movie and she did nothing showy. She was just really interesting. Magnetic even. The lead was not. Gerwig was pretty but not the conventional hollywood pretty(although she was all seventies looking which was extra credit points). The movie never moved beyond it's initial conceit so it was boring the moment everything started happening. I was hoping for some seventies/early eighties style satanic exploitation movie and it tried but at some point it just stopped being scary. Plus Gerwig wasn't in it anymore.

Then I was on a Duplass brothers kick(Puffy Chair which I already reviewed because another obscure only Adrian likes her girl was in it) and I rented the movie Baghead. It was an indie version of a slasher movie. It was pretty original yet I don't think I can recommend it. Most of the leads were just not likable and the way the plot progresses I could assume would piss people off. I think I watched it because I really wanted Katie Aselton to be in it(the girl I was crushing on who is married to the director of this movie Mark Duplass). Basically these four people want to make a movie so they go to a cabin for a weekend. They see a man with a bag over their head outside and get really creeped out. But the question is who is under that bag and is it one of them(this happens when only one or two people can see it so the question remains). There were two dudes, a model, and then Greta Gerwig. I didn't know it was her because her hair was short and I never remembered her name from House Of The Devil. The model was supposed to be the eye candy, but again Gerwig was the real eye candy. Her lazy line delivery got on my nerves at first. Like she was putting no effort into it. Then I kind of decided she had made that choice with the character and wrote it off as unusual. Then her voice really started to turn me on. For real. Her lazy, soft, apathetic voice just hit something in me. I just wanted to hear her talk all day. And then she took off her shirt(thank you movie gods!). Anyway, I decided to keep an ear out if she is ever in anything. And then this happened:

Greenburg

I inexplicably love The Squid And The Whale. I say inexplicably because their is very little I could tell you that would explain why. It's just a good movie about a divorce and the way it affects the children and the family dynamic. And somehow it is really good. Greenburg could be said to be about an extremely cynical agoraphobic with all kinds of other issues who may make a connection with someone for once. Or you could say its about Greta Gerwig being this really plain girl who meets this really unusual guy. I'd say its the latter even though Ben stiller as Greenburg is supposed to be the focus.

She plays this normal LA girl(and she reminded me of a lot of female friends I have had[of course none of them were Gerwig otherwise I'd have had me a crush on my hands]).I'm sure most people would not see how rad this girl is but to me she is someone who has absolutely no idea about her sex appeal which really turns me on. And she delivers lines in such a natural way its almost hard to see the acting in it(which means she is really good in that she isn't obvious and loud and fake). She sort of has a Kate Winslet(a lot of Kates and Katies in this post, what the fuck, stop it) in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless mind quality to her.

Anyway, as expected Greenburg was great in that indefinable way that The Squid And The Whale was good. Noah Baumbach really knows what he is doing. Both those movies are just not for most people. They are too unique and deal with such a small view of the world. But that's the point sometimes. Show some ones personal corner of the world.

Wow, Amber Heard, The red headed vampire from True Blood, Mark Duplass's secret hot wife Katie Aselton, and now Greta Gerwig. I'd say my tastes were varied but they are all white girls. They look completely different but come on. If it makes any difference I watch a lot of porn with black girls and asian girls. No, that actually makes it worse, huh? Well, the last few girls I've hung out with were almost all non white, how about that? Maybe. How about this, I really have an obsession with how light plays off of black skin. I think it has a much more beautiful look to it than any other skin color. And Asian girls? Come on, I'm a white dude, of course I like asian girls. I'm just not a perv about it(I've known way too many dudes who only like asian girls thats why I say that). Whatever. I like em all. At the end of the day they have to be cool and chilled out and be nice and be interesting. Thats what matters most. Looks go away or get old. That's probably why I like Gerwig so much. She has a great quality to her that has little to do with looks. But when she looks good she looks great.

~ Adrian

Ó The comic pages are from the comic I do for hire. I did this one completely yesterday. Don't know if those rain drops work but it was fun drawing them. The painting is watercolor on gray paper(you can see the un-colored paper at the bottom of the painting)I did on the beach at Lake Tahoe. My friend was sitting there and I told her to take down her hair and pose. She did and between going into the frigid water and swimming like a child in love with nature I went back and added layers to the painting while my back baked in the sun and sand got in my paints. When we got back to the cabin I did the white highlights. She always asks for me to give her art so there you go.

1 comment:

steph y said...

it's ironic that you mentioned the movie/book shop girl because the other day i had a dream kind of like it. steve martin was in it too. how bizzare, how bizzare.