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Entering the Scott Pilgrim Universe

Over the past week I've become fairly immersed into the Scott Pilgrim universe. It started innocently enough with me watching the movie, which is directed by the incredibly talented Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead"), and just blew me away. There's just an amazing amount of talent and creativity showcased in this movie. This lead to me purchasing books 1-6 of Brian Lee O'Malley's comic, upon which the movie is based. These are equally amazing and unique properties, and even more so when you consider that they are the originating material.

Not satisfied with just the book and the movie, I have now spent several hours watching (and re-watching) the behind-the-scenes material on the Blu Ray for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It seems like the cast really got along well and it is mind blowing the amount of preparation, training, and resources that went into this movie. Because the special effects in the film are played like comic book gags, you tend to take them for granted. But this film showcased some state of the art work.

Unfortunately, this review isn't all accolades. The one thing about Scott Pilgrim I wasn't crazy about is, well, how white it is. Sure, Knives Chau is Chinese, but she plays Scott's doormat, and her otherness is openly fetishicized in the movie. According to this film, there are no black or Latino people in Toronto - I mean literally, I don't think I saw a single face of color throughout this entire movie. You want to excuse all of this because: (a) Wright seems like a nice guy and I doubt it was intentional, and (b) the writer of the books is himself Asian American. But man, it's really kinda scary to see what happens when there aren't initiatives mandating diversity. Subconsciously or not, things just seem to gravitate to being exclusively white, both in front of and behind the camera. Of course, I'm not the only one who noticed this - type "Scott Pilgrim and racism" into Google search and see what comes back. Notably, white male film critic Sean Stangland writes:

[L]ooking back at the movie, I realize that every "good" character, for lack of a better word, is white. The other prominent Asian characters in the film are Scott's clingy, borderline crazy Chinese girlfriend, Knives Chao (Ellen Wong), and two of Matthew's fellow evil exes, Kyle and Ken Katanagi (Keita Saitou and Shota Saito). Latinos are represented by Clifton Collins Jr. as a vegan cop, and blacks are represented by ... uhh ... hmm ... no one. So perhaps the criticism that the film was made for and by white hipster douchebags carries a little more weight than I thought.

(Race and gender in "Scott Pilgrim") At any rate, I still highly recommend this film. Outside of "The Social Network" (which was far more socially responsible -- bravo to Fincher and Sorkin), it's probably the best movie of 2010.


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Criterion Blu Ray Release of Ghost World in 2011?

According to Terry Zwigoff, it's a distinct possibility. "Ghost World" is one of my favorite movies so the idea of a Blu Ray version with lots of esoteric behind-the-scenes factoids is pretty exciting. I feel like going down to the Criterion offices and holding everyone hostage until the damn thing comes off the presses, lol.


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Mary Elizabeth Winstead

I've been feeling Mary Elizabeth Winstead since Final Destination 3, but she really shines as Ramona Flowers in "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World." She's actually a little leggier - curvier - than your average Hollywood starlet. (Click to enlarge)


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