Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The curse of the fickle

Sorry if your pants are wet. You likely didn't have a nighttime oopsie; it's probably just from wading through the tears of the entire online film community, who have been sobbing relentlessly since the flopitude of Scott Pilgrim was revealed. So much ink has been spilled on the subject, you'd think BP was involved. I've read articles that blamed the fickle nerd audience, the fickle hipster audience, the marketing, the release date, the prerelease strategy, the subject matter...everything. They probably all contributed in some way, but to me the largest problem is that in order to transcend genre restrictions, the movie has to appeal to everybody...and it has to be incredible. It can't be good, it has to be beyond that. I thought it was very good, but not transcendent. Most of that has nothing to do with Edgar Wright, who wrote and directed Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. Not only were the visuals in Pilgrim beautiful, not only was the film paced absolutely brilliantly, but almost all the performances were spot on, with the only real problem being, you know, the lead. Cera has the diversity of a Toby Keith concert; he's so one-note that he's the only thing worse than Nickleback. You get the idea. What I'm trying to say is that when Vanity Fair talked to Wright about Ant-Man, the smaller (teehee) staked Marvel superhero film he's been attached to for an eternity, I still get hopeful.
He describes it as a "super spy movie" with someone who just happens to have a "very particular power," namely shrinking, which would honestly come in quite handy if you were a spy I would imagine. What I liked most about his comments were that he referenced how every "shrinking man" movie (and every comic book movie really) is now all about what is happening to that particular character and not a bigger issue. I'd love to see them cover Ant-Man's deep, deep origins (he's a scientist who created something that lets him shrink, the end) over the credits and have us explore an adventure from the character right away. I will say that part of me got really hopeful when Marvel was bought by Disney (which hasn't brought about the apocalypse others predicted just yet) was the idea that someone like Pixar could capture one of these (ahem) tiny characters and make a movie out of them. I still think this is the best choice for that, but if they want to give it to Wright, so be it. So, to wrap up, Scott Pilgrim was good but not great, hipsters are fickle, I like ant people, and your pants are wet. That should cover it.

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