Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Perfect Storm Going Into Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Did you ever find out that you had inadvertently studying for an exam you didn't know you were going to have?

Well, apparently, for the last 6 months, I was unwittingly watching/playing the perfect storm of materials for my first viewing of the film version of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I watched it on DVD last night, and it wasn't until this morning that all the pieces came into place.

Now, I did read the first two volumes of the graphic novel, so I was not entirely ignorant of at least part of the narrative, and I was interested in the series because I love video games, especially River City Ransom, which has come up quite a few times here. And my love for the work of Edgar Wright is well-known, so I am familiar with his work in film and on television.

Anyway, Edgar Wright put out a list of the 10 movies which influenced his vision of Scott Pilgrim, and there are some interesting little tidbits in it.

Before this year, I loved The Phantom of the Paradise, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Amelie, and I was familiar with Danger: Diabolik, and I saw them all within the last 6 months.

Now, I haven't seen #1 on that list, but I did listen to the Midnight Movie Club discussion of Flash Gordon back in June, and was entertained by that. 

And about the same time, I happened to get into a Kung Fu watching phase, and I watched in the span of about a week Five Fingers of Death, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Shaolin Soccer (though in my post, I hadn't gotten to that point yet, as I had watched Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer ended up in my DVD player that weekend. So I ended up seeing or experiencing 8 out of 10 of the movies he listed.

Strangely enough, the reason I got back into Kung Fu movies had to do with the fact that I had just finished God Hand, and I was looking for films which matched its frenetic hand to hand combat on a one-to-many scale, and there were a few moves which were very much in keeping with Kung Fu Hustle. The hero of God Hand is a loveable jerkass who slowly begins taking responsibility for the great power he has been given.

In July, I got a copy of Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution off of Goozex, and even though in the past, I had stated that I didn't like pure fighting games anymore, but somehow, at that moment, it reignited a love for the genre which I thought was lost forever. So for the next couple of months, I took a healthy stroll through the Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Tekken, Samurai Shodown and Mortal Kombat universes, with stops for some Marvel vs Capcom 2. I fought a lot of people. I even started getting in Mugen, and at some point, that is heading into crazytown, because that is where you can actually see how characters from multiple franchises stack up.

And in the midst of that fighter lovefest, I took a little break to play No More Heroes, a game that stylishly tells the story of a supergeek who is surprisingly good at wielding a beam katana and working his way through a list of ranked assassins and loads of coin (and blood) fountaining mooks in an game which also references other games, and someone I know got Hot Fuzz on Blu-Ray, and I got to see it in clear digital resolution... and watch a commentary with Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright.

Almost as an afterthought, in late October, I thought watching the complete Dragon Ball Z saga would be a good idea too, what with the Super Saiyans and drama and such.

Oh, and I caught Shaun of the Dead on Halloween.

Other little bits and pieces that are also at least coincidentally related to this came up at The Coalition of Awesomeness. For instance, during my post about my insane PS2 collection, I mentioned that there were titles that I had always wanted as a kid, and I remember that list to this day. One of those games had been Clash at Demonhead, which is the name of a band in the movie.

Then there is the fact that in the movie (at least), Scott learned how to play the battle theme from Final Fantasy II.

So basically, going into Scott Pilgrim, I had exhaustively refreshed my memory about fighting games, beat 'em ups, kung fu movies, Dragon Ball Z, the work of Edgar Wright and thought about classic Nintendo/SNES games quite a bit.

To say I enjoyed it would be an understatement. At this point, if the series/movie didn't exist, I would have to probably try to create something like it, because really, how often does half a year of your life end up being culminated by someone else's creation so succinctly. It is amazing how things work out sometimes.

And in writing this, I feel incredibly geeky.


Mayren said...

i loooove the movies that i lovingly refer to as "Hong Kong Cheese".

They are prized in my collection like Hong Kong Hustle, Shaolin Soccor etc. It's soo fun to watch.

MC said...

Stephen Chow is a genius when it comes to action comedy.

John said...

Honestly, I had never even heard of Scott Pilgrim until the movie came out. But it's now on my shortlist of movies to watch.