there is no other way. no value should be put in a spvtw rating if it wasn’t experienced in a cinema
i can’t think of another film that SO needs to be seen in theatres. when it was in theatres i went five times because i refuse to watch it at home and i needed to stock up, like how a bear eats 5 fish then sleeps through winter and in springtime someone shows spvtw at a cult classic movie night and he watches it again
I didn’t like the film very much at all, and I saw it at the cinema. You make a valid point about the way in which we watch films influencing our perception of them, though. I fear that too many people nowadays watch movies on 15"-17" laptop screens after either downloading them illegally or streaming them online – this is no way to watch movies. The thought of people illegally downloading Terence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’ (a film clearly intended for the big screen) and then forming an opinion about it after watching it on a laptop screen is kind of laughable. No, the natural format for films is the cinema screen and every effort should be made to see a given film via this medium whenever possible.
Curtis, how old are you? Or more to the point, how YOUNG are you?
Films That Probably Need To Be Seen In A Cinema More Desperately Than “Scott Pilgrim”…
“Lawrence of Arabia”
“2001: A Space Odyssey”
“Gone With The Wind”
“West Side Story”
“The Wizard of Oz”
“A Clockwork Orange”
“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”
“Bridge on the River Kwai”
“Run Lola Run”
This is just a short list.
I haven’t seen “Scott Pilgrim” because the film appears to have zero wit. I’ve seen the trailer far too many times. The bit about the cleaning lady…“She dusts!” Erm, HOW is that gut-bustingly funny? The film seems to have a video game gimmick to it, which actually makes it MORE suitable for a plasma television screen than a giant theatrical viewing.
I’m going to experience “The Tree of Life” at the Astor Theatre. There’s actually a full retrospective of T.M. films coming up soon…all five! It’s going to be awesome to experience “Badlands” again, too!
It’s cute and that’s about it. It’s ridiculously repetitive. Maybe there should be like four evil x’s instead of seven. I definitely wouldn’t consider this one to be a priority to see in the theatre where there are films with a much larger scope like the films that the previous post listed that would probably gain from being seen in theatre.
“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” is actually quite wittty, Mark. As for seeing it in theaters I suspect Curtis is referencing the — no all too seldom enjoyed — communal experience of seeing films with a smart as well as enthusiastic audience.
The OP may be right because I saw it at home and it did nothing for me. Wasn’t terrible, but I was hoping for more from the Sean of the Dead/Hot Fuzz dude.
As for a great movie made even greater by the theater experience. Stop Making Sense reached another level when big chunks of the ground turned it into a dance party.
Intended for the big screen? More and more, we all have big screens these days. The local multiplex isn’t the last word on screen real estate.
I’ve made the transition to home media almost entirely. Comparing Scott Pilgrim’s or Avatar’s big screen vs home viewing, watching in the privacy of one’s abode on a widescreen television with much higher quality picture is infinitely more enjoyable than most crowds, lines at the restroom, endless ticket prices, projection issues, and noisy kids smacking away on chips and shuffling their popcorn — or mid to late teens laughing incessantly and cracking the hell up every time video game tropes make their appearance. @Ben, you want to tell me Tree of Life is better with constant bickering in the background about how the movie isn’t going anywhere as beer is gulped? Whatever I supposedly lose in terms of screen size or theatrical presence and the “movie going experience” is, I feel, counterbalanced by actually being able to appreciate the artistic vision passing before me — a statement which can be made even with smaller computer monitor setups and streaming environments (have you seen the quality of HD streaming these days?)
At this point, the only case you can make, to me and my movie habits at least, is the communal and enthusiastic approach to film the packed theater can offer (say, the opening showing of some much-anticipated fan favorite or blockbuster sequel). Well, that and the sound system. I watched a revival presentation of The Shining, having missed its initial run in theaters, and I was pretty overwhelmed by the immersive sound rolling around me. But the quality of the home media setup is slowly catching on even here, and if you can manage a movie night with friends or family you can regain a sense of what’s lost of that ‘audience factor’ as well.
I get where you’re coming from Sunday, and I can certainly empathise. I’ve had countless film-going experiences ruined for me by exactly the same bugbears that you describe – even the two indy cinemas I frequent are not exempt from such annoyances.
But I think the case should still be made for cinema-going as the ideal practice for film enthusiasts wanting to see new and, if possible, older films. The sheer spectacle of it cannot be matched by even the best home cinema system. I often use the analogy of an art gallery. For example, Monet’s Water Lilies look perfectly nice on a reproduced print, but there’s no comparison to seeing the full-size paintings at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Yes, art galleries can be crowded and have annoying people voicing their opinions an works of art that they may or may not be an authority on; but the art-lover puts up with such things to get a proper look at a masterpiece in the way in which the artist intended.
I am also concerned about the prospect of home entertainment eventually supplanting, or at least marginalising, cinema-going. While the local multiplex may now be dominated by Hollywood blockbusters and lowest common denominator pictures with commercial appeal, it is still a great cultural institution that any film-enthusiast worth their salt ought to treasure. Cinema-going is also a great way to support the film industry, as box-office sales have an impact on the type of films that studios decide to make, or fund, in the future. So I think it is important for the future of film that fully paid-up cinephile’s vote with their feet and go and see as much auteur cinema as they can in order to exert a positive influence on the film industry – as minor as that influence may be.
Mark. Your above comment has no merit beyond expressing personal judgement. You have hereby added nothing to this thread. Please discuss your opinions about how the Battle of the Band / Gaming setpieces behave in SCOTT PILGRIM similarly to song numbers in the musical genre. Oh, wait, you can’t. Because you haven’t seen the movie.
Curtis, I (and several folks I’ve talked to) specifically avoided this in the theater because the trailers appeared terrible. As I heard more overwhelmingly positive reviews from people I knew who saw it, I got more curious, and when I finally watched it (on my 15" laptop screen), I was very impressed with most of it. Hope to someday see a print, but doubt I’ll get the chance…this was just a case of a movie marketed as being way dumber than it actually was.
Edit: …which probably has a lot to do with the fact that it didn’t perform admirably at the box office. Word of mouth was required to garner it the attention it deserved and undo the damage done by crap promo campaign. I may never get a chance to see SCOTT PILGRIM on the big screen, but it’s certainly convinced me to check out future titles by this director when they’re circulating theatrically. Likewise GAMER:Neveldine/Taylor, SPEED RACER:Wachowskis…especially if someone gives any of these folks a jab at 3D as I think they’d be some of the best candidates for visually experimenting with it in their styles that each ride the line successfully (unlike almost any of their peers/competitors) between total cerebral overload and articulate clarity.
It’s interesting you mention Water Lilies, as I was just this year able to view the complete triptych on exhibition in Kansas City. The spectacle of gallery work is indeed of prime importance, and of being with the work in person, and you are right to say those considerate enough of the work are able to ‘wait out’ the venue — that is, I could sit myself down for more than an hour and outlast the noisy or disruptive members of the crowds viewing the gallery, and give myself quiet moments alone with the work as a whole.
But just because a shift or marginalization is in progress doesn’t mean the change has to be for the worst, especially as it concerns independently produced or lower-level productions which have found the largest possible audience in history thanks to streaming services and an Internet audience — productions which certainly wouldn’t have achieved the same kind of distribution among those ‘indy’ venues which are fewer and farther between out there. And what of a possible shift in the filmmakers themselves, gearing films with an eye or expectation of “small-screen” presentation, or digital distribution and the knowledge that more people are watching from a wider variety of locations? The tone, if any, appears to be changing to one of entertainment a la carte, on terms the audience sets. We don’t necessarily owe the theater all that much when we can invest largely in our own setup and a range of services tailored almost intimately to what we want out of our movie watching.
Regarding supporting the industry, my theater dollars are presently lumped into a spiraling blockbuster-oriented system and the success or failure of those dollars are increasingly focused on that narrow opening weekend performance. I don’t want to feed that. But dear me, before I start sounding too nasty about it all, I do want to note I strongly agree about the theater’s historical and cultural significance. The history of theatrical presentation has a long and even noble heritage, and by participating in it today we tie ourselves into that greater movie watching history. Thinking back on Grauman’s exotic and iconic venues via the Egyptian or Chinese themed theaters, it is indeed something to cherish, however the theater as it has developed today emphasizes to me the gross shift towards purely financial returns as opposed to cultural returns, with those few ‘indy’ venues and their more respectful, considerate audiences registering as barely a footnote. And I’ve recently visited Hollywood and the Grauman theaters and the modern day continuance of that revered locale is just an utter mess, approaching circus level involvement with film rather than any studied or concerned perspective. We achieve spectacle but not much else. And spectacle in and of itself shouldn’t be the core pillar holding up the bloat of theatrical excess. I wouldn’t mind seeing this shift work itself to some measure of completion, where it receives from a film industry not overtly concerned with super-productions and opening weekend but perhaps one in which opening weekends don’t exist and the filmmaker reaches his audience on a much more direct level, tailored to their chosen environment and with a message not of ticket sales but of stories worth hearing.
I saw it in a full theater and it was about 50/50 in terms of the people loving it and those that were more ambivalent. I think the film could have done with Wright making a more thorough break with the source material, instead of trying to fill too much of the graphic novels into one film. Ususally, I end up having to defend myself against people for pointing out the negative. I liked it, but see the things that bother me too easily.
The film suffered greatly because the studio put such a huge push behind it. It would appear a natural for video game geeks and film nerds, but nobody showed up. I don;t necessarily think that’s Wright’s doing because he made the film he wanted to make. I’m sure the audience knew enough about the film to see it. I know some of the comments here indicate that there were misleading trailers. That may be for the general public, but that happens all the time. Word of mouth does a lot to counter this.
Ideally, the film shouldn’t have had such a big budget that the studio was forced to market the hell out of it and allow the word of mouth to grow things. Then, it might have a had a fighting chance to be viewed in theaters, but there is no extra life when Universal shelled out 100 million to make this a hit.
Crap, this thread has a topic. Sorry.
Two of my all-time favorite cinematic observations on the tedium of real-time existence.
Watched this at the cinema and loved it, watched it at home and, meh.
“@ Mark”: What’s wrong with you? You come into a thread about a movie which you haven’t seen, insinuate that the OP is a kid, say that the movie looks bad and then list a bunch of other movies which you enjoyed. Who cares? That’d be like me going into a thread about The Passion of Joan of Arc and saying “Well, I didn’t like this, but here’s a list of my top 10 movies. You probably should watch all of these instead.”
I haven’t seen “Scott Pilgrim” because the film appears to have zero wit. I’ve seen the trailer far too many times. The bit about the cleaning lady…“She dusts!” Erm, HOW is that gut-bustingly funny?
Actually the point of that line is that is NOT funny.
“The film suffered greatly because the studio put such a huge push behind it. It would appear a natural for video game geeks and film nerds, but nobody showed up.”
Reason number 1 why geeks can’t have nice things:
They were the first to learn how to download.
Anyway, throwing into the “must see in cinema” vein, there are several parts where the movie changes aspect ratio that did not replicate well to the DVD. The valley of death-like sequences worked fine, but there are parts where, for instance, Scott’s hand “punches through” the aspect ratio and it doesn’t show up on the DVD, and if you watch the region 2 DVD with subtitles on (I did this so that my friend Sakthi could follow since the dialog is somewhat rapid fire and he isn’t a native English speaker), they jump around. This is not isolated to a DVD player with the zoom function on or anything like that, it does require a bigger screen with more real estate. I also find that so much is going on visually it just looks better.
It needn’t be a cinema but a big screen helps. I enjoyed seeing it in cinema precisely because people seemed to really get behind it.
Of all movies coming out lately, this is a movie I would expect to find in Midnight Movie screenings some two decades hence… but not anytime soon.
Nice…very helpful observations DiB.
If you view all things reasonably, you shall find that the OP actually had nothing of value to say beyond “I’m a SCOTT PILGRIM fanboy and this film is WAY COOL!”
In other words, he offered an opinion. It’s the same heinous crime of which you accuse me.
Ben, I’m all for opinions expressed, as long as they have some weight behind them. I can quite easily back up the case for experiencing all of the above classics I listed as big screen mind-blowers. But most of not all of these films have reputations that precede them. Thus making Curt’s comment even more puzzling.
I’ve nothing against Curtis saying that “Pilgrim” is a great big screen experience and gains from theatrical viewing. But to say “I can’t think of a film that needs to be seen more in the cinema than Scott Pilgrim”?
C’mon, Ben Simington, YOU KNOW that statement is the same as your initials.
“Curtis, I (and several folks I’ve talked to) specifically avoided this in the theater because the trailers appeared terrible.”
Erm, Curtis said he saw it five times at the theatre, Ben. I think he made that point pretty obvious.
And I think the target audience of this film, for the most part, wouldn’t give a shit about the quality (or lack thereof) of the trailers.
If you like “Scott Pilgrim” and wanted to see the big screen adaptation, fine. But don’t try that “you haven’t seen it” crap on me.
I suppose, by this logic, you just HAD to sees the “Sex and the City” films before deciding they were dog shit, Ben!
Ben, you’re obviously a gamer geek, good for you. I’m sorry if I don’t spend my entire life playing computer games. But you must be realistic and understand when you make a film for a VERY niche target audience then you can’t expect it to be everyone’s cup of tea.
The film still plays at the Astor, but it will need to double-bill with something EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD for me to sit through it.
If I sound a tad vexed, maybe it’s because I’m as mad as hell (and I’m not going to take this anymore!) about great classic films gathering dust and drawing crowds of less than 50 people, when confections like like “Scott Pilgrim” becomes “must-see material”. Hey, if you like it, great! I’m sure it’s somehow entertaining for some on a bubble gum level. But please don’t trumpet its “brilliant” set pieces and laud its “incredible wit”.
As Tommy said, SEVEN evil ex-boyfriends? Indeed, that is redundant.
I felt too old for Scott Pilgrim. maybe if i was in my teens or my early 20’s and was still into video games and comics i would have enjoyed it more but i’m not so i didn’t.
It’s a decent film though.
Aha, I was just thinking the same thing, but for a different reason, JOKS!
What I found silly, apart from the lame “jokes” in the preview, was the idea of beating the shit out of seven ex-boyfriends. I was thinking “You know what? An 18 year old would find the idea of beating up his gal pal’s ex-boyfriends to be pretty cool.”
But if there’s one thing that (relative) age has taught me, no woman is worth fighting over…because a good woman knows that violence solves nothing. I’d actually be insulted if two women fought over me (as if I was a play toy, a mindless possession). I’d pick the one who walks away.
Actually, I feel the above is way too philosophical for a thread about a video game film!
I’ve nothing against whiz-bang action flicks, but there must be something else to them. The premise of “Scott Pilgrim” ensured I stayed away, but if others like it, fine.
Joks, one of my friends enjoyed it and he’s over 50!
Mark, you’re awfully condescending for someone who has absolutely nothing to contribute. You’re pissed off about classic movies not being watched by enough people. Why don’t people watch more old movies? Probably a lot of them think that they’re boring, so they don’t give them a chance. Hey, kind of like what you’re doing right now! Maybe next time try not being a hypocrite and actually watching a movie before going into a thread to discuss it?
“Joks, one of my friends enjoyed it and he’s over 50!”
I enjoyed it too, but there is a difference between enjoying it and claiming it’s one of the best films ever made, isnt’ there? ;-)
please improve at reading and stuff. i’m quite clearly saying that scott pilgrim, moreso than any movie of which i can think, is improved by being viewed in the theatre as opposed to at home
yes, a clockwork orange is great in the theatre. but it’s also great at home. it’s better in the theatre, but so is most everything, and it’s not WAY better in the theatre because it’s still amazing at home
spvtw in theats = amazing
spvtw at home = not amazing
(i’ve never actually seen it at home but i am but it is a feeling i have based on my experiences in theatre)
to clarify once more: i’m not saying spvtw is the best movie to be seen in theatres. i’m saying it’s the movie most IMPROVED by being seen in theatres
was that not clear? i should really hope it is now
i agree with you wholeheartedly. sometimes i find it difficult to watch great films on dvd or tcm because i know at some point i’ll be able to see them in theatres. last december i watched THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER on tcm and then less than 3 weeks later it was in theatres in my city!
however one exception for me is pre-1940 horror movies in october/early november on my laptop late at night under the covers. wonderful!
I love Edgar Wright comedies. The thing about Scott Pilgrim Versus The World is that a lot of the humor narrowcasts to people who grew up playing 8-bit and 16-bit video games, and half the jokes aren’t accessible if you don’t get the game references.
For instance, when the ex boyfriends died and instantly turned into money, I found that hilarious, because I grew up playing console RPGs. If you haven’t spent a childhood obsessed with Final Fantasy games, you’re not going to find those as funny.
I’m not sure more is lost watching at home than with other action films, though.
I watched this movie in the UAE surrounded by Emiratis, and was thinking to myself, “Oh dear, I don’t know how this humor is going to translate to this crowd,” and you could definitely tell a lot was going over their heads. What gave me faith in it, however, what sort of made me think it can work for a variety of audiences, is the fact that they seemed really into it in general. Yeah, they’d miss the band, game, and movie references, but the story drew them along and the fight scenes had a few of them cheering (unfortunately, Emiratis are a rowdy lot, in the theatre. You guys complain about cellphones and talking in AMERICA ? Take a day in a theatre here…). I figured to myself, “If this movie can engage these guys, it should be good for a lot of people.”
Weelllll, maybe not. But at any rate, I applaud Wright’s ambition with it whatever anyone thinks, because he did do something special for a specialized crowd. It’s just, that crowd is more prone to download than to go to the theatre.
The great thing about Edgar Wright is that he knows how to express his love for a genre in the same breath that he’s relentlessly snarking it.
i disagree with what some of you guys are saying about needing to be from a specific sub-culture to “get” spvtw. i didn’t play any video games growing up and i still “got” most everything (granted all my friends are/were nerds so i was AROUND video games and video game people a lot)
but when you get down to it spvtw is about a boy who’s sad and incomplete who finds a girl and who is willing to do whatever it takes to make her his. it’s a tale as old as time