By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: In many ways, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is the equivalent of the “Twilight Saga” for boys. It is deeply rooted in pubescent romantic fantasy, albeit this time from the male’s point of view. It is foolish and shallow about the ways of relationships, pandering to the basest instincts of the target audience. Like the “Twilight Saga,” one could argue that the lessons imparted from this film could be almost dangerous if applied to the real world, although I will again remark that it’s only an escapist fantasy. And like that blockbuster series, I genuinely enjoyed nearly everything about it except for the core love triangle. The film is visually dazzling, often stunningly imaginative and playful. It is bright and colorful and filled to the brim with delightful and intelligent supporting characters. I just couldn’t stand to spend any real time with Bella, Edward, and Jacob… I mean Scott Pilgrim, Romona Flowers, and Knives Chou.
A token amount of plot: Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is an aimless 22-year old rocker who is still heartbroken after his girlfriend ‘kicked his heart in the ass’ (broke up with him and then became a successful rock star) well over a year ago. He’s currently involved with Knives Chou (Ellen Wong), a seventeen-year old Asian Catholic schoolgirl who worships the ground he walks on while he barely gives her the time of day or any real affection. None the less, he is instantly smitten when he spots Romona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) at a party and quickly begins to date her as well. Alas, Flowers has neglected to mention that in order to date her, Scott must defeat her seven ‘evil’ exes in glorious ‘mortal kombat’. Can Scott Pilgrim defeat the exes, be honest with Knives, win the girl, and help his band make it big?
First the good news: the film is an audio/visual wonderland, as the simple narrative gives way to a potent mash up between comic book and video game worlds. Sound effects are spelled out onscreen, the film is edited together like a ‘cut scene’ from an 80s video game, and the action scenes are bursting with larger than life moments from any given video game over the last thirty years (defeated foes explode into a pile of gold coins). The film is filled with colorful dialogue and quirky supporting characters. Kieren Culkin has a star-making turn as Scott’s [...]
Tag Archives: Brandon Routh
By Scott Mendelson
By Todd Gilchrist
hollywoodnews.com: Although they can often be tedious, sometimes roundtable interviews can be great simply because of who you’re talking to. Others become memorable for what the people you’re talking to actually say. And still others end up working out because of who you are doing them with. At the recent junket for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, I enjoyed a remarkable afternoon of great conversations with great people while sharing the table with some great journalists.
In particular, Chud.com’s Devin Faraci is not just a good friend or junket wingman, he’s a great interviewer – sharp as a tack, funny, insightful, and gets into territory that most roundtables don’t even flirt with. And thanks to a comparatively modest number of questions asked by other reporters in our room, Devin and I dove into chats with different members of the cast and crew, including Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman, who provided plenty of real information about Scott Pilgrim, and yet they managed to be incredibly entertaining at the same time.
[Note: Although "Hollywood News" is used to distinguish questions from answers in the text below, our journalist was just one of many reporters asking questions of the filmmakers.]
Hollywood News: How likeable is Scott? Because the thing that’s really effective about the movie is not just that he’s trying to win Ramona’s love, but that he learns to take responsibility for himself. And especially early in the movie he makes some decisions that aren’t particularly sympathetic.
Michael Cera: I agree. It’s interesting – watching the movie I realized that, yeah, he’s doing some really selfish things. But for some reason, I don’t know, maybe you feel sympathetic because he’s being constantly attacked (laughs). That kind of makes you feel sorry for him. But yeah, he doesn’t really consider Knives in the beginning when he breaks up with her. She’s just kind of written off and he moves on, so he’s an idiot. He just doesn’t think of other people, but he’s kind of a doofus, you know. And by the end he realizes a very simple truth that you need to care about people’s feeling and the people around you. You need to be responsible for your actions, and yeah – that’s sort of his growth in the film, I guess.
Hollywood News: As an actor do you yourself have to sort of be oblivious in those scenes, or do you have [...]
HollywoodNews.com: Dapper leading man Jon Hamm might be putting on the red and blue superhero tights.
Translation: The “Mad Men” star is in serious contention to play Superman in Christopher Nolan’s reboot of the feature comic book franchise.
Digital Spy uncovered the article at the website ThinkMcFlyThink.
The star of 2006’s “Superman Returns,” Brandon Routh, will not reprise his role as the Man of Steel. Routh continues to enjoy film work, most recently in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.”
Hamm previously told MTV earlier this year he had concerns about the role: “It’s a tricky road to go down with some of those heroes, because they’re not flawed…Superman is Superman – he’s invincible, so where’s the drama?”
“Batman Begins” scribe David Goyer has penned the script for the untitled Superman project, due out at the multiplex in December 2012.
Photo Credit: Splash News
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By Anthony D’Alessandro
HollywoodNews.com: Quite quickly over the last seven years, Michael Cera has become the iconic millennial’s straight man, and to his strength, is continually surrounded by acerbic, off-kilter fools onscreen. With an angelic face, Cera’s hysterical alter egos puff their lines with circumspect and struggle to keep up with life’s crazy tide. Often times, Cera archetypes must go out of their way to get the girl of their dreams, i.e. enduring work at a beachside frozen banana stand (Fox’s blessed sitcom series “Arrested Development), hoarding beer into the wrong party (“Superbad”) and transforming into an evil, hip French personality (This year’s underrated “Youth in Revolt”).
In director Edgar Wright’s charming feature adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” Cera, as the ad spots exclaim, must defeat the seven evil ex-boyfriends of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the girl whose hand he so desires.
Like Charles Grodin, Bill Murray, Fred Willard and Ray Romano, Cera can satirically knock at the everyman without knocking him completely down. Cera’s performances are infectious and well beyond his twentysomething years in timing and nuance. Many burgeoning actors at his age continue to search for their sense of character, or vie to exhibit multiple emotional levels; but Cera is completely in tune to his undertone strengths and he is the grease which spins the comedic wheels in “Scott Pilgrim.”
In the Cera canon, Scott is an evolution from the high school squares the actor has portrayed. Pilgrim, a slacker and bass guitarist for the wannabe Toronto apartment grunge band Sex-Bob-Omb, doesn’t have to worry about getting girls; he’s broken plenty of hearts which is a decent score considering Envy Adams (Brie Larson), his ex-girlfriend and established glam rocker, “kicked his heart in the ass.” As one character calls Scott, he’s “a total lady killer and wannabe jerky jerk.”
Scott takes gleeful solace in Knives Chau (vivacious newcomer Ellen Wong), a Catholic high schooler much younger than him. The two are like peas in a pod, playing ninja videogames in perfect choreographed unison. Scott is an impressionable force on Knives, and in return she becomes the band’s number one groupie. But Knives, given her innocence, is an easy fetch for Scott.
Scott lives his wrinkled life with his gay, suave roommate Wallace Wells (a wonderfully blunt Kieran Culkin), a dude [...]
BY FRED TOPEL
MILD SPOILER ALERT
Last week’s Chuck ended with a major reveal for both viewers and the character of Agent Shaw (Brandon Routh). Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) was the agent who killed Shaw’s wife, on her very final test for becoming a spy. Shaw drove Sarah off on a “mission” that seems rather sketchy, so we’re worried about her safety. Series co-creator Chris Fedak only stokes the fires of our concern.
“Let me put it this way,” Fedak said in an interview at Wondercon in San Francisco. “Sarah will be alive at the beginning of the episode, but there’s a good chance she might not be alive at the end. Really, this episode is an amazing – I’m going to use this term we overuse on the show – game changing episode of Chuck. Everything is on the table. It is huge. Momentous things are about to happen on the show.”
Wow, is he really going to consider offing a leading character? Even if she did assassinate her current lover’s wife, there’s probably a perfectly good explanation for it. “I think what we find in the world of spies is there’s not always a perfectly good tied up in a little bow reason for everything,” Fedak continued. “The most important thing is she found herself in that position so many years ago not knowing what she was about to do and it happened. There are not always answers for everything, but they will be discussed.”
Maybe some of the fans want Sarah to just die already. They’ve been watching her “will they/won’t they” romance with Chuck (Zachary Levi) drag on for three years. Levi assures us that it will pay off this year.
“Everyone should know that in the broad strokes of how everything comes together and the things that I think make up the show and that people love about the show, the writers do too,” Levi said. “I don’t think that they want to do anything that the masses wouldn’t want them to do. They’re trying to make it as compelling as possible along the way. If Chuck and Sarah just got together at the beginning of the third season, I think you’d have nowhere to go. One could make the argument, it’s strung out for two seasons, isn’t that the time to do it? You’ve got to build to these places but the end result is one that I think is going [...]
What’s in store for Superman?
On Wednesday. Latino Review posted the first news about a possible next installment in the long-running Superman film series. Specifically, they reported that Blade, Batman Begins and Dark Knight scribe David Goyer was hired to write a follow-up to director Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, entitled Man of Steel. According to writer Kellvin Chavez, the film will not directly follow Singer’s film, but adopt the storyline and mythology of author John Byrne’s stint on the comic book series. Further, it will not be directed by Singer, nor will it feature actor Brandon Routh.
In the late afternoon, IGN Movies confirmed the story, indicating that Goyer wasn’t alone on the project: Jonah Nolan, his co-screenwriter on The Dark Knight, is also working on the Man of Steel. Meanwhile, the site further confirmed that Christopher Nolan, whom it was announced was shepherding Superman back to the screen at the behest of distributor Warner Brothers, would indeed be executive producing the film, but was not going to be directing it, at least not as of right now.
Superman is a franchise that has always been plagued with conflicting plans, canceled ideas, and other issues, even if it features one of the all-time best comic book movies (the original Superman), and certainly one of the most underrated (Superman Returns). Cop Out director Kevin Smith was tapped to put together a franchise reboot in the late 1990s for director Tim Burton and actor Nicholas Cage, and Singer’s efforts of Superman Returns were intended to be the first part of a new trilogy.
Mixed critical reception, not to mention lackluster box office receipts and no doubt creative differences behind the scenes jeopardized the viability of these various iterations of the franchise. But what’s interesting is that longtime distributor Warner Brothers clearly recognizes the value of what is indisputably one of the most well-known and beloved superheroes of all time, all around the world, which is why the studio continues to try and find new ways to breathe life into the character and the series.
Currently it appears as if Goyer and Nolan are in the process of giving Superman another shot at big-screen success, although given the changes and reimaginings of the people involved over the years, their commitment has yet to be officially confirmed. Indeed, until filming of their version is underway, this version seems no more likely than any of the other ones. But like [...]