One must applaud a filmmaker who answers the call of what is next; where is filmmaking going in this culture industry of comic/visual iconography and short-cut phone text vernaculars?
One must applaud a filmmaker who answers the call of what is next; where is filmmaking going in this culture industry of comic/visual iconography and short-cut phone text vernaculars? In this movie, the director, Edgar Wright (who brought us Shawn of the Dead) takes elements from every corner of our entertainment spectrum – comic books, video games, manga, TV sitcoms and mashes them into a disjointed love story that can be stretched as a metaphor for one’s inner journey from boyhood to man.
But after having seen nearly two years worth of trailers for this thing, is there any surprises that weren’t already sold in the two minutes packages? Sadly, no. But that doesn’t mean it is bad, it just isn’t spectacular. At times, chunks of the movie itself felt like a series of trailers strung together.
I never read O’Malley’s comic book, though I think that I got some on my shelf somewhere, only because that artwork didn’t grab me enough to invest in the story. Drawn in a rough hewned Manga-ish indie book may seem cool in the nineties, but my Manga appreciation is decidedly UNDERdeveloped
Michael Cera plays a 22 yr old Torontonian bassist who politely dates a high schooler only to have a dream about a way cooler and more age-appropriate girl, then dates her only to realize that he has to defeat her 7 evil exes in order to … be with her…. I think. That kind of got lost, I think, because there was probably a 7-stages-of-boyfriends-structure (the Jock, Musician, the Rich Airhead, etc.) in the original script but was scrapped when they cut the movie to favor the fight sequences.
Unfortunately, the fight scenes go out of their way to hide the fact that it isn’t Michael Cera kicking ass, instead his face digitally pasted on the stuntmen and lots of shots from behind which lack the visceral crunch of the movie Kick Ass.
But what is cool is how this movie plays up the fact it is a movie, as it deconstructs some basic visual conceits in some scenes and then asks for the suspension of disbelief in others. It requires a mental flexibility that is somewhat fun at first, but then loses steam when the script gets bogged down around Level 7.
And if only someone slaved over their Final Draft program as much as they did their After Effects and Maya programs then maybe the third act would not have collapse underneath the weight of it all. This might be because of two things: – It could be that with Michael on board he got script approval and beefed up his part at the expense of the female lead, Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who was sorely lacking any sort of emotional arc and used the old i-got-a-chip-in-the-neck gag to justify implausible and, frankly, wholly wrong character motivations. For those who want to chat about script revisions – meet me on FB.
So did all the animation tricks connect to a increasingly disconnected world, or distance us further from the emotional experience needed to make the story work? We are divided in this household, it could be just crappy directing, studio meddling, or that Ms Whitehead couldn’t bring it to the table. As it stands now, it seems her whole journey is based on the color of her hair. I think that there was probably more for her to do, but action sells, baby, quoth the film executives.
If there is one moral to this story is that you should only date Canadians because they are the nicest guys, but will unleash they’re bottled rage at critical moments when you need them most. Not, say, when they get double billed on their cable bill and call to BITCH THEM OUT, they sign up for the sports package instead – I’ve said too much.
—Dean Haglund, who politely wants you to buy a few chill paks.