January 17, 2010

Why did Scott Pilgrim VS. The World Fail?

"This is either America ten years ago, or Canada today."

The immortal words of one Tom Servo are my thesis statement on why I think Scott Pilgrim VS. The World failed. Now before all you Canadanites jump all down my throat, I want you to know this is a good thing. The last ten years have pretty much sucked. So I'd rather be 10 years ago right now. To think a trip across the border could make that happen is actually a comfortable thought.

This what I'm talking about. I haven't seen a Zero shirt since 1998.

You know how they sometimes say a movie is ahead of its time? Well this one is behind its time. From moment one this movie is screaming 1997. The music, the look, the dress, the attitudes. It's all 90's. This movie was released about fifteen years too late. If this movie had come out let's say Oct. 1996. It would have killed at the box office. This would have been the date movie. Instead we got "Romeo and Juliet". (Insert puking here) The music, the dress, the attitudes, this all would have resonated with my sixteen year old self. This was a movie for the Alternative/Grudge generation.

It has gingers...what's not to like?

And there lies the problem I think. People of my age, that lived through that era would love this movie, the problem was it wasn't marketed towards us. To us it looked like a teenage movie for teenagers. I mean do you think many 30 year olds saw "She's All That" in the theater? No..you know why? Cause it was a teenage movie, advertised to teenagers.

So they sell this movie to today's teen, but when they start to watch it they can't relate to this thing. These people aren't the skinny jean, funny haired Emos that they are use to seeing. No...these people don't look right...they look 90's. The music likewise isn't the bleeding heart depresso in stereo they want to hear. And there is good reason for that. Alternative darling Beck wrote most of the songs in this movie. A guy responsible for such Alt hits of the 90's, as "Loser" and "Devil's Haircut" isn't going to be churning out music that a person that was 5 when he was at his height is going to get. This movie went over their head...or rather 15 years behind their head.

An example of the video game elements used in movie.

Then there are the many video game references in the movie. This is another instants of this movie being 15 years too late. Most teenagers, that this movie was marketed too, never played games that looked like any of the games in this movie. For those of us that grew up on Mario and moved up to Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat all the elements are welcome sights of nostalgia. But this movie wasn't being aimed at us...so we didn't go to see this. The people that did see this probably cut their video game teeth on games like Halo or Grand Theft Auto. All these references are lost on them.

"People don't like me anymore? That's Unpossible."

The last, and probably the biggest reason I think Scott Pilgrim failed was it's lead...Micheal Cera. People are just Ceraed out. Cera has pulled a Jon Heder. See Jon Heder was in a nice little indie film called Napoleon Dynamite. Some loved it, some hated it. But whatever the case, the movie was a hit. And of course Hollywood thought that a love of the movie, also meant a love of its star. So they start slapping him into any half assed movie they can think of. So we end up with crappy movie after crappy movie with him in it...The Benchwarmers, School for Scoundrels, Blades of Glory...etc. Pretty soon people where sick to death of seeing Jon Heder on their movie screens and turned on him.

Now enter Micheal Cera...guess what happened. Yeah a nice little movie called Superbad. I actually think this movie is pretty overrated. But, whatever the case it was a small movie that did well and thrust Mr. Cera into the public eye and then followed the run of movies. And what happened? We got sick of seeing him. Plus the guy only has one character and I think that character is Micheal Cera. So there was a backlash about yet another movie staring this guy. A similar thing has also happened recently with Megan Fox...and I'm not broken up about that either.

And the end of the day I liked this movie. I certainly didn't think it was The Gayest Movie to Ever Gay a Gay. But I think this movie would have been served with a better lead, and maybe aiming it at people that would actually understand it.