Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Even when Michael Cera cheats on his girlfriend, he’s adorable. But then again, how can you stay mad at those big, brown puppy-dog eyes, that awkward stammer and all the other attributes that make Cera so lovable?

Even when Cera’s newest character, 22-year-old Scott Pilgrim, makes a blunder that leads him face-to-face with a girl’s “seven evil exes,” you can’t help but root for the kid.

Even when you know that Pilgrim cheated on 17-year-old high school-er Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) to win the heart of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the girl who can’t seem to get away from her past.

Following the vision of director Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a highly stylized film that follows the footsteps of comic books and video games alike. The colorful fighting sequences might as well have come out of Soul Calibur, or any other role-play fighting video game.  At the same time, the movie includes a terrific indie and rock soundtrack, as Pilgrim is the lead bassist for a band called the Sex Bo-Omb.

Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright also did a fantastic job in adapting and condensing the screenplay from the graphic novels by Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley, especially when the movie’s filming process overlapped when the comic series was published.

From the snarky gay best friend Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) to the clingy overexcited Asian girlfriend Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), the film’s characterization was also particularly entertaining. While Scott Pilgrim may be your average, awkward 22-year-old boy that lives with his gay best friend and is absolutely infatuated with the new girl Ramona Flowers (at the expense of his current girlfriend), the outrageous plotline and lovable characters make the film so enjoyable to watch.


The Penal Colony of District 9

It is a nightmare right from Franz Kafka’s storybooks. But rather than wake up as a large crustacean insect, your metamorphosis is slower, yet much more terrifying.

Meet Multi-National United employee Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley). He can cheerfully tell you all about his new job promotion where he passes out eviction notices to the alien population called “Prawns” that inhabit the slums of District 9; however, he is currently too busy running away from the MNU, who want to auction Van De Merwe’s newfound-alien body parts to the highest bidder in biotechnological warfare.

As you can imagine, Wikus’s sunny disposition turns desperate when he finds himself transforming into one of the same alien creatures he evicts and when he finds out that his employer is out to profit from his misfortune. Sharlto Copley does such a brilliant job at conveying this, that you can’t help but feel sympathy for his character.

As absurd as it sounds to transform into a bug or into an alien, writer and director Neill Blomkamp has the same knack of storytelling as Kafka. His ghastly futuristic society is frightening, disturbing, but most of all, believable.

And as far as alien invasions go, this one would make Kafka proud.