Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Scott Pilgrim vs The World; arguably a hugely underrated movie and a significant victim of the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Yes, it is quirky and written entirely off of a video game screenplay, but it is a cinematic masterpiece, that no one else has even dared to copy (seriously, Wreck It Ralph doesn’t hold a candle against this film). Also, before you read the summary below, take note of the cast members; this movie has a huge cast that deserves more credit than they got!
Meet Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), a 22 year old bassist who has just begun dating a high schooler named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). He lives in Toronto, Canada, with his gay roomate Wallace (Kiernan Culkin), his sister Stacey (Anna Kendrick), his bandmates Stephen (Mark Webber), Kim (Alison Pill), and Young Neil (Johnny Simmons), and his friends Julie Powers (Aubrey Plaza) and Comeau (Nelson Franklin). Despite being in a relationship with Knives, and still recovering from a nasty breakup with his ex Envy Adams (Brie Larson), Scott develops a crush on Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead); an Amazon delivery girl who often rollerblades through Scott’s dreams. While dealing with his affair with Ramona and relationship with Knives, Scott’s band “Sex Bob-Omb” enters a band competition. At their first performance, the band’s set is interrupted by Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha), who claims he is one of Ramona’s Seven Evil Exes, and has come to fight Scott. After fighting Matthew, it is revealed that, unless Scott defeats all of Ramona’s Seven Evil Exes (Chris Evans, Mae Whitman, Brandon Routh, Shôta Saitô, Keita Saitou, and Jason Schwartzman) he is not allowed to be with her.
Yes, the movie is nerdy and filled with video game culture, but that does not deter from the incredibly unique plot the movie is based on (yes, it was originally a graphic novel). Unlike other book adaptations, the movie really does stick to the plot of the book, down to incredibly small details drawn in the book. The movie is also cinematographically brilliant. The overall aesthetic perfectly matches that of an old fashioned video game, and keeps the movie’s tone light hearted and somewhat comedic. This comedic undertone is also supported by a plethora of amazing one liners in the script (my personal favorite: “Scott, if your life had a face, I would punch it”).
Yet, one cannot overlook the incredible soundtrack created for the film. All the actors who performed in the film had to actually learn how to play their instruments. The loud, clashing rock and roll music gives an edgy flavour to the film, and flows well with the angsty personas of the band members. The soundtrack, available on Spotify, also features music from famous artists such as Beck, Metric, The Rolling Stones, etcetera.
So, player one, are you ready to watch? Also, don’t forget, bread makes you fat.
Television Show: The Politician
Possibly one of the hottest new shows of the Fall Netflix season, Ryan Murphy’s The Politician gives a satirical, dark comedy twist to high school politics. Not only is the aesthetic beautiful, the plot line is creative and witty, with twists and turns that no one can see coming. Truly, it is a beacon of Murphy’s work, as it heavily resonates with Scream Queens and Glee – two of his former television series.
In the series, Payton Hobart (Ben Platt), from Santa Barbara, California, is a wealthy student who has wanted to be the President of the United States since he was seven years old. But first he had to get through the most dangerous political hurdle of all: Saint Sebastian High School. In order to be the President of the Student Body, study at Harvard and continue on his path to extraordinary success, Payton has to outsmart his ruthless classmates without sacrificing his moral and carefully crafted image. The show stars Lucy Boynton as Payton’s competition Astrid, Zoey Deutch and Jessica Lange as his running partner Infinity Jackson and her mother, Julia Schlaepfer as his girlfriend Alice Charles, David Corenswet as his secret lover River Barkley, Laura Dreyfuss and Theo Germain as his campaign advisers McAfee Westbrook and James Sullivan, and Gwenyth Paltrow as his sexually confused mother Georgina Hobart.
Not only are the aesthetic and design choices of the show beautiful and unique, the plot line offers a fresh new tone, separating it from traditional, high school television series. As evident from the trailer alone, this series takes many dark turns, that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Plus, the show resonates with the 2019 political climate, emphasizing through dramatization a plethora of issues and conflicts. This all, of course, is being acted out by a very young and well known cast, who all brilliantly portray their characters. Seriously, despite the movie being amazing, Lucy Boynton’s performance as Astrid goes beyond the range of character she demonstrated in Bohemian Rhapsody. Regardless of this series not being your traditional, upbeat high school series, it does discuss a variety of struggles faced by high schoolers, especially the constant struggle of older generations undermining the abilities of younger generations. Truly, this coming of age story innovatively captivates the struggles of the new generation and the maturation of children who cannot wait to grow up.
Are you registered? I hope you are. This is one election you won’t want to miss.