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What I propose with this list is to further enhance the power of great american achievements from those three decades that could easily be up there with the other 'classics' and should be mentioned when such a question is asked.
(quick note: this list will always be under construction since there is several delights I am yet to find from the best period in American film's history)
Drive, an operatic noir!
Noir is, by definition, a tragedy. It's hard to orchestrate a tale about fate and doomed and trapped people and not give it the proper dignified operatic ending. Drive is a prime example of what filmmaking is and how to extract the full potential of the visual elements. The biggest tour de force in this cryptic piece comes, precisely, from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. The colorblind filmmaker gives Drive a very peculiar pace, one that manipulates the audience with such irony and contempt, emulating, in that sense, his overall vision of disenchantment with life's sarcasm. From the magnificently silent opening sequence the audience immediately knows that the main character is trapped, doomed in his past, his present and, inevitably (like any noir), his future. And from then on Winding Refn builds, shot after shot, the tension to uncontrollable dimensions. And when the crisp, pristine and sustained imagery and storytelling explodes, it's brutal... diabolically painful. The bright mundane becomes the surreal darkness of a filthy Los Angeles paradoxically trapped in its own wideness. There's no escape, no turning back but Refn goes even further and makes the experience more painful, more real by giving Gosling opportunities. It's definitely not by chance that the filmmaker so often framed 'EXIT' signs towards Gosling's back and far, far away from his rational thought. And a part from some more contemporary choices, Drive is shot like a classic film noir that further enhances Gosling's entrapment and all the suspenseful and gritty storytelling that follows: low angles to close ceilings, diagonal lines, triangular shapes, use of shadows, inventive camera angles, experimental shots, fluid storytelling, use of eye-line and small body movements to enhance suspense (among several other elements).
Nonetheless, what really impresses is Refn's sensibility in telling the story. Not only it is incredibly shot and skillfully put on screen by Newton Thomas Siegel (astounding cinematography), but when it comes to the bare essentials, it's impossible to conclude that the filmmaker didn't make every single possible right decision, both during shooting but also in the editing room. Those long dissolves and cross-cuttings tell more about the story that the already inexistent dialog ever would. I particularly would like to highlight a phone 'conversation' between Gosling and Carey Muligan that starts with the 'Driver' and his first few words on the left of the frame and then slowly dissolves to Mulligan on camera right attentively listening and emotionally affected while Gosling's face slowly disappears on camera left. In a very simple process, Refn puts us in touch with two people, a part from each other, people that both know their fates and there, in that moment, accept it. A particularly fantastic example of the second technic would be the final confrontation which boosts every aspect of the classic approach to storytelling in noir making it all the more effective. There are no dull or careless shots. Every piece of film fills a purpose and it's amazing to see such bravery in directing the actors by pushing them to retain their words and emotions until they reach a total state of rawness that pops from the screen as an uncomfortable glance of brilliance. In that aspect, two things can be said form Gosling's performance: 1) his eyes tell the entire story. We don't need to know his past because we can already feel it. 2) it s the characters around him that make the audience connect with his personality and therefore a change from the usual formula of having actions that make us entwined with his life.
Still regarding Refn's over-talked stylized violence I'd like to point out the intelligence in which he uses it and how poetic and operatic it becomes towards the end. Yes, it is incredibly damaging to the eyesight but also impossible to not look at. It establishes mood and intention and once it starts (quite softly) we can only expect the continuation increasing in occasions and in intensity. Nonetheless, it doesn't become a roaring rampage of mindless revenger. Refn never loses control and maintains the pace established, storytelling-wise. But the violence grows, reaches its peak and then, all of a sudden, when you'd expect a burst of blood, it carefully decreases in intensity to the point of sheer portraits of what the violence might be (i.e. final confrontation), paying, right there and then, the ultimate respect to the classic film noir (Fritz Lang comes to mind).
Drive is, in it's final instance, a strike of hope in current Hollywood: a reasonably mainstream movie that actually excels (cum laude intended) the regular standards. And in a sense of personal expectations, this may very well be a reminiscence of when Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder and so many others first came to America in the late '20s, early '30s and changed the industry with their 'mad', pessimistic and ironic European vision. And most of them embraced the truest genre (or sub-genre as Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader and others put it) in the several branches of filmmaking: noir, the only genre that actually understands the human being, the human mind and the human deepest and rooted desires and motivations.
Drive feels like the start to something else, something yet undefined but something promising.
(Read Full Review: http://cinemaismylife-fifeco.blogspot.com/2011/09/drive-operatic- noir.html)
Source Code (2011)
If Hitchcock directed a sci-fi...
"In computer science, source code is text written in a computer programming language. Such a language is specially designed to facilitate the work of computer programmers, who specify the actions to be performed by a computer mostly by writing source code, which can then be automatically translated to binary machine code that the computer can directly read and execute." For those who don't know the meaning of Duncan Jones' title, the definition written above will help clarify some more mysterious parts of the movie, but ultimately it will prove that the filmmakers look at the human being as a creature that doesn't receive the credit it deserves. The parallel between man and machine is, yet again, established by David Bowie's son.
Source Code is the science fiction suspense thriller that Alfred Hitchcock never directed. Much more than a mere and conventional whodunit, Source Code lingers on the possibilities only reachable by the realm of the mind, which are intelligently explored with incredible tension and intrigue. For the lack of better words, I would say that this project represents the best sci-fi film since Moon, incidentally, another Duncan Jones picture, a director that is bringing the "true" science fiction back. That fact alone establishes the filmmaker as a must see director, for his fiction is intelligent, thought-provoking, unpredictable and extremely well crafted. Somehow wrongly marketed and suffering from terrible advertising, Source Code probably won't get the recognition that deserves and might be mistaken by an "early blockbuster". But it isn't. It never gets repetitive or boring; it never ceases to grab its audiences, if for no other reason, for the human aspect. It's true that the love story isn't the most genius creation but it serves a bigger and much more interesting purpose. It allows the audience to connect with its characters and, therefore, pay more attention to their outcome what inevitably leads to the curiosity in understating what "this" is all about.
The Hitchcockian elements of suspense are extremely well put, whether if they come from the script or from Duncan's talented camera work. Even the music, superbly composed by Chris Bacon resembles North by Northwest or The Man Who Knew Too Much. Furthermore, as in Moon, the filmmaker poses interesting and challenging questions, this time regarding the world of alternative reality as well as the power of the mind. One might think for a second and that's all it takes to start wondering about the littleness of the human knowledge and the infinite variations of matter that are abundant in the universe. Source Code leaves more question marks than the ones initially proposed but what needed to be clarified was given the proper screen time to eliminate any possible plot holes. Ben Ripley's script, seemingly based on Quantum Leep, doesn't over-concentrate on self-amazement for the clearly interesting premise but also takes a little bit of time to develop the characters. If on the one hand, they aren't very strong ones, the actors, namely Jake Gyllenhal, manage to give a certain strength that is wonderfully complemented by the previously mentioned camera-work. In that aspect I particularly appreciated the use of mirrors and other reflections to inflict and enhance the duality of the characters.
Source Code isn't, obviously enough, a sci-fi masterpiece but it possesses all the right elements to originate a cult following clan and the truth is that if more movies like this were made, Hollywood would certainly be a much more respected industry.
True Grit (2010)
Hunger for a great adventure
True Grit does not represent the best work done by the Coen brothers but it proves essentially two things:
1) Genre never dies, it gets reinvented. 2) The Coens are one of the few masters of versatility left.
With regards to the first point, many have tried to bring back the western (quite possibly one of the best attempts was Mangold's 3:10 to Yuma), most of them failing in their intents. The Coens decided that the genre wasn't dead and they show how it can be improved with True Grit, most likely the best contemporary western since Eastwood's Unforgiven. Its quality resides not only on the staggering performances but mostly on the richly developed and extremely witty dialogue (one of the brother's trademarks). The Coens get themselves away from their typical black humor and enter a different but also rewarding field, more concerned with the characters rather than the situations. One might say that it works perfectly even considering the slow pacing and the carefully developed plot. The second points gains strength with the success, not only of True Grit but all the others Coens projects (expect, I would say, for Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty they seem to have not yet mastered the screwball comedy). Their filmography speaks for themselves, whether we choose a gangster movie, a film noir or a "dude" comedy. Despite including some far-fetched events that require quite a stretch in terms of imagination, True Grit's plot works, mainly because of the way all characters are introduced and exploited. There isn't a strong sense of moral but there is, however, the heart and the hunger for a great adventure. It is a rewarding piece that appeals to a large audience. The Coens managed to reduce the violence to a minimum amount and it has proved to be a smart tactic, especially when we are so close to the Academy Awards.
The Town (2010)
Ben Affleck's directorial debut was much more than a mere and rare stroke of luck
Two main conclusions can be withdrawn from the gripping, poignant and unexpected The Town: one, Ben Affleck's directorial debut was much more than a mere and rare stroke of luck. In fact, his ability to shoot Boston in a crude, humane and extremely intense way puts him on the list of the most promising directors of the decade; two, it seems that the fresh perspective provided by working behind the cameras gave him a whole new identity as an actor. Affleck's Douglas MacRay is easily one of his finest and most recommendable achievements.
Based on Chuck Hogan's "Prince of Thieves", The Town isn't a particularly inspired or groundbreaking idea. A longtime thief tries to abandon the family business as his feelings for a bank manager grow while he is being pursued by a tireless and ruthless FBI agent. If we were to judge this film by its synopsis, Michael Mann's Heat would come to mind: "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner". The problem would be easily solved and the picture wouldn't be as significant as in fact is. However, its straightforward and quite praiseworthy script allows Affleck to navigate through familiar ground and carefully coordinate the events in order to shape a convincing chain reaction about the unpredictability of human behavior. In spite of not being a complex odyssey about the people of the Charleston projects and the reasons why they chose the wrong side of the law, The Town provides a fruitful insight about the motivations of grown men deprived from their childhood. Intelligently appealing to the dramatic point of view of the characters instead of cooking a feast of blood and explosions, Affleck, Craig and Stockard's screenplay manages to keep the audiences immersed in the action. There is a quite surprising balance between the galvanizing action sequences and the emotional and heartwarming events. And none of this would be possible if it wasn't for the excellent work of the acting ensemble. It was fairly exciting to watch John "Don Draper" Hamm in an unfamiliar territory and giving a compelling and immaculate performance as well as it was satisfying to confirm Blake Lively's potential with her Marisa Tomei kind of role. Nonetheless, Jeremy Renner steals the show with his nerve-wracking, electrifying and volatile personality. After his tour de force in Katryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, the undeniably talented Renner becomes the ultimate bad guy with a bad attitude.
If it wasn't for Affleck's shameless desire to turn this film in something more 'artsy' (the slow motion and the black and white flashback are utterly unnecessary), The Town could be a truly remarkable picture. However, it still is an exhilarating 70s revival bringing to mind Friedkin's classic The French Connection. There are two or three scenes for the books, namely the car chase sequence or the Michael Mann homage close to the curtain fall. All in all The Town provides great entertainment but also the conscience that action movies can be a powerful tool for reflection. A must see.
Black Swan (2010)
Aronofsky's Swan Song
Darren Aronofsky managed to crush my skepticism. Now I see clearly. I can again believe in perfection. Black Swan is the single greatest achievement of the American industry in the past decade. He not only created a contemporary fable about the depthness inherent to the human desire for power, perfection and social acceptance, but he also painted this incredibly riveting allegory of today's rotten society. The screenplay was based on an original idea by Andrés Heinz (which he helped to write) but the story wouldn't have the same impact if Aronofsky wasn't the grandioso filmmaker he is. The visual power of this film is so strong that led me to an utter discomfort that ran for the entire duration of the movie. Aronofsky's composition is capable of expressing what words could never tell in such a clear and crisped manner. It provides a viewing that transcends the very nature of the cinematic experience. Bold words, yes, but when I look at the practical effects of this particular style, it is impossible to be indifferent to such a malicious composition. I wanted to leave the theatre. I felt suffocated, bewildered, overwhelmed by the events and the way they were shot but, at the same time, I couldn't let go of the screen. It was too enchanting, too magical to look away for just one second. Even the crudeness and the brutality of certain scenes felt beautiful and spellbinding. It's truly remarkable how Aronofsky managed to make each frame important and significant. Overall, Black Swan is just an immaculate example of what screen balance should be. And once again, Clint Mansell proved that he is in the same page as Aronofsky's creativity since his music is so astonishing that helps to enhance every and each one of the moments of this ravishing fairy tale. There's a perfect sense of timing, pace and respect. It's beautifully depressing, inevitably deep and ultimately haunting.
And then there's a little girl called Natalie Portman that once again showed the world of cinema how far she can go and how stunning are her abilities. The creation of Nina is simply amazing. Portman puts together every single little detail and makes her character grow and grow until she bursts into a mad, compelling and mind blowing tour de force. We can actually see and understand her inner and constant struggle, her passion, her desire to explode. And suddenly, she's not a little girl anymore. And suddenly, silence overwhelms you and you feel the perfection. Another pleasant surprise came from Winona Ryder's performance. There are two or three moments where she literally steals the show from Portman. Again, we can feel her agony and sorrow. It's a clear sign of sheer brilliance.
Many things are being said about Black Swan. They touch upon subjects like its influences (All About Eve, The Red Shoes or Repulsion come to mind), how over the top it is and how the melodrama blends with the latent psychological horror. However, it seems that its true core is being forgotten. This is the proof that mad visions can come to life to overwhelms us. This is the moment when Aronofsky reaches for the sky and grabs it with such intensity. This visceral and phantasmagoric experience will generate a lot of different reactions. Love it or hate it. You won't have any other choice. Aronofsky demands that. And even if you hate it, remember, you felt something. That is one of the main purposes of cinema: to arouse feelings and emotions, to be memorable. From the brilliant opening scene until the very last breath, the film has a life of its own that will shock you and disgust you. What more can a film lover ask from a movie? I can assure that no one will be indifferent to this tale as old as the duality of the human existence. And I can state without a single hint of doubt in my speech: Black Swan is Darren Aronofsky's swan song. Truly and utterly remarkable! "I was perfect "
127 Hours (2010)
You may be dying but the world moves on
You may be dying but the world moves on. That is the naked truth about our existence and the main allegory written in the stimulating visual experience provided by Danny Boyle in his latest film. 127 Hours is a wonderful metaphor for solitude and for the importance of what life means at an individual level. It enhances the indescribable experience of having a family, friends and love, but most of all cherishes the meaning of human contact. Solitude is perceived as being bearable and a lot of times needed but seldom is viewed as being fulfilling. Only when the epiphany pops into our minds, we realize what we have been missing. It is a common and frustrating fact. Nonetheless, Danny Bolyle's achievement allows a new and fresh take on this theme. The director shows the audiences that life happens when they least expect. And truth be told, there is a bright place for those who abandon their egotistical "independence" and start sharing the events that life provides.
Telling a story about a man who is stuck in the same place for such an extensive period of time is definitely not easy. Danny Boyle described the picture as "an action movie in which the hero doesn't move" and he certainly took the challenge. With this in mind, two main conclusions can be withdrawn from Boyle's work: 1) He was able to maintain the action dynamic and the viewers engaged through a series of devices that allow them to be interested not only on the hero's present condition but also in his past and, quite possibly, his future. The mind behind Trainspotting entered the psyche of his new hero and gave it a shape and a texture that transformed the general perception. The empathy towards the character grew and from that moment on the audience grabbed the hook. He was able to dissect James Franco's character thoughts and desires in a moment of extreme physical and psychological agony.
2) It was extremely hard to be inventive in such scenario and some techniques proved to be tiresome. In certain moments during the movie, Danny Boyle seemed to be trying to hard when having a simpler approach looked like to be more successful. He stylized the action in a way that doesn't always work even considering that he established his filmmaking style from the very beginning.
With regards to the main performer, it is only fair to praise James Franco's enactment. It is a truly astonishing tour-de-force that will probably be mentioned during the Oscar nominations. He's not only charming and witty but his personality fills the screen with such a great talent. It is very gratifying to observe his evolution according to the character's state of mind.
127 Hours is a quite remarkable achievement. There's the ability to pick up a true straightforward story about survival and courage and enhance it through a sheer composition of good sense without falling on the old American cliché. This story does not try to be epic or monumental. It tries to be honest and true. And we, as viewers, don't feel cheated or slapped across the face, and that is really all we could ask for.
Hereafter fails to prove a deeper point!
Apart from Paul Thomas Anderson I would state that Clint Eastwood is the greatest American storyteller of today's cinema. His movies are often compelling, emotional and extremely powerful. They manage to gather these captivating attributes because Eastwood dissects people's repressed feelings. He has proved to be a great analyst of people's thoughts and their minimal, almost imperceptible, reactions to a certain and very specific environment. That makes him a master of crude humane and unbearably painful humane stories. Changeling, Mystic River or Letters from Iwo Jima are just a few examples of his ability to create both shocking and fulfilling works of art. Eastwood is more interested in stories rather than politics, demographics or box office and that might be the main reason that makes him a true icon when it comes to the seventh art.
That said it was only natural to have high expectations regarding Hereafter, especially considering the quite polemic theme that involves the narrative. This could be the perfect occasion to make a truly significant and interesting film about afterlife. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Instead we have a presumptuous, often uninteresting take on something vague, cliché and, ultimately, beat subject. Despite the startling and promising beginning (if we manage to ignore the poor computer generated imagery) the films grows towards the wrong direction pointing the audience in the more than expected direction. It rarely surprises and when it does we can hardly say that it was the best choice. Talking about something unfamiliar can be a challenge but also an open gateway to experiment and to express a very personal and subjective opinion. Peter Morgan, the screenwriter who did wonders with Frost/Nixon or The Queen, knows how to produce gripping dialogue and create emotional tension between the characters but in Hereafter he fails to prove a deeper point and that can easily be proved by his terrible, almost unthinkable, ending. It wasn't easy to cross the paths of three so distinct characters living in a permanent conflict after a determinate event. Nonetheless, the nauseating love experience could easily be forfeited if the typical Hollywood happy ending wasn't required. The truth is that we can see a fascinating line of thought during the whole movie but we can never really grab it making Clint Eastwood's direction go to waste. If on the one hand, this is not his best and most inspired work, it is also true that is he who can keep the viewer immersed in the action. The director's talent to make a story work becomes evident once again as well as his ability to direct actors. Despite brief, Bryce Dallas Howard portrait of a young, insecure and desperately anxious to find love character becomes a cinematic delight. Matt Damon, although not as efficient as in Invictus, is able to trespass his raw emotions, both physically and psychologically. It's not an explosive performance but extremely competent. His discreet and deep look make him fragile in the narrative and consequently stronger in the movie.
It is a known fact that nobody can be absolutely sure about what happens after we die (if anything) and Hereafter won't clarify you on the matter. At least, it had the intelligence not to be one of those unnecessary horror/thrillers that aspire to be manipulative and engaging (White Noise comes to mind). And that is Hereafter's main advantage and what makes him worth the price of the movie ticket. It will hardly be the powerful cinematic experience that we would expect from Clint Eastwood but, if for no other reason, tries to appeal to a collective imagination about a subject that can be right around the corner.
"It's not a gift. It's a curse"
Rabbit Hole (2010)
The power of feeling!
John Cameron Mitchell's piece is the most simple film of the year, yet one of the best. Please do not confuse simple with simplistic. It's a rather complex turmoil of emotions that come together to provide an intense account of a couple coping with their son's death. However it is done in such a clean and polished manner that one might wonder if the secret of success lies on the "simple" process of feeling the imagery and capturing the visual style. It's extremely effective and gives room to the actors do what they do best. Rabbit Hole is not about the loss, but how to cope with it and how hard and emotionally heavy it can be. Through day-to-day actions people try to forget, believing that the solution lies on the non-existence, but the truth is that facing reality is much more efficient. Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart prove that point by engaging the audiences in the dimension of their loss through significant and remarkable character development. This is to say that their performances are astounding, but much more important than that they don't feel like performances: they feel real. Though it may be hard to avoid getting into the field of sentimentalism, both actors manage to escape the melodrama and focus on what is real: going to work every day, cleaning the house, going to group therapy, baking, playing squash, reading
In the process there is an intrinsic desire to confront the situation, but it's too hard. It becomes physically painful and intellectually devastating. Men and women are different to the extent of physical appearance since when it boils down to the bare essential, the human being just wants one thing: to cope with their existence. It's not about sex, procreating, loving
it's accepting that people die.
Through a rather simple and undesirable situation, John Cameron Mitchell (who also suffered a loss that would become a part of his childhood) manages to express himself visually in such a liberating way that makes the dark humor all the more interesting. It is not by chance that the viewers are forced to face nature so many times. The characters are small compared to their environment; they wonder everyday what it's like to be a part of that almost intangible world of the absence of thought, just living. In fact, nature provides the perfect antagonist to our characters. They don't blame the kid that killed their son, but the circumstances, circumstances bigger than God, than the dimension of nature and the peacefulness that surrounds it. Rabbit Hole gains strength through the little pieces, the little moments of bondage and the little moments when people actually try to understand, when they stop to feel and let go of their anger and frustration. It's not easy to write a movie like this and it certainly isn't easy to direct it or act in it. But all the pieces come together to offer an amazing film. It's incredibly rewarding to see the fight against irony and the fight against the self while the cycle is reaching its final steps. Haunting!
"Old man, my ass!"
Considering the exponential growth in the number of movies based on comics to premiere in theatres worldwide in the last three years, it was just a matter of time before Warren Ellis's award winning graphic novel (about a retired hit man struggling to find the truth behind the real reasons the CIA is after him) hit the big screens. Those who are familiar with the Ellis's writing and Cully Hammer's drawings know that the content can be quite brutal so it would be perfectly normal to expect a "new" Kick-Ass. However, Paramount had other plans and decided to reduce the core violence to two or three scenes a little bit more intense but accessible to all teenagers. The outcome is, shall we say, ambiguous.
Red is one of those movies that simply cannot be taken too seriously. Trying to make him something more than just entertainment would be a huge mistake that certainly would ruin the whole cinematic experience. It can be extremely funny and thrilling but the sum of all parts doesn't add up to a great film. John and Erich Hober's script cannot dodge some common stereotypes in this kind of action/comedy flick originating some boring and insipid scenes. Over the top explosions, green screen shots and slow motion are just some examples of this tiresome new way of making movies that base important decisions on poor judgment (in a desperate attempt to captivate more spectators) instead of intelligently thought shots. Nonetheless, Red is an undeniable charming movie bringing the Coen's filmography to mind a few times, mainly through its dark humor and crazy situations. Of course it never reaches the magnificence of their movies (most of them anyway) but then again, it never really tries. Red has a strong identity and tries to maintain it during 111 minutes. And if anyone is responsible for that consistency, that person is John Malkovich who manages to steal the show in each screen appearance with is obsessive and paranoid insanely amusing character. Helen Mirren rivals Malkovich as Red's best character. It is impossible to neglect her royal pose as she his wiping bad guys from the face of the earth. Bruce Willis plays his typical The Whole Ten Yards part and can be pretty competent although it would be a pleasant surprise to see him work his character a little bit more, namely by adding some vitality to this kind of personality. Morgan Freeman, on the other hand, wasn't very successful or relevant. His importance to the world of cinema demanded more than just being lost on set.
Aside from the performances, the surprising cinematography and the appropriate soundtrack, Red really isn't a relevant picture in todays' cinema. However, it can be highly entertaining. If the viewer's main purpose is to relax and laugh for two hours, then this is the movie to see.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
The most original and fresh movie of the decade!
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is quite possibly the most original and fresh movie of the decade. Even considering the boldness and extent of this statement, Edgar Wright's unique take on this roller-coaster of a journey makes its' entire duration (almost two hours) an undeniable cinematic pleasure. The film's ability to play with stereotypes revolving around pop culture and use them in an unexplainable crazy way gives Scott Pilgrim an awesomeness only believable through the sheer brilliance of the viewing. It is not a perfect movie and hardly could be called a masterpiece. Nonetheless it is "A" experience
and one of the most significant for that matter. Visually electrifying, masterfully edited and pleasuring engaging, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, despite the love-hate relationship that might arouse with some spectators, is the perfect blend of music, video games and parody in a frivolous yet uncomfortably contemporary society. And that is exactly the spot where Scott Pilgrim gives the correct answer to the million dollar question. It is not afraid of using the power of the seventh art as an experiment and pointing the finger at today's youth and its lack of culture and, in a sense, self-respect for the true meaning of moral and ethical values. In other words, there is an insatiable need for living this fantasy world, almost as if this so called "mature youth" were in the constant effect of drugs. Wright's film is not afraid of exposing it as a complete and utterly alternate and futile universe with no practical benefits whatsoever.
Maybe this is just an opinion that over rationalizes the true intent of the picture (which in its core is to pay tribute to Bryan Lee O'Malley's great graphic novel and, of course, to entertain) and, in fact, it might be perceived as a wonderful guilty pleasure. However, it is impossible to neglect the impact of this kind of pop culture on a daily and frustrating basis. But even in the worst case scenario, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World tells us the ultimate love story: a guy fights an army for his loved one. And let us be frank. How can anyone dislike that? It's not the contemporary Casablanca and, smartly enough, doesn't try to be. But it is a love a story. And a darn good one. For all its entertaining originality and stimulating visuals, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World deserves to be seen and commented.