Reviews written by registered user
PopcornJury

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19 reviews in total 
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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Despicable Me is a wonderfully enjoyable yet totally forgettable animated feature from Universal Pictures., 12 January 2011
6/10

Despicable Me is a wonderfully enjoyable yet totally forgettable animated feature from Universal Pictures that follows an eerie criminal mastermind as he works to become the greatest, most despicable villain in the world. The film, starring the voice of Steve Carell as Gru, a criminal intent on executing the largest heist in the history of the world, is often funny, always entertaining, but unfortunately much more forgettable than the animated films it goes against (see Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon). Regardless, for young kids or an adult audience alike, it provides enough wonderful visuals and comedy to keep you fully competent for it's fast paced 95-minute run time.

Despicable Me opens and ends with Gru, an awkward individual dressed in all black with a pointy nose, bald head, skinny legs, and fat body. He, much like the other characters in the film, features characteristics that we don't often see in animated features. No one necessarily looks human, but in the age when apparently we're able to build shrink rays, spaceships, and squid launchers, who knows what mankind will look in the making.

When Gru meets Vector, the criminal most famous for stealing a pyramid in Egypt, the film immediately becomes a competition of criminal minds, a battle for the bigger idea, and a race to outwit the other individual. It's only when Gru adopts three young girls, originally planned as bait to outwit is sympathetic suitor, that the film goes from funny and action oriented to sappy and heartwarming.

There's absolutely nothing bad about Despicable Me from a film-making standpoint. I was very much impressed by the visuals, the design, and the overall flow of the script. I guess the reason the film was somewhat forgettable for me, is the fact that it was such a lighthearted piece of entertainment, with characters that exited my head just as easy as they entered into it. With films like Toy Story 3, we're brought back to our childhood with toys, muppets, and mascots that we remember from our yesteryears. With How to Train Your Dragon, we're transferred into a world of magical, mystical dragons. With Despicable Me, we're still in the States, but the inventions we're capable of coming up with are just a bit more complex.

Overall, I recommend Despicable Me for what it is, a lighthearted, funny, fantastic looking animated feature. Is it the best animated feature I've seen? No. But in the age of the Alpha & Omega's and the Alvin and the Chipmunks, trust me, you could do a whole lot worse.

Michael Buffa Editor, Popcorn Jury http://www.popcornjury.com

Black Swan (2010)
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Quite possibly my most anticipated of the year, Black Swan let me down with it's dark, difficult, and absurd downward spiral. Am I impressed? Yes. Am I enthralled? No., 22 December 2010
7/10

Black Swan is not the movie most people think it is. Whenever the film is brought up in casual conversation, it's often referred to as the movie about ballet or the new Natalie Portman movie about a ballerina. While ballet provides the backdrop for the film, this is not a film about ballet. This is a film about the infinite pursuit of perfection, the intense desire to succeed, and the extremely dark places our mind can go when something becomes an obsession.

Black Swan stars Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers, a ballerina in a New York City ballet company. The company is getting ready to stage a new revival of Swan Lake, a contemporary classic in which a girl is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerers curse. Where in the original, the girl is broken from the spell when she finds a prince who will set her free, in this revival, the prince falls in love with the wrong swan, the black swan, ultimately leading to the death of the white. The twist? In this revival, the dancer selected as the Swan Queen needs to play both the white swan and the black swan, a role that on one hand requires purity and perfection, while the other requires sexuality and a sense of intense passion. Does Nina Sayers have both? That's the central theme to this story as the rest of the film progresses.

In his review for Black Swan, Roger Ebert writes, "Darren Aronofsky's 'Black Swan' is a full-bore melodrama, told with passionate intensity, gloriously and darkly absurd." With this statement, I couldn't agree more. This film is all out warfare on its central character of Nina Sayers. It is extremely dark, and often at times, as Ebert States, completely absurd. There were moments when I knew what was coming next and still had to look away. There were moments when I wanted to scream at the screen and say "Why is this happening…please pull yourself together!" I don't know whether to praise the film for being so "out there" or to criticize it for going too far. It's an intriguing film, but I didn't once enjoy it. It's beautiful but completely uncomfortable, and it couldn't be further from what I think every average, everyday film-goer is expecting.

If there's one reason to see this film, other than to simply witness the insanity, it's for the performance of Natalie Portman. In this role, she's less of an actress and more of a true performer. She's featured in every scene of the film, every shot. She trained for 10-months to prepare for her role in this film and it shows as she is not simply a stand in in any of the ballet scenes, she is a literal ballerina. She weighs what appears to be under 90 lbs. exhibits the purest of pure and the darkest of dark. She literally transforms from white to black, sane to insane, shining to stark. It is my most sincere prediction that she will win an Oscar for this performance, and regardless of the film itself, I would consider it well deserved.

Black Swan is an evil movie, more disturbing than most films I've seen recently. It's a horror film and a thriller, hidden beautifully under the disguise of a contemporary ballet. Is it worthy of the critical acclaim it's garnering nationwide since it's initial limited release? As an art form, I'd say yes. As a source quality entertainment, I'd say no. Black Swan is the equivalent of watching a straight A student turn into a down and out junkie. Just because the film is award-winning, doesn't mean it's enjoyable. Quite possibly my most anticipated of the year, Black Swan let me down with it's dark, difficult, and absurd downward spiral. Am I impressed? Yes. Am I enthralled? No.

Michael Buffa Editor, Popcorn Jury http://www.popcornjury.com

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
The Kids are Alright is, as the title suggests, an alright movie -- not quite worthy of a rental or a slot on any upcoming awards show., 22 December 2010
5/10

The Kids are Alright isn't a very good film. Much like a film I saw earlier this year, Greenberg, the Kids are Alright is a two hour film about nothing. Sure, it starts with an interesting premise involving two kids growing up with two moms, and their hidden desire to meet their sperm donor, but it ends with a messy affair, turmoil between the two children, and a ton of super stupid subplots involving whether or not the kids will follow suit in regards to their mom's sexual orientation.

Let me start this next paragraph with a warning: I have no stance on sexual orientation. I believe and encourage everyone to look at this subject with an open mind. That said, I truly believe that The Kids are Alright is a film best viewed by a gay audience. The story, the drama, the tension, the emotion- I think it all lends better to an audience who can actually understand and appreciate what's going on on screen. Not to say the film couldn't be manipulated to appeal to absolutely any audience– it could– but everything about the film, to me, just screamed gay. Not because of the lesbian marriage between the two leads, but because of the gay porn scenes, the strange sexual relationship between a boy and his friend, and the idea that someone can become ungay (see straight) if they meet the right person. These are just some of the subplots that seemed to me, much better suited in a gay audience environment.

If I haven't given you enough clues already, this film tells the story of a lesbian couple, with two surrogate children who reach out to their sperm donor father once they hit 18. Julianne Moor and Annette Benning play Jules and Nic, the lesbian couple in the film. When Paul, the donor (played by Mark Ruffalo) enters the picture, everything seems to change. Much as the title suggests, the kids are constantly alright, but it's the adults who start inheriting some serious issues.

The Kids are Alright is getting a ton of nominations for some big time awards. I wouldn't be surprised if it even makes an appearance at this year's Oscars. For me, it just didn't hit on any level. The screenplay could've been gold, showing the dynamic relationship between a family of open individuals embracing one another in a coming of age tale. Instead, the film focused on the adults, their relationships, and the jealousy they face as they get older, more distant from their children, and more estranged from one another. It's a cool movie, very 21st century, but it just didn't quite stick. You won't be seeing this film on any of my year end lists, but don't be surprised if it pops up on a number of others.

Michael Buffa Editor, Popcorn Jury http://www.popcornjury.com

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A behind the scenes look at one of the most interesting cultural shifts to take place in the art industry -- the rise of street/pop art, 22 December 2010
7/10

I'm not going to lie. I don't know a thing about street art, graffiti, or the extremely talented artists sticking countless buildings in the Los Angeles and UK cityscapes. What I do know is that Exit Through the Gift Shop is a hip, ultra modern documentary that exposes us to the secret world of the Sheperd Fairys, the Banksys, and the Alien Invaders, arguably some of the most creative, unique, and talented artists of the 21st century. Haven't heard of these dudes? Don't worry. Neither had I.

Banksy is a British graffiti artist whose identity is to this day, unconfirmed. His pieces can be seen all over the UK where he's been known to break apart British telephone booths, paint elephants completely pink, and create stencils and illustrations that don't so much destroy the cityscape around them, rather than enhance them. Shepard Fairey is an American artist, graphic designer, and illustrator who's been an active graffiti artist in Los Angeles for the last ten years.

While Exit Through the Gift Shop was originally supposed to be a film about Banksy and Fairey, a strange thing happened. The director, Thierry Guetta, a french filmmaker who had spent the better part of his life documenting every single minute of these two men on a camera went from being the one filming to the one being filmed. His life combined not only the secrets of the two most popular graffiti artists, but also a behind the scenes look at how he, Thierry Guetta, went from a father, to a filmmaker, to world-renown artists, arguably on the same scale as Banksy and Fairy, all within the course of a few short years.

The film documents a ton of illegal street art activity. This isn't only fun to watch, it's extremely eye opening to see that this world actually exists. There's individuals out there, running the streets at 3:00 in the morning all in pursuit of a passion. On top of this, we're exposed to a behind the scenes look at one of the most interesting cultural shifts to take place in the last century- the rise of the street art show and its increasing importance within the overall art industry. We have these individuals who practically look homeless, yet they make millions of dollars for one piece of art. It's truly a unique experience that one must see to believe.

Exit Through the Gift shop has received nothing but praise since its premier at Cannes earlier this year. Much like the artists and the art it chronicles, it turns the traditional confines of an art documentary piece into an action-oriented thrill ride that documents one of the craziest cultural art trends taking place throughout the world. Once you start this film, regardless of your interest in art, I guarantee you won't be let down.

Michael Buffa Editor, Popcorn Jury http://www.popcornjury.com

The Fighter (2010/I)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Fighter is one of the best films of 2010, and one of the more inspiring comeback films in sports history., 22 December 2010

The Fighter is a riveting film that I can fully recommend. It isn't a film about the insane, innate nature of a perfectionist ballerina, a troubling tale of a man crushed beneath a rock, or a story of a man who falls in love with a woman with a life-threatening disease. It's the story of Mickey (played by Mark Whalberg) and Dickie (played by Christian Bale) a based-on-a-true-story tale of two brothers, both boxers, one on his way up, and one trying to keep from hitting rock bottom.

The Fighter chronicles the rise and fall of the Mickey and Dickie Ward, two brothers, and two boxers from Lowell Massachusetts. The spotlight should be on Mickey, the up and comer, but instead, all the attention is on Dickie, the star who once knocked out Sugar Ray Leonard, the one claiming to make a comeback, when in reality he's on his way down a path of drugs, danger and destruction. Dickie is a crack addict, a meth head, a barrier to entry. Mickey however, is intent on keeping him around. In the end, he's still his brother right?

Much of The Fighter revolves around the Ward family drama- a family with nine kids, two fathers, a money grubbing mother who doubles as a mess of a manager, and a brother who consistently brings the family down. Everything comes to a head when Dickie gets himself arrested and brings Mickey in a situation that nearly ends his boxing career. It's these moments that set the stage for one of the most inspiring comeback films in sports history. Everyone in the theater will be rooting for Mickey, not only during the scenes inside the ring, but even in the scenes outside of it.

Don't let the most recent trailers fool you. The Fighter doesn't offer anything that you'd find in a Disney sports film. While the movie does have moments that are extremely uplifting, the bulk of what you'll see here is pretty dark and disturbing. There's a ton of foul language, drug use, sex and violence. It's not an adult film, but it's not a feel-good film either. It borders the line perfectly between drama, action, and awe-inspiring. Plus it's pretty funny at times too.

Much like Natalie Portman in Black Swan, if there's one reason to see this film, it's to witness the truly unbelievable acting skills of Christian Bale. In his review, Capone of Ain't It Cool News writes, "It's no secret that Bale is a terrific actor, but his performance as Dickie could not have been achieved by any other actor–pure and simple." Thomas Leupp of Hollywood.com states, "The Fighter is a gritty triumph, much more than just the 'Christian Bale Crackhead Movie." The fact that people are even labeling it as the Christian Bale Crackhead Movie is a testament to his acting. The guy is completely dead-on as Dickie, the down and out drug addict, ex-boxer, big brother extraordinaire. We see the real Dickie at the end of the movie, and it only further establishes how successful Bale was in portraying his character on screen.

I can't recommend The Fighter enough. There's a ton of subplots, scenes, stories and characters that I didn't even touch on that are guaranteed to increase your appreciation and should most definitely increase your excitement for this film. There's only a handful of films that I would rank higher this year than The Fighter, and I don't think any of them are as accessible of a film. Take your friend, your family, your grandpa, or your girlfriend. This is a film that will knock you down, tear you apart, and bring you right back together again in the end.

Michael Buffa Editor, Popcorn Jury http://www.popcornjury.com

True Grit (2010)
4 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
True Grit, the new Coen brother film that could make even the burliest, broad shouldered, John Wayne worshiping man shed a tear., 22 December 2010
8/10

True Grit is the most sincere film I've seen all year. It features one of the most well written scripts, an close-knit cast each worthy of critical acclaim for their respective roles, and a score that could bring you to tears without even seeing anything on screen. Written and directed by the Coen Brothers (Fargo, No Country for Old Men) True Grit was expected to be great. To me, it's a departure from their usual. We still have extremely interesting characters, quirky situations and scenarios, but more than anything, the film has a lot of heart, something I think Coen brother films in the past have lacked. You won't find a sweeter film all year. That's not to say the film's not rough around the edges, it is. But True Grit could make even the burliest, broad shouldered, John Wayne worshiping men shed a tear.

True Grit opens with a voice-over from Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) retelling the story of how her father died just a few days ago at the hand of the coward Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). She's a stubborn young girl, and she's traveled from across the land to capture her father's killer and take him back to her homeland where she'll get retribution and see to it that he's hanged. Just a few days 14, she knows she can't capture a killer on her own, so she seeks to hire the toughest U.S. Marshall in town, a man with true grit, a man by the name of Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), a man who's killed more men than he could care to count. Along for the ride is a man by the name of LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), a hunter, tracker, and Texas Ranger who's been on Chaney's tail since he murdered a senator in Texas a few months back. Together, they will find the killer, and see to it that he's hanged.

True Grit isn't an action film on any level. Most of what transpires on screen involves the relationship between Mattie, Cogburn, and LaBoeuf. While each of the characters begin their journey in pursuit to capture a killer, what each of them find while out alone in the country is much different. Mattie discovers her maturity, her courage, and her heart. Cogburn discovers a relationship, a sense of trust, and a reason for doing what he does. LeBoeuf ends up finding himself, something a true Texas Ranger isn't typically open to exploring.

I've never bee a huge fan of Westerns. In fact, I could probably count on my one hand the number of Western's I've actually seen over the years. I feel like the Coen's really captured the essence of your typical country Western affair, yet they've modernized it to appeal to a 21st century audience. The dialogue is dead on, the sets are vast and expansive, and the score is reminiscent of protestant hymns of the not so distant past. The film hits on a number of religious notes, but knowing your proverbs isn't a prerequisite.

All in all, there's not much to criticize when it comes to True Grit. It could've used a bit more action and I wouldn't have minded seeing a few more guns go off, but I think it's the lack of disturbing violence that actually set this film apart from the number of violent films we've seen in the past. This simplicity and sincerity in the way the film was shot makes True Grit one of the most honest and successful films I've seen all year.

True Grit is a film I fully recommend and by far one of the year's best. Whether your're looking to compare it to the original or enjoy a completely new experience, I don't think there's any way you could walk out of the theater unimpressed with what you've seen on screen.

Michael Buffa Editor, Popcorn Jury http://www.popcornjury.com

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Solidly Entertaining, But Mildly Depressing: A Dramatic Film Disguised as a Rom-Com, 4 December 2010
7/10

Love & Other Drugs could've been a standout movie. In fact, it probably could've been two. What starts as a light hearted rom-com starring Jake Gyllenhal quickly turns into a dark character study on what it's like to fall in love with someone who's ill. The first part of the movie is great. The second part is too. But when both plot lines blur together in the middle, the film turns into a quiet game of cat and mouse, leaving the audience a little confused as to whether they should laugh, cry, or simply sit in the theater in silence.

Love & Other Drugs tells the story of Jamie Randall, a med school drop out who happens to be one hell of a salesman. After losing his job on the sales floor at a local entertainment store, Jaime decides his next step should be pharmaceutical sales. Next thing you know, he's working for Pfizer, selling Zoloft, and eventually Viagra to doctors in the Ohio area. These scenes are fun, filled with a lighthearted energy and charisma from Gyllenhal. He's the man we want to be, selling his way to the top, or at least trying not to be at the bottom.

One day Jamie meets Maggie, an independent girl who happens to be a patient at one of Jamie's frequented offices. He finds out early on that she has Parkinson's disease, a disorder of the central nervous system that impairs motor skills, cognitive processes, and other functions. They sleep together, they grow apart, they sleep together, and they fall in love. Little does Jamie know, dating someone with an illness isn't an easy task. Just when things seems to be great, they fall apart, and it leaves both parties physically and mentally drained.

Love & Other Drugs asks a lot of deep moral questions. That's the good stuff in the script. It tackles questions head on that most people don't necessarily think about when falling in love. What if the one you love is ill? Would you take care of them for the rest of your life? Wouldn't it just be easier to walk away? The scenes that deal with this subject matter are some of the strongest I've seen this year, but when one scene begs these questions, and the next deals with an unwanted (and unending) erection, I can't help but feel like there's an elephant in the room that is clearly bordering on inconsistency.

Overall, I just can't help but label Love & Other Drugs as a collection of wonderful scenes that when brought together just doesn't quite work. It's sweet, romantic, and the on screen chemistry between two A-list actors will be enough to entertain, but overall, I just really wish this film could've been something better. I wish it could've stayed a rom-com, with Gyllenhal sleeping his way too the top only to realize that it's one of the girls at the bottom that truly makes him happy. Even moreso, I wish it would've started as a drama, with Gyllenhal working as a representative for a Parkison's research fund that just happens to meet Maggie at a convention. The rest of the story would be a sad one, with both parties falling in love only to come to the realization that there would be no cure, but their love alone could pull them through. Instead, it's a hybrid, an unfortunate meeting of the minds. Regardless, the two halves are solid, but as a whole, I'm left entertained but underwhelmed.

On a side note, there's one scene where Maggie and Jamie attend a convention with other individuals who have Parkinson's disease. It's one of the most powerful scenes I've seen this year. The emotion, truth, and subtext present in this scene is what could've made this movie a standout. Instead, we're left with an assortment of funny, sad, cute, and cuddly that hits a number of notes, just not necessarily the right ones.

Michael Buffa Editor, Popcorn Jury http://popcornjury.com

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
An Authentic Holiday Film Focusing on Family and Tradition, 4 December 2010
6/10

Nothing Like the Holidays is an extremely safe Christmas movie. That's not to say that it's not good, because trust me, it is. It's a film likely to win a lot of hearts with its focus on the one thing that everybody can relate to when it comes to the holidays: their family.

Nothing Like the Holidays could be considered an ethnic film. The cast is primarily made up of unknown Mexican actors (although the familiar faces of John Leguizamo and Luis Guzmán do give the film some credibility). A lot of the jokes may be catered towards a Mexican audience where the family rituals, relationships, and inside jokes may be more fully realized and understood. Regardless, I believe the film to be accessible to any audience willing to explore a Mexican take on the traditional Christmas movie.

Nothing Like the Holidays starts like any typical Christmas film. All the different members of the family are coming home for the holidays. For the Rodriquez family though, things are a bit different. They've got Jesse coming in from his most recent stint in Iraq as a member of the United States Army, Mauricio, the oldest brother making a name for himself in New York City, and Roxanna the struggling L.A. actress who everyone in the family thinks is a millionaire movie star from her recent stint on a made for television movie.

On top of the traditional family drama (ex girlfriends in town for the holiday, fights over when to have a baby, and the arguments over who will take over the family business) there's one other thing that seems to be tearing the Rodriquez family apart: the dinner table announcement that Ma and Pa will be getting a divorce...and P.S. it's non-negotiable.

The reason I really liked this film is because it felt so real. The use of unknown actors helped me believe in the authenticity of what was happening on screen. The Rodriquez family is your typical Mexican family. The holiday is meant to be spent together, and the kids will do anything to keep the family tradition alive. The in-attic conversations on how to get mom and dad back together, the one-on-one advice sessions between a father and a son in the army, and the intense subplot of a family member too scared to tell the family that he's sick all lead to the realness of this film. It may not be the most cheery Christmas movie, but in real life, the holidays are often everything but, so it's nice to see an authentic portrayal of a real family and what they go through during the Christmas season.

Nothing Like the Holidays isn't a well-known film, but I would recommend it as a solid entry into the overcrowded Christmas movie genre. It won't break ground, but it will win your heart, and what happens on screen is often funny, but always real, a characteristic that shouldn't be overlooked as you look for holiday films to rent this Christmas season.

Michael Buffa, Editor, Popcorn Jury http://www.popcornjury.com

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
If you're looking for a Zac Efron film, rent Charlie St. Cloud. If you're looking for a good film, rent something else., 29 November 2010
6/10

Charlie St. Cloud is the newest Zac Efron film; nothing more, nothing less. Throw the story, the plot, the characters, the beginning, the end, the problem, and the outcome out the window because in the end, the only thing that matters to most of this film's audience is whether or not Zefron takes his shirt off. Don't worry girls; he does.

Aside from Efron, there isn't much substance to Charlie St. Cloud. Sure, you could argue it's heartfelt, somewhat powerful, but in order to do so you have to throw so many unanswered questions by the wayside because there's so many holes in the story you could completely fall through it.

I think the trailer pretty much sums everything up perfectly, so I'm not saying too much by saying Charlie loses his brother early on in the film. With that, he loses his future and ends up settling in town as a caretaker at the cemetery where his brother Sam is laid. As his friends grow up, go to college, and continue on with their lives, Charlie goes nowhere, questioning his very existence on Earth and why he survived the terrible accident that took his brother's life.

The catch comes in the fact that Charlie's dead brother hasn't "went to the light" just yet. Instead, he meets Charlie every single day at sunset for a game of catch. Charlie wins because he gets to retain his bond with his brother, and Sam wins because he isn't alone in heaven just yet. It's sad, trust me, but it's played out in such a cheesy manner that it loses some of the emotion. I felt the heartache, but didn't once shed a tear.

So overall, why does this film fail? It fails because the plot is so underdeveloped, unexplained, and completely generic that we can't feel the emotion that the characters are feeling. The brother-to-brother relationship isn't believable from the beginning. It's way to cheesed out. Things get even worse when the plot takes a page out of "The Sixth Sense" with a twist that literally makes no sense and adds little value aside from the extension of a dying story line.

If you want to see the newest Zac Efron film, I totally recommend Charlie St. Cloud. You'll get more than your fair share of shirtless Zac, "stare off into the wilderness" Zac, and romantic Zac. If you're looking for a good movie that just happens to feature Zac Efron, I'd steer away from Charlie St. Cloud. It lacks the emotion promised in the trailer, and has a story that just doesn't work on so many different levels.

Michael Buffa Editor, Popcorn Jury http://www.popcornjury.com

6 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Nerds unite...Scott Pilgrim is one of the most fun movies of the year, barring you're a 16-26 year old male who likes video games and Asian Catholic school girls., 29 November 2010
7/10

Scott Pilgrim is one of the most fun movies I've seen all year. Sure, it's marketed towards nerds, gamers, and comic book geeks, but that doesn't mean it's not accessible to the average movie goer, or at least the average male movie goer ages 16-26. It's cute, energizing, and entertaining with good music, hot chicks, and some hardcore, sword fighting, skateboard slinging, karate chop chopping battle scenes that look like they were ripped out a Street Fighter vs. Speed Racer online battle. Enough with the nerd lingo though, let's get to the plot.

Scott Pilgrim got his heart broken. His rebound is a 17 year old Asian Catholic high school girl. It doesn't get anymore cliché than that. She's cute, but annoying, and when he meets the new girl, with enough pink hair and indie outerwear to make an emo boy drool, he undoubtedly falls in love. The problem? For some reason, the new girl has seven evil exes, all bound to make an appearance on the battle field when Scott least expects it. What follows is hot, hilarious, and, at times, outrageous with scenes that give any recent action flick a run for it's money when it comes to entertainment.

Regardless of the high energy adrenaline that runs through Scott Pilgrim, you've got to wonder, is it funny? I can say wholeheartedly that I laughed, at times, out loud. It's little nuances that Michael Cera has down to a T, that truly make the movie. I can't necessarily say why he's so funny in this film (and I didn't particularly like him in Juno), but he is. Rather than model the character after the comic book, it seems like the character was almost carved out of Cera himself. What results is very frequently funny.

So what are the negatives? For one, the film is a little bit long. Not only are there seven battle scenes, but some of them are drawn out way too long (especially the final scene). There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and in Scott Pilgrim, we see it. Also, there isn't always enough differentiation between battles. By the end of the movie, things feel a bit stale and fall a bit flat as opposed to the opening scenes that set the stage. Lastly, as much as I praise Cera for his spot on performance in the film, I also have to give him a slightly negative critique when looking at his character because he is such a loser, yet he manages to score some really sexy chicks. I know it's a movie and anything is possible, but seriously, Scott Pilgrim wouldn't be in the running for any of these girls regardless of what band he's in.

All in all, Scott Pilgrim offers some good, fun, mindless entertainment. It's smart, funny, cute, and cuddly, and I'd especially recommend it for teenagers and males ages 16-26. Would I recommend it to my parents? No. The indie guy down the hall that watches foreign films? No. The film student who prefers documentaries? No. Anyone looking for a fun tribute to video games, heartache, and progressive rock music? Spot on…spot on.

Michael Buffa Editor, Popcorn Jury http://www.popcornjury.com


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