Monday, November 15, 2010

Pilgrim Party

I was talking with Lily and I asked her if she wanted to come up with a nickname for herself. She thought a moment, and said "Miss Flowers, because I like girls and I like flowers." I'm going to assume that this is a Scott Pilgrim shout out on her part. I'll even help her cut out the little star for her handbag.

After our trip to the cemetery, we grabbed some food at Trader Joe's and headed over to Karen's Scott Pilgrim party. I was going to grab some gelato from Trader Joe's, in order to make a joke about a single throwaway line in the movie. ("Gelato's not vegan?" "It's milk and eggs, bitch.") but I'd been making this joke for the better part of a week and no one has even so much as acknowledged it. (Though my jokes are not always obvious. I remember at Jen's baby shower, after I told what I thought was a kind of funny joke, Tom commented, "The only reason I even know that was supposed to be a joke is that your voice rose at the end.") On one hand, there's not a lot of point in making jokes that nobody gets, but on the other hand, if I stop making jokes that nobody laughs at, then they win! I decided to be the bigger man and not buy the gelato.

Also, the store didn't have any.

My friend Jen, henceforth known as Other Jen (Scott Pilgrim shout out!), was there, but her husband Tom, a globe-trotting ninja assassin, was off toppling some third world dictator and couldn't make it. But everybody bought a bunch of delicious food.

We watched the movie, and I enjoyed it. I had picked up the books last week and this was my first time seeing the whole movie since absorbing them. It was really pretty nice. Scott Pilgrim is just about the perfect movie. (Here's the link to my review.) It's about an oblivious, indolent, douchebag. (My best friend Tim also used "indolent" to describe Scott Pilgrim. I suppose that's why we're best friends.)I didn't catch it the first time I watched it, but I love it when Scott asks Knives, "Can I get your coat?" and he takes it off of her and drops it on the floor.

(Speaking of coats, I've learned that I have a signature coat. It's that green one I always wear. I've had it since high school and it's starting to get extremely raggedy, but someone at the party suggested that dry cleaners will often do the simple repairs that it requires.)

I think the movie is a more cohesive work than the book, but I feel that's because Edgar Wright saw what worked in the comics and ruthlessly strip-mined them for all the good parts. Unfortunately, we lost one of my favorite lines. During the Bass Battle, Todd has a quip that I found nicely understated.


Hmmm...I was watching the deleted scenes and I saw that they filmed that line, but didn't include it. That's legitimately disappointing.  And I really liked the panel below from Issue 4.

Who among us has not needed to make this apology?

Tvtropes has the concept of Adaptation Distillation and it feels that's what went on here. (Then again, I'm biased, since the movie was my first exposure to the property and that of course influences how I perceive it.)

Not everything was changed for the better. My buddy Tim observed of the twins: "In the movie they're just a couple of non-speaking DJs pressing a note or two on keyboards. In the comic they are B-Ko to Pilgrim's A-Ko, crafting a series of ever more destructive robots to fight against him."

I think the bit with the twins was changed for reasons of pacing. You can't have a movie of nothing but fights. (Unless it's Final Fantasy Advent Children.)

There were certain things that worked better in the comics.  I did think that confrontation with Gideon in Romona's mind was stronger than the mind control chip in the movie, for instance.

Romona didn't have a lot to do other than stand around looking like a pretty Drew Barrymore, insofar as such a thing is possible. Her portrayal  in the comics is much more vivid.

But the movie has so many perfect moments. The one thing I think of is Young Neil singing along with the band right before Matthew Patel bursts in and getting the lyrics wrong and shaking his head when he does. I didn't notice it until my most recent viewing, but there are very subtle impact lines when Scott blocks Matthew's attacks. (Or maybe they're not subtle. It's possible that I'm just alarmingly obtuse.)

Everyone was well cast but Ellen Wong was born to play Knives. "Really?!" Mark Weber didn't have a huge part as Stephen Stills, but he owned it. Alison Pill rocked as Kim Pine, and Kieran Culkin was perfect as Wallace.

After we watched Scott Pilgrim, we played some Rock Band 3. Well, first we determined that the drumsticks were missing, and we spent a half hour trying to find a substitute and/or trying to find a store that might sell us some drumsticks.

"How was your party, Karen?"

"Well, I watched a movie I didn't like and then spent the rest of the night looking for drumsticks."

We eventually played it without the drums. As I have no sense of rhythm and can't sing, I was on the sidelines for most of the night, except for pitching in for the howls when Jen sang Werewolves of London. Karen's brother's girlfriend is a fan of Warren Zevon, which makes her automatically awesome. I mentioned that I had seen him live back when he was still touring (and alive) and that Amy Rigby had opened for him. She said that she didn't know who Amy Rigby was, and that's not exactly surprising, as she's a relatively obscure artist currently living in France.  (Oh, though I see she's touring in the US right now. Crap! I just missed some shows that were fairly local just this past weekend!)

She has a wonderful website where she keeps a blog, and I maintain that Amy Rigby is the platonic ideal of the perfect name.

Amy Rigby's awesome website

Other Jen:What do you actually do at your job?
Me: Mostly email Karen and work on my blog.

Ugh. Seriously. I have to get out of this place. I forget exactly what I was talking about specifically, but it was something about work,and Karen was like "Look at his face!" I think I looked like I was ready to kill somebody.

I gave Other Jen the Merlin books and we talked about Star Wars while everybody else took turns on Rock Band. Karen throws a kickass party.

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