While we’re all stuck inside, it seems like socializing would be hard to come by. But, actually, community is around every corner—if you know where to look. One way people are gathering (besides the now-typical Zoom happy hours, virtual birthday parties, etc.) is via Netflix Party, a Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix content with your friends. Sounds fun, right?
We also thought that sounded like a grand ol’ time, so we rounded up the Paste staff and logged onto the chat/video forum for a little virtual party. Netflix obviously has hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, but one particular film seemed a popular pick among our staff of movies, music, videogame and comic nerds: Edgar Wright’s 2010 cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a spin on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic book series and a colorful, energetic superheroes-meet-indie-rock flick that—while some aspects haven’t aged attractively (It was 2010, after all)—remains a helluva fun watch.
In Netflix Party, 3/4 of your screen is occupied by the actual movie or TV show you’re watching. The far-right panel is where you communicate with your fellow audience members in a stream-of-consciousness style chat column, which can admittedly be a little overwhelming. But fear not! We won’t make you read through 110 minutes’ worth of our staff’s chaotic commentary. Here are the highlights from what we garnered while rewatching (and for one person: watching for the first time!) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, nearly 10 years after its release in the summer of 2010. Allison Pill voice: One, two, three, four!
There’s a reason the whole world is against him. Scott Pilgrim is a loser with no self awareness who is currently dating a young woman whose age is entirely inappropriate for him. Scott sucks, and as our staff writer Jim Vorel pointed out, he only marginally improves by the film’s end. As soon as he starts treating his high school girlfriend Knives like chopped liver, we exploded in a chorus of “Scott sucks!” (This happened frequently throughout our watch, but we’ll always still love his iconic “Bread makes you fat?!” line.)
Allison Keene (TV editor): [Knives] IS too good for him.
Garrett Martin (Senior editor): Scott sucks so much y’all.
Allison: The actual worst.
Garrett: But that is a big part of the point—his journey to not sucking quite so much.
Ellen Johnson (Assistant Music editor): He’s like the Llewyn Davis of bad rock music and videogames.
Knives Hive, assemble! One thing we discovered during our collective watch is that our staff loves Knives. At one point, Allison suggested an entire remake of the movie from Knives’ perspective. Now how badass would that be? But since that’s probably unlikely, we just have to enjoy Ellen Wong’s endearing and bombastic performance. See this Knives-friendly exchange from about 45 minutes into the movie:
Josh Jackson (Paste founder & editor-in-chief): I’m starting to root for the world.
Andrew Barkau (Paste Studio ATL manager & first-time Scott Pilgrim watcher): Haha, I’m rooting for the band, but not Scotty.
Allison: MY KNIVES ARE OUT!
Annie Black (social media editor & orchestrator of this fine activity): Pour one out for Knives and Marc Bolan.
Ellen: gems: uncut, knives: out, scott: pilgrim
The roll call for this movie is off-the-charts. Even if you pay attention to the opening credits, you’ve still probably forgotten that this-actor or that-actress appears in this movie. “How did I not remember all these actors being in this?” Josh asked when Allison Pill (who plays the fiery queen-of-death-stares Kim Pine in the film and has since starred in movies like Snowpiercer) first appeared. Just look at this cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (future Huntress), Brie Larson (future Captain Marvel), Chris Evans (future Captain America), Brandon Routh (past-and-future Superman and future Atom), Aubrey Plaza (Farouk/The Shadow King in Legion), Kiernan Culkin (future Roman Roy in Succession), Bill Hader (who does the voiceover), Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzman, Mae Whitman (her “bi-furious” line in this movie remains a hilarious pun) ... the list goes on! It’s like every future Marvel and Wes Anderson darling piled in the same room and decided to make a kick-ass movie about a band who sells out. Here’s a glimpse of us exclaiming every time a new actor comes into play:
Jim Vorel (staff writer, all-around expert): Brie Larson is at 100% breathiness as Envy Adams.
Josh: Marvel actors everywhere!
Andrew: So this is the filmmaking style that has given us Deadpool and Ready Player 1.
Josh: Mae Whitman!!!!
Arrested Development reunion!
Jim: This was the role Kieran Culkin was born to play, clearly.
While we can’t fully endorse every single aspect of this script (As Allison summarized upon film’s end: “My main takeaway from this rewatch is that this is all clearly written by men. For better or worse, but it’s just very obvious to me this time around!”), the screenplay is all-around tight. (As Jim said, “Little tidbits like the payoff to ‘Vegan Academy’ being mentioned multiple times is a good example of what makes this screenplay so good.”) But it’s not just the screenplay (written by Edgar Wright & Michael Bacall) that makes this movie so unique in its energy and rhythm. It’s no secret Wright is an editing genius, and re-watching the superhero-influenced Scott Pilgrim just had us wishing he’d gotten the chance to direct a Marvel movie.
Allison: This is making me so sad that we never got to see a Marvel movie from Edgar Wright, after the Ant-Man debacle. He was supposed to direct but was taken off the project, although there are still some scenes you can tell are his (because they are great).
Jim: I love this movie, but it’s mostly for all the really quirky and inventive cinematography and Edgar Wright visual comedy and camera tricks.
Ellen: As a fan of just the movie—never read the comics—I find it endlessly energetic and enjoyable, craft-wise!
Jim: “Energetic and enjoyable” describes pretty much the entire Edgar Wright filmography.
Andrew: FINAL THOUGHTS: great example of this style of comic/film editing. (It holds up.) Storyline is a bit problematic with certainly cringy moments in the dialogue.
Ellen: Seems like we all agree that some aspects haven’t aged well—ha.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Ramona Flowers just radiates cool, and we spent a good portion of our back-and-forth gushing about her all-around coolness. The roller-skates, the speedy Amazon delivery, the colorful dating history, the HAIR. We took a vote on which color is our favorite. (But to be clear: Ramona can do whatever she wants, she’s a fiercely independent character, but, ultimately, she’s got plenty of her own problems—and she and Scott deserve each other.)
Jim: Which Ramona hair color is best?
Annie: I really dig the green.
Ellen: I’m also partial to the green I think.
Jim: It’s either the green or the pink.
Allison: The pink is cute but the green is unique.
Well, there you have it, folks. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has some dialogue that maybe wouldn’t fly in 2020, but it’s ultimately a pretty fun movie—especially for its loyal leagues of fans, who upon this movie’s release, maybe felt “seen” in some way, in all their nerdy glory. So until we get that remake starring Knives (Edgar if you’re reading this, please), the original is enough to keep us satisfied. If you need us, we’ll be streaming “Garbage Truck” by Sex Bob-Omb on repeat.