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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

cinematic roots of: ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’

No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.

In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Michael Cera is forced to battle, videogame style, his new girlfriend’s (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) ex-boyfriends in order to win her hand. This flick sprang from (among other films):

Spaced (1999-2001), the British pseudo-sitcom that Pilgrim director Edgar Wright cocreated; it captures Generation X attitudes and pop culture biases in the same way that Pilgrim does for Millennials.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008), an infinitely wiser Millennial love story, also starring Michael Cera.

Tron (1982), the ur story set in the world of videogames, in which Jeff Bridges’ game engineer uploads himself into a mainframe for adventures in a virtual world.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), for another look at the often unappreciated dangers of former lovers; here, Luke Wilson must contend with Uma Thurman’s superpowered jealousy.
Where to buy:
My Super Ex-Girlfriend [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Spaced: The Complete Series [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Tron [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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