Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yet Another Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

"Remind me why I'm interested in you?" "My pink hair."
Some movies are what I like to call “lukewarm:” a movie that just can’t decide what it is. Whether it’s a serious-but-silly comedy, or an action flick with almost political overtones, this is a movie that would be better off picking one thing or the other and sticking with it. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, whatever its flaws, is not lukewarm. From the get-go, this movie only tries to do one thing, entertain, and it does that one thing excellently. From over-the-top fight scenes, to wacky comic-book-style visuals, to a host of amusing characters, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World keeps you laughing all the way through.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Think Super Mario on Caffeine Only Better: A Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Review

Who needs a lightsaber when you can have the Power of Love?
And yes, the Power of Love is a sword. In case you were wondering.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World acts quite similar to the video games which it constantly references. A nonstop thrill ride shot at a downright frenetic pace, director Edgar Wright’s latest delivers the most sheer entertainment to hit theaters in a long time.

Michael Cera is the leader of said ride as a hero taking on the world (or perhaps more accurately, defeating his new girlfriend Ramona Flowers’ seven evil exes). Cera here does nothing anyone hasn't seen before: playing the endearing dorky and borderline girly wimp with a heart of gold and strange sense of humor, which he has repeated in nearly all of his roles. While this may throw off some, I was never particularly bothered by it. Cera does what he does best and has never done it better than in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Besides, the world Cera inhabits remains the true appeal.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: Worth Exactly One Watch

When I heard that Bryan Lee O'Malley's indie comic series Scott Pilgrim was getting a movie adaptation, I was more than a little skeptical. While the current Dark Knight-chasing superhero movie craze proves that it's possible to adapt comic heroes, there have been very few successful attempts to actually adapt comics. In fairness, superhero comics, which dominate the American market to a ludicrous extent, don't lend themselves naturally to it - there is no overarching plot to Superman's story, or Batman's, but rather origin stories and then about seventy years of interlocking, self-contradictory, increasingly bizarre plots (is Bruce Wayne still dead, by the way? Or did Blackest Night fix that?) that you can't really make into a film because they depend on everything before them. The few limited series that do get adaptations - Watchmen, V for Vendetta, this year's Kick-Ass - tend to either lose what made a good series good or make a bad one hilariously worse. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) now joins that not-so-illustrious list.

Well, it is a rather decent adaptation of Scott Pilgrim. In fact, I would say it's better as a movie than Scott Pilgrim was as a comic book. If only that were saying much. Spoilers ahead.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Premiere

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No! It’s Scott Pilgrim flying into theaters! Many of us here at the blog have won advanced passes to see Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World with a lot of fan boys and even the professional critic John Serba. Needless to say we are all pretty excited for the show. Just to put it a little more clearly, here are a few reasons as to why excitement for this movie is warranted:

Director Profile: Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright is one of the most exciting young filmmakers working today. His caffeinated, but literate visual style could take on Quentin Tarantino himself in a film reference contest. Yet Wright is not QT. Tarantino reveres his predecessors, speaks their language. Wright turns everything upside down, fast forwards over the dull bits, puts a punk soundtrack in the background, and manages to make a joke of the whole thing. No other filmmaker's visual language is as full of humor as Wright's. Half the jokes he makes are so intricate or bizarrely self-referential (or British) that they are lost upon audiences (or at least me).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Actor Profile: Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Stunning. Simply, stunning. 
Personal Life
This 25-year-old North Carolinian actress was born on November 28, 1984, and she took interest in performing on big stages through roles in ballet and acting. She hoped to be a ballerina one day, and she studied that and jazz dance. Eventually, she started to pursue an acting career, while keeping up her dancing. Fun fact: Winstead is a distant cousin to Ava Gardner. She also has a longtime boyfriend, writer/director Riley Stearns, with whom she worked with on a short film with called Stop/Eject. On July 22, 2010, Winstead announced her engagement with Stears. While they were joyously announcing this joyous occasion, I also wept, though not out of joy . . . Winstead loves to sing, but she never wanted to make a career out of her pipes. However, she was asked by Quentin Tarantino to sing an a cappella song when she was filming Grindhouse: Death Proof. Apparently it was heavenly, and can be found on the second disc of the Death Proof DVD or here on YouTube. 

Disqus Commenting

The New Guy.
Well, hello commenters and viewers!

We have changed our commenting system from whatever was in place to Disqus.
Comments from the past may not appear, but they should come back within a day or two.
To comment now, you will need to login (and have) a Disqus, Yahoo, OpenID, Twitter, or facebook account. (The details are still slightly unknown, but we'll figure it out soon enough.)

Hopefully, this change doesn't make commenting more of a hassle.
It will definitely be easier for us to monitor comments and the like.
Thank you for your cooperation!

We enjoy hearing from you, so please, comment away!

Guest Writer Review: Law Abiding Citizen

Congratulations to Mark Bykerk! First Guest Writer on Yet Another Movie Blog.
This should have been the promotion poster.
Law Abiding Citizen focuses on one man's view of the criminal justice system. Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is this man. Witnessing the rape and murder of both his wife and five year old daughter, he wants full retribution on the attackers. He hires one of Philadelphia's top prosecution lawyers, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx), who has a firm 96% conviction rate. Not wanting to ruin this percentage, Rice decides to make a deal with Clarence J. Darby (Christian Stolte), the rapist and murderer. As long as Darby pleads guilty to the third degree murder and provides testimony that will send his accomplice, Rupert Ames (Josh Stewart), to death row, he will receive little jail time. Shelton feels betrayed by this, but since he cannot change Rice’s mind, he decides to take justice into his own hands.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Movie Review: The Ghost Writer

I couldn't find a picture without food.
It started out with a phone call:
-Hey Libby, you wanna watch Ghost Rider
-Absolutely not.
-Why Not?
-Well. There are two reasons: Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendez.
-What? No. Ghost WRITER.
-Oh… okay… what’s that about?

We WON! (tickets)

Well, we won tickets to see an advanced screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World!
This is definitely a huge deal for us, as it is the first real "event" we get to take part of in the movie world!
Special thanks to John Serba at MLive (and his blog Project Mayhem) for supplying us with free (FREE!!!) tickets!
Really, none of us really expected to win this contest. We would have been happy if one or two of us won, but it turns out that ALL of us get to go and see this film. In short, we are super excited to see it on Thursday.
To celebrate this event, you will probably find a lot of Scott Pilgrim news or Scott Pilgrim related posts.

Like this Trailer! Enjoy the visual goodness! (Courtesy of YouTube):

Ben got us started and already posted an actor profile of Scott Pilgrim himself, Michael Cera. Anna Kendrick also appears in this film, and she was profiled earlier
Wow. I still can't believe we get to go to an advanced screening!
Don't worry, reviews will be coming your way!
The League of Evil Exes. Look Familiar...? (see picture of us)

Can You Say Oedipus Complex?: A Review of Cyrus

It's...Complicated... In a creepy, weird way...
Cyrus…oh what can one say about Cyrus? It was well made if that counts for anything, and the actors did a good job. Other than that nothing stands out as particularly special.

Guest Writing Options

Hello everyone!

Thus far, the Open Thread discussions are going quite swimmingly! Thank you all for your input, and if you still want to contribute, the discussion is still open. Open Thread here.
Many of you have asked us to review a wide variety of films. While we would love to get around to them all, many of us lack the time (or gumption) to go and see those films.
However, if you have seen them, and want to contribute your viewpoint and review of the film, please, by all means, feel free to do so! All you have to do is email us at with your review, if we like it, we will post it here. It will be posted under one of our names (from the B* Team), but don't worry, we will give you 100% of the credit!
Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!

For more information, don't be afraid to use the tabs for the About YAMB and the Contact YAMB pages.

Actor Profile: Michael Cera

Every character he's ever done.
Personal Life
Born on June 7, 1988 in Brampton, Ontario, Michael Cera was probably awkward from day one. Seriously, let’s be honest: His first two roles were in a Tim Hortons summer camp commercial and in a Pillsbury commercial where he poked the Doughboy himself. 22 years isn’t all that long, so most of his life so far has consisted of school and acting. Detailed personal facts are hard to come by when you’re looking for a 22 year old guy who’s best known as being “That one awkward kid in a movie I saw once…” Oh, and he plays guitar.

Open Thread!

Hello viewers!

Well, you asked for it, so here it is: The Open Thread of Ideas.
Use it as a place to present us your ideas on where you would like to see this blog head, or use it as a place to tell us about your favorite films you've seen or whatnot.
Think of this as an "Off-Topic" thread, too. Introduce yourself, tell us how your life is going, etc. We take interest in what our viewers are like.
Thank you AND before you comment, please take note of the commenting Rules and Regulations.

Awesome! Comment away!

Movie Review: Despicable Me

This about sums up my feelings towards this movie.

Have you ever seen something that was supposed to be cute, but just ended up being weird, dumb, or outright creepy? Like a clown your parents hired for your birthday that gave you nightmares for years afterwards? Or perhaps a doll your parents gave you when you were three whose eyes follow you around the room? The film Despicable Me is a little like this, only stupider. It’s supposed to be a cute, happy, somewhat silly story about a “villain” who realizes he’s actually a nice person, only absolutely nothing in it is believable, cute, or in any way interesting. Indeed, some parts even manage to be unintentionally creepy, sort of like that clown you have that recurring nightmare about (you guys get that too, right?).

Out of this world: Moon

Gerty, is there someone else in the room? 
- Sam Bell

I will admit that when I first heard the premise of Duncan Jones' Moon, I was less than overwhelmed. One guy in a space (moon) station with only a deep-voiced robot to keep him company. You see, there's this film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and even if you haven't seen it you know that Hal can't let Dave do that. The raucous praise given it was enough, however, to get me past my trepidations and see this film. I was not disappointed. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Comment Rules and Regulations

Hello folks!

So, as you probably know, a new commenting system has been set up. More info here.
Great. Let's not bring that junk back up...
But I thought it would be a nice idea to give you all the "down low" on the commenting rules YAMB would like to set in place.
  • Treat each other with respect and dignity. Even though you may not know them, they are, in fact, people like yourself. 
  • Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. Okay, so this one is virtually the same as the first point, but c'mon, while YAMB knows certain people can be quite passionate about their own opinions, please, please, please, do not treat each other with hostility and malice. 
  • Stay on Topic. Really. 'Nuff said.
  • Remember that this is a MOVIE blog, not a blog to spread your political ideals, religious affiliations, or other things that are OFF TOPIC. See above point. 
  •  Keep it relatively clean. While YAMB realizes some people have a "rougher" vernacular, we want this site to be viewed by all audiences and by people of all ages. Please make your comments age appropriate. 
  • Please don't start Internet fights. The Internet is an awful platform to start and carry on an argument. So just don't.
  • Have fun! This is a site where we like to have fun and obsess over all things cinema! Goofiness is great! 
  • And finally, do not, under any conditions, feed the trolls.
There. A quick overview of the rules and regulations that we at YAMB would like to see happen. 

And remember, we have the power to delete your comments at any time. If we think your comment is inappropriate, it will find itself in the trash bin. We also enjoy reading your comments, and we encourage you to comment! We love the compliments, facts, and constructive criticism from our viewers! 

If you have any questions please visit our About YAMB page or the Contact Us page for more information. We use Disqus commenting software, too. More info can be found here.
Thank you!
And we hope you enjoy the site!

Sigh. I never thought it would come to this . . .

....and there goes the Anonymous commenter option...
There was probably an easier way...
Due to the lack of restraint used by some "Anonymous" commenters, I was forced to end the option of allowing "Anonymous commenters" to post here. While I should have gotten rid of the "Anonymous commenter" option before, my blogmates and I thought it would be a good idea if everyone could share their opinion on this site. Well, everyone still can. They just have to log in (via a Disqus, Yahoo, OpenID, Twitter, or Facebook account). This allows us, the B*Team, to monitor our commenters easier, and purge this site of the silly ones. 

I really hoped that this crap and trolling wouldn't happen to us, and that our fans, or "fans," of this site would have better self-control than what has been displayed here, but alas, it was not to be. So... from now on, if you want to comment just log in. Don't get me wrong, everyone here at YAMB wants your professional and constructive criticism because we want to make this site a pleasurable viewing experience for all our followers. 
Thank you!

Nothing Special: A Review of State of Play

Russell that you?
Despite the fact that State of Play is a political thriller about ulterior motives, uncertainty and moral ambiguity, what you see is what you get. Watch it expecting no more and no less than a standard, no frills entry in this cinematic genre. To quote from Casablanca, “all the usual suspects” have been rounded up here. There is Russell Crowe playing the hardened, cynical, cranky, detective-like journalist, Cal MacAffrey. New on the block at the Washington Globe newspaper is the young, ambitious, and idealistic Della Frye as played by Rachel McAdams, a character who eventually will form this movie’s conventionally unconventional partnership with MacAffrey.

Glorious: A Review of Inglourious Basterds

Hans Landa with his ridiculously awesome pipe.
Take a moment and watch the trailer for Inglourious Basterds. No, really. I'll wait.

Done? Alright, now believe me when I tell you that the ratio of badassery to talking is about 50 times higher in that trailer than in the actual movie. Now, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Inglourious Basterds takes the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich in an entirely new (and factually incorrect) direction, and does it in the best possible way. From Lt. Aldo Raine’s (Brad Pitt) hilarious Southern drawl and murderous tendencies to the obscenely evil dealings of the oddly comical SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christopher Waltz) to the vengeful plots of Shosanna LaPadite (Mélanie Laurent), Inglourious Basterds is entertaining, terrifying, and engaging all the way through.