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As part of the Los Angeles Film Festival, director Edgar Wright sat down for a "conversation" tonight with none other than J.J. Abrams in front of a full-capacity audience in a movie theater in downtown L.A. Running for nearly two-and-a-half hours, the audience was given a retrospective of Wright's entire film career, from Hot Fuzz to short films he made when he was fourteen. But with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World due out in August, everyone knew that they would get to see at least some of the film by the end of the night. We didn't leave disappointed.
Though the film still isn't completely finished, Edgar Wright showed off nine minutes of the upcoming comic-book adaptation to eager fans. Largely featuring Chris Evans' role in the film, as superstar actor Lucas Lee, the clip was an extended version of what was revealed during the MTV Movie Awards plus a whole bunch more. Though I don't have the video (that would be illegal, folks) and I doubt the whole thing will be released online, I am more than happy to tell you exactly what occurs via my copious amount of notes.
(NOTE: The following contains some minor spoilers from the film. If you are looking to go in completely fresh, then these next few paragraphs are not for you)
The clip opens with Scott (Michael Cera) standing in his kitchen with Wallace (Kieran Culkin) pressing garlic when Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) walks in. While she has had pink hair from the moment that Scott met her at the party, she has now dyed it blue. As she goes to the bathroom, Scott begins to hyperventilate, believing that the action of dyeing her hair makes her fickle and impulsive. Wallace is quick to calm him down, and as Ramona re-enters, Wallace mentions that he is going to go by "the castle" where a film is being shot. Before he can exit the door, Scott runs up and asks him not to go. Wallace tells him that there is a chance for him to get to "second-and-a-half base", but if things aren't working Scott can always meet up with him at the castle in an hour.
The screen goes black and a title card reads "15 Minutes Later"
Ramona and Scott sit on the floor noshing on garlic bread. She mentions that it's really good, and he says that, given the choice, he would eat it for every meal. Off hand, she mentions that he would get fat. Why? Bread makes you fat. Scott has another mini-freakout.
The screen goes black and a title card reads "30 Minutes Later"
Scott sits with a guitar in his lap and mentions that he has written a song about Ramona. She asks to hear it and he begins to strum. What results is a 30 second "song" that is almost entirely power chords and features him basically saying her name over and over again. After he stops, Ramona says that she can't wait to hear what it sounds like when he's finished. Scott has no idea what she means.
The screen goes black and a title card reads "45 Minutes Later"
The two are now making out. Ramona reaches her hand into Scott's hair and remarks how long it is. He takes this as her saying that it's too long and, again, begins to freak out (can you tell by this point that he is a bit nervous around her?). Suddenly, a drawing of Scott pops up on the right side of the screen and a narration begins - most certainly the voice of Bill Hader. Reflecting on his last relationship, the narrator talks about how Scott got his hair cut right before his last girlfriend broke up with him, that it's been more than 400 days since his last haircut, and that he has since been cutting his hair himself. Though she says she likes it, Scott grabs a hunting hat - the kind with the ear flaps - and suggests, despite freezing temperatures, that they go for a walk.
The screen goes black and a title card reads "60 Minutes Later"
Scott and Ramona walk on the streets of snowy Toronto, Ramona asks if they are outside simply because he wants an excuse to wear the hat. The answer is yes, but Scott completely denies it. He mentions that he feels like he is on drugs whenever he is around her, but that he's not on drugs. Unless she's using drugs, in which case he is on drugs. They come up to the castle that Wallace was mentioning earlier and Scott mentions that they are filming a movie and suggest they head over.
The couple find Wallace as he stands watching the movie crew film. Out of a nearby trailer, Lucas Lee walks out, the Universal Studios theme blaring over the soundtrack. Ramona immediately knows some bad shit is about to go down, but Scott and Wallace are too star-struck to notice. Ramona mentions that they used to date back in 9th grade and that they should go. Lee begins to film his scene, telling a bad guy who is holding his girlfriend hostage that the only thing standing in his way to get his girlfriend back is the two minutes needed to kick the bad guy's ass. Noticing Scott and Ramona watching them film, Lee then uses the exact same line, this time directed at Scott. As Lee approaches, Scott meekly asks for his autograph before getting knocked out. Lee than grabs Scott by the legs and hurls him towards one of the castle pillars.
Cue MTV Movie Awards scene.
Though he puts up a good fight against the stunt-doubles, they eventually get him down on the ground and start beating him unmerciful. Thinking that he's won, Lee begins to walk away as punch sounds continue behind him. Suddenly, Scott's voice perks up calling him back ("Mr. Lee, you're needed back on set."). Around Scott's feet are the bodies of the defeated stunt team. The two charge at each other and Lee kicks Scott through a matte painting in the background. Knowing that he doesn't stand a chance, Scott asks about Lee's talents as a skateboarder. Lee mentions that he is so good that he has his own skating brand. Scott challenges him to do a "thingy" (a grind) on the rail behind them, which not only has multiple twists and turns, but is insanely long long and is covered in ice. Though he refuses to be goaded at first, Scott points out that there are girls watching. Lee grabs a board and begins to grind the rail, the top right corner showing his speed as though he is in a videogame. Much to Scott's disappointment, it looks like he's going to succeed. As Lee reaches the end of the rail, however, his speed goes over 300 k/hr (roughly 186 mph) and he explodes into dust as the rail ends. Scott has defeated his second evil ex.
(SPOILERS END HERE)
To put it bluntly, Edgar Wright and Scott Pilgrim are giving a big "fuck you" to the law of diminishing returns. Everything we see from this film makes it look better and better and the buzz around it is tremendous. Having the opportunity to watch clips from everything Wright has done previously in his career, the audience was able to grasp just how immensely talented the man is and it's hard to imagine that it won't translate into his newest film.
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