Tag Archives: Edgar Wright

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) Review

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Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Time: 112 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Contains violence, sexual references and offensive language
Cast:
Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers
Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells
Chris Evans as Lucas Lee
Anna Kendrick as Stacey Pilgrim
Brie Larson as Natalie V. “Envy” Adams
Alison Pill as Kim Pine
Aubrey Plaza as Julie Powers
Brandon Routh as Todd Ingram
Jason Schwartzman as Gideon Graves
Director: Edgar Wright

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) meets Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and instantly falls in love with her. But when he meets one of her exes at a band competition, he realises that he has to deal with all seven of her exes to woo her.

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I had watched Scott Pilgrim vs the World a long time ago, and I remember liking it at the time. Looking at back it though, I had this slight feeling that probably didn’t like it as much as a lot of people nowadays do. Rewatching it recently, that feeling was confirmed for me, but I still enjoyed it reasonably well. It’s not one of my favourites from Wright but his work on this movie was nonetheless great and I was entertained.

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I’m not familiar with the source material (the graphic novels) but I heard that the movie is pretty accurate to them. At under 2 hours long, Scott Pilgrim vs the World kept me reasonably entertained throughout. There are some simple but memorable enough characters, as well as witty and quotable dialogue. The plot isn’t overly dramatic or sappy, you aren’t really emotionally invested in the story or characters but I don’t think you’re meant to. The movie is funny, though the comedy doesn’t work quite as much as Edgar Wright’s other movies. There’s also definitely a lot of creativity throughout the film. I will say that the movie doesn’t fully work for me. The plot does what it has to and ultimately it works in its execution, however I’m not really invested in the plot and characters a great deal. Even though I said the movie probably doesn’t intend to be one whose plot you get emotionally invested in, I just wasn’t invested on any level. I was only watching because I was sort of entertained with what I was actually watching. I’m not inclined to rewatch Scott Pilgrim as much as Wright’s other movies. It’s not that memorable but it is still enjoyable.

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The cast generally do well in their parts. Michael Cera plays the quirky and awkward Scott Pilgrim, and it’s likely his best performance. With that said, Pilgrim is quite an unlikable protagonist, so I can really get the people who are put off by him throughout. I certainly didn’t really care for him but I generally tolerated him for this movie. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is quite good in her role of Ramona Flowers. Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Brie Larson and Aubrey Plaza are decent in their parts. The over the top evil exes of Ramona that Scott Pilgrim has to fight are pretty entertaining, especially Chris Evans, Brandon Routh and Jason Schwartzman, though they don’t have a lot of screentime.

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Edgar Wright’s direction is the reason why the movie works as well as it is. The style can be described as being like a mashup of comic books and video games. I guess if the style doesn’t win you over in the first 30 minutes, then the rest of the movie probably won’t work for you. Looking at it, it’s so easy for it to become obnoxious or insufferable, but Wright makes it quite an entertaining and visually stunning movie. There is a lot of energy throughout which goes a long way. There’s also a lot of visual comedy which Wright is known for, and they’re quite well implemented into the movie. The editing is quite slick and adds a lot to the movie, especially with regards to the action. There are some beautifully shot action sequences that are very entertaining and creative. There’s also a great soundtrack to go along with it all.

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I think that Scott Pilgrim vs the World is good overall, if very flawed. Most of the cast are great, it’s very stylishly and incredibly directed by Edgar Wright, and it’s pretty entertaining throughout. It’s on the lower end of Wright’s filmography for me and I don’t really love it, but it still has a lot of his recognisable and great elements from his other movies.

Hot Fuzz (2007) Review

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Hot Fuzz

Time: 121 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] contains violence, horror scenes & offensive language
Cast:
Simon Pegg as Nicholas Angel
Nick Frost as Police Constable Danny Butterman
Jim Broadbent as Inspector Frank Butterman
Director: Edgar Wright

Police officer Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is known to be the best across London. His seniors, who are jealous of his achievements, transfer him to a remote village where he encounters various challenges.

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I always remembered really liking Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz, it was funny, smart, and really fun to watch. After rewatching it after a long time though, it actually holds up far better than I thought it did.

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Hot Fuzz is written by Edgar Wright, the great script is an improvement over Wright’s previous movie Shaun of the Dead, definitely feeling much tighter, and had me entertained from beginning to end. Once again, like the rest of Wright’s Cornetto trilogy (also consisting of Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End), it really works much better on repeat viewings. You really notice things that you missed the first time around including little details, plot points and even jokes. It really shows how smartly written this movie is, that it is packed with so much. Hot Fuzz is very much a satire on action and buddy cop films, in the same way that Shaun of the Dead was a satire on zombie movies. Like with Shaun of the Dead though, Wright clearly has a love for those genres and is very knowledgeable about them. It would be one thing to just feature a cliché from the action genre and then point and laugh at it, it is actually put together very well and done with love for the genre. Along with that, Wright adds in elements of horror and suspense that spice the movie up a little more. The humour is endless hilarious, it was very effective and just about every joke hit well for me. There are so many quotable lines and running jokes that are so well written and implemented into the movie. The third act is a full on take on the over the top action in an action movie, and it was very fun to watch. As much as I liked that third act, I will say that the previous two acts worked a little better for me.

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The cast were all great in their parts. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are once again in the lead roles here, and they share some perfect chemistry. It’s not just them though, supporting cast members like Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton and plenty more do add quite a bit with their performances and make themselves stand out.

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Edgar Wright directs Hot Fuzz, and he has done a fantastic job. Like with the script, the direction here feels a lot tighter compared to Shaun of the Dead. Something about all of Wright’s films is that you can really feel the energy throughout and that goes a long way towards making the movies work as well as they do. A big part of that has to be the editing, which has really escalated from Shaun of the Dead. It feels like a constant presence throughout, the transitions are sharp, it works perfectly for comedic effect, and is just fantastic overall. Even the mundane things like filling out paperwork are made very flashy. The visual gags too are so well handled, plenty of things you can miss if you’re not paying attention for a split second. As previously said, there’s a lot of action in the third act, with every over the top trope in an action film imaginable making an appearance. It’s also genuinely entertaining.

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Hot Fuzz is a hilarious and entertaining action comedy satire, with Edgar Wright’s strong and sharp writing and direction making this a must see. It is a strong contender for Edgar Wright’s best film to date, it’s either this or The World’s End, and this is definitely one of my favourite comedies of all time.

Shaun of the Dead (2004) Review

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Shaun of the Dead

Time: 99 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1]
Cast:
Simon Pegg as Shaun
Nick Frost as Ed
Kate Ashfield as Liz
Lucy Davis as Dianne
Dylan Moran as David
Penelope Wilton as Barbara
Bill Nighy as Philip
Director: Edgar Wright

Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a salesman whose life has no direction. However, his uneventful life takes a sudden turn when he has to singlehandedly deal with an entire community of zombies.

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The zombie genre isn’t one of my favourite sub-genres, even among the horror genre. However within that subgenre, Shaun of the Dead remains one of my favourite movies from it. I rewatched it recently and I think it’s quite good. It’s funny, it’s entertaining, and it’s very well written and directed by Edgar Wright.

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The script by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg was really good and smart, blending horror and comedy effectively. They clearly have a lot of love for the genre, with a lot of the subversions and references that they have added. The comedy is pretty strong, with a lot of recurring jokes and certain details that you pick up on with repeat viewings. I wouldn’t say that movie is constantly hilarious or anything, maybe it’s just that it hasn’t held up that well for me the more I watched it. However, there are definitely moments that still work and remain to this day really great. The dialogue is great too, with some really memorable and quotable lines. One of the biggest surprises was the drama that was in place in the movie, especially in the third act. Shaun of the Dead is still mostly a comedy, but those dramatic and character moments actually work quite well. The movie really not scary at all, so if you’re not a big fan of horror you can still like the movie (as long as you can deal with the gore). Like I said with the jokes, you really notice more things upon further rewatches, and on my third viewing, I still noticed things that I hadn’t discovered before. The movie is an hour and 40 minutes long and overall I’d say that this was the right length for the movie.

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Simon Pegg is in one of his best roles as the titular character. Nick Frost plays Shaun’s best friend, he was also great. Pegg and Frost share some great on-screen chemistry together and they really feel like friends. The rest of the cast are good too.

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Edgar Wright directs Shaun of the Dead and his direction was one of the key aspects of making the movie work as well as it did. It is his first film and it really does feel like a debut film, but I don’t mean that in necessarily a bad way. You can really feel a lot of energy from this movie and that carries a lot of it. The editing and style are very fast paced so that helps too, though it hasn’t reached its fullest potential just yet (at least compared much as Wright’s later movies). There is a lot of attention to detail too, with visual gags that can be missed and reoccurring jokes. For a comedy horror movie, the makeup effects on the zombies and the gore are genuinely great. The movie really isn’t scary at all (unless you have a massive fear of zombies), it’s more gory than anything. The actual action is not all that great, not that I was expecting much of that from this movie. However let’s just say that you definitely notice a big difference in the quality of action from this movie compared to say The World’s End released 9 years later. The soundtrack was also great and was utilised in the movie well, perfect song choices for scenes is something that Wright does very well. It has quite possibly the best use of Queen in a movie.

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Shaun of the Dead is a fun zombie comedy, Edgar Wright’s script and direction carried it, and the cast also did well, especially Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. I will say that I didn’t like the movies as much as the other movies in the Cornetto trilogy (Hot Fuzz and The World’s End), but it’s still really good and worth watching for sure if you haven’t seen it already.

Baby Driver (2017) Review

Time: 112 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Strong violence and offensive language
Cast:
Ansel Elgort as Baby
Kevin Spacey as Doc
Lily James as Debora
Jon Hamm as Buddy
Eiza González as Darling
Jamie Foxx as Bats
Jon Bernthal as Griff
Director: Edgar Wright

Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. After meeting the woman (Lily James) of his dreams, he sees a chance to ditch his shady lifestyle and make a clean break. Coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby must face the music as a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

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Baby Driver was a movie that I’ve been keeping an eye on for a while. I’ve loved every movie from director Edgar Wright, and with the cast with actors such as Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx involved, it had a lot of potential. Baby Driver blew me away. Entertaining from start to finish, directed and written perfectly, Baby Driver is one of the best films of 2017. Edgar Wright has made yet another fantastic film.

Now the movie doesn’t have the most original story, they’ve been plenty of crime, heist and car chase movies. However, Baby Driver is a love letter to those movies (and to music as well), and this movie has a lot of fun with it. Edgar Wright’s writing is top notch as always, from the dialogue, to the foreshadowing, humour and the plot overall, everything is written to perfection. Like Wright’s other movies, there are bits that most people won’t necessarily notice on a first viewing, so I can see people loving this movie even more on repeat viewings. I was entertained from start to finish. It is quite a fun movie overall but its also serious enough that you care about what’s going on. If there’s any flaw I can find with the movie its that the romance just sort of comes out of nowhere and starts abruptly. That’s it really, and even then the romance does work overall because of the leads’ chemistry (more on that in a bit). Honestly aside from that aspect, there wasn’t really a low point of the movie.

This movie has a very talented cast, the one actor in the cast that I was unsure about was Ansel Elgort, he’s a decent actor but I hadn’t seen him great in anything … until now. He really impressed me in Baby Driver, he’s likable and he fully embraces his role. Baby Driver really is his movie and he shines in it. I did mention that the romance is rather sudden and its unbelievable how quickly it starts, but what makes it work is the chemistry between Ansel Elgort and Lily James, they work perfectly together, without them the romance (which is one of the main points of the movie) wouldn’t work at all. This movie has a lot of talented supporting actors with Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Jamie Foxx and Jon Bernthal and others and they are great. The stand outs to me were Kevin Spacey and Jon Hamm, they really left an impression on me the most.

Edgar Wright’s direction is perfect once again, you can definitely feel his attention to detail and is so incredible to watch. The car chase scenes feel real and not fake at all, the stunts are so great. I’m not sure if any CGI was used, but if it they did I certainly didn’t notice it. The most stand out parts of the movie is how it uses music in the film. This movie has a large and fun soundtrack but what’s even better is how it uses it in the film itself, for example a lot of the time, the film times the sound effects of the scenes with the music perfectly and it is glorious to watch. The first scene of Baby Driver gives you a good idea about how music is used.

Baby Driver is a really entertaining movie with great acting from its talented cast, as well as Edgar Wright’s smart and funny writing and direction. I’m not sure where this ranks among Wright’s other movies but I can say that it’s at the very least fantastic on its own. Baby Driver is one of the best films of the year, and I would absolutely recommend checking it out.

The World’s End (2013)

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The World's End

Time: 109 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Violence, offensive language and sexual references
Cast:
Simon Pegg as Gary King
Nick Frost as Andy Knightley
Paddy Considine as Steven Prince
Martin Freeman as Oliver Chamberlain
Eddie Marsan as Peter Page
Rosamund Pike as Sam Chamberlain
Director: Edgar Wright

20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them Gary King (Simon Pegg), becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again and drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries as they discover that there’s something really unusual about the citizens that now inhabit the town, and as they hit each pub, another piece of the conspiracy unravels.

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The Cornetto trilogy (Which consists of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and now The World’s End) concludes with The World’s End. People who loved those two previous movies can rejoice; this movie is an excellent conclusion to this great trilogy. It gave me everything I wanted and expected (and sometimes what I didn’t expect) this movie to be. I loved every second of it and watching it for the first and second times are some of the most fun times I had watching a movie.

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The writing by Edgar Wright is typically entertaining and it really added a lot to the movie. An interesting thing is that I was engaged with this movie, even before the alien invasion plot point starts coming into play. The film from the beginning has your attention and never once loses it; there is never a dull or boring moment. The films in the Cornetto trilogy are quite clever and this film has well placed moments which foreshadow plot points. The comedy as usual is well done and the timing by the actors makes those scenes even more hilarious. Edgar Wright can write a lot of great comedy but he is also outstanding at writing character development and human drama between the characters. Towards the end, there were actually some unexpected emotional bits which are a pleasant surprise. Edgar Wright also writes great dialogue between characters; all of the actors should be credited for this.

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The actors also really shined in their roles. Simon Pegg stole every scene he was in; this is a character that he hasn’t really played in the other two movies and this just might be his best performance he’s given so far. Nick Frost is also excellent here and has a lot of great moments, especially with Simon Pegg. The rest of the cast which consist of Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Rosamond Pike are also great in their roles here. The dialogue is delivered so well between the actors and they share great chemistry. The writing wouldn’t have come across to audiences if the actors weren’t able to deliver it to them; they do it here and succeed in their roles.

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The fight scenes are filmed spectacularly; the choreography that the actors have and the way the cinematography is handled is absolute perfection. There are a lot of fight scenes but the one that stands out to me and a lot of other people is the bathroom scene, I won’t say anything more about it, except that it’s in a bathroom. These scenes are edited very fast, as most Edgar Wright movies are, and are done extremely well.

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The World’s End is entertainment at its finest. When I was watching it I never wanted it to end. This movie is very fun but is also smart, and the whole trilogy is some of the most rewarding experiences you can have while watching a movie. This is one of those movies that can never get old for me. Watch it when you can, you won’t be disappointed.