If there is one film this year that will go down in history as a terrible financial disappointment, it is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. And that's not just for the suits at Universal who greenlit the $60 million indie comic book adaptation. The disappointment resounded throughout the critical world, and became a sore spot for movie writers across the blogosphere. Despite an 80 percent approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, an 87 percent audience rating, and an 8.1 overall rating at IMDb, the film took in a paltry $45 million worldwide, with its disastrous opening weekend getting its release pulled from a number of foreign markets almost overnight. Instantly, comparisons to Universal's The Thing began to arise, as the film's quality and poor performance gave it instant cult-classic status. The question became not whether it would be held as one of the greats of this era by a select few -- but whether the masses would discover the epic of epic epicness on DVD and Blu-ray when it finally made its way out.
Well, that time is now. Scott Pilgrim is here. And he came bringing everything he's got.
The film itself is incredible, a stunning, frenetic, walloping fist of a film that mixes comic books, rock music, video games, and youthful angst into a wonderfully ADD assault on the senses. But it's not a literal film. It's the story of a young man who falls in love and has to wrestle with examining and coming to grips with the romantic past of his new love, the flighty Ramona Flowers. Entirely inundated with pop culture, young Scott Pilgrim perceives these battles as literal, fun, comic-inspired fights against Ramona's exes on his journey to discover himself and earn some self-respect. Fun, fluffy, and full of great comedic moments, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is nearly two hours of sheer cinematic joy.
And the Blu-ray backs that up with every ounce it can muster. This Blu-ray is everything we've come to expect from a solid, fan pandering, mega-box-set release years after the initial bare bones disc. This has everything, and I mean everything. Fans of SPvtW will find an entire day's worth of entertainment loaded onto this single disc -- which additionally comes with both a DVD and downloadable version on a second disc. There are four cast and crew commentaries, a 50-minute making-of with all manner of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, as well as the adult swim special on the animation. Most interesting, however, is the assemblage of alternative extras. There's a gag reel, which is shrug-worthy (nothing particularly interesting there), but there's also a "Bits and Pieces" segment with all the alternate takes and cool moments you would hope for in a gag reel. You'll also find 27 minutes of deleted scenes and alternate edits/styles of scenes which include earlier appearances of Nega-Scott and an alternate ending sure to raise eyebrows and cause discussions (my wife and I argued -- gleefully -- for a half hour over which was the better ending).
Also on the disc are the music performances cut together as music videos, a collection of remixes of music with movie clips that were used in the marketing, and a short scene of one of the film's actors learning how to be a proper rock star. The disc is swimming in preproduction art and footage, visual effects explanations, and just about any and every kind of additional tidbit you could want short of protracted sit-down interviews with the cast and crew -- that last part will have to wait for the 10th anniversary edition. Scott Pilgrim fans will lose their minds for this disc and hopefully a new group of movie lovers will join our ranks as well.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is available now on Blu-Ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.