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CHEMISTRY + REVIEWS + RANTING

August 18, 2010

Well, shall we discuss the lack of chemistry Scott Pilgrim vs. The World had with the general moviegoing public (note to studios + distributors: never bet against Stallone) or the chemistry H.G. Wells has with EVERYONE she interacts with onscreen in Warehouse 13, but especially Myka, who has been pulling my attention all season as the character to watch. Tonight’s episode, “For The Team”, keeps me (and H.G. Wells it seems) on that trail.

{#merven was a success and I have several thoughts about it in a more analytical fashion, which I may eventually share, including comedy is better if you take the serious parts very seriously. The more it seemed like Shylock would get his pound of flesh, the more vibrantly funny the teasing of the faithless gentleman at the end of Act 5 became. The script and the actors were both working out the tension that had built up. And the audience was ready for the relief. So I have learned to pay attention to the grimmer parts of the comedies (and there always are) which should set me up well for dealing with the Hero/Claudio nexus in Much Ado About Nothing. But tonight, you get reviews.}

Back to Warehouse 13, which is giving us solid mysteries, engaging character development and great guest stars (the ones mentioned everywhere — by that I mean Twitter — from tonight’s were Lindsay Wagner — great to see her — and recurring guest star Paula GarcΓ©s, who is doing a good job as the town vet and Pete’s love interest. Jaime Murray doesn’t get mentioned much as a guest star but her H.G. Wells is a welcome sight, adding a nice mix of what the heck is going to happen next to her relationship with the Warehouse. What I expected and what happened split immediately after Claudia and Myka discovered her at the scene of a suspected artifact. The Wells storyline has some major twists left, I think, as well as a few personal ones for Myka.

Writer Drew Z. Greenberg wrote this episode (as well as last season’s standout “Claudia”). Greenberg also wrote one of my favorite hours of television ever, Buffy’s “The Killer in Me,” where Willow goes out with the insistent Kennedy and things go very wrong and then almost exactly right. This is my favorite stand alone Buffy episode, but if we were having the favorite Buffy episode conversation, I don’t count this one in the running as it seems a tangent to the usually Buffy centric universe. My all time favorite Buffy moment is when Giles walks in the door at the end of Season 6, with everything ending for Willow and the universe and you go, hey, I forgot about Giles, he’s here, maybe they’ll get out of this. And there is a feeling akin to joy.

And how did we get on Buffy? Time for a Buffy marathon weekend. I think I’m avoiding discussing Scott Pilgrim.

I don’t think you should blame Michael Cera or Mary Elizabeth Winstead for not attracting moviegoers. I think you should blame (and next, I utter blasphemy): Edgar Wright. Yes, Edgar Wright. The man who stayed faithful to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s brilliantly wild, inventive and full of strange but complex, interesting characters Scott Pilgrim graphic novels through Vol. 1 + 2, took a wrong turn at Brandon my CGI hair is funnier than I am Routh and then totally EVISCERATED Ramona’s character by sending her back to Gideon and having her say she has no control over herself. And then Knives and Scott fought Gideon on her behalf. In the book, she and Scott take Gideon down TOGETHER. And she spent her time away with NEITHER Gideon nor Scott. Those facts make a HUGE difference. So I believe Winstead was cast exactly right for a kick ass Ramona Wright didn’t have the imagination or guts or respect for women to put on the screen.

Not to mention all of you who are saying, Wallace Wells, COOL gay roommate (props to Kieron Culkin for an excellent performance), Wright turned him into a threesome in the bed slut for cheap laughs. That’s not cool gay character for me. Now when you read the books (and you need to read the books), you’ll see cool gay character when Stephen Stills’ boyfriend walks up to him and kisses him in front of Scott (who handles it like Scott — big eyes + “So Julie turned you gay.”)

Right, more a rant than a review. Part of the reason I think it didn’t attract a bigger audience is the emphasis on Lucas Lee kicking Scott’s ass in the commercials. Yes, Chris Evans was their most bankable star and impressed me, but there should have been several angles to attract moviegoers. But I think Wright left those parts out of the movie — the romantic parts, the cool girls parts, most of the story intricacies that let you care about the characters. And the robots. He left out the robots. Tsk. Tsk.

Going to go read the rest of Volume 2 now. Working my way through them again because Scott Pilgrim the Graphic Novels are game changers. Scott Pilgrim the movie can’t even manage to land a seat in the bleachers.

Best Gayle comment: she thought Sex Bob-omb sounded exactly like she’d imagined they would. And she was very impressed with the Envy Adams/Clash At Demonhead song.

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