Friday, August 20, 2010

Scott Pilgrim’s Progress & Poker

'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' (2010)Vera Valmore and I went to the movies last night. Haven’t done that too often lately. Seems like doing so always requires more time and money than we’re willing to spend. But the stars aligned and we found ourselves at the nearby cinema watching -- and enjoying -- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

I didn’t know too much about the movie going in, other than it was based on a comic book or graphic novel or something. And George Michael from “Arrested Development” was in it.

The movie’s style definitely reproduces the narrative cues of comic books and graphic novels. Sort of like Creepshow did way back when with its mimicking of old ’50s horror comics. Scott Pilgrim also incorporates a lot of the elements of storytelling from video games, especially those in which one creates characters and engages in various battles in order to rise through different levels and “unlock” new features.

All of which made for a fun ride with lots of action and, well, cool stuff to look at. Like a lot of movies these days.

On the level of theme, one could argue the movie also reproduced the depth of some video games and/or comic books. Not saying it wasn’t a thoughtful story with some reasonably meaningful insights about human nature and relationships. It’s just that the surface perhaps tends to distract the viewer from all that.

Thus do you end up in the parking lot afterwards not really thinking about deep messages, but instead practicing your karate kicks.

As I’ve already suggested, the story involves the main character fighting a series of battles (against “the world,” it seems)... a little like moving up in stakes or advancing in a tournament in poker, I suppose.

The character of Pilgrim does experience the highs and lows that often happen in poker when you move from novice to amateur to whatever you call yourself now. Such as when you feel like a world-beater after hitting that draw, or like an incapable failure when you miss. There’s even a bit in there about playing against yourself that poker players might be able to relate to as well.

All of which is to say, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may well have some appeal to online poker players. More so than Eat, Pray, Love, I’m just guessing.

So, if you’re reading this blog (in which case you probably do play online now and then), and are looking for a movie this weekend, you might check it out.

Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuireIf you’re reading this blog you probably also read Dr. Pauly’s Tao of Poker, and thus might be interested to read my interview with the Doc which went up over on Betfair Poker today. I asked him a few questions about his recently-released book, Lost Vegas, as well as about writing, generally speaking. Enjoy.

Okay, signing off now. Have a good weekend. Gotta go practice my karate kicks.

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