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Watch It! The Films of Edgar Wright!

Hey all, Rick here with the latest edition of "Watch It!" and an apology.  I know I had said over a year ago that "Watch It!" would resume a regular schedule and unfortunately, it never did.  For that, I am sorry. I am working on getting that rectified as well as getting more articles going on the site as those seem to have dried up without explanation.  Anyway, here is the latest edition of "Watch It" and certainly not the last!  This edition, we are looking at the films and television projects of geek favorite, Edgar Wright!

Let's start with TV.  Or at least the TV show that IS available on DVD...


What can one say about Spaced?  I suppose I can start by saying that, much like this very website and podcast, SPACED is a love letter to geekdom.  However, unlike this website and podcast, this is a frantically shot, frenetic, and very bizarre show.  SPACED is hysterically funny and is about two complete strangers who have no place to live.  These two individuals (played by Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, who also wrote the show), become friends and attempt to co-habitate in an apartment by posing as a married couple (the only affordable apartment is looking for married couples only).  The ensuing two seasons tell the story of their relationship, their completely insane friends and neighbors, (one of whom is the incredibly funny Nick Frost as an ex-military who got kicked out for staging a one man invasion of Paris which was waylaid by a visit to Euro Disney) and their attempts to remain successful.  The neat thing with SPACED is that the geek references fly fast and extremely funny.  For every joke that flies over your head, there are are at least ten jokes or more that you will laugh yourself silly at.  The show only runs for two seasons and there are about seven episodes per season. Definitely worth your time and easily one of the funniest British sitcoms to come out in the past ten years or so...    

Spaced is available on DVD and Netflix Instant

Now, on to the movies directed by Edgar Wright.  These are just the first three of an excellent career already; I cannot wait to see what he has planned for us with his next movie "The World's End" due out on 25th October, 2013 and especially with what he has cooked up for us in 2015 with "ANT-MAN!" Anyway, here are his movies, and they are all fun to watch!

Shaun of the Dead

This is the movie that started it all for me.  This was the movie that pretty much guaranteed that I would see everything that was directed by Edgar Wright.  It also guaranteed that I would be seeing anything that featured the two leads Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  Shaun of the Dead is a prime example of an excellent horror comedy only it takes that convention and turns it on its ear in a way so brilliant that no one sees the gut punch coming.  The comedy is incredibly funny as you see these two lovable losers deal with zombies in ways that one never thought possible.  But what really makes "Shaun of the Dead" truly special are the horror elements.  The tension and the horror is slowly ratcheted up in a way that when the final turning point hits, the movie has ceased to be a comedy but rather a very effective horror movie.  Sure, it continues to be funny but the horror is so intense and so (for lack of a better word) horrific  that the laughter that was so much easier before, is now actually uncomfortable.  Shaun of the Dead is not just one of the funniest movies ever, it is pretty damn great as a loving tribute to the works of George A. Romero.  Definitely one that is in my top 100 movies and one hell of a fun movie.    

Shaun of the Dead is available on DVD and Blu Ray

Hot Fuzz

After seeing "Shaun of the Dead" in theaters, I was absolutely excited to see what Wright and company had next for me.  While "Shaun" was the tribute to zombie movies, "Hot Fuzz" was Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's tribute to action films; or at least so I thought when I initially saw the movie.  No, what Wright and Pegg have done here, is craft not only a pretty well done action movie that has some pretty badass shootouts and some very cheeky humor, but also an incredibly taut murder mystery that keeps you guessing at every turn.  However as fun as Pegg and Frost are throughout the movie, the actor who proceeds to steal every single scene that he is in is Timothy Dalton as Simon Skinner who drops murderously funny puns that practically implicate him as the villain of the piece.  That said however, the wonderful twists, surprises, humor and action throughout make this another movie in my top 100.  Especially because it ti simply so damn entertaining in all aspects!

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

We come now to Edgar Wright's first movie without Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and the results are....fairly entertaining...Okay. When I first saw Scott Pilgrim in theaters, I loved it with abandon.  This movie holds a special place in my heart because it was the first movie that we saw for our first USG event.  However, as time has gone by, and I have had opportunity to read the source material, I have come to realize that this otherwise ridiculously entertaining movie is not without its flaws.  But I am not here to talk about  the flaws, which (in my humble opinion) are few and far between.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is based on Brian Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim books and you can see the amount of affection that director Edgar Wright has for the source material and it absolutely shows in every frame that exists in the piece of artistic genius that is this film.  It starts out calmly enough. Boy meets girl, boy becomes obsessed with girl, boy hooks up with girl, and then boy has to fight for his life when girl's seven evil exes with superpowers come to kill him.  Then the movie goes from very funny and kinda cute to absolutely and unequivocably insane.  As much as it does have its flaws, Scott Pilgrim is an example of what Wright can do with a comic book property and also what he is capable of when se steps out of his comfort zone of working with Pegg and Frost.  The result?  Definitely a movie to check out!

Wright also had a hand in the fantastic Steven Spielberg film, "The Adventures of Tintin."  If you have not seen that one yet, check it out!  It is a lot of fun!

That is it for me at the moment.  That said, I will be back with another edition of "Watch It!" soon! I promise it will not be a year in between editions of this particular feature!  Thanks for reading and stay geeky!

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