New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Director Edgar Wright

Posted by Amoebite, June 26, 2014 05:24pm | Post a Comment

Edgar Wright

Patron saint of quirky, culty contemporary cinema, director/screenwriter Edgar Wright has put a distinctly English spin on the fanboy worlds of zombies, aliens, and comic book heroes. In the mid-'90s Wright got his start working on BBC TV comedies, but it wasn't till his feature film Shaun of the Dead hit theatres in 2004 that he began really making a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic. The hits came in steady succession, with 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2013's The World's End making up the jokingly named Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, a nod to both influential Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy and the British ice cream treat brand Cornetto.The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy

Wright swung by Amoeba Hollywood to share some of his favorite flicks with the What's In My Bag? team. The honor of being Wright's first and only musical pick goes to David Bowie, whose latest album The Next Day, gets a nod. Next up is Guillermo Del Toro's big budget spectacular Pacific Rim, an epic monster movie with amazing special effects--plus brains, beauty, and heart. Later on, he highlights Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, a gem of a film starring the effervescent Greta Gerwig in a black-and-white film about being young, broke, and eternally hopeful in New York City. Next up, Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine's candy-hued fever dream (or is it more of a nightmare?) gets highly recommended. British horror anthology film The Monster Club shows up at the end, leaving viewers with the weird and wonderful proposition of watching Vincent Price try to fit in at a nightclub populated by monsters in extremely cheap-looking Halloween masks. Check it out in the full episode below.

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edgar wright vs. the world...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 12, 2010 02:05pm | Post a Comment
I have had a long love affair with zombies. Since I can remember I have always been obsessed with them. There is just something about the undead! I have been a long time horror fan and zombie movies have always been my favorite within that genre. They are a bit scary but I always thought they were a bit hilarious as well. The original Dawn of the Dead by George Romero was released in 1978. The movie is nothing short of brilliant. It combines my two favorite malls and zombies! It remains my favorite of all time. There were many great zombie movies throughout the 70s and 80s but I had pretty much given up on the zombie movie in recent years... That is, until Edgar Wright came around and released the brilliant Shaun of the Dead in 2004! This was my first introduction to Edgar Wright but he had already created the amazing British TV series Spaced. I highly recommend that you check out this DVD -- it is really some amazing stuff -- but Shaun of the Dead is really Edgar's masterpiece. I still don't think I have met anyone who doesn't love this movie. I just don't know how you can't. Comedy zombie films don't always work but Edgar Wright just got it perfect. I really can't ever get enough of this movie and I usually laugh throughout the whole thing! The movie stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. This was also my first introduction to them as well. Edgar's take on the buddy cop film came out a couple of years later in 2007. Hot Fuzz was highly anticipated for me. I couldn't wait to see what Edgar would come up with next. It was amazing, just as I had hoped. You can read my review of the Hot Fuzz DVD from a couple of years ago right here.

Both Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are also now available on Blu-ray. I am huge fan of the director's and actors' commentaries. It was one of my favorite things about DVDs when they first started adding them to the releases, although some are, of course, better than others. Shaun of the Dead has an amazing commentary from Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg together. I could really listen to this without even watching the movie! You will learn a lot about this movie but mostly you'll just laugh along with them as they laugh at each other. The Hot Fuzz ultimate edition Blu-ray actually comes with 5 commentaries! Both these movies are two of my favorites of the decade. I just can't express my love of Edgar Wright enough! I love horror movies and the buddy cop action movies of the 80s and Edgar Wright somehow managed to reinvent both of these genres and make them his own. He ended up creating two of the most hilarious dark sort of comedies of the decade. I really was not sure what Edgar could have done next to impress me. I was waiting in anticipation for his next move for what seemed like forever...

Until, of course, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. This movie is Edgar Wright's take on the super hero / comic book / video game / fantasy film. It is a movie about a nerdy guy who must destroy his new girlfriend's seven evil exes. The movie is cast perfectly. It stars Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the happy couple. The evil exes are played by Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzmen, Mae Whitman, Brandon Routh, Satya Bhabha, and Keita & Shota Saito. Kieran Culkin plays Scott's cool gay roommate Wallace. Anna Kendrick is Scott's sister. Johnny Simmons plays his band mate, Young Neil, and Mark Webber plays his other bandmate, Stephen Stills. Finally, the brilliant Aubrey Plaza plays Julie Powers, Stephen Stills' ex-girlfriend. I fell in love with this movie right away. There had been attempts at video game type movies before but nothing like this. The movie is full of pop culture and video game references. It also has one of the best portrayals of a gay character that I have ever seen. Kieran's version of Wallace is probably one of the most normal characters in the movie. The gay character doesn't always have to be the silly or tragic character in the film! They can also be the sort of normal, down to earth character as well.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is based on the comic book of the same name. The movie is a super fun journey to watch. I am not really sure how you can't like this movie, either. It has already become a sort of cult classic -- Edgar already has a rabid fanbase and this movie quickly developed a devoted fanbase as well.

We had the pleasure of doing an instore with Edgar Wright and the cast of Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World at Amoeba Hollywood last night!They were signing copies of the recently released DVD and Blu-ray. I couldn't imagine a better group of people. This is now officially my new favorite instore of all time! They were like a big, happy extended family. We had 12 actors at the signing! Edgar Wright was joined by the creator of the comic, Bryan Lee O'Malley. Joining both of them were 10 members of the cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aubrey Plaza, Mae Whitman, Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzmen, Brandon Routh, Satya Bhabha, Johnny Simmons & Mark Webber. Michael Cera is, of course, Michael Cera! Everyone knows Jason Schwartzmen from Rushmore and Brandon Routh from Superman Returns. You might remember the beautiful Mary Elizabeth Winstead from Final Destination 3. Anna Kendrick is, of course, from the Twilight movies and Up in the Air. My favorites of the group were Mae Whitman and Aubrey Plaza. Both Michael Cera and Mae Whitman were in the brilliant Arrested Development. Michael Cera played Jason Bateman's son and Mae Whitman played Michael's girlfriend. Aubrey Plaza can be seen in Parks & Recreation with Amy Poehler. And watch out for the adorable Satya Bhabha! I think we will be seeing more of him soon.

Over 300 fans got their stuff signed. The fans were the hardcore loyal fans of the movie and Edgar Wright. Most people had their Blu-rays and DVDs signed but a large group of others were getting their poster or Scott Pilgrim Soundtrack LP signed. There were a couple Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead DVDs in the crowd as well. Some people brought their comic books too! One girl even had a purse that she had made that all of them signed. Another girl just had a piece of paper. My favorite fan had her little artbook -- she had sketched a little drawing of each of the 12 people and then had them sign under their picture. I think I might actually like the movie even more now, after this event. The New Beverly is showing 2 more screenings of the movie tonight and tomorrow night at midnight! I will be there tonight enjoying the film with other members of the cult of Scott Pilgrim. The movie is not for everyone, I guess -- if you don't like video games or appreciate a fun and silly movie than you may not like the movie, but it really is a whole lot of fun! Now, once again, I just can't wait to see what Edgar Wright will come up with next!

Please check out all the pictures from our fun signing last night right here!

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Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2008 03:01pm | Post a Comment

American fans of Simon Pegg and his movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are obviously quite happy now that Spaced, the wonderful British television show that predated and influenced both these big-screen action/comedies, is finally available on DVD as the nicely packaged Spaced: The Complete Series (BBC Video). 

The British TV situation comedy ran for two seasons back in 1999 and 2001 and has more recently been shown in the US on BBC America. The new DVD set is available at each Amoeba Music location, including the Hollywood store where, according to Rigo in the DVD department, "it has been selling briskly since it was released two weeks ago."

Featuring many of the same players in Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, Spaced was also directed by Edgar Wright, and was written by and stars Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (formerly known as Jessica Stevenson). Spaced also stars Pegg's movie sidekick Nick Frost, as well as Julia Deacon, Mark Heap, and Katy Carmichael. The witty, fast-paced, sci-fi based comedy TV show that ran for just two seasons -- seven episodes each -- nine and seven years ago, is packed with references from pop culture and movies (including Resident Evil and Star Wars) and is given to veering off into surreal scenes in which its main characters become action movie or video game or comic book style heroes. 

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hot fuzz is the new point break

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 2, 2007 10:18pm | Post a Comment
If you missed Hot Fuzz in the theater, I feel really bad for you. It was hilarious to see up on the big screen where it was meant to be seen. But don't worry too much, it still holds up on DVD. The movie is nothing short of brilliant. Just plain brilliant. The DVD just came out this week and I think you should just go out and buy it, even if you have not seen it yet. It was written and directed by Edgar Wright, the genius who created "Shaun of the Dead." The star of both films, Simon Pegg, also co-wrote both films. Simon Pegg's sidekick, Nick Frost, also stars in both films. These British lads work brilliantly together in both films. They are like the Reeves & Busey, Gibson & Glover, or Murphy & Reinhold of England.

"Hot Fuzz" is sort of a spoof of the action buddy films of America like "Lethal Weapon," "Point Break," and "Bad Boys." Simon Pegg plays a London cop who is basically making the other cops look bad because he actually does a good job. He is sent to a small tranquil British town. Nick Frost plays the local cop who he is paired up with. Of course, the small town ends up having some crazy big city type crimes. Luckily both cops have seen enough of those American action movies to know  how to handle the situation. It becomes a hilarious and ridiculous over the top action film. While "Shaun of the Dead" was spoofing the zombie horror movie, it actually ended up becoming an excellent zombie movie. The same thing happens here. It is much more than a Saturday Night Live type spoof made into a movie. It actually works.

This widescreen DVD includes the following extra features: deleted scenes with  commentary, outtakes, US tour piece, audio commentary w/ Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, Storyboards, Trailers, Fuzz-O-Meter, The Man Who Would Be Fuzz, Hot Funk, & Danny's notebook. I have not listened to the commentary yet, but I am looking forward to it. It will be interesting to hear what these boys have to say about the making of the film. I remember anticipating this flim before it came out. I love Shaun of the Dead so much, that I could not imagine anything coming close to its brilliance. But Hot Fuzz managed to do it. I will not go so far as to say that it is better. But it does do for the action buddy movie what Shaun did for the horror buddy movie. It is seriously hilarious. All I have to do is just think about the movie and I will start laughing. I think laughed continuously during the entire movie in the theater.

 I also highly recommend going back and watching Point Break on DVD. Maybe right before you watch Hot Fuzz. The jokes might be funnier. Point Break was not meant to be funny or any sort of spoof. But 15 years later, it is sort of hilarious. Movies like this really did take themselves seriously at the time. If you watch it now as a sort of parody of itself it is actually a really entertaining comedy action film. The deluxe "Pure Adrenaline" version was released last year on DVD for its 15 year anniversary. This edition includes 8 deleted scenes and 4 production featurettes. The movie may not stand up to what it once was when it came out. But I seriously remember loving this movie when it came out. I was in High School after all. I was a bit obsessed with Silence of the Lambs and Terminator 2 in the year 1991. But this is definitely one of those movies that I associate with the early 90's. It may be funny now. But back then, it was some serious stuff.  Hot Fuzz might be spoofing films like Point Break. But without Point Break there would be no Hot Fuzz.