Scott Pilgrim vs. Eat Pray Love

Two big movies based on books go head-to-head this weekend; Eat Pray Love, (inexplicably, the commas in the book’s title are missing from the screen version) starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, starring Michael Cera, based on the comic book series. From the critics’ point of view, Pilgrim is the winner.

The People magazine reviewer admits to not being a fan of Eat, Pray, Love, the book, but gives the movie 3 of 4 stars even though it “sags in the middle,” On the other hand, Entertainment Weekly’s reviewer loved the book, but isn’t so hot on the movie, giving it a C+

If only Roberts’ warmth, coupled with Javier Bardem’s scruffy sexiness as Felipe, were enough to compensate for the folded-map flatness of this production. If only this glossy Eat Pray Love — an armchair journey for these staycation times — didn’t amount to a whole lot of navel-gazing about problems that, absent the author’s unique narrative language, don’t nearly fill up the 133-minute space the movie version allots.

The movie tie-in has been steadily rising on the USA Today list since it’s release on 6/29; it’s now at #2. NielsenWire’s blog offers a look at  BookScan’s figures on how the movie has affected sales. (Note that BookScan does not include all sales; Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and libraries are not tracked).

And, is it possible? Libraries are still showing holds on all formats of the book; audio, large print, as well as the Spanish-language translation; in some cases, 4:1 for the book.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is getting better response from critics. People designates it a Critics Choice, with four out of a possible four stars, calling it “one of the most exuberant movies of the year…resplendent in its geekiness.” Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+ , calling it possibly “the first rock & roll kung fu videogame youth love story,” but marking it down because the reviewer would have preferred “a little less kick-ass. Still, it’s a true original.”

The books, however, are not getting quite the lift that Eat, Pray, Love is enjoying. The final volume of the Scott Pilgrim series went to #42 on the USA Today list shortly after its release. It stayed on the list for 2 weeks, but is no longer in the top 150. Libraries are showing holds on the entire series, with slightly more for volume 1, but on far fewer copies than they own of Eat, Pray, Love (check out Robin Brenner’s related story on the affect of movies on comics).

Scott Pilgrim Volume 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
Bryan Lee O’Malley
Retail Price: $11.99
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Oni Press – (2010-07-20)
ISBN / EAN: 1934964387 / 9781934964385

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