Directed by Edgar Wright
This is a movie that is a rarity: it has actually grown on me over time. I like it a little more each time I see it. I got it on DVD for Christmas and have watched it three times since then. I really, really like it. What's that? No, I didn't read the books first. I'm reviewing a movie here, not a book!
This movie succeeds in one of my qualifying categories for what makes a great movie: it shows me something I have never seen before. I have never seen people explode into piles of loose change when defeated. I've never seen giant letters "K.O." appear in the air when someone gets knocked out. Except, of course, in video games. But certainly not in a live action movie. And that's one thing I certainly loved about this film; it takes video game conventions that you don't even question anymore, but then by showing them in live action it illustrates just how incredibly bizarre they really are. It fuses sound effect, music, editing, and special effects to produce a surreal film. It really is like nothing I've ever seen before.
The whole film is fueled by an incredibly infectious, geeky energy. Scenes zip and pop, visual and audio gags are thrown about willy-nilly, in-jokes and obscure references pepper the proceedings. The characters are all incredibly unique, quirky, and (most importantly) very specific. Plus, even if you don't get all of the crazy geeky stuff (like my wife), it's still a very funny and sweet romantic comedy. With some kick-ass fight scenes in it.
Ultimately, it's a movie about a weenie/ass of a guy who finally earns some self-respect (literally--you'll see) when he overcomes not his new girlfriend's past and current demons, but his own. In a crazy way it's a joyous and uplifting film. It's certainly not a perfect film. The end of the second act in particular (vs Roxy and vs The Twins) feels a little flat. But I think it is destined to go in my "will watch at any time" list, and for me that's saying a lot.