Escape to the Movies: Sucker Punch

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Scars Unseen:

DearFilm:
Pro Tip: If you want a movie to be successful, don't compare it favorably to Scott Pilgrim.

I liked Scott Pilgrim. I imagine I'm going to enjoy Sucker Punch immensely.

One pattern that I've picked up on... If Movie Bob gives a recommendation, even if it goes against the general consensus of other film critics, I'll usually like what the movie has to offer. It's when he pans a movie (especially if he invokes the Rant of Bob) that I usually ignore him. This holds even more true with his opinions on video games.

Personally, I found Scott Pilgrim the movie to be fun and energetic for the first third. The second third was draggy and the last third was confused and tonally uneven. Scott Pilgrim the character, on the other hand, as a complete loss on me. A serially depressed, mopy loser.

As for Bob, he is one of the few critics I cannot predict, and that makes him unique and special to me. I love watching his reviews and placing them against my own thoughts on films.

Hmm, the movie had me interested from a 300 perspective, I'll now be interested to see which way it swings me :)
Definately gonna try and catch it in the cinema now!

I appreciate the review in that it's probably taking a side that most movie critics aren't. In that, Movie Bob is probably the only critic who's a fan of Zack Snyder. For, whatever reason, I'm not sure but this is clearly influencing his view. Which is, that this is fanboy porn that is visionary because...it's made by Zack Snyder? I think a little more honesty is required here; a movie is not feminist if all of the girls are heroes and all the villians are dudes. This is still objectifying eye candy, no matter the subject material, sorry. I like how its compared to burlesque, but I think that falls a little short. I like Zack Snyder movies and I will see this probably, don't get me wrong, but its because i like action/sci-fi/violent eye candy, not because I think they're good movies.

I'm really conflicted about this movie. I'm a bit sexist when it comes to female leads - and SUPER picky about how they behave/are characterised/presented etc. But the promise of a chickflick done well, with psychedelic elements and (hopefully) no bullshit obligatory romance is a big lure.

I'm just not sure that this movie is worth paying big bucks to see. Your review, though approving, kind of turned me off as it was preempted by a very long fanboy moment for a director whose main two movies were Yawnsville for me.

Hmmm.

So it's not a load of shit after all? Not pandering to the anime watching, video game playing, straight male demographic?

Well, I might see it... when it's on DVD. I didn't have any interest before, and I don't really now either.

Sounds interesting.

Critical reception to it seem to have been largely negative, so I'll be looking forward to seeing it when it hits Europe and determine whether it's because its mix of various styles from modern media is too progressive to allow most to see its depth, or it's a glossy shell of an action flick with badass girls fighting badass things in a dreamworld.

...not that I'll be disappointed either way, really.

DSQ:

Turkey Braveheart:
I am so f-cking glad to hear someone likes this movie. When I heard the guys at Spill give it a Sum ol Bullshit my jaw hit the floor.

Off Topic:
I'm glad to see somone else likes spill, those guys arn't nearly as popular as they deserve. I've never met a bunch of guys so willing to get invoved with there audience. If i'm ever in austin i'm definatly going to one of their epic meet ups!

Me too man, in fact, the way they talk about the nerd community in Austin makes me want to move there.

Love it or hate it is going to be the definitive response, although I think more people will be prone to land on the hate it side. I kind of saw a female empowerment fantasy as a possibility for the movie when I saw it last night at a midnight showing, but the film is just all over the place. Plus the characterization of the girls is too minimal for it to come across like something profound. I can definitely say that I truly utterly hated this movie.

Interesting analysis Bob, although I can easily say while both Scott Pilgrim and Sucker Punch are ambitious, Scott Pilgrim is the only one that is actually a good movie (best movie of last year I should say). I thought the potential for a fully realized world with dragons, Ninja's and robots was something out of a childhood fantasy that I always wanted to see. I just wish, Sucker Punch was actually not a sack of crap.

I do see this poised though as a cult classic in a few years, just for the ambition behind it.

AWW RIGHT! I clicked on this thinking 'ah shit he's gonna rip it to shreds' - ever since I saw the trailer for this film like two years ago I've had my eye on it, to say it's 'up my alley' would be an understatement, it's like someone looked at me and said 'hey, let's make a film just for that guy', and I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels the same way.

Can't wait for its UK release

Falseprophet:

Turkey Braveheart:
I am so f-cking glad to hear someone likes this movie. When I heard the guys at Spill give it a Sum ol Bullshit my jaw hit the floor.

Speaking for myself, I find Bob steers me right about 95% of the time and the Spill guys about 60% of the time. So I'll be there tonight.

Plus, any movie with a Brazil reference--especially the giant metal samurai--is alright in my book.

I've noticed I'm more in line with Moviebob too. The first time I noticed that was the WILDLY different reviews of the Watchmen. While I didn't love it as much as Moviebob, I was baffled at the fanboyish scorn heaped on it by the Spill Crew.

Watchmen was only good for me cause Zack Snyder managed to put what was in the graphic novel right (which is commendeable I admit considering its very hard) a lot of what seem to be more original on his part rather bad (although I still think his change to the ending were good movie-wise, unlike a lot of people seem to think)

So a 100% original creation don't really stimulate me all that much, I think the guy even thought he's very stylistic still can be fairly dull to watch

Sylocat:
By the way, Escapist, is there a REASON your forums have to wait for a connection to static.ak.connect.facebook.com every time I try to post a comment, even though I don't have a Facebook account? And is there a reason it always takes so goddamn long to connect to it?

If you are having a problem, please contact our tech department here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/contact/

Kitsuna10060:

Gxas:
SON OF A BITCH!!!

I was going to see this movie tonight. We had everything planned. Then what happens? My friend sees its score on metacritic and "won't pay for a shitty movie" so now we're seeing Paul...

I WANT TO SEE THIS FUCKING MOVIE!!!!!!!

Hopefully I can persuade him otherwise...

>.> or ya know, pay your own way, this looks a hell of a lot better the Paul i'm a go see it, >.> after i get paid that is

I can't see movies by myself in a theater. I have to have someone to turn to. Its a curse...

DearFilm:

Scars Unseen:

DearFilm:
Pro Tip: If you want a movie to be successful, don't compare it favorably to Scott Pilgrim.

I liked Scott Pilgrim. I imagine I'm going to enjoy Sucker Punch immensely.

One pattern that I've picked up on... If Movie Bob gives a recommendation, even if it goes against the general consensus of other film critics, I'll usually like what the movie has to offer. It's when he pans a movie (especially if he invokes the Rant of Bob) that I usually ignore him. This holds even more true with his opinions on video games.

Personally, I found Scott Pilgrim the movie to be fun and energetic for the first third. The second third was draggy and the last third was confused and tonally uneven. Scott Pilgrim the character, on the other hand, as a complete loss on me. A serially depressed, mopy loser.

As for Bob, he is one of the few critics I cannot predict, and that makes him unique and special to me. I love watching his reviews and placing them against my own thoughts on films.

I think the pacing issues primarily stem from the fact that it's a feature length film adaptation of a 6 volume comic. I can forgive it that, and really didn't even notice on the first viewing (because I was too busy having fun watching it). As for the character, I think that, after reading the comic, Michael Cera wasn't the best casting decision they made with that movie. The problem is that I can't really tell you who would fit the character.

All in all, I enjoyed Scott Pilgrim for what it was, and believe that the only real way to improve it would be to stretch it into TV series, preferably of the sort that HBO would host, or possibly some of the better SciFi Channel mini-series (BSG, Dune, etc). Oh, and change the Katayanagi twins back into robot engineers instead of the lame retcon into DJs. That would be great.

Well color me surprised. I fully expected this movie to be utter tripe and shallow, blatant pandering to the male audience. (Don't get me wrong, I appreciate being pandered to, but it does get old after a few dozen samey action movies).

I'm equally surprised that Bob didn't make the connection to Psychonauts. Yeah, they're different and relatively distinct story-wise, but if you think of each girl's individual fantasy as a "level" in a game, it starts to add up. Maybe you haven't played the game? It's cool.

Yes! I was hoping that this review would be praising the movie and not trashing it. I want to see this so bad, but sadly I am broke...

:(

wow, really? The trailer made this film look fucking stupid. I might actually see it now.

Nice one ad department...

So a movie is deep and filled with artistic value and "burlesque" material and the director is an intelligent artist when it suits Bob?

Considering that Bob said this same drivel and same blatant fanboyism about a "game changing" film when the decidedly mediocre and nerd pandering Scott Pilgrim came out, and even name checks that blandness in this, makes me pretty certain that Sucker Punch is nothing more than a continuation of Zack Snyders eternally pre-pubescent idea of story telling and a similar train wreck that 300 was.

Then again, neither compares to the utter horror of watching Watchmen again, a adaptation so inept that the notoriously grumpy Alan Moore can actually be sided with fully, as what Snyder did with the story is a blueprint how to totally miss the point of an adaptation and go against everything the source material was about while laughing all the way to the bank.

I wish I had already went out and seen it instead of waiting for the review, but I had to be sure, now I know I'll love it :)

My only concern is what exactly is Bob's deal against 300? Its one of my favorite movies. And for him to call Frank Miller's work "drivel" is appalling to say the least.

What about Sin City, or Miller's adaptation of The Spirit? Bob claims he's for artistic stuff as well as grindhouse style action so what exactly is his beef?

Gxas:

Kitsuna10060:

Gxas:
SON OF A BITCH!!!

I was going to see this movie tonight. We had everything planned. Then what happens? My friend sees its score on metacritic and "won't pay for a shitty movie" so now we're seeing Paul...

I WANT TO SEE THIS FUCKING MOVIE!!!!!!!

Hopefully I can persuade him otherwise...

>.> or ya know, pay your own way, this looks a hell of a lot better the Paul i'm a go see it, >.> after i get paid that is

I can't see movies by myself in a theater. I have to have someone to turn to. Its a curse...

:( that sucks

MovieBob:
Sucker Punch

MovieBob reviews Sucker Punch, which is "intelligent and moving, if utterly deranged."

Watch Video

Between Brazil and Pan's Labyrinth, the "visually-stylized movie about dreams as an escape from a harsh, unforgiving reality that occasionally intrudes on those dreams" is covered without having to invoke Inception.

But it's a worthy theme to look into--there's a lot of depth in that concept--and it appears to have been handled in a very different way. It works because it allows us to connect real-life experiences (like loss, war, or captivity) to our own heroic fantasies, and in doing so escape with these characters.

Watchmen also did this with the human drama between the various vigilantes--it became apparent that their superheroic alter-egos were a way of dealing with, escaping, or exerting power over their own out-of-control (and very human) lives. It did, however, also show the danger in actually living out those power fantasies, whereas movies like Brazil and Pan's Labyrinth still treat them as fantasies...

Well along with this and his opinion on Paul and Bayonetta, I've never disagreed more with Bob.

I would have never seen this on Wednesday, if I hadn't scored a free screening ticket. Though in the end I admit that I enjoyed this, I can not take someone serious when they say that it was in any form imaginative or heartfelt, feminist, or empowering.

The extent of imagination in this movie was some guy thinking "You know what'd be dope? A trippy ass story where Alice In Wonderland was kicking ass with a machine gun and samurai swords. And there'd be some complicated dream world thing, I haven't really worked that part yet, but it'll be deep and meaningful." The heartfeltness extended to the fact that the creators put effort into it and enjoyed what they're doing. To claim that it is feminist or empowering is as misguided as the claim that girls gone wild, strippers, and porn stars are feminist, empowering themselves because because they [i]reclaimed their feminitity and showed [i]independence by choosing their line of work. (In reality porn studios and viewers think little more of them than objects.)

Zach Snyder is the epitome of style over substance and excessive visuals. He's just a Michael Bay who likes painterly style filters and able to pick respectable scripts. Although commendable I don't care how much work and detail he went into plugging as many details as possible through reference and production design into Watchmen, because he completely missed the tone. Watchmen was written and illustrated as a melodramatic story with a prevailing aura of dread. When I first read the book, I got the impression that at any moment any character could die and that that impending doom would befall the world and that we were just waiting for the timer to click. Snyder's interpretation was awkwardly strung together with no pacing and overwhelmed by his obsession of injecting slow motion scenes and pornographic violence. In the book we were alluded to the theory that the Comedian may have played a part in the JFK assassination. Since Snyder knows no subtlety, he decided to show within the opening of the movie: JFK being shot and the camera panning to a closeup of the Comedian with a smoking rifle at the grassy knoll. All before any characters are introduced or developed.

I will admit to the fact that Snyder is a great craftsman and technical director. However it would be disingenuous to claim that his work is much higher than pandering to nerds simply because he scatters minute amounts of sociopolitical issues into it. And it's sad that the lure of sugary technicolor, CGI, explosions, and girls in cute costumes fools people into thinking otherwise.

Personally I watch the trailer and get turned off to this. It starts with a woman being sexually assaulted and ends with her running around dressed like a school girl fetish. Sure she has a sword now so instead of slow mo cat scratching she is slow mo slicing but she also shows her crotch off a lot more. I would think she would keep the private now that she can protect it. I get mixed messages from this movie and feel like I have to see it to find out if it makes sense. Though after Movie Bob's take on it I'm sure it doesn't. He seems to like movies that don't.

EDIT: Oh and when the trailer says "I can't imagine anything like this," I'm pretty sure the movie looks like I could. A D&D campaign played on the Nazi zombie mode of an FPS while Samurai Jack screams girl power. On Shrooms. There movie decoded.

Scars Unseen:

DearFilm:

Scars Unseen:

I liked Scott Pilgrim. I imagine I'm going to enjoy Sucker Punch immensely.

One pattern that I've picked up on... If Movie Bob gives a recommendation, even if it goes against the general consensus of other film critics, I'll usually like what the movie has to offer. It's when he pans a movie (especially if he invokes the Rant of Bob) that I usually ignore him. This holds even more true with his opinions on video games.

Personally, I found Scott Pilgrim the movie to be fun and energetic for the first third. The second third was draggy and the last third was confused and tonally uneven. Scott Pilgrim the character, on the other hand, as a complete loss on me. A serially depressed, mopy loser.

As for Bob, he is one of the few critics I cannot predict, and that makes him unique and special to me. I love watching his reviews and placing them against my own thoughts on films.

I think the pacing issues primarily stem from the fact that it's a feature length film adaptation of a 6 volume comic. I can forgive it that, and really didn't even notice on the first viewing (because I was too busy having fun watching it). As for the character, I think that, after reading the comic, Michael Cera wasn't the best casting decision they made with that movie. The problem is that I can't really tell you who would fit the character.

All in all, I enjoyed Scott Pilgrim for what it was, and believe that the only real way to improve it would be to stretch it into TV series, preferably of the sort that HBO would host, or possibly some of the better SciFi Channel mini-series (BSG, Dune, etc). Oh, and change the Katayanagi twins back into robot engineers instead of the lame retcon into DJs. That would be great.

Personally, I loved the movie the first time, but did feel a little held back by the pacing. The second time I watched it though, The pacing issues totally vanished. It felt like once you know where the movie is going, Scott Pilgrim's pacing is actually perfect for the kind of movie it's trying to be. Give it another watch, you may be surprised.

This is why i go to Movie Bob for movie reviews, you havnt missed with me once.

Other outlets like Rottenangrycritictomatoes.com always seems to skew the reviews to the bad for movies that just dont hit critics in the same place as they do Bob.

Its so funny to see the tomatoemeter so polarized between critics and viewers on damn near half the movies on that website...

I want to see this movie just to see how bad it is. I mean some reviewers are giving it 0 stars. I gotta see something that bad, I have to see something that makes people angry when they leave the theater.

The Spill review was hilarious by the way.

Moviebob is nothing if not right about how divisive movies can be- Sucker Punch now being added to the list of movies that I vehemently disagree with the man on. That said, Bob forms cohesive opinions about why he likes something, and I can respect that. Even if some of it can come off as pretentious.

I still watch everything he does, and this is mostly why- I don't always agree with him like many other features on the Escapist.

How can you call 300 "Frank Miller Dribble". Its not a timeless classic, but its a fuckload better than that shitty movie. I've never enjoyed the work of Zack Snyder, and I doubt this will change my opinion of him at all, but I'll try to be open minded.

will see it... eventually (f***ing region D:)

No Bob, this is not an example of a young director expressing his artistic talent in a positive way. This film is to Snyder as "Lady in the Water" was to M. Night. It's Snyder's own personal world that only makes sense to him and him alone.

The script is utterly insipid. The first 15 minutes have no dialogue and all we are treated to is a remix version of 80s songs that dealt with dreams. Now "Up" had a beginning that had no dialogue and was so emotionally resounding that it was amazing to see people NOT cry in the beginning. But nothing interesting is going on here, just Snyder's "unique" artistic style. And by "unique", I mean slowing down and speeding up every goddamn frame to make mundane activities seem interesting: close up on a key, stop, quick cut to face slow-mo, quick cut to lock speed up, etc. It's absolutely pointless and it's nothing interesting.

The characters are bland and uninteresting. I cannot fathom how you saw ANY character in these girls. These girls were just archetypes: the shy but free-spirit, the hard-knock life chick, the flirt, the screw up, and the...I don't know what to call Vanessa Hudgens since she has less than 15 lines in the whole damn movie. Joe Hamm is totally wasted, he is constantly demonized as the "High Roller" throughout the movie but he doesn't say a word of dialogue until the last 5 minutes in the movie. The "Wise Man" giving the girls instructions says so many off-the-wall-completely-unrelated quips (like "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything") that my audience was laughing in the screening we got. They would make a fortune cookie say, "what the hell are you talking about?!"

This is style over substance and yes, pandering, Bob. You are claiming critics are dismissing it as such. And they are totally right, because there is nothing empowering about these girls fighting when we are treated to so many crotch shots of their panties when they fight.

People, rent this movie. Don't bother catching this theaters. That way, you can at least fast forward to the cool sequences and stop it all when the last dream is done.

Now I'm looking to Superman with a sad, sad face.

Gxas:
SON OF A BITCH!!!

I was going to see this movie tonight. We had everything planned. Then what happens? My friend sees its score on metacritic and "won't pay for a shitty movie" so now we're seeing Paul...

I WANT TO SEE THIS FUCKING MOVIE!!!!!!!

Hopefully I can persuade him otherwise...

No offense, but your friend is an idiot for ever taking Metacritic at face value.

As for the movie, since you trump it up so well Bob and I generally agree with most of your views, I may give it a chance. I originally wrote it off just like you point out as being pure pandering, which Snyder being the director didn't totally help stop that opinion. But it won't be the first time a movie looked awful at first glance and I ended up liking it, so guess I know where I'm going this weekend.

Well, I liked Watchmen, so I might as well watch it. Except for Manhattan being naked half the fucking time. First time, I laughed. After that, it became really irritating.

Aaanyways. Other reviews I read on this say it's rather avarage, but just looking at the scenes in this review, something tells me they're wrong.

i had every ounce of confidence in zack snyder. apparently i was right. unlike moviebob, i loved all 4 of his movies for varying reasons, so sucker punch being great is no surprise.

Okay, bob, here's how I see it: Snyder is nowhere near the second coming of Stanley Kubrick that some people see him as. His adaptations have so far been complete disasters. Watchmen was a flop because the core story was butchered in favor of upping the ante in terms of global catastrophe and placating the potential outcries of "but the villain can't save the world! Not without at least getting smacked around and told he's been very, very bad!" That and everyone besides Haley and Cudrup phoning in their performances.

He added a pointless and boring side plot to 300 to placate potential complaints of "why aren't there any women in this testosterone-fest?" and he made Leonidas shout too much "THIS..IS...UNNECESSARILY LOOOOOOUUUUUD!!!!"

And finally, the only way Scott Pilgrim could have been remotely good was if Edgar Wright time traveled to 1985 and asked Michael J. Fox to play the lead.

Been waiting for this movie for months. Probably going to watch it next week.

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