Bombs Away!

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Bombs Away!

What lessons will Hollywood learn from this year's batch of mistakes?

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I think, judging almost solely by the box office totals from the Resident Evil movies, that it's pretty clear Angelina Jolie isn't the only female who can carry an action movie.

They dont are that some of their films fail if they did they would try harder not to make generic crap.

I think the lesson movie executives should take away from Sucker Punch is that Zack Snyder should just be a cinematographer or director of photography, because when he's allowed absolute freedom as a director we get this crap. And he should certainly never be allowed to write anything again for the rest of his life, not even a shopping list.

Seeing Sucker Punch fail the way it did actually fills me with some hope that the majority of the mainstream moviegoers won't simply flock to whatever movie has the shiniest CGI. I dont think I could've taken seeing both Transformers 3 and Sucker Punch succeed at the box office.

So... in between Sucker Punch and Green Lantern this basically means we'll never get a (good) Wonder Woman film anytime this decade, will we?

My heart weeps~

I won't lie, I'm a little disappointed that you didn't do a full video on the latest Conan movie. But this makes up for it :)

(Although a Big Picture about Howard's material and its adaptions would be great!)

I'm surprised that Zach Snyder's career hasn't been hurt by this. Look at the box office numbers for his list of films.

He's had two films that were unqualified successes: Dawn of the Dead 2004 and 300 (2007). Watchmen and Legend of the Guardians may have eeked out small profits after DVD sales, but Sucker Punch was a high-budget disaster.

Now, it's true that it's only been four years since the success of 300, but that's still 3 big-budget movies that Snyder has directed that only had modest success, at best - after the DVD sales.

Pedro The Hutt:
So... in between Sucker Punch and Green Lantern this basically means we'll never get a (good) Wonder Woman film anytime this decade, will we?

My heart weeps~

The fact they had already downgraded Wonder Woman to a TV show and couldn't even get that launched is probably an even surer sign of this. Surprised he didn't touch on Fright Night which also seems to have bombed fairly hard. Between that and Conan I'd think the lesson is 'not EVERYTHING from the 80's has enough nostalgic value to be profitable.'

I think that Sucker Punch failed because it was not a good movie. It was belowed avererge at best. I found it to be too loud and annyoing.

I'm annoyed C&A bombed.

I really enjoyed it.

Zack Snyder is a hack without a good script or quality source material to faithfully "adapt". Sucker Punch was one of the worst films of the year. That Owl movie looked cool but tried to cram too much story and exposition into a 90 minute movie, thus making a completely forgettable experience. Watchmen was a good movie with a bunch of problems (mainly his direction). 300 was his last truly fun movie. Dawn of the Dead was his best movie, proving that you can successful remake a classic horror movie.

tis a shame on the Beaver, good movie with Mel Gibson's stellar performance

I really enjoyed reading this. Something tells me that WB IS really thick and they'll come to wrong conclusion about Green Lantern. Or maybe that's being to cynical.

This entire article is a waste of precious words and you know it, bob.

What will Hollywood learn: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, say it again yall! HOLLYWOOD, WHAT, YEAHHHHH. WHAT WILL THEY LEARN? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

I still don't like when he says Captain Montage: The First Avenger and Thor are good. Both of them suffer from absolutely horrible pacing. Captain America is way too hectic, as people, places, and explosions just drop in from out of nowhere and drop out just as quickly. Thor, on the other hand, decided its redemption story was only going to last two days as Thor races through the fastest character arc in the history of characters. I can't stand that he'll knock non-comic movies for less but salivates all over these because of geek minutiae.

Did anyone else find it funny that he began two entries with "(G-rated interjection), where to begin?"

Was the Beaver really a flop because of Mel Gibson hate, or was it because of the no advertising, no hype, limited release, niche-appeal of the subject matter?

MacNille:
I think that Sucker Punch failed because it was not a good movie. It was below average at best. I found it to be too loud and annoying.

And sad thing is Snyder obviously thought it was some deep, meaningful, thoughtful narrative. Stupid people trying to act smart never works

The real problem with Sucker Punch may have been that it wanted to have its cake and eat it, too. It sold itself as spectacle with a side of titillation and then chose to throw the standard action movie narrative on its ear and bring in a gratuitous downer ending. Even as someone who was reasonably willing to accept the message that Snyder might have been trying to push, that annoyed me. To someone who was the target audience of that movie and/or that message, it was probably enough to make them go out and advise their friends to stay away.

It's actually a bit of a pity; it's got a lot going on visually, and I really like Emily Browning.

The message I'm getting from the movies these days is that I'm not very qualified to judge what will be successful. I really like to believe that good movies will prevail over bad ones, and writing a decent script and identifiable characters and coherent plot is at least as important as bankable leading men and CGI-O-rama, but movies like the most recent Pirates and Transformers, as well as the box office failure of Scott Pilgrim, seem to exist to prove me wrong.

As far as The Beaver goes, I'm willing to consider a little Gibson-hate in the equation. Trying to pull a warm-and-fuzzy after making a drunken verbal assault on Jews, leaving your wife and children for your mistress, and then spewing a sickeningly violent tirade at said mistress after she has your child makes a lot of people feel you're trying to pull one over on them.

On the plus side, it doesn't seem to have dampened things too much for director Favreau, who's still attached to direct Disney's ambitious tent pole The Magic Kingdom - in which a family must navigate Disney Land (as in, the park) after the rides, locations and characters magically come to life. (Anyone kinda hope they throw a keyblade in there, somewhere?)

YES, Yes i would like a keyblade thrown in there.

I felt Sucker Punch failed because it was a bad film.

Zach Snyder works well with a good script, this wasn't a good script. It was pretensious, needlessly complex and the message it was delivering was delivered in a loud, brash OTT way, coated in an over-use of CGI and explosions.

The problem with Sucker Punch, which you aluded to in the last line, was that it hated its own audience, or at least expressed contempt for it. It's like a date flick telling the woman watching it that they are unfulfilled losers who can't find a find a decent guy if they paid then, or if a Japanese videogame panned up a womans miniskirt and then admonishes us for trying to see her panties.

A movie like Sucker Punch might score some points with feminists, but it isn't they who are going to see it.

People care about Conan the Barbarian, they just don't care about shitty films made about Conan. I didn't go see the film because the trailers made it clear that it was going to be terrible. There is so much awesome in the stories behind Conan, I don't understand why they keep going wrong. For the record, I greatly dislike the Arnold "Conan" movies as well. I accept that there will always be differences between mediums for any given story, but they have SO much to work with and THAT is the shit they put out, really? People care, they just want to see the stories done justice on the big screen.

I haven't seen Sucker Punch yet myself, but all of my friends who have said it was great, and I know Bob gave it a good review too. Why all the hate on it?

What's to be learn that we already did know?

Sucker Punch is Snyder at his best... meaning that is all about the box and not so much about what is inside. He tries a lot to have interesting and deep stories, but always seems to fall short. He comes really close, but somehow fail to deliver a really engaging story... his movies are always a visual blast (Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen, Legend Of The Guardian) and Sucker Punch is no exception. You come out of the theater with the feeling that your eye where given candies, but the brain didn't.

Cowboy and Alien was an hard one to pull. The premise alone was a stretch. The type of movie that either leave its mark or is forgotten really fast. It could have been the next Men In Black type of movie, but it missed the spot. Knowing that everybody involved usually come out strong, it'll be easy to forgive them and won't leave a black mark on their reputation.

Green Lantern... meh. With Thor, Capt America and X-Men... I think comic fans had every reasons to be happy with their summer. It was probably the best summer for the genre. Yes there were good blockbusters comic book movies before (Spider-Man, Batman), but were not played in the same summer and/or were surrounded with terrible terrible movies... Ghost Rider, Superman Returns, Fantastic Four (times 2), Daredevil, Elektra, Catwoman. I would say that having a score of 3 really good comic book movies out of 4 in the same summer is an exploit. So what if one of them was bad? Sure suck to be a Green Lantern fan, though.

I'm glad that The Beaver tanked. I don't care if Mel Gibson can recite lines from Hamlet with precision and timing enough to make my soul weep. No matter how good an actor he may be, he's proven himself to be nothing more than a hateful, racist shit. He deserves to spend the rest of his life flipping burgers before retiring in obscurity.

He's not the only racist in Hollywood, but as the most vocal I think it'd send a message if nobody ever went to see any of his movies again and he was forced to get a real people job.

He'll bounce back though, that's the sad thing. He'll re-discover God, go to rehab or something and then all will be forgiven.

Come to think of it, a worse problem with Sucker Punch than contempt for the kinky predilections of its audience that it panders to was that most of the action exists in a fantasized reality, so winning or losing only has a bearing on the fantasy itself and not the actual character. Even if you connect it in ways like "if you die in the dream you die in real life" the conflict was not a character versus external adversities but internal psychological elements in conflict with themselves, which makes it hard to find any sort of connection with the protagonist. Overall it diminishes the sense of agency or relevance from the action. All the movie did was look pretty.

Which reminds me, the action was derivative of a lot of other action/fantasy movies--Dragonslayer comes to mind--which only reminded me how much better those other movies were.

Man, I had completely forgotten about Sucker Punch until today. It should be put back to rest.  

Sucker Punch didn't fail only fail because it has Female Leads. It failed because it sucked. It was not a "confrontational visual essay on gender politics told through symbolic multi-tiered fantasy sequences disguised as sexploitation" as you put it. It was nothing more than a generic B-Movie Action flick, that tried to disguise itself as something deeper. At this point Bob, you're the only person defending that movie.

MacNille:
I think that Sucker Punch failed because it was not a good movie. It was belowed avererge at best. I found it to be too loud and annyoing.

The thing that seems to be the problem is that Snyder wanted to make a movie that was essentially a vehicle for showing women kicking ass, when he probably should have used the movie as a means to tell a compelling story that featured women kicking ass. Perhaps if he had a story to tell in the first place, and the brains to write characters and plot beyond aesthetics, it might have worked too. I'm pretty sure most of the movie script just consisted of pastel drawings of robots and schoolgirl outfits.

We all remember how great Ripley was from Aliens, right? Well in the Alien books, Ripley was a man, and the books were first and foremost telling a cool story about deadly monsters. The lead role wasn't the focus of the story. Whilst making the movie, the idea came to make Ripley a woman, a decision that has no immediate impact on the plot itself, but incidently resulted in one of the most bad ass representations of a mother figure in cinema.

So the lesson to learn is that directors should make a good action story that happens to feature action women, rather than a thing about action women, which happens to feature an action story. That same criticism works for male action movies as well. Jaws would have been just as good (if less plausible) with a trio of women hunting the shark. 12 Angry Women would be just as good as 12 Angry Men. If you want tough female heroes, give us characters to actually care about with a story that makes them relevant.

D'you reckon DC movies will work better post-reboot, when the characters don't have 50-70 years of incredibly convoluted continuity working against them?

We'll see next Wednesday, I guess

lordofthenight:
I haven't seen Sucker Punch yet myself, but all of my friends who have said it was great, and I know Bob gave it a good review too. Why all the hate on it?

I've seen a lot of movies at the Cinema, some good, some bad. I remember watching "Matrix Revolutions" and "Lord Of the Rings 1" and having FUN. I felt sad at the end of those movies, going back outside into the cruel boring world. Money well spent for a few hours of escapism. Well, for me at least, Suckerpunch was even better. I'm a geek, so I'll never ever have fun watching movies like "Fast and the Furious" or "Machete". Cars, butts, tits, latino music. Having fun yet? There's so much crap being shoved in our brains that we begin taking them for real. Think beer commercials for a second. Beer sucks, it has a nasty taste, gives you gas and headaches, makes you do ugly things and lands you in prison for those things. But you like beer, right? We all do. 20 years ago nobody around me drank beer. It stank of piss and it still does. But so many commercials with hot women and yachts have been shoved down our throats that more and more people began to think it's all good. And we just followed along. Hot outside? Hell, I sure could use a beer. Makes me feel like a MAAAN!. Sorry, went off-road for a second. Back to movies.

Right now, the movie going crowd mainly falls into 3 groups. Those that still watch Adam Sandler movies, those that enjoy pretty much everything and, finally, those that don't actually go to the Cinema, because all Ingmar Bergman's movies are already on DVD's. The problem is that most GOOD, sorry, PERFECT movies, that used to be in the third category, don't sell. They had to be dumbed down to move to the second cat. Some very few ones remained smart and deep but easily tempted less complex minds with explosions and fight scenes. "Matrix" is a great example of such movies. And being exposed to such movies, idiots began to feel smart. Take "Shutter Island" and "Inception" starring the same actor and being released almost at the same time. For me, "Shutter Island" is a masterpiece, not particularly complex, but a great example of what can be achieved in movies. To actually be caught in the madness of a nut-job, to feel his feelings and think his thoughts, wow, felt more like role-playing than watching a movie. "Inception" on the other hand, again for me, was a boring slow-mo special effects snore session. And yet, guess which one everybody liked more. "Inception" was a silly little idea, simple enough for the masses to understand, yet complex enough for them to feel special at cracking it. And quite a few movies make the same mistake: making the dumb feel smart. Why? Well, it's like chess: if I let you beat me, you won't learn, will you? Even worse, you might actually think that your strategy is good, and play like that in other matches. Sorry, I'm a big chess fan.

So give them the slightest glimpse of a complex under-layer in a movie and the dumb will start cracking at it, using their limited thinking and pathetic experience. They'll be so thrilled at their new-found brain power that they'll start using it everywhere, even when there's actually no problem at all. Tell them straight "This is what I want you to do" and they'll start thinking "Hmm, he said that in a weird straightforward way. Maybe he wants me to do something else entirely". And, when their efforts will eventually end in utter failure, they'll blame your movie, your script, your idea. Ever beat a newbie at chess and heard the famous words "this game sucks"? Well, this is what happened to Suckerpunch. This movie did indeed have a deep, very deep message, for those smart enough to listen. But it also had action, girls, weapons, you name it. The masses should've loved it. Why did it fail? Because the moment that asylum turned into a brothel (minor spoiler, sorry), everybody thought "INCEPTION!!! I know this! Layered consciousness, yeah! I'm so smart. What, girls? Action? I'm too smart to enjoy such trivial stuff now".

Suckerpunch is a one-time experiment. It failed at the box-office and I doubt that we'll ever see such a splendid experiment ever again. So, I'm thankful that I actually got to see it, I'm glad it was actually made. It worked for me, it told me what mattered and I got the message. Look, don't even listen to Bob's review. It isn't about feminism. It isn't about turning the tough guy action movies on their head. Nope...

Here's what I got from the movie: "Hi, I'm Zack Snyder. I'm a director. I am really good at making nice slow-mo action scenes. I can also put some awesome music in my movies. Now, I know life can be shitty sometimes, evil stuff going on everywhere, we all feel pretty hopeless about it. It's like, no matter what we try, we're stuck in this shithole, right?. But hey, we all got to live, so why dwell on the ugly parts? Why not concentrate on what we like and on what we can do well? Maybe we can even lie to ourselves it that helps even a little. Otherwise, we might not leave our homes, afraid of being raped or killed. I know it's hard to keep a smile. But we have to try. Look, I'm good at movies, maybe I can show you an example of how I try to make the world enjoy life a bit better. Here, take this girl, I'm gonna put her in a really ugly ugly situation.. ready? She's raped by her father, accidentally kills her sister while trying to save her from the monster dad, is thrown into an asylum where she's gonna be lobotomized and used as a sex toy by the guards. Ugly stuff, right? Who'd want to go to such a movie? Why ruin a perfect afternoon? If I can turn that into a Cinema thrill for you, if I can somehow make you feel GOOD while watching such a crazy sad story, that means we could all try to bring some magic into our lives. I'll make it easy for you. Who'd like to see crazy girls in an asylum throwing shit at the walls? I don't. How about I turn it into a sexy french brothel? Dress the girls nice, but still keep the sexual pressure and the violent situation in the scene. Ok so this girl is really messed up, who'd blame her? You can imagine her screaming like a witch in an asylum. Ugly image. But hey, it's her weapon, if she doesn't use it, she'll be raped or whatever. At least acting crazy keeps the guards from thinking she's sexy. But I can't show that. No... hmm, how about... well... what would YOU like to see? I mean, yeah, there's something ugly going on in the "real world" but, what would you rather see? How about schoolgirl fighting mecha samurais? Or a Dragon? With a minigun! Yeah... I'll do that. What? Sounds geeky? So what, if you enjoy something, no need to feel ashamed. If you like something, just do it, enjoy life man!"

Sounds crazy? Well, it's unique, I'll give you that. But what I know is that I went to a movie about a molested girl in an asylum, and had a BLAST. I can't remember ever having such a good time at the cinema. For 2 entire hours, I had a huge smile on my face. For days I couldn't get over the awesome fight scenes. Did I ONCE stop and analyse the movie? No need. I've never seen such a straight-forward idea and movie. So my advice is: watch it. Sit down, shut up, don't think, just WATCH it. Even if the message doesn't get to you, enjoy the awesomeness. But if, as in my case, you do get the message, it might change the way you think about life in general and how you react to other people's strange joys. I haven't seen many movies with such a useful and brilliantly proven tactic to living your life. Sure, movies like "The Seventh Seal" can PROPOSE questions, but movies that actually ANSWER questions are rare. Go back to what I wrote in the beginning, ranting about beer and shitty movies. Well, the moral of the story is that I actually enjoy ranting, much more than I actually dislike any of the above mentioned. It's my greatest weapon. And, if by using it I actually disproof my own theories, so what? I can go back to drinking beer on a hot day and rant about beer in the colder evening ;)

lordofthenight:
I haven't seen Sucker Punch yet myself, but all of my friends who have said it was great, and I know Bob gave it a good review too. Why all the hate on it?

Cos all those people are wrong. Even Bob. Sucker Punch sucker sucks.

Never even heard of The Beaver. I guess that does mean if failed entirely.

There was a movie called "The Beaver"?

"Sucker Punch" wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible. It might appear terrible if you were expecting it to just be another beat-em-up.

If the ComicCon niche movies keep being as bad as Scott Pilgrim and Sucker Punch were... I say let them die off.

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