The Big Picture: You Are Wrong About Sucker Punch, Part One

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I fucking hated this movie because it was way too misandristic (man-hating)for me. The type of Xena Warrior Princess battle cry for "all men must die because they're perverted and evil" crap that makes me want to vomit in my own mouth just thinking about it.

It's one thing when you have a story showing women's struggle with chauvinism, but when EVERY male is portrayed as some perverted cigar-sucking fiend... just gtfo!

>>

mrblakemiller:
I completely agree that calling Sucker Punch misogynist is basically saying, "Women can never wear skimpy outfits or be protrayed as being victimized," so it's not misgynist.

I disagree with everything else you said. Remember that film "The Room" by Tommy Wiseau? After it premiered and absolutely tanked, he came out and said it was a black comedic farce intended to suck to make you laugh. I simply don't grant that. I have no room in my head or my moviegoing experience for a director to come out after, or even before, the fact and say, "You're watching it wrongly." If the film itself can't prove to me that that is "what it's about" then the film failed and not my inquisitive moviegoing brain. Seriously, just how does a striptease parallel to shooting Nazi zombies? Furthermore, why am I supposed to believe it's a good plot device that a pubescent dancer is so great at sexy dancing that it literally stuns the men who see it? Then you've got the pretty aritrary death of two of the main five female characters, which has nothing to with subtext and is just a lazy way to whittle down the protagonists because this is the kind of story where only one person is allowed to survive. Besides, what does it mean for a person to lambast sleazy moviegoing audiences while delivering to them a sleazy movie? that's like a vegan serving hamburgers to his guests and then retreat back to the kitchen to scorn them. No thanks to that kind of self-unaware pretention.

It's not just that Sucker Punch doesn't get to say, "No, we're LAMBASTING that stupid stuff instead of glorifying it," it's that it doesn't serve up a good movie on any basis. The plot is like something out of an 8-bit video game, the characters are as deep as their monikers, and the events do pretty much nothing to make you care about anyone except by saying, "Hey, they're in a crappy asylum and people are abusing and killing them. Be invested." Sucker Punch just didn't work, on any level.

But yeah, it's not misogynist.

Exactly this. I don't really think you can go "you are watching it wrong guys!" in itself can not make those statements.
And what the hell is the movie supposing that you are going to watch it just because of the sexy babes? That's just the point, here, have some sexy babes but remember it's wrong to fawn over them!

Ehm, no.

People who missed this movie are really doing themselves a great dishonor. It's one awesome gem that I initially didn't give the time of day. Now having only seen it once, I am waiting on the BluRay to go on sale so I can pick it up. Plus who really criticize an awesome sequence to Bjork's Army of Me.

Seen the movie.
Got the "message"
Still didn't like the movie.
That ok with you folks?

mrblakemiller:
I completely agree that calling Sucker Punch misogynist is basically saying, "Women can never wear skimpy outfits or be protrayed as being victimized," so it's not misgynist.

I disagree with everything else you said. Remember that film "The Room" by Tommy Wiseau? After it premiered and absolutely tanked, he came out and said it was a black comedic farce intended to suck to make you laugh. I simply don't grant that. I have no room in my head or my moviegoing experience for a director to come out after, or even before, the fact and say, "You're watching it wrongly." If the film itself can't prove to me that that is "what it's about" then the film failed and not my inquisitive moviegoing brain. Seriously, just how does a striptease parallel to shooting Nazi zombies? Furthermore, why am I supposed to believe it's a good plot device that a pubescent dancer is so great at sexy dancing that it literally stuns the men who see it? Then you've got the pretty aritrary death of two of the main five female characters, which has nothing to with subtext and is just a lazy way to whittle down the protagonists because this is the kind of story where only one person is allowed to survive. Besides, what does it mean for a person to lambast sleazy moviegoing audiences while delivering to them a sleazy movie? that's like a vegan serving hamburgers to his guests and then retreat back to the kitchen to scorn them. No thanks to that kind of self-unaware pretention.

It's not just that Sucker Punch doesn't get to say, "No, we're LAMBASTING that stupid stuff instead of glorifying it," it's that it doesn't serve up a good movie on any basis. The plot is like something out of an 8-bit video game, the characters are as deep as their monikers, and the events do pretty much nothing to make you care about anyone except by saying, "Hey, they're in a crappy asylum and people are abusing and killing them. Be invested." Sucker Punch just didn't work, on any level.

But yeah, it's not misogynist.

I bet this got quoted a lot.
For good reason, because it sums up my thoughts.

I'll first say that I enjoyed the fantasy aspects. But much like I did with Mass Effect 3, I retconned, edited, replaced things in my own personal "headcanon". Because I have imagination.

But I did not like the film's "reality". I don't like how, as this quote and many posts after it said, the movie tells me later that I saw it incorrectly. If the movie didn't portray its message properly the first time... It's not because we're dumb, it's because the message wasn't done right.

I get irritated when people try to sell me stuff by juxtaposing the stuff with sexy females. Booth babes, all that, just puts the thought "quit shoving your shit down my throat" way ahead of "oo, a babe".

Not to mention what their definition of sexy is, and how they always assume I'm just "supposed" to find that sexy. No thank you, schoolgirl outfits and pretentious strutting do not turn me on. Stop assuming things.

I get irritated in any movie scenes where men get "distracted by the sexy" and then get disproportionally get what's coming to them. It feels like those characters were just too bloody stupid.

So Sucker Punch? Its message was clear to me from the very beginning. I never watched it, but I've been exposed to the discourse. All the male characters in it, save for that one mystic, were absolutely vile. Why thank you very much. By the time the movie came out, I had heard and seen that point made about 4985720958437598475 times already.

The opposite word of misogynist is misandrist, a word that seems so unknown that even the spell check on this thing is giving the red flag.

Anyone beginning to think the sexist tables are turning to opposite way?

By the way, all I saw when I first saw this movie was just a silly action flick with an overabundance of CG; maybe I didn't get the message because I'm not in the target audience

Moonlight Butterfly:

ElPatron:
snip

That's a pretty bold statement considering you know NOTHING about me. In both of the situations I was in I had very little choice over whether to stay in there or not.

This film had an effect on me more so than any other I have watched because it reminded me of bad situations I have been in. How you can call me out on that and say I'm 'wrong' for feeling that is just astonishing.

I said it would be rough. But no matter the parallelisms, the characters in the asylum are physically locked up and possibly kept under control trough the use of drugs. Escapism is good, but not if it's used to hide the fact that you're a victim.

Skaven252:
I get irritated when people try to sell me stuff by juxtaposing the stuff with sexy females. Booth babes, all that, just puts the thought "quit shoving your shit down my throat" way ahead of "oo, a babe".

That's because you're not the target audience of that marketing ploy.

It's funny that you aimed your torpedoes at "assumptions" but you're making them too. You assume that you're "supposed" to like schoolgirl outfits, you assume that booth babes are trying to sell *you* a product... No, these things appeal to those who actually like them.

So instead of getting offended by everything in this world you could just ignore a few, because you have the right to do so.

Thanks to Markunator in post 21 for putting up the Mark Kermode review, he says everything that needs to be said about this film.

'It is the most boring, ploddingly put together, infantile, crass, adolescent, stupid, chauvanistic twoddle that I have sat through in a very, very long time'

The 'Half in the Bag' guys over at redlettermedia also have an excellent review of Suckerpunch.

ElPatron:

Moonlight Butterfly:

ElPatron:
snip

That's a pretty bold statement considering you know NOTHING about me. In both of the situations I was in I had very little choice over whether to stay in there or not.

This film had an effect on me more so than any other I have watched because it reminded me of bad situations I have been in. How you can call me out on that and say I'm 'wrong' for feeling that is just astonishing.

I said it would be rough. But no matter the parallelisms, the characters in the asylum are physically locked up and possibly kept under control trough the use of drugs. Escapism is good, but not if it's used to hide the fact that you're a victim.

I didn't say it was good but it's all I had at the time. It wasn't like I could do anything else.

We got it, Bob. You do not get that we want movies that are entertaining or clever. If you want to push a message and want audience to pay for it, you better deliver it in good package.

Moonlight Butterfly:

This film made me cry, I'm not sure how many people it had that effect on.

I wasn't far off, right near the end. From a man's perspective, the film is a humongous guilt trip. It throws things at you that you can't help but enjoy, a bit, but is sure to point out how incredibly fucked up it is that you're enjoying it at the same time. And then the ending, when it stomps on you properly...
It's enough to scare me, because I don't ever want to end up being one of those men and it points out how easy it would be to end up like that either by not thinking or not caring about what you're doing.

uanime5:

This movie could have easily criticised the flaws with women in fantasy combat by sending a normal woman into one of these fantasy worlds and have her point out all the flaws, such as wearing armour that barely covers you. This way the director could still have all their fantasy nonsense while making a clear point.

How fucking weak would that be though?

Oh hey audience, I'm just going to explain everything because the message that 'men are arseholes' didn't come through clearly enough, somehow?

I couldn't watch the movie because it sucked so I can't comment on the whole striptease-metaphor-action thing, but I CAN agree that you can't call the movie misogynist because it shows women being abused by truly horrible evil men.

I honestly don't understand how anyone can even conclude that.

Mikkaddo:
"This shit looks like a 2 hour heavy metal music video"

Seriously? Most of the metal music videos I like are all conceptual and bizarre.

You aren't kvlt enough ;)

Sucker Punch was a bad movie for two reasons.

One: it hates its audience. It is more of a joking wink wink hatred but still.

Two: it is too heavily derivative of better fantasy movies that came before.

Sorry, I don't have time to go through all the comments, so this may have been said already:

While I appreciate helping me "get it" -I admit I missed a lot of the stuff moviebob points out, that do actualy make sense-, I don't see how these things change the assesement presented at the beginning of the video : a pandering male fantasy that pays lip-service to feminism. I mean, even if the vilification of the audience is true, and intentional, it was done so timidly, so unengaged, as to be indistinguishable from "lip-sevice to feminsim".
If it was not meant for the audience to get it, but it was merely an in-joke between producers, than it means the movie did _not_ have it as a purpose. There is a point where "subtle" stop being "subtle" and becomes "apologetic, and hidden, so that we can still cash in on the thing, with no one the wiser".
So yeah. Better than I thought, but still fucking bad. And misogynistic, since intent isn't magic.

Moonlight Butterfly:
I didn't say it was good but it's all I had at the time. It wasn't like I could do anything else.

If you thought it was worth it due to your circumstances, more power to you.

Since you have mentioned these abusive relationships several times always in the past tense, I assume that the sacrifice did not save anything.

In the end, there is always something to do against abuse.

StrayDataPoint:
So yeah. Better than I thought, but still fucking bad. And misogynistic, since intent isn't magic.

So 90% (made up percentage, I think the only good/not-bad guys are the driver and the lobotomy dude) of the men in the movie (both IRL and in the Cabaret sequences) are evil people who trap women and abuse them (or at least conspire/do not take action).

Textbook example of the hatred of women. That was sarcasm, by the way.

someonehairy-ish:
I wasn't far off, right near the end. From a man's perspective, the film is a humongous guilt trip.

Maybe I have something against enjoying things like this, but it had the same effect as Spec Ops: The Line. The game tried so hard to make me feel guilty for something that was not my choice that it completely fell short. Add a sub-par gameplay to the mix and the game is unremarkable.

Now Sucker Punch. It presented an unrealistic depiction of what happens when someone is declared insane for plot convenience and even added bribery to make me buy it. Then it went off to some over-the-top but slightly "bland" action sequences. And then it drops the "THIS MOVIE IS ACTUALLY DEEP!" move and tries (or at least people say it tried) to make me feel guilty for the actions of characters I am clearly supposed to hate.

Nimcha:

Wakikifudge:

This plus the fact that most people didn't even like the movie kind of throws its own ideas of us being slobs in its face. I've always thought girls wearing almost nothing while fighting horrible monsters is pretty dumb and this movie was no different for me. I did not watch it in theaters because I had no interest but I watched it at a friend's house.

So not only does it sink to the level of what it hates, it actually fails to be a god enough movie to prove that it's message is true in this case.

Honestly I'm kind of insulted that the movie is apparently aimed at me.

But... it's not. You said you don't enjoy these sort of movies anyway, while the movie is aimed at people who do.

He said it was aimed at gamer geek type people and that's kind of what I am...

ElPatron:

someonehairy-ish:
I wasn't far off, right near the end. From a man's perspective, the film is a humongous guilt trip.

Maybe I have something against enjoying things like this, but it had the same effect as Spec Ops: The Line. The game tried so hard to make me feel guilty for something that was not my choice that it completely fell short. Add a sub-par gameplay to the mix and the game is unremarkable.

Aye, but it was very much my choice to go and see it based in part mostly because of all the scantily clad girlies in the advertising... so it ended up hitting the exact nerve it was aiming for, with me.

And I can see why lots of people wouldn't like that aspect. But I quite enjoy it when something points out flaws that I might have. Maybe I'm just masochistic.

Fanboy gushing over the 'meh' captain america film, then your crusade against the amazing spiderman and now this "oh I'm so much smarter than you and my opinion is right because you supposedly didn't get this movie".
I'm started to get real tired of your shit moviebob.

Wakikifudge:

Nimcha:

Wakikifudge:

This plus the fact that most people didn't even like the movie kind of throws its own ideas of us being slobs in its face. I've always thought girls wearing almost nothing while fighting horrible monsters is pretty dumb and this movie was no different for me. I did not watch it in theaters because I had no interest but I watched it at a friend's house.

So not only does it sink to the level of what it hates, it actually fails to be a god enough movie to prove that it's message is true in this case.

Honestly I'm kind of insulted that the movie is apparently aimed at me.

But... it's not. You said you don't enjoy these sort of movies anyway, while the movie is aimed at people who do.

He said it was aimed at gamer geek type people and that's kind of what I am...

Yes but apparently not the typical type, because it is assumed they would enjoy such things. :P

Wakikifudge:
He said it was aimed at gamer geek type people and that's kind of what I am...

What are you? 12? I'm sorry for being brutally honest, but you accept that anything that might be related to gaming/geek culture should be applied to you?

If you just said that the premise of the action scenes was dumb, you have just proven that you're not the target audience. Just because you consider yourself a gamer/geek doesn't mean you must like everything related to geekiness.

someonehairy-ish:
Aye, but it was very much my choice to go and see it based in part mostly because of all the scantily clad girlies in the advertising... so it ended up hitting the exact nerve it was aiming for, with me.

To me it was the opposite. I watched it because out of a sudden I heard everyone praising the movie and I just went with the "this is probably going to be so bad I'm going to enjoy it" mindset.

It ended up being better than what I thought (by having actual depth) but that only made it worse. It wasn't a dumb movie that I could enjoy for being dumb.

Dammit, I thought maybe there was a great meaning to Sucker Punch I'd missed. I got all that backwards mysogeny but it was just so oddly amateurish.

For example, using Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit, a song strongly linked to the Vietnam War, during a sequence full of WWI imagery is just baffling to me. I think its odd little touches like that which stop the fantasy sequences from being immersive. I'm never spellbinded and as such the film's 'sucker punch' never quite hits home:(

Moonlight Butterfly:
I feel like I 'get' this film mostly because I have been in abusive relationships with men and have used my imagination (and games) as a form of escapism. This film could have been taken from inside my head... I have real life parallels for both the step father and the doctor/brothel owner guy, unfortunately.

You are so right about this Bob, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

This film made me cry, I'm not sure how many people it had that effect on.

It's funny how people who have actually undergone misogyny tend to be more levelheaded about discussing it than the hatemongers who have never had to experience severe misogyny themselves. So thanks for adding your voice to help create a more civilized and intellectual discussion about the subject matter the film is trying to provoke, as opposed to just shouting for blood from the rooftops.

ElPatron:

Wakikifudge:
He said it was aimed at gamer geek type people and that's kind of what I am...

What are you? 12? I'm sorry for being brutally honest, but you accept that anything that might be related to gaming/geek culture should be applied to you?

I'm just going off of what Movie Bob said. He said in his video that it applied to me the gamer. Even if the message applied to me, it would still be a shitty movie because the plot is laughable. And before you say that the target audience is the people who like action and no plot I will say that from what I've seen/heard of other gamer opinions is that most of us don't really like movies like Transformers 2 and such. Most of us prefer more substance to our movies. I can't speak for everyone of course but that's just the majority of what I've seen.

Also, no need to be so hostile. Some people could take that as being jerkish which, you know, is against the rules.

Nimcha:

Wakikifudge:

Nimcha:

But... it's not. You said you don't enjoy these sort of movies anyway, while the movie is aimed at people who do.

He said it was aimed at gamer geek type people and that's kind of what I am...

Yes but apparently not the typical type, because it is assumed they would enjoy such things. :P

I guess so, it's just that most of the gaming culture I've seen (mainly my friends the Escapist and a couple other sites), don't like these types of movies.

GloatingSwine:
So, if Sucker Punch was unsuccessful in conveying its satire of pandering male nerd fantasy cynically pretending to be somehow feminist by making its fetish dolls into action heroes, what does distinguish it from pandering male nerd fantasy cynically pretending to be somehow feminist by making its fetish dolls into action heroes?

Not much. Really.

That's the thing with satirical condemnation, if you aren't very clever, like Zack Snyder, you end up straight up making the thing you were condemning.

He's gotta be a little clever though; we are talking about his film after all. And isn't that the point of these kind of satirical movies - to spark an intellectual debate?

jaymiechan:
My biggest problem, though? The opening scene nearly triggered me. The abusive stepdad? There's obvious cues that the daughters were abused, going to the point of sexual when the shooting occurs, and sexual abuse going to an escapist fantasy that involves being sexually objectified and feasibly abused more? That's ridiculous.

Is it though? Some psychologists would even go so far as to say that 'reliving' an episode of emotional trauma is a necessary experience to fully repair a broken human psyche. I haven't seen the film by the way, so the idea may very well be poorly executed, but the premise the way you describe it here sounds fine to me.

Wakikifudge:

ElPatron:

Wakikifudge:
He said it was aimed at gamer geek type people and that's kind of what I am...

What are you? 12? I'm sorry for being brutally honest, but you accept that anything that might be related to gaming/geek culture should be applied to you?

I'm just going off of what Movie Bob said. He said in his video that it applied to me the gamer. Even if the message applied to me, it would still be a shitty movie because the plot is laughable. And before you say that the target audience is the people who like action and no plot I will say that from what I've seen/heard of other gamer opinions is that most of us don't really like movies like Transformers 2 and such. Most of us prefer more substance to our movies. I can't speak for everyone of course but that's just the majority of what I've seen.

Also, no need to be so hostile. Some people could take that as being jerkish which, you know, is against the rules.

Ha, ha, you sure told him. :)
But what I do disagree with about your statement is how you take a definition of "gamer" from your immediate surroundings, which I don't believe holds water for the larger culture. We here at the escapist are of course only a small demographic than lies at the core of gaming culture. The majority of gamers will buy one or two games a year; something along the lines of "Call of Duty" or "Battlefield". They'll tend to focus on more action-heavy over narrative-driven games, which is not to say of course that either approach to gaming is necessarily better, it's just that I don't think that your image of the "average gamer" is entirely accurate.

ElPatron:
Maybe I have something against enjoying things like this, but it had the same effect as Spec Ops: The Line. The game tried so hard to make me feel guilty for something that was not my choice that it completely fell short. Add a sub-par gameplay to the mix and the game is unremarkable.

Ah, yes, but did you actually go into the game expecting it to deliver a message about the condemnation of war based on what you'd read in the press or did you pick it up because it looked like a fun shooter along the lines of, say, Call of Duty?

Glad to see bob still wasting time explaining the fucking obvious.

I got it, I still didn't like it but I did think it had pretty CGI..which is something I guess, decent soundtrack too.

It just wasn't as smart as it or you though it was.

Gah! quoted the wrong post.

It makes as much sense as Snyder filling Watchmen with tons of late 60's and 70's music (Dylan etc) when the movie is really about and set in the 80's.

Farther than stars:

Wakikifudge:

ElPatron:

What are you? 12? I'm sorry for being brutally honest, but you accept that anything that might be related to gaming/geek culture should be applied to you?

I'm just going off of what Movie Bob said. He said in his video that it applied to me the gamer. Even if the message applied to me, it would still be a shitty movie because the plot is laughable. And before you say that the target audience is the people who like action and no plot I will say that from what I've seen/heard of other gamer opinions is that most of us don't really like movies like Transformers 2 and such. Most of us prefer more substance to our movies. I can't speak for everyone of course but that's just the majority of what I've seen.

Also, no need to be so hostile. Some people could take that as being jerkish which, you know, is against the rules.

Ha, ha, you sure told him. :)
But what I do disagree with about your statement is how you take a definition of "gamer" from your immediate surroundings, which I don't believe holds water for the larger culture. We here at the escapist are of course only a small demographic than lies at the core of gaming culture. The majority of gamers will buy one or two games a year; something along the lines of "Call of Duty" or "Battlefield". They'll tend to focus on more action-heavy over narrative-driven games, which is not to say of course that either approach to gaming is necessarily better, it's just that I don't think that your image of the "average gamer" is entirely accurate.

I was thinking more along the lines of what I considered "real" gamers I guess. You know, people who will buy games outside of the FPS genre but I guess I just misunderstood who he was talking about. I just figured he was talking about the average Escapist gamer because he posted it on the Escapist lol.
Still this is really just semantics. Movie Bob is arguing that because there's a deeper "fuck you average gamer" message that the movie is somehow better. IMO, it's still a bad movie.

MacNille:

zombflux:
Amazing how many people in this thread still don't get it even after watching this video.

We get it alright. It is just that is full of horseshit. To calling this movie "empowering to women" is so full of itself. What does we see throught out this whole damn movie? Girls in skimpy clothes, lots of pantyshots. Our heroes are a bunch of airheads that have no personalty at all.

Truly, amazing.

I'm going to keep it simple: I fucking LOVED Sucker Punch and if you didn't you can FUCK OFF!

This is the conversation I had with my girlfriend right after Sucker Punch:
GF: That movie was awful. I can't believe you made me see that.
Me: It wasn't sexist! MovieBob said it was a satire of sexism.
GF: Doesn't change the fact it was really depressing.

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