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

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I understand what this movie was trying to portray but it just fell flat. The characters were very bland, the only one I actually liked died first. The plot seemed to be all over the place. Some of the worlds were visually stunning and I especially enjoyed the steam-punk world war sequence but that just wasn't enough to hold the movie together. I'm not going to blame people for liking it, but I felt in many areas the film had so much more potential.

I heard a lot of conflicting things, which means I had to see it for myself. My bff showed me the director's cut, and I liked it a lot. And, yeah, I definitely 'got it.' It wasn't being *subtle.*

If I remember correctly, Robocop is Bob's favorite film. And that is a pretty great movie, but it's also essentially a satire; like a GTA game, it takes place in a hilariously insane yet uncomfortably plausible world. What I wonder is, considering that Bob is attuned to those kinds of things, could he be seeing them even when they aren't really there, despite his seeming awareness that Zack Snyder is no Paul Verhoeven.

When the movie came out I went to see it. I was looking for a action movie with sexy girls fighting giant Samurai. Why because I'm a guy who likes sexy girls and sic-fi action, normally I need a good story to sink my teeth in to, but I thought I could put that away for this one.
In no way could i have thought I would be let down by the story and characters, my expectations where low. Both where meaningless and empty. I did not see the social commentary that Bob is referring too but now it has started to be pointed out to me I can see it, but it dose not redeem the movie for me, maybe its because I don't agree with all that it is trying to say.

This quote sums it up for me.

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.

If you don't point out "hay see what I'm doing hear" so we can all see it, then your point is lost and it makes the movie pointless. If he was going for social commentary it should be obvious within the movie not explained after it is out.

If what Bob is saying is true and this is what the detector was going for, he failed. A lot of people (not all) did not see this social commentary and just found the movie hollow.

I'm interested in seeing part 2.

And just a side question, is it impossible to have a pandering male nerd fantasy AND also a deep and meaningful heroine? Can you kill two birds with one stone?

I disagree with Bob a lot of the time, including on this movie being good, but this is one of the few episodes where I actually think he has some really good points. What can I say? I'm impressed

The Almighty Aardvark:
I disagree with Bob a lot of the time, including on this movie being good, but this is one of the few episodes where I actually think he has some really good points. What can I say? I'm impressed

A lot of this, actually, most of this. I'm not a movie guy and I'm even less a movie critic guy, but Bob hit the nail square on the soft head of a movie it was. I'll even admit that I didn't really 'get it' when I first saw it but more pieced it together after the fact, reminiscing with the woman on just how fragmented and hard to follow it was. When we finally realized it was a fantasy (action sequences) within a fantasy (brothel/speakeasy/whore house) within a horror (mental institution where all the female inmates are brutalized and sexually molested) movie, we looked at each other blankly and decided to move on, but we still, both of us actually, appreciated what was trying to be put across, even with the terrible segues within 'Sucker Punch' which took you away from the point trying to be made. Even still we found it more comforting and less frustrating to talk about the possibility of a movie illustrating the mating habits of shrews than to continue trying to dig to the depths that Bob did. So thanks Bob; you did all the hard work of gathering meaning from poor illustration and imagery that was more nerdo-circle-jerk than shawshank-redeemed.

I love LOVE this movie. I kinda feel like it did something sort of similar to Cabin In The Woods... which was another movie which some people loved and some hated (though i think it was more loved in general overall)

I def. very much did "get" it, but i felt it was a very enjoyable "music videoish" type movie even if you turned your brain off and neglected to "get" it so i am sort of confused as to why so many people didn't like it.

And on a side note. This idea that just because everyone does not understand the movie, then the movie is not good because it doesn't convey the message in a way that everyone can grasp... This is totally absurd. If you believe in that then you must also believe that (for example) pretty much every philosopher who ever existed is a shitty philosopher because many (if not most) people upon reading their works will not grasp what they are trying to say. In fact most meaningful works of art which present new or interesting ideas are NOT understood by most people right away, let alone everyone. To say they are not good because people "don't get it" is ridiculous.

I don't think I am going to read through all of the pages of this discussion but it seems that many of the complaints about the movie being brought up are people not appreciating the role of those elements. That may be because they didn't "get it" or it may be that they just didn't like the use of those particular elements or their execution. I am wondering though how many people in this thread have such wonderfully scripted daydreams that they don't get why the internal fantasies of half mad abuse victims are chaotic, disjointed, and only marginally sensical.

In the words of Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw "Just because you're being ironic doesn't mean people aren't going to fap to it" sucker punch is misogynistic because the women portrayed in the movie lack any positive qualities and they are being exploited sexualy by the movie even if this is suppose to be ironically.All they are is just sex dolls and they never evolve past that

If a movie is suppose to be feminist just because all the men in it are horrible people then you're wrong. All it is is misandric and misogynistic at the same time

I thought the movie was ok, but I hated the ending. That was the real sucker punch in there in my opinion.

I turned this film off after about 40 minutes because I got what it was supposed to be but felt patronised by it's obviousness. That and the dragged out action sequences were pretty terrible. Too long, too cliched but maybe that was the point? I should have loved this film but the metaphor was carried out so badly, was just so lurid and blatent, that it just made me feel sick. Once I looked up some of the debate on this film, and read a good post from a supporter of it, who said something like "If you get what this film is supposed to be but don't like it, then you're probably not the target audience".

I suppose I should give Sucker Punch kudos for attempting to attack the culture it's aimed at. I'm fidning the way that video games especially are going, to be pretty offensive. Female characters and classes are increasingly becoming giant-breasted, deformed, distorted and ludicrous. Heavy armour classes being protected by a thong and boob-tape. Casters in bikinis.

It's all just going hideously wrong.

Dear Bob,

No. The film is an opportunistic piece of regurgitated wank failing completely and utterly to enforce whatever subtext for which it might have been striving. Snyder's lack of storytelling capabilities (not to mention sensitivities) ensure that the film is fetish window dressing and nothing more.

So far I'm unconvinced. Yeah you could talk about justifying the imagery in this movie as an anti misogynist statement all day long, but the problem I have is that it dedicates far more time pandering to the perverts than to dehumanizing them. If so many people came out of the cinema decrying its portrayal of women and the misogynists came out praising it, what changes? Apart from Warner Bros making a ton of money off of the sexualised images of these young women?

And as for the whole "a Striptease is just a strip tease" angle, what makes Sucker Punch any different? A graphic novel gives us scantily clad women engaging in "empowering" nerd fantasies. Sucker Punch demonizes perverts by... giving us scantily clad women engaging in "empowering" nerd fantasies. Aren't they just both using weak attempts at a feminist subtext to justify their capitalizing on nerd fetishes and their exploitation of the female form?

AdrianRK:
In the words of Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw "Just because you're being ironic doesn't mean people aren't going to fap to it" sucker punch is misogynistic because the women portrayed in the movie lack any positive qualities and they are being exploited sexualy by the movie even if this is suppose to be ironically.All they are is just sex dolls and they never evolve past that

If a movie is suppose to be feminist just because all the men in it are horrible people then you're wrong. All it is is misandric and misogynistic at the same time

Did you fap to it?

You know who thought Sucker Punch was misogynist? FeministFrequency. Yes, that same lady we were all talking about a few months ago over that "Tropes vs. Women" etc. etc. project because she got tons of hateful comments. She actually posted a review of Sucker Punch attacking Zack Snyder as a misogynist catering to nerd fantasies. So I guess she didn't get it either.

Here's the review. You'll notice in the comments section, when she's confronted about the truth - that Zack Snyder was doing a satire - she makes the excuse "well if he *was* trying to "mock the typical horny comic-book geek" then he failed miserably.", as if it mattered. It doesn't. If she's trying to convince us that he's a misogynist, it doesn't matter what he did, but what he was trying to do. And she was wrong about what he was trying to do. But rather than admit that she misinterpreted the film, she shrugged it off by saying "he failed", missing the point entirely.

I actually thought Sucker Punch succeeded pretty well in its satire. I mean, I thought the fantasy scenes were awesome, and I'm a nerd.

You know what I find funniest about this thread?

The fact that so many people feel the need to add "I got the film's message" to their posts. Whether they agree with Bob or not, they feel the need to let everyone know they understood it.

This is the result of endeavors like this. At least when portrayed the way Bob does it. Even the title of the video proudly states "You are Wrong!"

It puts everyone's back up because now they feel like they have to defend themselves. It's the same as saying "If you were smart, you'd agree with me." or "Only Racists think that."

I hate it because it's essentially a preemptive ad hominen attack. The author knows people are going to disagree with them, so they poison the well so when people inevitably do disagree , the original writer/speaker/whatever can say "I called it."

Bob does this a lot and it's starting to irritate me. He's a smart guy, no doubt, but lately I feel like he'd be the first person to tell you that. News flash Bob: Being smart doesn't mean that people who disagree with you are dumb.

Belated:
You know who thought Sucker Punch was misogynist? FeministFrequency.

To me this only comes off as funny cause Bob defended Sarkeesian's Tropes vs Women project without examining any of the points against her and instead of examining the reasonable arguments, just put it to angry gamers.

I don't really care for Bob's opinions on movies. I think Sucker Punch is just stupid, overdone, forwards dumb stereotypes of the "videogame generation" and if it's trying to be ironic it's definitely not done in a way that everyone can see.

Belated:
You know who thought Sucker Punch was misogynist? FeministFrequency.

So?

Let me direct you to the Guilt by association fallacy

Just because Feminist Frequency has been (arguably) wrong in the past does not mean the viewpoint is wrong just because they (she) shares it.

I'm not saying Sucker Punch is Misogynistic. I'm not saying it's not. I'm staying out of this fight. I just wanted to point out that's a bad argument.

ChrisRedfield92:
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

It did feel like the movie spent all it's time reducing men down to one of two Star Wars characters. One guy ends up as the kindly wise older Obi-Wan Kenobi while all the other men are like Jabba the Hutt. Instead of a message that says hey guys perhaps we should think about how we objectify women because they are attractive the message felt more like you should hate yourself for being born male because most men are scum.

Men in the film are either the wise man who can't protect the women but can act as a guide or men are just out to exploit the women in some way.

Krantos:

Belated:
You know who thought Sucker Punch was misogynist? FeministFrequency.

So?

Let me direct you to the Guilt by association fallacy

Just because Feminist Frequency has been (arguably) wrong in the past does not mean the viewpoint is wrong just because they (she) shares it.

I'm not saying Sucker Punch is Misogynistic. I'm not saying it's not. I'm staying out of this fight. I just wanted to point out that's a bad argument.

It is a bad argument. Good thing I'm not making it.

Read the rest of my post. I'm not saying the opinion is wrong BECAUSE she holds it. I'm saying the opinion is wrong, "Oh, and by the way, this lady holds it."

Now let me redirect you to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

Lilani:

Azaraxzealot:
If the themes or symbolism had to be explained outside of the film/book/comic/game/any form of media, then the media obviously did a piss-poor job at getting it to the audience in the first place. Which makes it a shitty movie.

I'm pretty sure Bob got it, at the very least.

I think the themes of Sucker Punch were very subversive, and apparently just a bit too subversive for the primary audience viewing the movie. But knowing the movie's true intention, doesn't that make it all the more interesting? Plenty of geeks flocked to the movie to watch the girls in Japanese schoolgirl uniforms kick some ass, making the whole thing sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Making the joke any more obvious would have undermined the purpose of setting up such an elaborate set of symbols and parallels in the first place.

So was it a bit too much for the casual moviegoer to get on the first go? Yes, but that's sort of the point. It is intended to be a trap for those seeking what's on the surface.

I didn't want to see the movie in the first place. It was actually my girlfriend who wanted to see the girls in Japanese schoolgirl uniforms kick some ass.

It doesn't even make any of the movie any more interesting to know these theories. If a piece of entertainment has to be explained outside of the entertainment without the piece being able to stand on its own then everything outside of it is just fan-theory on par with the "Angelica-created-all-the-babies-in-her-head" theory

What I was hoping for was actually that the film would be able to convey this subversion to me without all the holier-than-thou preachy-ness. Plus, there was really no catharsis or tension throughout the film since it all took place in imaginary land. So none of the fight scenes ever had any effect on me.

Belated:
snip

I did read your post actually.

Aside from the single sentence at the end regarding your opinion, the rest was all about Feminist Frequency's viewpoint.

So she couldn't defend her position. Other people have made better arguments. Rather than grabbing arguments from the bottom of the barrel, you should respond to the more (arguably) valid ones. I stand by what I said earlier. It's a Guilt By association fallacy. You took someone almost universally hated on these forums, and related how she (badly) defended her opinion. It doesn't refute or address any of the arguments others have made, it simply casts doubt on them by associating them with her.

Krantos:

Belated:
snip

I did read your post actually.

Aside from the single sentence at the end regarding your opinion, the rest was all about Feminist Frequency's viewpoint.

So she couldn't defend her position. Other people have made better arguments. Rather than grabbing arguments from the bottom of the barrel, you should respond to the more (arguably) valid ones. I stand by what I said earlier. It's a Guilt By association fallacy. You took someone almost universally hated on these forums, and related how she (badly) defended her opinion. It doesn't refute or address any of the arguments others have made, it simply casts doubt on them by associating them with her.

You still don't get it. I'm not TRYING to refute or address the arguments others have made.

Basically, I wasn't using the FeministFrequency example to further attack the bad opinion, I was using the bad opinion to attack FeministFrequency. It's the other way around.

I think the fact that she failed to see the satire in Sucker Punch and made excuses when confronted with the truth is pretty telling. She's the kind of critic who'll make up reasons to see sexism where there isn't any.

Belated:

Krantos:
snip

You still don't get it. I'm not TRYING to refute or address the arguments others have made.

Basically, I wasn't using the FeministFrequency example to further attack the bad opinion, I was using the bad opinion to attack FeministFrequency. It's the other way around.

I think the fact that she failed to see the satire in Sucker Punch and made excuses when confronted with the truth is pretty telling. She's the kind of critic who'll make up reasons to see sexism where there isn't any.

Ah, now I see. Then I apologize. That was my misunderstanding.

You were simply criticizing her (with good reason, imo) and were merely sharing it in a relevant topic. That makes more sense. Sorry I caused a fuss about it then.

Less a case of a straw man and more just jumping at shadows. Imma slink back into my corner now.

Krantos:

Belated:

Krantos:
snip

You still don't get it. I'm not TRYING to refute or address the arguments others have made.

Basically, I wasn't using the FeministFrequency example to further attack the bad opinion, I was using the bad opinion to attack FeministFrequency. It's the other way around.

I think the fact that she failed to see the satire in Sucker Punch and made excuses when confronted with the truth is pretty telling. She's the kind of critic who'll make up reasons to see sexism where there isn't any.

Ah, now I see. Then I apologize. That was my misunderstanding.

You were simply criticizing her (with good reason, imo) and were merely sharing it in a relevant topic. That makes more sense. Sorry I caused a fuss about it then.

Less a case of a straw man and more just jumping at shadows. Imma slink back into my corner now.

That's not to say my hands are clean in this.

I was inappropriately hijacking this thread as a means to start my own battle that would probably be better-suited for a new thread of my own. So by all means get on my case about that. I don't mind being called-out as a subject-changer with some kind of grudge. I just don't like being called illogical.

Starship troopers is a satire of the military....

You've never read Heinlein have you?

So, by not going to see this movie I am fighting against the over sexualization of women in this type of genra. Never before has my lack of interest in a movie made me feel so superior. e_e

Wakikifudge:
snip

Well, your reply also contained even more assumptions. Such as the one about transformers.

You're not a one dimensional person, you have personal opinions and you're not the exact same person as everyone else just because you play videogames.

Farther than stars:
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?

If I expected a fun shooter like Call of Duty my disappointment would be even greater. I knew it was an uninspired game with boring mechanics and an even worse title.

A good story might have not have completely softened the blow, but I had heard I was in for a surprise. However the execution simply annoyed me and wasn't original at all.

Therefore, I rely on the execution, not the intention. Otherwise The Room would be a masterpiece.

blalien:
GF: Doesn't change the fact it was really depressing.

>not liking movies because they are sad

Auch. She doesn't enjoy a lot of cinema then.

Farther than stars:
Ha, ha, you sure told him. :)

How so? Because moviebob said that the movie was targeted at gamers? Not really an argument when the other dude said he did not enjoy the sexualization of females that was criticized in the movie.

jaymiechan:
i DESPISE this film. Sure, there's the condemnation, but there's also a lack of positive icons that can be used to bolster the "satire" element.

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.

Then there is the point that the film, regardless of whatever lofty goals it might have had, revels in the very thing it is attempting to satirize. i mean, for cripes sake, you don't even find out any of the names of the women! AKA a very humanizing element, and something that could have cemented, even if held as a reveal for the end.

Personally (and I wonder if it's where Bob will go with it next week), I took the movie as an attack on escapism itself. 90% of the movie is fantasy trying to escape the circumstances the charcters are in. Like all good escapism, it contains a kernel of truth -- that which is the underlying core problem is either left intact and still the obvious core conflict but with better trappings or the capacity to be defeated or is conspicuously absent (think how no one ever dies within any of the alternate worlds in Abenobashi -- there's always something "else" that happens in it's stead). It probably didn't hurt that I watched Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi the week prior to seeing this movie the first time (an anime series using overlapping fantasies to hide uncomfortable reality using standard geeky tropes and all), but that was more the vibe I got from it.

obedai:
My main problem with this movie is that the action scenes aren't integrated well into the movie. The movie makes its artistic statement reasonably well, but the action scenes feel completely pointless and tacked on because there is no reason for them to be there in the plot of the movie. The action scenes cut away from the characters and plot to essentially go 'whee explosions' for a few minutes so that it can make its artistic statement.

It works nicely as either dissociative episodes or escapism, though. Or to put it another way, how well do your chosen forms of escapist fantasy integrate well into real life?

Falseprophet:
Also, the ending kind of torpedoes the whole thing:

Ugh.

Personally, I don't know if she saved the other girl, though I don't think she knows that, either. Every character either has an obvious and previously introduced analog in the previous "level" of the layered escapist fantasies, or they exist solely in Baby Doll's fantasy (in this case the majority of "trash" enemies the girls fight are the latter, and almost all the core characters are the former). The Wise Man/Bus Driver is the interesting one -- we never see him outside of what we know to be a fantasy until the very end. I'd like to posit the possibility that the bus driver isn't real and that the ending is, in essence, what's left of Baby Doll's mind escaping to a version of the world where what happened to her wasn't entirely futile -- and that this is the *reason* that the Wise Man is the bus driver, as a subtle wink that that scene wasn't real.

unacomn:
I found Sucker Punch to be one of the most depressing things I've ever seen. It was more or less saying that regardless of how much you'd like, you can't escape your sin (

), you can't go on, save whoever you can, but fall on your sword and maybe find solace in that.

Something like this, yes. You can't really fight reality, but you can sure as hell lie to yourself until it's not so bad, at least for a little while.

ElPatron:

Wakikifudge:
snip

Well, your reply also contained even more assumptions. Such as the one about transformers.

You're not a one dimensional person, you have personal opinions and you're not the exact same person as everyone else just because you play videogames.

I assumed he was referring to the average Escapist gamer because he posted it onto the Escapist. It seemed logical to me. Maybe that's not who he's referring to (and if that really is the case then I admit that I misunderstood) but from what I've seen of our community, we prefer movies with a bit more substance.

I used Transformers 2 as an example because it is almost universally agreed upon that the movie is all action and no substance.

I doubt whether what you say was really the intention of the movie. The first criticism, which other can put into words so much better than me:

mrblakemiller:
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.

But it also ignores the fact the action sequences are, at least to an extent, presented as a journey of self discovery; remember that nice fatherly priest figure which guides them through it all. If they were really lambasting it they shouldn't play it so straight.

These sequences do occur during the striptease in the first dreamlayer (the brothel) and one could draw a parallel between the audience and the brothel clients. But alternatively the action sequences could be a form of escape from harsh realities or a form of inner struggle during these sequences. But in the bigger scheme of things the brothel is a dreamlayer itself, in the real world the girls are going performing a sort of regression therapy of some kind, which actually ties in nicely with the whole journey of self discovery thing in the second dreamlayer (the action sequences).
I could dwell about the possible meanings of the movie but it would go well beyond my abilities and the point I'm trying to make. In short there just seems too be much more going on in the movie to warrant this very narrow interpretation.

On a side note your initial review seemed to give the film much more credit than just there to mock the target audience. Come to think of it, your initial review didn't give that impression at all.

I stand by my opinion that this movie is still only about anime tropes, now with "deep" meta commentary that just ends up insulting everybody tacked onto the list of mechs, fetish apparel, zombies, multiple levels of reality, steampunk, sci-fi, nazis Imperial Germans and katanas.

As such, I also stand by my opinion that it could be improved by reducing it to a 20 minute short film leaving only the WWI segment.

It doesn't matter what it tried to do, what messages it was trying to put across... it was still an average film with a poor script with average acting.

I never actually found the girls particularly appealing. I mean, yes, attractive women, interesting clothes, but it never did anything for me. I found the most appealing costume element was that garrison cap. And that's just cause I think girls in garrison caps are cute. And I already thought Emily Browning had nice lips and facial structure anyway, so nothing new there. Well, except for the fact that she looks better as a brunette.

Shame, really. This movie could've been the cinematic equivalent of Spec Ops: The Line.

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