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

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StriderShinryu:

PsychedelicDiamond:
Oh, i enjoyed Sucker Punch. Well, at least the Directors Cut. The normal cut lacked one vital and one pretty cool part. I know what Sucker Punch was trying to do and i appreciate it... but it lacked in dialogue and characterisation. People calling it misogynist though are just not getting it.

I have seen the movie a couple of times, but not the director's cut. Any chance you can spoil the additional material for me either here (perhaps in Spoiler tags) or by PM?

Sure:

I honestly didn't 'get it' when I first watched it but enjoyed the film for what it was, an interesting little action movie with hot girls fighting robot ninjas. After watching your review and break downs of the message I appreciate it way more than I originally did. Granted, the movie itself isn't that great and could have been done much better but I definitely see what it was trying to say now.

Great video Bob, can't wait for next week.

Wow. Once again Bob shows why this is the only show of his that I watch. I can't wait for part 2 (and hopefully 3, 4, 5, etc.)

>Agree with MovieBob
>You Are Wrong About Sucker Punch

Am I though?

This is the kind of Big Picture I like.

to put in my (admittedly pointless, yelling at the internet and all) two cents:

I saw the movie because babydoll and her friends, yes are hot, but also because every trailer I saw made my brain say one thing and one thing only. "This shit looks like a 2 hour heavy metal music video" and I was more or less right. True, the music isn't the point the point is the anti-misogyny message and the clever "HA HA WE ARE MOCKING YOU" hook(hence the name as Bob says)but it was still essentially a 2 hour music video to my eyes.

As far as it sucking or not, I thought the action scenes were confusing and cloudy as fuck. I mean the whole WWII scene looks at first like it's going to be something about fantasy, then actual WWII styles, then it's steampunk then there's zombies and then babydoll has fucking superpowers and the fortitude of the cheerleader from heroes . . . I mean really, that didn't flow quite right to me. And then in the middle of all that there's a giant bunny mech too out of no where like a Gundam in feudal Japan (Burst Angel did that actually . . .) However, as far as the rest of it, I thought it worked rather well . . . the transitions between weird action scenes and "actually it was what's in her head while she dances" were jarring but they were meant to be. Mirroring the shock of the disgusting men realizing the dance is over, so really that worked out too.

However, I REALLY think it shines outside of the action scenes, even if you ignore the lacking dialogue and the apparent psychic powers of sweetpea and the brothel owner (I'll still never understand how he realized items no one noticed missing went missing) the brothel and the characters all fit the world you're meant to see perfectly. The asylum/brothel is filthy, grimy, old and broken metal is rusted none of the furniture matches the other furniture. The girls wear ballet leotards that don't match and are faded and stained, the only time they wear anything clean or "pretty" is when it's to call in the customers as a sort of lure by tarting up the girls. It really sells the sexual abuse perfectly without a single word. You see the place, see the almost visible layer of grime over everything that's outside what customers would see and you just KNOW they treat the girls just as badly. That is something that's often overlooked with movies I think.

No one noticed the near perfect visual style of Saw, making the bathroom look horrific and filthy and the metal door seeming impenetrable and all, but they sure as hell noticed Gordon and John Kramer and all the actors. They seemed to ignore the uncomfortable grit on the pipes and all that was around them, the dirty grimey look of the bow saws they have, but they noticed that gordon's wife was a shit actress.

The same can be said with a lot of other movies, a movie isn't acting and story alone, it's like with videogames. It's a whole package, there's a lot more to any movie than what's being said and how well the actors say it.

Casual Shinji:
Sucker Punch wanted to have it's cake and eat it, and then through it up all over the audience.

Everybody got this movie, I don't see how anyone couldn't, however some people liked what they got and others fucking hated it.

I have no problem with anyone liking this film, but saying people didn't like it because they didn't "get it", makes my skin crawl.

Plus, it's just a fucking terrible looking movie, with horrendously fake CGI, wooden acting performances, bastardized versions of classic songs, shitty fight scenes that go on forever (that train sequence, Jesus Christ), Bjork, a villain with no motivation other than "women, argh", and oversaturized colours.

The Human Torch:
I saw Suckerpunch several times after I bought it on Blu-Ray (it went out of movietheatres very quickly in my country, so I missed it there), and I really enjoyed it.

I got the fantasy within the fantasy, but not for one moment did any thought of feminism, opressed and stereotypical females and audience mocking come to my moment. My girlfriend watched this movie with me, she missed the message as well.

For a movie that is supposed to carry over this message, it really sucks at doing so. And perhaps that is it's major flaw.

DugMachine:
I honestly didn't 'get it' when I first watched it but enjoyed the film for what it was, an interesting little action movie with hot girls fighting robot ninjas. After watching your review and break downs of the message I appreciate it way more than I originally did. Granted, the movie itself isn't that great and could have been done much better but I definitely see what it was trying to say now.

Great video Bob, can't wait for next week.

So everyone got this movie then casual shinji? You so sure about that, because it seems to me that you are incorrect on that assumption

I went to go see this film due to some unconventional looking action sequences which despite the general snobbery of certain film fans IS still a good reason to go to the cinema. The skimpy outfits was never a factor nor was I aroused at any point given the sexual abuse being a recurring theme throughout. So basically I'm not sure if I got "hit" or was even the target of the film by Bob's theory.

Bob sucks as a critique because he liked RedTails, not because he liked Sucker Punch.

Storm Dragon:
I liked this movie overall, but my biggest problem with it was the ending.

Not everything ends happily. The ending to 1984 was perfect for the themes it was attempting to convey. I would recommend against reading "A Brave New World" (book) but you may like Terry Gilliams "Brazil" (moive)

As for the ending in Sucker Punch I think there may be more to it then that.

Well, I liked it, didn't LOVE it (my wife and her friends sure did though), I definitely didn't read all the satire from it though. I just thought it was fun. Also, perhaps it's because I'm in my 30's and repressed but I found none of the fetishistic outfits to be all that attractive.

sinsfire:

Combine Rustler:
Didn't watch the movie for more than 5 minutes. Space folded into itself and the Lord of Disappointing Chocolate-chip Cookies barked at me from beyond the edge of existence to stop watching this thing because I'm already super bored, disinterested and somehow vaguely annoyed. What was I to do?
(just wanted to get that out here before I watch Bob's video)
(fucking why is my eye hurting fuck gotta see doctor)

How can you hate a movie after 5 minutes. I get that you can hate the 5 minutes and the themes involved therein, but how can you hate the whole movie. I know people who got physically ill at the first 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. You know what they did, they walked out, got ahold of themselves and then went back in to watch the movie.

If you didn't watch more then 5 minutes of any movie then I don't know how you can say you hate the moive. You can hate the first 5 min but not the work as a whole.

OT: I liked this movie when it came out. I don't know that I was looking for depth or sadness but that was what I saw. Sometimes you can know there is something more to a film even if you don't "get it". I may not have thuroughly understood the movie but I understood there was something more to it then chick in school girl outfit and guns.

I appreciate BOB giving a rundown and I am curious to see where this ends up.

I do what I damn well please. Especially when being told to do it by an extra-dimensional demon-god of petty yet oh-so-lasting disappointment.
Also, never said I hated it. Because I didn't.
(I do love me some hyphen overuse though)

jaymiechan:
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.

AKA the Truffaut Was Right trope. I didn't despise this movie, but I felt that way too. I just got the sense it was "female empowerment through the lens of early 90s Image Comics". Also, the ending kind of torpedoes the whole thing:

Ugh.

Sutter Cane:

Casual Shinji:
Sucker Punch wanted to have it's cake and eat it, and then through it up all over the audience.

Everybody got this movie, I don't see how anyone couldn't, however some people liked what they got and others fucking hated it.

I have no problem with anyone liking this film, but saying people didn't like it because they didn't "get it", makes my skin crawl.

Plus, it's just a fucking terrible looking movie, with horrendously fake CGI, wooden acting performances, bastardized versions of classic songs, shitty fight scenes that go on forever (that train sequence, Jesus Christ), Bjork, a villain with no motivation other than "women, argh", and oversaturized colours.

So everyone got this movie then casual shinji? You so sure about that, because it seems to me that you are incorrect on that assumption

It flat out tells you what it is about at the end. "So, fight!"

Anyone not getting it by this point must've fallen asleep because of how epically boring the whole movie was.

Sutter Cane:

Casual Shinji:
Sucker Punch wanted to have it's cake and eat it, and then through it up all over the audience.

Everybody got this movie, I don't see how anyone couldn't, however some people liked what they got and others fucking hated it.

I have no problem with anyone liking this film, but saying people didn't like it because they didn't "get it", makes my skin crawl.

Plus, it's just a fucking terrible looking movie, with horrendously fake CGI, wooden acting performances, bastardized versions of classic songs, shitty fight scenes that go on forever (that train sequence, Jesus Christ), Bjork, a villain with no motivation other than "women, argh", and oversaturized colours.

The Human Torch:
I saw Suckerpunch several times after I bought it on Blu-Ray (it went out of movietheatres very quickly in my country, so I missed it there), and I really enjoyed it.

I got the fantasy within the fantasy, but not for one moment did any thought of feminism, opressed and stereotypical females and audience mocking come to my moment. My girlfriend watched this movie with me, she missed the message as well.

For a movie that is supposed to carry over this message, it really sucks at doing so. And perhaps that is it's major flaw.

DugMachine:
I honestly didn't 'get it' when I first watched it but enjoyed the film for what it was, an interesting little action movie with hot girls fighting robot ninjas. After watching your review and break downs of the message I appreciate it way more than I originally did. Granted, the movie itself isn't that great and could have been done much better but I definitely see what it was trying to say now.

Great video Bob, can't wait for next week.

So everyone got this movie then casual shinji? You so sure about that, because it seems to me that you are incorrect on that assumption

Hey, in my defense: I actually understood that the brothel was Babydoll's way of coping with a fantasy world and the action sequences were fantasies within that fantasy world. That's more than most of my friends got out of it. :P

Oh, great. It's just misandrist! It's good to know that this is a very forward-thinking film that doesn't insult or stereotype a group of people (that the filmmakers won't get pulled over by the culture police for).

So ... yea. I completely missed that point of the movie. My wife and I rented it, turned off our brains and completely LOVED the film.

If ignorance is bliss, then I'm the happiest guy in the world. :)

Markunator:
I'm sorry, Bob, but I still won't watch this film. These guys' views on movies tend to mean more to me than yours (no offense):




While we're bringing up counter arguments, here - allow me to bring up this amateur internet review.

He may not be on the same level, but some valid criticism of the movie is made. Oh, and this is also a Crossover Review - with a female reviewer.

See, that's really clever and all, but I've always been of the opinion that if a story wants to be a metaphor and a story at the same time, then in has to accomplish BOTH successfully. It doesn't matter how great the metaphor is if the story suffers for it, or vice versa. And the story REALLY suffered for this (admittedly very good) metaphor.

MovieBob:
You Are Wrong About Sucker Punch, Part One

MovieBob delivers a Sucker Punch to your senses.

Watch Video

So... be use of Troll logic[1], am a better person than all those who went to see the movie and enjoyed it... by virtue of the fact nothing about the movie interested me...

Still an interesting video.

[1] By sayinjg this, im hoping people will get that im not being serious.

I wonder when this movie is getting a sequel?

Seriously dude? You went to all this trouble to make not one, but two videos just to say how better you are then all of us just because we dont like a movie you do?

Fuck you Bob and your pretentiousness.

MovieBob:
You Are Wrong About Sucker Punch, Part One

MovieBob delivers a Sucker Punch to your senses.

Watch Video

While I don't think you're wrong, as you point out, it constantly fails to really communicate these themes successfully.

That's why it's a bad film. knowing what he was trying to do doesn't really improve it in the slightest.

Casual Shinji:
Sucker Punch wanted to have it's cake and eat it, and then through it up all over the audience.

Pretty much. Sucker Punch does have a thread of an idea of feminist sexual exploitation - but any attempt to comment on it is buried underneath layers and layers of exploitation that very thing. There's no empowerment or sense that these characters are anything other than sexualised in an action heroine fashion. You can't make a comment about exploitation and then turn around and exploit that same very thing, whilst not giving anything else in return.

Neither the acting, nor the writing, and especially not the acting allow any kind of moral message or satire to actually exists beyond a shallow glancing message that is just completely smothered by a blanket of crass, hollow sexual exploitation. What you're left with is, essentially, a film that does the exact thing it's trying to comment on - and that's not a satire or an artistic statement. That is hypocrisy made film.

so you are saying zack snyder basically pulled a superboy prime? interesting.
i was kinda indifferent towards the movie, it just didn't really work for me but i didn't hate it like everyone else seemed to.
the main reason why i watched it is because it has a giant samurai armor representing a nightmare and every that has that is awesome.

edit: what never works for me in any movie is trying to parody something by doing the exact same thing and putting a "LOL ironic" or "BUT YOU ENJOY THIS TROPE YOU EVIL FUCK" behind it. the only reason it worked so well in starship troopers is because of the prisoner scene towards the end.

Glad I didn't see it in theaters...or buy the DVD

You aren't robbing me, Zach Snyder...I saw through your ruse...

This film is exploitation. Pure and simple, just like all those comics and video games that he claims that it is "critiquing".

If Snyder's real intention was to "critique" geek culture's sexism then it completely failed at that goal.

Here's some quotes from this idiot:

Filmschoolrejects.com :

"Would you say the film is a critique on geek culture's sexism?"

"It is, absolutely. I find it interesting, in a lot of ways, that this movie - of all the movies I've made - has been universally hated by fanboys, which I find really interesting. It's like a fanboy indictment, in some ways. They can't have fun with the geek culture sexual hang ups."

So it's not the fact that it's convoluted rubbish connecting boring over producted action scenes? It's the fact that we don't like the fact that you're making fun of "our" "sexual hangups?

Fuck this guy

"Is it wrong to enjoy seeing Babydoll in that school girl outfit, though?"

"I have no problem with this dichotomy as to why she is in the outfit. You can say what you want about the movie, but I did not shoot the girls in an exploitative way. They might be dressed sexually, but I didn't shoot the movie to exploit their sexuality. There's no close-ups of cleavage, or stuff like that. I really wanted it to be up to the viewer to feel those feelings or not. Does that make sense?"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! He didn't shoot the movie to exploit the girls sexuality. You kinda fucked up the Zack. Ironically being Russ Meye is still being Russ Meyer no matter ho many layers of bullshit metaphor you've slapped into this turd.

"Yeah, it's like a guilty-pleasure."

"100%. As long as you're self-aware about it, then you're okay."

So he's made a sexploitation movie that is a "critique" of sexploitation aaaaaand it's totally okay to enjoy it as sexploitation as along as you're self aware?

I thought the men enjoying baby-dolls dance were vile perverts? But apparently it's okay as long as they are aware that they are vile perverts....

Mr Snyder, the problem we have with this movie isn't the quote-unquote "Misogyny", it's the 1-dimensionality of the characters and the fact that there are no consequences in any of the action scenes.

It's a bloated feature-length good looking music-video. And it has absolutely nothing to say about being pro-women.

I have no problem with the sexy costumes or the basic plot; but claiming it's pro-women when it's the 21st century version of classic sexploitation cinema by claiming that it's critiquing exactly what you've created?

There are no words. Maybe hypocrisy I guess.

I'm not particularly impressed with the "You Bastard" trope, and it's common application.

I just hear it too often how stories like Sucker Punch, or Cabin in the Woods, or Spec Ops: The Line, are pure genius, and some elaborate social commantery on everything in the world, you just need to decode the symbolism.

While in fact, there is no deep symbolism, just that one element, that the villain represents a stereotypical audience member. That's it.

Otherwise, many of these happen to be well-written, good stories, but they aren't any CLEVERER for the usage of that one trope. They are just throwing in a random statement about mindless entertainment. It's not any more meaningful or subtle than throwing in a random religious or political Strawman character to represent their stance on these.

Also, the problem is that most villains already ARE violent, or exploitative, or perverted, etc, and generally they are the first catalyst to start the plot (that the viewer wants to watch) by their desire to do something, so movies like sucker Punch are not significantly different from these.

For example, in Independence Day, the aliens want to blow up cities, and the audience wants to watch big explosions, therefore we could say that the aliens symbolically represent the audience's desires. In Sucker Punch, (or Cabin in the Woods), there is no underlying layer beyond that, just a few minor clues to make the villains more "audience-like", such as Sucker Punch showing them sitting in chairs drooling, or Cabin describing them with stereotypical lines such as "they want the same formula over and over again".

If in ID4, Jeff Goldblum would have had a scene where he said "What kind of monster could enjoy such destruction?" while staring at the camera, that wouldn't have made the movie any more meaningful, it only would have added a random statement about action movie audiences.

I like sucker punch, not for the "oh my god look at the pretty ladies" 'cos there are a fucking million of them. If I wanted to gorp at provocatively dressed ladies I have the internet!

I also didn't like it for it's apparent sexism things 'cos well I pretty much just take things at face value. I got that the girls were being violated and they were robbing stuff in order to escape ... I also got the action scenes were here escaping reality etc etc

I liked the film for one reason, those escapism scenes were awesome! I liked it for the same reason I like the expendables, any Jean Claude Van Damme, any Jason Statham, any action movie that I like.

The fact that females were doing the action scenes for once was nice but I wasn't thinking "OMG, look at them boobiez!", I was thinking "OMG, look at that 200FT guy dressed like a samuri firing a mini gun" or "OMG, look at Charlies angles killing nazi's then get into a cool little robot!".

Yeah, I liked the film for a shallow reason but where is the harm in liking it for the action?

I'm not usually one to throw my opinions around on the net about something that skirts around hot button issues (unless its the Mass Effect 3 ending) but I've had strong opinions about this film since I first saw it.

I mean, when I saw it, I got it. Though that may be a relative term. What the film was intending to do and what it actually did are entirely different things. In fact I seem to recall reading an interview with Snyder at the time of release (I'll beg forgiveness for not being able to recall the source) where he pretty much admitted that he didn't have a fucking clue what the movie was about himself.

But anyway, different layers of reality, power fantasies to sink into while the female characters are being raped etc etc.

Where I think the film totally and utterly failed was because none of it was cohesive. And the fantasy sections served no purpose at all, other than to be extended sequences of the fetishised action girls doing what they do as wish fulfilment of male audiences. The reason they fail is because they're static. They have no fucking momentum. They're empty and boring. We have a long explanation from Captain Exposition about what exactly they need to do, and then they do it. This is bad storytelling. The worst. Not only is it a case of show dont tell, its doing both. Its tell, then show.

I guess if the entire advertising campaign (and most of the films budget) wasn't so focussed on these poinless dull sequences, then it wouldn't be so bad. But it is. Why it failed so much for me was because I thought the opening sequence of the film was by far the best, most powerful few minutes that Snyder has ever directed. As far as I recall, not a single line of dialogue, but a very very clear story. So for the rest of the film to fail so miserably to make its point - or rather the point that so many critics seem to attribute to it - just...

Oh, I don't know. I know the fantasy sequences are supposed to be metaphors for Babydolls dancing skills, but they dont epitomise that for me. maybe it would have been more exploitative to do so, but I would much rather have seen Babydoll dance than to have to get dragged through some empty, messy generic action fantasy sequence that has been done so many times before. And better.

But hey, everything is relative right? I hated 300 as well. Apparently that is a bad thing too...

AxelxGabriel:
Seriously dude? You went to all this trouble to make not one, but two videos just to say how better you are then all of us just because we dont like a movie you do?

Fuck you Bob and your pretentiousness.

Actually he's saying "don't hate the film because it is quote "misogynistic" but because it's a bad film."

So congratulations on not listening. or watching.

Yeah, that actually makes a whole bunch of sense.. it's very much how I found I wanted to read the movie (although I have to admit I didn't think it was as clear cut as Bob made out here) and I did wonder why more people weren't seeing that.

That said, I'm still not entirely convinced this argument gets around the misogyny angle. I don't think it's a particularly "bad" sort of misogyny, I think if it is misogyny at all it's the kind of misogyny which deserves to exist because it actually has a point. But showing women being exploited and oppressed and saying "look, isn't this awful?" is still watching women being exploited and oppressed.

To me, the problem is that Sucker Punch is so utterly pessimistic in its outlook that it doesn't ever really challenge the terms on which its characters are gendered or how we are encouraged to see them. I never really felt challenged or motivated or even really invested in any kind of struggle, and that just made it kind of boring. Even if the film was pointing out the flaws of its audience, I didn't feel like it was proposing an alternative way of viewing which might not be so crappy, it just felt like pointing and laughing at silly third wave bullshit. I guess maybe I don't think the point "people are really sexist even when they think they're not" is enough to sustain a movie. What am I expected to do about that beyond nod and say "yes, I know".

But then again I really wanted to like this movie, and I have to say I kind of did, and it is sad to see a movie which has actually bothered to think about how its characters are gendered getting called out for misogyny while all the bucketloads of unthinking, sexist crap in other movies are casually glossed over because the film hasn't put a neon signpost on it.

Duplicitous themes aside, The movie was fucking boring and painful to sit through due to factors on almost every easily observable front (characters, story, pacing, cinematography, dialogue, etc.) Perhaps that too was part of the point, but it was a shitty watch nonetheless. I remember thinking it might have been a commentary on the ADD riddled psyches of our current generation or the hollow, superficial nature of what the geek culture had become, but also thinking it had done it in a way that would have been better suited to a much shorter film. I also remember being annoyed by the generally misandristic tone the film took. We get it, men are slobbering, gawking idiots who want to sexually exploit females in every conceivable way, even in their quest for empowerment. Thank you Sucker Punch, you're so insightful.

Also, for a similar type thing that I also hated, see Funny Games.

Bob needs to simply accept he likes a bad movie and swoons over an idiot director like he is the second coming of art. It is bad enough he justifies himself getting a chubby from seeing beautiful actresses and tells us how amazing their performance was, because he is an intelectual and base instincts will never ever influence his opinion. But this is seriuosly getting emberassing...

A movie with a major fight happening off screen while the protagonists tumble over each other for no reason can't really be defended by telling us "you don't get it, durr".

Just remembered how bad the music in this movie-like thing was and that alone males this movie unwatchable to people with a resamblance of taste.

Casual Shinji:
It flat out tells you what it is about at the end. "So, fight!"

Anyone not getting it by this point must've fallen asleep because of how epically boring the whole movie was.

Well you missed the point of my post. You claimed that bob was mistaken about people not getting what the film set out to do, while multiple people on the first page admit to not getting it.

The Human Torch:

Hey, in my defense: I actually understood that the brothel was Babydoll's way of coping with a fantasy world and the action sequences were fantasies within that fantasy world. That's more than most of my friends got out of it. :P

hey don't worry about it, i don't think it reflects poorly on you or anything

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