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

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Sucker Punch sucked cause all the action scenes lacked any tension.

Is this ANOTHER one of those times that Movie Bob is sitting us all down and lecturing us about how his opinion is so much more valid than everyone else's? Urrrrrggggg... Honestly Bob this kind of stuff undermines your usually good work, you did this with Expendables, you did this repeatedly with the whole Mass Effect 3 thing and now you're doing it again.

You're not even doing it in a semi-ironic self parody like Jim does, you're just standing there and putting layer after layer of half-imagined depth on a film you liked therefore everyone else was wrong to hate. Maybe This is what sucker punch was going for. But it failed. It didn't manage to hit those notes. I don't care what it was trying to do because it failed to do it.

I didn't walk out of Sucker Punch thinking "Wow what a flawed film with an interesting subtext" i left sucker punch thinking "Wow what a fucking irredeemable god awful mess". I didn't care about the subtext, there was a whole shitty, incoherent movie sitting ontop of it.

For a good while now it seems like Everything Bob does should have been called "Why I'm better than you Part X" because that's what it's basically been.

I got it, I just hated it. I actually saw it because MovieBob said it was good, that should be endorsement enough. It completely lacked any focus at all and only hinted at making a deeper point, never doing so. It sucked, let it slide.

What if I "got" the movie, and still thought it was shit?

I'll tell you what, Bob. I'm not wrong.

Oskuro:
I didn't get all these subtleties when I saw the movie, but I think my subconscious did, if only for the feelings I had as the movie closed. I had this sense of dread regarding the female characters that clearly told me the movie was *not* about female empowerment as I originally thought, but more about their victimization.

I liked the movie.

I understand why so many people don't.

I think MovieBob's analysis has merit, and agree with him on the points he makes, but also think it doesn't excuse the movie's poor execution. But, then again, I'd rather have a movie like this that clumsily tries to make a point and risks the backlash, than the dozens of mind-numbing "safe" movies we usually get.

Anyway, my two cents.

I don't think Bob has at any point claimed that Sucker Punch was a great or even good movie. The entire point of these videos is to point out the subtle and not-so-subtle things that most viewers and reviewers (your comparison to Spec Ops: The Line is quite apt) are missing.

I also think that the movie was somewhat poorly executed. I felt that it tried to do and say too much at once. I thought it was both quite clever at times and not as clever as it thought it was.

Intentionally and unfortunately, most people didn't go to see a "clever" movie which is why, I think, most people didn't "get it".

I get it, but the fact the movie is all over the place, the action sequences are pointless, cliche and not particularly well executed (they are the epitome of "all flash and no substance"), it over abuses slow motion, its so disjointed that it looks closer to a collection of music videos, the acting is pretty bad, the characters are bland, the motivations are inexplicable, the escape plan is nonexistent, the plot is thin and it can't decide which world is the real world (at the end, it even goes for the most cliche of tricks on that kind of "worlds within worlds" movies, by introducing a character from the fantasy worlds as a character in the real world that knew everything all along)

I am sorry, I get that the movie is not misogynistic and it tries to show misogynists as awful and pathetic, but when it fails it execution and still insists on being subversive, it doesn't come out as smart, it comes out as this:

At least the music selection was good, although I wasn't really a fan since I found it loud and intrusive.

It was a different movie. The biggest problem I had was the character development.

To illustrate what I mean, read the synopsis on the back of the DVD case some time. Now watch the movie.

See what I mean? A lot of the characters get more characterization and development on the DVD case than they do in the movie.

The movie could have been good, but that would have meant less time spent shooting Nazi Zombies and fighting dragons.

It felt like they tried to deliver a tight character driven story, but forgot to develop the characters.

Yes, clearly, as a "fan" of that medium, because I find the female form arousing, often obsessively, I am the worst type of human being on the planet, and worth representing, in "movie symbolism" terms, with overindulged old men who smoke cigars, frequent brothels and sexually abuse women. To the people who made this movie: how about go fuck yourselves with a cactus?

Sorry Bob, but this video (and I'm going to assume, the next as well) are only coming off as you grasping at whatever theory you can to save some face for your review of this movie.

To put it blatantly: YOU ARE OVER-THINKING THIS MOVIE!
So far what you have told us is just scrambled connections that any nerd comes up with when looking for some deeper meaning (see: ANY valve ARG thread)

You're telling me that this movie was trying (and failed) to be a deep "sucker punch" to the crowd viewing and objectifying women and as- BLAH BLAH BLAH; I don't buy it.

Look at who wrote and directed this movie; Zack Snyder.
Now let's look at his history...Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen.
Well the first two sure as hell aren't "Deep"
..BUT WAIT, WHAT ABOU-
He directed Watchmen, he didn't WRITE IT.

This movie is nothing but what Snyder was good at: AWESOME COMBAT AND SET-PIECES
Everything else: plot, characterization, ect aka any level of actual "DEEPNESS" and stuff to "GET" falls short.

Bob, I know your second video is coming either way, but know that most of us won't buy it.

Just own up to it: You were the target audience, you were pandered to, and you liked it despite its glaring flaws. Just say that you enjoyed a bad movie, it's FINE! But DO NOT try and tell us we didn't "GET" what the movie was going for so that you can somehow feel validated in your enjoying it. It was a soulless movie that portrayed itself as deep when there was NOTHING substantial about it.

This movie, to me at least, perfectly exemplified why we can't ever have nice things (or at the very least things that attempt to be different).

Because when people don't know what they are seeing they assume it's something negative. Because people can't tell the difference between satire and something more serious. Because people don't WANT to tell the difference between satire and something more serious. Because if something breaks conventional design philosophies or the script doesn't read like someone filled in an ad lib people become confused and defensive and angry. Some people desperately need to dislike the movie and won't even watch the move to give it a chance to prove it wrong (though I suspect that most people who did finally give the movie a chance want to hate it so much that they would be unable to see anything but all of the negative aspects they've been told the movie entails.).

In all honesty, too, I would very much like to see a movie where girls dressed as schoolgirls fight robots and nazi zombies with pistols and katanas. But you know what? I have no allusions as to how trashy that sort of movie would be. I love me some cerebraly stimulating thrillers or introspective piece that critiques social norms but I think you can both like Martin Scorsese and Michael Bay movies so long as you remember that the latter is nothing more than destruction and military porn and the former is more highbrow and meaningful.

I think the problem comes when we have to assume that every movie must be made to be enjoyed by everyone. It's this notion that demographics don't matter and every movie or game or song is made to be sold to everyone. I've never felt this to be the case and yet more and more people seem to be under the impression that everything has to be for everyone. This has lead to nothing but a slew of mindless and generic mush. It turned Star Trek into a show for nerds, by nerds of nerds into an action movie that dude bros and the average moron can enjoy with their brains shut off. It has turned many a Hollywood anime or video game adaptation into terrible movies that often neither appeals anime and video game fans or anyone else.

But this notion that we can no longer target groups of individuals smaller than the entire human race is only further compounded by the fact that little is done to target female consumers, gamers and movie goers in a meaningful manner. I feel that movies do a better job at this than video games do but even so there is this implication that all women are part of a hive mind and lack the diversity of tastes that men have. You'll be hard pressed to find a science fiction movie that is marketed primarily towards women, for example, but you will find no shortage of science fiction movies marketed EXCLUSIVELY towards men and for men.

I believe that if there were more movies that pandered to the raunchier tastes of women (you gals have them, don't you dare pretend like you're all pure, and innocent angels) and fetishzed men that more people could would look past movies that fetisized women. In doing so it would be clear that there are simply some movies that pander to different people with different tastes and then maybe we could all enjoy what we like with out always having someone nagging in our ears about how we are terrible people for liking certain things.

Scrustle:
Finally, someone is actually taking a worthwhile look at this film instead of just dismissing it as sexist pandering. I really liked this film myself.

I never really found the film misogynistic. I never felt like the movie was trying to make me look at the girls as sexually appealing, despite their costumes. They were just a side effect of the world the film was set in. The whole criticism of how the film is supposed to be dressing up soft porn as "empowerment" seemed so forced to me. It didn't feel like either of those. Maybe people just threw that criticism at the film because that's what people usually say about films that look like this. They didn't bother to look closer, or simply accept that there might be narrative reasons why the girls are dressed as they are, and not just to titillate the audience.

But the metaphor of the strip-tease and the action scenes and how that relates to the viewer sounds really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense. I always had a feeling there was more going on in that film that it was letting on. The layers of fantasy weren't just Inception-esque plot devices to allow them to change scenery, they had meaning to them. I kind of got that the action scenes were analogous to the strip-tease, but adding the viewer in to the metaphor is genius. I never thought of that myself, but it makes perfect sense.

See I don't think that makes sense. Maybe if it was a short film it would have that impact but at feature length it was silly. Either you have someone liked the "sexy dance party" and then get insulted that the movie calls them pig or you have someone watch the "sexy dance party" and say, "you know what? Movie you are right these people who enjoy you are pigs". The problem is the first viewer still gets to enjoy the rest of the movie drooling at it and the second is forced to walk out of the movie theater or see women get debased and molested again and again for the first ones enjoyment.

Okay... really I don't think the main criticisms of the movie was that it was blatantly misogynist, but rather hating men and objectifying women. The men are all pigs in the movie who can't seem to look at the girls without wanting to rape them. If that's supposed to be the "sucker punch" I'm feeling, as if the movie is trying to make me feel bad about ogling at unrealistically hot and CGed women fighting robots? Yeah, that doesn't make it good. It makes it bad, and Zach should feel bad. And if people are overwhelmingly confused about the purpose or message because the satire was too subtle, then the satire DID NOT DO ITS JOB. That should be film school 101: if you have a message or satire, make it effective and clear, because satire that no one gets isn't really satire at all.

But in reality most people hated the movie because the acting was terrible, the dialogue was terrible and the "plot" made no fucking sense whatsoever. I mean, I could go on a Red Letter Media-esque novella-length rant about why Sucker Punch was one of the worst Hollywood movies of 2011 and of the last 5 years, but I'd rather not unless someone really cares enough about my opinion to warrant it.

Your point, Bob, is pointless.

A movie needs to work at face value. And it don't. The movie is boring and lacks tension. Making your little "analysis" or whatever it should be called, don't change a thing.

--

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.

Well basically there are some people who project their own rape fantasies into the movie *cough* Bob *cough* and some to who if it's never mentioned/implied/shown then it's just not there. There is dominance and abuse going on, but bear in mind that "Level 1" is the "real world" with real consequences and anything that can be proven gets punished. (which totally lost me when two of the characters get killed and are then prety much erased, unless they were simply figments in "Level 2" that didn't have counterparts in "Level 1").

I am enjoying just how many comments there are from those people who just didn't "get it" though. Highly entertaining.

I quite enjoyed Sucker Punch. I did not get all the topics that Bob is bringing up in his analysis. I do not always agree with Bob, but I trust his opinion, so that means I will have to watch it again with a brand new perspective. Thanks Bob!
Can't wait for the next episode

I don't really disagree with any of the points made, but I still think it was a boring, and uninteresting film as well as being quite poorly made as well.

A film needs more than an interesting idea and a subtext to be good. It has to actually be enjoyable to watch as well.

hentropy:
And if people are overwhelmingly confused about the purpose or message because the satire was too subtle, then the satire DID NOT DO ITS JOB. That should be film school 101: if you have a message or satire, make it effective and clear, because satire that no one gets isn't really satire at all.

The movie literally yells 'STOP' at one point early on and everything comes to a halt while a character explains to the audience the point of the movie. How much clearer could it be, if people did not get that, then its a problem with the people watching it not the movie.

SonOfVoorhees:

Sutter Cane:

SonOfVoorhees:
snip

pretty sure Snyder has said in interviews that the title refers to what the movie itself was intended to do to the audience's expectations, so bob's interpretation is probably closer to what Snyder intended

Maybe. I dont know to be honest. But if you are correct then what does that say about Syder? He marketed it a certain way to get those people he wanted to mock in the theatres. Because those people are the target audience, the people he needs so that his movie can make money. I find that hypercritical to be honest.

Also, in the fantasy stuff, the girls chose their outfits because its their fantasy. Which has nothing to do with men. Atleast in the mental home, if men told them to wear skimpy outfits then that would make sense.

Is your name from In The Mouth Of Madness? Now thats a good fun movie. :-)

Well from what I understand on big studio pictures the directors don't get to choose how the film is marketed, so there is that. Also yes my name is from in the mouth of madness

Nah it just sucked.

None of its metaphors worked.
Its acting was poor
Its action while flashy was not dramatic
And saying to an audience "YOU SUCK" is not a good thing most times.

Just not a good movie.

I always imagined that Baby Doll's dancing was actually the Napoleon Dynamite dance. Both are strangely hypnotic and leave the viewer speechless.

As far as I understood the movie all the girls in the brothel were actually Babydoll or more specifically representations of parts of her psyche. So whenever one of them got killed it was just a part of her dying and the girl who escaped was the only part of her that survived the lobotomy =(

They weren't given names because they were all the same person.[/quote]

I think you are mixing The Ward together with Sucker Punch.

I did see Sucker Punch in July for the first time, and while the *satirical* parts of the movie didn't make much sense to me (All the Villians were Cartoons, and the girls with underwritten, which meant I didn't care for anybody throughout the entire movie, which damaged at least 5 stars of a possible full 10 from me), I did spot other things that make the movie better than most.

Sucker Punch is a movie I WANTED to like, because I like Zack Snyder as a director (DOTD was fun, 300 was awful, Watchmen is in my top 20, This kind of sucked, and I haven't seen Guardians of the Ga'Hoole yet), but when Part 2 (or possibly 3) comes along, I'll definitely continue to listen, I just think that there isn't much to argue for, expecially for this movie.

YAY!!! Uncle Bob is going to lecture us!!!

Oh do show us how your opinion is more valid than anyone else's opinion. How you are going to educate the masses on how this movie is actually a work of brilliance and not just a poorly put together attempt at brilliance.

Paul Verhoeven's movie sucked (I still like it) because it took a pro-militaristic book and tried to make it into a brutal satire of war. The source material already was what it was and Verhoeven tried to morph the source material into his own material. He did this by making it into a high action war movie. Point Missed.

Sucker Punch sucked because any point it had was buried under what it was. A panty shot riddled random high octane action scene clip show which had horrible dichotomy between the characters. Men Are All Evil Rapists, all of them including the people in the audience. Women Are All Angelic Delicate Flowers. The "Sucker Punch" that that would entail is kind of non existent when someone sits down to watch it because all his friends told him it sucked. Not to mention in the least why it is wrong to enjoy such entertainment?

The movie never addresses why it is wrong. Is it that we are keeping them locked behind bars of sexuality? No, the movie never makes that point. Because being treated that way is poor treatment of women? No, the movie never makes that point. Maybe it stops female characters from being written with any depth? No that's not it either, but it's a funny bit of irony that the movies own characters lack depth. In the end it is a toothless message of a film using sex to make a comment about how bad it is to use sex.

It tried to be something by being the exact opposite of what it wanted to be. Buried deep down there MIGHT be clever satire. But when the satire is almost impossible to see.... then it's a crappy satire. Satire is an art form. Not everyone can just do because not only does satire have to be hidden, it also has to be very obvious. It is a thin line that our dear director Zack fails to walk and he morphed his satire movie into a boring, messy, in-comprehensive exploitation flick.

It's like giving a kid a lollipop and then coming back to scold him for spoiling his appetite. He was supposed to throw down the lollipop as it was a satirical symbol of kids not eating properly and parents not being responsible.

The funniest thing thing to me though is this. The movie lured in people who wanted to gawk at women. These people, all left saying how bad of a movie it was. That to me just shows that even if you were an adolescent boy who got into this movie just to gawk at hot women. It still failed. That's kind of funny to me. It failed as a satire and it even failed to life up to the low low standards of people that watch things for the fan service.

mrblakemiller:
that's like a vegan serving hamburgers to his guests and then retreat back to the kitchen to scorn them.

Now I have this image in my head of a mad-scientist vegan...Cackling in his kitchen and yelling "THE FOOLS!" to those eating at his barbecue. Priceless.

OT: I don't mean for this to sound like trolling...but is this movie really worth a two-parter? I didn't see the movie and, frankly, don't really regret missing it. I feel that it has had no significant cultural impact on either its audience or the industry. Nor do I thing that it was enough of a subcultural phenomenon to warrant a cult status. It was a movie that had a mediocre showing, not really impressing any factions of the diverse audience that it could have appealed to (at least, by the trailers).

Granted, I love over analyzing movies and things, so I'll definitely stay tuned in. It's just not on the usual level of edu-tainment that I've come to appreciate from the series.

---

Nimzabaat:

I am enjoying just how many comments there are from those people who just didn't "get it" though. Highly entertaining.

I am honestly not sure how I should take that. Did I amuse you?

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 appears perspective matters quite a lot on this, as personally I had the sense they were shooting for the whole imagination-as-escapism thing, but horribly failing at it. In my interpretation it should have been Baby Doll's imagination we'd get to see, in which the brothel easily could fit, but the action sequences felt horribly out of place, as they are such obvious male fantasies. That is not to say it can't be the preferred escapism of a woman, but it certainly does need additional background to explain for it.

In my personal opinion the best solution would've been to either make a movie about a girl using multiple levels of fantasies to escape from a wretched reality inside a mental hospital, or make an obvious satire burning the concept of "empowered" sex fantasies to the ground - not both.

All of this, of course, is based on personal interpretation - something that with this clusterfuck of a movie varies wildly.
One thing is for certain though: I have no problem whatsoever with snidely deriding anyone who solely went to watch it because it has "hot chicks in school girl outfits swordfighting".

even if this is what Snyder was intending he did such a terrible job of expressing it that it didn't matter what the intent was. Furthermore, a lot of stuff going on in the film just reeked of Snyder trying to have his cake and eat it. He needs to keep the FUCK away from the script side of films; talented on visual directing but AWFUL at writing (kinda like Terrence Malick).

I absolutely loved Sucker Punch. If I remember correctly, it was number three or four on my top ten list of 2011. And so far, I've agreed with everything you've said Bob.

I am man enough to admit that a big draw of the film isn't the most morally upright reasons, but sex appeal has never been enough to sell me on anything alone. The film itself is a visual beauty.

Also, it really reminds me of Emilie Autumn's book (though she doesn't seem too thrilled about the comparisons).

"I'm not talking about not LIKING it. I know a lot of people who DID get it and still didn't like it, not so much people not appreciating the QUALITY of the movie as not appreciating its PURPOSE."

That sounds like your very positive review of The Cabin in the Woods. At this point in the video (first minute), I'm guessing that Sucker Punch has that underlying tone of "Yeah, we know you like this a certain way. But seriously, stop demanding it. It gets on our nerves." or something like that.

Genuine Evil:

Sejborg:

I think you are mixing The Ward together with Sucker Punch.

sorry what?

There is still "the real world" the world you see when Baby Doll is not dancing, and there you still have all the other girls. In The Ward (another movie) I would agree with you.

I totally loved Suckerpunch, but I've come to accept I'm one of the few that do. I guess its main failing was that it was too ambitious. There's not really a target audience for this kind of movie. Most feminists will be immediately turned off by the imagery the film uses, while the people who come for the girls in the short skirts aren't very likely to even try to look past its presentation, no matter how transparent it is. On that note:

Darknacht:
The movie literally yells 'STOP' at one point early on and everything comes to a halt while a character explains to the audience the point of the movie. How much clearer could it be, if people did not get that, then its a problem with the people watching it not the movie.

QFT

The action scenes were definitely its weaker points, though, in my opinion, not for the reasons usually given. The lack of tension isn't a problem to me, these things were supposed to be stylized exaggerations, but they did drag on a bit. Given how trippy this movie was, the one thing I feel it couldn't afford to be was boring. And the action scenes did get to that point, unfortunately.

Still, despite its flaws, it worked on so many levels, I don't really care.

Flawed, yes, but Suckerpunch was still leagues above the samey, forgettable, cookie-cutter trash Hollywood squirts out by the dozens.

Darknacht:

hentropy:
And if people are overwhelmingly confused about the purpose or message because the satire was too subtle, then the satire DID NOT DO ITS JOB. That should be film school 101: if you have a message or satire, make it effective and clear, because satire that no one gets isn't really satire at all.

The movie literally yells 'STOP' at one point early on and everything comes to a halt while a character explains to the audience the point of the movie. How much clearer could it be, if people did not get that, then its a problem with the people watching it not the movie.

Except Bob is spending not one but two videos trying to "explain" it to us all, because apparently people didn't get it enough for him and obviously critics weren't so sure, and those aren't idiots unfamiliar with subtext.

I'm not sure what part of the movie you're referring to precisely, but a satire loses its satirical edge when it becomes indistinguishable from the thing that it's satirizing. For example, Stephen Colbert would not be a satirical comedian if he just recited Bill O'Reilly monologues word-for-word. The movie is trying to say "hey nerds are misogynistic because they like hot women doing super human things, and we're going to make a movie about hot women doing superhuman things but make all the men sexist rapist pigs! Except we'll make all the women completely incompetent in the real world and make them rely on some kind of god-like male being in the fantasy world to get anything done! Ohh, add a dragon to that scene!"

To put it simply, it has no fucking focus. And for a supposed satire, that's fatal, because if you blur the line between you and what you're parodying while adding a lot of other things to muddy up the message, it simply does not work on any intellectual level.

captcha: fishy smell

I'm pretty sure I "got it", as in I got the attempt to satire audience expectation and the audience itself. Still doesn't change my opinion.

Like Starship Troopers, the movie basically tries to have its cake and eat it. Sucker Punch wants to shout "ha ha, I tricked you, you pig, nerd, mysogynist, pervert!" but still gives the pig, nerd, mysogynist, perverts in the audience exactly what they were after; namely, skimpy fighting babes. That's inexcusable. You can't hide behind the satirical message, pretending its a different movie - they still made a movie about skimpy fighting babes.

Starship Troopers, whilst condemning militarist facism, winds up promoting militarist facism with its depiction of heroic soldiers killing merciless, terrifying monsters. Alright, between the action scenes, there are occasional jabs at the military complex and war propaganda. But they're pushed to the side by the prolongued action scenes; the focus of the film, that most define the movie.

No wonder people came away with the wrong message. The mistake lies in the directors not applying the message directly to the action scenes, instead saving it for the sidelines. That's a mistake in an action movie satire.

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