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

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Revolutionaryloser:
What the wha? Did we watch the same film? Did you listen to the last words that were said? Have you ever heard of revenge sexploitation films?

'Revenge Sexploitation.' Sounds like something a producer would say to get laid. "Yeah, we're gonna rape you, and really draw out the scene so everyone in the audience is horrified to the point of nausea or aroused to the point of self-conscious nausea, but you're gonna get revenge some day! That's makes us squaresies, right?"

What I saw at the end of Sucker Punch was one of the girls getting on a bus, and the cops stopping her but the bus driver saves her by lying to them. Didn't exactly scream "I have all my weapons and have fought my way to freedom" at that point. It screamed "my escape is random circumstance as the result of bizarre luck and coincidence and I needed a man to show up and set things right."

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

Okay, I still don't like the film (I got everything Bob said, I just found the actions scenes to be boring and overly long), but that image alone justifies the movie's existence for me.

I'm disappointed I thought this was going to be about Sucker Punch Studios not about a bad movie that overuses metaphors like George Lucas overuses CGI.

Yeah I know there was a picture of the movie, but I figured no one would even bother making something about a B rated bla movie after so long after it's release. Oh and just because a movie is being ironically or metaphorically opposed to sexism doesn't mean people aren't going to jerk off to it. Just saying........

If nobody "got" Sucker Punch, then it clearly didn't do a good enough job, that is not a good movie.

I was actually introduced to this by my girl friend who is a huge fan of it. We watched the Blu-Ray Director's Cut and I enjoyed it. Liked the action, the characters, the story and themes and felt like I "got" everything discussed thus far. Had no idea this was hated so much to be honest. Figured it fell into that "Equilibrium" type film that most people simply forgot and a few enjoyed.

On the whole "you don't get it" issue. I learned my lesson when I enjoyed "The Village" and everyone else in my film going group jumped on me because they hated it. I tried to explain about it being a a study on social coercion mechanisms and myth of the good old days, but no one cared. My point? I doubt this tactic works on people as the go into a defensive posture when you say they don't understand.

EDIT: Also, I found the Germans (this was WW1, hence the trenches, no Nazis here) to be very tragic that they relive all of their lives when they die. To rediscover your humanity and realize what you are in that instant is a horrifying crime to commit on someone.

I want to see the movie now

The best comparison I can make to Sucker Punch is Twilight.

That is: there are two kinds of people (for the purpose of this metaphor) who enjoy Twilight. The kind who like it because they don't know what 'domestic violence' is yet and wish they could go out with the dreamy emotionally stunted rich kid, and the kind who think shitty movies are awesome. They're both right in their own ways. There's nothing wrong with those people who hate the Twilights, but I think they're missing the point.

[Sidenote: the 40-ish women who like it because of the gayness probably have some shit they need to deal with in their sex lives, or need to read some psychoanalysis sometime.]

Similarly, there are two kinds of people who hate Sucker Punch. The kind who wanted to see boobs and didn't, and the kind who heard it had some kind of anti-establishment message about male viewership of exploitation films, then realized halfway through that Zack Snyder really just wants people to stop looking at ladies and to start looking at dudes like in 300.

And yes, both groups are again entirely justified to hate it for those reasons, though those who like it are also free to do so of course. The fact that Snyder used metaphor to express his 'feminist' ideas instead of just blatantly asserting them is neat, but doesn't change the fact that he's a dunce as far as sexual politics is concerned.

I just realized that I'm in a very unique group here.

I'm part of the "Loved the movie, didn't quite get it because I wasn't gawking at the girls but was entranced by the action scenes" group.

So if MovieBob is correct, then I'm a target that got squarely missed and loved the movie anyways.

Huh.

That's the problem with movies that seek to lecture their audiences like your best friend's mom after you've both been caught drinking. When you brought your audience in to tell them how horrible they are, people tend to react negatively. Like Cabin in the Woods. "Hurr, if you complain about this movie, you're one of the Ancient Gods that aren't satisfied without the usual tropes."

Since Sucker Punch's message was "if you watched this because you thought the women were sexy, you're a pig". Well congratulations Zack Snyder. Almost no one saw it, so your message was received.

As for the movie, I dunno if I would've enjoyed it even if the execution wasn't shit. The action pieces were so barely connected to the narrative, it was like a video game trailer plopped into the middle of my movie. I'm gonna have to use this quote from Vince Mancini over at Filmdrunk

Generally speaking, dreams are like farts, yours aren't going to be nearly as fascinating to other people as they are to you. And the confused sense of time and place in the dreams applies to the whole movie. The first time Baby Doll dances, Madame Gorski cues up a reel to reel which begins to play... some techno-ish Chemical Brothers-sounding Björk song (the part starting at about 55-second mark). It reminded me of that awful movie Queen of the Damned where the 16th century feudal lord rises from his grave because he digs Korn music. The shock of hearing Björk in a 40s whorehouse drew laughs from half the audience, but no one onscreen seemed to mind. BUT IT'S A FANTASY, RIGHT?!?!? THE LINEAR RULES OF HISTORY DON'T APPLY! Sure, but keep in mind that we're expected to believe that these fantasies came from the mind of a 20-year-old girl in the 50s or early 60s (when lobotomies were still common practice). Jeez, she was imagining Björk music, chain guns, zombies, and robot samurais in 1955? If she would've been allowed to plan the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, it would've looked like the video for "Closer."

Icehearted:
--snip--

Hey, Bob? This dude "loved" the movie. If that isn't evidence enough for you that the message you've inferred was either non-existent, or got lost along the way, I don't know what would be.

"Just because you're doing it 'ironically,' doesn't mean people aren't going to jerk off to it."
- Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Honestly I vaguely remember this movie, thought it was okay liked the action in it from what I remember. Didn't know I was being mocked through the film through a layer of metaphors haha.

Here's the thing... if a huge number of people did not "get it" then that's the movie's fault.

To paraphrase Rogert Ebert, "If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it doesn't."

The movie failed to properly convey its message. No matter what its message was, it's deliver faltered and failed, and that's the fault of the movie, not the audience that saw it.

I'd like to see Bob do a show on his top 10 favorite movies.

Trishbot:
Here's the thing... if a huge number of people did not "get it" then that's the movie's fault.

To paraphrase Rogert Ebert, "If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it doesn't."

The movie failed to properly convey its message. No matter what its message was, it's deliver faltered and failed, and that's the fault of the movie, not the audience that saw it.

Funny thing is, I bet Ebert doesn't feel the same about Malick films.

....still a huge "FUCK NO" for me, Bob.
I watched it. It took two viewings for me to get it, but even then...it just felt soooo
well you said it at the beginning for me.

PRETENTIOUS

image

In my personal viewing, never has so much plot held so little weight mostly because of how Scattered it was. Not saying it was too hard to follow, but the action parts...just kinda killed me. I don't know why, but I didn't enjoy them like I thought I would.
I could care less for the skimpy clothing and I could care less for the sex appeal, but I just kinda sighed throughout the whole movie even when the message clicked.

Color me JADED, but I just didn't like it. Either as an action movie or the metaphors and symbolism within it, I couldn't pull myself to like it one bit.

The movie gives us far more time to look at scantily clad skinny hot chicks than it does time to look at the ugly terrible people enjoying their striptease.

Call it what you want, pick it apart however you want, give these people the benefit of the doubt by calling it satire. These filmmakers made a bunch of money by marketing scantily-clad skinny hot chicks to young males viewers.

If this movie is social commentary, I believe it to be a commentary on our eagerness to gobble up the dangling intellectual cookie of "satire", and how we like to make ourselves feel good by rationalizing every shit movie as satire. Oh no... you see, since this movie is almost EXCLUSIVELY shots of scantily-clad skinny hot chicks that are constantly at the mercy of male superiors, it is actually social commentary!

It makes me so happy that I can now jerk off to perfect-looking powerless women while actually empowering them!

The only thing I didn't like about the movie was the length of the action sequences... they just went on too long.

I can see why they had them that long, or else it might seem too 'artistic' for it's target audience, but it undercuts the main focus of the movie.

And like you say, the imagery is a bit to unfocussed, and a little too hard to read to deliver the sucker the punch. Yes, you have the obvious stuff, like trying to blow up a train, or slay the dragon (literally cutting up male organs) but a lot of the imagery went over my head... if there was any less obvious stuff.

Could have been a lot better if they shortened the action scenes. Still liked it though.

Face it Bob, the movie is nothing more than a hot girl in a school outfit kicking ass. Deal with it ;).

D'awww, Bob is trying to pull off again one of the good old "I'm smarter than any of you, now listen..." acts.

It would be hilarious and funny in the same way an 8-year old is when they've just discovered something new from a book, but Bob is getting up there and is still pretending to be a professional of some kind.

Bob, it's not a question of "getting it", and it certainly isn't a question that requires you, of all people, to swoop in and attempt some kind of illumination on the subject (really, you're just not that insightful and your riffs on other peoples' better articles on the subject are just painful).

I take it that the deadlines were closing in and you just happened to have some wiki articles open about this for a quick and easy episode?

Hmm... The point that Movie-Bob makes may be true, but I'm not entirely sure whether I can personally fit into the group being criticized by the movie.

...Although that may just be because I have different standards of attraction than what said "anime style pandering" usually takes the form of in popular consciousness.

Seriously, the girls I idolize tend to look like they stole Leon's/Squall's wardrobe. Or some other guy's wardrobe.

I'd give an image example, but apparently the internet hates me, so, use your imagination. Just keep in mind few couple general rules:
-more clothes is better than less.
-dresses and skirts aren't practical, and I don't think they are stylish.
-Only expose as much flesh as you would be comfortable with if it was winter. (which is to say, only hands, neck and face.)
-stick with a simple palate of colors, and stick closer to dark shades of them.
-For hair, pick two or more of the following: Short, Spiky, Wild, unnatural color(s).

If you have any doubts... Just make the whole thing cooler... It probably needs to be about 20% cooler.

lacktheknack:
I just realized that I'm in a very unique group here.

I'm part of the "Loved the movie, didn't quite get it because I wasn't gawking at the girls but was entranced by the action scenes" group.

Actually,so am i.

I actually viewed this movie as a fresh take on the "prison break" niche genre, with nods to current pop-culture mainstays (video games in particular) in its presentation. To me, I was more interested in seeing what the visuals and events in each action fantasy represented in the real/brothel world, as opposed to turning off my brain and watching a scantily clad girl kick ass for the oogling spectacle. Does that mean I watched this film incorrectly? Am I still the target of the film's "intended" criticism? I really don't know. All I can say is I loved the hell out of this movie for how well written the rules of the universe were for it, and how tightly the presentation clung to those rules in order to present smart, thoughtful visual metaphor on all 3 levels of "consciousness" within the movie.

Am I the only one who saw this movie as neither misogynistic, nor misandristic?

My personal theory is that Babydoll is jumping around like the star wars kid when she's dancing and all the men are just watching her act like an idiot. The "dark and weird" line really proves that Snyder just doesn't know what he's talking about and quite frankly doesn't seem very smart.

The entire movie fails because it's not her fantasy, it's a male nerd fantasy. Why would she imagine herself in a brothel or fighting Samaria or whatever? If she were trapped in male nerd's dream kind of like Inception, Nightmare on Elm's Street, or The Cell, it might of made sense on thematic or literal level.

Darknacht:

Abandon4093:
They're dressed in fitishised outfits and dance for patrons. Half of the action scenes have them in freaking school girl uniforms or some shit.

Do the math.

They are dressed up in fetishized outfits but its so over the top that its not actually sexy.

TorchofThanatos:
Just a quick note: Having to explain what the hell the movie was trying to do means that the movie failed in explaining it.

I just hate artsy carp like what this movie tried. I didn't really get it nor do I care to. If this movie really did try to go for that big of a message well it failed. So why bother explain it?

To be clear I under got what was explain in this episode but I have no idea what Bob has planned for next week.

Having to explain to some people what the movie was trying to say does not mean that the movie fail just that it was not made for the enjoyment of those people, it was made for the enjoyment the people who did get it.

zvate:
If a tree falls in the forest but know one gets the message then that message really doesn't mean squat.

Just because you did not get the message does not mean that no one did.
Its like Funny Games a movie about 2 psychos that take a family hostage at a cabin and kill them while chastising the audience for wanting to see a movie about 2 psychos that take a family hostage at a cabin and kill them, many people did not get it, but it was not made for their enjoyment, actually the original was not made to be enjoyed at all.

The only sucker punch in that movie is when I realized that it wasn't an action movie but an artsy movie trying to give some kind of message and I paid 10 bucks to see and art movie. The ending sucked and it doesn't make sense until you realize it was all a dream. The movie ends with a fucking dream. Really?

And, yes, having to explain something afterwards means the movie failed in explaining it in the first place. The movie wasn't made for action movie lovers to enjoy it. It was made to show how stupid the genre is. If they enjoyed it then good for them but that is not the point. This is a movie that is trying to make a statement. If someone doesn't understand the statement being made, then in the end it has failed. Something has failed when it's propose has not been achieved.

Lets not think to highly of this movie. It was a 3/5 star action movie that tried to be artsy.

To be fair I hate these kind of movies that try to have so much deep meaning that they end up meaning nothing. This is not a movie that I would ever enjoy. Not because I didn't like the mean but because the meaning wasn't clear. If you enjoyed it then I am glade you saw a movie that you liked. It is like that Spec Ops game. That game is not fun to me and that is the point. So I didn't finish it. Action movie should be fun but not when it keeps yelling at me that I shouldn't be having fun.

MovieBob is STILL wrong about Sucker Punch.

While it appeals to his far left liberal guilt, that fact is the movie isn't that hard to 'get'. It just fails miserably at everything it is doing.

If it HAD chosen to pander to male audiences with a barrage of awe inspiring set pieces from different genres (and even shown a bit of Baby Doll's dance) it would have been a smash and made a fortune (and you should go watch "Bitch Slap".)

The problem is if you watch and understand the film from beginning to end, you realize the 'empowered' women fail at every task they set out to do. They never manage to help or save each other and every step of progress they make towards their goals ends up being the result of a helping hand from a male character.

So while MB may despise his voyeuristic self enough to like this movie, it fails at its message. The real message being "women even if they WANT to be strong, cannot succeed without men." And THAT'S misogynistic.

So it's not only bad superficially, it's bad below the surface.

I'll be skipping next weeks video Bob. You can feel free to skip making it too.

cross_breed:
"Just because you're doing it 'ironically,' doesn't mean people aren't going to jerk off to it."
- Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

LOL, we need to start posting more great Yahtzee quotes every time Bob tells us that we should liked/not liked it. I am going to go re-watch and read to find some.

I enjoyed the movie, I felt it was emotionally visceral in a way I find pretty rare. I did get the part where it was screaming its hatred of men at me, but I didn't really connect it with the misogynist undertones of geek culture. Maybe it's 'cause I'm a girl...

.___.;;

Ariseishirou:

Icehearted:
--snip--

Hey, Bob? This dude "loved" the movie. If that isn't evidence enough for you that the message you've inferred was either non-existent, or got lost along the way, I don't know what would be.

For a lot of reasons, I did indeed love that movie, many of which I didn't bother listing because I felt like indulging a tirade I'd felt coming on because of the content of the discussions on the escapist as of late. I didn't miss the point of the movie, but I have a feeling you may have missed the point of my post.

Not that I blame you, I did go off the rails quite a bit.

Comparing SuckerPunch to Starship Troopers is like comparing a bowl of shit to a big juicy steak (I know you weren't actually comparing them I am just saying that SuckerPunch is bad and Starship Troopers is amazing).

I don't care what message SuckerPunch is trying to get across, it was just a chore to watch. Every action scene was so loud, over-long and corny that all its depth was lost and I didn't care anymore. By the time the 3rd action scene came around (IIRC it was the Dragon one) I practically switched my brain off and just watched the visual effects (which weren't good tbh).

I also didn't like Dawn of the Dead, 300 or Watchmen so I guess Zack Snyder just doesn't do anything for me...to me his movies are over-long, corny and pretentious (yes, I wrote that word!). The one thing I CAN'T STAND about his movies is the amount of slow-motion scenes in them! To me, it just makes the movie longer and more boring (Michael Bay does this too) it doesn't add anything to the scene and the whole 'cool' effect is lost ever since The Matrix (and all the movies that parodied its famous slow-mo scenes).

Zack Snyder can have his moments (the first 10 minutes or so of Watchmen is perhaps one of the greatest opening scenes to any movie I have ever seen). Most of the time I am hating on the slow-mo after the initial one or two. A movie can have effective slow-motion but ONLY when it is completely necessary...

I will probably watch Man of Steel but I won't be expecting great things. However, I have been pleasantly surprised before...some of my favourite movies ever are ones where I didn't expect anything good...such as Hot Fuzz and The Prestige (watched it on TV before I knew it was a Nolan movie so I was shocked by how good it was). If Man of Steel has a lot of slow-mo like his other movies then I probably won't care about what happens and 'switch off'.

So I got it, at least everything indicated in today's Big Picture. And, if anything, "getting it" made me hate the movie more.

1) It is the height of hypocrisy to condemn the viewership if the movie offers nothing but what it is condemning. There was no alternative shown, no positive role models, nothing to take away from the movie but the things he is complaining about. The movie was 90 minutes of fetishized chicks doing battle.

2) It was way too heavy handed with the metaphor. I am sorry, enjoying ogling pretty women is not the same as raping and abusing them. The motivating factor in those two things is not even remotely the same.

3) Poor story telling. If the entire goal of the film was to make this single profound statement, then how do so many people not get it? Because it was a convoluted mess.

4) Not even good without the "message". The action scenes were so stylized that they lost focus. Everything was bland and boring. The temple battle I remember as being something you would have seen in hundreds of different video games and the rest of it I don't remember at all. Yeah, the familiarity was the point, but it made everything so forgettable.

5) Demographic failure. Anecdotal, I know, but of all my friends the ones most interested in the film were girls. Stupid girls, quit objectifying yourself!

6) For a film that criticizes misogyny, it is amazing how weak, recreant, and incompetent he makes all the girls in the film.

I could go on, but I am sure all these points have been made by now.

I have to echo that this film is just plan boring and uninteresting. It blows my mind that all the action scenes have me falling asleep and wondering when they will be over. None of the girls were interesting the story was bad and acting was even worse. I am surprised I ever got though the whole film.

When I first saw the trailer I thought the film looked great, but it just endeared up being over saturated and soulless, like some kind of really bad video game.

I understand the satire that Bob was talking about but in the end it still a poorly made film.

Yehhhna a level of fanstasy within an already existing level of fanstasy?... The brothel metaphor is fine because it explains the grim reality and keeps a twist in things, the war style, nazi killing, samurai fighting, train blowing up was just way too unnecessary and didn't help put accross the point of trying to be intimidating.

If the film wanted to be taken seriously WHICH I'm SORRY BUT IT CLEARLY DOESN'T it wouldn't have been PG13 and would have been much more gritty and realistic actually portraying the strip teases and not covering them up with something that sells strip teases as something they're not.

I did however enjoy the end to this film which wasn't so silly and I wasn't expecting a sub character to last woman standing instead of babydoll.

Suckerpunch = 4/10 "Would watch again with friends if bored enough and have the time"

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):
snip

That first reviewer was incredibly annoying. Is it part of his schtick to act like a hyperactive kid? I can't comment on how much I agree with him because I haven't seen the movie but his claim that there's nothing below the surface and that you can't even give the film the benefit of the doubt makes an interesting contrast to Moviebob's analysis.

People didn't get that about Sucker Punch? How? Man, I loved Sucker Punch.

I watched this movie to laugh at it and I loved it for all its subtext.
Only really getting the movie at this level, I'm curious to see what you'r going to talk about next week.

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