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

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Hollyday:
I really REALLY want to see this movie, if only because I have never heard such wildly divergent criticisms and explanations of a film's plot, characters and themes ever.

I know! I passed it up in the theater because A) I hadn't heard of it, B) I hardly ever see movies in the theater anymore, and C) it didn't look like my kind of film.

Of course, now I learn that it was trying to be that way to "sucker" in a rather different audience. That's cunning - I approve.

So yeah, I should probably pick up the DVD and see what I've been missing. I love me a good satire.

Darknacht:

Abandon4093:

Revolutionaryloser:

He's right. It's not actually sexy. It's like a satire of what sexy looks like.

Sorry, I'll just defer to you on what people are allowed to find sexy now. Seeing as you're obviously thee authority on it and it's not like attraction is a totally subjective concept or anything.

Overly bleached hair with the roots showing, silly looking pig tails, the ill-fitted cloths of a child, and overdone makeup, yeah thats sexy to some people but everything is sexy to someone.

Not some people, a large amount of people. That's why there's such a market for that sort of shit.

The School girl trope is a trope for a reason. As is the bleached blonde look.

You're making the painful mistake of substituting popular opinion for your own. You don't find sexy =/= most people don't find sexy.

Krantos:
In other news: Bob has a video with the Catch Phrase "You are Wrong."

Clearly this is going to be well reasoned, respectful analysis and won't involve any poisoning of the well at all...

Really, Bob? I haven't even watched it yet and I'm already irritated at your opinion.

Someone kindly remove Mr. Chipman's head from his own sphincter. I liked him better before he got such an ego.

For CelluloidBoberto, it's actually a well reasoned and fairly respectful analysis of the movie so far. Considering that I'm taking about CelluloidBoberto, I realize that may not be saying much.

A much truer explanation for Sucker Punch:

Zack Snyder let his wife come up with the idea for the movie.

It was boring, because most women and especially feminist writers are instinctively narcissistic.

People were drawn in by the promise of Zack Snyder's signature visual style.

Zack did his damndest to make the action scenes worth the price of admission.

It couldn't save the weak, immature, sophomoric, and ultimately hateful and misandrist premise.

I saw it. I should have watched something like The Owls of Ga'hoole for my Snyder fix, as it was probably more edifying.

Lesson: YOUR WIFE IS ALREADY GOING TO SPEND ALL YOUR MONEY THE FIRST CHANCE SHE GETS, YOU IDIOT! DON'T LET HER DICTATE YOUR CREATIVE DIRECTION!

Revolutionaryloser:

Abandon4093:

Revolutionaryloser:

He's right. It's not actually sexy. It's like a satire of what sexy looks like.

Sorry, I'll just defer to you on what people are allowed to find sexy now. Seeing as you're obviously thee authority on it and it's not like attraction is a totally subjective concept or anything.

And "fetishized outfits" isn't a totally subjective concept? Good to know.

No... it's not.

The fetish that works for you is subjective. But the outfits are objectively fetishised.

You people are going to have to step up your game.

Abandon4093:

Revolutionaryloser:

Abandon4093:

Shorts =/= Lingerie with fishnets.

Whether or not you or I find the clothing arousing/attractive is not the point. That's the obvious intent of them. They aren't glamorised ordinary dress and you're being intentionally disingenuous by saying they are.

They're fetishised outfits by the films own point.

And I didn't say they danced extensively in the film, just that the dancing was a theme and therefore present.

I'm just going to post the first 3 google image results for sexy. If you can't see the difference, I obviously can't change your mind.

There is no one representation of sexy you freaking fascist.

Sucker Punch clearly used tropes to evoke a sexy quality to their stars. The clothing they chose was intentionally provocative because they had to be for the films own meaning. And an over the top nature has never been the antithesis of sexy. It actually usually walks hand in hand with it.

You're arguing a ridiculous point, if you didn't find the films stars sexy then that's you. That doesn't mean that no one would of, especially since that was the obvious point of them wearing the clothes they did.

It's nice to see you are lecturing me about subjectivity while your personal sexual inclinations are decided by "tropes".

Abandon4093:

Darknacht:

Abandon4093:

Sorry, I'll just defer to you on what people are allowed to find sexy now. Seeing as you're obviously thee authority on it and it's not like attraction is a totally subjective concept or anything.

Overly bleached hair with the roots showing, silly looking pig tails, the ill-fitted cloths of a child, and overdone makeup, yeah thats sexy to some people but everything is sexy to someone.

Not some people, a large amount of people. That's why there's such a market for that sort of shit.

The School girl trope is a trope for a reason. As is the bleached blonde look.

You're making the painful mistake of comparing popular opinion to your own. You don't find sexy =/= most people don't find sexy.

I'm not saying people don't find it sexy I'm just saying that it was intentionally overdone, and that does not mean that people can't think that intentionally overdone 'sexy', with caked on makeup and silly hairstyles and clothing, is still sexy, just look at some anime, but that does not make it any less overdone.

Revolutionaryloser:

Abandon4093:

Revolutionaryloser:

I'm just going to post the first 3 google image results for sexy. If you can't see the difference, I obviously can't change your mind.

There is no one representation of sexy you freaking fascist.

Sucker Punch clearly used tropes to evoke a sexy quality to their stars. The clothing they chose was intentionally provocative because they had to be for the films own meaning. And an over the top nature has never been the antithesis of sexy. It actually usually walks hand in hand with it.

You're arguing a ridiculous point, if you didn't find the films stars sexy then that's you. That doesn't mean that no one would of, especially since that was the obvious point of them wearing the clothes they did.

It's nice to see you are lecturing me about subjectivity while your personal sexual inclinations are decided by "tropes".

It's nice to see that you can't read.

I never once said that this film appealed to my sexual inclinations. Or that they were decided by tropes.

It personally didn't work for me. But I'm not self absorbed enough to assume that that means it didn't work for anyone. Or that my opinion is representative of the popular opinion.

The women were clearly very attractive (which is why they got the roles to begin with. Seeing as it was integral to the plot) and they wore clothes that were meant to arouse the viewers to a certain degree.

But I just couldn't get past how insipid they all were and how bland and uninspired the moved was coming off. So that probably had something to do with why I couldn't be arsed with the damn thing.

Darknacht:

Abandon4093:

Darknacht:
Overly bleached hair with the roots showing, silly looking pig tails, the ill-fitted cloths of a child, and overdone makeup, yeah thats sexy to some people but everything is sexy to someone.

Not some people, a large amount of people. That's why there's such a market for that sort of shit.

The School girl trope is a trope for a reason. As is the bleached blonde look.

You're making the painful mistake of comparing popular opinion to your own. You don't find sexy =/= most people don't find sexy.

I'm not saying people don't find it sexy I'm just saying that it was intentionally overdone, and that does not mean that people can't think that intentionally overdone 'sexy', with caked on makeup and silly hairstyles and clothing, is still sexy, just look at some anime, but that does not make it any less overdone.

But overdone often goes hand in hand with sex appeal.

It's another cry to uniqueness... no matter how ironic that intent eventually comes off because of how many people imitate it.

LazyAza:
Man I feel like an idiot now, this explains why I've had the disconnect between my feelings about the movie and how so many others, especially critics seem to feel about it. I knew their was more to it than just "hey hot chicks doing cool shit in fetish outfits" but I could never really figure out why. Thanks bob for making sense of it. It's a shame Sucker Punch wasn't more clever and better thought out because I agree that it's intent was indeed more noble than what most people seem to have taken away from it at a mere glance.

I agree. To me it was a noble failure. It tried to do something greater than your average CGI action flick with hot chicks but fell far short of the goal. I hope that there are people in the movie industry who are willing to look deeper into movies like SP to find out what they tried to do and why they failed at it. Otherwise we're going to be stuck with Michael Bay-type movies for a good long time.

Bara_no_Hime:

Hollyday:
I really REALLY want to see this movie, if only because I have never heard such wildly divergent criticisms and explanations of a film's plot, characters and themes ever.

I know! I passed it up in the theater because A) I hadn't heard of it, B) I hardly ever see movies in the theater anymore, and C) it didn't look like my kind of film.

Of course, now I learn that it was trying to be that way to "sucker" in a rather different audience. That's cunning - I approve.

So yeah, I should probably pick up the DVD and see what I've been missing. I love me a good satire.

I want to see this movie for another reason. It criticizes me. I like to think of myself as being able to appreciate high art and both male and female pandering(when female pandering is done) equally. I appreciate bayonetta as much as I love chell.

So I can appreciate it even if according to the filmmakers im a slimeball. well theres still something important there even if I myself consider myself a decent guy whose respectful in his own way of being respectful.

All In all I think Id love this movie. Thanks moviebob I dont always agree with you but WHEN I DO!!! lol

I am pretty sure that the film is told not from the perspective of Baby Doll but Sweet Pea; that seemed pretty obvious at the end. And it makes sense that Baby Doll would not create these scenes in her mind since she is the probably most sane one in the assylum.

Btw. am I the only one not turned on by the protagonist? Under-aged, flat-chested blonde chicks have no appeal to me.

I am almost certainly in the minority on this, in fact I hope to god I am given the circumstances of this movie but here goes.

I went into the theater expecting 'I am gonna hate the first half of this movie, but the second half is suppose to be good when they get to the over the top action so I can bare sitting through the setup,' and I was right! What do you know the setup was disturbing and hard to sit through pretty much because of why you'd expect.

We got through most of it though, we were maybe 10 minutes from where the first real big dream-action scene hit..then the screen dimmed and went out. The projector blew out, I got a refund and walked out of the theater.

Sucker Punch might be a good movie, it might be worth sitting through the hard to stomach first act for the second and third. It is -not- worth sitting through that same disturbing opening twice. That's the whole of my opinion on the movie.

Abandon4093:

But overdone often goes hand in hand with sex appeal.

It's another cry to uniqueness... no matter how ironic that intent eventually comes off because of how many people imitate it.

That does not make it any less overdone. Its like the girls names, yeah people will find a girl in a movie having the name Babydoll sexy but its still over the top and and kind of absurd.

Personally I only really gawked at the sci-fi imagery, not really the women. But I guess that makes me a terrible person. *shrug*

It has a drug laced plot, its alot too all over the place. Other than that the fun stuff is neat.

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

What's not to hate about it? It is horrible. It was also a reality 34 years ago in my home country. And we are considered to be one of the "nicest" countries in the world!

I'm sorry you felt so bad, I guess you got Sucker Punched by the ending (pun intended).

OT: The movies greatest mistake is drawn out action. It should have done like "Jarhead"; have exactly the amount of action scenes to make the trailer, to lure people to the theaters, then drop the bomb.

Anyway, really love this movie. Love people that love it, love people that hate it, because at least people discuss it more than 10 minutes after it ended! And that's more than you can say about most movies today...

Darknacht:

Abandon4093:

But overdone often goes hand in hand with sex appeal.

It's another cry to uniqueness... no matter how ironic that intent eventually comes off because of how many people imitate it.

That does not make it any less overdone. Its like the girls names, yeah people will find a girl in a movie having the name Babydoll sexy but its still over the top and and kind of absurd.

I'm struggling to see how this means anything at all in context of the discussion.

I'm very happy that Bob is doing covering Sucker Punch in this way. I really liked the movie and saw it in much the same light that Bob seems to.

Though it's still not as good as Scott Pilgrim vs the World.

I guess I could buy the notion that Zack Snyder tried to be all "clever, genius, and subtle" about the sexism in this film, but if it is the case he fumbled the execution and did a bad job. His comments about Sucker Punch being "feminist" just smacks heavily of lofty pretentiousness with a little bit of cluelessness mixed in.

I think people writing the film off as "Zack Snyder's Personal Wank Fantasy" are being too literal. If anything it just feels more like he made Sucker Punch to jerk off his intellect more than anything else.

To summarize my feelings; What creeped me out the most about Sucker Punch, was the feeling that Snyder sat behind my back all the time, breathing down my neck and occasionally learning in over my shoulder to bellow "I AM A GREAT VISIONARY GENIUS! ASK ME WHAT IT ALL MEEEEEEAAAAAANSSSSSSssss...!" at the top of his lungs.

Abandon4093:

Darknacht:

Abandon4093:

But overdone often goes hand in hand with sex appeal.

It's another cry to uniqueness... no matter how ironic that intent eventually comes off because of how many people imitate it.

That does not make it any less overdone. Its like the girls names, yeah people will find a girl in a movie having the name Babydoll sexy but its still over the top and and kind of absurd.

I'm struggling to see how this means anything at all in context of the discussion.

Everything being overdone and kind of absurd was part of the satire of the movie and just because people still find it sexy does not stop it from being satire.

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?

You got the Lord of Disappointing Chocolate-chip Cookies? I got the Duke of Undercooked Hamburger Beef shouting at me from beyond when I tried to watch Sucker Punch for more than 10 minutes.

uanime5:
If a movie criticises the people watching it because of what these people like then it's obviously going to do badly. Similarly if the point of a movie is difficult to understand then this is the fault of the director, not the audience.

The problem with this movie is that any point it tries to make is lost due to all the fantasy images it contains. Women fighting against armies using magical weapons is not a good metaphor for women who make their living by stripping, which itself is a metaphor for being in a mental hospital. The movie doesn't know what it wants to be so it ends up being a convoluted mess.

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

You took the words right out of my head! Mainstream audiences do NOT want to watch a movie that hates them, just because they want to watch what's in the movie. I get from an artistic viewpoint, that's theoretically ballsy, but from a business viewpoint, it spreads bad word-of-mouth and makes other people not want to spend money for it. The trailers made it look to me like cynical pandering with no heart or soul, just flashy-and-dull CGI. Now I get why it's called SUCKER PUNCH, because if you paid good hard $ to see it in theaters, you are a huge SUCKER.

I loved and will always love Sucker Punch for all it accomplished and even just having the guts to "try". It's a real shame that it was so poorly received because now Snydernhas been pigeon holed as an adapter and it's unlikely Hollywood will give him a second shot on an original story for quite some time.

I "got" the film... but I still didn't like it. I thought the acting was dull, the pacing was off, the "dream worlds" had very little to do with the "real world" (and there were weird dreams within dreams), and whole thing was just a very dark, cynical, bleak movie.

Seriously, it was the least fun I've ever had watching girls in fetish school girl outfits slay dragons and fight zombie Nazi robots. How do you make that DULL? They pulled it off somehow.

I'll admit, I thought this movie was a letdown nearer the end, but now that I've given this video a watch, I definitely have thoughts of watching it again with this new mindset. I certainly appreciate Bob's mention of the whole "self-satire" aspect being difficult to pull off as well - that's an issue I'd like to see discussed more often - how far can satire be taken, and what separates it from the straight examples? Maybe that's a topic for the future?

When will people learn that just saying "Yeah but like it was still shit lolz" just makes them sound ignorant?
Love this movie and it's nice to see see it defended for a change.

I feel that Bob's analysis is making the movie sound more interesting than it was... but I saw the movie when it came out and only remember that it was like "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" but not done as well, and I hated it.

I never wanted to watch Sucker Punch because the trailers for it made it look juvenile and shallow. I'm not entirely sure using that juvenility to insult the audience you just appealed to really justifies it.

But this makes for an interesting contrast with Spec Ops: the Line. Loads of people report liking SO:tL despite not enjoying it. The game makes you feel bad for doing what the game itself encouraged you to do, and in doing so deconstructed its genre. I am not sure Sucker Punch accomplished the same experience, perhaps in part because if MovieBob's opinion is correct then it's purpose went over a lot of people's heads.

But perhaps another reason is that SO:tL works because it engages the player in an imaginary world and through that engagement helps them understand why the imaginary world is very different from the real world. Whereas Sucker Punch just sounds like it fails to engage the audience and if it makes them feel anything at all, maybe just makes them feel bad for watching. As opposed to doing. And that's kind of an obnoxious move, really. Watching is not the same as doing.

It reminds me a bit of the South Park episode "It hits the fan", which markets itself by saying "shit" uncensored while simultaneously mocking people for being excited about a show just because it says "shit" uncensored. But the thing is, the South Park episode had more to it (really, the Knights of Standards and Practices are about the best thing I've seen in that show) whereas it kind of sounds like Sucker Punch was pretty one note.

Or maybe I was just turned off because the whole school-girls with swords thing is about the most awful cliche in nerd entertainment. And ironically awful is still awful.

Darknacht:

Abandon4093:

Darknacht:
That does not make it any less overdone. Its like the girls names, yeah people will find a girl in a movie having the name Babydoll sexy but its still over the top and and kind of absurd.

I'm struggling to see how this means anything at all in context of the discussion.

Everything being overdone and kind of absurd was part of the satire of the movie and just because people still find it sexy does not stop it from being satire.

Except that extreme clothes, situations and abilities are staple tropes for normal entries into the genre that Sucker Punch was supposed to be satirisng. If it's to be a successful satire there needs to be something that distinguishes it from what it's attempting to ape. Sucker Punch was just recreating what it's supposed to be deconstructing and then tacked on a superfluous message about how people raping the mentally infirm is an allegory for the intended audiences exploitation of the characters they're viewing.

It's a non sequitur. It's comparing harmless escapism to full on sexual and mental abuse.

I'm all for films having messages, but the message was full on wrong and I'd argue misandrist.

A successful satire shouldn't have to fall back on such disingenuous drivel just because the meat and potatoes of it's film was indistinguishable from what it's supposedly mocking.

I really enjoy how many posts read like this;

"Oh I "get it" but [short to long winded explanation of how they don't actually "get it"]

Big air high-five to those who are seeing the same thing :)

Katatori-kun:

But this makes for an interesting contrast with Spec Ops: the Line. Loads of people report liking SO:tL despite not enjoying it. The game makes you feel bad for doing what the game itself encouraged you to do, and in doing so deconstructed its genre. I am not sure Sucker Punch accomplished the same experience, perhaps in part because if MovieBob's opinion is correct then it's purpose went over a lot of people's heads.

The difference is that in Spec OPs what you were doing has a basis for comparison to what it's trying to make you feel bad about.

It was a riff on the gamers inherent lack of agency and willingness to simply do as they were told.

Suckerpunch is comparing someone who wants to watch a mindless film to Mengele or a serial rapist.

There is no basis for comparison and that's what all of the films merit falls back on. Other than that it was a typical action femme fatale flick with a twist ending.(Not a very good one either.)

Spec ops actual content deconstructed the genre it was apeing from early on right to the end.

From the devolution of the character tropes, to the inherent lack of agency and what such a thing means in contrast to the characters lack of agency and what kind of psychological impact the events actually took on the protagonist.

One was clever, the other was pretentious and missed the mark.

Abandon4093:

Darknacht:

Abandon4093:

I'm struggling to see how this means anything at all in context of the discussion.

Everything being overdone and kind of absurd was part of the satire of the movie and just because people still find it sexy does not stop it from being satire.

Except that extreme clothes, situations and abilities are staple tropes for normal entries into the genre that Sucker Punch was supposed to be satirisng. If it's to be a successful satire there needs to be something that distinguishes it from what it's attempting to ape. Sucker Punch was just recreating what it's supposed to be deconstructing and then tacked on a superfluous message about how people raping the mentally infirm is an allegory for the intended audiences exploitation of the characters they're viewing.

It's a non sequitur. It's comparing harmless escapism to full on sexual and mental abuse.

I'm all for films having messages, but the message was full on wrong and I'd argue misandrist.

A successful satire shouldn't have to fall back on such disingenuous drivel just because the meat and potatoes of it's film was indistinguishable from what it's supposedly mocking.

It may have been indistinguishable to you but as this thread has proven many people could tell the difference. You might not have liked it and many people did not get it, even though the movie explained it, but it still was a satire, not the best satire but not being good does not change what it is.

If Zach Snyder thinks thinks i'm a bad person that's his problem. Just please don't ruin superman.

I like Sucker Punch. I also remember men who saw it pretending to be feminists by criticizing it for having attractive women in it looking attractive as if that itself makes it wrong. From my exposure most real feminist like attractive women to look attractive or at least find nothing wrong with it and that criticism of the film annoyed me.

Overall I thought it stood up well as an action movie because (to quote Bob himself) "Action scenes get better when you care about the people in the fight and understand why they're fighting." I thought it stood up well as a mind screw due to all the perspective shifts and reality confusion. And I thought it stood up well visually due to its colors and styles.

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