"KEEP BUSTIN'."

SUCKER PUNCH – mystery solved (?)

tn_suckerpunchwarning: contains major spoilers and possible enigma killers

I know some of you would probly prefer that this movie just be forgotten, but considering all the discussion and confusion we had a few months ago about outlawvern.com-commenter-favorite Zack Snyder’s filmatistic intentions I was compelled to watch the extended cut and the “Maximum Movie Mode” commentary-ish thing on the new blu-ray. So this is a short post to share with you my findings and my current understanding of the answer to the question “what in fuck’s name was the ending supposed to mean?”

The extended cut (only available on the blu ray I’m afraid) is 17 minutes longer, and I do think it’s a better version, but not a whole lot clearer. There are two major additions:

1) The musical number where Blue (the asshole pimp guy) and Dr. Gorski (Carla Gugino) perform “Love is the Drug” on stage at the club. This was originally (and still is) included in the end credits, but here it’s a part of the film and you see pieces of the girls’ dance numbers (with elaborate themed sets and costumes). Snyder says that the scene was cut because he was worried that it made the brothel look like too much of a fun time. I don’t think it really introduces the characters more fully than the shorter cut but I think it sort of adds to Blue’s villainy by making him a suave performer on stage when we know what a bastard he is.

2) A scene where “The High Roller” (Jon Hamm’s character within the world of the brothel) talks with Baby Doll in a hotel-like suite. I believe this was cut to get a PG-13 rating, because the scene is about him trying to convince her to consent to having sex with him in exchange for freedom. She eventually agrees and it cuts to the “real world” of the insane asylum, where he lobotomizes her. So it makes it explicit what was already heavily implied in the theatrical cut, that she willingly let herself be lobotomized so that she could be free of the misery of having killed her sister and all that. So that’s what the discussion of the look on her face was all about. Also seeing the scene makes it seem to make more sense that Jon Hamm is in the movie, because he used to have a big scene.

To me the more important change is that the action scenes are a little longer, and maybe I’m imagining it but they seemed a little less choppy to me. They’re not really gory or anything but I think they had to shorten some of the shots and sequences for the ratings and to keep the length down. They play better longer in my opinion.

Okay, so when I first saw the movie I had a pretty straight forward interpretation of what was going on. In “the real world” Baby Doll gets locked up in an asylum, her stepfather arranges for her to get lobotomized, just before she does she fantasizes about this other world where the asylum is actually a brothel, and in this brothel they perform sexy dances during which she fantasizes within a fantasy about these action scenes where they’re on missions to fight dragons and shit, but really it’s all symbolic of what’s going on in the brothel world which itself is inspired by a couple things she saw or that happened in the hospital world. Okay, so it’s not that straightforward.

Anyway after thinking and reading about it more I started thinking about the pretentious narration at the end and the way Sweet Pea narrates and makes a couple references to “who’s story” this is, and I thought about how the beginning of the movie shows curtains opening to reveal a stage which is Baby Doll’s bedroom, and later when she gets into the hospital there is a stage where there is a set of her bedroom, and then Sweet Pea is on the stage dressed as her and acting out her story. And I started thinking maybe there was something I was supposed to get that was not clearly communicated, that perhaps some of this was taking place within the therapeutic acting sessions, or that it was really Sweet Pea’s story and she imagined Baby Doll as her “angel” who inspires her, or who knows, some shit like that. And then I noticed some reviews where it was clear that the writers had thought some sort of deal like that took place at the end.

So I really wanted to watch the extras and see if there’s any explanation for that. “Maximum Movie Mode” is a show-offy version of a commentary track where windows pop up throughout the movie showing interviews or on set footage, or Snyder standing in front of a white background like Morpheus in THE MATRIX gesturing to footage and explaining things. It’s mostly about how they did things but he talks somewhat about the story, and what I have learned is… well, it was pretty much what we assumed in the first place. He refers to the hospital as “the real world” and says that the brothel is taking place in her mind during the moment before she’s lobotomized. But he also says that he wants you to be left thinking about things at the end and wondering if maybe she imagined Sweet Pea or different things like that and that you can “probably find evidence” to support those type of theories.

I think that’s kind of a half-assed way to do it, to purposely imply things but not actually take the time to truly build them into the movie. It’s supposed to make it deep but just makes it kind of confusing. Maybe if the narration wasn’t so heavy-handed it wouldn’t seem as bad.

One interesting tidbit I learned: the engravings on Baby Doll’s sword depict the entire story in pictograms, up to a skull being lobotomized. He said he was paranoid about not showing it clearly in the advertising so it wouldn’t give the story away. I think maybe it would’ve helped, though.

One thing that Snyder does not talk about at all in the extras as far as I noticed is the one and only thing that the entire internet fixated on when the movie came out: gender. There is an interview where Jena Malone talks about how she thinks it’s a “surrealist feminism” and his producer/wife Deborah Snyder says some interesting things about the characters, but there’s no hint that he thought about it as a commentary on them wearing short skirts or that he had any clue that people would give a shit about if it was “empowerment” or “exploitation.”

Looking back I’m still not sure I understand the controversy. They’re burlesque dancers, they’re made to wear fetishistic costumes, but in their minds they escape by adding guns and swords and then they fly around fighting robots, dragons and steam-powered reanimated German soldier corpses. What’s the problem?

Well, the problem is with the construction of the story I guess. I still thought it was an interesting movie that ultimately fails as a story. Like all of Snyder’s movies I like it but don’t think it entirely works. It’s just that it’s more Zack Snydery than the others so it tries for more and fails harder. But what really struck me this time is that whether or not he intended it as a deconstruction of (geek culture, gender roles, whatever various sources claimed it was supposed to be a deconstruction of) it accidentally is a deconstruction in the sense that he delivers several knock-you-on-your-ass great action sequences but puts them in a context where almost everybody hated them. I mean, if you isolate the scene where they helicopter onto a runaway train and fight a bunch of killer robots to defuse a bomb before it blows up a city – that’s a fucking great short film right there, most people would love it. But by telling us that this is a fantasy that a girl has while she’s dancing in another fantasy that she has while she’s about to get her brain poked he double-removes us from the characters and makes us not really give so much of a shit.

So hopefully now that he’s deconstructed the story he’ll figure out how to put it back together.

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103 Responses to “SUCKER PUNCH – mystery solved (?)”

  1. caruso_stalker217

    June 28th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Yeah, I still don’t think I’ll be watching this any time soon.

  2. Well, that clears that up.  

    Vern: using Blu-Ray technology so I don’t have to, since 2010

  3. Thanks for the update, Vern. It sounds like the musical number does not add much at all and the story is still what it is. There’s no additional information to clear up the subtext or even the purposefully and needlessly complicated narrative. Great. But expected.

    It’s still an interesting not-quite failure.

  4. “It’s just that it’s more Zack Snydery than the others so it tries for more and fails harder.”

    That sums it up quite well. The dude knows how to frame shots, but everytime he tries to be original it ends up beeing bad. For example 300 is fine for what it is, but the parts about his wife back at home are just lame. I thought this one was insultingly bad from a story perspective. I mean you dont need that complex of a story for a good action movie, but it still has to work. This one was as pretentious as it can get.

    He should embrace his skill and run with it. Do some lighthearted action or adapt someone elses work but please no more deep meaningfull stories from his mind. I dont think he can do it.

  5. I love Zack Snyder’s visual style and have been a fan since Dawn of the Dead proved me completely wrong in that a great re-make of that movie could not only be made but also co-exist as an awesome movie in it’s own right. 300 was the first real “mastery” of CG/green screen in my opinion and Watchmen did a LOT more right than it did wrong. Still, I’ve been holding off on seeing Sucker Punch. Mostly I guess because I’m so excited to see what he’s going to do with Superman that I don’t want a bad taste in my mouth.

    I kind of wish this movie would have come out when I was 12 and not really dissecting cinema the way I do now. I’d like to think that this movie could be enjoyed on that level. Purely viscerally. I had an experience with Super 8 that was kind of amazing in that every time something my adult brain wanted to call out as bullshit, the kid inside jumped right out and told my adult brain to “shut up.”

    If this movie can at least swing that, I’ll be happy.

  6. Any chance we can just take Sucker Punch as an experience, like Tree of Life?

    If I may, Snyder DID mention the gender/skirts issue with me.

    http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zack-snyder-talks-sucker-punch-and-superman/

    So, if that helps…

  7. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    June 29th, 2011 at 1:16 am

    I get Vern’s style of writing, but that just read as the ramblings of a mad man. Of course I don’t blame Vern, it is because he is trying to make sense of some senseless shit.

    No disrespect to Vern, no one could clear that dog shit of the carpet without leaving a stain and a smell.

  8. Jesus Christ, you guys make this sound Batman and Robin bad.

  9. Huh? So it`s not really suppossed to make sense? I liked this movie, btw, but the voice-over ruined the ending for me. So we still don`t know if Sweet Pea is actually escaping or if Baby Doll is imagining it. It makes a lot of sense if Sweet Pea actually does escape, but the escape we see is Baby Dolls “version” of it, but that means that the voice over is Baby Dolls too and she turned schizo or…

    I also read that each girl had her own dance-scene, and Znyder said it would be included in his directors cut, so do we have a real directors cut coming out at some point?

  10. So…we’ll never see the full dance scenes? Lame.

  11. I think I’d prefer to watch Tank Girl again rather than watch this.

  12. Why should he have to know what he’s saying in order for us to get something out of it? If you take the Jungian view of storytelling then he’s just expressing various archetypes that are universal to the human condition anyway. His conscious intent would be irrelevant in the face of the themes that are inherent in the tale. A lot of stories are accidentally a lot deeper than the people who made them.

    And I’m perfectly capable of appreciating excellent action in just about any context. And so can most of you. How may of you have sat through 45 minutes of embarrassing Hong Kong comedy to get to the amazing fights? A great action scene is a jewel. It doesn’t matter if it’s on a bed of velvet or in a mud puddle. SUCKER PUNCH’s action scenes are far and away the most glorious and enjoyable of any major theatrical release of the past year or more by a substantial margin. (I also kind of like the mud puddle surrounding it.)

  13. I don’t know why but I went out and bought this yesterday on Blu-Ray. It seemed like one of those movies that would really demonstrate why I even wanted a Blu-Ray player to begin with. On that front, I couldn’t be happier, this is one of the best looking movies I’ve ever seen, especially in the fantasy within a fantasy scenes, the asylum ends up looking pretty typically dank and dark usually.

    What I didn’t expect was that the story wouldn’t be the absolute trash everyone had claimed it was. I guess by everyone i mean the 78% of critics that blasted it on RT. Some of the regulars on here, Mr. M specifically, pointed out in the original comment thread, that yes, this is indeed one badass fucking movie with incredible effects and set-pieces that really show off Snyders finesse for putting together great action.
    It really seems like this should have been a hard R film though.

    This is the second thread for the film, and almost everything involving the ending has been debated by the regulars in the original so I won’t waste time re-hashing that.

    What I didn’t see mentioned was just how awesome the nazi steampunk soldier sequence was. That’s the first dream sequence, and about the time I realized I would indeed be liking the fuck out of this movie. I loved that instead of blood, every bullet puncture produced a steam vent on the body. Something about that was visually perfect to me, and I think made me enjoy the sequence alot more than seeing blood spraying everywhere would have been.

    For what I wanted out of this movie, it delivered, The action is great, honestly Zack’s best looking film to date. And more than that, it’s just a fun, and I doubt we get anything like it for a long time.

  14. The nazi steampunk soldier sequence is the second dream sequence. Baby Doll fighting the three huge samurai is the first dream sequence.

    I think Sucker Punch is one of the few action films where non of the big action scenes are in the films third act, Michael Bay and James Cameron put most of the action in the third act (sometimes they last almost 45 minutes (I think the final action sequence in Transformers 3 might last like an hour)). I guess Zach Snyder does the same with 300, where there is only a short battle in the end (I guess you can’t even call it a battle, just a massacre). I guess the Book of Eli is similar with the action ending in the end of act 2, and the third act is just walking and talking and voice over.

  15. OJ (not that one)

    June 29th, 2011 at 6:49 am

    The Blu-ray doesn’t come out in my neck of the woods until September, so I can’t comment on the extended cut, but I just have to add my two cents and say that I really liked the movie, even though I don’t think it works entirely. Yes, the narration at the end is a bit too much (although the “now fight” at the end is a kick-ass end to the movie) and also yes, the story is a bit too unclear to fully work, but the movie CLEARLY wears its heart on its sleeve and just as clearly is somehow about sexism. (And once again yes, this little word “somehow” is the main problem of the movie.)

    I’m pretty sure the movie wants to do all of the following things: (1) show amazingly cool “fan service” sequences of beautiful women in skimpy clothing fight (literally) all kinds of monsters, (2) tell a three-level story that you can basically follow but where not all loose ends are entirely tied up, (3) make you feel bad for how women have been and are treated in society, and (4) make you question yourself a bit for how #1 and #3 intersect.

    I’d give it an A, leaning towards A+, for #1, a D for #2, a solid A++ for #3, and a B+ for #4. (If I were working for Warners, the last one would be a D– at best.)

  16. Vern – Just think, instead of digging back into that shit hole, you could’ve used that time and energy instead to review CAPTAIN EO.

  17. I really like the Extended Cut.

    I think the story holds together pretty well. And it’s not really that complicated. Babydoll is haunted by the death of her sister, and through helping the other women in the asylum she finds a measure of absolution. And finally having saved Sweet Pea, she finally willingly subjects herself to lobotomy. Gaining freedom from all the baggage and guilt.

    And it’s all taking place in three more or less allegorical stages. The real world is where women are abused and powerless, the crazy action fantasy world is where they’re the absolute unbeatable badasses. And in the middle, in the brothel dream, that’s where the two meet. It’s an interesting place for a collision of exploitation and empowerment, and back and forth sexual power plays.

    It’s not a story that’s told very clearly and with many definite statements, but I think that is part of the charm. More of a stage play or a musical, than a straight up action film. And I think it works beautifully.

    I believe along with DAWN OF THE DEAD, it’s the best film Snyder has directed so far.

  18. Jareth Cutestory

    June 29th, 2011 at 7:21 am

    It’s not the story that bothered me about this movie – Japanese schlock does this sort of material really well all the time – it’s the incessant pouting and posturing in lieu of character development. Hell, forget character development; I’d be happy if the characters reacted to the action around them with anything more compelling than a recycled expression from the “Vogue” video. It’s like fucking Zoolander was the production designer of this thing. Verhoeven could probably pull this kind of shit off and make a statement out of it, but in Synder’s hands all I see is a Maxim/Suicide Girls photo spread.

    Narrative ambiguity doesn’t bother me, though Synder is kind of half-assed about it. I prefer full-assed ambiguity like Robbe-Grillet’s Project for a Revolution in New York.

    I don’t actually agree that the action scenes are anything special in SUCKER PUNCH. Way too weightless and consequenceless for my tastes. Like Ang Lee’s HULK without the Nolte (though I know a lot of people like that film). And it has to be said: Synder can sync up an action sequence to a song really well, but he invariably picks the most hackneyed song imaginable for his sequences.

    But I like those steampunk Nazi zombie costumes. Those were neat.

  19. Knox Harrington

    June 29th, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I really liked Sucker Punch. Found it to be a great visceral cinematic experience, even more so than Tron Legacy. And honestly, I ended up caring much more for these characters than those in, say, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (but then again, what kind of a red-blooded male wouldn’t care for a group of pretty young girls in harm’s way?).

    Anyway, I’d much rather see Snyder make this kind of film than just more superhero movies. Among all the action, confusion and mayhem, he created a genuinely interesting on-screen world and a few very memorable characters.

  20. By the way, those steampunk soldiers weren’t Nazis, just Germans. Wrong World War.

  21. As a Snyder apologist and an Emily Browning in short skirts supporter, I can’t believe I haven’t seen this yet.

  22. **I mean, if you isolate the scene where they helicopter onto a runaway train and fight a bunch of killer robots to defuse a bomb before it blows up a city – that’s a fucking great short film right there, most people would love it.**  

    Agreed!  And anyone who says Zack Snyder is not the best at this kind of beautiful action right now is probably lying or being a nerd reactionary and probably has a treasured copy of a Superman funny paper on his bed stand.  

    **But by telling us that this is a fantasy that a girl has while she’s dancing in another fantasy that she has while she’s about to get her brain poked he double-removes us from the characters and makes us not really give so much of a shit.**  

    I gave a shit!  I still do.  I still admire the ambition here, and I hope Snyder and others remain willing to do cool stuff like this.  I wish it were the case that the longer cut somehow mitigated my one minor complaint about the parts of awesomeness in SUCKER PUNCH, which was that the ladies are too invincible in the action scenes.  

    But now I read HT’s spiel about the girls being utterly powerless/invincible badasses/somewhere in between in realms 2/3/1, and I think I get why I’m wrong and Snyder was right to make the girls & their action sequences like that.  

    It’s tough to find that balance when you’re dealing with an invincible action star or team.  On one end of the spectrum, you have gods or superheroes or that 80s action Stone character from that funnyass short Vern posted here a few months back who have invincibility as just one of their traits.  
    On the other end, you have Jackie Chan when he drinks copious amounts of Shanghai Moonshine or JCVD after you just reminded him that you enjoyed watching his best friend die.  
    You insert invincibility anywhere in between these choices, and you risk doing something like Jackie Chan’s THE TUXEDO/THE MEDALLION or that odious James Bond where he had the InvisiJag (or Aston Martin whatever) & surfed (!?!) a glacier or some shit, where you impose invincibility on a mostly normal person and the viewer might not be willing to buy it.  

    Anyway, like most movies, I wish it were more of a musical, but it sounds like the extended cut of Girl 300 is worth a second look.  

  23. Jareth Cutestory

    June 29th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Mouth, I applaud your ability to find awsomeness amid all that duckface.

  24. It seems like when everybody hates an action-type movie these days, that’s the ones I like. I liked THE GREEN HORNET better than KICKASS, MacGRUBER better than MacHETE, and SUCKER PUNCH better than THE DARK KNIGHT. I don’t know what I have my finger on, but it’s not the pulse of jack shit.

  25. Knox Harrington

    June 29th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Green Hornet had one thing going for it: The Funniest Cameo Performance I’ve seen in years. James Franco is one funny motherfucker. Had me rolling.

    Unfortunately, when a movie has an opening scene that good, every other scene that follows seems kinda lame in comparison.

  26. I thought the action was really over-the-top and inventive. Seth Rogen shouts too fucking much and I don’t know what the hell Cameron Diaz was doing there, but I liked it a lot.

    Okay, maybe not more than KICKASS. That one had Nic Cage shouting incomprehensibly while on fire. I just needed a third movie for my trifecta. It wouldn’t be the first time I sacrificed accuracy for symmetry.

  27. Knox Harrington

    June 29th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I did like that MacGRUBER/MacHETE thing you did.

  28. I was pretty proud of that one.

  29. I’m with you, Mr. Majestyk. I thought Kickass was way overhyped in the nerd community. Outside of Nic Cage having material that fit him (which, when it happens, makes him my favorite actor to see) it was a pretty awful movie. Maybe not awful, but, yeah, I think it falls apart really fast. I also didn’t like hearing grown men talk about the girl in the movie. That made me highly uncomfortable.

    I’m a Snyder apologist I guess. I’ve liked everything he’s done. I hated that they remade Dawn of the Dead but found his remake different and interesting enough that I came around to really liking it. I still need to see this. Knowing you guys and knowing where I agree and disagree I expect to enjoy this a lot.

  30. I hate that term. “Apologist.” It means you’re actually saying you’re sorry for liking what you like. It gives the other side of the argument too much credit, as if you’re admitting that they’re right and you’re wrong and you hope they can find it in their hearts of hearts to forgive you for enjoying something they didn’t.

    FUCK THAT SHIT.

    It’s a movie, not a war crime. There’s nothing to apologize for.

  31. Well, Macgruber is awesome.

  32. I agree, Mr Majestyk. I just see a lot of Snyder hate on different websites and it baffles me.

    He has a distinct visual style and his action scenes make sense and I can follow them. That the rest of his films aren’t awful is just a bonus after that. I really don’t understand any hatred thrown his way.

  33. I googled “duckface,” not realizing that it is now an internationally recognized term for something about which I’ve been complaining for years. Even the NY Times did a story on it last m

    This pathetic, disgusting self-photo phenomenon is a great source of disappointment for me; it’s kept me completely off MySpace (Not that there’s anything wrong with being on that website, just that it’s dangerous & sleazy and should make young Carolinians ultimately feel worse about themselves, in my experience. It’s probably more acceptable outside the USA.) and helped to minimize my FaceBooking with girls, though, which is somehow a good thing since I have trouble respecting anyone who can’t afford a friend to take a picture for her or who cares so little about a basic tenet of the art of photography.

    Seriously, no more mirror shots or shots in which the most prominent foreground feature is the button-pusher’s inner elbow.*

    . *Vanessa Hudgens is exempt from these rules.

    Jareth, Vanessa can duckface me (or blow me a kiss, natch) all she wants.

  34. Shit, this is the first time that I’ve ever heard of duckfacing, but now that it has its own website, I’m sure 98% of them do it on purpose, to become part of an internet meme.

  35. Thanks for the update Vern. I liked the theatrical cut, and I am interested to check out Snyder’s original version. I didn’t love the theatrical cut, but I often found myself having to defend it because I could understand the hate it received. As many of you have pointed out Snyder is not without his faults as a film maker, but directing quality action sequences is not one of his problems. The action sequences in this film are exceptionally well constructed and executed. I am not surprised there was no mention of female empowerment on the special features. I always thought that was a subtext people tried to force on the film because of the way it objectifies woman, and portrays almost all of the male characters as scumbags.

  36. Majestyk, I hate that term “Apologist” as well. I don’t need anyone else to validate my opinion on what movies I like or do not like, and why I did or did not like them. I feel people put too much stock in the opinion of the majority. To your point it is like saying there must be something wrong with me because my opinion does to fall in line with what most everyone else thinks. I think too often people don’t trust their own judgment and cling to a popular opinion because they figure if so many people feel that way then they must be right and then they have the majority to fall back on to support/confirm their belief.

  37. The whole duckface/self shot thing has to do with the fact that most young girls are narcissists and like to oogle at themselves and love the attention these pictures get on on the internet. Its an interesting phenomenon though. Don’t these girls realize they would look better if they weren’t duckfacing? Its not sexy.

    Apologist was probably the wrong word to use since I don’t really apologize for thinking Zack Snyder is a good director. The word seemed to make sense at the time.

  38. Ace Mac –

    it’s only a blog post, it’s not supposed to be Pauline Kael.

    Nah. I actually agree with you that that was the ramblings of a mad man. Sorry it’s not more polished, but I figured I was just writing it for people who cared about and were familiar with the movie so I was just trying to give a quick update for them.

  39. *@$#!, I meant to say “I didn’t love the theatrical cut, but I often found myself having to defend it because I COULDN”T understand the hate it received.” Big difference.

  40. I guess this sort of confirms my suspicions that Snyder has no understanding whatsoever of subtext, and simply wrapped everything in layers of confusing meta-skullduggery to disguise the fact that the film’s not actually about anything.

    Which is a shame. I was almost convinced for a minute there that it was so weird it had to mean something. I’ll grant that I gave it more thought than almost any film this year and came up with some interesting possibilities, but that just makes it all the more frustrating that there’s nothing much really there.

  41. Vern, you just used the Hamlet argument on yourself. That’s so meta!

  42. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    June 29th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I’m an “apologists” apologist I’m afraid I’m sorry to say, because I like some really dodgy shit. Sorry.

  43. Knox Harrington

    June 29th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Speaking of dodgy, someone mentioned a little earlier that a lot of stories are accidentally a lot deeper than the people who made them.

    I nominate Donnie Darko.

  44. I gotta say, I was really looking forward to this and, having missed it on the big xreen, eagerly dove into the DC a few nights ago.

    Wow. what a crock of shit, thought I.

    Fair’s fair, there’s some good performances coming from the leads and Snyder can sure direct a mean action scene – but write? No.

    He simply too hard to be “deep”, to be a mind-fuck; to say, hey, fanboys, suck on THIS and giving us these big battle sequences that we we simply cannot love because it’s inside another story that thinks it’s REALLY DEEP.

    But at the same time, it’s like Snyder’s kinda getting off on it – like a guy trying to be all PC and saying, “ooh, these men, they’re all misogynists” – and all the while he’s nursing a boner whilst looking at these girls.

    Maybe I’ll give it another chance sometime and I hope others who shell out their hard-earned get more out of it than I did.

    BTW, Jon Hamm was pretty good in this – and thereby I cannot use my “what a Hamm!” gag.

    Sorry for rambling, it’s 1 am here and I keep looking up at the TV as Under Siege 2 is on. I know you all feel me.

  45. SirVincealotThere

    June 29th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    My BluRay would have been delivered today but UPS says they couldn’t find me. Can’t fucking wait. SUCKER PUNCH is the only new movie I enjoyed so far this year as it’s the only thing I’ve seen that didn’t stink of sequel/prequel/franchise/tentpole-itis

    Thankfully Terence Malick just showed up in Montreal. His film, not himself I mean. So the rest of the year is looking a’ight.

    I must be getting crusty as fuck ’cause even the CAPTAIN leaves me cold as a dead fish on ice – I actually can’t think of a single Hollywood product I care about in 2011. Good thing there’s about a million old flicks I still have to watch. I don’t know why I’m whining to y’all about this. If you read this much, thanx for listening anyway.

  46. SirVincealotThere

    June 29th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    One more thing: I watched NETWORK for the first time last night. Now that’s a fucking movie!

  47. Yeah, I think I solved this mystery three months ago and even wrote an analysis of this flick. Too bad nobody cares)

  48. Network is amazing. Paddy Chayefsky was way too ahead of his time. It’s shocking to watch Network today and see how all the layers in that movie are even more immediate in today’s context and you can look at it as even more satirical as what media has become or less satirical since media has caught up to what it was portraying. I can’t think of any film that has aged in this way.

    And speaking of Green Hornet, I have to give it a certain kind of respect for just throwing out the entire stock superhero story and turning everything on its head. It’s more over the top than you would expect it to be and a lot stranger as well. It has a crazy kind of panache to it. I can see why some people hate it but the one thing it is is unique. If the alternative is the by-the-numbers Green Lantern, then I’ll take Green Hornet anyday.

  49. just a little word-geek thing but “apologist” does not actually have anything to do with apologizing in the sense of being sorry for something, it’s an ancient word used for Christians offering arguments for their beliefs, and wikipedia says in the “apologetics” article that it comes from a greek word which just meant “speaking in defense”.

  50. I finally watched this movie in response to Vern’s post… and I gotta let you guys know: if you’re avoiding it for some reason thinking it’s dumb or whatever, you are totally missing out. The action scenes alone are worth the price of admission.

    Plus it’s got a cool story and it is in no way ambiguous or confusing… I don’t even see how anyone could be confused by it. Maybe it helped that I only ever saw the extended cut?

    Either way, if you are in favor of clearly shot and well-planned action scenes then you should give this a try.

    Also, hynosifi: apo logos. It’s two greek words, meaning literally “a word for” and it absolutely has something to do with an “apology” of the modern sort, meaning saying you’re sorry for something. That’s where the world apologize got its current meaning. And yes, it also means the other thing. Evangelicals call themselves “apologists” in the way you describe, giving a defense for. But it’s not a religious word. Heh… just a fellow word-geek :)

  51. Hi there, I would like to know if any person know concerning Bv and can explained to me tiny relating to this bacteries. Cheers

  52. Ok, this was the one I came back for. Here we go.

    First of all, the action sequences are varied, but the best of them are terrific. The dragon/plane didn’t really work (although let’s give it credit here – it’s a dragon and a damn aeroplane), the clockwork Nazis were just weird, but the three giant samurai robots and the train absolutely blew my mind.

    Secondly, the first thing I did after seeing this film was to buy the soundtrack. The Bjork “Army of Me” crossover with Skunk Anansie is worth the price of the soundtrack all on its own. And for those of you who didn’t get that, let me repeat: THERE IS A CROSSOVER OF BJORK’S “ARMY OF ME” WITH SKUNK ANANSIE. For anybody who grew up with both Bjork and Skunk, as I did, let me ask you this: how the HELL do you beat that combination?

    I mean, there’s other good stuff on the soundtrack – the only really weak songs are “Love is the Drug” (maybe I’m being iggerant here but I do not see why the film ended this way – ideas, anybody? It just seemed horribly twee and out-of-place, like Snyder was going for the “Let it snow” ending from “Die Hard” and got it horribly wrong) and a “collaboration” between Queen and some rapper I’ve never heard of but all you guys probably know on “I want it all / We will rock you”. There’s an emo-styled “Sweet Dreams” cover that somehow manages to beat the odds and Marilyn Manson, and be good. Oh, and a version of “White Rabbit” that kinda loses it halfway through by going down the ambient-without-vocals route, although maybe this was necessary for the film. But it’s “White Rabbit”, a song that it’s literally impossible to spoil, so it’s still ok.

    As for the film, I have very little to say. And the reason I have very little to say is because it all felt rather icky, and a little TOO eager to excuse itself. For example, it kinda makes sense that Babydoll’s dreams would match those of horny men fantasising about powerless girls kicking ass for the man while wearing tight leather outfits; because, after all, she’s never known anything except enslavement by evil men, right? Yet somehow it still managed to make me feel… dirty. I’d say this was doing the same “uncomfortable soft-core” thing “Kick-Ass” tried and partially succeeded at, but honestly I don’t think this movie is clever enough for that.

    Oh, and there’s a “Robocop 3” moment at the end. Vern knows what I’m talking about. It’s the bit where suddenly, and for no obvious reason, the guys stop being part of this cruel world and start to question it. The idea is they’re “inspired” by Babydoll but from everything we’ve seen of them (which isn’t much) they’d be more likely to be angry at her… plus the scene doesn’t really have any point, nothing changes at the end, etc. So that felt like a cop-out.

    Plus the best part of both “Robocop 3” AND “Sucker Punch” is the samurai robots. Now that’s just weird.

    In conclusion: watch the film for a few of the action sequences. Wash your hands afterwards. Buy the soundtrack, because it’s freaking awesome. That’s all.

  53. I watched the extended cut on blu ray the other day and wow, it just confirmed that I love this movie

    I really don’t understand the hate

  54. I finally watched Sucker Punch for the second time and friggingI loved it. (my first time was in a freezing cold cinema in India, where they volume of the sound makes your ears bleed. Also armed guards who walk around during the screening and look threatening.) I still think the movie makes more sense without the lame voiceover, which I think they included in order to make the audience feel better about the babydolls fate, but yes, it`s a total sucker punch. We have this girl who can only deal with her horrible life and guilt escaping into a fantasyworld, and then her imagining a girl she saved explaining that she has all the weapons and just gotta fight. She willingly escapes into a fantasy about empowerment and believing in yourself, in order to find peace. It`s a totally twisted ironic happy ending.

    Anyway, I think this is Znyders best movie, and maybe the best movie of the year, but I had to watch it a second time to actually invest in the characters.

    I love this new trend of subjective reality/fantasy-movies, like Inception, Shutter Island, Scott Pilgrim, Black Swan, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Tideland, Pan´s Labyrinth, Where The Wild Things Are, Antichrist, A Tree of Life and Repo Man (well… sorta…). I know it has been done before (David Lynch, Satoshi Kon etc), but now it`s almost becoming a genre in itself, as in “something new and original is actually taking place in the world of cinema”. It pisses me off as a aspiring filmmaker, cause I thought I was being original with my reality bending screenplays, but it makes me very happy and excited as a filmgeek.

  55. And without typos. Sorry…

    I finally watched Sucker Punch for the second time and I frigging LOVED it. (My first time was in a freezing cold cinema in India, where the volume of the sound makes your ears bleed. Also, armed guards who walk around during the screenings and look threatening.)

    I still think the movie makes more sense without the lame voiceover, which I originally thought they included in order to make the audience feel better about Babydolls fate, but no, it`s a total sucker punch:
    We have this girl who can only deal with her horrible life and guilt by escaping into a fantasyworld, and then her imagining a girl she saved explaining that she has all the weapons and just gotta fight. She willingly escapes into a fantasy about empowerment and believing in yourself, in order to find peace. It`s a really twisted and subversive ironic happy ending.

    Anyway, I think this is Znyders best movie, and maybe the best movie of the year, but I had to watch it a second time to actually invest in the characters. And I think that Znyder knows EXACTLY what he is doing, but just refuses to offer any easy answers. That would actually lessen the impact of the story.

    I love this new trend of subjective reality/fantasy-movies, like Inception, Shutter Island, Scott Pilgrim, Black Swan, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Tideland, Pan´s Labyrinth, Where The Wild Things Are, Antichrist, A Tree of Life and Repo Man (well… sorta…). I know it has been done before (David Lynch, Satoshi Kon etc), but now it`s almost becoming a genre in itself, as in “something new and original is actually taking place in the world of cinema”. It pisses me off as a aspiring filmmaker, cause I thought I was being original with my reality bending screenplays, but it makes me very happy and excited as a filmgeek.

  56. Hmm, I just hit me that the movie might be a metaphor on fantasy, storytelling and cinema as an escape from facing real life? As in a big “fuck you” to the thrill-seeking audience? Ouch, now my brains hurt…

  57. Griff – I understand the hate. I don’t share it, although if a film is going to make me feel like a dirty old man, I’d rather it earn the right to do so first. Don’t feel like “Sucker Punch” did.

    Although – and I do feel as though this point has not been emphasized enough here – THERE IS AN ACTION SEQUENCE, ACTUALLY A BLOODY GOOD ONE INVOLVING A LEATHER-CLAD NINJA GIRL AND THREE GIANT DEMON SAMURAI ROBOTS, THAT IS SCORED TO A CROSSOVER BETWEEN SKUNK ANANSIE AND BJORK’S “ARMY OF ME”. (And if you don’t understand how this is one of the most awesome musical combos that could be dreamed about, let alone put into practice, then I don’t think I have the writing skill to do it justice. Clearly you are as clueless about this type of music as I am about – say – rap; and I wouldn’t waste your time asking you to try and explain rap music to me. It’d be like trying to teach a cat to appreciate the poetry of Dylan Thomas.)

    In any case my point is that that one scene is pretty much like the cinematic version of having two supermodels blow you while a third feeds you bacon and chocolate.

    DNA – I may not agree with you on “Sucker Punch” but I can totally get behind the sentiment of this:

    “I love this new trend of subjective reality/fantasy-movies, like Inception, Shutter Island, Scott Pilgrim, Black Swan, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Tideland, Pan´s Labyrinth, Where The Wild Things Are, Antichrist, A Tree of Life and Repo Man (well… sorta…). I know it has been done before (David Lynch, Satoshi Kon etc), but now it`s almost becoming a genre in itself, as in “something new and original is actually taking place in the world of cinema”.”

    Hell yeah brother.

  58. I’m surprised nobody seems to have noticed the basic plot of SUCKER PUNCH is just a *tad* similar to the plot of the seminal British mini-series THE SINGING DETECTIVE

  59. I saw this movie at the theater on the day it came out and it was in the middle of the day. I enjoyed the action sequences, but I still didn’t understand a lot of the plot. I guess when I watch it a second time, I’ll mainly watch it for the action sequences alone. Personally, in the end, I still liked it.

  60. Any clues as to why when I follow the steps I get taken to the install page every time?

  61. The blu-ray extended version might be an improvement. I’m glad I have both versions. I’ll be checking out the “Maximum Movie Mode” sometime soon. This movie seems to be endlessly fascinating for me. SUCKER PUNCH makes me uncomfortable, yet it’s a very very fun movie, and the symbols are obvious & absurd but they are also perfect within the story, which isn’t really a story because it’s just a bunch of symbolic stuff thrown together, but it’s not just all thrown together because it’s actually a really tight story, but it’s not that tight because it’s ambiguous, but it’s not ambiguous at all because the meaning is crystal clear, but don’t ask me to put it all in one paragraph.

    Someday I’ll write a paper describing the film through the prism of feminist theory. Should be fun.

    After 3 viewings now, I think about 80-90% of it is excellent. The stuff that doesn’t quite work for me is just the superfluous stuff, the fat (Slo-mo shells dropping by the shooter’s feet again, Zack Snyder? And I don’t see the importance of the parallel shot with the falling cigar ash.), which I don’t find harmful or damning.

    And the only other superfluous stuff is maybe the amount of fantasy kills in the awesome action scenes. But, as an American and an action-addicted cinema-lover, there’s actually no such thing as too many fantasy kills in awesome action scenes. In my opinion I’m an idiot for suggesting that any of it was superfluous.

    The extended cut seems to have added a quick, bizarre black shot at the beginning of my favorite shot of 2011. It occurs at the 38 minute mark of the extended version, and I believe it’s at about the 31 minute of the theatrical cut. I’ll double-check, but does anyone else who has the SUCKER PUNCH blu-ray or granny disc (Griff? Mr. M?) see this little blackout I’m talking about? Also, if you don’t see why it’s my favorite shot of 2011, good. It’s meant to be subtle. Its effectiveness is in not calling attention to itself, but I adore it, even though I detect a physical flaw or 2 in the head movements of the actresses.

  62. Jareth Cutestory should appreciate this:

    From the latest Film Comment magazine, Guy Maddin’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

    1. THE TREE OF LIFE
    2. THE TURIN HORSE
    3. MELANCHOLIA
    4. FAUST
    5. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
    6. WORLD ON A WIRE
    7. HUGO
    8. SUCKER PUNCH
    9. SHAME
    10. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL

  63. Amusing.

    Interesting how both he and QT loved APES apparently.

  64. Mouth, your enthusiasm for Sucker Punch makes me want to watch it again. I’ve always been kicking around buying a new 1080p TV and getting a Blu Ray player: is Sucker Punch reason enough to upgrade?

    Also, Guy Maddin’s list is one I find agreeable. Besides not seeing Turin Horse and Shame, and thinking that Hugo was awful it’s a list close to my heart.

  65. I’m still trying to collect my thoughts on this one, a full 24 hours after seeing it; i don’t think i’ve thought about a movie like this in a long time. One thing about the reception of it – I’m wondering how much of it is about the film itself and how much is Snyder Hatred. I’ve got nothing against Snyder, I don’t know anything about him personally (I’ve seen him called a douchebag and a fratboy in alot of places including these boards, (and he might be) but I don’t think I know what he looks like or have even heard him talk), and I’ve enjoyed most of his movies so far, so i’m glad my opinion wasn’t skewered.

    And by the way, I’m not implying there’s anything wrong with not being able to separate art from the artist. If you showed me Sucker Punch, without changing a single frame, and told me it was directed by Michael Bay or Brett Ratner, I probably would have thought it was an obnoxious piece of misogynous shit.

  66. neal2zod – Took your advice and went with the extended cut. Hopefully I’ll be able to sit down with that tonight and finally see what the hoopla behind this thing is about.

  67. Broddie – i’m definitely interested in hearing what you think about it, even if you hate it. Also, one more thing about Snyder – I couldn’t help but notice there’s a scene involving our heroes jumping on a train to fight robots, much like there is in Captain America. Except the scene in Captain America was almost TV-movie quality and was shot and staged with no excitement or imagination. The scene in Sucker Punch is probably the craziest close-quarters gun/sword/hand-to-hand battle I’ve ever seen.

    I kept thinking how much more awesome and memorable Captain American would have been if Snyder was at the helm, but I’m also glad he appears to have zero interest in making a movie as straightforward and old-fashioned as that (I’m still convinced he’ll have a big statement up his sleeve for Man of Steel)

  68. Ooh, I thought of another thing I noticed for the first time 2 days ago —

    – in the German clockwork WWI fantasy, Baby Doll uses the handle of her sword on the top of her gun to chamber a round in a fresh magazine.

    – in the dressing room, Blue uses his gun to point & tap the word “knife”.

    It might not mean anything, but it’s there. It’s another card Snyder lays on the table.

  69. Ok so these fuckheads sent me the theatrical cut even though I clicked on the director’s cut. Whatever though I enjoyed it either way. Mouth I totally get why you love this movie now. Thanks to you and others like Jareth and neal2zod for discussing this lately cause I probably would’ve never been compelled to see it otherwise as I forgot all about it for a minute there.

    First thing’s first Snyder’s message here resonated with me. Yes this is his “personal” movie and his message was a simple one. Imagination is the greatest power you could possess and YOU already have it. Do something about it; change the fucking world with it.

    It’s ironic that this is his way of telling all geeks and fanboys “hey guys your love for all this shit and imaginative mindframe is the greatest liberation ever; fucking use it to add something to it to save culture” didn’t resonate with them at all. It had all the elements. A little steampunk here, some anime tropes there, a lil sci-fi throw in some fantasy and martial arts and wish fulfillment and yet they pan the shit out of it when I see the film mentioned.

    I’ll be honest; certain things didn’t work for me. I am as much a music fan as I am a film fan and for that reason when I hear some of the greatest songs ever out of their element I am easily distracted. SWEET DREAMS, WHERE IS MY MIND, WHITE RABBIT and ASLEEP were perfectly interpreted for their scenes musically but lyrically were out of place. Even if Annie Lennox, Frank Black, Grace Slick and Morrissey were singing it will still feel disjointed lyrically.

    Also that song that sampled Queen’s WE WILL ROCK YOU while musically “boss music” representing this thug of a mayor had some of the most laughable rapping I’ve heard in a minute. The ironic thing being that it was rapped by the best rapper Terror Squad had outside of Big Pun. Funny how that works. So yeah musically speaking it’s disjointed the music itself is perfect but the lyrics and their vocal interpretations throw me off.

    I also think the action setpieces bled into each other way too much. Despite this being an alien planet, medieval setting and World War II for example there sure were a lot of similar aesthetics and hues shared within them all. They were too symbiotic though they were amazingly staged. World War II in particular. I’m not much of a digital fan though I live with it like any sensible person. But though I thought Babydoll Vs. The Shredders in Japan was a case of the use of digital looking too “George Lucas” for my taste it was very effective in WWII.

    The scale of it all and how he constructed so many awesome shots like overhead over a blimp. Showing the depth of the heavens; the bombers man everything about it was great. The best highlight was the end of it with the sisters being cornered. All of a sudden it turns into the greatest adaptation of RESIDENT EVIL ever.

    I mean that moment was the visceral claustrophobic feeling I felt playing RESIDENT EVIL 4 years ago. Masterfully shot and showing that shaky cam and close shots should not mean “incomprehensible”. Very good staging by Snyder there; he does keep getting better with each movie.

    It’s not perfect but goddammit it’s honest and for that I appreciate it alright. It’s Snyder’s love letter to the art of cinema. Cinema is visual and audio symmetry not necessarily one over the other. It’s a movie for the dreamers by a dreamer who made it in the business of imagination = big checks.

    I mean he goes “I have something to say about how humanity could become inherently corrupt and ugly and how they prey on each other cause of that. We could be our own worst enemies. Sometimes we need to liberate ourselves and take a stand. Through self expression we could do achieve this.” You know a lot of Eastern philosophy and stuff. Like how the best in humanity could still endure over that. Then he goes “I’ll use a psychiatric ward as the setting to say that through.”

    But instead of cloning GIRL INTERRUPTED or something
    Also back to the basic language of cinema being audio + visual = Amazing with a capital A. Just like you and I would use our imagination to escape a hard situation by creating music or painting Babydoll uses her imagination to imagine a setting that will turn this nightmare into something more tangible for her. It’s Snyder’s excuse as a filmmaker to go “yeah I could make this shit look all boring like other asylum movies. But it’s been done. This is the movies baby and we’re here to entertain. So let’s crank it up with the sets and costumes” and I loved that stylistic choice very much.

    I think the fact that it’s basically “imagination is liberation” and also a story about a very selfless person who is content enough to give it all up to do what’s right in Babydoll really made this work for me a lot. I mean here I am about to go get sucker punched in a few to then sit on my MPC and come up with a song. Talk about a muse there. This movie has a spark to it. Definitely gonna cop the director’s cut.

    I’ll go back to the music. Despite my slight nitpick with the misplacement of lyrics and vocals the music itself resonated well with the visuals and gave some profound power to the montages. It was a good musical. It’s not BLUES BROTHERS or JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR but it’s as good and stylish as MOULIN ROUGE if you ask me.

    For example the music to SWEET DREAMS was hauntingly effective in conveying the simple message. Babydoll is the character we click with as good human beings. She’s a protector and lost her anchor (mother) which leads to the ugly side of humanity (stepfather) trying to rain on her parade. By preying on the helpless (sister). Pretty damn effective.

    I liked that she also missed that shot. It would’ve been stupid for someone who probably never fired a gun to make a headshot like nothing. Good call there and was a good set up for the ricochet and all that other shit.

  70. Oh yeah forgot to mention that the explosion on the train really has me insanely hyped to see Snyder’s take on “destruction of Krypton” in MAN OF STEEL. That shit was bananas.

  71. Broddie, did you see my favorite shot of 2011? Theatrical cut, it should be at about the 31:30 mark; I believe it’s chapter 5, though the rental version might not have chapters in Obama’s modern America where we have no freedom.

    The music of SUCKER PUNCH is so straightforward & on the nose that I have to believe it was hardly intended to be primarily enjoyable as a soundtrack/score; frankly, the first time I saw the movie, I found most of the music to be insipid and grossly uninspired. Then I got to thinking about it more, and I now think its main function is to serve the theme of empowerment via imagination within the characters by providing a link between classic badass songs & the young ladies’ interpretations of them.

    The song selection & the way the songs are covered also acts as a substantiation & link between fantasy interpretations & literal interpretations. They sure sound good, adding to the whole sensory experience & fun of the movie, especially when the long “Tomorrow Never Knows” track ironically suddenly fortissimos during the saddest part of the train sequence — “This is not dying, this is not dying. . .” — but the songs only work because they are each applied in the most literal, obvious way possible, short of featuring original TEAM AMERICA-style expository lyrics.

    The on-the-noseness (and cultural familiarity) of every song indicates that the totality of the soundtrack was meant to have the effect of a joining force, a constant, running theme-uniter, start to finish. I will borrow what Mr. Majestyk has said about SUCKER PUNCH the movie to describe its soundtrack — “satisfying and subversive and pandering and interesting and retarded all at the same time.”

  72. Mouth – I’ll keep that in mind during the rewatch.

  73. Here’s another thing I noticed – a ton of haters are pointing out how arbitrary the action scenes are, and how there’s really no reason for them to involve Dragons, Samurai, Steampunk Nazis and other geek-chic imagery. And I think they missed the point – Snyder is equating the fantasy wish-fulfillment scenes of the girls kicking ass in ridiculous geek mashup settings, with the fantasy wish-fulfillment the sleazy mayor/High Roller/Blue get from watching the girls dance (strip). Fantasy is fantasy, porn is porn. We’re the same as those sleazy guys (I think)

    Anyways, the point is – Where were these people when Inception was around? Talk about some arbitrary dream sequences! I’d love for someone to explain how a car chase / warehouse shootout/ hotel fight / James Bondian ski sequence has any more weight or meaning than anything happening here. I mean I think people joked that Cillian Murphy’s character must have watched a lot of action movies, but they seemed to give the whole thing a pass that they’re definitely not giving Sucker Punch.

  74. It’s the Christopher Nolan factor neal. He IS Spielberg before KICK THE CAN to this generation of movie goers. Right now he can’t do no wrong and even his failure (1941 in the beard’s case & INSOMNIA when it comes to the brit) is greatly embraced by a portion of his fanbase.

    Personally I have no desire to ever see INCEPTION ever again but I definitely see myself rewatching SUCKER PUNCH quite a few times for sure.

  75. “& INSOMNIA when it comes to the brit)”

    Broddie – Not really. More like what if Spielberg didn’t have a notorious flop like 1941 on his resume. INSOMINIA got good reviews, and didn’t fire up the box-office like his later movies would but nobody has ever accused his remake* of being a money drainer like 1941 was.

    If anything, whenever you have a “golden boy” filmmaker of the moment, the so-called genius that can’t go wrong and applauded by critics and audiences….there is always a moment when the other shoe drops.

    Spielberg had 1941, Coppola had ONE FROM THE HEART, Shymalan had THE VILLAGE (and rest of his movies), and so forth.

    Nolan will have that happen to him. When and how is the question.

    neal2zod – Easy, because Internet Nerds are like Voters. Especially Oscar voters. They like to be pandered to, but not over the top PANDERING. That turns alot of folks in the intended key demographic off. SUCKER PUNCH was made for the Internet, but alot of them apparently thought it was too much pandering for them.

    (That or they got tired of Snyder. It happens to everyone. Including Nolan eventually.)

  76. Shit I forgot to add what I meant to asterisk with my *!

    (As for why people liked INCEPTION and hated SUCKER PUNCH, well here’s my crazy theory: Whatever flaws INCEPTION has, apparently most people found it engaging. PUNCH apparently was too silly for most people. Just a thought.)

    That and after WATCHMEN failed to give people apparently two blowjobs in one blowjobs that they believed they were promised, the target was on Snyder’s scalp by the Nerds.

    *=Of course the remake isn’t as good as the original, but I liked it as a polished up studio thriller. Probably one of the last pictures too when Al Pacino still gave an evident shit about acting in front of a camera.

  77. “Anyways, the point is – Where were these people when Inception was around? Talk about some arbitrary dream sequences! I’d love for someone to explain how a car chase / warehouse shootout/ hotel fight / James Bondian ski sequence has any more weight or meaning than anything happening here. I mean I think people joked that Cillian Murphy’s character must have watched a lot of action movies, but they seemed to give the whole thing a pass that they’re definitely not giving Sucker Punch.”
    The INCEPTION action pieces had a more solid in-story justification for being there. Remember, Murphy’s subconscious didn’t come up with the locations of the different dream levels, just the opposing forces, because he had been trained to defend himself against Extraction. So the action pieces are just his mind resisting what the intruders are doing to him. It just takes a form that fits the context of the setting e.g. heavily armed/equipped guys with vehicles suited to the terrain. SUCKER PUNCH’s imaginary set pieces were just over-elaborate representations of much simpler “real life” events.

  78. I thought Ellen Page was “The Architect,” so they were mostly her dreams, her constructs, her secret passageways, her corridors of mobility.

    And the one guy put to sleep within the dream constructed the rainy dream because he failed to empty his bladder before going under.

    So. . . uh, yeah, INCEPTION is no longer fun for me after the first 2 viewings because there’s so. much. talking. — I feel like there’s talking & exposition going on even between shots, but not the good kind of negative space-facilitated talking that comic book fans rave about (the story your imagination kind of fills in between the panels), because while I watch INCEPTION I have to backtrack & do a quickie trial & error in my head on what works and what doesn’t work and why the sci-fi stuff fits in with the narrative or why I should just say “Duh, it’s all a dream, within a dream etc..”

    But I still really like a few individual scenes and the overall concept, just not, upon repeat viewings, the totality of the 2+ hours of the execution of it. Too much telling, not enough pure showing. I appreciate INCEPTION, but I’m not excited at the prospect of rewatching it. Coulda used more chicks in short skirts is what I’m saying, obviously.

  79. Mouth – I’ve seen INCEPTION twice. Once at the movies, and once on Blu-Ray after buying it. Not seen it since. I’ve seen TDK a total of 4 times: twice in theatres, twice on DVD after I bought it.

    I don’t think either film has gotten any “worse,” its just some movies you can pop in and ride it out anytime and on TV if you catch it. DIE HARD for example. Others are just as great or good, but you need to be in the mood, take a whole afternoon/evening to watch it and let it sink in.

    Or put it another, there is a difference between quickie sex and “making love.” Neither is necessarily any worse or better than the other, it’s just what do you crave at the particular time?

  80. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    So we’re comparing “Inception” to “Sucker Punch” now? REALLY?

    HERE’S a thought: whether you liked or didn’t like “Inception”, which in my opinion would be largely a subjective decision based on whether you get “into” the world and characters in general – Chris Nolan used all the big stuff to tell a tight, well-plotted story about a group of individuals, each clearly defined in some way, with a love story about a man trying to let go of his wife at its core.

    And we’re comparing “Sucker Punch” to this? Seriously? That’s like… comparing “The Dark Knight” to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie”.

    This is actually a new experience for me… I’ve changed my mind on repeat viewings of films, or after having heard someone point out something that maybe I missed; but I think this is the first time I’ve heard POSITIVE feedback about a film that’s actually made me inadvertently remember all the stuff I didn’t like about it in the first place. Somehow you “Sucker Punch” defenders are actually spoiling my memory of that film, which I didn’t think was as bad as its naysayers were saying when I first watched it. But now… I’m calling “bullshit” on the positive “Sucker Punch” feedback. Yeah, the cinematography is good, the soundtrack is outstanding, and some of the direction is excellent. But all this talent is wasted on some rich perv’s wet dream.

    Holy fucking shit, you’ve actually got me riled up about “Sucker Punch”. A film that I didn’t ever regard before as being worth any emotion stronger than mild disappointment about what it might have been, if Zack Snyder had been less interested in hot chicks kicking ass, and more interested in making interesting characters, settings, and storylines. But somehow you guys have made me annoyed about this.

    I mean, I know I’m a lover of all things Nolan, but… Jesus Christ.

    Anyway, I just saw “Margin Call”, which is every bit as good as it was cracked up to be, and features one of Kevin Spacey’s strongest performances ever, as well as great turns from Stanley Tucci, Jeremy Irons, Penn Badgley, a near-unrecognisable Demi Moore, and a lot of other big names. I’d like to write up a proper review, because this film deserves one.

  81. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Oh yeah, “Insomnia”, AKA “Heat” in Alaska. The one Nolan film I didn’t love. Forgot about that.

  82. I guess before I respond to Paul, I gotta know if you’re also Zombie Paul or are there multiple Pauls running around here? And wait, are you the guy with the Colossus meme or was that someone else? Or Gigantus/Gigantor? Crap, I can’t remember…

    Anyway, sorry we enjoyed the movie and ruined the underrated/overrated quotient so much that it literally riled you up! And I mean that totally unironically b/c I know what it’s like. I saw a sneak preview of Juno and enjoyed it, and then when it got big and Diablo Cody was everywhere I was like “dude that movie sucked!”.

  83. I’m still not convinced of that argument, Paul.

    Let’s take a critical look at, say, your favorite director, Steven Soderbergh, & his oeuvre. Does he not display indications of a “fetish” — a fetish for white/beige slim-tailored suits, for nice watches, for nice shoes with no socks, for 4 star hotels & amenities, for properties with a nice view occupied by effortlessly suave wealth-hoarders, for George Clooney’s perfect haircut? There are several Soderbergh movies with dozens of individual scenes that could possibly back up this point, this accusation that he has a “wealth fetish,” if you will.

    There is exactly one Snyder movie that is wrongly viewed as a string of images that service his supposed, alleged “fetish.” Psychiatrically & scientifically speaking, there is no significant evidence that Snyder has a “fetish.” Based on the visual evidence, which admittedly can be interpreted subjectively & differently from person to person, I believe it is a bullshit claim, a nothing argument.

  84. I see I just responded to Paul’s “rich perv’s wet dream” comment while quoting others’ arguments based on the use of the word “fetish,” but the point still applies.

  85. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Mouth – well, I think I’m done with Soderbergh anyway, as I’ve posted in a rather ranty post in Potpourri 5. The difference is, Soderbergh’s wealth fetish didn’t make me want to take a shower afterwards. Snyder’s did. And I don’t buy that this was self-aware or intentional.

  86. No, you’re right, Paul — Snyder built a movie entirely around the theme [& central thematic/narrative “sucker punch”] of the [uncomfortably self-reflexive] issue of men ogling women doing fantasy things in a fantasy environment, and he did it all without self-awareness or intent, or sex, or nudity. It was a total accident, and only Neal2Zod, Broddie, Mr. Majestyk, Mouth, and a few other idiots don’t see that way.

    Good call.

  87. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Yeah, Mouth, and the entire thing was in the mind of one of the women. Whose fantasies and dreams apparently all involve girls in skimpy leather outfits who kick ass.

    Snyder made a movie about women being abused by men in positions of power. And instead of playing it as a “straight” revenge fantasy, he decided to make it play out in a series of “dreams”. All from the point of view of the women themselves. All involving them getting into skimpy outfits and kicking lots of ass.

    If he wanted to make an exploitation movie, why the reality / dream conundrum? Why not just play the whole thing as either real, or in the mind of one of the men? And on the opposite side of things… if he wanted to make a straight revenge movie, why have the women dress up in skimpy outfits and kick ass in a styalised fantasy world?

    It’s obvious how this movie came about. Snyder wanted it both ways. He wanted to make a movie about hot girls kicking ass, but wanted to do it within the “framework” of a abused-women story. Well plainly the women, if they’re downtrodden and abused, can’t be kicking ass, so he had to come up with a way to resolve that issue. He came up with the “dream” idea.

    And the end result is some girl having male-fantasy dreams about hot women kicking ass. Erm… yeah. See the problem here?

    If you think that this movie was “about” men ogling women in a fantasy environment then you’re giving it far too much credit.

  88. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    And the end result is that Scott Glenn loses a metric ton of credibility.

    He’ll probably be doing adverts for canned peas before too long, damn it.

  89. There are several close-up reaction shots that have nothing in the frame *but* “men ogling women” performing in a fantasy environment. It’s a recurring motif in the movie, undeniably.

    Saying that SUCKER PUNCH *isn’t* about men ogling women in a fantasy environment (which also happens to be the “sucker punch” conceit that makes it just a little bit clever) is like saying E.T. isn’t about a child’s perspective of what happens when an alien visits Earth, like saying FACE // OFF isn’t about the dual presence of good & evil in men, like saying BLACK SWAN isn’t about white swan values versus black swan values.

    You would watch FACE // OFF and deny that, like, every third sequence has at least one mirror or doppleganger or visual nod to duality? That’s insanity, and it’s just as wrong to ignore that SUCKER PUNCH has regular, intentionally placed shots of men reacting to the titillations of girls performing (which is obviously synechdoche/microcosm for male pleasure-oriented entertainment in general). The theme is hammered home with these shots, just as though they are a research paper’s outline’s points in bold font.

  90. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    And don’t ever say “all these people think this way, it must be right” to me. You know how often I’ve heard that? It’s debatable whether it’s true on this forum. Sure as hell it’s never been true in real life.

    Besides which, as far as “Sucker Punch” goes, I think you guys are in the minority now, and this won’t be one of those cases where people look back and think “Wow, we got that one wrong”. I’ve been a lot more forgiving of it than most reviews I’ve read. Same goes for Gary Oldman in “Leon” by the way. The only people I’ve ever heard of who thought that was a good performance are right here on this forum, and I still don’t understand them.

    Things I am genuinely in the minority about: “Vertigo” is one of Hitchcock’s less interesting failures, “Out of Sight” is pretentious drivel, “Munich” was absolutely ruined by Spielberg, “Dude where’s my car” is a classic liberal polemic, the Peter Jackson “Lord of the Rings” films were neither the best films ever nor the worst thing to happen to film since “Titanic”, “Titanic” was neither the best film ever nor the worst thing to happen to film since “Battlefield: Earth”, “Hostel” is a misunderstood classic, “Quadrophenia” was predictable and boring… that’s all I can think of for the moment. But if you want to take a shot at me, there’s plenty of ammunition right there. Knock yourself out.

  91. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Mouth – I don’t deny that it’s a recurring theme of the movie, at least the parts that take place in the “nightclub” reality. But to somehow extrapolate that and claim that it’s supposed to be doing some “Kick-Ass” thing whereby the men watching the movie are supposed to identify with the voyeur characters and feel shameful or uncomfortable about it in some way… nope. I’m not buying that. I don’t think the movie has that much smarts or self-awareness, and the proof is in how little sense the central conceit of it makes.

  92. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Or to put it another way: I don’t think the movie is trying to hold up a mirror to its audience. Besides the fact that with one notable exception, the ogling male characters only exist IN A GIRL’S DREAM, they’re not relatable characters in any way.

  93. Paul said: ***”the entire thing was in the mind of one of the women. Whose fantasies and dreams apparently all involve girls in skimpy leather outfits who kick ass.”***

    By the end, you realize (by one interpretation, which is admittedly unclear) that the story belongs to Sweet Pea. So why would Sweet Pea have fantasies & dreams that “all involve girls in skimpy outfits who kick ass”? Because the setting & central theme demands as much, our squeamishness & indignant pro-feminist values be damned.

    And because arguably none of the characters is a representation or reflection of reality, anyway,

    just like the dingy walls of the mental hospital weren’t 2011-appropriate and

    just as Blue’s ridiculous mustache & shiny outfits weren’t based in reality and

    just as the orangey CGI backgrounds at the bus stop weren’t a reality and

    just as the girls’ dependence on pickpocketing a lighter wasn’t a sensible choice when they could have simply used a light bulb filament & paper towels or something from the kitchen to make fire and

    just as the lighter guy wasn’t really anything resembling a dragon —

    so why cast a more authentic looking (fat &/or ugly) chick if it doesn’t fit the script?

    And because Sweet Pea’s the one character who is not even supposed to be at the psych hospital. It is strongly hinted that she had herself admitted to the hospital, or did something that forced the state to send her there, because she wanted to be near her sister Rocket. She’s the only one with full control, free will, and human agency, but she’s the one who requires the services of a guardian angel, someone who “will shout through demons” for her benefit. And she’s the only one who constantly resists the plan to escape, until her “angels” force her to comply and pursue freedom.

    cheesy voiceover: “You can deny angels exist, Convince ourselves they can’t be real. But they show up anyway, at strange places and at strange times. They can speak through any character we can imagine. They’ll shout through demons if they have to. Daring us, challenging us to fight.”

    At this point, it’s up to the viewer to decide if the movie makes a statement about women who are ogled in hetero-male-oriented entertainment, and how ridiculous or disgusting or discomfiting it is that they must fight to overcome misogyny & objectification and to not be seen as fantasy sex things. I think it very clearly does, and brava for doing it in a way that involves swords & ‘splosions, fuck yeah.

  94. Paul called Inception “tight”. If a 3 hour movie that goes from exposition scene to exposition scene is somehow tightly paced or otherwise “tight” than I’m missing something.

    I agree with Mouth. Inception has a shit ton of shitty exposition. The entire movie is exposition. It explains and explains and explains and then tries to tweak the established exposition as the big twist. Inception spends so much time with exposition that I couldn’t give a shit about any of the characters, the world they inhabited, or anything that happened to them. When the boring action scenes took place with the booming bullshit soundtrack I couldn’t be bothered to care because I knew more about dreams-within-dreams-within-dreams-within-hacking-the-dream-gibson than I did about fat faced blubber boy Leo’s wife and kids.

    Sucker Punch didn’t care to tell you the why and how of all the well crafted action scenes but instead focused on making us care about the characters, having a deeper meaning that Mouth and others have been great at exploring, and otherwise being entertaining on a very surface level.

    Man, Paul, I like you but this insistence that those of us that didn’t like Inception must recognize that it is somehow tight and well plotted and has well drawn characters is just bullshit. It’s a plodding mess of a movie that exists to illustrate a convoluted premise.

    The characters aren’t well drawn, they’re boring and one dimensional. There’s a woman! There’s an Asian guy! There’s a vaguely ethnic guy! There’s that one thin guy in a suit! There’s that guy from Titanic who is really sad because Rose is in his dreams and he can’t love his dream kids in America. The hack into the brain of a kid and make him feel bad about his father or something (you know it’s important because the music is really emotional and LOUD) so that a company can make more money.

    Total Recall has a similar premise, better characters, humor, memorable lines and action, and has a similar twist. Sucker Punch looks and comes off as trashy but really has a lot going on. Inception has the pretense of an intelligent film for intelligent people but is really fucking shallow and pointless. Seriously, fuck Inception.

    But, yeah, Paul, you’re a good guy. Just stop insisting that everyone has to appreciate Inception like it’s Guernica.

  95. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Casey – I would disagree, completely, about “Inception” being nothing but exposition. The bit at the end where Leo says goodbye to his wife was one of the most affecting moments in cinema of 2011, for me. To me, the way the “rules” of the heist were laid out in the first half of the film worked really well, and was done in such a way that it remained gripping throughout. But again, it ain’t for everybody.

    The one bit that bothered me in “Inception” was the introduction of “limbo”. For me that came off as forced, it should’ve happened earlier on. It’s made clear that killing someone in a dream wakes them up, so why contradict your own rules?

    Still…

    I am yet to be convinced “Sucker Punch” even HAS characters. They barely qualify as stereotypes. There’s the evil stepfather / uncle figure, the protective sister, the vulnerable sister, the sleazy nightclub owner, etc. Now unlike the point that Mouth and I are clearly not going to agree on here, since our interpritations of the film are completely different – regarding whether or not “Sucker Punch” is trying to hold a mirror to the audience’s “ogling” – I don’t think this was unintentional. I think the screenwriter** put fairy-tale characters in a fairy-tale world, and this was very much deliberate. Which isn’t to say it works for me. I don’t like main characters who “represent” some kind of ideal, instead of actually being characters. This is why Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” has never worked for me (well, that, and the fact that it’s an incoherent, badly-plotted mess, with a weak villain and a horribly miscast lead actor in Jimmy Stewart.)

    (** It occurs to me that I’ve been crediting Snyder the entire time but it’s occured to me that I actually have no idea who WROTE “Sucker Punch”, it could be the guy who did two episodes of “Murder she Wrote” for all I know, and I can’t be bothered to look it up.)

  96. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 21st, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Oh, and Nordling’s written up a pretty interesting piece on Carpenter’s “The Thing” on AICN, if like me this happens to be one of your favorite movies ever it’s sort of worth checking out.

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/52857

  97. I’m not tearing down INCEPTION, and I’m not the one who compared it to anything else.

    The problem I have is when a viewer seems to go out of his/her way to ignore a major part of a movie, which is what’s happening with SUCKER PUNCH and its voiceover messages & the obvious symbolic cues in the script. You can do like Vern did in his reviews and acknowledge them but say that those parts didn’t work, or didn’t make things clear enough. You can say those parts are cheesy, like I’ve said, and/or say that they aren’t enough to overcome the stupidity or shallowness of some other parts of the movie that ruin the whole thing for you. But you have to at least acknowledge they are there and that they have some point. The movie isn’t anarchical. It may have failed to make its point to your senses, but it has a point.

    As for Paul’s problem with “stereotypes” or “fairy tale characters” or “main characters who ‘represent’ some kind of ideal,” I can’t help him there. That’s an assertion that saddens me. It’s a personal belief that must preclude him from ever enjoying alternative, non-narrative cinema. Or he’s reaching for some misplaced complaint to articulate in lieu of whatever really bothers him about the movie.

    If he can not accept or possibly enjoy a movie with “characters who ‘represent’ some kind of ideal,”
    then he must have totally filtered out or rejected this climactic dialogue exchange:

    Baby Doll: A map, a fire, a knife, a key, one thing more, one thing more. It’s me.
    Sweet Pea: What?
    Baby Doll: Oh it’s me, of course it’s me. It’s the only way this ever coulda been prevented.

    She lists herself in the catalog of objects: map, fire, knife, key, “angel” Baby Doll herself, 12345. Self-objectification, anti-anthropomorphization, self-sacrifice, then I think she roundhouses some goon.

    It’s incredibly obvious. Complain that it’s not subtle enough, that it’s insulting, that it’s cheesy & awkward, but don’t deny that the text of the film lends itself to subtext, and that the filmmaker does a good job presenting the subtext at least partially. This is legitimate as a theme, even if you disagree with most of the execution. And this revelation, that the main/secondary character is a symbol, is the climax, the moment of sacrifice that springs the good guy’s escape to freedom.

    There’s a lot more of a story here and more interesting characters than that shit in HUGO 3D, for example.

  98. Am I the only one who suspects the message in the ending (delievered by sweet pea, as imagined by Baby Doll) to be a subversive ironic happy ending? It reminds me of Brazil, our main character has been beaten, she has lost most of her friends and has been turned into a vegetable, but she imagines that she won by the powers of imagination, when she actually just gave up and escaped into a fantasy? It kinda makes sense as a “sucker punch”: Escaping from real life by your imagination (or others, as in watching too many movies) instead of dealing with reality is not empowerement. You could argue that dressing sexy is not really empowerement either, even if every women I know would claim diffently. It`s a way to get mens attention, even controlling them, but women are still being dominated by a masculine culture by dressing and acting the way men want them to.
    Anyway, my point is that the first time I watched Sucker Punch, I enjoyed it a lot, but hated the ending. It just seemed phony. The second time I watched it, I frigging loved it, but the ending seemed like a big fuck you to the audience (in a good way), as in “this is just a fantasy, suckers!”. There is no happy ending for this character ( a young sexy woman who uses her sexuality as empowerement in a male dominated world) , except for what she (and the audience) imagines. I`m not sure if that`s what Znyder intended or the movie just turned out that way, but the directors cut kinda underlines my point. Baby girl tries to control men by being sexy, gets fucked and convinces herself (and the audience) that she won anyway. Does that make any sense?

  99. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 22nd, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Mouth – it’s specifically MAIN characters who are “representative” of something that annoys me. Keaton’s girlfriend from “The Usual Suspects” was clearly a “representative” character, for example – she’s very much the voice of his conscience or light side – as opposed to the dark side represented by Verbal Kint – and it’s symbolic that for the latter two-thirds of the movie, she’s always separated from him by glass. And that worked.

    You can’t build an entire movie around one character who is nothing BUT representation, which is why, again, I’m brought back to the “Vertigo” comparison and the girl in it. That girl has no moral journey, she’s just an object that dresses up and behaves as the most dominant male in her life tells her to do, whether this means pretending to be someone else or becoming an accomplice in murder.

    I gotta admit that I did miss the scene you called attention to, just as I missed the “mirror” thing. Which if nothing else shows that Babydoll was aware of herself as an “object”. Given I was obviously wrong about that, the smart thing to do would be to go rewatch the movie to see what else I missed. And although I didn’t hate the movie, I’m not putting myself through that, so I’m gonna concede your point and shut up about it.

    “Margin Call” review on the way, if I can ever get the damn thing written up. I’ll try and post it in the “Potpourri” thread, although once again I’m having to refresh several times to get it to show the whole thing.

  100. We argue, Paul, but this is actually the most fun I’ve had online since I’ve been back in the US the last 2 weeks. It is good to have opposition, forcing one to sharpen his arguments.

    What a strange evolution this movie has undergone in my mind since last March.

  101. Man, Paul, I take it you’re not a fan of F Scott Fitzgerald or Cormac McCarthy? :(

  102. So after watching and being let down by Suspiria 2018, I decided to give the other arty feminist dance fantasy of the 2010’s a rewatch – and let me just say even without the influence of a bunch of pot, I found this movie to be incredibly moving and powerful (I also had this response to watching Avatar post-Trump). No matter what you may think about the (admittedly) muddled story, the fact that this movie even exists is a miracle – a huge, big-budget studio blockbuster with an IMAX release, made with art film pretensions, no stars, and isn’t based on a comic book or TV show. So of course it bombed and we’ll never have a movie like this again. Let’s also state the undeniable fact that it’s absolutely gorgeous to look at and contains the best American action sequences of the decade – yes, even above John Wick and yes, this blows Snyder’s DCEU work out of the water.

    That being said, this is my first time watching the Extended Cut, and to be honest I think it runs a little long – the extra action beats make the fantasy scenes a little bloated, and the “Love is the Drug” and the Jon Hamm scene seem to go on forever. But I do like that it hammers home the (depressing) ending that Baby Doll essentially chooses to be lobotomized at the end. It’s a slight riff on the Thelma and Louise ending, so I don’t see why people find that ending classic and this one so problematic (then again, if Thelma and Louise came out today, people would talk less about Callie Khouri’s breakthrough script and spend all their time talking about why did an old privileged white dude like Ridley Scott get to direct this, and how he “gleefully punishes Thelma and Louise for their sexuality” or some shit) If Sucker Punch was the exact same movie and made by Patty Jenkins or Lexi Alexander instead of some guy everyone hates for being a dudebro, I think people would appreciate it for what it is – an angry howl at the patriarchy, a movie that lures us in with the promise of eye candy and kick-ass GIRL POWER and (true to its title) delivers an incredibly depressing and sobering commentary on how women will always be kept down by men in power, how they will always be looked at as objects, how even when they win they really lose. (But it doesn’t always have to be that way.)

    Random notes/questions/thoughts:
    *Sure, it’s muddled, but I like that you could say Baby Doll is a figment of Sweet Pea’s imagination (she DOES literally say she’s an object/tool, she IS named Baby Doll and looks exactly like a sex doll), and just as easily say Sweet Pea (and her triumphant escape) is a figment of Baby Doll’s imagination. They have identical back stories (they both try to protect their younger sister and get her killed), and I totally forgot about Sweet Pea playing the part of Baby Doll onstage (complete with Amber looking just like Jon Hamm) and having her incredible speech criticizing both the play and the movie you’re about to watch. They’re mirror images of each other, kinda like the all-timer mirror image shot in the dressing room.

    *On that note, did Amber and Blondie even exist? What even happened in real life? Carla Gugino tells Hamm at the end that Baby Doll was a troublemaker and stabbed an orderly, started a fire, and helped a patient escape, so we know that happened, but she doesn’t mention getting two other girls killed.

    *And who signed that lobotomy sheet? It obviously wasn’t Gugino and on my first viewing it seemed like Blue did it, but then he also seems mad that she got lobotomized, so it was Baby Doll who forged it, right?

    *It’s so frustrating (and dramatically unusual) that Blue finds out about their escape plan almost immediately. They’re doomed almost as soon as they begin. Every step they make forward is like two steps back. It got me thinking about the Women’s March and how feminism was good and popular for approximately two days until liberals(!) had to somehow poo-poo the shit out of it and before we knew it feminism somehow equaled “white feminism”, and now pussy hats equals you’re a racist entitled bitch, and somewhere Trump is laughing his ass off. (I don’t think we need Russian bots to sow discord amongst us because we’re taking care of that ourselves, thank you)

    *Also: I wonder if this movie was played “straight” and they actually got all the pieces and escaped in some Ocean’s 11-style heist, would people like this movie? I have to admit I’d “enjoy” it more because I’m a sucker for a happy ending, but I appreciate that’s not Snyder’s style (I think Man of Steel is literally his ONLY movie that has a happy ending, and even that is quickly retconned into a tragic one)

    *Multiple people complain that even in their feminist fantasy they’re still taking orders from a guy. Maybe I’m in the minority but I love Scott Glenn in this. His appearance at the end is one of the few clear things in this cryptic movie – Snyder is literally showing that women can be strong as hell and fight the good fight, but it can’t hurt if men (yes, even an old white man) do their part, offer up support, and be a good ally.

    Anyways, love this movie, looking forward to watching it again. It’s a stone cold classic and I’m glad that this website is one of the few places you can say that out loud.

  103. Love this one too, I hope it starts formulating a new fandom that was denied it when it came out.

    Funnily this is where I FINALLY saw what the Internet saw in Snyder and I became and fan and learned to like his prior movies, so of course this is where they all started to turn him and then he made a super person movie they didn’t like…

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