Friday, March 25, 2011

Escape to the Movies: "Sucker Punch"

Intermission is about dream movies.


Sssonic said...

Personally, I find a lot of Snyder's visual tics rather annoying, and his storytelling sensibility is just all over the map, with no real sense of focus or skill to it. That's just me, though, and if nothing else I do want to see what he's capable of when working with his own material instead of either polishing a turd ("300") or else managing only to capture the surface-level of a greater work ("Watchmen").

9jack9 said...

I wanted to like this movie, I really did. But damn this was stupid. There are high points but the script never allows the movie to exist just as fun, it wastes time trying to say something that Snyder isn't talented enough to get across in any meaningful way, and the whole thing comes off feeling mean spirited as a result. I don't know what movie Bob watched I think I would have liked it a lot better :(

Peter said...

"Do not miss this movie"

Fuck that shit *Goes to see Limitless*

Sarge said...

I'm going to see this with my girlfriend later.

Moviebob's opinion about it means nothing to me because he LIKES EVERYTHING.

Tim said...

Alright so I DID go to see this movie last night. Holy shit was it bad. Transformers 2 bad. Dragonball Evolution bad. Last Airbender bad (which Bob also gave a positive review to). THAT FUCKING BAD PEOPLE!

Bob, get some taste.

Aaron said...

Did he say this abomination is as groundbreaking as Scott Pilgrim? Fuck you Bob. Fuck you.

Sarge said...

I agree about Scott Pilgrim being really good, very interestingly constructed.

One thing that stuck out to me was the INTENSE MISOGYNY. Like, I'm able to overlook movies that are offensive to women because I'm a man and I don't care about women's rights, but still: the scene where he defeats the lesbian by GIVING HER AN ORGASM was incredibly, incredibly offensive.

Miles said...

Bob-Thank you so much for recognizing the awesomeness of Fullmetal Alchemist (the 2003 series), it is one of my top five favorite anime of all time. I know it's too much to hope for, but a Big Picture episode on anime or FMA in specific would be a great idea in my book.

Also, I'm just going into Sucker Punch hoping to have fun. Overblown expectations can cause good movies to seem horrible on the first viewing (as Watchmen was for me).

Steve said...

Look, I'm not posting this to antagonize, nor necessarily attempt to shoot down Bob's opinion. I'm simply using this article as a substitute for my own thoughts on the film because somebody already seemed to have typed them out for me:!5785590/sucker-punch-goes-beyond-awful-to-become-commentary-on-the-death-of-moviemaking

Chris Cesarano said...

Like, I'm able to overlook movies that are offensive to women because I'm a man and I don't care about women's rights

Face. Palm.

Psyckid008 said...


LastRambo341 said...

You know Bob, "polarizing" does not mean you vs literally everyone else.

Willingdruid said...

The movie looks overdone, that is really the main problem that i have has with all of this guys movies.
I'll probably give it a look out of curiosity.

Tim said...

Anyone on team hell yes is fucking retarded. It's that simple.

Aleksandar said...


I prefer Brotherhood myself since it follows the manga(which is by far one of the best mangas, hell comics in general, ever created) but I agree an episode on FMA would be EPIC!

Dave said...

Called it.


I've always said that Snyder has ONLY succeed because he got good source material. And he has consistently (with the possible exception of that owl movie which I have no seen because 3D is stupid) shown that whenever he makes changes to the work he is adapting, it is to the detriment of the work. I knew it the second he abandoned Rorschach's defining moment in watchmen for a simple gore shot and stupid one liner.

I can only wonder what this means for superman.

BTW I have to know, is the steady stream of scathingly negative reviews coming out from every damn publication making anyone WANT to see it out of morbid curiosity.

I'm kind of wondering if it will end up being like Battlefield earth or Starship troopers where despite being obviously poorly made, is still kind of entertaining.

Or should I just finally get around to seeing Inception?

Willingdruid said...

I just realized how much i want to see Snyder direct a film that follows the Dogme 95 rules.

akkuma420 said...

Went and watched it last night...(sigh) I'm sorry Bob, but that movie was fucking awful.
I'm not just saying this to fit in with the masses either, I genuinely found myself annoyed, uninterested and squirming in my seat.
On the plus side... It was pretty to look at.
I wouldn't recommend this to anyone...
Sorry Bob... I just don't understand where you come up with this shit sometimes.
This is all JUST my opinion though.
One thing I do give the guy though (I do like Snyder and his work) is he is trying to do something new and regardless how it turns out, that's ALWAYS a good thing in Hollywood.

Ezenwa said...


See Inception already. Please. Nolan needs your support. LOL. J/K. But in all seriousness, see Inception. You won't be disappointed, if you ask me.

As for Sucker Punch, I'm probably going to see it as a popcorn film and keep the expectations low. I don't know. I guess we'll see.

As for it being the death of movie making, based on that article, I think there are much worse examples of that than this, and the usual suspects are behind that one.

If anything, Snyder may be added to that list, but I doubt it.

If anything, if this is a strike against Snyder, make it a second strike or something. Give him a chance on Superman: the Man of Steel. I know I will.

Sarge said...

Starship Troopers is very well made.

Don't ever compare it to battlefield: earth again.

CraftyAndy said...

haven't seen it yet probably will but either way I find your opinion on the movie idea itself refreshing. It annoys me to no end how a movie with imagination (Dark Knight, Watchmen, Last Airbender TV SHOW Avatar) as oppose to grounding itself in gritty realism has a hard time getting serious recognition when it actually does take itself seriously instead of letting it follow a bland forgettable action plot.
"A movie needs to be realistic," which is just uninspiring. All the stories have already been told find a new creative way of telling them please!

Guitar Guy Jones said...

It's sad to me to see how many other commenters did not like this movie. I agree wholeheartedly with Bob, that this movie is awesome and that you're doing yourself a disservice by missing it. Be forewarned though, if you are planning to see it, you have to want to see it, and you have to actually watch it. If you don't pay attention and actually put a little bit of effort into enjoying yourself, well, you're gonna be like everyone else who's commented so far; but, if you are an actual movie fan and you go in with the intention of having a good experience, I am sure you will love it. I know I did.

Tim said...

@Guitar Guy Jones: Go fuck yourself you pretentious douchebag.

motyr said...

who here wants to bet tim is a 12 year old twat from suburbia with nothing better to do than flame the moviebob movieblog

Bob said...

Nah, I actually agree with Tim.

"If you are an actual movie fan and you go in with the intention of having a good experience, I am sure you will love it."

Regardless of what you thought of the movie, that's unbelievably obnoxious.

motyr said...

sorry guys, i don't see what's so wrong. he's right, in any experience in life, if you don't go in with the intention or hope of having the best time possible, you'll just end up bitter and cynical.

Bob said...

Nonsense. I've gone into plenty of films expecting to have a great time where I left disappointed. Monsters comes to mind.

I enjoyed Sucker Punch but Tim is right. Implying that anyone who didn't isn't a movie fan and putting them down for it is douchebaggery of the highest order.

motyr said...

And I agree, disappointment is inevitable, but I don't think the original point was that you can avoid disappointment by looking past it.

Tim said...

Um HELLO? He basically just said that anyone who didn't like it isn't a movie fan. Are you that much of a dumbass that you can't see why that makes him a pretentious douchebag?

Bob said...

He IS a douchebag, but you are an asshole and that is worse.

Arturo said...

After watching it, this is all I gotta say:

Arturo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arturo said...

my motto is "Weird is Wonderful". Sucker Punch most certainly was weird.

Sarge said...

Bob, I really hate you opinions on movies and your writing style, but every time you do ANYTHING to manage the comments on your blog (commenting on whether people are douchebags, stick to your guns about banning infrequently and ONLY banning people who criticize other commenters, never banning people who criticize you) I applaud you, silently, to myself, in my room. Alone.

My point is, fuck you for making me rent Splice and pay to see Repo Men, but you're probably an alright guy at the end of the day.

But fuck you.

But you're an alright guy.

motyr said...

Bob, you win. You just win.

You make playing devil's advocate so much fun ;)

Maldeus said...

Bob, longtime watcher first time commenter, blah blah blah.

Apparently you think of this as being a girl power flick and I haven't seen it myself so I can't say you're wrong, but I'm curious if you'd like to hear what women (of the internet, at least) have to say about it. I am, myself, male (if the masculine latin name didn't make it obvious), but I think I can arrange to get a pile of entirely-female commenters all commenting on your review of the movie. But the whole point of this is that, regardless of how it turns out, I want to make sure that you'd actually read over the comments left by the female commenters, otherwise I'd mostly just be wasting my time.

So: Are you interested in hearing women's opinions on your opinions on women's opinions on Sucker Punch?

Robert said...

sucker punch sucked

tee hee

see what i did there? :3

Raven said...

I went to see it today, hearing about it for the first time from this review and watching the trailer right after. The atmosphere struck a chord. I enjoyed it.

And I believe this is indeed a movie engineered from the ground up to strike a chord with certain people. Geeks, gamers, students, those who can relate with that kind of wish fulfillment fantasy. It's basically "rule-of-cool" the movie.

And you know what? Call me shallow but that makes it pretty good entertainment in my book. I didn't walk to the cinema looking for a deep message or a good story. I walked in looking for release, and the movie delivered.

Also, the soundtrack kicked ass.

Chris Cesarano said...

I haven't seen the film yet, but I found this interpretation of the film on a forum I frequent and found it to be really interesting. A different sort of analysis than what Bob gave it, but positive nonetheless.

"Here's my two cents. This will get a little esoteric and English Major-y, but bear with me as this is how I watched the movie and why I think it's kind of amazing.

One of the things I love most in the world are memes. Memes are interesting to me because they demonstrate just how quickly our zeitgeist and culture devours itself in the process of creating new culture. That process is distinctly of our time.

I also love Jean Baudrillard, a philosopher who discusses (successfully, I believe) that we can't really experience reality. In brief summary his idea is that we are enmeshed within a society and culture and dialect that is many levels buried under layers of cultural mutual understandings (similar to memes) that give us a common way to think and understand the world. Everything form religion to language to government is a way of explaining the world at the same time as obscuring reality. We agree on certain things and they become symbols more than reality. The symbols become reality and reality is lost.

Now enter "Sucker Punch", a movie that takes culture touchstones we have no actual understanding or connection with, IMO, and uses them in the interest of telling a story. I think that's incredibly brilliant and interesting. I'll be the first to admit that it's basically a two hour music video where the artist uses well-trod iconogrophy, puts a spin on it and uses it in the service of telling a pretty simple story that actually has a good heart at the end.

Sucker Punch, in short, is a movie that could only exist right now. And it probably won't make sense to people in 5/10 years. The immediacy of what it's saying (intentionally or not) about the nature of culture in modern society is extremely compelling to me. So yeah, I like it.

If you've seen the trailers and were on-board with these outlandish takes on, once again, familiar touchstones like WWI trench warfare or medieval battles, then what I will say to you is that he takes these things and he uses them in a way that is really fun to watch while also, in the moment, devouring their meaning as all modern culture does. That makes it actually kind of incredible to me."

Popcorn Dave said...

I haven't seen this, and probably won't, because looking at the other reviews and comments on here, I'm 98% sure this film is pure trash and Bob is talking nonsense. "Game-changing artistry"? "Profound"? Comparable with Brazil?! Come on Bob, talk some sense will ya? We all know you like a bit of B-movie shlock from time to time, and yeah, Snyder is a slightly better shlock-peddler than Michael Bay, but trying to pass this off as a great work of art by a "visionary" director? What a load. It's pandering drivel and you know it. Even the other people who enjoyed it have said as much.

LK said...

What's with all the hate for 300? Semi-fascist, so what? Superheroes are fascist. The Spartans were fascist. The whole point of 300 was to tell the story the way the Spartans would.
I also don't have to agree with the point of view to enjoy something. I like Del Toro, though I don't share his pining for a world full of (literal) magic.

Anyway, what do you expect? Bob has a soft spot for anything that appeals to his fetishes, like monsters, Nintendo, super powered teenage girls, etc. We all have our kitsch.

Dave said...


While fascist is a word bob uses somewhat more often ti describe things he doesn't like, in this case it is more than merited.

Aside from being one of the inspirations for the third reich, spartan culture was one of the more perverse and fucking horrible civilizations in european history. That the persians did not wipe the nation off the face of the planet is a great historical tragedy.

To keep it simple: The spartans dind't belive in freedom. They kept slaves in such conditions that the deep south looked positively progressive by compairson. Killing helots (spartan slaves) for sport was considered an important part of spartan life. Every year there was a great even where the leaders would ritualistically declare war on the helots. That whole final solution thing looks alot less abstract now doesn't it?

Contrary to 300, persian women were actually fairly well off conmpared to their contemporaries in other cultures. And the persian army? Not a slave army. An army of mercenaries. An army of mercs who don't really care about the outcome as long as they get paid is less effective then trained soldiers, defending somehting they belive in.

That had always been the persian weakness in the ancient world. Over reliance on mercenaries.

Essentially the Sparta depicted in the movie is almost entirely opposed to the brutal, bigoted, institutionally pedophillic, socially backwards shitpile that was the real sparta.

So 300 depicts a team of monstrous, deformed brown people attacking the good and virtuous white people. And given how in reality the whites in qwuestion were hands down the greater monsters, it comes off as siding with the spartans simply because they are white.

And moreover, 300 does NOT tell the story as the spartans would because the spartans would not have condemned the persians for slavery, or having no women's rights, no the athenians for being boy lovers. 300 takes all of the spartan's sins, places them on the evil brown people and then says the spartans wouldn't approve.

"Anyway, what do you expect? Bob has a soft spot for anything that appeals to his fetishes, like monsters, Nintendo, super powered teenage girls, etc. We all have our kitsch."

And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact it's downright laudable for people to have something they like for sheer joy, regardless of its quality. That will be my attitude when I watch 3 musketeers. Big dumb action movies with sweet fight scenes? By one of the 2 directors who I've ever seen actually make 3d not look like ass? Count me in.

The difference is I will not pretend it is a good movies. It will suck. It will suck hard. It will be an abortion not only of cinema, but of literature. But, much like the street fighter movie from the 90s, it will suck in the most awesome and entertaining way imaginable.

No one is (or should be) criticizing him for liking a movie tailor made to pander to him. What people have every right to call him on is the utter bullshit of him pretending it is some work of cinematic genius that we are all to dumb to get because he can't admit to himself that it is ok for a film to be bad and still be fun.

Chris Cesarano said...

For most cases, Sucker Punch was a good film, not great, and definitely not everyone's cup of tea.

But when I say "not great", it's not taking into account that Zack Snyder is actually really good with cinematography. I'm going to see the film again with friends, and there's a lot of stuff in the different shots I'm going to be looking for. In terms of directing and composition, Snyder knows what he is doing.

What is flawed is the script, though once again not quite in the "bad dialog/bad plot" realm. It's in the clear conveyance of ideas.

Some have complained that the film is about nothing. This is complete crap, and they in fact spell out the meaning. Bob is pretty much right on the money. The film is about how dreams drive us to be strong and when everything is down in the dumps is when we need our dreams the most, even if we want to give up on them. Just as I imagined, the dream world is a way to portray the struggles of the characters in a different, more obvious way.

There is nothing wrong with that.

I believe that if this were just a film about a bunch of women who were trying to escape an asylum run by the big bad oppressive men, it would be Oscar Bait and critics would love it. Because it has Samurai and Dragons and Mechs and school girl outfits, it is instead fanboy wank.

This film is being treated with a double standard, and for most people it is certainly polarizing. Reactions I've seen have basically been love it or hate it. I feel neutral, that it was a good film but not great (except in the realm of cinematography).

The greatest weakness is that the film will simply not do well under multiple viewings. So much of it is action, and after seeing the same action sequences multiple times they get stale. Sure, that first time is friggin' awesome, but after that you need to rely on the story, and the way the film is told there simply isn't enough there in that regard to lean on.


The film isn't bad. People who hate it just need to accept that it's not of their taste and get over themselves. Bob isn't wrong, but he's also not correct in assuming this is a must-see. Anyone saying fuck you is, quite frankly, a prick, and the only reason I can imagine you assholes sticking around is because you like to troll.

I mean, really, if you hate him so bad why bother reading and commenting on his blog? Of course, the boon is that he'll never have to worry about an Echo Chamber.

Silens Cursor said...

I've written a full review on this movie elsewhere on a completely different forum, but let me sum things up in one paragraph:

This movie is worth seeing for the sheer spectacle of some scenes. This movie is meant to be viewed in two different ways - as a junky insane (albeit very well shot) exploitation movie that should have been rated R and gone all out; or, like how Bob viewed the film, as a movie epitomizing female empowerment wrapped in the preeminent sci-fi/fantasy tropes of today, which is sadly undercut by Snyder's poor writing of dialogue and some painfully wooden acting. If you can enjoy either of those two movies, you will like Sucker Punch to some extent - otherwise, you will either not understand, or completely misunderstand and HATE this movie.

And yeah, while I'm not as much of a fan of Snyder's cinematography as Bob is, I'd love to see a Snyder-Tarantino teamup for a glorious R-rated sci-fi exploitation extravaganza, just simply because the spectacle would be worth the price of admission.

Giuseppe said...

Your ability to over intellectualise crass, pandering garbage like Sucker Punch is quite impressive.

Simon said...

I was intrigued, until you brought up Scott Pilgrim and reminded me why I'm no longer able to take your opinion seriously.

Fuck you Bob, you used to be good.

R. Dempsey said...

As far as I can tell, Sucker Punch is nothing but a lavish experiment in access. It's just a mass of everything Zack Snyder loves all thrown together at once. In that regard, it's really not that much different then "Inception", a cinematic representation of the filmmaker in question. I love films like that, the films that just embody everything good AND bad about that filmmaker at once.

I enjoyed it.

Jacob Beck said...

Jesus Christ, almost EVERYONE hates this movie.

I just saw it, and I really like it.
I was really invested in the characters and the story itself.

I wonder how in any way this movie is as bad a Transformers 2. I would love to know.

CrunchyEmpanada said...

Man, I hated the hell out of this movie. I went in so pumped, I thought I was going to see something awesome, I'd been looking forward to this movie for forever. But I hated it.

This movie just wasn't any good. Terrible characters, terrible writing, terrible directing. I liked the cinematography, liked two of the songs, but that's about it. Oh, and I liked clockwork steam-powered Imperial German zombies. That *idea* was a great idea. Actually, that entire scene was the only scene I kind of enjoyed. The other ones were mindblowingly boring. I don't even know how that happened. Snyder must be very talented to make fighting a dragon with a plane boring.

Scott Glenn also was so sad. Those shitty aphorisms were so stupid. They were nonsensical, and had nothing to do with anything.

I like Snyder. I've liked everything else he's made so far. But now I think he should just stick to adaptation. I really don't understand how anybody can come away from this movie with any coherent message.

Chris Cesarano said...

I really don't understand how anybody can come away from this movie with any coherent message.

Because they spell it out for you right at the end.

As I said, Snyder needs some work. Towards the end there's that whole "this is YOUR story" garbage going on that made no sense to me...until I recalled the whole "angel" thing in the beginning. Voila! Makes sense now, but the script didn't really do a good enough job getting it across.

That doesn't mean the entire film is bad. I think the only reason this film is so polarizing is because, evidently, a film can't do some things poorly and other things well. It either has to be amazing or it just sucks.

J_Tracey said...

@ Simon:

I'm sorry you don't like Scott Pilgrim, but that movie is freaking amazing. A movie about young adult relationships hidden underneath a spectacle of visuals and brilliant fight choreography is an easy win in my book. I've told people who didn't like it the first time to watch it again, and each time they have tried it a second time, the liked it infinitely better. Give it another chance because it seems like it's a two viewing movie.

On subject, yeah I hated Sucker Punch. And although I did get the feeling the movie was trying to go with the "Female empowerment fantasy" route, it didn't work because the characters were too flat and dull and were brought down even more because the script was covered in the worst kind of dialogue: Trailer Dialogue. Every line was designed for the trailer and it get's extremely irritating to here all these cheesy lines spouted out by people who can't act. That's the one thing that holds back Snyder from being a truly great director. He has a problem directing actors and their performances. He needs some work in that department.

Truesight said...

Just watched the review. Last straw for me, deleting Moviebob from my bookmarks. I have seen too many bad movies because you lauded them to the skies. I come here looking for honest movie reviews; blowing my money on crap movies because it champions geek culture is intolerable. You cannot account for taste I guess.

All the best.

Sarge said...

I gotta say, it was nowhere near as terrible as I expected. Some sequences, especially the Dragon part, were actually quite enjoyable.

As a film, though, it's vapid and derivative, and as a movie it's "pretty" in the same way Megan Fox is "pretty."

After watching it, there's nothing to say, nothing to talk about, nothing to remember aside from the cinematography, which is (as to be expected) quite good.

But visionary? Fuck off.

CrunchyEmpanada said...

@Chris Cesarano

The movie told me there was a message, sure. But the movie didn't back that message up. They might as well had the message "Don't burn the candle at both ends" and it would have made the same amount of sense.

And at least for me, this movie is shit because it does hardly anything right, and the things it doesn't do right just aren't "not right" they are "really bad." The things I think this movie did right can be summed up in about 5 minutes of footage. Out of 2 hours.

Sharon said...

I honestly have no idea what everyone's so upset about. I thought it was a fun silly B movie, granted the decision to make it pG13 is probably why everyone's so upset, but I enjoyed it, thank you for recommending it.

I think everyone's just taking it too seriously. I'm sorry you're getting so much crap for this, even ebert liked some movies I didn't. Hang in there.

Popcorn Dave said...

Sharon, there's nothing wrong with him liking it, but he didn't say it was a fun filly B movie, he tried to pass it off as a profound work of "game-changing artistry", which is just laughable. We're annoyed because Bob rightly calls out the shameless pandering to fratboys in Transformers or the shameless pandering to teenage girls in Twilight, but when a film shamelessly panders to HIM, it's not only A-OK but he actually acts like it's some genre-defying masterwork that's just too intellectual and challenging for everyone else.

No-one here even mentioned the PG13 rating, where did you get that from?

Popcorn Dave said...

*fun silly B movie

Damn, that was a dumb typo, apologies everyone.

Eddie said...

I saw Sucker Punch having been primed by nothing more than the trailer and a single positive review (by Howard Tayler, go look it up if you're interested).

I freaking loved it.

Afterwards, I went seeking validation from the Internet (as one does) and found myself among the roughly 20% of the universe that didn't hate it like a skin disease. Wow. Now *that* was a sucker punch.

Bob's was one of the very few positive reviews I found, and one of the best (I also thought Betsy Sharkey's review in the LA Times was insightful, other than the very last line). Bob, I had't heard of you before today, but between the way you describe Sucker Punch - perfectly jibing with my own view, and not just in the "he likes it too" way - and what I've seen from skimming the rest of your videos just now, you've officially become my go-to movie guy.

Keep it up.

Steve said...


I'm with you on this. Or vice versa.