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"Sucker Punch" - {Blu-ray} - (Samantha)
Reviewer:
Samantha Isler
Studio: Warner Brothers
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
June 28,11
Special Features:

Animated Shorts; Behind the Soundtrack;Extended Cut; BD-Live Functionality

Review:

Baby Doll (Emily Browning) and her sister are left with the evil step-father after their mother’s death. In a chilling dialogue-free scene we see a fight with the drunken man result in the younger girl’s murder (though who killed her is not definitively answered). Baby Doll is sent to a mental hospital and scheduled for a lobotomy. In the moments before the procedure begins, she dives into an alternate reality—the mental hospital is now a night club, and each girl a dancer under the tyrannical thumb of Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac). ***

Baby Doll and the other girls Abbie Cornish,Jena Malone,Vanessa Hudgens,Jamie Chung plan their escape after realizing they can collect several “keys” to their escape while Baby Doll distracts them with her apparently fantastic dancing (probably the least acceptable excuse to explain a plot hole that I have ever heard, but I will forgive it). The “keys” bit, as well as the fact that each dance plunges the viewer into a mini-adventure, adds a sort of video-game feel to the movie, and I for one found the geekiness of the idea charming. ***

I’ll admit, Sucker Punch is not everyone’s cup of tea—that much is evident from the trailers alone. Chances are, you will either love it or hate it. It’s not a masterpiece and it isn’t entirely logical even within its own rulebook, but it is a movie that recognizes that It nods to its own failings and smiles (but doesn’t flaunt them or try to be “ironically good,” either). It certainly is original and I, for one, admired the creativity.Writer and director Zach Snyder delivers a gritty artistic feel to both the storyline and the visuals. This movie has the feel of a graphic novel, with avisually appealing transition between different levels of reality. ***

Yes, there are several different levels to this movie. It’s like Inception with more explosions (though be warned: it isn’t as action-packed as the trailer might lead you to believe).Is Baby Doll intentionally creating a world to escape to, or is she truly insane? How much of her dream world is rooted in reality? Why the hell does her dancing hypnotize everyone around her? ***

Some may argue that the movie is anti-feminist, what with all the women running around scantily clad and the afore mentioned “dance hypnotization”debacle. Snyder maintains that it is a story of female empowerment, and after much thought I’m inclined to agree with him. As one who likes to think about her movies, I had a lot of fun debating that point—but the feminist (or anti-,depending on your opinion) angle isn’t preachy or in-your-face, and it’s just as entertaining to sit back and just enjoy the movie.

Special Features:

The animated shorts (11 min) are more promotional material than short stories, as they were released before the movie comes out. Each of the four shorts takes a look in more detail at what I refer to as the video game scenes, giving the viewer a deeper look at what’s going on in each scene. These include “Dragon”, “Feudal Warriors”, “The Trench”, and “Distant Planet.” ***

I have not met a single person who did not like the Sucker Punch soundtrack, even if they despised the movie itself. Each song is haunting and they fit together so beautifully. “Behind the Soundtrack” (3 min) looks at the making of the music with composers and music producers Tyler Bates and Marius De Vries. ***

Perhaps the greatest treasure offered, the extended cut (128 min) goes into extensive detail about the making of the movie. Writer/Director Zach Snyder’s commentary in Maximum Movie Mode covers every aspect of creating the film, and he speaks so enthusiastically that the viewer can’t help but get wrapped up in what is obviously a labor of love for this filmmaker

Final Words:

Sucker Punch is a hit-or-miss, and in my opinion it hit hard. Give this dark fairytale adventure a chance and it may surprise you. ***

 

 
 
 
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