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post #1 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=215784&d=1308831997
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

94






Studio and Year: Warner - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13/R
Feature running time: 110/127 minutes
Genre: Fantasy/Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Issac, Scott Glenn, Jon Hamm
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Music by: Tyler Bates & Marius DeVries
Written by: Zack Snyder & Steve ShiBuya based on a story by Zack Snyder
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 28, 2011







"A mind bending vision of reality…"



Film Synopsis:

Born from the creative vision of filmmaker Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300), this epic action fantasy launches from the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Locked away against her will, Babydoll (Emily Browning) has not lost her will to survive. Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four fellow captives – outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung) and reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) – to band together and try to escape their terrible fate at the hands of their captors Blue (Oscar Isaac), Madam Gorki (Carla Gugino) and the High Roller (Jon Hamm).



My Take:

At my son’s insistence he and I went to see Sucker punch during its theatrical run. Afterward we probably spent a good hour discussing it as we attempted to break it down in order to make heads or tales out of what we had just seen. The conclusion we came to which was reinforced after this revisit is that Sucker punch is the equivalent of a two headed coin. It isn’t meant to have a definition per se but in design rests upon an abstract narrative that is more or less left up to interpretation. The story takes place in a 1960’s era insane asylum for girls and centers on Babydoll, a depressed twenty year old that recently suffered the death of her mother and tragic loss of her sister. Her money grubbing step father seeking whatever was left to her in her mother’s will, has her committed. The asylum is run by the head orderly, known only as Blue, his minions and Dr. Gorski, the psychiatrist in charge. It quickly becomes evident that Blue’s intentions are villainous and that there is more going on than simply caring/rehabilitating these young girls. He accepts a bribe from Babydoll’s stepfather in exchange for having her lobotomized to ensure her permanent silence. Blue assures him that when the doctor who performs them arrives in five days it will be done. Babydoll says nothing and quickly sizes up the situation. She comes to the conclusion that she must break out of the asylum before the doctor arrives. The question is how?

This is the point at which the narrative begins to shift and things are seen as manifested in Babydoll’s mind. Think along the lines of The wizard of Oz in that everyone is represented but as SHE sees them. The “asylum” is now a brothel being run by Blue and “Madam” Gorski. The girls are the reluctant entertainment and are forced to dance, among other things, for the cliental that frequent the establishment. She meets four other inmates, Rocket, her big sister Sweet Pea, Blondie and Amber. As part of the rehabilitation process (in the “real” world) Dr. Gorski routinely asks the girls to express their emotions etc. through dance. During rehearsal (in the “brothel”) Madam Gorski asks Babydoll to dance for the first time. She begins by closing her eyes and instantly enters an almost dream like state to find herself transported to a snow covered Japanese temple wherein she meets a lone wise man. She speaks to him and expresses a desire to escape from her confines. He gives her the weapons that she will use and the list of items that she must attain to be successful. Afterward she opens her eyes and is back in the rehearsal studio in the brothel with everyone applauding her “dance” performance. Later, Babydoll discusses her desire to escape with Rocket, Sweet Pea, Blondie and Amber. She explains about the four items needed and outlines a plan to obtain them. Together they form a secret alliance that will require all of them for success.

The second act (and most of the third) is made up of the plan’s execution which takes place simultaneously in the asylum (predominantly not shown) and two levels within the mind of Babydoll. The first level is the aforementioned world of the brothel and the second consists of four worlds (one where each of the items needed for escape must be found and extracted) that are only entered when Babydoll “dances”. The girls enter each realm and work toward their objective as a team under the guidance of the wise man. Each realm has rules and its own set of challenges. At the successful conclusion of each objective the group returns back to the brothel at the finish of Babydoll’s “dance”. As they drawer nearer to their goal the risk/danger increases. With time running out they enter the final stage. Unfortunately something goes terribly wrong…

I went into more detail here than I normally would but wanted to provide some type of foundation. Quite frankly I find the convoluted nature of the narrative to be unnecessary. This could have been a straight forward plotline which would probably have proven more satisfying. According to writer/director Zack Synder it was intended to be left up to interpretation so I guess it succeeds in that regard. I liked the extension of the characters but the surface level story left me wanting. Surprisingly, I must admit that I like Sucker Punch. Not for its well rounded script but for its engaging action and stunning visuals. The coolness factor runs high in the stylized fantasy worlds created from the imagination of Zack Snyder. Watching the five girls go head to head with the variety of baddies large and small, ancient and futuristic is just lots of fun. The use of CGI, slow motion action and eclectic music is well integrated/executed which enhances the experience. There is more than just CGI eye candy with the likes of Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung and my girl Carla Gugino to look at. Bit parts by Jon Hamm and Scott Glenn were ineffectual but didn’t detract in any way.

Having already seen the theatrical version I was curious to see what the extended cut’s additional 17 minutes had to offer. It didn’t add anything significant to the story but did restore an entertaining cabaret style song/dance sequence (the brothel) that featured all of the primary characters. Alright so you’ve read though all of this just to get to the bottom line. Is Sucker Punch worth your time? The answer is it depends. If you can look past its less than gratifying story there are rewards to be found in the richness of its fantasy and execution of its action. In that regard I found it to be the kind of engaging mindless entertainment that I like to sit back to enjoy from time to time.



Parental Guide:

The PG-13 rated theatrical version contains thematic material involving sexuality, violence, combat sequences and language. The R rated extended cut contains the same plus sexual content, violence and brief language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 98



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Sucker Punch Extended Cut comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

Sucker Punch utilizes a stylized visual design comprised of various elements that represent the differing environs featured in the story. The asylum and the four battle worlds have a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the subject matter. The color range is limited to shades of dark blue, grays and black with splashes of crimson red, and muted sepia tones. Warm golden accents are used to break up the monochromatic essence. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is spot on which empowers whites and grays without washing away detail. Whites are snappy and crisp and grays are multi-staged and layered. The sequences that take place within the brothel have deep chromatic emphasis with vivid primaries, golden fleshtones and boldly applied contrast. I find the film’s deep grays, rich blacks and intriguing use of color enamoring. The large amount of CGI featured in the film softened some of the background elements but I didn’t found it to be excessive or distracting. Overall the quality of the video is high. It isn’t always razor sharp but it is cleanly rendered with revealing refinement that increases the perception of fine detail. Blacks are dynamic and gradational and detail in shadows is just as strong. The video has a pleasing, grain splashed texture, that coincides nicely with it gritty storyline.

The 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack presented here is an impressive one that utilizes the entire system to create a theater like experience. This is an engaging and dynamically energized surround mix that features high level sonic detail, superb directional correlation, seamless integration, and frequent use of rhythmically charged bass extension which bass lovers are sure to appreciate. Dialogue is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel as it reaches far into the room. It’s located just slightly in front of the left/right speakers within the acoustic space it occupies in the soundfield. I never had any trouble distinguishing even the slightest changes in the pitch or tonal inflection of voices. This is a complex sound design that is loaded with various sound effects, spatial cues, music, and dialogue. Each is clearly represented with enriching clarity, detail and appropriate sound field placement.

This is a superlative audio/video presentation that I find elevates the enjoyment of this action film. Those who like to drive their systems at reference levels will appreciate its transient low frequency peaks, extended dynamic range and high level clarity. I love the stylized high definition presentation which features deep blacks and exquisite rendering that looks terrific on my large screen. Kudos to Warner on a job well done.




Bonus Features:


  • Disc 1:


  • Theatrical version of Sucker Punch

  • (HD) Sucker Punch animated shorts (4 segments) – Motion comic style prequel stories

  • (HD) Sucker Punch: Behind the soundtrack featurette – 3 minutes

  • BD-Live access

  • Disc 2:


  • Extended Cut of Sucker Punch

  • (HD) Maximum Movie Mode - An uncompromising 360 degree look at the film and its production as described by Director Zack Snyder as the film plays out. It includes trivia, facts, inside/behind the scenes information and is far from your everyday run of the mill BonusView track.




Final Thoughts:

The brainchild of visionary writer/director Zack Snyder Sucker Punch is far from conventional, in fact a little too far. Its abstract narrative leaves something to be desired but I enjoy the richness of its fantasy and the execution of its action. It’s the kind of mindless entertainment that I like to sit back to enjoy from time to time. Warner has done a great job with its release on Blu-ray Disc. It includes the theatrical and extended cuts of the film (on their own discs), reference quality DTS-HD Master Audio sound, beautifully rendered high definition video, and the excellent Maximum Movie Mode bonus feature which is one of the best Bonusview implementations that I have seen. A DVD/Digital Copy and BD-Live access round out this fan friendly offering. This isn’t a blind buy but action fans should experience it. Drop it in your rental queue and take it for a spin. You might just be glad that you did.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 01:28 PM
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Thanks Ralph...rottentomatoes slammed it pretty hard, but I will still rent it based upon the excellent visuals and sound you describe.
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post #3 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 01:59 PM
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Glad to hear the audio visual qualities are very good on this disc. This movie is setting up as another love it or hate it movie. It would seem to be the type of movie where hopefully I will fall in the love it camp as I have it coming from Amazon next week. Seems an nice entertainment ride to me and one I'm looking forward to.

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post #4 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_jitsu View Post

Thanks Ralph...rottentomatoes slammed it pretty hard, but I will still rent it based upon the excellent visuals and sound you describe.

Yeah it totally did. Rottentomatoes tends to do that- my friend actually mentioned the same thing to me . What's nice about rottentomatoes, however, is how it distinguishes the audience scale from the tomatometer. Although the audience scale still seemed to slam it!


But yeah, couldn't agree with you more dad. Very nice review. I'm still going back to the action scenes on my iPad!
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post #5 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattp24 View Post

Yeah it totally did. Rottentomatoes tends to do that- my friend actually mentioned the same thing to me . What's nice about rottentomatoes, however, is how it distinguishes the audience scale from the tomatometer. Although the audience scale still seemed to slam it!


But yeah, couldn't agree with you more dad. Very nice review. I'm still going back to the action scenes on my iPad!

Greetings,

Thanks Matt!

Glad that your first post on AVS is in one of my review threads.


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post #6 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 02:31 PM
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Sounds intriguing to me I tend to be a Sucker for these type of flicks, it's a blind buy for me . I preordered it from Amazon as well, should be fun at home.

Great review.

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post #7 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattp24 View Post

Yeah it totally did. Rottentomatoes tends to do that- my friend actually mentioned the same thing to me . What's nice about rottentomatoes, however, is how it distinguishes the audience scale from the tomatometer. Although the audience scale still seemed to slam it!


But yeah, couldn't agree with you more dad. Very nice review. I'm still going back to the action scenes on my iPad!

The positive thing about RT is it is a compilation of many critics....one critic can often be wrong but when a bunch concur usually it is for a good reason.

Having said that, however, must critics are just flat out biased about action films, they usually have to be really good before getting a thumbs up.
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post #8 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph.

I skipped this one in theaters due to all the absolutely abysmal reviews it was getting. Nice to know that it's at least going to be a fun Blu-Ray in terms of A/V. That audio score might push me to actually add this to my collection.

I was expecting reference video, too.... but 90 is close enough .

Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.

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post #9 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 06:46 PM
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Nice review Ralph as always.

Blu-ray : 340
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post #10 of 112 Old 06-24-2011, 09:06 PM
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Well King P....im still running about 2-3 weeks behind ... I have yet to watch Sanctum and True Grit..but they are in the cabnet.

I just think I will pick this up, it's slowing down a little... nice review !
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post #11 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 03:07 AM
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Just wanted to reiterate what Dr.Jitsu said....keep in mind Rotten Tomatoes just compiles the number of good (fresh) and bad (rotten) tomatoes for a given film. So they don't actually give the rating, they just report it. "It" being the percentage of critics who gave a film a positive review.

Needless to say, I rely on RT quite a lot...not as much as I do the King P, but a lot nonetheless
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I tend to get all giggidy when I see a high audio score. Can't wait to get this bluray. Excellent review like always Ralph.
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post #13 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 03:58 AM
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I really don't know what to take away from this movie. There were times where I thought it was pretty good and other times where I thought it was bad. The asylum part of the movie I didn't care for. The action scenes were pretty cool and I have to give credit to Snyder for creativity. I did not see the extended cut unfortunately. I wonder how different the extended cut is compared to the regular cut.
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I definitely want to watch this going by the trailer it looks good.

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post #15 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 07:09 AM
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Looking forward to checking this out. Looks like it will be a fun HT ride if nothing else, especially after that audio review/score!

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post #16 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 07:30 AM
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Looking forward to checking this out. Looks like it will be a fun HT ride if nothing else, especially after that audio review/score!

The ladies dont look too bad either

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post #17 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 07:40 AM
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The ladies dont look too bad either

Ahhhhh.......eye candy as well........nice! Reference audio and hot women make a great combo!

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Ahhhhh.......eye candy as well........nice! Reference audio and hot women make a great combo!

perfect recipe

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post #19 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 08:08 AM
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I actually really liked Sucker Punch...the visuals were amazing, the story was interesting and fresh compared to the normal everyday crap that Hollywood puts out. I really thought it was unique, and that in itself is enough to make me watch. The acting was fairly good, story was all over the place but flowed well, and the action was excellent. You definitely find yourself rooting for these girls...
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post #20 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 08:15 AM
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I almost walked out of the theater when I saw this. The action scenes were fun but the rest of the movie didn't hold up. I might watch this though for the directors cut to see if that changes/fixes anything.

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post #21 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 08:28 AM
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I almost walked out of the theater when I saw this. The action scenes were fun but the rest of the movie didn't hold up. I might watch this though for the directors cut to see if that changes/fixes anything.

Well to each their own but I for one appreciated the interesting story line and how it was told. I'm so sick of the cookie cutter movies that come out all the time telling the same crap the same way. You can almost always tell the story and outcome of the story long before you get through the movie which drives me nutz. I like to be suprised and kept interested and this movie did just that.
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post #22 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 08:32 AM
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excellent review ralph. at least you were fair about it.. so many 'critics' slammed it because they didnt like the style or the storyline. you hit the nail on the head comparing it to 'wizard of oz'.. that was exactly the comparison i used when recommending it to people.

i have watched it 3 times now and it keeps getting better. scott glen played a fantastic mentor/spiritual guide in this movie. and honestly how can you go wrong with hot chicks in leather and swords.

did you guys notice the steam powered zombies in the nazi scenes? reminded me of the guy in hellboy johann krause... only a ton of them...
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post #23 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chap View Post

I almost walked out of the theater when I saw this. The action scenes were fun but the rest of the movie didn't hold up. I might watch this though for the directors cut to see if that changes/fixes anything.

Greetings,

As I noted in my review the Extended Cut adds nothing of significance to the storyline. I did like the Cabaret style song/dance number that was restored though.


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post #24 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 08:56 AM
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I watched the theatrical and extended cut this past week, I'd say to watch the extended cut. If you've seen the theatrical cut, here is what the extended cut offers (without going into too much detail):

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

1. There is an extra dance/singing routine towards the beginning, which doesn't add too much to the film.

2. The action/fight scene involving the dragon is extended. Some pretty cool extra stuff here.

3. Near the end, there is a scene between Baby Doll and The High-Roller. This scene actually makes sense, I have no idea why it was cut. It explains why the doctor says, "Did you see the way that she looked at me?". The MPAA wanted that scene toned down a little bit, or else they'd issue a R-rating. Snyder and Browning didn't like the toned down version, so Snyder cut the entire scene out.


I really enjoyed this film, and what's not to like? Hot chicks in skimpy outfits kicking butt, dragons, orcs, zombie nazis, samurais, mechs, sword fighting, etc. It's like a stimuli overload.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #25 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 10:46 AM
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I love these kinds of movies--I've seen very few "It was ok" remarks about Sucker Punch. It is either "I hate it, total waste of time" or "I loved it and watched it 6 times already" Still have to wait a little while before I get my copy.

Bob

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post #26 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 02:39 PM
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Yeah I waited to see the extended cut ,when I read a Zack interview about him having to cut the cuss words & some scenes ..I Knew they'd release a " Directors Cut " so it's on pre-order , looking forward to putting the HT through it paces with this film .
Nice review Ralph , Thanx

Mike

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post #27 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 03:14 PM
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I've seen the movie (was eagerly awaiting it for months). I think the critics (me as well) got irritated by too much music video style (they always hate that). By music video style, I mean letting the music narrate the scene and tell the audience what to feel. Some of the songs went on too long (ie. Sweet Dreams) in my opinion. Otherwise, I enjoyed the visuals and most of the movie in general. Browning was a little too dull and sleepy for my liking though.

Minor Spoiler!


Audiences reacted badly to the "sucker punch" at the end.

MAJOR SPOILER!


You can't lobotomize the heroic protagonist and kill off all the other heroines (save one) and expect to get the good will of the audience. There will always be a few that like that SUCKER PUNCH type of downbeat ending, but most will hate it, particularly in an action movie. ALL action movies with down beat endings (heroes lose or get killed) get poor audience reviews. Only a few thrillers get away with this (ie. Se7en). Horror movies get some leniency because the audience is expecting to be horrified.
In trying to be different and subversive, Snyder shot himself in the foot. Now he'll have to $uccessfully do some heavily studio controlled flick before he get's to have his say in another big movie.

Message to all action movie creators out there. Whether you like it or not, if you want your movie to be well received, give an upbeat, hero chest thumping ending (ie Commando).
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post #28 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 08:21 PM
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Leading up to the release of this movie, the trailer attained legendary status among my extended group of friends, we watched the original trailer dozens of times and refered to it as "The Trailer Which Can Not Be Understood" (the trailer itself actually makes a cool little short film imo). Nazis, dragons, robots, giant samurai's, burlesque, oh my! We found the film actually lived up to our nickname for the trailer, you can not understand this movie... but you should definitely try, its worth it!

We found those who like/dislike this movie typically fall into two categories: those who liked it were anime fans, those who didn't were not anime fans. This is basically a live-action/CG anime. I could easily see Japan actually making this movie.

I'm digging the score for the audio (the trailer sounds awesome on my home system). I got roped into trying a recently "updated" theater when I saw SuckerPunch... unfortunately the update must have cost 20 bucks for as unimpressive as the audio was. I am looking forward to watching this on my home system (which typically rivals all the local theaters)
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post #29 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 09:45 PM
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This movie was very pleasant surprise after reading those trashing reviews. I really liked, but probably don't even know why yet.

And that haunting song "where is my mind". Wow.
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post #30 of 112 Old 06-25-2011, 09:58 PM
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May blind buy this one. Drinking, a laptop, and Amazon Prime are a lethal mix. I admit I'm a sucker for Zack Snyder movies and their visuals (and audio).

Stephen.

Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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