For the first (and last) time, I decided to take notes while watching a movie, because I'm sure I read that Cathie Horlick would do that for her blog and I know Roger Ebert does that shit for his reviews; I believe Cat jots her notes down in a notepad while Ebert scrawls his fuckin' thoughts on composition-sized paper and then just drops it to the floor beside him, where I assume his servants pick them up and place them in a velvet-lined basket for later. Since I ripped off my Movie Tally format from Ms. Horlick, I might as well take her note-taking style as well, so I went with the notepad.
Well, I won't do that again because it's too distracting for an easily distracted motherfucker like me; plus, my left-handed chicken scratches are even worse when being written in the dark PLUS I was stoned while watching the film, so that shit was even harder to make out the following day and damn near impossible the day after that when I decided to give it another try (now that I was more clear-headed). One of the few notes I was able to make out read "PARADIGM ALIENS" and I have absolutely no fucking clue as to what I meant. I would've made a shitty detective or a great doctor with my terrible note-taking abilities and Quentin Tarantino-style depths of penmanship.
This is one of those movies that I'm rapidly forgetting about with each passing hour, which sucks because it's been about 3 days already since I've seen Sucker Punch, which I rented from my favorite video store/head shop. Zack Snyder directed this one (he co-wrote it too) and I've always been cool with this guy; lots of people seem to be throwing him in with the Michael Bays of the cinematic world and I don't think that's right. Sure, he's a flashy motherfucker but I also think he's more restrained than Bay; people hate on that trick he does where he slow-mos a shot and then towards the end he cranks it back to regular motion, but they seem to be forgetting that by doing that, he's not cutting to 17 different camera angles fast enough for your brain to barely register the image, but people always gotta bitch about something.
I didn't see this in the movie theater because I read an interview with Snyder where he talked about how he shot this movie with the intention of getting a PG-13 rating, so he shot it with no gore and no foul language. But the MPAA still gave it an R-rating, so he had to cut shit out anyway -- meaning a total of 18 minutes of footage ended up on the cutting room floor. By the way, isn't "cutting room floor" an outdated saying nowadays? I mean, that used to refer to the days of cutting movies on film and using actual trim bins and hanging film strips up like they were freshly washed socks or something. So unless you're Steven Spielberg or Christopher Nolan, you're probably cutting your shit on Avid or Final Cut Pro and deleted scenes are hitting the cutting room hard drive, not the fucking floor.
Anyway, Snyder did us a solid by saying that his cut of the movie would be released on Blu-ray, which was cool of him because it was like he was telling us "Hey guys, don't waste your money on a watered-down version, wait a few months and get the Blu-ray!" Shit, maybe that's why Sucker Punch didn't do well in theaters -- everyone decided to wait to see the full version at home. Shoulda worded that one differently there, Snyder.
So I rented the Extended Cut Blu-ray (the word "extended" must mean that Snyder approved both cuts of the movie, hence no "director's cut" -- either that or he's gonna Ultimate Watchmen our asses come Christmastime with an even longer version) and the clerk behind the counter (he appeared to be in his late teens, lucky son-of-a-bitch bastard I'll kill ya) smiled and told me that this movie was "the best softcore movie ever".
I told him what I just told you about the Extended Cut and he looked confused; turns out that he only saw the PG-13 cut in the theaters, which made me wonder if this guy had even seen or heard of Cinemax. Really, video store clerk? Softcore? Whatever, little boy; in my day, softcore featured Shannon Tweed or Shannon Whirry or any other fuckin' Shannon. Softcore in my day did not feature actresses from Into the Wild, they featured ladies so smokin' hot like Athena Massey that you felt bad they weren't gonna get more famous but at the same time you were grateful because their lack of success meant they wouldn't pull some "I'm an actress now!" legit shit and you would continue to see them in even more softcore joints because America is the greatest country EVER.
OK, so the movie starts out with this pretty cool intro (done to a cover of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams") that felt like 10 minutes but was probably only 2, but you know how it is when you smoke that devil weed, that shit makes you think you just activated Jack Deth's Long Second Watch (which would make a pretty cool name for a strain, now that I think of it; I'll take an eighth of Sour Diesel and an ounce of Jack Deth's Long Second Watch). The opening gets you up to speed with a Her Life So Far montage as it approaches the main character's present situation, getting to a point that I felt like I was watching a hot chick version of Up only not nearly as depressing (in the way that only Real Life can be that fucking depressing).
Anyway, this main chick and her little chick sister are being hurled into a world of shit; their rich (and I'm assuming much-loved) mom is dead and their step-dad is hating on them because the lion's share of the inheritance is going to them. Eventually, Big Sister has had enough of Asshole Stepfather's bullshit and pops a cap into him, wounding the asshole but accidentally killing Little Sister in the process which is sooo not the results she was looking for.
As a result of this fuck-up, our main girl (now known as Baby Doll) gets thrown into a nuthouse (where Asshole Stepfather pays off an orderly to drug her up until the lobotomist arrives to fix her permanently) and suddenly she's imagining herself in some kind of slut orphanage crossed with some Suspiria dancing-school shit (it's a brothel, but they don't seem to do much brothel-ing -- ha ha, Snyder, so much for your attempted PG-13) because that's what you have to do, you have to escape the troubles of the real world by escaping to the safe confines of your imagination (I didn't see a single book in that asylum, so it's not like she could just hop a ride on the muthafuckin' Reading Rainbow and escape to a world of imagination THAT way).
Yeah man, she starts having fantasies about being in some brothel/cabaret/Suspiria school and hooking up with 4 other chicks and before you go OH YEEEEAAAHHH, calm down because no, they don't dyke out, they don't even hint at the possibility of that. Instead, they're bonding on a Girl Power vibe rather than a Box Lunch At The Y vibe, which I hope makes the straight girls happy because it sure as shit ain't pleasing me and my lesbian sisters, that's for fuckin' sure.
Actually, the lack of Brown Chicken Brown Cow doesn't bother me, the film offers a fetching enough scenario on its own and it's fun enough for me to look at these girls all huddled up and Baby Doll my mind into a NC-17 version of this movie. It's an awesome movie, the one playing in my head and besides, even if I didn't have the power of imagination, I do have the power of the Internet and if that's what I really want to see, then I can see it. This is also why Tits In Cinema is pretty much dead. Goddamn internet -- invented for stable communication following a nuclear war, but resulting in vaporizing the hopes of many a lonely moviegoer. Anyway, I haven't seen the theatrical cut, but I'm really surprised that this version was going to get an R-rating, because this is truly one of the lightest R-rated movies I've seen.
I only remember 3 shots of blood in the entire movie and it wasn't some kind of Kill Bill arterial spray-fest either; I watched some of that Charles Bronson movie Assassination after Sucker Punch and I thought that was a bloodier movie -- and that shit was rated PG-13! I saw one motherfucker get his chest all squibbed out after Chuckie B blasted him with a machine gun, then later on, some asshole in a wet suit got his all over the face, and the movie still managed to get a PG-13. But then again, that was 1987 and this is now. Plus, I don't remember seeing Bronson stroke a dying dragon's neck like it was a throbbing cock while Jill Ireland sticks her hands in the dragon's vaginal-looking slit throat and pulls out a glowing pair of balls, but I sure as fuck saw the girls of Sucker Punch do that Work The Shaft/Cradle The Balls shit, so maybe I can see why the MPAA was harder on Snyder than they were on Peter R. Hunt.
You're probably now thinking "How the fuck do dragons and their glowing balls figure into this movie?", and if you quiet down I'll tell you. See, it's not enough for Baby Doll to pretend she's in a fantasy world of even more fucked-up shit to escape the already fucked-up shit in her real life, she also escapes into a fantasy world within the fantasy world, where she looks like the Dream Girl for the kind of guy who swears he watches Sailor Moon because the stories are well-written and the animation is great -- an underage-looking chick in a schoolgirl uniform, wielding both a samurai sword and a semi-automatic handgun.
Call it female empowerment or call it exploitation of women, but most of this movie consists of hot chicks killing the shit out of everything while wearing the fuck out of sexy fetish wear. Scott Glenn is in this movie, and that freshly-squeezed orange juice-demanding motherfucker must've been very happy on the set of Sucker Punch, because that meant that whenever he wasn't playing this dreamworld guru (the Wise Man, he's called), he got to hang out and do his best not to be too obvious when ogling these young hot chicks with their high heeled boots & giant machine guns, all the while these girls were probably all Scott's such a good listener! when in fact he was probably just too busy checking them out while pretending to listen to their life stories because really girls, we just don't care.
Don't take that the wrong way, girls, because I love ya. In fact, watching this movie brought up my said-before thought about how movies would be better if the casts consisted of only women. Eventually the movie works itself into being one of those prison-break joints, and it even has one of those scenes where the girls are gathered in secret and discussing who's gonna do what part of the job and how are they gonna do said part. I love that shit, and I love it even more when it's a group of attractive women involved, rather than some fuckin' guys. I don't know how you straight girls and gay guys can do it; as a man, I can safely declare that men are just about the most disgusting creatures on the planet (next to the monkey), and because of that, I feel bad for those who are cursed with this innate attraction towards us (well, not counting Me, of course).
The villains in this movie are effectively Boo Hiss and sure enough, they're Men; there's really only
about 2 of them, the stepfather and the evil piece-of-shit orderly of indeterminate (but very likely to be a dirty Hispanic) origin. The orderly (like the rest of the asylum's staff and patients)
also shows up in a dual role in the dreamworld; in his case, he's the evil piece-of-shit brothel
boss/mobster of indeterminate (but very likely to be a dirty Hispanic) origin; he's very effective because in addition to being Mean and Cruel,
he also genuinely believes himself to be the good guy in the movie of
his life. He's not a mustache-twirler (his mustache is too small,
anyway), he doesn't necessarily enjoy being a scumbag, but he genuinely
feels he's being wronged by the people around him -- which I guess justifies his horrible treatment of them. What a fucking
Laugh all you want, but I'm gonna say that this is Snyder's most personal film; first of all, he co-wrote the fuckin' thing and second, it's obvious this was all shit he grew up thinking of and dreaming of and maybe even occasionally jerking off to. It's like Snyder, after the success of 300 and the kinda-success of Watchmen, was summoned to a meeting with the Warner Brothers (and the Warner sister, Dot) and was told that they had $80 million burning a hole in their pockets and if he had an idea for a movie, any movie, they would give it to him. I bet you Snyder sweated it out in that office, because based on his past works (all adaptations of existing material) the motherfucker ain't exactly a fountain of original ideas, but he is a fountain of great ways to visualize that shit.
He had only half-a-second to come up with something -- anything! -- and the first words that came out of his mouth was "Sucker Punch". The brothers Warner (and sister Dot) were intrigued, and because everything is bass ackwards in Hollywood, rather than have him elaborate right then and there, they scheduled another meeting. So Snyder, he probably raced it over to his attic and pored over his old high-school notebooks and sketchpads and took that to the meeting. He showed them all of these crazy doodles and sketches he drew in high-school (instead of paying attention to his English Literature teacher's lectures) and passed it off as storyboards for this movie, along with some notes he scribbled during the drive to the studio.
The suits looked it over -- German zombie soldiers, orcs, dragons, exploding zeppelins, a badass
squad of All-Girl killers, musical sequences, Carla Gugino looking very
angular, green-screens, CGI, practical action, fuckin' killer robots
with fuckin' pink bunnies drawn on them, etc -- and their reaction was "Hot damn! We still don't know what the fuck it's about, but my man, you got yourself an $80 million budget!" and that's how we now have Sucker Punch.
This is the kind of movie that will probably live on in midnight showings, and as the years pass it'll get overpraised as being some kind of underrated classic, like Tron (sorry Tron fans). If you mean classic in terms of snazzy visual sequences, then yeah. But if you mean classic in terms of something like, oh, I don't know, I'm just pulling this one out of my ass -- Brazil, maybe -- then no. To put it in Gene Kelly musical terms, Sucker Punch is no Singin' in the Rain but it certainly is It's Always Fair Weather. In other words, it's a decent story with great setpieces. I'm not a girl (despite what my ex-girlfriends say), so I'm not even going to pretend to know if this shit is empowering to females (as Snyder claims), but I am a man, and as a man I can say with confidence that I did get a bit of a semi while watching.
Like I said, I've been cool with Snyder's joints but I haven't seen one that rocked my world yet. This one comes closest and Snyder's only real crime here seems to be that he's not a great filmmaker because his screenwriting muscles are not nearly as buff as his visual storytelling muscles. Whatever, man -- the guy did the best he could to the strengths of his abilities and the result is an overall entertaining movie, warts and all. The girls are attractive, the music is cool, the action is pretty sweet and even some of the mise-en-scene makes you feel like you're watching the cover art for a shitty metal band come to life -- that's a positive, by the way.
I haven't seen the theatrical version, but I did read about some of the stuff that shows up in this R-rated cut that didn't show up in the PG-13 version, and based on that I would say if you're gonna see Sucker Punch, by all means see the extended R-rated cut, otherwise you are missing out on some shit that probably made the PG-13 version damn near incoherent as a result of being snipped out because a group of prudes working for an outdated system didn't like what they saw.
In conclusion, this movie is a 14-year-old Asian boy's wet dream. What, too offensive? Fine, then.
In conclusion, this movie is a 14-year-old Mexican boy's wet dream.
Are you happy now? Jesus fuckin' Christ, people.
3 days ago