The Film Review Corner

Extraneous communication, genuflection, adulation, dissection and admiration should make its way in here.

Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Raziel4707 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:39 pm

Bigger Trent Mauser wrote:
Raziel4707 wrote:Yo dawg, I heard you like reviews of your reviews! So I reviewed the review of your review so you can read while you read while you read!


Haha, you're a real Gordo Granudo, man.


Thank you for confirming my theory, very much obliged. #smug
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Pipitán » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:40 pm

Big Barney Ross/Bigger Trent Mauser wrote:In the case of 'Sucker Punch', I firmly stay behind the statement that most of those who disliked it simply didn't get it. That, and the fact that Snyder has acquired a sort of Michael Bay-like infamy - in other words, haters gonna hate. Sucker Punch is a film deeper and more thought provoking than 'Inception'; it just didn't have the mainstream media support and the propaganda machine behind telling us (or rather, brainwashing us) into believing it's great, like 'Inception' had. It was the opposite instead.


I just saw Sucker Punch this afternoon, mainly out of curiosity; like Greywulf, I was very much looking forward to it until the critical panning. As such, I came in with very low expectations, and so found myself enjoying it more than I thought I would (and certainly more than I did Source Code - although objectively Source Code is probably the better movie, I went into that one with very high expectations, but that's not relevant here).

However, I do agree with Greywulf in that the movie has serious, serious problems, or, as he put it, is broken. I don't think this is a case of me 'not getting it'. However you look at it, I don't think that Sucker Punch is a deep or thought-provoking film. But to qualify this, I don't think Inception is either. They're both just action blockbusters which attempt to be different/more intelligent than the average blockbuster fare. Inception succeeds at this (in my opinion - and no, I wasn't brainwashed into thinking this), but Sucker Punch doesn't.

This is because of the plot. As I look at it, the basic plot of Sucker Punch is that five inmates of an evil institution hatch an escape plan. They find all the objects they need to escape (albeit with various set backs and hiccups along the way) and the two remaining girls make it out, although one of them (the main character) sacrifices herself so the other one can escape. This is the basic plot. Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine, as a basic plot (though not amazingly original), but, and here's my main issue with the film, that's it. Snyder never takes it any further. You could film that plot, exactly how it is, and you would have fundamentally the same movie as Sucker Punch - the alternate realities and elaborate visuals/fight sequences don't actually add anything to the story or character development or... anything, really. What I'm trying to say is, that the conceit of having several layers of reality, and having dream action sequences, is nothing more than a conceit, a gimmick. Yes, it's allows Snyder to show off his visual talents, but that's exactly what it felt like, to me; Snyder showing off his visual talents.

Personally, I would have much preferred to have it all set in the brothel reality layer, and have that actually be reality, and for the film to just show the five girls trying to escape. The only scenes I found exciting or tense were those scenes in the brothel where there is actually some danger, some tension, where Blue (by far the best performance) poses some threat to the characters - that was what was completely lacking in the obsolete action sequences - any sort of danger or threat. We always know that nothing's going to happen to them - hell, they seem able to crash through a stone wall without a bruise.

Anyhow, I just want to say I didn't hate the movie. It was enjoyable, at some level. But it just failed at so many others. And as for the 'haters gonna hate', normally I'm all for Zack Snyder - I loved Watchmen and 300, and am very much looking forward to his Superman. But I'm just glad he's not writing the script.

Big Barney Ross/Bigger Trent Mauser wrote:I highly suggest seeing 'Sucker Punch', preferably while its still playing in cinemas; if not, then when it's out on DVD. But do see it.


I agree with this - it is undeniably a good cinematic experience (and certainly preferable to watching it on a DVD), and I would recommend going to see it purely for an highly interesting example of how a movie can have a lot of the right ingredients, and a superlative visual flair, but still utterly fail as a story, which when you get down to it, is what film is all about. The visuals should always serve to further the story.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Bigger Trent Mauser » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:34 am

Raziel4707 wrote:
Bigger Trent Mauser wrote:
Raziel4707 wrote:Yo dawg, I heard you like reviews of your reviews! So I reviewed the review of your review so you can read while you read while you read!


Haha, you're a real Gordo Granudo, man.


Thank you for confirming my theory, very much obliged. #smug


Listen kid, I don't know what goes through your head, nor do I want to know. I only know that you often get in the way of decent discussions with your incessant calls for attention. This time you misquoted an obvious Xzibit meme, so I decided to counter it with a meme on my own, as is common practice of teasing on the internet; indirectly saying that you shouldn’t be smug when you misquote a meme.

I don’t what kind of theory you’re talking about, and frankly I don’t care, but your attitude towards me is getting on my nerves lately. You’re constantly harassing me and Big Barney (BBR told me that you did this before as well), and you’re only getting away with it because of your friendly status with the admins and moderators on this board. If I knew that such action would to any good, I would have already reported you, but since they most likely won’t do anything about it I will settle with this public statement of dissatisfaction.

And now, I leave the topic to the people with something to actually say about movies they’ve seen.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby greywulf » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:44 am

Personally, I would have much preferred to have it all set in the brothel reality layer, and have that actually be reality, and for the film to just show the five girls trying to escape.


I would have preferred it to be set in the asylum myself, with the fantasy stuff only going as deep as the brothel, getting rid of the hyperreality fantasy level. I felt that that the action sequences, although well done, really distracted me from the film. The hyperreality would make a good dumb action film by its self, but it really felt wedged in for me.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Raziel4707 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:54 am

Don't worry, the mods and admins probably don't like me either. :lol:

It seems to me that the movie should convey its meaning for itself. If it does not do this effectively, it has failed in the communication of its message. The story as BBR pointed out is fairly clearly what the movie was supposed to do. However, if it does not do this, the viewer is not the one to blame, but the producer/writers/director most certainly are. A movie has to convey all of its value within the screen time it has, possibly leaving you with something to discuss with your peers on the way out through the lobby. It should not entail a homework assignment because it has sacrificed meaning and plot for flashy visuals and trashy content.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Squiggle » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:13 am

Bigger Trent Mauser wrote:I don’t what kind of theory you’re talking about, and frankly I don’t care, but your attitude towards me is getting on my nerves lately. You’re constantly harassing me and Big Barney (BBR told me that you did this before as well), and you’re only getting away with it because of your friendly status with the admins and moderators on this board. If I knew that such action would to any good, I would have already reported you, but since they most likely won’t do anything about it I will settle with this public statement of dissatisfaction.


I dont know what theory he is talking about either.

I actually had to look up what Gordo Granudo was.

Regardless, you can both pack it in, as of now. Take whatever it is and deal with it. I am thoroughly not interested in moderating your sniping.

Bigger Trent Mauser - Please, in future, report any issues. I don't know what biases you feel are in place, but I wouldn't be doing much of a job as a moderator if I allowed them to dictate my actions.

Thanks.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Pipitán » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 am

greywulf wrote:
Personally, I would have much preferred to have it all set in the brothel reality layer, and have that actually be reality, and for the film to just show the five girls trying to escape.


I would have preferred it to be set in the asylum myself, with the fantasy stuff only going as deep as the brothel, getting rid of the hyperreality fantasy level. I felt that that the action sequences, although well done, really distracted me from the film. The hyperreality would make a good dumb action film by its self, but it really felt wedged in for me.


Yes, having it in the asylum would have worked much better as well (the sheer interchangeability of the reality levels was a real problem, I think; from the asylum to the brothel, nothing actually changed, apart from the decor and the fact that the girls had to do some performing now and then. I honestly don't understand how it was an escaping-from-reality fantasy, when it removed none of the dangers and nastiness, and might even be worse, from some points of view). I only picked the brothel because that is where the majority of the real story - with the story twists and proper scenes actually happened. The asylum just acted as an underdeveloped bookend, and the dream-action sequences added nothing whatsoever to the story.

Definitely, had any of the dream-action sequences on their own been developed and made into the reality of a movie directed by Snyder I would go see it - I'd love to see a massive action extravaganza a la 300 set in the futuristic setting (those robots did look nice) or the steam-nazi one. They just felt utterly extraneous to this film, and a bit like Synder was thinking "hmm, there're only so many ways I can show off my visual skills in this asylum/brothel reality, what can I add..." I think that if a director has to resort to changing the setting completely to make a film visually interesting, he's kinda failed.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Insomniac » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:04 am

I haven't watched too many films lately, but:

Sucker Punch: A disappointment that I'm glad I didn't pay for. Just not my scene, I suppose.

Begotten: It's a film I love and try to watch every so often. The style is simply unmatched - and if you're not easily offended regarding religion, I highly recommend it.

Iconoclast: An expensive, but very informative documentary on the infamous Boyd Rice. Being a fan of his music - both during the noise and neo-folk stages - this was great. Well worth the money.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Big Barney Ross » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:16 pm

My comment of people 'not getting it' was aimed at those who bashed it outright, without explanation, stating the 'worst film ever' claims and other stupidities.

But indeed, Sucker Punch's plot was very basic and simple. In my opinion, it's no worse than 'Inception', which was nothing else than a heist film, where everything is laid out for us: "We'll do this to get there, from there we'll do that to get somewhere else, and then we'll do something again to get out." Furthermore, 'Inception' requires the viewer to seriously suspend his disbelief at the very beginning by simply accepting the fact that the 'dream technology' exists, without any explanations of how exactly it works. The dream layering itself - I mean, Nolan laid out the rules of engagement here pulling them out of his ass:

"Like, you see, there's dream layers, but you can only go up to three levels deep, and then you enter the fourth and final layer called 'limbo'; but here's the trick, you can't wake up from the limbo by simply waking up, or dying. If you do that, you only re-spawn in the limbo, without knowing you're dreaming, and then you can spend your whole real life trapped there. To get out, you have to become aware that you are dreaming, and then kill yourself to fully awake."

I mean, this is based on what? The writer's imagination. He conveyed his world, and made a film within the rules he set, just like Synder. And on top of that, there's also a serious plot issue* I have with 'Inception', explained below. However, this didn't bother me the least, and I enjoyed the film immensely.

Just as the people didn't question 'Inception' on every thing, they should give Sucker Punch the same treatment; the world is what it is because Snyder imagined it as such, and he followed his own rules strictly, not bending or breaking them. It could've been another world, differently conceived, but it isn't.

The action sequences... well, they were indeed gimmicks, but hey, without them this film wouldn't have been nearly as fun. But even them have little bits and details that are easily missed, and go a bit deeper. Do you recall how Babydoll killed her little sister? The bursting light bulb, the steam escaping from the ruptured pipe, etc.? The nazis are steam powered, and release steam streams when struck down, then she has to kill that little baby dragon, and the robots in the train shatter just like the light bulb. I mean, there's nothing special, but I like these kinds of details.

Snyder may have had a very simple material to work with, but he had certainly built around it with great care. It is full of symbolism, the unveiling of which no leading to some great revelations about 'the meaning of life', but it still is, to me, a well-rounded film. At least, his idea is based more or less on facts; it is well documented in psychology that people's minds can construct fantasy worlds to escape a trauma in real life. On the other hand, 'Inception' is based completely on a what if basis.

Again, nothing wrong with this, but it strikes me as very unfair that people are so willing to put Snyder down on every little thing, while raising Nolan to a throne despite 'Inception' being no greater nor smarter than 'Sucker Punch'.

* About the loss, or rather, non-loss of gravity in level three (The Snow Fortress).

Each dream level is connected to the next by a single link - Yussuf is the base, Level 1. Then, through Yussuf's dream, level 2 is plugged in via Arthur. So now we have level 1 connected to level 2. And finally, in Arthur's dream Eames' dream is plugged in, level 3, making a final level 1 - level 2- level 3 connection.

In such a connection, levels 1 and 3 are not directly linked, i.e. they communicate through level 2, right? Meaning, the only other world level 1 knows of (figuratively speaking) is level 2; in turn, the only world level 3 knows of (is linked to) is again 2.

I would understand if the loss of gravity in level 1 would reflect in decreased gravity in level 2, and went almost unperceived in level 3 because of the effect wearing off. But, a total loss of gravity in level 1 results in a total loss of gravity in level 2, and since 3 is only linked directly to level 2 it should behave just like levels 1 and 2 behave - in other words, the total loss of gravity in level 2 should result in a total loss of gravity in level 3.

Why doesn't it?
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Pipitán » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:40 pm

You make a fair point about the plot hole in Inception, which I hadn't before noticed, and in my opinion this sparks an interesting question:

Why exactly is it that, as a viewer, I didn't notice a plot hole in Inception, but any problems in Sucker Punch I definitely did notice and have disparaged the film for?

I'm not a biased viewer. I know neither Christopher Nolan or Zack Snyder personally, the very fact that I went into Inception with high expectations and Sucker Punch with low ones should mean that every flaw in Inception is more apparent and every problem in Sucker Punch overarched by the good things. But that's not how I reacted. I walked out of Inception thrilled and with my mind duly blown, marveling at the cinematic experience I had undergone, and as such any plot holes that existed I just didn't notice. On the other hand, I left Sucker Punch with no real feelings at all - I was impressed by the visuals, but the story and characters failed to affect me, so any other problems (such as gimmicky action sequences and one-dimensional characters were a lot more noticeable). In my opinion, Snyder didn't quite get the story to work, and so as I viewer I just didn't care what happened.

Spoiler: When Baby Doll sacrifices herself at the end, I felt no nothing more than annoyance as to why they both couldn't have escaped, seeing as the group of men were so clearly not watching the gate. But that's not the point.

Inception, on the other hand, just worked for me. The pacing was right, the story beats and twists came in exactly the right places, the climax had me riveted, etc. Now, I understand that this is a personal thing to me, and that you yourself did not find Inception to be so powerful, whilst Sucker Punch did work better for you than for me, and of course, film is a subjective thing.

But, you also ask why Inception was so well received and such a success, etc., and why Sucker Punch doesn't look like it's going to be (and has had a critical panning - I also can't see it taking in 800+ million in the box office, although it will earn back its budget for sure). I don't think that this is because of their respective marketing campaigns. I think that this is because Inception simply worked for more people than Sucker Punch is. The majority of filmgoers, from what I've gleaned, thought Inception was a very good (if not great) film. It looks like only a minority feel the same way about Sucker Punch, you among them, me not so much. Now, I'm not saying that minority is wrong, just that they do seem to be undeniably in the minority. I don't think that critics just decided to hate Sucker Punch and to generally praise Inception. It's not some big conspiracy, or unfair in any way.

It strikes me as very unfair that people are so willing to put Snyder down on every little thing, while raising Nolan to a throne despite 'Inception' being no greater nor smarter than 'Sucker Punch'.


In conclusion, I think that it's silly to call this unfair because that just makes no sense. I can't see someone walking out of the theatre going "I really enjoyed Sucker Punch, and if I was being honest I would wax lyrical about how good it is, but instead for no apparent reason I shall be unfair to the movie and decry it as not being that good." People raise Nolan to a throne because they enjoy his storytelling, and so are more willing to sweep more minor problems and issues under the carpet, whilst with Snyder his storytelling isn't as good, so people are more likely to put him down on every little thing, as you put it. I think Inception is as smarter film than Sucker Punch, despite its flaws, because it succeeds at wowing you with its story so you forget about the flaws. Sucker Punch isn't smart enough to do this. If the plot with them escaping was better done and more riveting, I'm sure I'd happily forget about the gimmicky nature of the action sequences. The whole point of films is to use trickery and other ploys to convince an audience that what they're viewing is real, and so get an emotional response through an inanimate reel of chemically altered film stock. This is not cheating or unfair. Spending lots of time developing a good story and using it to mask plot holes and other flaws is also standard practice and not unfair. It's just smart.

As I said though, I am very much looking forward to his Superman as I greatly respect Snyder as a director, just not as a storyteller/writer. With someone else's script he can do wonders - Watchmen being the case in point.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Big Barney Ross » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:51 pm

You definitely have a point here - if a film can immerse you so that you don't even notice it's shortcomings, then it is a great film, indeed. Well, as I've said, I loved both 'Inception' (seen it three times) and 'Sucker Punch'; I also respect Nolan for the fact he' one of the few directors who uses special effects in service of the story, while Snyder can indeed do the latter (like he, frankly, did with 'Sucker Punch'). But I don't mind simply because he does what he does so well, and at the end of the day, 'Sucker Punch' is more to my personal preferences that 'Inception'.

I would also like to address the issues you raised:

1. one-dimensional characters
I've mentioned it already, I think, but I don't think this was in fact a flaw. This time, I think it's Snyder paying attention to details. Bear in mind Babydoll was in the asylum for a very short time, no more than three days. In such a short amount of time, there was no chance she could've known the girls thoroughly. And more importantly, what we see (i.e. the film) is in fact her fantasy. As such, in her fantasy, she probably simply imagined the few basic traits of the girls (and quite possibly projecting some of herself into them). That's why they seem flat and undeveloped. Also, the developed characters - Dr. Vera Gorski and Blue Jones - were the ones Babydoll interacted extensively with. The first was her therapist, and the other her abuser. She came to know both of them in a more depth than the other girls.

Well, I could be wrong on this, and only Snyder know the real truth, but you can't deny it makes sense within the given context.

2. why they both couldn't have escaped
This is in fact hinted very strongly at the beginning of the film - that this was never really Babydol's story, but Sweet Pea's. This is mostly evident when the doc is about to lobotomize Babydoll, and then the scene switches to the Brothel and wee see Sweet Pea playing "Babydoll".

Now, consider the following: Babydoll's mother is dead, she accidentally killed her little sister, and on the outside the only thing that awaits her is a cruel and abusive stepfather. Surely, not a bright future whichever way you take it. Even though Babydoll's initial intention was to escape, by the end of the journey the term 'escape' for her meant something different: to atone for her own sins and misdeeds, she saw Sweet Pea as her way to redemption. She would help her escape from the asylum, because, she said, "[Sweet Pea] is the strongest of them all, and the only one that stands a chance out there". Babydoll's 'escape' (way to paradise) had become the very thing that prompted her to initially run away - the lobotomy. Lobotomized, she would forget about it all, and live "happily ever after" - forgetting was her paradise, her release.

So that's why they could've both escaped, but Babydoll chose not to. Still, she did escape at the end, only Babydoll's escape was of a different kind.

(also, the actual scene where Sweet Pea boards the bus and rides into the sunset is not what actually happened. That's just how Babydoll imagined Sweet Pea's escape looked like, proven by the fact that the Wise Man and the Boy Soldier appear in the scene as a bus driver and a passenger respectively)
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Pipitán » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:20 am

Your point about one-dimensional characters is interesting. Although I don't think that just because something is done intentionally it is therefore good (i.e. if a director decided to purposely make a bad film that doesn't stop it being a bad film), and the point that she only knew them for a short time is flawed because many films take place over an even shorter time period and manage to convey far more character development/dimensionalness, the idea that they're so one-dimensional because they're not actually real people, but Baby Doll's imagination, does strike me as making some sense, even if, in my opinion, it doesn't fully let Synder off the hook. Your theory that this is why Blue and Goreski are more developed and have more realistic depth also makes sense, if you look at it that way.

Still, this isn't what I got from the film when I was watching it - in my opinion none of this more subtle and deep stuff was conveyed well enough (if indeed it was meant to be conveyed), and if you have to read a review of a film explaining why it was good to get some enjoyment out of it then it's failed at some level. But I'm beginning to see much more why it is that the film worked for you.

Similarly, I find your insight that

Spoiler: Sweet Pea getting on the bus at the end

being just Baby Doll's imagination very interesting as well. Basically, you're saying that almost the entire movie was in her imagination, and this is something that just didn't come across to me as I watched the film (sure, I understood that the brothel and subsequent action sequences weren't reality and had been dreamt up by Baby Doll, but it never felt more than shallow excuses for Snyder to show off - there never seemed to be much reason to it so I kinda forgot about it and discounted it). So in a way, the fact that you like the film more than me is in part down to me 'not getting it', but I consider this to be the fault of the film rather than my own. If Synder had been cleverer in building up the depth and physiological aspects of the story I would definitely have enjoyed it more.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Big Barney Ross » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:35 am

I don't think that the entire film was in her mind only, being only her imagination; we can safely assume the Brothel world is a filtered version of the real world aka the Asylum, and as such it mirrors the events in the real world but in a different context. Since most of the film took place in the Brothel, it also means that many events that happened there were in fact metaphors for something else. Like, for example, Amber and Blondie getting shot by Blue. If that happened in reality, the police and Dr. Gorski would've surely known about a double homicide. Yet, Dr. Gorski mentions nothing of this to the lobotomy doctor when introducing Babydoll. But she does say that Babydoll stabbed an orderly (Blue), started a fire, and helped a patient escape (Sweet Pea). We (the audience) saw all of this in the fantasy world, but we also know for sure those events were real since Dr. Gorski mentioned them. However, we don't know in which exact manner they really happened because we see them in the Brothel world - a mix of reality and Babydoll's fantasy. That said, the "murders" of the girls were most likely metaphors for something else - my guess is likewise lobotomy (Blue's punishment for their misconduct). Being lobotomized, they have no further role to play in the escape plan, so to Babydoll it's as if they've died.

This actually reminded me of another film I really enjoyed - 'Black Swan', which was also told from the perspective of a mentally unhinged person (and thus unreliable in terms of asserting what's real and what's not).

And about the ending being in Babydoll's mind, I'm sure of it. It's even evident in the color scheme. If you noticed, the opening (in the real world, the Asylum) is all blue / black /grey, while the fantasy (the Brothel) is mostly orange / red / yellow. The ending is also in that fantasy color palette. And it makes sense: with Babydoll staying inside the Asylum there was no where for her to know how Sweet Pea's escape actually went.

To me, the plot of 'Sucker Punch' was clear the moment I walked out of the theater; it just somehow clicked instantly with me. The only aspect which took some after-thinking was connecting the little details - like the steam-nazis representing the ruptured hissing pipe, or the robots bursting in the same manner as the light bulb burst when the accident in which her sister died occurred, etc. And I know I missed out on more of them. Like these, for example, noticed by the author of the analysis in my earlier (the second link, which I again highly suggest reading):

» Babydoll doesn’t speak for the first 20 or so minutes of the movie. This gives you a feel of having all of your decisions made for you by people you distrust and dislike. Her first line is one of agency: “Let her go, pig,” with a knife to the cook’s throat.
» The “hero board” — the chalkboard they write on, that is — has a lineup of dancers in the ‘show’ on the other side. The names are in reverse order of their deaths. Foreshadowing!
» Babydoll’s real-world asylum uniform dress and brothel-filter dress are the same, to reinforce a) that one’s a filter of the other and b) that she hasn’t yet been ‘assimilated’ (corrupted by the orderlies) into the ‘brothel’ setting.
» Sweet Pea really is the ‘strongest of them all’ - in every fight scene, she is the only one to not take hits, unlike Babydoll and Rocket, for example. Not to mention she consistently saves Rocket’s ass, but that seems par for the course.


Well, not to dwell on this anymore and risk going around in circles, I see your points, they're perfectly valid and even though our opinions on the film are different, this was an insightful discussion, indeed.

Just one more thing... for those interested, here's a few other comments on the IMDb message boards I found interesting, offering altogether different views on the film:

(personally, I don't really buy into the rape theories, but they are intriguing; and the 'all the girls not being real and only in Babydoll's head' doesn't hold water for the fact that they [the girls] were there when Babydoll was admitted to the Asylum, and Dr. Gorski mentioning Sweet Pea's escape at the end)

The narrator is Sweet Pea, but the story being told is Baby Dolls. All of the girls are real, though they may also be mirrors for the internal conflicts that they represent, but more importantly, they are all real.

There are three levels in the movie. Reality (Asylum), Sweet Pea's Fantasy (Night club/whore house), and Baby Doll's Fantasy (The Awesome.)

The very end of the movie is Baby Doll's Fantasy Vision of Sweet Pea's escape (The bus sequence), this is because she doesn't know HOW Sweet Pea will get home, only that she is free (The bus driver, who is also the old man you see in all of Baby Doll's fantasies reflects this when he says "you have a long way to go.")

Essentially, Baby Doll is admited to the asylum and is injected into Sweet Pea's fantasy of the night club/whore house. Pretty much everything that occurs on this level are a mix between reality and fantasy, which is why some parts of the night club are really well put together and some parts of it look like regular dingy asylum.

And from this perspective the rest of the movie should be pretty straight forward.

The only other huge leap is technically we do not know WHAT happened in real life (asylum level) in several instances because we are (sort of) shielded from it through the fantasies. So we don't know what Blue did to Amber and Blondie. We know he didn't really shoot them in the head in front of the doctor. But he did something that rendered them void for the rest of the story.


Her dad tried to kill or rape her and her sister, so she tried to shoot him but accidentally shot her. Then we see her about to have the lobotomy, so she quickly imagines a world where she had help and the five girls were a part of her. Baby Doll was her physical self and Sweet Pea was her mind. She needed to find the five things in order to escape. The wise man told her that the final thing was a great sacrifice but also a great reward, so she had to give up her physical self in order to save her mind. (Blondie, Sweet Pea, Baby Doll could all be names her father gave to her if he raped her in the past. Just not sure about Amber...) Sweet Pea was shown to be taken away from all the evil and sufferings, and Baby Doll’s remained in her imagination for ever after the lobotomy.

The thing that doesn’t explain is when she dances she imagines a dream world beyond her dream. The fighting scenes showed her fighting back against all the evil and suffering she had lived through and maybe was going through. If it was music therapy or whatever it’s called then she was releasing all the suffering through her music, going to another world and fighting out her emotions.

If the rape theory comes into this, then she's being raped in the m.institution, as the men talk about not wanting to “hurt” the girls anymore at the end, so in her dream which is the brothel, the dances represent the rape.

So it was possible that at the beginning she had no one to help her, but when she first saw the girls I think that was before the lobotomy scene, so when she imagined the last few days these girls were her friends and they were helping her.

Plus, the song 'Army of Me' could be seen as literal...

If they weren't all one character then i believe Blondie, Amber and Rocket didnt die in the real world, they got lobotomized in the asylum.

Straight away, there are known facts which support this. For instance, Blondie and Amber die on the day that the High Roller is in the audience, which means he’s in the brothel, and as we know, the High Roller is the lobotomy doctor in reality.

When Sweet Pea says that everyone's died who have attempted it, they are in a dream world in the brothel, so it could be that their minds have died and their physical state is in the asylum, but they are, in a way, dead.
A lobotomy, also, would probably seem to Blue as fitting punishment for plotting escape - they planned, using the power of their minds, to reach paradise outside of the asylum, and so, as punishment, he ‘takes their minds away’.



You have two main choices, I think, in your interpretations of this film. And they are:

a) Baby Doll and Sweet Pea are separate and distinct. In this reading Baby Doll literally gets Sweet Pea out of the asylum. The fantasy worlds are metaphorical coverings of how she went about achieving this, with the real people recast in fantasy roles

or

b) Baby Doll and Sweet Pea are one and the same. In this reading the struggle is an internal one resulting in the Baby Doll persona sacrificing itself so that Sweet Pea can live on healed of the guilt she feels over the death of her sister.

The former interpretation suffers as it leaves lots of things simply unexplained and leaves you with the scene where Gorski neglects to mention the death of three girls you've just watched for over an hour.

The latter interpretation suffers from not really giving you a happy ending and forcing you to accept that many things are symbolic. It also means that people are pi$$ed off by symbolism won't like the movie and won't like you for liking it either.


the Dances/Battle scenes correspond to being Raped, something anyone who actually followed the film should understand easily. And he should be more clear that the Virginity is only accurate in her Brothel fantasy.


That she's being being repeatedly Raped is frankly the only thing about the film not debatable to me, and that some people are debating that is the one thing I would like seen him address in an interview like this, not give them more reason to cling to their delusion that the film isn't about Rape.

If anything her making herself a Virgin in the Brothel is only a further reaction to having her real Virginity forcefully taken away. In the directors cut the brothel fantasy ends with her having consensual Sex (Which the MPAA stupidity tire dot censor into a Rape scene) thus her replacing control of her Sexuality, the way many rape victims try to do.


I don't think she's being raped.

In the first fantasy scene she is 'attacked' and takes a beating but manages to defend herself. It seems at most the men settled on ejaculating on her. (her dodging the phallic objects)

In the second, it's a 'search' and she fights to find it and she chases after the map, finally getting it. In my view there is no sex in this scene but instead, she overcomes her fear of sneaking behind the back of Blue and the other orderlies and stealing the map. In this case her 'friends' save her and come to her aid just when she is about to be caught. Symbolising the various aspects of her personality working together to achieve their goal. She succeeds, she isn't hurt in anyway.

In the third scene, it's a sneaky mission. She needs to be sneaky and get the lighter. Although she succeeds she woke up the 'dragon' and needs to overcome him. I see this as a handjob or blowjob. (notice the dragon 'head' going through the arch)

Then in the last world, it's even more dangerous. Here she succeeds, but the costs are terrible. And I take that to mean she is in fact raped or almost raped. Just like she was 'almost' raped the first time in the asylum but managed to fight him off. She called out for help in that one and Blue helps her in the asylum world. He get's the cook off her.

But by doing this she's forced to grow up fast (Amber and Blondie being killed), but she manages to defend herself one final time with the knife.


ok so in the real world she got 5 days until the lobotomy which equal to five days to lose her virginity and innocence in the brothel world. At the end she realize she wants to get lobotomized cose it will give her peace and its pointless to escape cose her mom and sister are dead and nothing is left for her in this *beep* up world, so in the unrated version the fifth day comes and the second she is getting lobotomized is the second she's losing her virginity in her dream world, it's the sex scene they took out...and she's gonna have sex passionately cose in reality she WANTED the lobotomy more than anything, that's why the doctor is surprised by the looks on her face when he lobotomizes her.


Well, to conclude this lengthy post of mine: 'Sucker Punch' really left a great impression on me, from all standpoints: the story, the visuals, the music, etc. and I can't wait for the DVD to see it again.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Raziel4707 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:20 am

This is very interesting, from all sides.

However:

1) Spoiler tags. For the love of crap, when I read a review I am considering buying a ticket to watch it. This forum lets you spoiler tag with a click of a button, so please do.

2) All the sex in the movie. That's awesome, a unique and intelligent way of looking at that issue and the plot of a fairly great story. I'm an avid student of human psychology, so I'm well aware that man and all of his/her foibles can be heated up in a fractional distillation system and reduce to money, entropy, sex and fart jokes. But if all of this flashy imagery is, in essence, nearly two hours of pixelated cocks thrusting endlessly at a bunch of hotties, and we're supposed to realise that, then what manner of irresponsible pillock allowed this to have a 12A rating?

3) The reviewer from Barney's second link obviously has a great deal of insight into the movie. Kudos! But what's this?

Spoiler:

In the directors cut the brothel fantasy ends with her having consensual Sex (Which the MPAA stupidity tire dot censor into a Rape scene) thus her replacing control of her Sexuality, the way many rape victims try to do.



Their level of understanding isn't based on having seen the same movie that Greywulf saw. They've seen the director's cut, which was one of the issues identified by Grey's original review. So Snyder may have created a great movie that makes perfect sense when seen as his original vision, but that's not what the cinema going masses are getting to see. They're seeing a poorly edited, watered down version. It's fine doing a review of something with a lot of well informed notions based on a thorough examination of the complete work, but that's like reviewing a full manuscript when everyone else is reading an abridged, pasteurised version of it.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Pipitán » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:49 am

I don't think that the entire film was in her mind only, being only her imagination;


I phrased that wrong - I meant every we see is only a filtered version of reality, via Baby Doll's mind. Eg. the beginning where she tries to shoot her stepfather feels very much like how a traumatic event would be remembered - focus on unimportant details (the button and bulb, etc.), not clear exactly what is going on.

Oh, aye, we've probably gone as far as we can with this discussion - neither of us seem likely to change our minds - interesting though it was.



Other Films I''ve Seen This Week (not including Source Code and Sucker Punch):

Hellboy

This is a bit of a strange one. I think that Pan's Labyrinth is a masterpiece, but Del Toro doesn't quite get this to work, in my opinion. Ron Perlman is fantastic, and the creature effects are amazing, but the story really leaves something to be desired - it feels very by the book, if not completely formulaic, and the main villain is utterly forgettable. I very much liked the villain's main henchman though - very cool/scary clockwork nazi type fellow. I have similar feelings about this as I do about Hellboy II (which for some reason I saw before this one) - lots of good things, but it doesn't quite add up as a great movie. It is a shame Del Toro isn't doing The Hobbit, though, and I am very excited about his upcoming At the Mountains of Madness project - his work seems Lovecraftian enough as it is, but this will hopefully be beyond awesome.

The Big Lebowski

This is one of the few Coen brothers films I haven't yet seen, and although it's not quite up there with Fargo, No County for Old Men and Miller's Crossing, in my opinion, it's still a breathtakingly enjoyable movie, and the actors look like they're just having so much fun. I love the concept of an utterly lazy guy thrust into a modernized Chandler plot, although The Dude isn't the most active protagonist, it makes for some hilarious scenes. The plot is very convoluted and doesn't really hold water, but that is the whole point. And the dialogue is fantastic.

Roger Dodger

This is a highly interesting film, that I very much recommend. A low-no budget indie, it has very few locations and no money shots or stunts or anything really - all the scenes take place in cafes or bars or parties, and the main sequence is just four people having a conversation in a night club. Nevertheless, it's riveting all the way through, thanks to the superlative acting from Campbell Scott and Jesse Eisenberg (in his first major role), and the incredible script. I've rarely seen dialogue so fast and smart (in fact, it reminded me very much of The Social Network, in that regard, coincidentally).

Howl's Moving Castle

This is yet another of Hayao Miyazaki's films that simply blew me away. The sheer scale and magnificence of the ideas and visuals on display in every frame is near hypnotising. Admittedly, the story isn't quite up to scratch with Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro, but there are so many things that make up for it I never really minded. It's also hilarious when you realise Batman is voicing Howl (Bale even goes all growling at one point).
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Raziel4707 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:22 am

Hellboy

This is a bit of a strange one. I think that Pan's Labyrinth is a masterpiece, but Del Toro doesn't quite get this to work, in my opinion. Ron Perlman is fantastic, and the creature effects are amazing, but the story really leaves something to be desired - it feels very by the book, if not completely formulaic, and the main villain is utterly forgettable. I very much liked the villain's main henchman though - very cool/scary clockwork nazi type fellow. I have similar feelings about this as I do about Hellboy II (which for some reason I saw before this one) - lots of good things, but it doesn't quite add up as a great movie. It is a shame Del Toro isn't doing The Hobbit, though, and I am very excited about his upcoming At the Mountains of Madness project - his work seems Lovecraftian enough as it is, but this will hopefully be beyond awesome.


Those two movies do have the unfortunate tang of missed opportunity about them. Thought the second one was a distinct improvement though, interesting going for elves of all races!
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Pyroriffic » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:26 am

Pipitán wrote:Howl's Moving Castle

This is yet another of Hayao Miyazaki's films that simply blew me away. The sheer scale and magnificence of the ideas and visuals on display in every frame is near hypnotising. Admittedly, the story isn't quite up to scratch with Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro, but there are so many things that make up for it I never really minded. It's also hilarious when you realise Batman is voicing Howl (Bale even goes all growling at one point).


Howl's tantrum scene is my favourite thing in that entire film.

I enjoyed the adaptation of the book, but I would dare to say that I think the book is actually better. Have you see Porco Rosso? That's another very good Ghibli product.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Eremite » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:24 am

Pipitán wrote: It is a shame Del Toro isn't doing The Hobbit, though, and I am very excited about his upcoming At the Mountains of Madness project - his work seems Lovecraftian enough as it is, but this will hopefully be beyond awesome.


Project was cancelled. Del Toro's trying to get a new studio to pick it up, but odds aren't great - it's HP Lovecraft, so there are no romantic subplots and no happy endings. Pretty damn hard sell. :(
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Pipitán » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:57 am

Pyroriffic wrote:
Pipitán wrote:Howl's Moving Castle

This is yet another of Hayao Miyazaki's films that simply blew me away. The sheer scale and magnificence of the ideas and visuals on display in every frame is near hypnotising. Admittedly, the story isn't quite up to scratch with Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro, but there are so many things that make up for it I never really minded. It's also hilarious when you realise Batman is voicing Howl (Bale even goes all growling at one point).


Howl's tantrum scene is my favourite thing in that entire film.

I enjoyed the adaptation of the book, but I would dare to say that I think the book is actually better. Have you see Porco Rosso? That's another very good Ghibli product.


No, not yet (is that the one set in WWI with a pilot who's been turned into a pig? Or am I completely wrong?), I've only very recently discovered Studio Ghibli (and japanese animation in general) as a cinematic entity, and have only seen five or so titles. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is next on my lovefilms list, but Porco Rosso shall doubtless arrive at some point. I can't seem to get enough of this stuff.

Eremite wrote:
Pipitán wrote: It is a shame Del Toro isn't doing The Hobbit, though, and I am very excited about his upcoming At the Mountains of Madness project - his work seems Lovecraftian enough as it is, but this will hopefully be beyond awesome.


Project was cancelled. Del Toro's trying to get a new studio to pick it up, but odds aren't great - it's HP Lovecraft, so there are no romantic subplots and no happy endings. Pretty damn hard sell. :(


Damn. That's really saddening. I had heard that it was off the cards, but in January got finally green lit (with James Cameron producing and providing the special effects tech), but now I see that indeed it has been officially killed off. :(
It’s genius. This story absolutely BLEEDS 40K, start to finish... I freaking loved it.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Bane Of Kings » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:37 pm

The last film that I watched was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One, and frankly, I can't see why they bothered splitting it up into into two parts other to make money. Also, the majority of the film (about 99%) of it was in the dark, so that made it very hard to watch especially with the sun setting whilst I was watching it.

The only good things I enjoyed was the ending bit, and the bit with the

Spoiler: Deathly Hallows, told by Hermione where the three brothers find the Deathly Halllows

. It's also nice to see that they stayed very true to the book.

Favourite Quote:

Spoiler: *After Luna has called Dobby "Sir"*

Dobby the House Elf: [talking about Luna Lovegood] I like her very much.



Rating: 7/10.

Not the best of the films, in my opinon the Third one stood above the others, and I'm hoping the second part will be better.
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