Sucker Punch – Broke-Ass Movie Review

This was a complete mind-trip. Seriously.

Sucker Punch (2011)
Starring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens and Abby Cornish
Written by: Zack Snyder and Steve Shibuya
Directed by: Zack Snyder

Synopsis (courtesy of imb)
A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility.

This warranted two trailers:

Review:

I’m going to upfront with you. I cheated. Babygirl and I were sitting here watching it and within the first half-hour, we were looking at each saying WTH? I made the executive decision to look up the plot online. Usually when I try to do that, my daughter is right there with a “That’s cheating, Mom” but given the fact that we were both confused as hell, it was okay (point for me :))

My daughter and I both think that Baby Doll is beautiful.

After being falsely accused of murdering her younger sister, Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is locked away in a mental institution. Her dear step-daddy makes an arrangement with the head orderly, Blue, for her to have a lobotomy. Blue forges Dr. Gorski’s signature in order to make this happen. He’s a nasty bugger, that guy.  That was the part I got to before it all became a complete mind-warp.

When Baby Doll went to her first alternate universe, I wasn’t expecting it. I asked my daughter if this was the same movie. She told me she was about to ask the same thing.  Then we wondered if this was based on a video game but its not.

Anyhoo, in this alternate universe, Baby Doll envisions the nut-house as a bordello, her co-patients (for lack of a better word) as dancers, Blue the orderly as a pimp and Dr. Gorkski as a dance instructor. (Confusing, right?)

From L to R: Baby Doll, Blondie, Sweetpea, Amber and Rocket

Baby Doll wants to escape but she doesn’t know how. She ends up saving Rocket (Jenna Malone) from being raped by the Cook. Baby Doll is then invited to join the other dancers. Actually, she doesn’t have a choice in the matter because Blue the Pimp has other ideas. Dr. Gorski tells Baby Doll that she’d better dance like her life depended on it. While Baby Doll does her sexy dance, she goes to her second happy place which is set in Japan.

I know.

Stay with me, okay?

While there, she meets the Wise Man (Scott Glenn, whom I simply adore) When she tells him that she is trying to escape, he gives her a list of things she must gather in order to do so: a map, fire, a key, a knife and a fifth one which is unrevealed at the time. He then gives her a cryptic warning, some bad-ass weaponry and sends her on her way. This isn’t the last time she sees the Wise Man. Her journey to freedom has only just begun.

Baby Doll and her posse are slicing, dicing and plugging bullets into any and everything. One minute they are jumping out of airplanes, the next cutting open a dragon’s throat. You see World War 1 infantry men battling against some Robo-cop-looking thing that soars into the sky with Baby Doll hanging off the end.  There’s a train ride into the sunset with the planet Saturn just over the crest of mountains and Nazi Zombies are thrown into the mix as well. These girls are hardcore (I hate the term “Kick Ass Women”, its been used to death). The fight scenes remind me of the Matrix films and I’m sure that its a subtle nod to them.

I know this sounds crazy but once you figure out what’s going on, the movie is actually one that I would watch again. Aside from the initial confusion of where the plot was going , the storyline is not bad but it is the imagery that makes it. It’s simply brilliant. I wouldn’t have thought up half of what I’d seen to try and make it into a short story let alone a movie.  I don’t know if this is a result of a week-long drinking binge or what but I tell you, it works. Set in the 1960s, Sucker Punch is  a wild mixture of sci/fi, fantasy, steampunk, with lots of action and violence.

The opening song was a haunting rendition of Sweet Dreams which set the tone for the rest of the movie. I have to confess, the last soundtrack CD I bought was for Sleepless in Seattle.

Oh, shut up 🙂 That was a pretty good CD, lol
As much as I loathe today’s music, I am definitely putting the soundtrack for Sucker Punch on my To-Buy list. Its that good.

I’ve read several reviews where there were complaints about the lack of plot, the degradation of the female characters in that they were dressed to either fuel the school-girl fetishes of sick men or to cater to the fan-boy demographic only. I’m neither one so I don’t give a rip about that. If I had to stop and think about all the movies I’ve seen where women were either scantily clad or cast as the typical too-stupid-to-live blonde bimbo, I would drive myself crazy.

Yes, the young ladies are definitely beautiful and look sexy in their costumes but when’s the last time you’ve seen a group of bad-ass women fighting and doing what they did dressed in Versace with Steven Madden shoes?  Oh please. I tell you, if I looked like them, I would run around in a corset and fishnets, too.

What was important to me was the message that the director, Zack Snyder, was trying to convey. In my opinion, it was pretty simple: You have the tools needed to make a change. Use them.

And that’s exactly what they did.

4 stars ****

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Pirates #4: On Stranger Tides – Broke Ass Movie Review

Ahoy, mateys ! Shiver me timbers! Arr Arr Arr and other unintelligible gibberish from the upper deck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge.  That’s about all I can do for my pirate imitations without having something to drink. I would really let it rip then :). Lemme get this other stuff out of the way first and then I can tell you what I think of this one.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, and Ian McShane
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Written by: Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio

Synopsis (courtesy of imb):
Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.

Official Trailer:

I’m not too sure how to review this installment. I’ll give you a brief run-down and please forgive the butchering along the way. Just so you know….

There be SPOILERS ahead 🙂

Jack knows how to get to The Fountain of Youth. His old nemesis, Barbossa, is now a “King’s Man” and wants to get to the fountain as well. Then there’s the hunky-looking Spaniards that have their own plans in the works. Jack politely refuses (in his own special way) and escapes the way only Jack can.

Rock God Keith Richards (if you even HAVE to ask, just leave NOW!!!) makes another brief appearance as Capt. Jack’s dad, Captain Teague. He’s slurring his words and looking like he just came off a six-day bender as usual (I love it!) Daddy dispenses some fatherly advice to “Jacky” and disappears. I mean, seriously, if you fart, you’ll miss him.

See what I mean?  The Six-Day-Bender look 🙂

Anyhoo, Jack meets a woman from his past, Angelica, who has secrets of her own. After a  beautifully choreographed sword-fight, Jack finds himself aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge. It didn’t help that he was knocked out while sexy Angelica was pumping him for information. Outraged, he confronts Angelica about kidnapping him and nearly has a fit when he finds out that her daddy is Blackbeard himself.

No one has actually seen Blackbeard so Jack attempts a mutiny and nearly succeeds when the fearsome pirate makes an appearance. One guy even tries to jump overboard but Blackbeard wasn’t having it.

Oy vey! Oy vey!

Blackbeard is a real nasty bugger. He has some kind of voodoo thing going on, he’s got zombies cracking the whip on the crew and has no problem fire-roasting one of his hapless crew members for some perceived slight. I don’t know, but our buddy has some serious issues.

My favourite part of the movie, however, was the appearance of the psycho Mermaids aka The Pussycat Dolls with fins.

Oh, it started off all sweet and innocent. This one was singing her pretty little heart out. The others were coming up from the deep sea, enticing the men with their come-hither looks and potent sexiness.

She’s so pretty and innocent looking…yeah, right 🙂

“By God, I’ll have it said that Scrum had himself a kiss from a PROPER Mermaid!”

Yeah, good luck with that, Scrum, lol

By the way, I gave Disney permission to use my image for this one:

It was all sooo (insert sarcasm here) romantic but they quickly came out of their Little Mermaid bags and showed their asses big time. I just loved this part, for real!

These things had FANGS and would throw some kind of  sea-weed web stuff like Spider Man. They were flipping through the air, pulling men overboard and just acting like the true gangsta bitches they really were. They even tore down a full ship, showing the rest of the crew who ruled the seven seas. King Neptune taught his little girls well, that’s for damn sure.

The whole scene was way too short! I would love to see a movie on just them alone.  Can you imagine? Chicken of the Sea, my ass. These ladies don’t mess around.  Click here to see the little bit of the damage these sea-wenches can do:

Mermaids Gone Wild!

There were some parts of the movie didn’t make sense to me, like the budding romance between Phillip, the young clergyman and Syrena, the mermaid. What was the reason for their storyline? Besides being attractive, I didn’t see the point of them.

Phillip and Syrena aka Boring and Boring-er

Do they really think women need a sappy romance in a pirate movie to enjoy it? Hell no! Bring back those crazy sea-strumpets! I don’t know, maybe the powers that be thought to invoke some swoon-worthy moments a la Will and Elizabeth. Besides, towards the end, Syrena and Phillip did the kissy-kiss and she pulled him  underwater anyway, dragging him to the deep. Um…okay. I thought it was an obvious “okay-let’s-get-rid-of-these-two” moment.

Shoot, I thought Jack and Angelica had more than enough sizzle to satisfy the romance craving viewers anyway.

Barbossa has plenty of reasons to be pissed.

Blackbeard, we hardly knew ya 😦

Barbossa and Blackbeard had some unfinished business. Sure, Blackbeard took Barbossa’s ship, lopped off his leg and whatever else he might have done, but I think the powers that be really shortchanged the audience. I would have liked to have seen more interaction between them or better yet, a movie on Blackbeard by himself. I mean, how did he get the voodoo? What about his adventures? So many unanswered questions *sigh*

Overall, the movie was okay. I mean, they could have done more with it but they played it safe. They left the ending open for a possible fifth installment.

Would I see a fifth one? Damn right.

As long as Johnny Depp wants to play Jack, I’ll be right there.

3.5 Stars