Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sucker Punch

There has been a lot of discussion in my circles lately about Sucker Punch, which I saw this weekend, and I want to express my opinion too. Before I get into too much detail, let me state upfront that that this was NOT an awesome flick that should be applauded by all, but just that it can be enjoyed and may be worth your time and money if you know what you're getting in to. I personally rate it a 7 out of 10. For comparison, my rating for Watchmen is 9 and Transformers a 4.

I bring up Transformers because it is an example I use for comparison. Many critics have said that Sucker Punch fails to provide a deep story or interesting characters and relies heavily on action sequences. That is how I feel about Transformers -- even though there are characters you are supposed to relate to and possibly a story you should care about, I just didn't get all that. To me, Transformers was just a bunch of great special effects tied together with a shoe-string story where the audience can smile and eat their popcorn. This is not necessarily a bad thing because I really enjoy a simple, action-filled popcorn movie from time to time.

And in many ways, this is probably a big reason why I did enjoy Sucker Punch. The action sequences made me smile, even though I could see that the special effects budget was limited (Some sequences looked about a decade behind). But where else are you going to see one film that has Nazis, undead, orcs, dragons, androids, and girls kicking ass all in one place?

Yet there was enough of a story that resonated with me personally that helped me get into the film. Being female, I often feel an inner struggle between the contempt at being idolized physically and a desire to embrace sexuality. Keep in mind most of the story we see on the screen is actually the inner mind of one of characters, which I felt characterized this womanly struggle. However, one of the draw-backs of the movie is that only by paying very close attention do we get any clue of what happened in the 'real' world versus what is just going on in someone's head. I think much of the audience has confused what was supposed to be fantasy with what should be considered real. A better written screenplay might have distinguished the multiple 'worlds' more clearly to the viewer. If you can successfully separate the story elements, I think it makes for a more enjoyable experience.

Finally, I think it is helpful to know going in that this movie has some very dark and depressing overtones, similar in my mind to Saving Private Ryan. There are lots of struggles along the way; in the end things are mostly happy, but there are many defeats as well. With a war movie like Saving Private Ryan, your expectations are correctly set ahead of time that allow you accept a certain amount of cringing and crying. However, I don't believe that Sucker Punch sets itself up appropriately for a similar amount of tragedy. You have been warned.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vacation for Fun!

So one of our first big trips this year was to PAX East in Boston, MA. I have a few pictures to share: PAX East 2010.

Yes, I know this site has been quiet for awhile. Work has kept me busy, but I intend to change things soon.