Blu-ray Review: SUCKER PUNCH
To call SUCKER PUNCH a film about female empowerment might be stretching the meaning of the term just a little too far. On the other hand, to call it a mindless CGI trip with some female eye candy brandishing guns might be nailing the film for what it is. What’s funny about both of those statements is that they are both the arguments a viewer might use when deciding whether or not they like the film. Love it or hate it though, SUCKER PUNCH is a film worth watching, as there’s going to be something for almost everybody to enjoy in this film.
The film tells the story of Baby Doll, a beautiful girl who’s had a very bad week. After her mother dies, despite the fact that she and her little sister have inherited a lot of money, they are still at the mercy of mistreatment at the hand of their greedy stepfather. One night, in an act of self-defense, Baby Doll accidentally kills her sister and is then placed in the insane asylum where the bulk of our story takes place. This particular insane asylum partakes in the archaic practice of lobotomizing their patients, along with many other misdeeds that aren’t allowed in today’s correctional facilities. Baby Doll is given the advice to create her own world in order to not feel any pain, and this is what happens during our battle sequences. Whenever she begins dancing, Baby Doll transports herself to a world where she and her other prison-mates band together, clad in school girl outfits, to battle physical manifestations of all the demons they face on a daily basis.
The premise may sound ridiculous and a little insane - and it is. But that notwithstanding, the fact remains that these fantasy sequences are Zack Snyder to their core. Slow-mo shots, explosions, weapons, etc. - it’s all there and, for Snyder fans, this is all welcome material in a film of his. The Blu-ray itself doesn’t have as many behind the scenes extras as could be beneficial to aspiring filmmakers, or enough interesting features for those who really enjoy seeing the ins and outs of a movie being made, but it does offer a decent amount of things to keep fans of the film interested.
Official list of extras below:
Sucker Punch: Animated Shorts: Here there are four shorts that are included - "Feudal Warriors," "The Trenches," "Dragon" and "Distant Planet" - These are actually the same promotional motion comics that came out before the film's release. They each provide a backstory to the fantasy sequences that appear in the feature film. They don’t flesh out the fantasy sequences as much as it appears they will, but these are nonetheless very beautiful to look at.
Behind the Soundtrack: The music is one of the aspects that is very prominent in the film. The mash=ups here all very clever and, in this feature, Snyder and music arrangers, producers, and composers Tyler Bates and Marius De Vries all take a moment to discuss the soundtrack.
Extended Cut: Maximum Movie Mode: SUCKER PUNCH may not include many special features but, for once, the seldom-important Maximum Movie Mode offers up a lot of important information and is worth the watch. Zack Snyder's Maximum Movie Mode video commentary is just that good. When done well, Maximum Movie Mode can prove to be an extremely worthwhile feature on a Blu-ray, especially one as comprehensive as this one. Zack Snyder has a good on-screen presence when he very enthusiastically goes into every detail in the film, at times to an almost minute level. In addition to the extra 17 minutes of footage, this mode will end up making for a more complete film than you might have seen in theaters.
Movie Grade: C+ A solid effort does not a great movie make, but it does make for one that has some great moments, and is certainly worth a look. Who knows, you might really like what you see.
Blu-ray Grade: B+ It's more of a statement of quality over quantity for this grade. What little there is to offer makes up for a lack of wealth of material.
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