March 28, 2011 | 1:34 p.m.
What are we to think of “Sucker Punch”? The movie did not do well this weekend — it finished second to the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” sequel, which suggests that Zack Snyder’s film was far more sucker than it was punch. Worse, the reviews of the film were crushing and many of them went after Snyder himself although they couldn’t agree if he is an art director pretending to be a filmmaker, Hollywood’s cynical hack of the moment, a derivative dullard or, worst of all, the man who put a nail in the coffin of strong-woman action movies. Much of the debate (and the consternation about Snyder’s sinking stature even as he takes on the Superman revival) points to the presentation of women in “Sucker Punch” and to help you make up your own mind we bring you a photo gallery above with […]
March 25, 2011 | 9:38 a.m.
Welcome to the madhouse. We’ve thought for months that “Sucker Punch” would be the most divisive popcorn film of the year, and it hasn’t disappointed on that front. The reviews are all over the place — mostly not friendly — but Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times says the surreal, sexed-up adventure is one she wouldn’t have missed for the world. A quick excerpt from her review: Some will see the worst sort of objectification in its Victoria’s Secret-esque femme front line that also includes the scantily clad corps of Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung. Others will argue that “Sucker Punch’s” sexy guerrillas represent female empowerment, to say nothing of the benefits of diet and exercise. I’d suggest the film is a wonderfully wild provocation — an imperfect, overlong, intemperate and utterly absorbing romp through the […]
March 23, 2011 | 5:08 p.m.
It was mid-afternoon, but it had already been a long day in the trenches. The huge, drafty soundstages of the Vancouver Film Studios were frigid from the December winds outside, but Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone and the other stars of “Sucker Punch” were sweating through an intense combat scene, fighting undead World War I German soldiers who seemed to be part zombie and part steam-driven automatons. All of it made perfect sense to Zack Snyder, the writer (with Steve Shibuya) and director of the dark Warner Bros. fantasy adventure that hits theaters Friday with a surreal tale of multiple realities that speaks to Snyder’s passions and influences — Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil,” video games, “Pink Floyd the Wall,” the sexed-up sci-fi of Heavy Metal magazine, anime, music videos, “The Wizard of Oz,” the “Star Wars” films and probably five dozen other things. […]
Jan. 16, 2011 | 1:46 p.m.
Most of the special-effects films of 2011 are easy to describe — they are sequels, prequels, reboots, remakes or adaptations of novels, comic books, toys or television shows. Others are simple enough to describe in the shorthand of Hollywood math (“Real Steel” = “Iron Giant” + “The Champ“). Then there’s “Sucker Punch.” Warner Bros. and writer-director Zack Snyder are coloring well outside the lines with the March 25 release, and the filmmaker is pleased that his movie can’t be summed up in a single tidy sentence. “It absolutely is a point of pride, but it’s also a challenge when you start working on something that doesn’t have a lot of reference in it,” he said. “It’s difficult for everyone to get a footing. But there’s an immersive effect too, and it’s super fun and rewarding to see it happen.” The […]
Jan. 09, 2011 | 9:10 a.m.
Hero Complex writer Rebecca Keegan looks at the new challenges and opportunities for teen heroines in cinema in a comprehensive piece just published in the Los Angeles Times, “Teen girls in film showcase true grit.” Here’s an excerpt that will be of particular interest to Hero Complex readers. Traditionally, one of the barriers to teen female protagonists driving anything but romances has been the conventional wisdom in Hollywood that such characters alienate male audiences. That didn’t seem to be a problem for the Coens’ “True Grit,” however. Though the PG-13 film is built squarely around Hailee Steinfeld’s performance, its marketing emphasized its male stars, and “True Grit” has brought in more than $86 million at the box office so far on the shoulders of mostly male moviegoers. Ideally for filmmakers, these heroines don’t turn off men and entice women and […]
July 27, 2010 | 1:03 a.m.
At Comic-Con International, I moderated nine panels — yes, that is excessive moderation — and none of them had me more intrigued than “Sucker Punch.” As I told the crowd in Hall H, the convention is the place where fuses are lit for certain cinematic firecrackers — “Iron Man,” “300“ and “District 9“ spring to mind — and if I had to predict which “unknown quantity” might fall into that category this year, I’d say “Sucker Punch.” It arrived in San Diego as a wild card and now, with this trailer, it’s positioned as one of the most audacious films of 2011. Some people will find the trailer below dizzying and confusing; others will see it as the promise of a vivid brand of liquid calamity of video games, anime and sci-fi adventures. — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED “Sucker Punch” amps up […]
July 24, 2010 | 11:22 p.m.
Zack Snyder, perhaps best known as the director of the musclebound movie “300,” is getting in touch with his feminine side with “Sucker Punch.” The movie, due out in March, is based on an original script that Snyder co-wrote with Steve Shibuya. The concept, which had been germinating for eight years, involves five girls who use their imaginations to escape an insane asylum, Snyder told the audience Saturday afternoon at Comic-Con. As with “300,” the movie features hyper-stylized fighting sequences in which the female characters — Baby Doll, Amber, Sweetpea, Rocket and Blondie — slash, hack and kick their way past horrific monsters and lecherous men. Snyder drenches the movie in a sepia tone similar to “300,” but adds a splash of the burlesque, a dose of steampunk and a whiff of Nazi Germany to the movie’s fantastical settings. “Women […]
July 21, 2010 | 4:38 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE It’s official: Zack Synder, the director of “300,” is going back into battle on the side of the ancient Greeks — and Frank Miller. “We closed the writing deal on ‘Xerxes.’ We started writing about a week ago,” Snyder said, referring to his script work with “300” collaborator Kurt Johnstad. “So we’re doing it. It’s happening.” Snyder has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. (which is taking his 2011 film “Sucker Punch” down to Comic-Con International in a big way this Saturday) and the presumption is that Snyder will direct this film, but that’s not a done deal yet. “It’s really going to depend on what the studio wants to do and what we do when we finish; I don’t have a directing deal in place but we are writing it, so call it intent,” Snyder said with a chuckle when I visited his […]