When I first saw the trailer for Sucker Punch I was interested. I’m a guy so… Then when the release date was imminent I started reading the reviews and the film was almost universally panned. I thought, “Oh well. Maybe I’ll catch it on TNT.”
A while later I stumbled upon a video by Movie Bob of escapistmagazine.com about how some people don’t understand the meaning of Sucker Punch. As a fan of Bob’s I was intrigued as to what his take is. I don’t always agree with him, but I do respect his intelligence. He proclaimed that the film was actually pro-female, and had a lot to say about feminist theory.
I started to have a bit of a rethink. Then I started Googling “Sucker Punch pro feminist” and came upon a rather large number of articles and blog posts, such as the one at lunalindsey.com that said pretty much the same thing as Movie Bob. This was far more than mere coincidence–this was a full blown pattern.
My rethink turned into curiousity.
So, I bought it on blu-ray since it contains both the extended cut and the theatrical versions. As I watched the film I started to see what everyone was saying–the critics missed the boat.
First of all let me say that the extended cut makes all the difference in the world. I won’t spoil it for you, I may do a spoiler filled review later, but the theatrical version is missing a key scene, and one scene isn’t shown until the credits. There are some that say that by moving the scene to the credits it kind of puts a definitive period on the film, and I can see what they are saying, however I prefer it in the main body of the film. That being said, I read a recent interview with director Zack Snyder where he said that he wants to release his original cut of the movie, and I for one want to see that. Make it so, Warner Bros.
I was one of those people who grew up watching Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on TV. I already had a love of movies and they pointed me in the direction of many independent, foreign, and smaller films that I would never have heard of. For that, I will be eternally grateful.
As I got older I started searching out other critics and film criticism. I learned a lot about films and film theory. I admit that most of it went over my head, but I tried to learn as much as possible.
I didn’t always agree with the critics, but I trusted them. If they liked something I didn’t, or vice versa, they usually had a well thought out reason.
Sometimes all the critics would seem to love a film and I would watch it and sit there scratching my head. Such was the case with The Cook, The Theif, His Wife & Her Lover. Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video guide says this about the film: “This parable about love, revenge, and, most of all, greed is both funny and horrifying–and right on target.” I’ll take your word for it, Leonard.
Back in the Ninties there was a term called “crit rock.” It was used as a term for critically lauded artists that had poor record sales. It almost seemed as some of the critics were chiding the public for not recognizing the genius that they all seemed to see. I’m not saying that popularity equals excellence, it fact it almost always equals mediocrity. What I am saying is that I don’t like being lectured to.
You see it in book criticism as well. Someone is always proclaiming something as “The novel of our time,” or some other such nonsense. It seems like they all say the same thing and no one wants to swim against the tide. I’m not one to go with the flow, but if something is good I will say so no matter what the general concensus is.
Critics by nature are intelligent. Well, most of them are. They tend to be college educated in whatever field they are reviewing. Me? I’m just another idiot with a blog. Why should you listen to me?