Movie Review: Sucker Punch

The Five Badass Chicks from the Movie Sucker Punch

Sorry it’s been so long but I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. In those weeks, however, I had enough time to take a break and watch a movie I’ve been wanting to see since I saw the first preview. If you don’t know what movie I’m referring to, you might want to reread the post’s title. I guess I’ll start with the positives.

Well I have to say that I absolutely loved the movie [except for the ending, but I’ll get to that later]. It was an interesting sci-fi flick with a group of girls that can seriously kick CGI butt. The storyline is interesting, the outfits are interesting [especially for heterosexual men, if you catch my drift] and the effects are amazing. I guess I could give a basic plot summary as well, so if you haven’t watched it and don’t want it to be ruined, look away.

A young woman [later referred to as Baby Doll] is sent to a mental institution by, what can only be called, her evil stepfather. Once there the movie starts into her dream-like sequences where she is in a brothel and has to dance for men so they can choose her to do the deed with. However, she is being saved for a rich man who will come for her in five days [in the real world her five-day deadline is for her lobotomy]. So she devises a plan to collect five items in order for her and her new friends to escape. Her friends are listed in the picture, names under the corresponding girl. I won’t give up how the movie ends just yet, that’ll come later.

Alright so that’s the basic plot and I have to say that I liked the way it was done, but it was definitely flawed. First of all, while this might not be a bad thing, the movie gave me this sort of anime vibe, especially Baby Doll’s character. Throughout the movie she wears her hair in pigtails, wears short little skirts [yes, even in the snow] and gives off this overall cutesy, anime feel. I really don’t know how to explain it, it’s just one of those things that you have to be familiar with anime clichés and patterns in order to understand what I mean. Also, the movie is quite repetitive after the first 45 minutes or so. Once they create the plan to gather the items you can predict what will happen next. The girls sit with the man who Baby Doll is distracting with her supposedly mind-blowing, amazing, sexy dance moves. I say supposedly because we never see her actually dance. Instead we go into her mind and see that while she’s dancing she’s really thinking of incredibly detailed missions where she and the other four girls must retrieve the item. These moments are a nice release from any suspense the film has created. That may seem like a good thing to those watching the movie [as it first did to me] but after the first two or three missions you find yourself losing interest in the movie and especially those fantasy missions.

Now on to the characters, although I could add more above I’ll spare you the rant. The people in this movie are incredibly one-dimensional. Meaning that they never really develop. You learn a bit of background on Sweet Pea and her younger sister Rocket but even that’s a little vague on the details. You learn nothing about anyone’s personalities, history, thoughts, feelings, desires nothing. The four supporting girls are little more than minions that all share one thought: to leave the ‘brothel’ where they are held prisoner. I like to watch the characters of a movie develop. Sure, maybe not everyone [like the evil stepfather and, obviously, Baby Doll’s little sister] needs to be developed, but the five main protagonists? I think they should be. Also the villain can be summed up in three words: creepy but unthreatening. He’s played by Oscar Isaac which if you’ve ever seen a picture of the man, he’s not that scary of a man. He’s pretty small and the only time I’d ever fear him is when he had a gun in his hand, which happened once so overall, not that bad. Creepy and annoying? Yes. Making me shake in my slippers? No.

Finally I come to the ending. In a nutshell: it made me really, really angry. After I slept on it I realized that while it was still lacking, I understood why everything happened, happened. So again, spoilers so you know, shield your defenseless eyes now. Oscar Isaac [or Blue as he is named in the movie] lives instead of dying when Baby Doll shot him [which I knew would happen because she only shot him once in the shoulder before running away. You think she would have learned after letting her evil stepfather live but I guess not] Although Blue is arrested, it’s only after he lobotomized Baby Doll so it kind of cancels out his arrest. Yeah, you read me: Baby Doll gets lobotomized because she sacrificed herself to let Sweet Pea live. Which also bothers me; why is the only survivor of this entire plan the girl who didn’t even want to go through with it in the first place. Baby Doll mentions how only Sweet Pea would have been able to live normally in the outside world. I must say, that seems like a load of bull honky because everyone else would have done just fine. So the entire mission was in vain because four girls had to die [or in Baby Doll’s case, become brain-dead] for one girl to live.

That is a less angry [although still bitter] version of my initial reaction. After thinking about the ending I’ve come to realize that while I still don’t like the ending, it’s not as terrible as it seems. Baby Doll wanted out of the asylum but realized that only one could successfully escape and that she had nowhere to go, so she decided to let Sweet Pea escape because she still had parents she could go to. So instead of live with the horrors of the asylum she was glad to be lobotomized in order to escape into her own world. So in the end Baby Doll was ‘set free’ and Sweet Pea was able to live her live normally. So although the ending made me both sad and angry, I can at least understand why everything happened, even though I don’t agree with it. Would I watch the movie again? Maybe, depending on what kind of mood I am in and if I’m prepared to feel terrible when it ends. Again. Well anyway that’s my [incredibly long] spiel about the movie Sucker Punch. Now you know how I feel about it and maybe got a new perspective that you didn’t think of before. Speaking of which, feel free to tell me yours in the comments. As always, new opinions are accepted with open, enthusiastic arms. Adios!

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Aren’t haunted attractions supposed to be scary?

In Lancaster, PA I went to one of those scary, haunted walk through things with two of my friends and I must say that I experienced a large lack of fear. I went to one called Jason’s Woods because it looks pretty good according to the website, and maybe it was. I get scared really easily and I expected to have the wits scared out of me but was pretty disappointed when that didn’t happen. I’ll list what I did with the $25 Three Show Combo.

First everyone went to The Grand New Jason’s Woods Theater  where we listened to a woman speak for a short amount of time then watched a video with a preview of what we would see. The video is compiled of the videos under the Photo/Video Gallery section at jasonswoods.com in case anyone reading would like to check it out.

After that we exited the building and went straight to the Haunted Maze, which looked pretty scary by the entrance. Of course once I saw that the woman checking our ticket was a little old lady, I melted. I can’t help myself around sweet old people, I always find myself minding my manners and telling my friends around me to do the same. She was super nice and had on a witch’s hat which I found funny because even though this was supposed to be a scary attraction, she didn’t try to scare us. Anyway, I digress. We went through and one of my friends (who I’ll call by my nickname for her instead of her actual name) was in front. Little Hamster (yeah that’s her nickname, don’t ask it’s a long story) was pretty much leading the entire group of 20-30 people because everyone but her was too scared to go first. At one point there were only two ways to go and both were pitch black. I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. So Little Hamster, Gretchy (my other friends nickname) and I asked if anyone had a flashlight. One man had a bright cellphone but refused to go first. We mentally facepalmed; here was a large man who would survive much better than my group if anything dangerous happened (which obviously wouldn’t) and he was too scared. Finally Little Hamster got impatient and just went, with me grabbing her jacket hood so I wouldn’t get lost and Gretchy doing the same to me. Behind us we hear screams and the sound of Freddy Krueger snipping his scissorhands but we were far from it. Finally, like a bloodhound, Little Hamster gets us out of the maze and much to our surprise, we were first. Mind you, we are small women and the fact that we beat out the multiple strong men that we left behind, made us (and by us I mean Little Hamster) feel pretty good about ourselves. We laughed and said a few celebratory words and went on to the next attraction.

We stopped at the Haunted Hayride. Being born and raised in the concrete jungle I had never been on a hayride before. So I was a little wary but when we sat down, backs against the side and legs stretched out, I immediately liked this better than the maze. There was no chance of me getting lost and for me walking around is scarier because I don’t know where I am going. Add that to the fact that when it comes to fight or flight I am 100% flight, it doesn’t make a good combination. Anyway, we were driven around and it took a long time for the first stop to come, which was just some hillbilly character yelling at us. Then we moved on, drove for a while, stopped, and more characters yelled and ran along the sides shouting and getting in our faces. But the thing is, they weren’t scary, just a bit obnoxious. Also, there was a group of girls who ranged from about 8-10 or so. They were incredibly scared, they rolled around in the hay to get away from the character while everyone else just watched and laughed. Except for two teenagers sitting next to me who, while not as obvious, were a bit scared too as one could see because they sat in the middle, not the side. So the characters aimed for the young girls and teenagers because no one else gave appeared to be scared. If you just laugh and act calm they’ll move on to people who are easier to scare and that’s exactly why my friends and I were overlooked. At the end of the mostly soothing ride (although there was a strobe light room and that was extremely head-ache inducing) we got off and went to the Barn of Terror.

Okay I’m sorry but I am so done with describing everything and the last two attractions, Barn of Terror and Pirate’s Revenge, are so similar that I’ll just simply summarize. You walk around into different rooms, people pop out to yell at you, and you eventually make it out. Now it was pretty dark in both and that led to me running into walls and focusing so much on where I was going that a few times I missed when people popped out, only knowing someone had when I heard Gretchy scream. The Pirate’s Revenge was pretty cool, though, because we were given 3-D glasses, which made the walk through really disorienting. Also in the pirate attraction there was an all black room with neon colored dots everywhere and in it is a man wearing an all black suit with the same dots on them. So he blends in and Little Hamster ran into him, causing her to scream for the first (and last) time that night. So to recap, was I scared? No. Was Jason’s Woods scary? For a lot of people, yes, just not for me. Did I have fun? Most definitely.

P.S. sorry it’s so long, I kind of got carried away. But I was there for a few hours and there was a lot to talk about. I’m sure I’ll be back to my 300-500 word posts in no time 🙂

People These Days

This might be a somber subject for a lot of people but I feel like it needs to be addressed. This morning a substitute teacher in the school district where I live turned himself in for sexual assault. Told you it wasn’t the most pleasant of subjects. Well people all over the town (I know it was a town-wide conversation because I live in one of those small, ‘everyone-knows-what-you-did-five-minutes-after-you-did-it’ kind of towns) were talking about it and it seemed to be more of a piece of gossip than a serious event. For example I was in a gas station and I heard three teenage girls talking about him and they were trading stories. The weird thing was when one girl finished her story, another would try to one-up her. For example, one girl said after another girl’s story, and I quote: “Oh my God, that sucks! But you won’t even BELIEVE what happened to me…” then proceeded to tell a story about how she swears he was staring at her butt as she walked away from his desk one day. Is this what serious news about people you know has come to: gossip one uses to get more attention and sympathy from their peers?

I don’t know, maybe I’m reading too much into it but it seems really disrespectful to those closely involved. I never knew the family personally but obviously they had close friends and relatives; my little brother is friends with one of the man’s sons for Christ’s sake. To those people this isn’t just a story to tell your friends to seem “in the know” it actually happened and has changed their lives forever. In all of the conversations that I’ve sat through, listening to my friends drone on about what happened, not even once did I hear anyone mention the seriousness of the situation and how hard this must be for his wife and their children. The fact that he was a married father of three didn’t matter to them, the effect it was going to have on his children; who are 9 and 15 so they are quite young and impressionable. No, they didn’t care. And maybe it’s not terrible that they didn’t care.

I’m not saying that they should have to feel compassion for those involved simply because they went through a tragedy, I understand. I mean, it’s not like I feel terrible for the soldiers and they’re family members every time I hear about the war in Afghanistan. But I think it’s because I’m not close to anyone effected by the war. So maybe those who are being insensitive about this man aren’t closely related either. Well I think I just came full circle about this whole issue. I apologize for seeming so wishy-washy about this situation but this blog is sort of like my diary, where I work through my thoughts and try to reach a solution or come to peace with them. I really do believe that people should be more considerate about serious situations like this one, but I guess I can see where they wouldn’t. Anyway this was a bit of a depressing post. No wonder no one reads my blog. haha if you do come by this feel free to comment with your own opinions, I appreciate different perspectives [which I’m sure you got from this post]