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Sucker Punch - Blu-ray Movie Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

Sucker Punch - Movie Review


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5 Stars

The film opens upon a closed stage curtain.  Slowly, the dull curtain opens to reveal a lone figure on its dusky stage.  With back to the audience, Sucker Punch – hiding what it truly is - begins its dreamlike trance with a web of slow-motion back story arcs centered on a character referred to an only Baby Doll.  It’s not until over halfway through the film that director Zack Snyder reveals his magician’s hand:  Gold Diggers of 1937.  Yes, the Warner Bros film from 1936 known for famed choreographer Busby Berkeley's extravagant production numbers is the key to understanding and appreciating the imminent front of pure cinematic art that is Snyder’s Sucker Punch.

And that’s only one of the countless sucker punches delivered by this mega-sized fantasy – a film that isn’t without its flaws but, thankfully, rises above those mistakes to be something of avante-gard value.

Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is a fresh arrival to the Lennox Home for the Mentally Insane.  Bleach blonde with pouty lips and constantly flushed cheeks, she’s every bit the innocent in the crime that has been committed to send her to Lennox (note the nod to Annie Lennox here).  In five days she will be lobotomized by the doctor (Jon Hamm), and those days pass quickly.  Getting out of her immediate and dull gray surroundings is the plan.  How she accomplishes this great escape – with the help of Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), and Amber (Jamie Chung) – is the first sucker punch.

Some of you will not follow the first narrative shift delivered.

Some of you will throw your hands up in the air with confusion.

Some of you will get it and roll with it (and thank god for you) but – believe it or not – gears shift and we are inside behind the scenes of an all-girls burlesque stage show directed by Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino) and ruthlessly managed by Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac) who is well-positioned to gain a lot of money in a short amount of time from Baby Doll’s phenomenal dancing.  Yes, “dancing” is how Baby Doll copes with the idea of being held captive and lobotomized.  This is her fantasy not yours.

And then she “dances”…with dragons, orc-like goblins, zombies, and shiny Tron-like robots that will dazzle your mind and rattle your seat.  Guided by a Wise Man (Scot Glenn), Baby Doll goes toe-to-toe rocking the senses of her male audience with her gyrations.

Yet, Baby Doll’s dancing is really only an excuse for director Snyder to deliver the finest dystopian-themed vision of the mind to ever be catalogued on the silver screen.  Held next to Terry Gilliam’s finest work, Sucker Punch finds its companion piece in the universe of the altered mind.



And even deeper within.  Still, you can’t take your eyes off of Baby Doll.  Until she delivers the final sucker punch…

Snyder’s mix of fantasy and femininity throughout the film (and his use of mirrors as catharsis) makes him one of the brightest young directors to establish their mythos so quickly upon the public’s consciousness.  Love him or hate him, Snyder brings his A-game to every outing.

This is Snyder’s fifth film and it is easy to see that his cinematic style has earned him the title of top visionary.  There are few directors like him.  Yes, the slow-motion violence and over-the-top swordplay and stunts are there, but how they are handled in the context of the film is simply phenomenal - making the ballet of Black Swan look like Kid Time at the Forum.  Graceful and brutal, the choreography of this film is operatic and grandiose.

And still…

Sucker Punch will have its detractors.  In fact, this review might be one of only a handful you read giving it a soaring review.  Why?  Because it’s an uneasy film and definitely relentless in its synthesized poetry of grace and sleaze; the women are babes and the men are pigs.  We aren’t use to this degree of imagination in our films.  Just as Edgar Wright’s beautiful Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was unable to find its audience, Sucker Punch will have its core audience and no more; an instant cult classic.

Cheeky and schmaltzy at times, Sucker Punch gives you everything you aren’t expecting from the film.  Bold and eye-popping, its visuals will leave your tongue unrolled and lapping up the gunk on the theatre’s floor.  Some will howl.  Some will drool.  How indeed do you market this type of cinematic brilliance?  You can’t.  It’s unabashedly full-throttled and intense, a Pussycat Doll riot girl-in-prison film not seen since the glory days of Jack Hill and Roger Corman.

Sucker Punch will leave you unprepared.

Deal with it.  Hopefully, you can better than the ratings board…


{2jtab: Film Details}

Sucker Punch - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language.
: Zack Snyder
: Zack Snyder
Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung; Carla Gugino
: Action | Fantasy | Thriller
Memorable Movie Quote:
"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."
Warner Bros. Pictures
Official Site:
Tagline: A mind bending vision of reality from the director of Watchmen & 300.
Release Date: March 25, 2011
Own it on Blu-ray:
June 28, 2011 - Close your eyes. Open your mind. Engage in a spectacular fantasy adventure when “Sucker Punch” arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download June 28th from Warner Home Entertainment Group. From critically acclaimed director Zack Snyder, “Sucker Punch” is a visually stimulating suspense ride about a girl and her unbelievable journey to freedom.  The Blu-Ray Combo Pack includes an action-packed Extended Cut featuring an additional 18 minutes of footage and an immersive Maximum Movie Mode hosted by director Zack Snyder.

Plot Synopsis: Sucker Punch is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, but her incredible adventures blur the lines between what’s real and what is imaginary…with potentially tragic consequences.

{2jtab: Blu-ray/DVD Review}

Sucker Punch Blu-ray Review

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
5 Stars

5 Stars

Blu-ray Experience
5 Stars


Blu-ray Review:

Available on Blu-ray - June 28, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Three-disc set (2 BDs, 1 DVD); Digital copy (on disc); DVD copy; Bonus View (PiP); BD-Live
Playback: Region Free

Blazing off the television and hopping right into your lap are the badass babes of Sucker Punch. Packing a dynamic wallop of beauty and color, this 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer is a piece of pop art. It’s dynamically sound with bright colors and heavy details reveal the absolute perfection of this transfer. The cityscapes are sleek and imaginative in steely blues and grays and skin tones are smooth (by Snyder’s design). Clarity is pure and the sound, provided by a rich DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, as another thick slice of heavenly delight. Warner Bros have outdone themselves with the quality of this release.



  • Found in the Maximum Movie Mode on the Extended Cut of the film, Snyder’s commentary is exhaustive and (a bit) rebellious.  It’s clear he is proud of Sucker Punch and, while thankful for those who share his passion for the project, defends his extended cut with multiple picture-in-picture video commentary.  It’s a great commentary with wonderful information on how each minute shot was composed.

Special Features:

There aren’t a lot but after the exhaustive Maximum Movie Mode, it simply doesn’t matter.  Snyder’s commentary is so complete that there’s basically nothing left to cover about the film except its soundtrack.  The motion comics that compose the backstory for each of the four girls are fun and a welcome addition to the blu-ray release.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Sucker Punch Animated Shorts (11 min)
    • Feudal Warriors
    • The Trenches
    • Dragon
    • Distant Planet
  • Behind the Soundtrack (3 min)
  • Sucker Punch Extended Cut (128 min)
  • BD-Live Functionality
  • Digital Copy


{2jtab: Trailer}



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