Well, maybe not a knockout, but better.
To follow up from my previous post, it was everything I expected. A friend asked if it was as bad as everyone has been saying and all I could tell him was that it made love to my eyes, insulted my brain and ignored my heart – the best way I can combine of thoughts from both friends and critics.
However, I was entertained.
My biggest problem with Sucker Punch is that with some editing and rearranging, it could have been a much better movie. Rather than rip it apart like most have been doing, I have some ideas of how the movie can be salvaged:
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
1. Start with the brothel
That’s right, ditch the whole beginning. The movie should have started when Babydoll shows up at the brothel with Blue and the priest. I would have preferred badass call girls turned heroes rather than mental patients turned badass call girls turned heroes. And though it has been done before, I would have rather found out she was actually in an asylum at the end.
As for her back-story, it could have been told as a flashback or a series of them. Speaking of backstories…
2. Tell the other girls’ stories!
Why was Babydoll the only one who got any sort of backstory? I found Rocket and Sweet Pea’s story to be much more interesting. What happened with their family? Why did Sweet Pea follow Rocket? I want to know how they ended up there. I wanted to know how they ALL ended up there. To me, Babydoll, despite being the mastermind behind the plan, was so ho-hum about everything, even in her fight sequences! I think it should have been less about her and more about the 5 of them coming together to break free.
I don’t even know if the other girls’ stories exist. Judging by the dialogue, the script was probably no longer than an Entertainment Weekly. But if I had my way, they’d release their backstories- Rocket and Sweet Pea, Blondie, Amber and Madam Gorski — in a series of webisodes and on the DVD.
3. Put some fighting spirit into Madam Gorski
Madam Gorski was an interesting character that didn’t get the chance to shine that she deserved. Â I really wanted her to stick it to Blue. Yes she did by having him arrested in the “real world”, he mercilessly executed Amber and Blondie in less than 10 seconds, I wanted her to just lose it on him. She didn’t seem weak when we first meet her, but by the end she seemed unexplainably broken. Something was missing there.
4. Being taken away by Jon Hamm? Sound pretty awesome to me!
If you’re going to have a character that is supposed to represent The Big Evil, don’t cast Jon Hamm as that character. Babydoll spent 5 days trying to escape before being given to Jon Hamm’s High Roller. I feel like if she knew whom she was trying to escape from, maybe she would have felt differently. Someone get her the first few seasons on Mad Men on DVD ASAP.
Are you listening Mr. Snyder? There is still hope!
Why can’t some movies just be for fun?
I see more and more movies I enjoyed getting torn to shreds by critics. It’s not because I have bad taste in film; it’s just that I set my expectations accordingly. Is it so bad to occasionally just want to sit back and not have to really think about what’s going on on screen?
Why does a film have to be visual stunning, expertly cast, and executed to perfection with a completely engaging and original plot for us to consider it a “good movie”? Why can’t it just have one of those things done well?
This by no means means I am content with mediocrity. I’m just saying not everything has to be “OMG AMAZINGLY SUPER WICKED EPIC!” Things can be just “good” or “fun” and that is OK.
What brought this on was Sucker Punch, a film I plan on seeing tomorrow getting panned. The reviews I’ve been reading add to the questions above. What did the critics expect? From the trailer, you can tell that plot is not the shining star of this film, in fact, I’m not even entirely sure what the movie is about. What I am sure of is director Zack Snyder’s ability to create a multi genre mash-up infused with his signature slow-motion action sequence style. And that there will be an abundance of gorgeous starlets with big BIG guns. To the best of my knowledge – I will confirm tomorrow – that is what you get. My eyes can feast upon the screen and my brain can just chill for a bit. It’s been a long week anyway.
I’m not expecting to have my mind blown with thought provoking questions I will dwell on long after the credits have rolled. I simply intend to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
To be continued…
Taking a break from my not-so-short articles on SXSW, zombies, and puppets, I wanted to share a couple things I came across this week. Both are amazing to me in totally different ways.
Yesterday, thanks to Mashable, I discovered the following video. The incredibly talented Nick Pitera is not only a YouTube singing sensation but also a Pixar animator. This dude is LEGIT.
From the lighthearted to the heavyhearted. Out the tragedy and devastation in Japan, comes the story of Hideaki Akaiwa (pictured below). Akaiwa, a resident of Ishinomaki in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture, was one of the thousands of people who lost everything in the earthquake-tsunami one-two punch Japan was dealt a couple weeks ago. But that didn’t stop this man from throwing on SCUBA gear and searching his submerged home for his missing wife. I’m completely serious. Keep in mind, the water is still rushing in. There parts of houses and cars being dragged by the surge, and there is pretty much no visibility and this guy is swimming through it to find his wife of 20 years.
SXSW really did prove to be beneficial! My iReport I posted recently got picked up my Mashable today!
Is it just me or have puppets been slowly creeping their way into the mainstream lately? I originally wrote this in late January, but at the time, no one else saw the pattern. Well, today, Ford has announced a new “spokespuppet” for their new Focus campaign! Do you believe me now?
Puppets have been used in movies, TV and advertising for decades. Let’s not forget the Pets.com sock puppet dog (voiced by none other than Michael Ian Black) or for you history buffs, Danny O’Day and his dog Farfel in commercials for Nestles back in the 1950s.
Don’t get me wrong; puppets never really left the public eye. Sesame Street has been on for 41 seasons. But with anything in pop culture, their popularity ebbs and flows. Lately I’ve noticed a resurgence of more and more felt-covered friends.
Now, a brief history of puppets over the last decade. It all started with Comedy Central’s prank calling show “Crank Yankers” which debuted in 2002. The brainchild of Adam Carolla, Daniel Kellison and Jimmy Kimmel, the show featured the comedic talent of Tracy Morgan, Sarah Silverman and Kevin Nealon. And then there was Weezer’s music video for their song “Keep Fishin’” featuring the most famous puppets of all: The Muppets. Shortly after, the smash hit Avenue Q made the jump to Broadway. Then in 2006, a comedian by the name of Jeff Dunham came onto the scene with ventriloquist skills and a variety of characters. Again, puppet loving Comedy Central would not only air his specials but for a brief time, gave his own TV show.
Advertising hasn’t been sitting out on this trend either. First Zappos decided to use puppets to portray their dedicated customer service representatives in ads last year. Recently, Band-Aid and Neosporin teamed up for the “Squeeze and Stick” campaign. The commercial and corresponding website feature five- cute-as-can-be characters that represent the 5 signs of healing. There is even a song, complete with a demo karaoke style so you can sing along too.
I am going to place the influx of puppets in mainstream media on one man: Jason Segel. 2008′s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” introduced us to “Dracula: The Musical” and from then on Jason Segel and puppets became synonymous. Segel took it to the next level and decided to go big: doing another Muppets movie. The stakes and the excitement are high. Entertainment Weekly recently proclaimed, “The new Muppets movie can’t come out soon enough”.
But why puppets? We can do so much with digital animation; don’t puppets seem a little dated? To answer my own question, absolutely not! Puppets bring back memories from the days before CGI rained supreme, when characters seemed more “real”. Their creation was an art form all in itself. Think of the master of all things puppet, the late Mr. Jim Henson. Where would be without his skill, his art, and his iconic characters that have stood test of time? Honestly, which Yoda do you prefer: Empire Strikes Back Yoda or Yoda from Episode I?
In a world full of CGI, 3D and animation, it is nice to have something tangible to hold on to.
This was my first trip to SXSW and my first work conference. My only prior conference experience was Comic Con, which I think actually helped prepare me for the insanity. I went to panels and parties. I talked to lots of different people about everything from apps to social media. These are my top 5 takeaways from the whole shebang:
1. Social Media is this year’s Mobile.
2. That iPadâ€¦so hot right now. No, seriously, I did not see another kind of tablet the entire conference.
3. In Austin it is totally acceptable to have a full beard and a scarf on an 80 degree day.
4. Having a great moderator is one of the keys to have a great panel. A perfect example was Bob Garfield during “Brand Journalism: The Rise of Non-Fiction Advertising”.
5. The true value of SXSW comes from talking to people face to face rather than being online the whole time. In an industry where most of us spend the better part of the day in front of a computer, it is a great opportunity to meet with other professionals and discuss the latest tech trends.
This fall, the living dead will be invading your TV. Consider yourself warned.
Fresh off the success of the first season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, other networks are looking to cash in on the gory phenomenon. Are zombies the new vampires?!
The CW, who has successfully done the “vampire thing” with it’s hit show Vampire Diaries, is looking for the next big pop culture trend to exploit. I mean, explore. Currently in development, The Awakening takes place during a zombie apocalypse. Two sisters, whose back-story has not been released (probably because it isn’t even written yet), will square off during the turmoil. And the latest news from the scene is that the aforementioned sisters have already been cast.
When I first heard the CW was taking on one of my favorite horror icons, I was concerned. But then again, the CW (back in their WB days) also brought us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so the undead is really familiar territory for them. And Vampire Diaries has actually surpassed my expectations. They include as much gore as I think you can show on network TV before 11pm. It’s no True Blood, but it is a thousand times better than Twilight (queue the backlash).
Even NBC is getting involved. Their new show is entitled Zombies vs. Vampires brings in both ends of the living dead spectrum. However, in researching the plot for the show, I was sort of disturbed by the description; a “fun buddy cop procedural.” Apparently, within the police department, there is a special unit dedicated to “zombie crime”. The team is led by the aforementioned “buddy cop” duo, one who is secretly a vampire <insert lame joke about working the night shift here>. Another interesting tidbit about this particular version of the zombie apocalypse is that zombie-ism is controllable by medication and they are able to be part of society.
I don’t know how I feel about this show. The premise seems fun and campy, like Shaun of the Dead, but it could horribly, horribly wrong. I also wonder how detailed the zombies can be on NBC. I’m fairly confident they will be nowhere near was decayed, decomposed, and terrifying as the ones on Walking Dead. If you have seen the Halloween episode of Community, I’m guessing it might be more along those lines. If that’s the case, it will be pretty tragic.
Pilot air dates have yet to be released but I am still turning my zombie loving attention to The Walking Dead, as long as they get their writer situation squared away. For those of you with your doubts after season one, let me explain. Season one corresponded with volume 1, issues 1-6. Since Robert Kirkman was not sure the series would be picked up, he rushed through quite a bit and the first volume was thin, which is why there was a lot of added material in the show. However, fans of the comics know that the story really picks up after that. I’m up to volume 4 and I’m really hoping they stay true to the source material. If they do, viewers are in for a thrilling treat.
Which zombie themed show are you looking most forward to?