Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Consider Me Sucker Punched

"Babydoll, do you believe they'll catch you when you fall?
And when morning comes the sun is gonna shine
Don't forget your minor keys, your half lit cigarette
'Cause when morning comes, god knows that you'll be mine"

Babydoll (2008) by The Fratellis

This year, I got my ass kicked, and I'm all set to get sucker punched in the next.

Watch this trailer, and then tell me that you don't have an immediate gut desire to want this movie to be released
right now,

It demands to be watched in 1080p HD!

I first heard about Sucker Punch last year right after the Zack Snyder directed Watchmen came out, and I've been struggling with my geekish hunger for more details - any details - on the film. After seeing 300 in 2007, I became a fan of Zack Snyder's stylistically-exaggerated approach to filmmaking, his mindless fidelity to source materials and his great eye for composing action sequences. And I am of the opinion that the surrealistic narrative of 300 was justified by the fact that the whole story was an embellished account told by a Spartan to his mates to get them fired up in meeting the Persians in the subsequent Battle of Plataea. To date, I have loved (not just liked) every Zack Snyder film I've seen and I admire him almost as much as I do Christopher Nolan - in spite of the popular opinion of most snobbish film geeks everywhere that Mr Snyder murdered cinema. There is nothing inherently wrong with movies which prioritises style over substance and I like them as much as I like deep, thinking-person films. Heck, I've even been known to love movies for how bad they are. I like to think I'm having more fun than most people.

The gist of Sucker Punch is this; a girl, only known as Babydoll for the moment, was institutionalised in a 1950's bedlam house for the sexily insane by her wicked stepfather. She cope with her situation by deluding herself into thinking she's really living in a fantasy world filled with World War I German zombie soldiers, B-52 bombers, combat mechas, brothels and fucking dragons. She plans to escape from that imaginary world by stealing 5 objects within 5 days with the help of her equally hot, equally schizo fellow inmates - before she is lobotomised in the real world. Zack Snyder have described it as "Alice in Wonderland with machine guns".

Now, up until last week, there wasn't a single image and footage to be had anywhere - and then Comic-Con 2010 happened at San Diego, California. The very first look we got was a scanned picture from the Entertainment Weekly mag's preview issue of the convention,

Mag scan
My pants immediately exploded.

Then, the fan-bait embargo was lifted and a slew of over-photoshopped character posters soon followed along with pictures of some props and maquettes which were on display at the Con. The battle mecha with the freaking pink bunny rabbit decal on it instantly guaranteed this movie to be a fuck-awesome fest to me (and if anyone can tell me what the Chinese characters on the mecha says, I'll be ever so grateful!).

Next to filter to me were eyewitness reports of the first ever footage of Sucker Punch shown publicly at Comic-Con - and everyone who have seen it said that it was "indescribable" and "incomprehensible", but in the best possible ways. It generated an insane amount of buzz surrounding the film, and I wanted to see it so bad that it almost made me wish that I'm American. But before I could slip into clinical depression, Warner Bros. have responded to the massive amount of attention Sucker Punch was garnering and released a teaser trailer online - the same one I've embedded above in this post.

Two frames blew my mind away. This one in a windswept, snowy courtyard made me fall in love with Emily Browning all over again. It's the hair, I tell you, the hair! You must, must, must see it in living motion!

Windswept Anime Hair
Well played, sir. You've somehow won over a fan that's already won here, Mr Snyder.

Then there's Emily Browning (Babydoll) taking on what looks like a 20 feet tall samurai automaton wielding a giant gattling gun. I have no idea what the fuck is going on here but I'm loving the shit out of it!

Baby Doll versus Samurai Bot
The hair, the sailor schoolgirl uniform, epic over-the-top fights and the katana; is this... an anime?

My first reaction was to call the girlfriend up and make her watch it too. She wiki'ed the movie first and found that Vanessa Hudgens is in it, and was immediately determined to hate it. I told her, "Watch the trailer first, and if you still aren't interested in this film after that, I'll cut my balls off." True story.

I stayed on the line as she skeptically followed suit to humour me and at first, she must have loaded a wrong video on YouTube because she was completely unimpressed. I helpfully offered, "If your mind isn't blown within the first 30 seconds, you're watching the wrong video."

Anyhow, she finally managed to see the right one and when I asked her what she thought of it, she quietly said; "I want to watch Sucker Punch."

Sucker Punch is going to be the first original film Zack Snyder's making that isn't a remake or an adaptation, and I like to see him quash the reputation he has of being a director "without a single original idea in his head". And I hope he sticks to being the style-over-substance auteur he is but I'm not necessarily in opposition to him making Sucker Punch a visually stunning, fetishistic and sexploitative yet cerebral film at the same time. I just think the brainy stuff would just take time away from Zack to make me go "ZOMG!" and "HOLY SHIT!" with every other scene. If you've seen the trailer, it has what Inception is acutely anaemic of: pure, untethered imagination with absolutely no respect for realism or logic. The anime and video game visual influences are undeniable, and that is not a bad thing, people!

And while my favourite young actress is Ellen Page, I consider Emily Browning to be the absolute cutest, and I've liked her since seeing her as Violet Baudelaire in The Series of Unfortunate Events film. There is something about her pouty lips, pale skin and melancholic eyes that just gets to me every time. I think it's fair for me to be in love with her considering that Phoebe is in love with every Korean dramatic actor and popstar in existence (and Scarlett Johansson).

I've downloaded and loaded the trailer into my MP3 player, and have watched it like hundreds of times by now. It's coming out in March 2011. You and me got a date at the theatres, Babydoll.

Sucker punched,
k0k s3n w4i


Jen said...

I can always count on you to find cool/weird movies like this.

nis said...

looks cool. and anime-ish. i like this director too!

Larissa said...


It's me again, the 16 year old brazilian girl!
Foremost, I wanted to come here before, to tell Phoebe that her puffy eyes are the cutest thing on earth *_*
I knew your blog would do more for me than I expected (?)

I heard about the movie right after Watchmen too, and there's this brazilian site, Omelete, that was on this event about the movie and they said that it would totally kick-ass; the website owner is my friend, and I was hating the fact that Vanessa Hugdens was on it too, and he tried to convince me that even Vanessa Hudgens will be amazing on the movie, but I was loving Jena Malone on it and I CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT!

The best news EVER, and three days before school starts again - now I can go to class with a big smile on my face :D

Thank you VERY much for the news!

I'll definately check your website more often :)

Phoebs said...

awwh.. i didn't know my puffy eyes could be cute xD thanks. which part of brazil are you from?

k0k s3n w4i said...

Jen: it's not weird! T^T i'm just ahead of the curve, to quote the joker.

nis: i'm already calling it "the first ever live-action anime movie" in my head.

Larissa: phoebs dislikes jena malone - for absolutely no reason at all! i kinda like her in donnie darko (one of my favourite films, which phoebs disliked as well) but i haven't seen her in anything else. but i thought the dreamy way she said her line in the trailer was sexy - and i totally dig her hair in this film.

Phoebs: you're just so ecstatic that someone thought you're cute, aren't you? :P

Phoebs said...

i don't like jena malone because of donnie darko T^T