Zack Snyder’s ‘Sucker Punch’ lives up to its title
Writer and director Zack Snyder, the pop-art wizard behind “Dawn of the Dead” and “Watchmen,” failed on a historic level with his new release “Sucker Punch”.
- New films
Director: David Gordon Green.
Starring: Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel.
The plot: A fantasy-comedy about an arrogant, lazy prince who
must complete a request in order to save his father’s kingdom.
Genre: Adventure, comedy.
Director: Joe Wright.
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett.
The plot: A 16-year-old who was raised by her father is
dispatched on a mission across Europe.
Genre: Action, adventure
- Film roundup
★★★★ (out of four)
Imagine if Quentin Tarantino decided to make a Western-themed,
animal-populated, animated reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s
“Yojimbo” by way of Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown,” and you’ve got a
pretty good idea of what “Rango” is all about. Like a
kiddie-friendly version of “Pulp Fiction,” the movie approaches its
story from a deep-meta, borderline-postmodern perspective, and
successfully filters an entire genre through the lens of pop
consumerism. This is the Western reinvented as interactive
entertainment, tailored to an audience that has been inundated
since birth by the romantic myths of pop culture.
“Hall Pass” is easily their funniest, most charming and most
genuinely heartfelt comedy since their 1997 magnum opus. Many of
the funniest gags involve raunch-flick staples like pot brownies
and public masturbation, but the filmmakers often get a surprising
amount of mileage out of familiar material. The story moves along
at a brisk place, and the Farrellys resist the temptation to turn
their buddy flick into a mere reworking of “The Hangover.”
Where to begin? For starters, the film takes the deadpan tone of
a serious, old-school epic, making it feel like the most lifeless
and uninspired adventure movie of 1957. (Watching Macdonald’s film,
my mind couldn’t help but wander to Neil Marshall’s similar but
vastly superior “Centurion,” which, in contrast, embraced its
tawdry nature with infectious enthusiasm.) There is no rousing
spirit or good-natured fun to be found in “The Eagle,” which is a
slow-moving, dreary affair that has the attitude of an Old
Hollywood production without any of the actual spectacle.
The film, assembled in nonlinear fashion, tells the “boy meets
girl, boy loses girl, boy doesn’t get girl back” story of Dean and
Cindy (Gosling and Williams, respectively). As the movie opens, the
couple is roughly five years into their tumultuous marriage. He’s a
balding, chain-smoking alcoholic with a dead-end job, but seems
content with a simple existence. She’s a stressed, frigid,
overworked nurse who is not as content. They have a daughter
together (it is soon established that she is not Dean’s biological
child), and seeking a much-needed escape from domestic pressures,
Dean suggests that Cindy accompany him to a “theme motel” for the
night. From here the film delves heavily into flashback as we
witness the couple’s charming, sexually charged courtship intercut
with their significantly less friendly encounters in the
oppressively blue-lit “future room.” It is a night of pain and
humiliation, and it’s the last that they will spend together.
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 8:24 am
Updated: 1:40 pm, Fri Apr 1, 2011.
I should have listened. For the past few weeks, everyone who’s
caught a glimpse of Zack Snyder’s much-anticipated would-be magnum
opus “Sucker Punch” has been screaming from the rooftops about how
indescribably horrible it is, but here’s the thing: I didn’t think
it was logistically possible for a filmmaker of Snyder’s caliber to
release a truly bad movie -- let alone one that warranted the
mounting calls for him to be drawn and quartered for his crimes
against cinema. I assumed they were a bunch a fuddy-duds who lacked
the hipness to share in Snyder’s singular vision. So despite all
the wailing and gnashing of teeth, the Snyder fanboy boy whispered
into my ear, “Come and see.” And I saw.
Friday, April 1, 2011 8:24 am.
Updated: 1:40 pm.