MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Review – Sucker Punch

As I sat through Sucker Punch, the film’s many filmic parents sprung to mind, one after the other.  In the end, however, I was struck by the remarkable correlation the film has to Rob Marshall’s Nine, which is to say, it is an incoherent series of “numbers” strung together by the weakest of screenplays and an absolute failure to mine the core idea in a thoughtful way.

Thing is, Nine is a minor masterpiece compared to this film.  Rob Marshall, in spite of a bad habit of reducing away the smart stuff and getting only the camp out of the genius he imitates slavishly – Bob Fosse – exhibits some very good taste.  The two films only really meet in the weak whore segment with Fergie as little more than an object of the lens.

Snyder’s Sucker Punch is really the straight geek version of Burlesque, with Carla Gugino and her breasts stepping in for Cher and her mask, Emily Browning and her young ripe body and dance panties in for Christina Aguilera’s actual talent in the face of an aging soft-focused physique (by show biz sex goddess standards), Abbie Cornish in as the sexy bitch with curves in place of Kristin Bell with comedy chops and no curves, and Scott Glenn (who else can be Perry White in McZ’s Superman?) as the old queen with action chops in for Stanley Tucci as the old queen who can be so charming he distracts the audience from the crap they’re watching.  Add an assortment of little known/irrelevant T&A and beefy boys and you have high camp that arouses immature men or men who love men… your choice.

Sucker Punch exposes Snyder as a one-trick pony.  This is where he shares the McG problem.  The difference is that McG used insane editing to try to cover for his lack of coverage or interest in storytelling while Snyder uses gags like he was doing an animated short, of interest for an instant, but briefer and less long lasting than a lingering shot of a milky thigh… and milky thigh shots turn up in this film like necks in a vampire film.

Here Snyder is, really given his chance to fly, and he comes up with a Roger Corman women-in-prison movie with a coat of CG paint and the lack of courage that Corman had to show the boys the goodies they were craning their necks to see and instead just delivers Ultimate Upskirt: The Motion Picture.  I am as pleased to look at toned inner thighs and the very top of the thigh as it meets the buttocks as any guy… but there is something a bit creepy about the director slowing down the movie every time the heroine (seemingly playing a teen, but actually 22) flips over in a fight so we are looking up her short skirt so that we can see every muscle flex more clearly than if we were on a date on which she was about to be assured a happy ending.

My first take on the film was that it was Female Empornerment, which occurs when a guy director or writer sews in the idea that he is empowering the female characters so that when the film (not the director himself, of course) spews male liquids all over their face in slow motion, the women then slicing the Bad (Satisfied) Man in half with a sword makes it a win for them.

In this regard, Snyder fits into the Eli Roth camp.  And really, as smug and facile as I make it sound, I think there is a real issue here.  As the father of a male toddler, I am more than a little concerned.  There are all kinds of uglinesses visited upon women who seek work or work in Hollywood.  But more and more, this idea of how to value women has become accepted in the output of a few filmmakers… even championed.

It’s a weird conversation to have, as men often objectify women without thinking much about it.  Is a film that objectifies women without reserve more honest in some way?  Does it matter whether your best remembered moment in Black Swan is Natalie Portman telling her mom she got the job in the bathroom stall or Portman with her ass in the air and her hand between her thighs?  When, as Eli Roth did in Hostel 2, a naked woman masturbates as she bathes in the blood of another naked woman who is hanging upside down, terrified, being sliced to death with a scythe and bleeding out, is that female empowerment because no men are in the room?

I find it offensive that a cast of some very good actresses was reduced to appearing in a PG-13 soft core porn, far more often objectified than given anything to do other than to be puppets in a CG puppet show.  But that’s just me.  I’m sure some people feel differently. But I’m not sure I’d want them dating my nieces.

But in a case like this, these women chose this material.  They saw some kind of value in it for themselves.  And they may well adore Zack Snyder.  I don’t know the guy.  And it’s not just the women. Oscar Issac is a really good actor… who seems to be in a really weak episode of Red Shoe Diaries much of the time here.

But I digress…

The basic format of this film is that it starts with a music video, has a little dialogue, does another music video, has a brutally bad dialogue section, then segues into its first video game sequence, complete with Scott Glenn explaining the mission of that level in a way that seems like self-parody, but isn’t actually funny enough to work as self-parody.

Then, for most of the movie, it’s back and forth between the three concepts, music video, video game, bad explanatory dialogue.  (The voiceover may deserve a spot in Guinness.)

The fact that this thing got a PG-13 is one of the ugliest moments in recent CARA history.  The cynicism level felt like it was through the roof in this regard, as dead soldiers seemed to be a brainstorming idea of how one could shoot scores of people in the head without garnering an R or making what was obviously written as a brothel into a dance-performance-whatever-mess that not only kept the women in almost no clothing, but used dance as a metaphor for rape/forced prostitution, again R rated territory.

As the stabbings and physical attacks and gunfire and sexual threats piled up, all endlessly intercut with Browning trembling, moist lips and shots up her micro-skirt, I wondered whether the audience under 17 would be sophisticated enough to separate the mélange of adult-simple subtexts in play.  With the Browning character “going someplace in her head” – really, for 90+% of the film – after being brought to the all-girls facility where “baby doll” was waiting for the “High Roller” who would take her virginity/give her a lobotomy… what would this say to a 14-year-old boy?  Or girl, for that matter?

The movie is an emotional disconnection inside an emotional disconnection inside a story of a girl whose wealthy mother and then sister were murdered by the evil stepfather who wants the money, with suggestions of sexual abuse.  So this young woman checks out to avoid the horrors of her reality by becoming a burlesque dancer (whose dance we never see, but which stops men in their tracks like Stupifyin’ Jones in Li’l Abner) and when the horror of that is too great, she imagines herself being in a video game.  Huh?  She loses herself in the Stupid Spoiled Whore Playset and then, when she doesn’t want to go the full whore, she imagines herself in a mixed era war videogame?


And don’t even get me started on the details.

Many things about this film make me fearful for McZ’s Superman, not unlike the way I fear Rob Marshall’s Pirates film.  Everyone who is hopeful for either film seems to be relying on muscular producing by Nolan and/or Bruckheimer.   We shall see in both cases.  But Snyder exhibits many of the same traits he has shown in and since 300 here, but with an increasing inability (or unwillingness) to concern himself with character or story past the production design.  His freshest ideas seem to be “bigger,” “louder,” and “faster.”

There is not an action moment in Sucker Punch that, intentionally or otherwise, connects to character or emotion.  Some people like that.  I don’t. But more importantly, how do you do Superman, which is a complex tonal piece, without making real connections to emotion?  And what kind of action can we expect in a Snyder Superman?  You will not believe a man can fly… you will believe a CG character is flying and confronting a really big CG character and smashing it loudly.

I’d love to have reason to believe differently.  But I just can’t find it in the work.

Be Sociable, Share!

148 Responses to “Review – Sucker Punch”

  1. IOv3 says:

    You either accept CG character models or not. You also need to get rid of this McZ shit because it’s just you being a catty yenta, you need to realize that Emma Thomas will basically be running this show, and he didn’t write the script. Now stop your worrying and spend less words next time on a movie you dislike. Seriously, try out; “IT SUCKS… THE END” XD!

  2. anghus says:

    “So this young woman checks out to avoid the horrors of her reality by becoming a burlesque dancer (whose dance we never see, but which stops men in their tracks like Stupifyin’ Jones in Li’l Abner) and when the horror of that is too great, she imagines herself being in a video game. Huh? She loses herself in the Stupid Spoiled Whore Playset and then, when she doesn’t want to go the full whore, she imagines herself in a mixed era war videogame?”

    That sums up my hatred for the film. The two biggest failures were creating a world where the main character has two levels of escape and she creates a whore world and a world that requires her to kill everything.

    And then you have a device in the film that her dancing transfixes men and transports her to faraway places… but you don’t actually see her dance.


    Can you imagine reverse engineering this?

    “I want to make a movie where this girl dances, and her dancing is so amazing that it puts men into trances and then she can transport herself to strange new worlds where she gets to murder everything in sight… BUT WE NEVER SEE HER DANCE!”

    I realize WB cut the dancing scenes out. With them back in you conquer one major failing of Sucker Punch. But there are still 2 or 3 more failings that can’t be corrected.

  3. David Poland says:

    Perhaps you think in single syllables and can abide nothing else, IO. Not I.

    And as far as CG character models, they can work perfectly well… if the filmmaker knows how to make them feel relatively real and grounded. In this case, it’s not the characters CG models so much as the ridiculous, disconnected way Snyder chooses to use them. I am not a “it looks like a videogame” whiner… but Snyder chooses to make them look like a videogame. Don’t blame the messenger.

  4. David Poland says:

    Anghus… I would be curious to see those scenes, but I looked for how they might fit in and two things occurred to me. 1. Curious whether the videogame sequences were even in the script when shot or if they were conceived to market the movie. 2. Those scene could well have made test screening audiences laugh out loud. One of the few positive achievements of the film is that Snyder pretty much avoids the kind of moments that would cause open verbal mockery.

  5. IOv3 says:

    David, if you are going to insult me like you do anyone that calls you on your shit, then please fix the fucking typo. Seriously you dislike the movie. laddie freaking da. If I felt like going at you with 5000 words, I would, but what’s the fucking point? The entire point of this review is to keep your Snyder bashing going a few more weeks. Good for you David, you are so fucking swell.

  6. David Poland says:

    IO, you are obsessively repeating some notion you have decided on in your head about how I think.

    Please let me know what typo.

    The point of the review was that I saw the movie, as I had indicated I would for weeks. What was the appropriate action from me… silence?

  7. Pete B says:

    As I liked the movie, we disagree on that.
    But a bigger disagreement I have is the comment of “…Kristen Bell with comedy chops but no curves”. What?!? KB looks fine to me!

  8. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Typo – “Perhaps you think is single syllables”

    ETA – Pete, KB may be quite the looker but you can’t exactly learn the alphabet from her bust size. Although I’m not sure why DP chose this as his point of comparison…

  9. IOv3 says:

    David, it’s IN not IS, and silence is preferable to continuing on this vendetta against Snyder. You get a burr in your ass and this is the result. Sorry, Snyder is directing the Superman movie, and that’s that. Let it fucking go.

    ETA: Pete, yeah, that’s David trying out his Lex material.

    ETA II: Learn the alphabet from her bust size? WHAT THE FUCK FS?

  10. David Poland says:

    The point of comparison is who was in one movie vs who was in the other.

  11. anghus says:

    you’re probably right. they probably don’t help. i would like to see “the director’s cut” because i’d love to know Snyder’s intent and see what he really wanted. morbid curiosity may make me one day watch a director’s cut.

  12. anghus says:

    there are people who love films. some go as far as to “champion” a film.

    io wages an endless crusade.

  13. Foamy Squirrel says:

    You’d only get as far as “A”.

    [seinfeld]Not that there’s anything wrong with that…[/seinfeld]

  14. IOv3 says:

    Anghus, when you post on here, dust literally comes off of my screen.

    FS, she’s probably a B. You shameful man.

    ETA: IF only we could discuss the weirdness of Ole Miss going from Old Rebel to REBEL BLACK BEAR. Seriously, that place is beautiful but just plain weird.

  15. Breedlove says:

    Just got home from the movie myself. It’s pretty bad. Boring, incoherent, loud. And I absolutely love WATCHMEN.

    The chicks in it were not even that hot. All kinda goofy looking, with the notable exception of the smokin’ Abby Cornish. Really like her. Might have to go see LIMITLESS now.

  16. anghus says:

    io, when you post i can literally feel the misdirected anger and the frustrated rage of someone who must have suffered a horrible childhood tragedy to be this angry with such a massive sense of entitlement.

    so where did they touch you io?

  17. CTR says:

    Poland, you are aware that you only review movies these days when you’re blatantly trying to raise or lower the stock of a director, right?

    It’s become completely about industry politics with you.

    Which is as thuggish and unethical as anything you accuse Finke of doing.

  18. Obviously I disagree with you on the film, DP, as well as the whole ‘it’s supposed to be empowering but it’s not’ angle that seems to be a major sticking point (ironic, since the film doesn’t try to be empowering in a traditional sense and works as a tragedy). Having said that (agree to disagree), I’ve never thought it was fair to criticize a movie because the MPAA/CARA gave it a softer rating than it probably deserved.

    Roger Ebert spent most of his original 2-star Bring It On review complaining that the film didn’t get an R, he even went on a talk show or two to whine about it back in 2000. But that’s not the film’s fault. It’s the film’s fault that the Joe Lieberman-spearheaded regulations back in 2001 have made it all-but impossible for studios to mass-market R-rated films (see today’s removal of the green-band Hangover 2 spot from Source Code prints), which forces studios to get a PG-13 at all costs for films like this that clearly should have gone out R-rated.

    There are plenty of movies that got softer ratings than I feel they deserved. Hunchback of Notre Dame should have been a PG, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones probably should have been a PG-13, The gruesome and bloody Angels & Demons probably should have been an R, and Vantage Point damn-sure should have been a hard-R (constant point-blank executions, mass explosions and wholesale slaughter of cops and civilians). But I like or don’t like those movies regardless of the rating.

  19. anghus says:

    calling Sucker Punch a festering pile of visually engaging nonsense isn’t hollywood politics.

    i think Snyder’s stock plummeted long before dave’s review.

    even if you loved Sucker Punch and think Snyder is 8 kinds of awesome, don’t you think the studio would be concerned about a guy whose films continue to be critically panned and make less and less as the budgets go up and up.

    Now, it’s Superman. 200 million dollars domestic is a guarantee no matter who is directing it. But WB wants Superman to do Potter numbers. They want franchises.

    Do you think Snyder is capable of delivering such an across the board hit that takes Superman to 600, 700, 800 million and beyond? I don’t. Not based on his body of work and not based on the numbers his films have produced.

    And i was well aware of all of this before Dave wrote his review 2 weeks after the movie came out.

  20. JKill says:

    “Many things about this film make me fearful for McZ’s Superman, not unlike the way I fear Rob Marshall’s Pirates film.”

    I’m hoping these are two very seperate fears. You’re obviously not a fan of Snyder (which is fine) but even if you’re not invested in them emotionally, he can and has shot interesting, dynmaic and innovative action sequences. Marshall, from the trailers, has apparently shot POTC like a TV movie, all medium and close-up shots. I agree that both seem cheifly concerned with style but in terms of how that style will be applied to a big-budget action movie I think there’s quite a bit more of a stretch for Mr. Marshall. Even if you don’t like SUCKER PUNCH, there’s a lot more ideas and thematic concerns in it than NINE. (And I actually sort of liked NINE purely as an excercise in style and vibe.)

    While I agree that this is a blatantly R-Rated movie in PG-13 clothing, that’s not the movies fault. Since the MPAA basically just has certain check marks that bump a movie into an R, studios have it down to a science on what they can and can’t get away with. I wonder if you would have less problem with the movie if it was the more blantant (I assume) original conception of the movie, which Snyder described as being “Hard R”.

    Also, I will point out my irritation at the McZ thing yet again. What does it mean? Are they really that similar? McG obviously did similar things with his two ANGELS movies, but WE ARE MARSHALL and his TERMINATOR are utterly different. Snyder is making weird, big budget, boderline experimental movies. McG, and I don’t mean this to defame him, is a director for hire.

  21. LexG says:

    How could a guy who’s such a huge fan of BURLESQUE, BLACK SWAN and FIGHT CLUB– aka Dave– dislike this movie? I tried to half-seriously ask a week or two back how the equally goofy and fetishistic (and equally AWESOME) Black Swan was a critical smash, but this is beneath contempt for the same people.

    Must be all the ballet.


  22. anghus says:

    McG is to Terminator franchise as McZ is to the Superman franchise.

    High hopes from the studio. Low expectations from everyone else. I would look to Terminator Salvation as the model that the new Superman film. Though, Superman is a far more recognizable property with far more box office potential.

    Right now if you asked someone to describe a Zack Snyder film, you’d probably hear things like

    “Visually stunning”
    “Excellent action”

    So we might finally get an action packed Superman film with some visual panache. That i’d like.

    However, Snyder is known for a surreal reality. I’ve seen his shtick and i don’t know if it works for Superman. Every Zach Snyder film (except Dawn of the Dead) looks like it was shot on a soundstage (which they probably are). His films don’t look real, they look staged.

    Terminator: Salvation was the film everyone thought it would be. If you watch Charlies Angels 1 and 2 you saw his visual flair. If you watched We Are Marshall you saw his inability to direct actors and a penchant for devolving into melodrama. Terminator: Salvation was a visually interesting action film with some wretched performances. Pretty much the film we thought it would be.

    300 was visually stunning and over the top. Some people liked it being over the top, some of us snickered. Watchmen was a visually interesting film with some really bad casting and mediocre performances. Sucker Punch was visually interesting and an incoherent mess with some really poor performances.

    Even if you love Snyder’s films, can anyone make a serious argument against the opinion that he’s a director who seems more comfortable with the technical than the emotional?

    So when Superman comes out next year (Or is it 2013?), should we expect anything other than a visually stunning superhero film with average performances?

  23. Al says:

    Literally just walked home from Sucker Punch at the cinema.
    It works on several level if you buy into the conceit. Why not? And (SPOILER) my reading of the film is that it’s a fantasy of the Abbie Cornish character and not Emily Browning’s.
    Regardless, at no point did I feel it lull, and I walked out thinking that at the very least Superman would be dynamic.

    The funny thing is that you feel throughout that Snyder masters the material, he’s completely at ease. Think what you will about the story or characters, but the man directs the hell out of it. Give the same exact script to Wiseman, McG, the other Paul Thomas Anderson…

    More than anything I found it to be imme sely watchable. Also, Emily Browning ‘look at ber, etc’

  24. LexG says:

    “If you watched We Are Marshall you saw his inability to direct actors and a penchant for devolving into melodrama.”

    Why do people say bullshit like this, posing their subjective opinion as FACT?

  25. Anghus says:

    “Think what you will about story or characters but the man directs the hell out of it”

    I think you just proved my point. People like Snyder and his films despite the lack of developed characters. There are directors out there that can do visuals and character and story.

    I would like to hear the other side of this argument. If someone can tell me of a great acting performance in a Snyder film and back it up with a few words, I might be more hopeful for slow motion, visually interesting Superman.

  26. JKill says:

    I will say that I thought the performances in TERMINATOR: SALVATION were actually good, especially Worthington. The problems with that movie, in my opinion, were at the screenplay level. McG, with what he had, did a kick-ass job. (You can, however, make the argument that the director supervises the script so he should have ordered re-writes, which is fair.)

    Snyder said in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL that SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL will be his first movie set in a more real universe so it sounds like some of your fears are unwarrented. But I find it strange that people are clamoring for a not stylized Superman movie since he a.)lives in a fake city, b.)is an alien, and c.)flies and has super powers and fights evil villians.

  27. IOv3 says:

    Anghus, that your old and tired ass could write something like that, pretty much explains why I find you to be a miserable old fuck. Seriously, you are a miserable old fuck and you are not even that old. Sad, so fucking sad, and if you think I have a sense of entitlement, you are so fucking wrong that it only helps you reek more in old man stink. Nice of you to find molestation funny though, you sad bag of fuck.

    That disgusting old crusty honkey aside, Lex that’s so fucking true it’s not even funny and that’s my FUCKING PROBLEM WITH THIS ENTIRE SITE! If fucking people wouldn’t do shit like that, this site would be a much funner place, but everything that people bash they bash it as if their subjective opinion is fact, and that just pisses me right the fuck up.

  28. anghus says:

    Jkill, that’s encouraging.

  29. leahnz says:

    “McG, with what he had, did a kick-ass job.”

    (aaaaaak! runs and smashes head against the wall. the job of the director is not to create ‘cool visuals’, it’s to TELL A GOOD STORY. mcg is mediocre to the core and couldn’t tell an engaging, coherent story to save his life. i would bet the farm any plethora of better directors could have taken that ‘T:the end begins at the end’ screenplay (which is rather dire), and with a talented team designed and executed a far more compelling movie that feels at least somewhat connected to and rooted in the iconic terminator universe rather than that dull-as-dishwater attempt that feels like nothing. even mostow. i wonder why he didn’t have another go, ‘T3’ at least had a pulse. but i agree that sam, and weirdly anton yelchin were the only redeeming things about it)

    i’m not sure if it qualifies as ‘great’, but sarah polley’s rather lovely protagonist turn in ‘dotd’ is largely what gives the movie heart, tho it is part of an ensemble. however, i suspect this is more due to polley’s ability than snyder’s so maybe never mind.

  30. The Big Perm says:

    Anghus, I’d say that Jackie Earle Haley got a new career from Watchemn. Also Jeffrey Morgan kicked ass in that movie and so did Patrick Wilson and Billy Crudup. Malin Ackerman was okay as I recall, I really don’t remember her good or bad.

    Dawn of the Dead didn’t have bad performances. Were they stllar? Not exactly, but when half of the dialogue is “run!” what can ya do?

    300 had exactly the correct performaces. And basically made Gerard Butler as close to a star as I guess he’s going to be.

  31. IOv3 says:

    CTR, he only reviews anything when he wants to be a contrarian or stir the shit. This review is him, on his moderately sized soapbox, screaming at WB about a decision they made last year. Not only is it so far removed from being timely that it’s ridiculous, but it’s just him being a dick again. Seriously, if he ever loses his dicky side, the guy might lose his entertainment value.

    What should encourage all of you is that Snyder has to collaborate with people… Nolan, Emma Thomas, and Goyer to make this film. He will have his say but unlike every film the guy has ever made, this is going to be a far more collaborative process, and that should lead to an awesome Supes film Xmas 2012.

  32. The Big Perm says:

    Hey IO, let’s connect for a minute: shut up.

  33. anghus says:

    We Are Marshall is a well acted film.
    We Are Marshall is a film with mediocre performances.
    We Are Marshall is a film with embarrassing performances.

    There is no ‘true’ or ‘fact’, only general consensus. Which sentence best reflects the general consensus?

    io, the only thing that would make this site ‘funner’ would be if you stopped arguing with people who posted here. your desperate pleas for attention would make even the neediest middle child wince.

  34. JKill says:

    Yeah Polley is very good in DOTD. I think a lot of the WATCHMEN performnces and Butler’s in 300 are strong too.

    What I liked about McG’s direction for T:S was the way he nailed this apocalyptic, industrial smokey vibe. I thought the action scenes were well handled and cleverly staged, and to me, it felt more like the Cameron movies than the Mostow one, which visually was pretty straight forward and workman-like.

    And yes, Yelchin was very good in TS, but he’s always solid, in my opinion.

  35. leahnz says:

    yes, “run” was pretty much all they said in ‘dotd’

  36. “I would like to hear the other side of this argument. If someone can tell me of a great acting performance in a Snyder film and back it up with a few words.”

    Sarah Polley in Dawn of the Dead: really, the entire movie is a character-driven drama as much as its a zombie action thriller. The scene where the main characters sit around a table and talk about their lives before the apocalypse sold me on Snyder as a solid genre filmmaker. It’s just great drama, and it’s what I remember far more vividly than the random zombie chase scenes.

    Patrick Wilson in Watchmen: Sure, Rorschach (Jackie Lee Haley) was the showy role, but Wilson brought the morose and subtle sadness and regret that made the movie work as well as it does, warts and all.

  37. anghus says:

    “aaaaaak! runs and smashes head against the wall. the job of the director is not to create ‘cool visuals’”

    thank you.

  38. LexG says:

    T4 > T3. T3 works… okay as a cheesy 100-minute B-movie with an action-less ending, but it’s also BLASPHEMOUS, undoes EVERYTHING about T2 and most of T1 and pretty much undermines Cameron’s entire points about creating your own destiny. I know I can’t say anything involving Leahnz without encouraging the yapping-chihuahua mode from her, but honestly I’m surprised someone who’s as true-blue a Cameron fanatic as I’ve ever seen doesn’t HATE T3 with a fiery passion. Nick Stahl was pretty good, but it’s SO MUCH bad comedy and it’s SO MINOR, like if they made a Godfather 4 that was 80 minutes and had Michael Corleone doing street magic in a dunce hat, directed by Jonathan Lynn.


  39. The Big Perm says:

    Why is leahnz the biggest DOTD supporter in the universe for some reason. No one ever say anything bad about that movie ever EVER!

  40. JKill says:

    “aaaaaak! runs and smashes head against the wall. the job of the director is not to create ‘cool visuals’”

    thank you.

    I guess maybe I’m just a look on the bright side guy, but I thought the movie worked beyond cool visuals. Not saying it was great but that it was more enjoyable than most summer fair, for me personally, when compared to WOLVERINE or TRANSFORMERS or a lot of else of what is out there. Kick-ass was too strong a phrase. I’m not immune to hyperbole from time to time.

    EDITED: I agree 100 percent with Lex on T4 > T3.

  41. IOv3 says:

    Perm, fall back into a ditch. Anghus, go get the dust out of your vagina in another forum because old, sad, and miserable fucks such as yourself ruin this blog with your old, sad, and miserable fuck attitude. Again you two pieces of dog shit need to be hit with a board, maybe that would knock some god damn sense into two people who believe molestation is funny.

    ETA: It’s freaking DOTD. It’s not a bad remake and the director’s cut makes it a lot better movie.

  42. The Big Perm says:

    Yeah, T3 is the fucking WORST. You don’t follow up two classics with that uninspired, boring, lightweight nonsense. I thought T4 was sort of dull too, but it was aiight in the most minor way. Not too bad, with an good script and no Christian Bale it might have been interesting. I liked the big robot.

  43. anghus says:

    Scott, i would agree with you on both of those. I thought Dawn of the Dead was a film with good performances.

    I liked Patrick Wilson in Watchmen.

    But across the board, i think in most Snyder films the performances are uneven. And that, to me, is a reflection of the Director. Watchmen is one of those movies that baffled me performance wise. I thought Wilson and Cruddup were good, but the pendelum swung so far in each direction. You had some wretched performances in Watchmen.

  44. The Big Perm says:

    I think IO’s problem is LACK of molestation, am I rite?

  45. IOv3 says:

    Perm, yeah, molestation is funny. You two really are a sad bunch of honkeys.

  46. The Big Perm says:

    anghus, who were the wretched performances in Watchmen? At most I’d give you Matthew Goode, but I wouldn’t even say he was wretched, just way too bleh to be the character he was supposed to be. If he were the Watchmen’s file clerk he would have been fine.

  47. The Big Perm says:

    Molestation is funny…as long as it’s not me!

  48. JKill says:

    I’m glad Patrick Wilson is being given props. Felt like he was left out of the initial WATCHMEN discussion when it was released because his role is less show-ey than the others. I’m a fan. (Oh and speaking of PW: see INSIDIOUS!)

  49. leahnz says:

    making it personal YET AGAIN. if i’m a yapping chihuahua, what are you, a rooster running round with its head chopped off? i think that’s being kind

    where did i say i liked ‘t:3’? i said IT HAD A PULSE. t:4 is the most dull, unfocused lack-of-tension no-consequences unfaithful terminator mess imaginable. mostow’s ‘breakdown’ makes me believe he has it in him to do good.

    (and comparing t:4 to cameron’s is the devil. i’m making a finger cross right now at my screen)

  50. anghus says:

    Big Perm.

    Malin Ackerman, in my opinion, was wretched. As was Carla Gugino. Cringeworthy.

    And Matthew Goode’s performance was just sad because we’ve seen how good he can be and that’s the performance we ended up with.

    Edit – an i wasn’t bowled over with Haley. He was committed to that role, but the throaty growl got old.

  51. leahnz says:

    sorry, but didn’t i just say ‘sarah polley’ re: good perfs up-thread well before scott? yes, you’re welcome

  52. JKill says:

    The thing about T3 is that it feels way too much like it’s trying to be a version of T2 but with a less threatening and awesome antagonist. I like it but I’m more of a fan of how 1,2 and 4 are all very different movies with different tempos and dynamics.

    I didn’t say McG is Cameron. Only Cameron is Cameron. But I do think he did more with the series than Mostow did.

    Also, did anyone read the interview with Cameron where he said his favorite Alien sequel after his was….AVP?!?!?!

  53. Hopscotch says:

    Watchmen blows. All the performances are so hammy, including Wilson’s. Though he’s great as the dimwit beefcake in Little Children.

  54. The Big Perm says:

    See, I don’t think they were wretched. Maybe not GREAT. But I remember Malin being good. Maybe I’m wrong, I’ve only seen it once. But I liked her.

    But still…uneven performaces…like, that’s not always something a director can absolutely control. Coppola worked with DeNiro and Pacino and Brando, and Coppola worked with Keanu…yet Keanu didn’t suddenly deliver a Brando performace, know what I mean? Maybe they had to cast Ackerman because who else would have run around in that outfit and do nude scenes for the entire movie? There aren’t that many good actresses out there who might.

    Besides, maybe Ackerman would have been ten times WORSE without SNyder’s directing. I’ve totally seen horrible actors get saved by a director and editor. They were never great in the movie…but they could have been waaaay worse.

    And JKill, when I saw Watchmen, Wilson was really my favorite character. Just because he was such a normal doofus.

  55. leahnz says:

    say some more dumb stuff about ‘dotd’ now, perm

  56. anghus says:

    i think T3 was a tough proposition because it was another Terminator with Arnold. My only problem with T3 was that it didn’t seem to forward the series any, other than the final payoff which finally moves the story forward.

    But most of the movie was the same beats, the same path, Mostow just using Cameron’s pattern. I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t feel like the inevitable next step in the series.

    Losing Arnold (barring some great CG work) for Salvation was like freeing the franchise. But the same kind of malaise was there for me. John Conner wasn’t the leader of the resistance, he was just some guy that the soldiers looked up to, but he still answered to Michael Ironside and his cronies.

    The whole point of T:S was having John Conner become the leader of the resistance. It was another long, drawn out story that left the series exactly where i know it’s going since the first film: John Conner leads the resistance to victory, but that story hasn’t been told yet.

    What sucks is that the original ending for T:S was fucking brilliant. The one DrewatHitfix reported on, where John Connerdies at the end and Marcus puts on his skin. Because a) it flips the switch on what we know and b) it makes sense because Marcus learns how important Conner is to the resistance. Marcus becomes John Conner. I buy that more than Marcus giving John his heart.

  57. leahnz says:

    the problem with ‘T:4’ is that it suffers from ‘bigger is better’-itis. ‘T:4’ was the perfect opportunity to go right back to ‘terminator’ basics, lean and tight, tell the story about how the survivors managed to pull thru the holocaust and as rag-tag civilians managed to organise, arm themselves and begin to fight back against skynet, inspired by john connor, his mother’s son. this whole military war effort with connor as some lackey is retconing BULLSHIT at its worst and deseved to die a thousand horrible fucking deaths in the fiery pits of hell (i do not care for it)

  58. David Poland says:

    CTR… no idea who you are… but, “Poland, you are aware that you only review movies these days when you’re blatantly trying to raise or lower the stock of a director, right?”

    Uh… no. I’m not reviewing nearly enough for my own tastes, really, but the child has taken precedence, especially in the spring. I went to this movie because I was interested and because Snyder has been given Superman.

    There are 6 movies this month that I would like to review… we’ll see if I can get to them all. (I already missed one that I really wanted to see.)

    “It’s become completely about industry politics with you.”

    Not completely. But I think we are at a moment where the industry is the story, more than the movies. That cycle may end soon.

    “Which is as thuggish and unethical as anything you accuse Finke of doing.”

    Uh, don’t see how you get there. Guessing you only used it to try to get at me.

    I have no problem with Nikki offering opinions. I have a problem with Nikki blackmailing people and abusing people and having the bosses who want to use her allow it. I have a problem with Nikki pretending to be a reporter when she primarily reports one-source press release news spun in the favor of the source.

    I don’t care much about Nikki attacking directors because she has no credibility. In general, many people disagree with me, but I tend to articulate some percentage of opinion fairly well. Thought that was part of the job, no?

    As for this, I have had a hard time getting to the movie, almost figured I would skip it, and then got a window of time this morning and went. Would you have hated me more or less if I wrote it 3 weeks ago?

    I felt obliged to see it and to write about it. Still have some people angry about not really reviewing Matrix 3. I have been out there about Snyder, so I certainly owe him seeing his films.

  59. David Poland says:

    Terminator: Salvation is an abortion.

    It has a few good moments. It has some GREAT ideas. The film doesn’t deliver. And a big part of that lies at McG’s feet. Better than CA: Full Frontal though.

    I’;m not a huge fan of T3 either, but it’s a bit more stuck on the Cameron films and loses steam trying to connect to them. I like Mostow though.

  60. The Big Perm says:

    I have a hard time believing that a woman could be running around in DOTD the whole time and not fall down a lot.

  61. anghus says:

    leah, i feel you.

    i don’t like the direction they picked, but within the story they chose, i would have felt better about the original ending because at least then they’re flipping what we knew about the series.

    The Terminator series has always been odd because you know early on that John Conner is the key. And i totally agree that the failing of the latest Terminator films is that they are nothing more than bridges to events we’ve never seen.

    We never saw John Conner come out of the bunker and lead this fight. You have this whole series based around the idea there’s this guy who is the key to saving the human race, but we only see him at the beginning and end of key events. T2 bugged me because John Conner turned into such a whiny little bitch. “You were the closest thing i had to a father”. Seriously? The robot you hung out with ten years ago for a week was the closest thing you ever had to a father? Please.

    You hit the nail on the head. Show John Conner being the guy who leads these people. Even in Salvation, he was a lone wolf, a rebel who defied orders blah blah blah.

  62. nikki whisperer says:

    T4:Salvation, whatever else one might want to say about it, had insanely good action setpieces and VFX — probably less to do with McG and more to do with the Second Unit Director and VFX supervisor — but worth a viewing regardless, preferably with finger at the ready on the fast-forward button to skip through the excruciating exposition-heavy non-action scenes.

  63. Baz says:

    Snyder should have taken a step further into the dark cynnical experimentation camp, rather then provide mindless action fit for children driven by ideas from the dark camp.

    Real violence, Real “adult themes” would have made this film much more entertaining and serious…
    you know how dark Real movies draw the ooohs and aaahs.

    As it is the film is not much more then a DirectionLess compilation of Fx and music videos.

  64. leahnz says:

    nice to be felt anghus (that sounds worse than i meant it)

    john IS such a whiny little fucker in T2 – you just want to slap him upside the head – but in a weird way, it’s fitting: his mum’s a nutjob in the loony bin resulting in a kid shuffled around the foster care system from home to crappy home, resulting in an annoying, poorly-behaved (but resourceful) little shit street hood in the process.

    but particularly in the director’s cut wherein there’s more of a concentration on character development and the burgeoning relationship between john and his guardian T, he slowly grows out of his high-pitched whining into the role-reversal of acting as moral mentor/teacher to his protector, which i think gives the film a somewhat unique emotional flavour and theme, and really works for the story as the first small hint of john’s ability grow and rise to meet challenges, which will be so crucial for the future (again, particularly in the director’s cut, which is a significantly better movie than the theatrical T2 for my $)

  65. anghus says:

    i don’t think i’ve ever seen the director’s cut of T2.

  66. sdp says:

    I was typing out that I couldn’t think of an event film that felt as minor as T:3, then I remembered Jurassic Park 3. Both feel like deluxe TV pilots.

  67. LexG says:



  68. David Poland says:

    I quite liked Dawn of the Dead and was willing to go with the high camp of 300, though I don’t think it’s much of a movie.

    Started really losing me with the visionary director who basically did what two actual visionaries did in a graphic novel, but not as well. And this thing is, I think, his idea of what he should be doing, even though his hands were clearly tied a bit by WB.

    IO will LOVE this though…

  69. sdp says:

    Also, Snyder performances…

    I agree that there’s some good ensemble work in DOTD, but I think most of us can probably also agree that it’s Snyder’s best film.

    Ackerman, Gugino, and Goode were terrible, but Jeffery Dean Morgan wasted what is arguably the best role. He seemed out of his depth. Wilson was passable, but nothing special – it seems like grasping at straws to single him out as a notable strong performance. Haley was fine, but that character was a gift.

  70. LexG says:

    Oscar Isaac in THE PUNCH is one hell of an awesome sleazy performance. I kept wondering, where the fuck did THIS guy come from? Turns out I’ve seen him in tons of shit, but never made an impression.


  71. The Big Perm says:

    Well, just goes to show that everything is subjective.

  72. The Big Perm says:

    That was to sdp. I have no opinion on Browning being the new K-Stew.

  73. sdp says:

    Yes, everything is definitely subjective, Perm. As much as I hated Watchmen, I still sort of see where the supporters are coming from. I’m curious, what did you think of Morgan’s performance? I thought he was self-consciously “acting” and couldn’t sell the complexity that made that character so good in the graphic novel.

  74. Anghus says:

    I thought Morgan was weak sauce.

  75. The Big Perm says:

    Thought Morgan was great. Can’t compare him to the comic in terms of complexity and all that. But he was really good.

  76. Joe Straatmann says:

    I just remembered I had a Lex moment with Browning when I saw A Series of Unfortunate Events while I was in college. I’m not proud of it, but she was quite fetching in that movie.

    As for this movie, I’ve debated people who were crazy enough to put this on the level of Brazil all this week and quite frankly, I’m out of gas. Look, you can enjoy this movie as an aesthetic pleasure, but don’t try to justify putting it at a higher level than that, ESPECIALLY that high of a level. Just don’t. And the action sequences are so completely superfluous, you could swap this in with any of the scenes and miss absolutely nothing:

    What? I had terrible insomnia.

  77. Krillian says:

    Loved Haley, liked Morgan, even liked Crudup. Akerman was the weak link for me. Didn’t like how badly they telegraphed with Goode, but overall I really liked Watchmen. I’d only read the graphic novel for the first time a few months before it opened and thought Zack did a good job.

  78. LexG says:

    Note to self:

    Rent Lemony Snicket.

  79. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Haley’s performance was fine, but Rorschach was always the role that got the attention – Alan Moore has said that he was taken by surprise by the fan following for the character when Watchmen was published, because he intended Rorschach to depict everything that he thought was wrong with the gritty detective/revenge characters that were starting to emerge.

    Wilson, however… the scene where he lets Ackerman wear his goggles, and she remarks “This must be how John sees the world”… the frozen look, followed by a quick false smile… loved it.

    It’s not the acting – it’s the REacting that makes a great performance.

  80. Didn’t mean to step on any toes, Leanz. I wrote my comment, got distracted by something else, and then hit ‘submit’ a few minutes later, during which yours and a few other similar comments had already been published. Apologies if needed.

    Sorry for the long post, wanted to touch on the conversations that occurred while I was otherwise occupied.

    I’ve long been a defender of Terminator 3. Yes, there is a bit too much campy robot shtick, but the human characters are genuinely interesting. And while Lex right about the smallness of the film, I actually liked that. Aside from the fact that it cost $170 million (because it was totally shot in LA?), the film is a small-scale, old-school action picture that wasn’t trying to be the most epic event film of summer 2003. I liked that the violence was cruel and brutal, and that it got progressively gorier as the film went on (we go from offscreen killings to point blank shootings to a hand being shoved through a man’s stomach). I like that when Danes’s fiancée is murdered, she actually mourns him for a decent chunk of time. I like the sheer amount of time given to the human character development, especially the conversation where Conner’s eventual death is revealed. And how I love the relentlessly bleak finale, ending not with a slam-bang action piece, but with We can argue that it doesn’t match up to the Cameron films, but Rise of the Machines is a solid action drama in its own right.

    As for Salvation, yeah, it’s pretty terrible. The special effects and art direction are dynamite, and there are two terrific action sequences (the first act chase and the finale), but the film otherwise plays like a bland, kid-friendly Terminator spin-off. But McG is not a no-talent hack. Considering the behind-the-scenes turmoil, I don’t know how much blame McG takes for the terrible script and inert narrative. But the guy makes solid-looking films and I rather enjoy his use of long takes. Frankly I’d argue that most of the directors that we geeks beat up on are tremendously talented filmmakers that, when given the right material and a limited amount of rope, can deliver the goods. Michael Bay has The Rock and Bad Boys, Brett Ratner has the insanely underrated Red Dragon (great book, great actors, the wisdom to just get the hell out of the way), and McG has the genuinely fun first Charlie’s Angels (warts and all, it has three fun heroes and three fun villains, which counts for a lot in an action picture).

    Not to whine about Sucker Punch again, DP, but the comment you posted on that Slant piece speaks exactly to the heart of my annoyance: it’s not a matter of fans digging in and over-analyzing to find subtext that isn’t there. It’s all there right on the surface: it’s TEXT, right down to characters talking about it right at the start of the fantasy sequences. There are plenty of reasons to dislike Sucker Punch, but this is frankly no different than those critics (mainly of them fellow liberals) who criticized The Siege as anti-Muslim propaganda completely oblivious to the whole ‘Muslim Americans aren’t the enemy/we can’t piss on the constitution out of fear’ subplots that were RIGHT THERE IN THE TRAILER.

    Alan Moore’s surprise about Rosoarch is just another example of creators seemingly being shocked… SHOCKED when the most colorful character becomes the fan favorite. Just like how Seth McFarlane was SHOCKED that Stewie was the favorite character of Family Guy and how Thomas Harris was SHOCKED that audiences really liked Hannibal Lecter. I always felt that Harris wrote the archly comic Hannibal as a ‘screw you’ to those who came out of Silence of the Lambs admiring Dr. Lecter, which is why the overly self-serious movie is such a botch (although the second act in Italy is pretty strong).

  81. JKill says:

    Scott Mendelson, thanks for articulating what I was trying to say about McG. The first CHARLIE’S ANGELS is a very fun and funny blockbuster, with a nice energy. I will say, though, that after hating FULL THROTAL initially, I sort of warmed up to it on a second viewing. It’s almost the OCEAN’S TWELVE of the series, in how self aware and weird it is.

    My reponse to TERMINATOR: SALVATION wasn’t simply because it looked cool like others were accusing me of, but that the style that McG chose, one of fluid longer takes, actually benefitted the movie overall and contributed to its feeling of doom and decay and rust and smoke and death.

    The negative to mixed Ebert review of THE SIEGE is perplexing for the very reason you state. The movie is clearly about the stripping away of the civil liberties of innocent people because of their background. In the case of SUCKER PUNCH and THE SIEGE it’s almost like critics are revved up to write about a certain issue and even if the text doesn’t support it, use the movies as a vehicle with which to do this.

    I’ve always found the outright hate for Ratner perplexing because he’s basically just a solid director for hire. He’s not a visionary but neither are most studio filmmakers.

  82. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Scott and I discussed this back when it came out, but McG’s Terminator: Salvation directing is pretty freaking terrible. I am amazed that anyone would deem it good directing. As I said back then, I don’t pick up on stuff like this all the time, but in T:S I frequently noticed
    that any times a scene would begin or end with a character heard off screen explaining something, and it seemed like it was added late in the game. It felt awkward; the work of a director not quite comfortable putting together a coherent movie of this scale. Scott did a much better job of articulating this than I did, saying:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed the insane amount of ADR. In fact, the film resembled a childrens’ cartoon with all the expository audio to explain clearly obvious onscreen events (“It worked!” or “We have to get out of here!” or “If we don’t get in there, we won’t be able to stop them.”), stuff that you hear all the time in 1980s action cartoons. Much of the time, the characters’ mouths weren’t even moving, so you know this was a late in the game choice to (theoretically) make the story crystal clear to young kids that shouldn’t have been in the theater in the first place.

    Hope you don’t mind me reposting that Scott. I’d say T:S is a really poorly directed film with some decent effects and OK performances.

    I like The Seige. One of Zwick’s better movies. Haven’t seen it in a long time though.

  83. storymark says:

    “Considering the behind-the-scenes turmoil, I don’t know how much blame McG takes for the terrible script and inert narrative. ”

    Having spoken with a lot of the crew, and one of the storyboard artists, I’d place a lot of blame on the “script” with McG. I was told he was constantly changing things during the shoot, sometimes asking for entirely new sets to be designed and built in just a day. The storyboard guy told me that the script that he started boarding was vastly different from what they actually shot, and that what ended up on screen was vastly different from even that.

  84. JKill says:

    I don’t remember any bad ADR in TERMINATOR:SALVATION, but, for me, that is one of the most distracting things that can be in a movie.

    I just recently watched DePalma’s THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES for the first time, and while I found it fascinating and interesting and by no means the artistic disaster I’ve heard for so long, the first fifteen minutes or so are filled with really obvious ADR that doesn’t match the mouths of the actors, and it was distracting and distancing. (This was probably partly technical since it starts with a lengthy tracking shot that was probably hard to pull off.)

    These behind the scenes stories on T:S are interesting. Curious to what McG’s first post Terminator movie will be like.

  85. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Oh I’m not making it up. It’s most definitely there. It’s impossible to miss. I rarely notice problems like that in movies but I noticed it repeatedly in T:S. Obviously Scott did as well.

  86. JKill says:

    Oh I wasn’t trying to imply you were making it up. I believe you. I just don’t remember it and agree that bad ADR can really pull one out of a film.

  87. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Yeah it sure can.

    This Means War has promise. Pretty good cast.

  88. jesse says:

    This has nothing to do with anything, and Scott I agree with your take on a lot of things but can I just have an aside to say that Red Dragon is absolutely fucking terrible. It’s terrible in a weirdly insidious way, too — it’s not ACTIVELY incompetent the way that a lot of movies might be. It’s just the most absolutely rote, boringly shot, minimally-tense, serial-killer-cliche-saturated movie that could possibly star Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Harvey Kietel, and Mary Louise-Parker. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a more qualified cast wasted on a less interesting movie.

    This is just another reason why Ratner will probably always be at the bottom of hack list for me. Bay at least has some music-video-style visual chops. I mean, The Rock is overrated; it’s basically carried by really fun movie-star performances and a lot of slickness; tonally, it’s an utter mess of fun action-adventure, heavy drama, and black comedy. But Armageddon, noisy and sometimes incoherent as it is, is more or less all of a ridiculous, overblown piece. The Transformers movies have some cool-looking mayhem. Bay (like Snyder) sabotages even his better qualities as a director, but whatever, at this point he does what he does and who really gives a shit. I’ll see Transformers 3. Robots go boom, etc.

    And McG seems like a jackass, but the Charlie’s Angels movies are fun. Even the stupid second one that’s a little too self-conscious about how the surprisingly warm reception the first one got, well, it’s still enjoyable enough. I don’t need a gritty, non-campy Charlie’s Angels. And yes, a couple of the T4 action sequences are really strong, even though the movie doesn’t amount to much. (Is there a greater case against the idea of automatic trilogies/franchises/etc. than T3 and T4? They’re not even all-out atrocious movies; they just keep trying to deepen this mythology that WARRANTS NO ADDITIONAL EXPLORATION. I mean, maybe Cameron could’ve done it, but at this point, the weird obsession with continuing the Terminator franchise seems masochistic (although: I kinda liked the TV show).

    J.J. Abrams probably belongs in that neo-Spielberg Hollywood crew, too, but he’s mostly awesome. Snyder has never made a movie I loved but has made several I thought were at least interesting and I watched more than once.

    So that leaves Ratner who:
    –made a TV-movie-grade serial killer movie out of the strongest ensemble cast of 2002, or maybe of 2000-2005, or maybe of that whole decade
    –took a bunch of ingredients in place for a decent X-Men movie and rushed them into awfulness
    –couldn’t even make a fun, sexy, throwaway heist movie
    –peaked with Rush Hour? Maybe?

    Ratner loses all. It’s become his job to make me feel vaguely relieved when someone like Zack Snyder gets Superman.

    Anyway, to chase away my Red Dragon anger, I’d love to take nominations for best-utilized and worst-utilized ensemble casts of the past decade or so.

  89. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    The Rush Hour movies, X:3 and After the Sunset are vastly superior to Red Dragon. Totally agree with your assessment of it jesse.

  90. storymark says:

    –took a bunch of ingredients in place for a decent X-Men movie and rushed them into awfulness

    I’d say that’s unfair. He was hired what, a couple weeks before shooting. And the project was rushed long before he came onboard. All things considered, I think he did a decent job on that one.

  91. LexG says:

    Family Man is cute.

    Ratner seems like a great dude.

  92. jesse says:

    storymark, while it’s probably not fair of me to blame Ratner for how rushed X-Men 3 was, I had hoped that OK, you’ve got all of the actors and designs and stuff in place from the first two movies… surely this can one can basically direct itself if need be? And instead we get Ratner’s sub-competent version, which even if he was just shooting a bad script as-is, has its share of dumb little moments that I assume came from him. Like the superfluous wacky shot of an Asian tourist with his mouth hanging open at the Golden Gate Bridge goings-on. Ugh. Even if it’s just about choosing which rushed/shoehorned subplots to focus on and how to stage them in an effective way, Ratner dropped the ball. Let’s see if Vaughn’s equally rushed prequel has anything as stupid as the five or ten worst moments of X3.

    Lex, actually, I sort of agree with you about Family Man. That movie is fine. If Ratner was doing that kind of movie, harmless and cute star vehicles, I’d probably think a lot more of him.

  93. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Yeah even with the magical negro character and rote message about valuing what you have, The Family Man is pretty enjoyable for what it is.

  94. jesse says:

    … in fact, while we’re talking about X3, can I just also say I think it’s ridiculous the amount of hate that Spider-Man 3 gets in comparison to X-Men 3, which I feel like a lot of nerds and/or regular moviegoers sort of give a pass as “eh, it could’ve been worse” or “not as good as the other two but pretty solid!”… but it is SO MUCH WORSE than Spider-Man 3. At least SM3 has lots of Sam Raimi moments and some kickass action sequences. And in fact is a pretty fun, if obviously (also) rushed and muddled and patched-together, Spider-Man story. X-Men 3 is my pet cause in terms of complaining about silly effects-driven blockbuster franchises. Love the Star Wars prequels, fine with Spider-Man 3, liked Superman Returns. But X-Men 3 suuuucks. It sucks even more thinking about how much good stuff is sitting around that movie, waiting to be used for longer than a minute or two.

  95. Erik says:

    It looks like a video game movie. Is it a video game already?

  96. Krillian says:

    I didn’t think X-Men 3 was that bad. I guess it’s all about perspective, and for me, no superhero sequel has been as bad as Batman & Robin. Now THAT was a terrible movie, almost destroying a beloved character, annihilating the goodwill Tim Burton and then the Paul Dini animated series had built up.

    I would add Fantastic Four 2, which was bad, but I thought it was actually a little better than the first one.

  97. leahnz says:

    scott: fwiw my comment wasn’t meant for you at all, just a general statement to the ether while commenting too quickly on my semi-broken laptop that i’d already said what you said but it wasn’t acknowledged (by someone…can’t remember now), so i packed a little sad/had a quick tanty. sorry that wasn’t clear.

    ftr, i didn’t say mcg was a hack or a terrible director, i said he’s mediocre. same with ratner = mediocre (red dragon = mediocre; not dire, just…nothing. there. average. forgettable. bland). most modern action directors are mediocre. mediocrity – mere competence – is the scourge of film-making (and probably always has been, tho it feels worse now, more homogeneous. that’s why anyone with even a MODICUM of style is trumpeted from the rooftops as being VISIONARY! these days)

  98. I’m one of eight people who actually likes Spider-Man 3 better than Spider-Man 2. While the first sequel is obviously a superior picture (there is GREAT stuff in the Aunt May and pre-villain Dr. Octavius bits), I loathe the entire ‘feel sorry for Peter Parker because he cruelly dumped Mary Jane and now she won’t take him back’ plot, as well as the ‘feel sorry for Peter Parker because his life is a mess, even though he could easily solve most of his problems if he just tried’ (work for a different newspaper, be Spider-Man just a little less so he can graduate from college, move in with Aunt May again, ask Harry to help with Aunt May, etc). Since Spider-Man 3 has 10,000 different subplots, the thorny Mary Jay/Peter relationship is by default less of the film, so I enjoyed it more. That, and I kind of admire its kitchen-sink excess absurdity, as well as its more wacked-out elements (the dance sequence, the hilariously on-point newscast right at the end before the action finale, etc). Spider-Man 2 is a ‘better’ movie, but Spider-Man 3 is the rainbow-colored cotton candy that I’m more likely to watch a few minutes of if it pops up on FX.

    X-Men 3 had the bad luck of being an okay sequel to a near-masterpiece of its genre. The only real problem I have with it is that it’s telling what should be Cyclop’s story with Wolverine at the front-and-center (likely by studio edict), meaning that we have to buy that Wolverine is IN LOVE with a woman that he barely knows and spent maybe three days with over the course of a month before she died. Not a good film, but not the disaster that it was deemed upon release. Ratner somehow gets Josef Sommer to give his only bad performance ever as the President, and I’d politely advise Anthony Heald to never ever work with Ratner again (he inexplicably sucks in X-Men 3 and Red Dragon).

    In a way, the X-Men trilogy is a lot like the Scream trilogy: dated and creaky original with a much campier final 2/3 than you remember, a pitch-perfect sequel that stands as a pinnacle of the genre, and a misfire third film that’s okay as a stand-alone genre entry but a terrible series finale. But then I rather like Fantastic Four, especially the director’s cut of the first film and the first act of the sequel (it really works as a character-driven family drama as opposed to a thrill-a-minute action spectacle).

    EDIT – for the record, while I stand by the comparison, the first X-Men holds up better than the first Scream (liked it, didn’t love it when I first saw it in 1996, still think the sequel is the Empire Strikes Back of the series). I still adore the first X-Men film for that terrific initial act and the wonderful character interplay. But once Xavier explains ‘the rules’ to Logan at the end of act one, the film’s tone gets surprisingly campy and jokey, with the exception of the Logan/Rogue scenes.

  99. jesse says:

    I actually love the first X-Men movie. As you say with Spider Man 2/3, X2 is probably a better movie overall, but I might prefer the first one just for the amount of character moments it was able to create in absence of a massive budget. It’s nice and simple and fun — which makes X3’s suckiness all the more disappointing: Singer made a really fun, reasonably smart X-Men movie on a rushed schedule and a lower budget! Ratner had a lot of those pieces in place and a lot more money, and delivered something that barely achieved boilerplate level for that series.

    I understand that Wolverine was probably going to be the center of the movies and Jackman is great in the part so I don’t begrudge him getting a lot of screentime, but it is weird that it’s the THIRD movie that:

    –front-and-centers Jackman even more than the previous two
    –kills off Cyclops OFF-SCREEN
    –yet still adds several new characters
    –then, at least some cases, relegates those new characters to perfunctory status immediately
    –cuts the running time by about half an hour (from X2; I know X1 is actually relatively short)

    It’s weird, too, that they rushed to cap off an X-Men trilogy, because of ALL the properties out there, X-Men is one where you really don’t need to keep it to three movies to maintain some kind of storytelling integrity. I get that Nolan only wants to do three Batman movies. I get that a set of three movies can form a larger arc where four or five or six, you start to get tired of the characters or the actors want out. But if ever there was a property that could’ve been a five or six movie series without worrying too much whether ALL the actors could sign on or whether characters were stretched thin, it’s freaking X-Men. Why rush to wrap it all up in 105 minutes? And who in that cast was even going anywhere that they felt like they had to hurry up and get it done? Jackman has signed up to play Wolverine two more times in his own movies!

    I mean, this summer we’re seeing attempts at fourth and fifth movies on much shakier ground. But X-Men shot itself in the foot. Although I guess First Class could be seen as a fourth movie since it’s supposed to be pretty in-continuity. Oh man, getting worked up about X-Men 3 only emphasizes how badly I want this new one to be as good as it looks in the trailer.

  100. Storymark says:

    “Let’s see if Vaughn’s equally rushed prequel has anything as stupid as the five or ten worst moments of X3. ”

    Vaughn will have had a lot more time than Ratner. And lets not forget he’s also the dude that developed the X3 script (which was at the core of that film’s problems).

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of Ratner or that movie in particular. But I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as some claim.

    And I’d rather watch a marathon of X3 than Spider-Man 3, which I loathe (and I am a big Raimi fan).

  101. jesse says:

    And Scott, you are right that X3 might seem okay as a stand-alone movie. If it had been the first movie and/or if the first two hadn’t been so awesome, it would’ve just seemed like an agreeably stupid, entertainingly silly superhero movie, which is sort of what I thought of the Wolverine movie (that is, it wasn’t very good, but it was watchable, and it could’ve been even worse and it didn’t really break my heart or anything). But after the first two, yikes.

  102. jesse says:

    Storymark, the broad outlines of the story to X3 don’t really strike me as that movie’s problem center. That’s why I find it so frustrating, actually. It’s really all in the execution, where what should’ve been a 140-minute ensemble action-drama gets condensed into a 105-minute clunkathon with perfunctory scenes galore and confusing character exits/entrances. Maybe that wasn’t all Ratner’s fault but he certainly didn’t seem to do much to salvage things.

  103. samguy says:

    Alas it seems that Snyder should stick to homoerotica!

  104. leahnz says:

    ‘x-men 2’ vs. ‘x-men 3’ is a fine example of one movie made by a director (singer) with an ability to build character and tension, and thus tell an engaging story, vs. a sequel directed by a mediocre one (the rat) with little innate sense of timing, style, flair, or ability to build tension by way of developing character and staging effective action that feels like it has real consequences for our heroes in peril. a good movie vs. a mediocre one

  105. Storymark says:

    Wolverine is terrible. Aside from the opening credits sequence, which was great, that is a turd of a flick.

    X2 is really the only one of the series that holds up for me. Well, the first half or so of the original is pretty good.

  106. Storymark says:

    “Storymark, the broad outlines of the story to X3 don’t really strike me as that movie’s problem center. ”

    The broad outline – sure. But the actual script was pretty bad. Hell, at the time, the writers bragged that they wrote the whole damned thing in 7 days. That’s not Ratner, and there’s only so much he can do to fix a broken script that’s already been cast, designed, budgeted and had sets built.

    I could probably list a bunch of movies that sound good in the broad outline, but that doesn’t mean they had solid scripts.

  107. IOv3 says:

    Jesse, you are so right freaking on with X3. Seriously, that movie is ass but it gets a total fucking pass because of it’s circumstances. Which is a total bullshit reason to give a movie that hokey a fucking pass.

  108. JKill says:

    The problem I have with X-3 is that, for all the subplots and characters, it’s weirdly short. It sort of just rockets along without really going into any depth on anything, even characters we’ve now spent two movies with. It felt like it was missing twenty minutes.

    There’s a Creative Screenwriting podcast with Penn and Kinberg where they talk about the odd process of how it was written, with Fox’s original plan being to pit them against one another and have them write seperate scripts to be combined later. They decided to join forces instead. They’re very diplomatic, but it’s a good listen.

    SPIDER-MAN 3 is far from perfect but it’s so Rami and it has that awesome musical number, the Sandman forming scene, a very fitting conclusion to the Harry Osbourne thread of the series, and enough nice touches that I have a lot of affection for it. It’s better than X3 because it’s personal.

  109. Hopscotch says:

    On Adam Carolla’s site there is a podcast called “The Film Vault”. They do a podcast every Friday that’s a Top Five type show. Recent ones are: Top Five Death Scenes. Top Five Cameos, Top Five Character Actors, etc.

    My favorite topic they’ve done is Top Five Films you are most PROUD to have never scene. One of the guys mentioned he’d never seen Titanic, for example.

    I, being a massive film fan, am very proud to not have seen Wolverine or Spiderman 3. They looked horrible, sounded horrible and glad I didn’t have to sit through them. Never saw Transformers 2 or Pirates 3. And I’m never going to see Sucker Punch.

    You all reading this I’m sure can relate to this feeling. The notion that I saw a turd coming and no matter how popular or how much discussion it takes you’re still not going to taste.

  110. Hopscotch says:

    Iron Man 2 is another one I proudly did not see.

  111. yancyskancy says:

    Hopscotch: I can’t relate to that at all. I’ve never understood being proud NOT to have seen something. Since it’s impossible to have a meaningful opinion of something you haven’t experienced, you literally can’t bring anything to the discussion other than “This looked like it would suck. I’ve heard some people ‘confirm’ that it sucked, so I was obviously right to avoid it.” What kind of logic is that? I certainly understand avoiding something that doesn’t look like it’ll be your cup of tea. But being proud of it? Doesn’t compute in my head.

    For one thing, many much-maligned films have ended up looking good or great with the passage of time. For another, I’m sure we’ve all come late to something we avoided for ages and been surprised at how much we liked it.

  112. IOv3 says:

    Hopscotch, IM2 is not that bad. Seriously, it’s not.

    Now, it’s not pride as much as it’s happy that I never bought into the bullshit of the validity of shitty horror films that most online geek writers go on about for months. This alone will keep me from seeing Detention and fucking Attack the Block.

    Yancy… this: , right the fuck on sir.

  113. JKill says:

    I have found that a lot of the allegedly horrible movies, the ones that are really trashed and insulted, often have that happen for reasons beyond the movie itself.

    HEAVEN’S GATE, SHOWGIRLS, THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES and ISHTAR were called huge peices of junk by a lot of people, and I would defend every single one to varying degrees. I wouldn’t have seen any of them if I listened to popular opinion.

    Obviously, you get burned if you watch everything but the fun in that is discovering a diamond in the rough, and it’s all the more rewarding because of the less than great stuff you viewed.

  114. IOv3 says:

    I fucking love Bonfire of the Vanities. It has one of the more ridiculous endings ever but damn it, it’s just so much fucking fun. I also dig the hell out of Hanks not playing a strong and resilient character. He’s playing a weasel and damn it, if he does not play one amazing weaselly bastard.

  115. jesse says:

    Yeah, I don’t really get bragging about not going to some movie. “I called it! I thought that movie looked crummy and a bunch of other people who aren’t me are now saying it WAS crummy! Boom! Triumph!” I dunno, I mean, see it or don’t, be taking it as a point of pride, well, maybe you value your time more than I do. To me, “surrendering” 100 minutes to some movie that — gasp! — might not be really good isn’t that big a deal. You learn just as much from watching mediocre-to-bad movies as you do from watching good-to-great ones.

    Second on Iron Man 2 not being that bad. Offhand, I’d say I enjoy it more than the original. The story is a little more clunky, but that’s more because Iron Man is an origin story with a built-in arc; it’s not like it’s a crackerjack piece of storytelling. Iron Man 2 is basically an eccentric dialogue/performance comedy with some marginally cooler action sequences than the first one. And it’s got Sam Rockwell. Ask me which one I’d rather rewatch right now and it’s Iron Man 2 in a heartbeat.

    Hudson Hawk is another widely-reviled/punchline movie that when I finally saw it turned out to be pretty amusing. Kind of a mess, but a lot more original and bizarre than most movies of its ilk.

    The Cable Guy seemed to be one of those instant-punchline movies for awhile but it seems like its rep has grown over the years. At worst, it’s not a worse movie than any number of broad Carrey comedies, and I’d say it’s a lot better than most of them.

  116. IOv3 says:

    Hudson Hawk is worth seeing just for the NEW CIA/OLD CIA lunacy. That entire movie is basically a really ridiculous 16 bit SNES game brought to life. It also has Caruso in it. You can’t go wrong with CARUSO, who appeared on Hill Street Blues as an Irish gang leader. Seriously, that guy, should be put in the Smithsonian.

  117. JKill says:

    Caruso rules. I sometimes watch CSI: MIAMI only for the first couple of minutes when he says his quip or one-liner before the credits. Then I shut it off.

    Another HATED movie that I was quite taken with was THE BROWN BUNNY, which reviews from Cannes said was the worst thing ever. (I know it was re-edited but still.)

  118. JKill says:

    There’s a really great Quentin Tarantino quote I wish I could find where he talks about how when he watches exploitation movies that about 3/4ths off the bat are garbage. The other twenty percent are okay, maybe they have some interesting ideas or a few good scenes.

    But that in the top five percent at a certain point you find yourself invested and caring and interested in what you’re watching in a way that’s all the more special because you’ve earned it by going through all the bad movies. I would like to think that extends to non-exploitation too.

    (I’m paraphrasing and the percentages part probably doesn’t work because I’m awful at math but hopefully the sentiment remains.)

  119. IOv3 says:

    The Brown Bunny isn’t that terrible. It’s just like the Russian version Solaris but with a blowie at the end.

  120. JKill says:

    IO, it’s really fun watching Hanks play that type of character. The only other time I can think that he came close since was THE LADYKILLERS.

    The ending to BOTV is fascinating because I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be taken seriously. It’s a major tonal shift from everything beforehand, and the kind of thing that only a maverick like Depalma would even attempt.

  121. IOv3 says:

    Yeah it’s hard to take seriously but damn it, if it’s not hilarious.

  122. Hopscotch says:

    I should clarify.

    With marketing being so inyourface and publicity and talk shows jamming products down our throats, I’m proud to not “having” to see certain movies.

    but points above are taken.

    I’ve never seen Isthar or BOTV, and tried to watch Hudson Hawk having read that it’s an interesting comedy/action blend…but yeah, I still thought it was pretty horrible and i couldn’t get through it. I’m one of the few people I know that liked The Terminal.

  123. yancyskancy says:

    I liked THE TERMINAL, too. Was kind of surprised at the slams; it wasn’t a complete success by any means, but lots of good stuff there. I wish Spielberg had taken a more truly Capra-esque approach (Capra would’ve been much tougher on the Hanks character). But it’s a well crafted character comedy with Hanks at his most likable, and great work by Kumar Pallana in particular.

    Count me among those who liked IRON MAN 2 as well. Not as fresh as the first, I guess (which was mostly fresh due to Downey’s performance), but just about as entertaining. I found enough sass and Hawksian banter to help me lie back and let corporate Hollywood have its way with me a little (Favreau only lets them put the tip in, IMO). Plus, Scarlett Johansson in a skintight catsuit.

  124. sdp says:

    I didn’t catch Iron Man 2 in theaters, and I finally watched at home it on a lazy weekend afternoon with zero expectations. It was entertaining enough. Rockwell alone makes it worth watching, and Rourke was much better than I expected. It’s definitely a mess, but I just kind of tuned the weak parts out. If someone wanted to throw it on, I wouldn’t object.

    Glad to see I’m not alone in my undying hatred of X-Men 3. Such a botched conclusion to that trilogy. I would probably say that X-Men 2 is my favorite film in the entire damn genre (TDK included), so it was especially disappointing. It made me appreciate Singer so much more.

  125. The Big Perm says:

    I thought Iron Man 2 was horrible. Not that it was BAD per se…but my god, what a limp dicked movie that was. All of that bullshit setting up some other movie that I don’t care about, and the worst of all, it had two amazing actors as villans and did NOTHING with them. Iron Man 2 really was the pits, even the people who made it seem to think so.

  126. leahnz says:

    i can hardly remember anything about ‘iron man 2’ (having seen it only once), except RDJ’s hilarious ‘young capt. ramius’ hair-do, the wiz-bang suitcase that turns into iron man’s suit at the raceway – that was pretty nifty – along with rourke’s cool electricity whip there, and then a big fight at the end that takes place in a botanical garden, or some such…for some reason i can’t remember who the villain was…the army of bad iron-man suit dudes? oh and garry shandling. and “you complete me!”, which i remember wasn’t IN the actual movie i saw but rather just the trailer

  127. IOv3 says:

    Yeah the Avengers movie is more important than anything else Marvel is doing, and IM2 set-up that universe even more. So if you dislike it for setting up Thor and the Avengers well skip the Thor and Avengers movie.

    Leah, the villains in IM2 are Whiplash and Justin Hammer. Hammer being another industrialist, who creates IM suits based off of IM suit version 2, that Rhody steals after a fight featuring DJ AM. This eventually leads to Whiplash taking over the IM suit droids and shenanigans breaking out.

  128. The Big Perm says:

    Sounds like Marvel has a great idea…if you don’t want to pay money to see half an hour of footage setting up some other movie in the future instead of seeing the story you wanted to see…then skip their very expensive tentpole movie.

    Whiplash wasn’t a villain, he was this guy who showed up briefly then appeared at the end for a battle that I guess we were supposed to care about, but since those characters had barely even interacted, I don’t think anyone did.

  129. IOv3 says:

    Yeah, some of us are more concerned with the universe than one film. It’s a film universe. There’s going to be some Cap stuff in Thor. If you want your tentpoles exclusive to themselves, watch DC films, but people are giving them shit for not having a UNIVERSE FILM. So, yeah, these films may not work for you, but they work for a lot of people.

    Whiplash set up the entire ending of that film. All the mayhem that happens, happens because of him. He is one of the villains of the last film.

  130. bkl says:

    to whoever said snyders films are continually critically panned… go and look at rotten tomatoes, i would hardly say they are panned, a few are middle of the fence yes, but not panned.

    I feel like this film is copping alot of unfair criticism. Yes it is flawed in ways, and yes it can be quite jarring the way its sequenced and put together, but i feel like it is such an interesting concept and the outcome of the film has stirred audiences around the world into conversations (slash arguments) about it and their interpretations of it. At first watch, i liked the film, but couldnt quite grasp what the point of it was, and also what really did happen. I LOVE FILMS THAT DO THIS TO ME. I don’t know about everyone else, but i feel a real freshness to it because of this, the story is there and its really up to us to make up our minds on what really happened. And some of the theories out there make the movie even more interesting to me. This is what the film industry needs! more films like this to stir conversations and make us evoke our imaginations into deciding what we think it really is all about.
    Inception did it, and i know people too have their hate rants about that film too, but like it or not, its very well thought out and so intriguing that it made everyone converse alot about it, which in the end, in my opionion, assists in overall enjoyment of these kinds of films.

    After reading and discussing the film more, I have already found myself growing more fond of it and i can tell after a few more views, i will probably grow to love it.

    And to me, this is what cinema is all about. EXPERIENCING it. Not just viewing it. But conversing with others about it.

    Kudos Zack Snyder, I admire that you had the confidence in yourself and your skill to go out and make the movie you wanted to make this time around, not just an adaptation or a screenplay written by someone else. And kudos to you for taking a huge risk with this film.

  131. Jesse says:

    I really don’t feel as though Synder has evolved any as a director which is the only thing that concerns me for Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet shot in slow motion just isn’t going to work. He can stage action but I really hope he’s micro-managed on the set. I really wish they would have gone with Duncan Jones and honestly had there been no time constraints believe they would have, but seeing as how he’s not had the big budget experience that Snyder has I guess he was the best option being bandied about. I like Snyder, but he needs to step outside of his comfort zone, and fast.

  132. Harry says:

    I really enjoyed SP but can see how it’s polarizing. Someone like Poland didn’t grow up with video games as big a part of their lives as someone in younger generations. SP is like a video game come to life at times and I loved it. Plus, as Lex has said, BOW to Browning. She sings three of the songs in the film and has a beautiful voice.

  133. leahnz says:

    i don’t know about the singing, but i think i’ll take a pass bowing to browning in her creepy little infantilising sailor suit and pigtails, thanks. i’ll tip my hat to cornish tho, for managing to be a bit more than just bearable in such a laughably inane ‘victims/whores/weepers/killers’ teen boy’s sexist and yet highly misandrous vision of insipidly fetishist ‘girl power’.

    i didn’t realise duncan jones was actually in the running for superman, i put him on my ‘young possibles’ list in that other thread but didn’t realise how very possible he was… i wish they had gone with some fresh n’ eager ‘unknown’, or distinctive young gun like jones, that could have been interesting. i’m weirdly curious to see what travis does with ‘dredd’ or ‘judge dredd’ or whatever it’s being called, i wasn’t a big fan of ‘vantage point’ but i saw ‘endgame’ recently and quite liked it, so now travis has sorta piqued my interest.

    (snyder and me aren’t thru professionally as mr. bale would intone melodramatically but he’s on probation in home detention wearing one of those ankle bracelet thingies. i’ve tried to watch ‘watchman’ three times now and fell asleep every time, even once during the day. i drift off at some point and always wake up near the end with spectre and dr. manhattan on some weird planet holding hands thinking, wtf happened? and then resolve to stay awake the next time, to no avail. most bizarrely it’s now on my list of movies i apparently CAN NOT stay awake thru, along with ‘american gangster’)

  134. LexG says:

    “browning in her creepy little infantilising sailor suit and pigtails”

    MMMMMM SO HOT. Especially the LITTLE SAILOR COSTUME. Especially how she and the other women CRY A LOT with their LITTLE MAKEUP RUNNING, making them look EXTRA demure and damaged and scared, aka HOT HOT HOT.

    Snyder must have almost every one of my fetishes. SUCKER PUNCH was the best porno I’d ever seen on a big screen. SO. HOT.

  135. LexG says:


    CUTE! CUTE!!!!

  136. IOv3 says:

    Cornish wears what she wears for a reason. The film is also not about girl power. It’s about trying to survive. How girl power gets attached to a movie that’s now even about that, is beyond me.

  137. LexG says:

    All I know is I achieved FULL ERECTION in the first three minutes between barefoot, weak and weeping Browning and the SWEET DREAMS COVER, and maintained it for all two hours.


    EASILY BEST OF 2011.


  138. LexG says:

    SLAP CHOP VINCE has a *personal sex slave*???? I can’t even get a Hollywood street kid emo chick for 80 bucks a week and a roof?


  139. Pete B says:

    Since this blog has come full circle back to Snyder and Superman again, Anghus asked very early regarding a Snyder treatment “…should we expect anything other than a visually stunning superhero film with average performances?

    Personally, I’d be happy with that. It’d be better than Superman Returns. Guess I’m dumb, but I’m not sure where all this ‘complexity of character’ stuff is coming from. Superman is a comic book. He’s not Hamlet. George Reeves had a steady gig for 6 years of “fighting for truth, justice and the American way”. Don’t remember his character ever being torn apart emotionally for being a god among men. We’ve had 10 seasons of Smallville with Kal-El being conflicted with his destiny. Just embrace it and go on with your life. Superman needs to fly, kick ass, and hopefully have a credible villain. If Snyder delivers on those 3 elements – the film will be fine.

    And with luck, Snyder will do an opening credit sequence like at the beginning of Watchmen and Sucker Punch, where he can breeze through Supe’s origin set to music and get it out of the way already.

  140. IOv3 says:

    Just a comic book? Really? That’s it? I’m sure Will Eisner appreciates that from the beyond.

  141. The Big Perm says:

    Isn’t Browning going to be nude in some upcoming movie? I’d stay out of the theater Lex is in, you’d be eating popcorn and you think the butter tastes funny, but it’s jizz, flying from the back of the theatre, and it gets on your date and she gets pregnant and blames you.

  142. Harry says:

    The Big Perm, yep Browning is doing a nude scene in a movie called “Sleeping Beauty.” It’s already finished filming and post-production is nearing the end so it shouldn’t be too long before it’s released in some form.

    The plot is as follows:

    “A haunting erotic fairytale about Lucy, a young University student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of beauty and desire.”

  143. Harry says:

    Here’s an interview with Browning about the nude scene and other things:

  144. LexG says:


    She was Stephenie Meyer’s preferred choice to play Bella Swan.

    In my fantasies the casting issue was settled by Browning and K-Stew having a LITTLE PILLOW FIGHT in their bare feet with lots of errant feathers and fun giggling.

    And pigtails.

  145. Harry says:

    Lex, I presume that in your fantasy, Browning is wearing the hot little sailor outfit from Sucker Punch?

  146. HarryWarden says:

    Lex, what about the white get-up Browning was wearing at the end? That was hot, no? She was smokin’ in that.

  147. Channery says:

    TYVM you’ve solved all my pobrelms

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon