Sucker Punch is Zack Snyder's first break from adapting someone else's work, and either because he just wanted to go balls to the wall on his first auteur outing, or because he plainly needs the focus of pre-existing material, Sucker Punch is a glimpse into a hyperactive, overstimulated, geek-tunnel-vision mind. Which would be perfectly fine as a fun, disposable, style-over-substance action film. But for reasons surpassing comprehension, Snyder had to go and try to make it some feminist statement as well -- despite being woefully ill-equipped to do so -- and the result is an action movie that is not only derivative and juvenile, but an action movie that is a misguided failure on an intellectual level as well. Why do that to yourself, dude?
Regardless of whether you felt Zack Snyder's 300 was spectacular art or mindless drivel, or that his Watchmen was too faithful or not faithful enough, or whether you think he's a good choice to direct the next Superman movie, you have to admit you're intrigued by Sucker Punch. Sure, the latest trailer is chock-full of his overused slow-motion, but it's also packed with more geektastic imagery than any movie we've ever seen before, leading one man to call it Things The Internet Likes: The Movie, and numerous others to compare it to Inception due to its dream-state storyline. So is it actually Nerd Inception? Let's use what we've learned from the new trailer to take a closer look.
Zack Snyder's fever dream Sucker Punch failed to knock out Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 at the box office this past weekend and received mostly terrible reviews. But it's not Snyder's latest film we're concerned about, it's his next one: the Superman reboot. Even with Christopher Nolan overseeing the project, Snyder is still directing, and after seeing Sucker Punch, we're worried about what Snyder's clearly imaginative psyche will come up with for the Man of Steel. These are some of our red flags:
While the late, great Michael Jackson is most famous for his music, the man loved to make movies about himself and his songs, and as a megastar he had his pick of some of the most respected directors of our time. Granted, not all of the films were very good, and most were simply long-form music videos, but all were jam-packed full of enough ideas to make a feature-length movie out of. In honor of the man, what say we get today's hottest directors to remake his films? (We'll leave the challenge of recasting the Jackson role to more talented casting directors than ourselves.)
Despite looking like a goth version of the big meeting at the beginning of The Warriors, Spike TV's Scream Awards managed to pull in some pretty big talent Tuesday night. Liv Tyler, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Ron Perlman and Jon Favreau were among the A-listers who showed up to get screamed at by a group of extras from Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson videos. (Both were in attendance.) But the real treat of the night was the appearance of the Watchmen cast, who brought along some new footage... okay, it was a lot of old footage, mostly from the first trailer, but there were some tasty gems buried within, ones that nobody had seen before, not even the press.
As you may have heard, there was a test screening last week in Portland for the Watchmen movie. Once news of the screening broke online, nerds from across the greater Pacific Northwest flocked to the theatre to see if they could get in, only to find out that the passes had all been given out the week before. However, despite the fact that everyone at the screening signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, a number of people who claim to be attendees have been more than willing to share their opinions and spoilers about the film online. Aside from the fact that it was unfinished and awesome, it seems like there was at least one major change in the plot from the original graphic novel: namely, the ending. While both Zack Snyder and Kevin Smith have already said that the ending would be slightly different, it sounds like the one that was shown was more different than a lot of people expected. It may be a fake ending, whipped up to throw nerds off the scent, but if you've read the book, and want to know what the movie's ending might be, read on.
So you've read our description of the Watchmen preview footage that was shown at last week's press events -- now it's time to hear what the men who made it possible have to say. At the event, director Zack Snyder and Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons talked to the press about the film and the book it's based on, and they had some pretty interesting stuff to tell us. Check out both of the interviews in Mondo Extras!
Already well on its way to becoming the most divisive work in geek history, Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Watchmen, the most revered comic book of all time, may best be approached as a giant -- you guessed it -- Rorschach test: you either see a pretty butterfly, or you see a dog with its head split in half. The naysayers are certainly out there in force, in both the mainstream publications and the fanboy blogs, and I don't begrudge them their sometimes valid, often contradictory, occasionally deeply flawed points of view. All I can do is report that when I gazed at this dense, two-hour-and-forty-minute-long inkblot of a movie, I saw the butterfly -- I saw a brilliantly realized, richly textured pop-fiction spectacle; candy for both the eye and the brain. Is this theatrical version a perfect cinematic treatment of Watchmen? No, and I'll explain why below. But in the final analysis, seeing this beloved story come to life in a completely fresh, unexpected way gave me the same sensation I felt when I first read it in its original single-issue form over 20 years ago: pure astonishment, quickly followed by a burning desire to experience it again and again. Nothing ever ends.
Imagine being a fly on the wall of the Watchmen movie set. Better yet, imagine getting paid for it. Clay Enos is a professional photographer who also happens to be a friend of director Zack Snyder, so when Snyder offered him the job of set photographer for the highly anticipated film, he jumped at the chance. He soon learned that that meant that every photograph that appears in the movie, documents the movie, and promotes the movie would have to be shot by him. That included everything from the sepia-tone team photo of the Minutemen to last week's six different Entertainment Weekly covers. (Well, five of them -- Dr. Manhattan was a computer creation.) But whenever he had a free moment on set, he would shoot the portraits that are his signature work, and now those portraits -- of actors, extras and crew members -- are collected into a book called Watchmen: Portraits. We talked to him about the history-making shoot, his role in the movie and how he came up with the idea for Nite Owl coffee.
To describe something as "spartan" is to say that it's simple, austere...frugal, even. It has a "less is more" attitude. It's a principle that applied, in a unique way, to that Spartan movie, 300. Writer/director Zack Snyder took less budget ($65 million is relative pocket change in Hollywood) and made more movie with more ass-kicking per square inch of screen than most films with twice the budget. King Leonidas and his band of merry men easily made the money back in the movie's opening weekend. Now Variety reports that Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers are eager to repeat this formula for success, by making a sequel.