In Defense of Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch is not a bad movie. I mean, it’s not that bad. I think it’s a misunderstood film that will, years from now, be rehabilitated and reinterpreted – possibly becoming something of a minor classic, much like Dark City.

If you did not like Sucker Punch, that’s fine. Go in peace. We all like different things, and I’m sure we don’t agree on lots of stuff. However, in recent weeks, Sucker Punch has been subjected to some of the worst, most savage reviews of 2011 – critiques that have not been merely negative, but outright vicious rants. I saw one screed that blamed the decline of Western moviemaking on Sucker Punch! (I gave it a positive review, though.) Anyone who hasn’t seen it might be forgiven for assuming that the movie stars Mel Gibson and Bernie Madoff, and was directed by Moammar Gadhafi.

It was directed and co-written by Zack Snyder, who did the stylish 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, then adapted Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300, followed by an adoring translation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ beloved Watchmen comic-book series. It stars Emily Browning as Babydoll, Abbie Cornish (Sweet Pea), Jena Malone (Rocket), Jamie Chung (Amber), Vanessa Hudgens (Blondie), Carla Gugino (Madam Gorski) and Scott Glenn (The Wise Man).
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STARGATE UNIVERSE 2.15: Seizure

Okay, so it’s really hard to power a stargate to dial a nine-chevron address. And dangerous: Reaching Destiny destroyed two entire planets – and this week’s effort to connect a wormhole cost Young and Telford pieces of their souls.

The planet Langara — homeworld of former SG-1 team member Jonas Quinn – is asked to use its rich naquadria deposits to provide the raw power to connect to Destiny. Though dialing a nine-chevron address had previously destroyed two entire planets, Dr. Rodney McKay (David Hewlett) had developed a new dialing protocol which could make Langara into a stable supply line for Destiny. However, the Langaran government (personified by Victor Garber’s Ambassador Ovirda) did not believe the technology was safe. Col. Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) was convinced that the Langarans were on the verge of cutting a deal with the Lucian Alliance (who are looking for another chance to board Destiny again), and got authorization to… er, “demonstrate” that the technology works – by force. Enlisting Richard Woolsey (Robert Picardo) of Homeworld Command, Col. Young (Louis Ferreira) and Lt. Scott (Brian J. Smith) invaded the planet by using the Ancient communication stones to switch bodies with two Langaran officials and “invite” McKay’s team to install the dialing technology.
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MAKE IT OR BREAK IT 2.12: Free People

So the girls of MAKE IT OR BREAK IT’s Rock got a new coach this week, and while the lady may be a former Olympic gymnast, the lady if no coach. And that’s a problem. For everyone.

In an effort to get the Rock rolling again, Steve (Anthony Starke) hired a new coach to replace the departed Sasha (Neil Jackson). Unfortunately, all the experienced, A-list coaches are already under contract, so Steve settled for Darby Conrad (Meagan Holder), a perky former Olympian. She’s like an overgrown kid, and I hated her from moment she was introduced. Way too bubbly to be trusted…

Darby is a longtime pal of Lauren’s (Cassie Scerbo), so naturally the spoiled brat figured she had it made in the shade. She even tried to appoint herself team captain. But when Payson (Ayla Kell) objected, Darby’s Achilles’ heel was exposed: She hates confrontation of any kind, and thus refused to “take a side” by designating a captain. She decided to let the gals compete for it. True, Sasha would have done the very same thing, but he would have done it as a way to toughen up Lauren and Payson; not as a way to avoid making a tough call.
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Sucker Punch (2011)

If you have ever wanted to see a true live-action anime, then Sucker Punch is your movie. More than a comic book, more than a cartoon, Sucker Punch is anime with a video-game polish. It is a visually stunning movie that can best be described as feast for genre fans.

Don’t be put off by the venomously negative slams from mainstream critics who have gone way (way) out of their way to blame this movie for every ill from global warming to the Kennedy assassination. That’s a lot to lay at the feet of a movie that simply asks you to pay attention and use a little imagination. If you’ve ever been to – or ever wanted to attend – the San Diego Comic-Con or any similar event, this movie is for you. If not…well, why are you reading this blog?
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TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY poster

Now this is the kind of poster that makes a person want to watch TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY…

Even if you had no idea what TORCHWOOD was about, this poster looks pretty exciting, even though nothing is really happening. That’s Capt. Jack Harness, played by John Barrowman, looking mighty unhappy that he’s no longer the only immortal in town. And, judging by the palm trees in the background, that town is Los Angeles, not Cardiff, Wales. (However, I’m sure that no one else is a fixed point in time! So he has that going for him. Which is nice…)

Bonus: Alexa Havins, formerly Babe on ALL MY CHILDREN, made the poster. Not her image, of course, but her name. Which is interesting, because her character, Esther, is sometimes left out of synopses of the series. For instance, this one, from the Starz TORCHWOOD Web site describes the series:

One day, nobody dies. All across the world, nobody dies. And then the next day, and the next, and the next, people keep aging — they get hurt and sick — but they never die. The result: a population boom, overnight. With all the extra people, resources are finite. It’s said that in four month’s time, the human race will cease to be viable. But this can’t be a natural event – someone’s got to be behind it. It’s a race against time as C.I.A. agent Rex Matheson investigates a global conspiracy. The answers lie within an old, secret British institute. As Rex keeps asking “What is Torchwood?” he’s drawn into a world of adventure, and a threat to change what it means to be human, forever.

TORCHWOOD, premiering July 8, stars John Barrowman (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) as Captain Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper, Mekhi Phifer (ER) as Rex Matheson and Bill Pullman (Independence Day) as Oswald Danes.

TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY – the first teaser

Hey, check it out! Follow this link to the first teaser trailer for TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY! at least it sounds interesting…

Well, this really is just a tease! Nobody knows much about what happens in this series, which is pretty remarkable in this modern age of the spoiler. All anybody knows is that one, everyone stops dying; not a single human being on the planet Earth dies. This is not as good as it sounds. After watching this non-spoilery clip, we barely know much more than that. However, we do catch mention of the last death on Earth…

Here’s how the Starz TORCHWOOD Web site describes the series:

One day, nobody dies. All across the world, nobody dies. And then the next day, and the next, and the next, people keep aging — they get hurt and sick — but they never die. The result: a population boom, overnight. With all the extra people, resources are finite. It’s said that in four month’s time, the human race will cease to be viable. But this can’t be a natural event – someone’s got to be behind it. It’s a race against time as C.I.A. agent Rex Matheson investigates a global conspiracy. The answers lie within an old, secret British institute. As Rex keeps asking “What is Torchwood?” he’s drawn into a world of adventure, and a threat to change what it means to be human, forever.

TORCHWOOD, premiering July 8, stars John Barrowman (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) as Captain Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper, Mekhi Phifer (ER) as Rex Matheson and Bill Pullman (Independence Day) as Oswald Danes.

BBC America has a different DOCTOR WHO trailer!

BBC America has seen BBC One’s DOCTOR WHO series 6 trailer and raised it – by including a lot of snippets from Episode 1, “The Impossible Astronaut.” This trailer kicks ass. Not that the BBC One trailer doesn’t, but the BBCA clipfest gives Whovians a little more from the opening story. Of course there are clips from the other episodes in the first half of the season – and most of them are different from the snippets in the BBC One trailer…

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