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• Goto Comments
Synopsis: A young girl is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility.
Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Oscar Issac, Carla Gugino and Scott Glenn. Written by Zack Snyder and Steve Shibuya. Directed by Zack Snyder.
Fox Force Five
The story goes, or so I recall, after a run of phenomenally successful films in the early to late 1980s, the head of Warner Brothers gave wunderkind director Steven Spielberg carte blanche on his next project. The resulting project, EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987), was classic middle-period Spielberg, a stepping stone towards unsentimental, hard hitting drama – the kind he wouldn’t truly achieve until 2005’s MUNICH – from the fantasy adventure genre he had so thoroughly conquered and justly pigeonholed himself into. And while I consider it to be one of his more underrated films, EMPIRE is unmistakably riddled through and through with The Beard’s particular fetishes: childhood abandonment themes, WWII settings, David Lean worship, unlikely narrative wish fulfillment, and overwrought John Williams cues.
Warner Brothers is not for nothing a studio that sticks by and rewards its auteurs, deserved or not, and this is how we likewise ended up with Zack Snyder’s SUCKER PUNCH, which fully lived up to the promise and expectations of its highly effective "wtf was THAT?!?" teaser and of its director’s previous output.
As was EMPIRE to Spielberg, so was SUCKER to Snyder; in this case the fetishes so nakedly on display included (but were not limited to): blondes, speed ramping, waifs, zombies, Asians (but not Blacks), first person shooters, sisters, samurais, school uniforms, orcs, anime/comic books, Carla Gugino's décolletage, dragons, bad cover songs, Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, World Wars I and II, the 1950s, robots, snowflakes, steampunk, blimps, flying, etc., etc., etc. If that’s as tiring to read as it was to write, just imagine how it was in action (the word “exhausting” came to mind).
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