Written by Pirata Hermosa
From the minds of Zack Snyder, director of Watchmen and 300, and Steve Shibuya, Sucker Punch is an adventure about Baby Doll (Emily Browning), who escapes into a fantasy world to avoid the horrors of an insane asylum, and a possible lobotomy. It is now out on Blu-ray and DVD.
In her mind she is not in Lennox House for the mentally insane. Instead, she is in a brothel held captive waiting for the High Roller (Jon Hamm) to come and take her virginity. But before his arrival, she is planning on escaping. She convinces four other women held against their will to escape with her. But they must obtain five talismans in order to escape: Map, Fire, Knife, Key and a fifth unknown, intangible item that will require great sacrifice. In order to obtain these items, Baby Doll must dance and distract everyone from seeing what the women are really doing. For when she dances, she is hypnotic and mesmerizing.
But when she dances her mind takes her to another place, into a world of hyper-reality where she and her friends complete epic quests versus giant samurai warriors, fight in the trenches of World War I against dead Nazis put together using steam power and clockworks, lay siege to castles in order to slay dragons, and board futuristic trains to defuse bombs.
The film is a mixture of a graphic novel and anime. It’s dark, strange, visually stunning, and there are several interpretations to what is really going on. Which of the three is the real world? Are the four friends real or simply aspects of her own personality? And according to the director, all interpretations are plausible.
There are three discs in this set.
Disc 1 contains the theatrical version on Blu-ray and two special features. The first is a collection of four animated shorts that give a little bit of the backstory to the four different fantasy worlds that Baby Doll visits: “Feudal Warriors”, “The Trenches”, “Dragon” and “Distant Planet”. The other is “Sucker Punch: Behind the Soundtrack,” which explains how the songs were chosen and why Emily Browning ended up singing a number of the songs.
Disc 2 is a Blu-ray disc that has the extended cut version and the “Maximum Movie Mode.” This feature is one of the best ever to be released. It’s an interactive combination special feature fused with a director commentary that maximizes the capability of the Blu-ray player.
While you watch the film, it uses picture in picture, still photos, storyboards and everything else you could want. The film switches to a studio where Snyder is talking to the camera about his inspiration for certain scenes. In one corner of the screen the film is still playing. In another box there’s the stunt being performed on a green screen showing how it was done. At times he will compare scenes to show little tidbits of information. Some times the actors will pop up and make comments or the storyboard animation will appear on one half of the screen and follow along with the film. This is one feature that can be watched over and over and is almost as entertaining as the movie itself.
Disc 3 is the DVD theatrical version along with the Digital Copy and has no special features.
The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p High Definition 16×9 2.4:1 with DTS-HD Master Audio. The video is crisp and clear. The only issue is that it’s a dark film overall and the best viewing would be on a large screen. The bigger TV you have, the better for optimal viewing of the larger fight scenes and picking up all of the subtle nuances of detail. The audio is just as good. It’s very clean and there are even a couple moments that will cause you to jump because you weren’t expecting noises to come from that area of the room.
If you can only afford to buy one Blu-ray disc this year, then this is the one you should buy. If you don’t have a Blu-ray player, you should buy it anyways so you will have it ready for when you get one. Not only is this one of the best films to come out in 2011, but the quality of the Blu-ray and the capabilities it has makes it one of the best ever.