What They Say, What We Say: Sucker Punch (2011)


What They Say: Finally!

What We Say: *rubs temples* Oh, Lawd.

What They Say: We need more films like these to inspire young women.  And it's great the lead is a blonde dancer in pigtails.  It's like, subversive or whatever.

What We Say:  So...instead of the all mighty white guy, we now have to deal with the all mighty white girl.  *nods*  Great.  And she's a blonde dancer in pigtails, no less.  Oh, yeah...this movie was definitely geared towards empowering women. *rolls eyes*

What They Say: The "open your mind" message seems to be quite positive.  It's like it's telling you to follow your dreams and believe in yourself.  That's so...you know, universal.

What We Say: POC don't need yet even more films telling us that white people need to follow their dreams and believe in their damn selves.

What They Say: The samurai bit is really cool.  There's so much diversity in this movie!

What We Say: Why can't white people leave other folks' cultures the hell out of their fantasies?  WTF?  Does that "samurai" have a face?  A name?  Is he supposed to be an actual person, or what?

What They Say:  The CGI and outfits look awesome.

What We Say: The CGI and outfits look awesome.  So in other words, the plot, dialogue, and overall acting are going to leave much to desired.

What They Say: The narrator sounds soooooo exotic.

What We Say: That narrator is an American.

Additional Reading

What They Say, What We Say: Wonderful World

Comments

  1. ummm where is the diversity was it the dragon? must be the dragon because I didn't see the faces of the men (or women, or creatures, who knows) in the samurai costumes

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  2. BlackPeopleSufferFromPTSD2/17/11, 7:26 PM

    What's with the Messiah complex?

    Here's a link I KNOW you will enjoy, Ankhesen! It's to a YouTube video titled "White People To The Rescue".

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  3. Here's a link I KNOW you will enjoy, Ankhesen! It's to a YouTube video titled "White People To The Rescue".

    Where's the link???

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  4. BlackPeopleSufferFromPTSD2/17/11, 7:34 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMs0KNu9Txg

    LOL My bad!!!

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  5. I like the song. That's pretty much it.

    I guess the diversity is in the hair colours.

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  6. I like the song. That's pretty much it.

    It's "Crablouse" by Lords of Acid. I fell in love with it back in high school. The lyrics, of course, are nasty as hell.

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  7. I haven't commented here before but:

    I know this isn't exactly what your point is but there's another problem.

    You don't "find" yourself in a mental facility. You do not see dragons. You don't open your mind. Unless, I'm assuming, you're in fact a perfectly sane and neurotypical blonde dancer in pigtails who was locked up by her cruel daddy and in FACT has nothing wrong with her.

    I live in the town this is set in and was hospitalized at the place I assume this is based on... when I was in there, the doctors told me I had a persecution complex about being gay and I was stalked and sexually threatened by a fellow patient. The mental health system is ugly and it has nothing to do with dragons or samurais. It strikes me as appropriating something like THAT for something like THIS is just--I can't.

    Co-sign on the race and gender stuff.

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  8. The mental health system is ugly and it has nothing to do with dragons or samurais. It strikes me as appropriating something like THAT for something like THIS is just--I can't.

    Is that what this is supposed about??? How despicably low.

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  9. My town's best known for having a large Victorian era mental facility that has a different name but looks stunningly like that. So yes, I would assume that's where she is.

    *shakes head*

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  10. WHAT THEY SAY: Yay! Crazy people are funny!
    WHAT WE SAY: That's . . . completely unlike anything people experience with mental illness.

    WHAT THEY SAY: See! Crazy makes you more creative and interesting!
    WHAT WE SAY: Only if you're a cute White chick.

    WHAT THEY SAY: People with mental illness are merely quirky, not stigmatized throughout society.
    WHAT WE SAY: Glamorizing mental illness is White People Shit.

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  11. Asummermoon said...
    ummm where is the diversity was it the dragon? must be the dragon because I didn't see the faces of the men (or women, or creatures, who knows) in the samurai costumes

    Slant a white woman’s eyes ever so slightly and there’s your diversity. Tan a white man’s skin just a tiny bit- give him a well-placed tattoo and there again is your diversity. Introduce glamorous locations from other cultures and there’s your diversity. Whites don’t need people of color messing up the aesthetics of a film, it’s just enough to ‘hint’ at the possible exotic origins of a white person and that’s good enough for them. It hails back to the old argument; whites would like to be anything other than white but retain the privilege of whiteness.

    In these films they can play out their deepest- darkest fantasies against imaginative backdrops and at the end of the day retain their privilege. An ensemble cast of skinny white girls dressed in tight outfits might stir the manhood of young white men, but it’s a creepy way to tell young white girls to believe in themselves. Moreover, it says nothing... nothing at all to young black girls; other than, white men really love young while girls.

    From Wikipedia. “Snyder expressed his interest in the film's content: “On the other hand, though it's fetishistic and personal, I like to think that my fetishes aren't that obscure. Who doesn't want to see girls running down the trenches of World War One wreaking havoc?”

    Nothing seems to turn a white man on more than a young white girl with a weapon- kickin ass an takin names. (Note the first comment on YouTube.)

    This is merely a self-indulgent, 'escapist' sex fantasy for white men who have the resources to make it happen. Content specifically aimed at the hormones of other white males. What we’re seeing today out of Hollywood is Vanity Fair on steroids.

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  12. Yay! A whole post for this :) I can rant without horny nerds typing angrily at me in all caps for "making everything about race."

    I was shockingly offended on more levels than I thought possible by this trailer. I was looking forward to this movie because the concept art was awesome, but then I saw the trailer. Fail all over the damn place for all of the reasons mentioned (and many, many more). I see that only white women are allowed to be sexy heroes apparently (oh hey, a couple of Asian girls, can too! but only a couple...and only if they're hot). Seriously, why are there practicing hookers in an asylum? I...what?

    Sorry but subverting the blonde helpless girly girl and making her badass was done amazingly in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (she was annoying at times, but you can't deny that her heroe's journey wasn't a painful, real, and complex one). So I have high standards when it comes to subverting that trope. This movie.....I have nothing good to say about except that it's pretty. There's so much more to comment on, but I won't.

    As a WOC who suffers from a mental illness, I say screw this film. I really wanted to buy the artbook, but forget that.

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  13. RVCbard:

    Co-sign to the nth fucking degree.

    Not to mention, I remember seeing another trailer for this in a theater--if I'm not wrong, I don't think the girl's supposed to be actually mentally ill? Her parents just SAY she is in order to be cruel to her and put her away. My god, and then they put the poor thing in among THOSE people. No wonder she has to appropriate other cultures in order to preserve her sanity. If she doesn't, she might end up like regular not-pretty crazy people! And then the director might not want to have sex with her.

    It would be tragic.

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  14. @ The Girl in Question

    Comment away. I'm learning a lot here. I mean, I didn't know mental illness was even a factor in this ish. What is with Hollywood's tendency to glamorize everything?

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  15. It's a blessing in disguise that people of color, non-neurotypicals (i.e most of humanity; forget the APA and their history of promoting bigotry through their flawed manual), and people who are not rail-thin caricatures are not in this movie. They would either end up being the villains (minions of course because how could they ever mastermind anything), helpless victims (we can't help ourselves), or cannon fodder ("Quick, kill those freaks before we reach 30 minutes!"). The spectacle lives on. Also, fuck CGI. It's become the autotune of movies.

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  16. "Also, fuck CGI. It's become the autotune of movies. "

    3-D's bucking to claim that title as well. At this rate, I'll probably never see another movie in the cinemas for a long, long time.

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  17. I'm really disappointed Emily Browning is in this ish. I loved her in Ghost Ship and A Series of Unfortunate Events. She was a proud ginger with freckles until she signed onto this film to play a bitch named "Babydoll" (seriously, y'all), donned a bunch of blonde weave and airbrushed her freckles away.

    *shakes head*

    From Wikipedia:

    Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls-the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung) and the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish)-to band together

    Once again the token POC's most treasured quality is their "fierce" loyalty. *shudder*

    WTF is Jamie Chung doing in this film anyway? Were all these actresses so desperate to jumpstart/revive their careers that they decided to do this shit?

    *boycotting*

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  18. Even without all the insightful comments above, just seeing the trailer is a turnoff in itself. It gave me a "WTF is this shit feeling". But so do most movies.

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  19. Misappropriation of other people's culture for superficial reasons, making light of mental illness, sexism, and the movie doesn't even make sense; how exactly does this fantasy world pop up? And don't even get me fucken started on how the wise, old kung fu master guy isn't even Asian. Really. Couldn't even include one Asian man?

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  20. @ hunter

    And don't even get me fucken started on how the wise, old kung fu master guy isn't even Asian. Really. Couldn't even include one Asian man?

    I have now seen about 80 versions of this trailer and finally saw the version you're referring to. And once he started talking about the "5 things" they needed to collect, and saw their dual versions I immediately thought, "Isn't this like a rip-off of Pan's Labyrinth?"

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  21. * and I saw their dual versions

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  22. This crap looks... Crappy. I don't even like CGI (but then again, excessive CGI of any kind annoys me).

    This is a white boy fantasy. And a stupid one at that.

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  23. The concept didn't seem too bad when I first read about(At the time they didn't tell too much about it).

    After I saw the trailer the first thing I thought was "WHAT KIND OF 17 YEAR OLD WHITE MALE OTAKU FANTASY IS THIS!!!?" Never before have I wanted a movie to fail so much so people could see what kind of idiotic garbage they conjured up. There's nothing "Fantastical" about being in a mental institution. Over sexualizing the sailor fuku sometimes made cringe when it was done in anime, now seeing it on a bleached blond made to be a teen makes me want to puke. My friends and I used to those for god sake and there were those few times older white men would try them up thinking they were some kind of prostitute. *Shivers*

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  24. Finally saw the trailer for this movie. Epic fail. The only thing I like about it is the title, "Sucker Punch." Everything else?

    This shit is shit.

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  25. I am so hoping the director would admit that this film is supposed to be a mockery of fetishes, of 14 year old boys' fantasies, of Asian culture stereotypes, of white superiority, and of the lame acting and plot in action movies. Since a lot of people seem to be aware of the many flaws in this movie, I do hope this means mainstream audience will no longer demand films with powerless no-muscle-tone glammed-up females and dumb interpretations of Asian culture in the future. Maybe film industry might change, huh? Heheh...yeah right. I haven't seen the movie..I really wanted to like this film (maybe like a guilty pleasure), but after seeing trailers and reading comments and reviews...I'm going to pass.

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  26. I am so hoping the director would admit that this film is supposed to be a mockery of fetishes, of 14 year old boys' fantasies, of Asian culture stereotypes, of white superiority, and of the lame acting and plot in action movies. Since a lot of people seem to be aware of the many flaws in this movie, I do hope this means mainstream audience will no longer demand films with powerless no-muscle-tone glammed-up females and dumb interpretations of Asian culture in the future. Maybe film industry might change, huh? Heheh...yeah right. I haven't seen the movie..I really wanted to like this film since it had interesting concept (and maybe like a guilty pleasure), but after seeing trailers and reading comments and reviews...I'm going to pass.

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  27. @ Anonymous

    Thanks for stopping by. Leave a name next time.

    The Eldest Sis actually went to see it opening night. She said it was absolutely horrific.

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  28. Pleasure to meet you, glaciajo.

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