July 26, 2016
        "Blair Witch" and "Wonder Woman": Comic-Con unleashes a ton of buzz worthy Trailers                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders                "Star Trek Beyond" is a rare success for the 2016 summer movie season                The 2016 New York Film Festival will open with Ava Duvernay's documentary "The 13th"                Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make us swoon as "La La Land" drops a luminous Teaser Trailer                "Loving" announces itself as an awards player with a great Trailer                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for July                Woody Allen has another crowd pleaser on his hands with "Cafe Society"                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actor contenders                Kristen Stewart shines in the sci-fi love story "Equals"                'Ghostbusters' is an excellent re-invention of the classic franchise                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Director contenders                "Captain Fantastic" is one of the year's most pleasant surprises                This week brings an adorable bit of animation in "The Secret Life of Pets"                Aaron Eckhart has plum supporting roles in "Bleed for This" and "Sully"        

Last word on Sucker Punch, as the director’s cut comes to Blu Ray

HollywoodNews.com: Zach Snyder made perhaps the ultimate thesis project on the wholesale objectification of women in popular culture, especially in modern geek culture, and how women feel the need to use those tools of objectification in order to achieve some semblance of would-be independence.

Sucker Punch smashed open the absurd notions that girls wearing short-shorts and arbitrarily doing violence is somehow empowering, when in fact those images are almost designed to be titillating to the male gaze. It was (and is even more so in the longer, more fluid director’s cut which restores the original Jon Hamm finale) a sad, mournful, borderline hopeless saga of five young girls who are imprisoned against their will, exploited for their sexuality, and then forced to use the tools of that exploitation in a feeble attempt to escape the clutches of male oppression. It is about exploitation and it is about titillation. Yet our nation’s critics and audience members couldn’t see past the very tools that Snyder was mocking (the mini-skirts, the pigtails, the larger-than-life CGI-infused action) to see what was a borderline art film.

Had the same film been made in France, it would have been hailed as a masterpiece. Here the American filmmaker, one who has never really indulged in the openly misogynistic practices of his cohorts, was somehow crowded king of the woman haters for making a movie that tried to deal with the taken-for-granted sexual objectification of the ‘fairer sex’ in culture.

It is a big budget studio picture filled with provocative and challenging ideas. It is a big budget studio film where the action is flawlessly choreographed and seamlessly edited, creating at least three all-time classic action set pieces. It is a big budget studio picture that not only stars women but is explicitly about women. It is everything we say we want from our mainstream entertainments.

Yet we critics couldn’t see past the surface level elements and called the film sexist, infantile, and misogynistic. Which is of course true, if you would also call Blazing Saddles racist and Borat anti-Semitic. If we can’t appreciate a flawed but fascinating film like Sucker Punch (which isn’t exactly subtle about its themes), then we don’t deserve any ideas at all in our pop entertainment. Sucker Punch: the most challenging studio film of 2011, with easily the best large-scale action of its kind in recent history.

Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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