SUCKER PUNCH Extended Cut Blu-ray
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: R(Extended), PG-13(Theatrical)
Film Length: 2 hours, 8 minutes(Extended), 1 hour, 50 minutes(Theatrical)
Aspect Ratio: 1080p High Definition Widescreen (2.4:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Sucker Punch begins as the story of Baby Doll(Emily Browning), a young woman who finds herself locked away in a sanitarium after a family tragedy. Baby Doll enlists other patients to help her to plan her escape, including Rocket(Jena Malone), Rocket’s sister Sweet Pea(Abby Cornish), Amber(Jamie Chung), and the ironically named Blondie(Vanessa Hudgens). Scott Glenn, Carla Gugino, and Jon Hamm also feature prominently in the film.
Sucker Punch is the most recent film directed by Zack Snyder(Watchmen, 300). Snyder also created the original story and collaborated on the screenplay with Steve Shibuya. Snyder’s past experience with adapting graphic novels is put to good use here as he succeeds in the first sequence of the film in telling a story primarily with pictures rather than words. Snyder deserves credit as a filmmaker who obviously places a lot of thought and preparation into the images placed on screen. The extended cut of Sucker Punch is the better of the 2 versions because it restores one pivotal scene near the end of the film featuring an encounter between Baby Doll and the character played by Jon Hamm that helps to tie the film together. The other additions in the extended cut are less significant, consisting of additional action scenes and musical numbers. That pivotal scene does not transform Sucker Punch into an entirely different film but it does improve the original version.
Sucker Punch is an entertaining descendant of other films, particularly The Matrix, in which the nature of reality is questioned or sculpted by its protagonist. Stuart Lee of WNYX-TV described Sucker Punch as "Kill Bill meets Inception" and that seems to be a fairly accurate description if one is looking for a high concept summary in only a few words, even if its quality does not surpass either of those films. The fantastic imagery of hot babes with guns blazing and swords swinging in amazing environments is emblematic of Baby Doll’s efforts to collect the items needed by the girls to escape their prison. This device is useful in providing the audience with the same imaginary outlet as Baby Doll and elevates the film above what would otherwise be a more mundane and depressing backdrop.
The film is presented in 1080p high definition in a 2.4:1 aspect ratio with the AVC codec. The picture quality is excellent with minimal grain but exquisite fine detail. Shadow detail is also excellent. Colors tend to be drab rather than vibrant, but this is obviously an aesthetic choice by the filmmakers rather than the result of a poor transfer. This is near reference quality material.
The English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio tracks provide great demonstration material. Directional audio is employed exceptionally well for sound effects. The soundtrack carries the correct balance of audibility for dialogue, music, and sound effects to create as immersive an audio experience as you might hope for in this type of film.
The special features include all of the following:
The Sucker Punch Extended Cut Blu-ray includes 3 discs. Disc 1 contains the theatrical cut of the film with all of the special features except for the Maximum Movie Mode which is included on the Extended Cut on Disc 2. Disc 3 contains the theatrical version on DVD as well as the digital copy of the film.
Sucker Punch Animated Shorts(11:23): These promotional shorts that were originally available on the internet are animated prequels regarding the fantastic scenarios created by Baby Doll. Titles are as follows: Feudal Warriors, The Trenches, Dragon, and Distant Planet. These shorts may be selected individually or with a "play all" function.
Sucker Punch Behind The Soundtrack(2:41): Film composers Tyler Bates and Marius De Vries discuss creation of the music for this film.
Maximum Movie Mode: This feature length picture-in-picture commentary by director Zack Snyder will be of interest to anyone who wants to see how this film was created. The PIP is not continuous but pops up only when Snyder is speaking. This feature is included only on the Extended Cut disc.
Trailers for the multi-platform videogame Batman Arkham City(2:20), Lord of the Rings Extended Edition(2:14), and Crazy Stupid Love(2:32) play automatically prior to the menu on the Theatrical Cut disc. Trailers for Clockwork Orange 40th Anniversary Blu-ray(2:11) and the multi-platform videogame F.3.E.R.(2:20) play automatically prior to the menu on the Extended Cut disc. Both Blu-ray discs also have a BD Live feature which has special features for Green Lantern, Sucker Punch, and Arthur(2011) available as of the date of this review.
Sucker Punch may not surpass the better films which inspired it but it offers considerable style in spades, even if too often at the cost of substance. Fans of director Snyder will find it essential viewing but casual film fans may be less enamored. If one expects the depth of Inception or even The Matrix, you will probably be disappointed. If you come into Sucker Punch with an open mind, you may be pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed Sucker Punch more than I expected, since the trailers for the film may have sold it short by implying that it is a much more mindless film than in actuality. I recommend the extended cut over the theatrical as a better film. The video and audio qualities are sublime on this Blu-ray transfer. The special features are not especially comprehensive, although the Maximum Movie Mode makes for interesting viewing. Sucker Punch Extended Cut on Blu-ray is recommended for anyone who enjoys the best video and audio that high definition has to offer.