Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Directed by Zack Snyder

Emily Browning - Baby Doll
Abbie Cornish - Sweet Pea
Jena Malone - Rocket

     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 and her friends escape from the facility.

     I found out a day before I saw the movie, that the movie in theaters, is not the movie director Zack Snyder wanted to put out. The movie Snyder filmed had musical numbers in it that were axed out completely as well as other scenes, some small and others big, that had bits of information in it that was meant to help the story with some of the more questionable happenings in it. For a movie this hyper stylized you need to let the director put out the movie he wants to put out.  When a studio gets it's hands on a movie it doesn't understand you get movies like the theatrical versions of  Brazil and Superman II. Two good movies, that got so much better once the true version, the director's version of the film got out. So how do I explain this movie that I know now isn't the true version of it or review it fairly knowing this.

     This film is beautiful. I had to get that out of the way as that is the only way to describe this movie. This movie is so stylized that each scene has it's own vibe. Even though most of the scenes in the movie are heavy CG based, the movie doesn't suffer from it one bit. The action pieces in this movie are so fricking cool. From a dragon chasing a WW II aircraft bomber to a showdown with robots aboard a speeding train, each of these scenes are just fun. Yet the standout set piece was the second one set during WW I where you have trench warfare against steam and clockwerk resurrected German soldiers. I was in love with everything that was going on in these fantasy world settings dealing with retrieving  five objects to help the girls with their escape. 

     But the movie is flawed though thanks to its story structure. There are scenes that don't match up with the what was going on by the way of story. Also, the main character might not actually be the main character, but a figment of another girls imagination. Or it could be said that all the other female patients that accompany Baby Doll are just figments of her mind. I'm putting it this way cause at the end of the film when a person was explaining what has happened they left out a couple of deaths, but yet mentioned one that wasn't shown instead. The story has massive plot holes that need filling that were filled in by the cut dance sequences for each of the main actresses. The story does get really dark toward the end of the movie as you truly find out how twisted one of the characters are, and what length he'll go to keep control though.

     The movie itself is amazing to watch and get lost in visually. Just the first deep fantasy sequence is enough to sell me on the movie almost as it's like watching a live action anime, it's that amazing and cool that I got goosebumps.  Yet I know that the movie could have been so much more than what was there. Yet, there is that nagging in the back of my mind telling me that the original "hard R" rated cut of the movie is the real film and what we got was a easy to digest version that has more in it than what the studios thought but cut out the explanations of those scenes. If you stay and watch the ending credits (only JeNee and I stayed through to watch them) you get to see one of the musical numbers, from Blue, interspersed with scenes from the other cut musical sequences. I'm pretty sure Blue's musical number can be placed toward the end of the movie before the escape and it added so much to the character of Blue that it's a shame it was cut. Now the wait starts for me for the home release of it with the cut 35 plus minutes put back into the film with any luck that will actually make this movie whole and not the beautiful mess that it is right now.

     The crushing death of the lead Nazi by a giant mech.

     To reach your own paradise. Just let go.

     The name of the movie in different countries vary from Angel Wars in Japan to Mundo Surreal in Brazil and Portugal.

     The two banners beside Scott Glenn's character as shown in the trailer are a famous couplet from 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu: "Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain." This was later made into a famous battle standard by the Japanese warlord Takeda Shingen.

     The main girls in the film were told to deadlift up to 210 pounds (95 kg) for their roles. For this Damon Caro, who worked on Snyder's 300 and Watchmen and the Bourne film series, was brought in for training, fight choreography, and stunts.

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