This week we’re taking a look at perhaps one of the most hated films in the Zack Snyder filmography: Sucker Punch. It’s been dismissed as exploitative, and has been derided for its depiction of women. It also features more special effects, explosions, and those darn slow-mo shots people keep making fun of all the time online. So, what if we told you that the Extended Cut solves most, if not all of those problems, and that maybe some of those problems were but projections of an already biased audience? Let’s get into it, shall we?
When you get a chance you should also check out the following youtube video which shares a lot of similar thoughts and explains what Snyder was going for and why there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Here at Behind the Hype we’ve decided that it’s time to take a deep dive into one of the more divisive filmmakers out there today: Zack Snyder. People either love his work or hate it, and no matter where you fall on that spectrum you can’t deny that he is a visionary filmmaker. We’re going to be discussing his “Snyder Cuts” this month, starting this week with his “director’s cut” of Dawn of the Dead.
The DC isn’t all that much longer than the theatrical version and it doesn’t significantly change the quality of the movie, but it’s an indicator of what’s to come for this filmmaker and hopefully gives some insight into how he approaches his films. Special shout out to James Gunn, who wrote the film and paired so well with Snyder. Seriously, they should work together again.
While we’re sad to bring our month of Showa Era Godzilla films to a close, we’re glad we picked Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla as our last film to discuss. It’s got ape-like aliens trying to conquer earth, interpol agents disguised as muckraking journalists, a musical number, and a monster named King Caesar who helps Godzilla kick the ever-loving ish out of the titular villain. Try not to grin like a goof-ball at any given moment. We dare you.
Also in this episode we discuss plans for next month. Here’s a hint: Director’s Cuts.
The next film in our month of Showa Era Godzilla films is Destroy All Monsters, which features all your favorite monsters and then some as they terrorize all the major cities of the world. But what has caused them to go on such a unified rampage? Aliens. That’s right, an all-women race of aliens called the Kilaaks have bent all the monsters to their will and it’s up to a fearless space captain to set things right. To say that this film is a blast is a bit of an understatement. It may not be as uniquely humorous as Son of Godzilla, but it’s still a great time at the movies.
We continue our delightful dive into the Showa Era Godzilla films this week with the energetic Son of Godzilla. It’s a cheeseball film that delights in the silly antics of its titular character and only really manages to stumble when it comes to the human story. The costumes, props, puppets, and miniatures are in top form here and it’s hard to not watch this with a grin on your face. This one goes out to all you reporters out there who parachute to mysterious islands to find the big stories.
Godzilla is such a pop culture icon that we thought it would be a great idea to dive into some of his more iconic outings this month on Behind the Hype, starting with the third film in the series: King Kong vs. Godzilla. Apart from one problem spot, the film is quite a delight and features everything fun you would expect from a showdown of two pop culture titans.
We’ve reached the end of our month on Sion Sono and to wrap things up we’ve picked quite the heavy film: Guilty of Romance. There’s a lot to unpack with this film, about the role of women in Japanese society and the lengths they will go to break free from said pressures, or in some cases become consumed by them. As we were short a woman on this episode to give some perspective we tried to instead focus on the things we learned from the film and the themes that resonated with us versus trying to speak to Japanese culture and how it treats women.
Due to some version confusion we had to push our review of Guilty of Romance to next week. In its place we’re going to talk about the movie that put Sion Sono on the map for western audiences: Suicide Club. It’s difficult to summarize the movie and do the horrific imagery and biting commentary justice, but we do our best. Just the opening few minutes of the movie should clue you in on the doozy of a film you’re about to experience.
Our Sion Sono retrospective continues with the rap opera Tokyo Tribe, a doozy of a film that starts out rough and then ends with one hell of a punchline. It features a cast of fascinating and colorful characters that sing their way through bouts of ultra-violence. It features perhaps one of the most fun and over-the-top villains we’ve seen yet on this podcast. And if that weren’t enough, it features the daughter of a satanic high priest kicking all kinds of ass with her banana-eating kid sidekick. Have we convinced you to watch the film yet?
We’re back from our break and we thought it would be a great idea to kick things off with a retrospective on director Sion Sono. You might remember him from our episode on Why Don’t You Play In Hell. Yeah, that guy. Anyway, we’re starting with his 2015 film Tag, featuring perhaps one of the most surprising openings to be put to film. Seriously, you might want to be sitting down for this one.