Sucker Punch appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For this review, I only viewed the Extended Cut, as I suspect it’ll be the one preferred by fans. The transfer looked terrific at all times.
Sharpness excelled. Only the slightest smidgen of softness ever appeared in wide shots, and those instances remained marginal. The vast majority of the flick looked tight and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. In terms of source flaws, I saw nothing, as the image lacked specks or other defects. Like other Zack Snyder films, it included copious grain, but that was intentional.
The movie used a varied palette that was stylized but not in a consistent way, so we didn’t see the same tones all the time. For instance, cool blues were a factor for grimmer scenes, while warmer sequences preferred an amber tine and a World War I fantasy battle opted for a desaturated brown. The colors looked very good within those stylistic choices; they were always well-reproduced.
Blacks demonstrated good depth and darkness. Shadows were also solid. The movie featured a lot of dimly lit sequences, and these offered nice clarity. I felt quite impressed by this consistently terrific image.
I also found a lot to like via the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Sucker Punch. I figured the movie would come with a pretty dynamic soundfield, and it often came through with the anticipated vivacity. Though not chock full of action scenes, we got enough material of that sort to open up the soundfield well. The crazed take on a World War I battle was probably the best sequence; with guns, planes and other war elements, it really used the soundscape well.
Other elements fared well, too. Fights and explosions used the various speakers to add (literal) punch to the package, and the track featured nice involvement from all five channels. Music presented nice stereo presence, and we even got a bit of directional dialogue.
Audio quality worked nicely. Speech was natural and distinctive; no edginess or other issues affected the dialogue. Music was lively and full, while effects presented the expected clarity. Those elements demonstrated good accuracy and range; low-end was powerful and tight. I found a lot to like about this fine soundtrack.
In addition to the theatrical version of the film (1:49:45), Disc One provides a collection of four Animated Shorts. With a total running time of 11:23, these include “Feudal Warriors” (2:41), “The Trenches” (2:57), “Dragon” (2:56) and “Distant Planet” (2:52). These connect to parts of the theatrical film and give us some additional background related to its scenarios. They essentially exist as advertising, but they’re more creative than most promos and are fun to see.
We also find Sucker Punch: Behind the Music. This featurette goes for two minutes, 41 seconds as it delivers comments from writer/director Zack Snyder, and music arrangers/producers/composers Marius De Vries and Tyler Bates. They offer some general remarks about the movie’s songs and score, but don’t expect to learn much, as they mostly use their time to tout the film.
Disc One opens with ads for Batman: Arkham City video game, the “Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Editions” Blu-ray set, and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
With that we go to Disc Two. In addition to the movie’s Extended Cut (2:07:30), we locate Maximum Movie Mode, a running feature that offers a few different components. Via “Director Drop-Ins”, Snyder occasionally pops up to give us commentary about the film. We also get behind the scenes footage, storyboards, 15 still galleries (368 total images) and interviews.
In the latter, we hear from Snyder, De Vries, Bates, production designer Rick Carter, set decorator Jim Erickson, director of photographer Larry Fong, choreographer Paul Becker, producer Deborah Snyder, special effects coordinator Joel Whist, stunt/fight coordinator Damon Caro, executive producer Chris DeFaria, training coordinator Logan Hood, stunt coordinator Tim Rigby, stunt performer Heidi Moneymaker, visual effects supervisor John Desjardin, Animal Logic lead digital artist Kenn McDonald, Animal Logic CG supervisor Andrew Chapman, art director Todd Cherniawksky, prop master Jimmy Chow, unit production manager Jim Rowe, co-writer Steve Shibuya, editor William Hoy, and actors Emily Browning, Carla Gugino, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Scott Glenn, Jamie Chung, Jon Hamm and Oscar Isaac.
The discussions cover story/character elements, cinematography and effects, music and choreography, cast and performances, sets and visual design, weapons, action and stunts, and changes made for the extended cut.
Prior “Maximum Movie Modes” have been hit or miss, and this one is also a bit inconsistent. However, it’s probably better than the alternative: a standard audio commentary from Snyder. When he’s done those in the past, they’re been pretty weak, so the “MMM” acts as a good alternative.
And it is usually useful. Some parts sag, but we get a reasonably solid look at the production, as the “MMM” touches on a nice variety of topics. It never quite excels, but it adds to our understanding of the film.
Disc Two launches with ads for A Clockwork Orange and the F.E.A.R. video game. No trailer for Sucker Punch appears anywhere in this package.
A third platter provides both a digital copy of Sucker Punch for use on computers or digital portable gadgets as well as a DVD copy of the film. This delivers a barebones package, so don’t expect any extras.
While it packs lush visuals and an occasional exciting action scene, Sucker Punch lacks the narrative and character base to involve the audience. It delivers a few thrills but feels insubstantial. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio along with some useful supplements. As a Blu-ray, this is a nice release, but the movie itself isn’t particularly interesting.