E. M. | April 16, 2005
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Amy Austin | April 17, 2005
Don't forget "Fallen". I *hate* that movie... no vindication whatsoever.

E. M. | April 17, 2005
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Kris Weberg | April 17, 2005
Miinority Report should have ended with a door closing, Max von Sydow gloating, Tom Cruise in statsis.

Scott Hardie | April 17, 2005
Great idea for a discussion, Ed. And probably spoiler city. :-)

As I mention from time to time when I write about movies, I can't stand when a twist ending is tacked on to the end that undermines what had been developed to that point, by suggesting that it was all for nothing. "Frailty" is a good example: That ending is almost mocking you for caring what happened up to that point, by throwing it all out the window. There are good twist endings that add an extra dimension to the story without undermining it, like "The Sixth Sense." If I understand you right about "City of Angels," it sounds like the former kind.

"Kill Bill" was another movie that I thought ended poorly, although a twist had nothing to do with it. It was simply anticlimactic: After all of those amazing battles, the Bride and Bill can't even be bothered to stand up for their very brief combat. It's a credit to Uma Thurman and David Carradine being so intense in the dialogue that it still feels like the weighty confrontation that it is, but more battle would have been a good way to end an action movie, you know? The ending as scripted involved a prolonged sword fight out on the beach at sunrise, with the characters silhouetted against the sun, the Bride in her wedding dress. That sounds spectacular, so what happened? Tarantino had gone over schedule doing the rest of the movie, and Miramax wouldn't give him more time to finish it. No shit. The crew hastily had to improvise the low-key ending that actually appeared in the movie. What a let-down.

Amy Austin | April 17, 2005
Ack! I had to stop dead in my tracks while reading your comment, Scott! You're right... and neither one of us was even thinking about it, I'm sure -- SPOILER CITY!!! (Perhaps we should rename the discussion... ;-)

Evidently, you hadn't seen "City of Angels" (although, it isn't like you can't see it coming) -- well, I haven't seen Vol. 2 yet, only the first. (And may I say CAMPY as all hell, but now I'm sucked in and HAVE to see 2...) E, this was a terrible idea for a discussion!!!

E. M. | May 6, 2005
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Scott Horowitz | May 6, 2005
Think how much better this world will be when Ben Afflect stops making action movies.

John E Gunter | May 6, 2005
I'm with you Ed, if I wanted reality, I'd watch so called reality TV! ;-)

But I go to the movies for an escape!


Jackie Mason | May 6, 2005
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Amy Austin | May 6, 2005
Hating on Ben Affleck is fine by me, but with regards to this discussion, I just have to say... HUH?

E. M. | May 7, 2005
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John E Gunter | May 9, 2005
I know exactly what you're talking about! I thought of another movie type that's supposed to be reality, documentaries. I watch them sometimes as well, but not when I want to escape!


Kris Weberg | May 10, 2005
Well, there are certainly non-serious documentaries, too: Trekkies, for example, or the one about the really bad amateur director.

Anna Gregoline | May 10, 2005
American Movie?

Scott Horowitz | May 10, 2005
I just read about what you said about Minority Report and it made me think. For some reason, we always discuss that movie in my office. They have all this advanced technology, but the name of the victim/attacker is engraved into a fucking wooden ball????? Does anyone else not get it?

Anna Gregoline | May 10, 2005
I thought that was weird, too, Scott.

Kris Weberg | May 10, 2005
The idea was that the specific woodgrain pattern made them impossible to counterfeit.

Anna Gregoline | May 10, 2005
Still seems ludicrous though, doesn't it?

E. M. | May 11, 2005
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Kris Weberg | May 11, 2005
Makes sense to me -- plastic and metal would be easy to counterfeit, especially in a future like that one; digital data is vulnerable to hacking.

Anna Gregoline | May 11, 2005
To me, that place had enough security that it seemed a little strange to go to the lengths they did for the round ball. I thought it was odd too that they didn't know the name until they actually saw the ball...can you imagine running out of "ink" for that printer?!? Expensive!

Kris Weberg | May 11, 2005
Didn't have that much security, considering that Tom Cruise and Tom Cruise's ex-wife both managed to break into it during the movie.

Jackie Mason | May 11, 2005
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John E Gunter | May 11, 2005
Heh, it was in the script!


Steve Dunn | May 12, 2005
I find most movie endings disappointing. Two exceptions, though, movies with GREAT endings...

Napoleon Dynamite
Open Water

Anthony Lewis | May 12, 2005
I always hated the way "The Last American Virgin" ended when I was younger. I was used to the Hollywood ending where the boy gets the girl. Now that I am older and battle hardened, I can appreciate the ending where boy doesn't end up with girl. Quite courageous, and a lot of times authentic.

Kris Weberg | May 15, 2005
I tend to think a lot of comedies end rather poorly, going for schmaltz after two hours of vicious, sometimes gross humor. The tonal shift feels so tacky (and the ending so tacked on).

Kris Weberg | May 16, 2005
To answer the "bad book" request, Timequake is pretty cheese but I love it. I think most of Vonnegut's other stuff is genuinely great, though, so I can't call those "guilty pleasures."

Amy Austin | June 17, 2005
Well, I finally saw Vol. 2 today... and I can see why your disappointment, Scott. (Note to those who have't seen "Kill Bill" yet: this is a follow-up to Scott's spoiler post up above, which I am now finally re-visiting, with even more spoil commentary...) But I have to say that I definitely had more mixed feelings on it. Thankfully, I was not armed with the same information about the intent of the script (although, it does seem rather obvious without even being told) -- so the expectation of a big duel was only one of stereotypical Hollywood creation. In that respect, I was actually kind of grateful for the unexpected (a sort of "twist", in my own opinion)... and since I was a little bit bored by the build-up and expectation of the fact that such a battle was indeed going to take place, I found it slightly gratifying not to have to endure, "on pins and needles", this "big showdown" -- which (to me) would have seemed more like some drawn-out battle of the sexes, rather than the extraction of revenge that it more appropriately was. I mean, yes, the brevity did have a certain anti-climactic quality to it, but I think that it was (sufficiently?) offset by the mother-daughter reunion and explanations that had to take place and were so strategically used by Bill to delay the inevitable. And there was a certain... elegance and poetic justice to the final moment being the technique that was taught to Bea, but denied to Bill -- which was foreshadowed nicely by the exposition of the Pai Mei story. It was like the final karmic stamp of approval that showed how she was sanctified! Sure, this still could have happened in the final moments of a sword duel by sunrise, but I rather liked the sudden finality of it -- short and sweet... protracted only by the "intense dialogue and weighty confrontation". Anything more truly would have been overdone. But then again -- in view of the rest of the cheesy saga -- I suppose this also would have been entirely appropriate to its nature, too. Those are my mixed feelings.

Jackie Mason | June 19, 2005
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Amy Austin | June 19, 2005

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