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Movies that are great...until the final reel screws them up

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Dick, Jan 21, 2019.

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  1. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    As I type this, I'm listening to the W. Kilar score for THE NINTH GATE, and again lament that director Roman Polanski had a great thing going with this film and then...well, screwed it up at the end. I loved the first two-thirds of this movie. It set up a wonderful mystery/supernatural atmosphere and had a bunch of fine performances, notably Johnny Depp and Frank Langella. The music properly added to the mix. This was never going to be another ROSEMARY'S BABY, but Polanski returned to the satanic theme of that earlier film and could have driven it home, but he muffed it. I don't know if this was because time or finances were running out, or because the script simply could not sustain the momentum that had been earlier established.

    So many movies botch the final 20-30 minutes, which is a shame because some of them could otherwise have been 3-or-4-star productions. With millions of dollars being spent on these films, aren't any of the filmmakers able to see that their endings are weak and essentially bring the whole movie down?

    So frustrating!

    Your additions?
     
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  2. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    I need to see it again, but A Ghost Story was kinda like that. Love the surreal, TZ feel... but the ending left me scratching hairs. It's like I'd say... Forget somethin? Still loved the movie though.
     
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  3. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    This is more than one reel, but how about the second half of Liz’s Cleopatra? The second of half of the movie, is a downer, after the first half.
     
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  4. trajan007

    trajan007 Second Unit

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    I thought the second part was very well done. The scenes with Burton alone against Octavian's army were brilliant.
     
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  5. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Cinematographer

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    Last eight minutes of um American Gigolo ;)
     
  6. RichMurphy

    RichMurphy Second Unit

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    I thought that APOCALYPSE NOW fell apart once they reached Kurtz's compound.
     
  7. Arthur Powell

    Arthur Powell Second Unit

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    Speaking as a person who appreciates dark humor and irony, I would have liked to have seen Hitchcock's proposed ending for Suspicion.
     
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  8. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Cinematographer

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    I was going to say pretty much the same thing as that IS the last reel. The first time I saw AN the the girl running the projectors managed to miss the sound drum and there was no sound ... she went off for a smoke break so it was off for a while. Thankfully(?) someone in the audience was kind enough to provide us with the dialogue -which didn't really help ... at least does have a couple of good last few minutes ...
     
  9. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    Read the book for the original ending. I agree, the movie was quite good until the end. Who botched it? Not the author of the novel...
     
  10. Louis Letizia

    Louis Letizia Supporting Actor

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    Great subject!
     
  11. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    The Shape of Water. I thought the "villain" acted too cartoonish towards the end of the film.
     
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  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    The Abyss.
     
  13. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Screenwriter

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    Agreed, having Grant's slick ladies man unknowingly mail the incriminating letter that will ultimately send him to the gas chamber, after he thinks he has successfully murdered his wife, was a stroke of genius denied fans and the movie to its ever-lasting detriment.

    For me, the tacked on ending to The Magnificent Ambersons just screams of bad taste. It's not a happy picture about happy people, and yet, the finale makes it seem like the worst is over and rosy days are ahead. Ugh!
     
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  14. Cineman

    Cineman Second Unit

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    I am a huge Hitchcock fan. But for me the last 10 minutes or so of REBECCA are a bore, which is highly unusual for a Hitchcock movie. Maybe it was more Selznick than Hitchcock's fault. But it was as though all the emotional power generated up until the final reel was dropped and the job handed over to a routine crime drama director. It is only rescued by the final, hair raising and haunting shots of Mrs. Danvers trapped in the hellish demise of Manderley.

    So too are the final scenes in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. I know it is heresy to suggest such a thing on this website and there is no doubt it is one of the top 10 greatest movies ever made. However, those last several scenes are plain boring, something that happens no where else in the movie. I realize T.E.Lawrence was an enigma. But Lean seemed to have lost his mojo in also making him a compelling figure in the last reel or two. Again, the final couple of shots do make a lasting and haunting impression. But the last reel or so seems to have been underwritten and directed without anything near the inspiration of what came before.

    And it might well be a case of what came before being SO good, it was almost impossible to wrap it up on as high a standard in both of the above movies.
     
  15. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Fatal Attraction. The original ending fits so much better. I get why they changed it and agree the reshot ending is more “crowd pleasing,” but it dumbs down an otherwise very well done look at infidelity and obsessive psychosis.
     
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  16. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

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    Way Way Out (1966): After a pretty captivating start to this Jerry Lewis love/sex (subdued due to Production Code) space comedy, the film bogs down in the extended (and a bit boring) Russian party sequence on the moon station. Brian Keith’s spaced-out General Hallenby scenes bring some welcome relief, disjointed as they are.
     
  17. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Sunshine - A really strong SF film until the horror elements are introduced. I'm okay with SF / horror hybrids (love the original Alien) but here the horror simply felt out of place. I didn't feel like the film setup the storyline for the introduction for those types of elements.

    L.A. Confidential - I only mention it because I have seen this criticism leveled at the film before. Not sure I completely agree; maybe (???)

    - Walter.
     
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  18. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The horror! The horror!
     
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  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The comedy Stripes falls apart once they leave training camp and head to Europe. A very funny movie with some classic lines in the first half of the film, and a horrible bore in the 2nd half.
     
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  20. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    Two very different films:
    Psycho — What follows after the shocker (and the struggle in the shadows that follows it) is that boring sequence that tells us Norman Bates is a loony. Gee, do you think so?
    Jingle All the Way — a funny Schwarzegger comedy about two dads (the other is Sinbad) after the last popular toy (Great poster: "Two dads. One toy. No prisoners.") is very funny until the final 20 minutes, when it gets the most overblown, repetitive ending imaginable.
     

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