Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Movie's Greatest Surprise Endings

After hearing about the recent finale of Lost, it got me thinking about movie endings. I love movies where something happens in the final scene that is a shocking revelation and it causes you to re-think the entire movie. I have listed some movies below that are know for having some major twists and surprises at the end of the movie. CAUTION-major spoilers below! Read at your own risk.

Psycho-Norman has split personalities and was acting as his mother. The movie is named after him.

The Sixth Sense - Bruce Willis died in the first scene but didn't realize he was a ghost until the end.

The Others - Nicole Kidman is actually a ghost (where else have we seen that?)

The Usual Suspects - Kevin Spacey's inept character was actually the mastermind Keyser Soza

The Village -It takes place in modern times but they live in a protected sanctuary.

The Prestige - Christian Bale had an identical twin to help him pull off the tricks.

Planet of the Apes - They landed back on earth in the future and it had been taken over by apes.

The Empire Strikes Back - Darth Vader is Luke's Father (and even worse, Luke kissed his sister)

The Game -It was just an elaborate staged surprise for his birthday.

The Crying Game - The he is actually a she (never seen it).

Citizen Kane His dying word "Rosebud" was the name of the sled he had as a young boy.

Fight Club Edward Norton's character and Tyler Durden are actually the same person .

Soylent Green - This popular government subsidized food staple is made out of people!

So there you go. In just a few minutes I have spoiled over 60 years of Hollywood's greatest surprise endings. I warned you not to read if you haven't seen them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Based on a True Story

This week I finally saw The Blind Side. I'm too lazy to write a review, but just let me say I liked it and would give it 7.5 stars. How is that for a brief review? I think most people like movies that are "based on a true story". I usually do. A close cousin to this type of movie is the "based on actual events" genre. As inspiring as these movies may be, I always wonder in the back of my mind which parts or real and what parts Hollywood chose to spice up or exaggerate.

Take a war movie for instance. Is the reference to an actual war or battle the true part and the rest just someones imagination? Where do you draw the line? I would love to make a movie about myself and promote it as based on a true story. The real part would be my name, the fact that I'm a man, and enjoy eating pastries, but I would probably elaborate a little about the martial arts skills, being a secret agent, and the part about playing in the NBA.

Even when a real event movie is good like Rudy, Gifted Hands, Flash of Genius, Erin Brokovich, The Pursuit of Happyness, etc. it makes you wonder what parts were not that accurate. I can tell you one area that is almost always embellished. It entails using attractive actors for the lead characters in the movie. When you watch one of these movies and then see the special features on DVD after and they interview the person the movie was about, they seldom look like Brad Pit or Kate Beckinsale.

I am proposing that any time someone does a movie based on a true story, that they have to list in small print on the poster "Except in real life this person is not that good looking." I hope I haven't ruined inspirational movies based on real events and true stories for you with my cynicism, but this is something I have always struggled with.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Iron Man 2

It's a good thing I went to see Iron Man 2 this week becuase I was within days of losing my movie reviewer license since I hadn't posted for so long. I'm sure this will be one of the biggest summer movies, but it's easy to be let down with sequels so I was prepared to be dissapointed. Overall I thougth IM2 was pretty good. The story was only okay, so I'd like to focus more on the characters or actors.

I liked Robert Downey Jr's performance. Despite being mega rich, super intelligent, and owning several Iron Man suits, he also has some glaring personality flaws and weaknesses. I kind of appreciate seeing that side of the hero, instead of a perfect person.

I thought Mickey Rourke was awesome as the villain and stole the show. He is disturbing and mysteriousin in this movie. That dude is just nasty in many ways. The scene when he's sitting in jail in his underwear comes to mind.

I was expecting Scarlet Johansson to be a villain too, but she ended up being one of the good guys. I still can't buy her as being a tough chick who can take out 15 guys, but her stunt double did a great job with the lucha libre skills.

I liked Don Cheadle more than Terrence Howard as Col Rhodes, but I didn't care for him having his own Iron Man suit. Sam Rockwell and Gary Shandling did a good job at portraying the obligatory coprporate and political weasels which are so frequently behind the scenes in movies. I could care less for Pepper Potts and didn't think she contributed anything to this movie.

I'm not a comic book guy so the whole Nick Fury thing was over my head. Samuel Jackson got about as much screen time as Stan Lee's Larry King cameo. The action scene finale was a little too over the top, but what do you expect from an action/super hero movie? Overall, Iron Man 2 is entertaining with great special effects and unfortunately, that is all many people look for these days in a movie. I give it 7.1 Stars.
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