Friday, February 22, 2008

Movies Without Endings

I really miss the days when movies had endings. The movie starts and then stuff starts to happen. Something questionable happens and you become unsure of how the movie is going to end. Then, BAM! The guy gets the girl, the bad guy gets killed, and you leave the theater with a sense of satisfaction.

Directors and screenwriters now believe that they are edgy because they have an open ending for their movie. There is no semblance of completion. For Example, my wife and I got a baby sitter to go see Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood. The final scene involves two individuals who had been in conflict the whole film. There is an altercation and then credits. I don't get the satisfaction of knowing if the guy gets incarcerated, killed, attacked by a cackle of crows. It just seems like they could have put an extra 10 minutes in there to tidy up the ending but just said "Screw It".

The same is true for No Country For Old Men. Javier Bardem kills a crap load of people and Tommy Lee Jones has no clue. He just rambles some parable about a dream he had and then hit the credits. Other recent films that have this same phenomenon are Once and Half Nelson.

If you are going to cut a movie short without an ending, do what was done in Animal House or the Van Halen Hot For Teacher video. At the conclusion of these timeless classics you get to see who goes on to be a senator/rock star/beach bum/etc. At the end of Hot For Teacher, we learn that:
  • Alex went on to become Dr. Van Halen, Gynecologist, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Anthony is currently a champion sum wrestler in Tokyo, Japan
  • Edward Van Halen is temporarily 'relaxing' in Bellevue mental ware and making progress
  • David Lee Roth went to Hollywood and became America's Favorite TV game show
This is the level of follow through I would expect from Paul Thomas Anderson and the Coen brothers.

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