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Thread: My favorite movie characteristic.

  1. #1
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    My favorite movie characteristic.

    If there is one thing I really like in a movie is for the bad guy(or girl) to suffer their just comeuppance. In the movie Dark City, the Strangers have kidnapped a city and experimented on its citizens to discover what they lack giving rise to a person who can control the Great Machine as easily as they can, much to their dismay. Darkman I thought was a great movie and it too involved the bad guy having the tables turned on him. I quess that is also one of the things I liked about the old Mission Impossible tv series in that they set up the bad guy to betray himself. I'm not talking about where the bully in a movie gets embarrassed in front of the high school, that is small time justice. I'm talking about JUSTICE. Like in the movie The Italian Job where the bad guy(Edward Norton) in the end realizes he has been completely outclassed and now is in the hands of a man who will show him no mercy. The Crow was another movie that had that quality.

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    um . . . wouldn't just about any movie have this happen? it's called an "ending."
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    Check out the episode of Firefly called The Train Job. Talk about your rough justice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren
    um . . . wouldn't just about any movie have this happen? it's called an "ending."
    No, not really. Your profile describes yourself as a writer so don't you think that is a limited and negative retort to my simple reflections of what I like in a movie?

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    Re: My favorite movie characteristic.

    My favorite movie characteristic is something called "character development" which ties-in closely with "a well-written plot", followed by "good acting". Then there would be quality cinematography and an effective score. A bit of something called "originality" wouldn't hurt either.

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    i think that's called a "happy ending".
    the bad guy gets it in the end- usually because he gets cocky and arrogant.
    just once, i'd like to see a major Hollywood blockbuster where the main "good guy" gets killed about halfway thru- preferably doing something not related to the plot like slipping while getting out of the showing and cracking his skull on the tub or something- and the bad guys win.
    that would throw the American movie going public for a loop- and, because of that, it would flop at the box office but do fairly well on the DVD relesae as long as it had the "alternative" happy ending included.

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    Re: My favorite movie characteristic.

    Quote Originally Posted by novaderrik
    i think that's called a "happy ending".
    the bad guy gets it in the end- usually because he gets cocky and arrogant.
    just once, i'd like to see a major Hollywood blockbuster where the main "good guy" gets killed about halfway thru- preferably doing something not related to the plot like slipping while getting out of the showing and cracking his skull on the tub or something- and the bad guys win.
    that would throw the American movie going public for a loop- and, because of that, it would flop at the box office but do fairly well on the DVD relesae as long as it had the "alternative" happy ending included.
    As long as the suits are pandering to the lowest common denominator, you're not going to see it. Only chance would be in an indie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by novaderrik
    i think that's called a "happy ending".
    the bad guy gets it in the end- usually because he gets cocky and arrogant.
    just once, i'd like to see a major Hollywood blockbuster where the main "good guy" gets killed about halfway thru- preferably doing something not related to the plot like slipping while getting out of the showing and cracking his skull on the tub or something- and the bad guys win.
    that would throw the American movie going public for a loop- and, because of that, it would flop at the box office but do fairly well on the DVD relesae as long as it had the "alternative" happy ending included.
    How about Executive Decision. Steven Segal died 30 minutes into the movie.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by novaderrik
    that would throw the American movie going public for a loop- and, because of that, it would flop at the box office but do fairly well on the DVD relesae as long as it had the "alternative" happy ending included.
    Hmm

    Non Happy Endings

    American History X
    Se7en
    Empire Strikes Back
    Revenge of the Stiff (both episodes so maybe they dont count).
    The Thing
    Planet of the Apes
    Brazil

    Im sure there are millions of non hollywood films that are unhappy.

    No Mans Land is a good example.

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    Homicide with Joe Mantana(spelling?) is another with a very unhappy ending.

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    I don't think you would call the ending of Darkman a happy one.

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    "Donny Darko" is one - time-travel, maybe - and plenty of sad, sad consequences in a really strange movie. Frank still creeps me out.

    "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" - not a happy ending per se, mostly because at the end they know how things will turn out (badly) but decide to go ahead anyway.

  13. #13
    Not a movie, but a miniseries: ReGenesis.

    Spoiler:

    The protagonist (a geneticist) accidentally releases an active strain of the Spanish Flu into the general population. Then he gets hit by a car before he can tell anyone about it. The series ends with an impending pandemic.
    By the way, what you're all looking for (the depressing, pessimistic, and frequently realistic) is called Canadian cinema.

  14. #14
    I didn't get that impression from "Eternal Sunshine". I saw it more as a warning than a portent- they knew how it could go wrong, but had a chance at an infomed but baggage free do-over. They don't *have* to repeat their mistakes, and were actually in a romanticly idealized position not to.

    Technically it was open ended, and could end up either way. It's left up to the audience to say whether the end is a glass half empty or half full.

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    Maybe I'm biased, but I don't think "the Ring" had a very happy ending. Neither did "Citizen Kane"

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    Re: My favorite movie characteristic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis
    Quote Originally Posted by novaderrik
    i think that's called a "happy ending".
    the bad guy gets it in the end- usually because he gets cocky and arrogant.
    just once, i'd like to see a major Hollywood blockbuster where the main "good guy" gets killed about halfway thru- preferably doing something not related to the plot like slipping while getting out of the showing and cracking his skull on the tub or something- and the bad guys win.
    that would throw the American movie going public for a loop- and, because of that, it would flop at the box office but do fairly well on the DVD relesae as long as it had the "alternative" happy ending included.
    How about Executive Decision. Steven Segal died 30 minutes into the movie.
    Not sure if that qualifies as a happy or sad ending, but it obviously happened about 30 minutes too late. :wink:

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    I enjoy the occasional happy ending as well, but not so much that I'd take it even if it made no sense. Some movies (Lord of the Rings trilogy as noted above) have what I'd call bitter-sweet endings--evil is vanquished but many good things also are end. Even in a fantasy, that's a more realistic ending than "they all lived happily ever after."

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    Nothing beats the movie "Virus" for bad ending.

    Most of humanity is wiped out by a virus, and what little is left is pounded into radioactive waste when automated nuke missile systems go off in the US and Soviet Union ( it's an older movie).

    Cheap film, but there is an nicely odd scene where Our Hero imagines himself speaking with some skeletons in a blasted wasteland. It's all done with subtitles and dead silent. An unexpected moment of some artistry in the middle of a B film.

    It's a Japanese film: http://imdb.com/title/tt0080768/

    I'd nominate Soylent Green for another dark ending, but it's not really clear what happens after the final scene.

    Personally, I've become such a cynical misanthrope over the past few years, I like the unhappy endings. I root *for* the asteroid. ;-)

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    I just watched Impostor night before last. Not exactly a happy ending, and the "hero" dies before the film even starts.

    Solaris was another that didn't end well. And most any horror movie I've ever seen the bad guy/evil force/whatever usually prevails.

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    Of course, there are all of the movies involving Hannibal Lecter, where he got his comeuppance.

    "Happy" endings were pretty much mandated when Hollywood decided to avoid government censorship by applying self-censorship with the Hays Commission/Hays Code. Sex, crime, violence, etc were bad things and were not to be glorified or made sympathetic. Bad guys (and gals) were bad and had to "pay the price" by the movie's end.
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    The Hays Code was effectively replaced by the MPAA rating system. The beginning of the end was the film "Blow-Up", a British/Italian art film that was refused a Production Code approval, but MGM released it anyway with the MPAA powerless to do a dang thing about it. The film won the Palme D'Or at Cannes that year.

    First British film to feature full frontal female nudity, in case you were wondering what the huff was about.

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    IIRC, the proclaimed best movie of all time, Citizen Cane does not have a happy ending.

    I don't think Titanic, Gone with the Wind, Dr. Strangelove (ohiltswaltb), Failsafe, Planet of the Apes, or Beneath the Planet of the Apes had happy endings. Although the ending of Beneath the Planet of the Apes might have been happy in that it was supposed to be the last Planet of the Apes movie.

    I've written a treatment for a major motion picture where the earth is destroyed. It doesn't have a happy ending.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis
    IIRC, the proclaimed best movie of all time, Citizen Cane does not have a happy ending.
    [nitpick]

    Kane.

    [/nitpick]

    which, of course, did horribly at the box office because it was a thinly-veiled biography of William Randolph Hearst, who was still alive and able to make trouble at the time.

    Kemal, it's "Mantegna." he's out of work now, too, since Joan has gone off the air.

    No, not really. Your profile describes yourself as a writer so don't you think that is a limited and negative retort to my simple reflections of what I like in a movie?
    no. further, I don't see what my being a writer has to do with it. what you are saying, in short, is that you like happy endings. I admit I left out the word "happy," so in that, perhaps, I was unfair. however, that is, in fact, what you've just said, albeit in more words than I used.

    I like that Hannibal Lecter never gets punished because he actually is smarter than everyone else. I like that, even though his character is evil, he's still appealing. I like that better than a fake happy ending, though I feel that it's what everyone was trying for in Hannibal--how happy the endings of book and movie are depend a great deal on one's perspective, for example.

    I like the statements on the nature of love in The Crying Game, wherein a person goes to prison for a murder he didn't commit to atone for one he did. I like Barbossa's final line in Pirates of the Caribbean far more than the mere fact that he dies. ("I feel . . . cold.")

    in short, what I like about a movie is when it respects my intelligence enough to show me a world more complicated than "good guy wins."
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    At what time did I say I liked "happy" endings? The comeuppance that Lector gives his envious jailer, Dr. Chilton is what I am talking about not "happy" endings.

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    when you said you liked the "bad guy" (ye gods) to "suffer his comeuppance," that does tend to imply the "good guy" winning, ergo a happy ending.

    one of the interesting points about Silence of the Lambs is the shades of evil, and the fact that Chilton, venal though he may be, is still less likeable than the far more evil Lecter. however, there are more layers of meaning in Silence of the Lambs than in Dark City, so one villain (or antagonist, if you prefer) can thwart another.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    I enjoyed the movie Fabulous Baker Boys. One thing I liked about it aside from it being an adult show was that it didn't wrap everything up neatly. Boy doesn't get girl. It ends with life just going on. Oh my God, something real.

    But it did end gracefully. Important word being end.

    Nothing I hate more than the cop out ending where the protagonist faces some great thing and they end the show leaving you to imagine did he or didn't he. At least have the courage to tell me the end to your story. I have all the imagination in the world, but your story should conclude. Don't set up a joke and tell me to make up my own punch line.
    Sorry, my pet peeve rant slipped in there.

    Happy endings don't have to be jolly. Bad guy gets it in the end is happy even if everyone has been devastated through the rest of the film. On the other hand, some shows are artificially grim. They contrive to make the good guy lose just for effect. The TV series Outer Limits comes to mind - the good guy NEVER wins on that show.

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    sometimes, they make the ending kind of open ended to leave room for a sequel...
    if the movie makes a lot of cash, they will surely pound out a sequel withing a few years, then if that makes money, they make a third so they can sell a trilogy box set.
    and if that triology box set makes money, they start in with the prequels to show how the characters got to the beginning of the "first" movie...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren
    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis
    IIRC, the proclaimed best movie of all time, Citizen Cane does not have a happy ending.
    [nitpick]

    Kane.

    [/nitpick]
    Oops, I should have noticed that. ops:
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGalaxyTrio
    Nothing beats the movie "Virus" for bad ending.

    Most of humanity is wiped out by a virus, and what little is left is pounded into radioactive waste when automated nuke missile systems go off in the US and Soviet Union ( it's an older movie).
    Thankyou! I saw the last half of this movie about 20 years ago and have wanted to see the entire thing since. However, I didn't know what the heck the title was! I really enjoy movies that surprise me with an unhappy/unexpected/non-telegraphed ending. The first I remember from childhood was Body Snatchers.

    I've grown so tired of happy endings. Just once I wish a TV series would end unhappily rather than with bubble gum sweetness or leave us hanging. Like having the moon from Space1999 bump into a star, or Jordi reverses the polarity of something 3 seconds before their imminent demise and it doesn't work, Horatio Caine, doing what I'm sure all CSI team members are qualified to do, doesn't quite disarm that dirty bomb in time...roll final credits. Or Battlefield Earth, no, wait, that whole thing was an unhappy experience. Nevermind.

    Eugenek.

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    a lot of TV shows end ambiguously because they don't know while filming their final episode that it is their final episode. see the highly-rated Joan of Arcadia, which quite reasonably expected to be picked up for a third season, except that it wasn't highly-rated in the demographic CBS was trying to attract. the final episode of Twin Peaks, on the other hand, is referred to in my circle as "David Lynch's Revenge," because we guessed he was trying to get back at the network for cancelling him.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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