IN HONOUR OF THE VILLAGE'S TOTALLY NOT-LAME AND NOT-OBVIOUS SURPRISE TWIST ENDING...
I will transcribe one of my favourite scenes from one of my favourite movies, Wayne's World
[Scene: Tropical resort, presumably somewhere in Hawaii. Benjamin Oliver is lounging on one of those padded deckchair thingies. Cassandra walks towards him with some drinks.]
[bending over Benjamin Oliver]
Last night was the most incredible night of my life.
You were terrific.
[turns head towards camera to talk to audience]
You didn't really think she'd end up with Wayne, did you?
[Wayne and Garth slide into screen with a screeching tire noise, bringing that scene to a halt]
As if we'd end the movie like that, shyeah!
Let's do the Scooby-Doo ending.
Wayne & Garth:
Doodle-oo! Doodle-oo! Doodle-oo! Doodle-oo! Doodle-oo! Doodle-oo! Doodle-oo!
[They wave their hands up and down in contours to begin the cliché "dream sequence" wavy fade-out/fade-in wipe]
[Scene: Outside Wayne's suburban home; Benjamin leaves car and walks towards house, slightly hobbling because of Officer Koharski's "body cavity search"]
[Scene: Inside Wayne's basement, wherein Crucial Taunt is playing the last few bars of "Ballroom Blitz"]
[Ending "Ballroom Blitz"]
Hi! Frankie Sharp, Sharp Records. I just saw your performance in my limo.
Wow, we got through! Well, that wraps it up, but there's one last thing.
[walks over to Benjamin Oliver, who is being restrained by two police officers]
Let's just see who you really are, mister.
[Wayne tears Mission Impossible-esque Rob Lowe mask off "Benjamin Oliver"]
Why it's Old Man Withers, the guy who runs the haunted amusement park!
Old Man Withers:
And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for you snooping kids!
Good one, Shaggy!
Excellent Scooby-Doo ending.
Also, over in the Rotten Tomatoes forum
, genius Indonesian-American poster Number8
started a thread about the UPN reality show Amish in the City
entitled "Oh gee, what a shocking twist, 19th century people living in a modern world! Yippee!"
. I thought the thread title was hilarious, even though I haven't seen Amish in the City
yet, but some people are complaining for some odd reason I can't quite discern, and they're bringing up The Village
, even though it has *nothing* to do with the thread. ;)
Since it was in my album anyway, just to provide a little buffer space to those of you poor, soon-to-be-very-disappointed people who still want to see The Village
, here's an image of Ran Kotobuki falling from the sky to "glomp" Mami Honda from volume 5 of Super GALS!
(hmm... hope ANN posts my review soon).
MR. NOT-GIVE-AWAY-SPOILERS-MAN'S REVIEW CORNER
Hello! I'm Mr. Not-Give-Away-Spoilers-Man, and do you know what bothers me the most in movie reviews? Spoilers! I hate reading spoilers so much that I think I'm going to try my hand at writing short reviews of films, both old and recent, with major plot twists that I absolutely will not reveal, because why would I want to do that? It would ruin it for everybody! So, feel safe in reading my totally spoiler-free reviews, secure in the knowledge that any and all mysteries of a film will be left safe for you to uncover. :)
In today's installment, I shall review The Usual Suspects
, The Thirteenth Floor
, The Sixth Sense
, and The Village
, so, if I was going to intentionally write a bunch of obvious spoilers as a sarcastic joke, I would say "Consider yourselves warned, dumbasses", but I'm not going to give anything away at all and, as such, you can devour every word.
The first film I wish to discuss is The Usual Suspects
, the 1995 crime mystery where a group of criminals meet in a police line-up and plan an emerald heist, which goes off without a hitch, and attracts the attention of the unseen ruthless killer crime boss known only as Keyser Soze, who terrorizes them into attempting to pull off a much more dangerous "job". Meanwhile, a government agent tries to determine the identity of the enigmatic Keyser Soze. My favourite character is Kevin Spacey as Roger "Verbal" Kint, a small time con man who holds his cigarettes the Turkish way and who tells the agent lurid tales of Keyser Soze, who very few people have seen and lived. The thing I like best about "Verbal" Kint is that he is an unassuming character who is slightly physically and mentally-handicapped because of cerebral palsy, and, as such, I would feel safe around a character like "Verbal" Kint in real life since he is very unlikely to do anything violent. One interesting trivia fact of no real relevance to the plot is that "Keyser Soze" is Turkish for "Verbal King"! That's all I'll say about the plot, so prepare to be totally surprised when you find out just who Keyser Soze really is, and you will be thankful that you hadn't read any spoilers for that one.
The next film I want to discuss is the 1999 science-fiction thriller, The Thirteenth Floor
. This film is about a scientist, Hannon Fuller (Armin-Mueller-Stahl), in the totally-real Los Angeles of 1999 who comes across a secret so terrifying that, rather than just tell someone else about it in the totally-real Los Angeles of 1999, he writes a letter to his colleague, Douglas Hall (Craig Bierko) in the not-real-but-virtual Los Angeles of 1939 which exists in a perfect computer simulation they created and which they can enter through some sort of neural interface. Then Fuller is murdered and Hall has memory lapses and thinks that he himself may have committed the act, so he leaves the totally-real Los Angeles of 1999 and enters the not-real-but-virtual Los Angeles of 1939, with the help of Whitney (Vincent D'Onofrio), an older programmer who enjoys creating virtual reality simulations of Los Angeles at various points in history, to see if he can find out the truth about what Fuller discovered and who killed him. This film reminds me a bit of another film that was released a few weeks before this one, The Matrix
, about a computer programmer who discovers that the city he lives in is an elaborate computer simulation created by sentient machines to harvest energy from the captive test-tube bred humans in a sun-blotted world, in a way I won't reveal. Also, it is suprising that a computer powerful enough to recreate Los Angeles in its entirety down to the smallest detail would exist in the totally-real Los Angeles of 1999; you would think a machine like that would exist in the Los Angeles of several decades in the future. I won't tell you the main plot twist, it's just too unexpected and mind-blowing.
Also released in 1999 was the Academy Award-nominated film, The Sixth Sense
, from M. Night Shyamalan. Young Haley Hoel Osment plays Cole Sear, a kid with the ability to speak to not just normal, living people, but also the ghosts of dead people, many of who don't even know they're dead until he tells them, even if nobody seems to notice them anymore. Bruce Willis plays Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist who is shot by a burglar in the first scene of the film but is somehow alright, even though his wife ignores him at dinner and everyone else seems to be giving him the silent treatment from now on except for the kid, who he decides to treat. There's a startling plot twist at the end, and I don't want to give too much away, but, let's just say that this film reminds me a lot of that episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark
when the kid fixes arcade machines but no one notices him anymore except for his sister who tells him that he died in an accident and is now a ghost at the end of the episode. I won't say how the ending of this film is like the episode I just discuss, but, let's just say there are some parallels that you won't see coming from a mile away.
Finally, another film you don't want to be spoiled for has just opened, and it's from the same director, M. Night Shyamalan. It's called The Village
, and it's about an isolated village in the olden days of 1897 that is separated from the rest of the world by a forest, and inside this forest live completely real monsters that no one except for the elders have seen, but, somehow, these elders negotiated a truce with the completely real monsters many years before, in the even more olden days, that the villagers would stay out of the woods, and the completely real monsters would stay out of the village. And so it stayed for many years, until the children born in the village grew to be adults. One day, everyone in the village wakes up to find red slashes on their doors, and these slashes would look a lot like the ones made by construction companies to mark homes scheduled for demolition, except it's the olden days of 1897, so there aren't those sorts of demolition crews and spraypaint hasn't been invented yet. Then the elders warn the villagers that they can tell, somehow, that the completely real monsters are coming, and the villagers must wait in the cellar until the completely real monsters are gone, though the elders who know a lot about the completely real monsters stay outside, to watch guard until the completely real monsters go away. There are also a few other places in the village that only the elders have access to, like a shed large enough to hold several large objects, like, say, just for the sake of naming something, monster costumes. One of the things about it being the olden days of 1897 is that they don't have modern stuff, so you're unlikely to see, for example, a modern vehicle like a Land Rover SUV, even on the other sides of the woods, nor will you see any airplanes in the sky, unlike modern times, when the only way you could grow up and not see a single airplane in the sky would be if you were living in some sort of giant preserve with a huge no-fly zone over it, and what would be the point of setting up something like that, unless you were a very rich group of people who wanted to get completely away from modern society for some reason? I won't say anything else because to do so, I'd have to reveal the trick ending, which isn't so completely lame and obvious that you can easily guess the gist of it from the general premise of the film, that it's set in the past but there's some sort of trick ending.
So, feel free to watch any of those films completely unspoiled, and, until next time: movies, your secrets are safe with me. ;)
425,293 people now know I'm wussier than Maddox in that I'll put a pussy read-between-the-lines spoiler warning before I ruin the movies for them.
SIMPSONS GAY CHARACTER NO MYSTERY!
The ailing Simpsons, which should have been put out of its misery at some pont soon after the 1998-99 season, is digging its own grave deeper with another stunt episode, this time revealing a semi-major character to be gay. (From SKY News.)
SIMPSONS GAY CONFESSION
"The Simpsons cartoon series is to present fans with a new cliffhanger - which of the characters is coming out of the closet.
One of them is to reveal to the world he or she is gay.
In the same episode, Homer Simpson is ordained on the internet and begins performing same-sex weddings.
Show producer Matt Groening dropped hints about the new storyline at a San Diego comic convention but he gave no clues as to which character will declare their homosexuality.
One obvious candidate is Waylon Smithers who is in love with nuclear power plant boss Mr Burns but his sexuality is no big secret.
Or maybe Marge's twin sisters Selma and Patty could announce they are lesbians after a string of doomed love affairs with men.
Groening also said he still plans to make a feature film of The Simpsons but production will not start until the TV series ends."
You can participate in idle speculation all you like as to the identity of the character... or you can just go to the Simpsons Archive Upcoming Episodes page at SNPP.com (as in Springfield Nuclear Power Plant)
and read the official FOX press release blurb for that particular episode, which reveals everything, at least for one of the gay characters in question. I won't say who it is for people who don't want to know, I'll just say it's about the second most obvious character after Waylon Smithers, so prepare to be very disappointed if you're expecting a shocking twist.
The second half of that sentence probably will also apply to the presumed ending of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village
, though I don't have a problem with the gist of the ending, just the way I've seen it described seems rather abrupt. Assuming the twist I read, which is the one I guessed based on just the general premise of the film, is accurate. But the cast list for the Village
at IMDb.com seems to confirm that that twist is the true one.
SIR LAURENCE OLIVIER FOR
DIET COKE SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW
I'm looking forward to the ultra-stylish retro sci-fi throwback film Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow
, even if it's opening in September, which is kind of a dead zone for Hollywood blockbusters. (I hope that doesn't say anything about the quality of the film.)
From the BBC, here's the weirdest piece of news I've heard about the project. Hopefully, this won't look like too much of a cut-and-paste compositing job.
Olivier resurrected for film role
Legendary actor Sir Laurence Olivier is to star in a Hollywood fantasy film, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, 15 years after his death.
Footage of Lord Olivier from various films will be used to create a villainous leader of killer robots in the film due out in September.
New dialogue was recorded by another actor for Lord Olivier's voice.
Jude Law, who stars in the film, said film-makers used Olivier because few other actors possessed his authority.
"He plays my nemesis. And he's referred to throughout the movie so you know eventually you're going to get to see this bad guy," Law said at the annual Comic-Con International sci-fi convention in the US.
"It builds up, and you only see him in the last minutes, and he's in hologram form."
This may or may not be a bad idea, but it reminds me too much of the spoof "Sir Laurence Olivier for Diet Coke" edited tape commercial
from Montreal-based comedy troupe, the Vestibules'
(formerly Radio Free Vestibule).
MP3 from this page.