I was scrolling around looking for something to watch, came across Deep Impact and thought about how much I enjoy … the first half of it, right up until President Freeman tells the world. After that, not so much.
And that got me thinking about other movies that hit me the same way. As much of a sacrilege as it may be, I’ve watched the first half of Army of Darkness (up until Ash goes to find the Necronomicon) many more times than I’ve watched the whole movie.
Anybody else got some movies that they love up to/after a point while being “meh” on the rest?
Danny Boyle’s Sunshine ALWAYS comes to mind right away.
The first chunk of the movie, focusing on a suicide mission by a space crew to reignite the dying sun, is fascinating and intriguing as all hell about the moral/ethical questions of survival and sacrifice. Great cast, too, with Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Benedict Wong.
Then comes the turn where a dead crew member from a similarly failed mission comes back as a ghost and tries to murder the crew of the current mission, so it goes from being a compelling hard sci-fi flick to a dumbass serial killer ghost movie.
I was never so disappointed in a movie that made such an abrupt turn. Pity, too, it was doing so well.
On the Army of Darkness front, I remember getting the director’s cut edition that, while yeah it had an alternate ending and a line or two added or changed, the bulk of it was several more minutes of the already interminably long battle scene.
I don’t think there’s a single movie that wouldn’t be improved by severely shortening the amount of time it’s just people punching each other. (And yes, I’ll even include They Live in this, even though the ridiculousness of how long that fight scene goes on is 100% of its charm. But it’s the charm of the scene, not the movie as a whole.)
I should add that this probably doesn’t apply to all movies; obviously there are many with zero punching. In those cases, I would totally want to see, say, Dorothy lay out the Wicked Witch with a right hook.
I think the first half hour of Ghostbusters II is wicked hilarious, but once a plot needs to happen I’m just done with it.
As I related in some other thread somewhere, I’ve only seen the first half or two-thirds of Ishtar, which I really enjoyed, so I don’t know what happens at the end to make it a nearly universally hated film.
I’ve seen that come up a lot about Full Metal Jacket, and honestly, I can’t really argue with that.
As technically proficient as the second half of the film is, it feels like Kubrick loses his narrative focus in that latter part. You really get the sense that Kubrick should’ve had the entire movie based around the boot camp storyline.
An extreme case, but a friend of mine relates the tale of seeing Ghost Ship in a movie theater, which he says has the bestest most awesome opening, but it goes downhill immediately after and everyone in the audience riffed on it through the next 85 minutes.
I know Death Proof can be divisive as all hell, but where I stand, the talkative first half of Death Proof leaves me cold, thinking that Tarantino was talking pop culture just to hear himself talk, but that latter part of the film? [chef’s kiss]