Thanks, kaylasdad99. I figured it was something along those lines. I agree with Ebert that that is a painfully stupid ending.
Hmmm. Interesting spoiler, kaylasdad99, although it seems to contradict the admittedly vague review
Myself, I was betting that it ended like the other, rarely seen but quite good death penalty movie:
Fritz Lang’s Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Ebert gave zero stars to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and The Doom Generation, as well as North. Which were all great movies, IMO. (Well, The Doom Generation did suck, but I loved it in a nihilistic sort of way.)
It goes without saying that I’m gonna catch this David Gale movie this afternoon. It’s gonna rock!
I read the spoiler and it was roughly what I had guessed it would be from the hints in some of the reviews. Actually if handled subtly this ending could have been quite interesting. The trick would be to keep it open-ended and suggest the ending without quite spelling it out. But of course that’s not the Hollywood way.
Does this movie star Bruce Willis and Susan Surrandon by some coincidence?
That’s one of the dumbest things i’ve ever heard. I give it negative 6 stars!
No it stars Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet.
Are you thinking of the parody film Habeas Corpus in Altman’s The Player?
So you give Zero stars The Wizard of Oz?
I saw this movie a couple of weeks ago at an advance sneak preview (there’s been a review on my web site for at least a week now), and the spoiler provided by kaylasdad99 is accurate.
The worst part of the sneak preview is that Kevin Spacey was there. He was doing pre-release publicity-tour talks with the movie, trying to drum up word of mouth. It was exceedingly painful to see him (apparently) sincerely talking about how much he liked the movie, and the audience lining up to kiss his ass, even after we’d seen what a turkey the thing really is.
And the worst part about the “clever twist ending” is that it causes the movie to shoot itself right in the foot. More detail in the spoiler box.
Up until that point, when we find out that the whole thing is a setup, it’s a straightforward, if strident, anti-death-penalty screed. But after that, the movie is no longer about the death penalty per se. Rather, it’s about how a system, any system, can be manipulated and perverted if someone is smart and motivated. Clearly, the movie believes itself to be a big, important statement about the death penalty, but in the end it couldn’t be further from it; it’s merely a deeply cynical look at what happens when one guy decides to selfishly throw a monkey wrench into the works.
It’s worth seeing, I guess, just to see what a colossal misfire it really is, and is interesting for anyone who wants to witness an act of cinematic hubris on the scale of Battlefield Earth. Everyone else should go see Adaptation again.
Thanks much, kaylasdad; you just saved me two hours and 9 bucks. Like some others have mentioned, I was all ready to see this, because I’m a fan of Spacey’s and since Heavenly Creatures am now a fan of Winslet. Bleh.
That’s offensively stupid.
I think he was kidding about it combining “Dead Man Walking” and “Sixth Sense”, not actually asking the question.
Actually, I was talking about The Player.
His review of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern reveals his one major flaw. That movie he didn’t like because he didn’t believe it brought with it the wit and energy of the stage production. Ebert is constantly comparing films to their source, and if he doesn’t get exactly the same thing from both media then he drops the rating for the film. He expects that if a stage production was mostly about this and the film mostly about that, then the film was lacking. He can’t just take the film as a standalone.
This is especially annoying when he has absolutely no clue what the original was about or grossly misremembers it, as he has done for both Lord of the Rings reviews thusfar.
Maybe now people will realize how bad American Beauty was.
I never see a movie just for the actor. My belief is that the actor can enhance the moive but it is the script that makes the actor. This was one movie I wasn’t intersted in even renting. Now this just justifies my inital reaction to the promos.
“Actually, I was talking about The Player”
As it happens I saw The Player just a couple of days back. The death-penalty sequence which parodies Hollywood films was hilarious. I think David Gale is bad in a different way though: it’s pretentious and contrived rather than feel-good
Hey, thanks for the MovieSpoiler link.
Thank you all for saving me the $$ of seeing this…I think I can safely wait until it is on HBO in a year or so.
I wish I had been so clever and had avoided paying to see K Pac (or whatever that mess was called).
Actually I liked American Beauty. But what I really like about Kevin Spacey’s work is Hopper.
kaylasdad99, I liked American Beauty, too. I think people liked it at the time because many of them saw themselves in it–people trapped in a “rut” they’ve made for themselves. People seem to like movies where they see themselves, like The Graduate or Fight Club.
I can elaborate on that, if anyone likes. I’m just too lazy right now. (As you can plainly see, since I didn’t even bother putting some HTML in.)
What a mess. I am very disappointed, because I was looking forward to a good movie.
When does ROTK come out again?