Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Friday, February 04, 2005


No Alternative

So my wife and I just watched The Forgotten on DVD. Don't ask me what it was about, 'cause I've forgotten. Ha ha ha! You get it? I said I've,'s called...


Not an awful picture, largely because it has Julianne Moore, who could make a Brian Bosworth movie worth seeing. My big problem with the movie stems not from Ms. Moore. My problem with the movie is also not the plot, convoluted as it is. I don't mind a movie that jerks you back and forth between psychology and sci-fi. The movie, as my wife pointed out, makes sense in the universe it creates, and I'm fine with that.

My problem is that they included, amongst the pitiful few extras, an "alternate ending". In exactly what way this ending was "alternative", I am unsure. The same thing happens. It's not that we've gone from the happy ending the test audiences demanded to the gritty, "this is how it'd be in real life" ending that the screenwriters and director fought for. It's not that it ends happily, but in a totally different way. It's not that the ending changes at all, to be honest. There are, I will concede, a couple more shots of Linus Roache than in the theatrical release. So, if, for you, an alternate ending means more of a relatively obscure British actor, then you'll be fully satisfied with your rental. I was not.

When I'm watching an alternate ending, I want something totally fucking different. I want George Bailey to jump off the bridge. I want Rhett to just start smacking the shit out of Scarlet. I want E.T.'s ship to crash into a tar pit. I want Rick to hand Victor Lazlo over to the Nazis and shtup Ilsa like there's no tomorrow. I want Harry and Sally to wind up with other people. I want Old Yeller to bite Travis. I want Norman Bates to get away with it. I want Karen Silkwood to mutate into a nuclear-powered monster and run amok in Tokyo. I want Maximus to recover from his wounds and start a Roman-Empire version of Tap Dogs, touring the colonies.

I want something so different from the ending they wound up with that I say, "How the hell could they have thought that would work?" If a slightly different camera angle is your idea of "alternate", why don't you just come clean and say, "We got no fucking extras for the DVD because we truly don't give a shit about this movie."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch the version of The Odd Couple where Felix and Oscar come out and get married in New Paltz.

Your alternate endings make me want to laugh and want to cry and want to dance and commit suicide all at the same time.
I was disappointed in the movie. I thought it could have done so much more... but then I realized that if they had of tried to go the route of so much more, I would be sitting in the theatre for hours. It should have been a mini-series.
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