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-   -   Films that start well and end terribly (http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1802310)

Dr. Linus 26-02-2013 19:56

Films that start well and end terribly
 
I've been rewatching the Bond films recently, and I realised that a fairly common theme is that many of them have a really strong first hour or so then suddenly decline in quality and go out with a whimper - sometimes they go completely off the rails, sometimes they go nowhere, sometimes they jump the shark massively. Examples:

Thunderball - great first hour with an intriguing plot and genuinely engaging characters - then it descends into endless underwater sequences and nothing much else, and by the end is intensely boring.

Moonraker - it does not need the space sections at all. I wouldn't say the first hour is great, to be honest, but it's a hell of a lot better than what follows, which is basically a poor man's Star Wars.

Quantum of Solace - in the second half of the film, all the most interesting characters disappear to varying degrees, the film rushes into a half-baked conclusion, and the final scenes are a mess.

And it got me thinking about other films that do this - I would say Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Spider-Man 3, and The Island all go completely insane in their second half after relatively enjoyable first halves. What other films would you suggest and why?

lil lexie 26-02-2013 19:59

these are the worst kind of films. The one that springs to mind straight away is Sunshine (though in recent years, I have grown to accept the ridiculous ending). Another one was Jurassic Park.

Dr. Linus 26-02-2013 20:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by lil lexie (Post 64484308)
these are the worst kind of films. The one that springs to mind straight away is Sunshine (though in recent years, I have grown to accept the ridiculous ending). Another one was Jurassic Park.

I don't know how to feel about Jurassic Park. It undeniably changes into something else out of nowhere in its third act, which I dislike usually because I find it to be too late on in a film to be introducing new ideas to the audience and a very lazy, Disney-ish way to end a film, but I do enjoy Jurassic Park from start to finish.

Haven't seen Sunshine so can't comment on that, but my friend is constantly going on about how badly Sunshine ends, so you're not alone...

treefr0g 26-02-2013 20:07

Hancock.

I watched this on pay per view and at about half way was enjoying it so much that I was planning to buy the DVD the following day.

What happened? I can only assume that the screen writer died midway and they dragged somebody in off of the street to finish it off.

I felt sure that in the spirit of comic book movies, that an equally unorthodox arch enemy would start wreaking havok on the city and Hancock would have to save the day. I would have loved that.

But they didn't :(

quirkyquirk 26-02-2013 20:09

The Dark Knight.Once The Joker escapes from jail I get really bored.

sheila blige 26-02-2013 20:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by lil lexie (Post 64484308)
Another one was Jurassic Park.

I loved Jurassic Park from start to finish. Jurassic Park II however would be one I'd include. Good to start with - but then when the 'action' moved to San Diego it just went tits up completely.

I'm glad the franchise got back on target with Jurassic Park III which I like almost as much as the first (probably because the wonderful Sam Neill had returned).

Bluray 26-02-2013 20:12

Exactly in what way does Jurassic Park change into something else in the third act?
The only thing with its ending is that there isn't really a huge set piece ending to match the T-Rex attack or Raptor kitchen scene....it seems a bit quick right at the very end but I really don't see any problem with the "overall" ending.

This thread is funny in a way because I watched Creature From The Black Lagoon today and wondered about endings of older, mainly black&white films. They are usually very sudden, the story ends then a caption appears saying "The End" that's it goodbye. No add-on, wrap-up scenes to stretch out the runtime which seems to happen too much these days.

2shy2007 26-02-2013 20:15

Knowing with Nicholas cage, I was wowed by the brilliant effects and build up of the first half, then it all went to hell towards the end and left me with a vacant expression.

Dr. Linus 26-02-2013 20:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by quirkyquirk (Post 64484576)
The Dark Knight.Once The Joker escapes from jail I get really bored.

I kind of see your point. I love the boat dilemma and the big climax with Harvey Dent, they're some of my favourite parts of the film. But the hospital stuff feels tacked-on, and all the stuff with the SWAT team and the unethical night vision is dull as dishwater for me. They could easily have gone straight from Harvey's face-burning into the Joker kidnapping him and turning him evil, into the boat stuff the next day, and it would be sharper, I think.

Dr. Linus 26-02-2013 20:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluray (Post 64484646)
Exactly in what way does Jurassic Park change into something else in the third act?
The only thing with its ending is that there isn't really a huge set piece ending to match the T-Rex attack or Raptor kitchen scene....it seems a bit quick right at the very end but I really don't see any problem with the "overall" ending.

This thread is funny in a way because I watched Creature From The Black Lagoon today and wondered about endings of older, mainly black&white films. They are usually very sudden, the story ends then a caption appears saying "The End" that's it goodbye. No add-on, wrap-up scenes to stretch out the runtime which seems to happen too much these days.

Well that's exactly it really, it feels like that's what's going to happen. The ending's a bit...well not small exactly, but a bit more low-key than one might expect. What I meant about it changing into something else is that it becomes a sort of escape thriller. But as I say, I like it from start to finish.

Bluray 26-02-2013 20:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Linus (Post 64484945)
Well that's exactly it really, it feels like that's what's going to happen. The ending's a bit...well not small exactly, but a bit more low-key than one might expect. What I meant about it changing into something else is that it becomes a sort of escape thriller. But as I say, I like it from start to finish.

Right, I get what you're saying but I'm still confused by "it becomes a sort of escape thriller" - that's basically what almost all Beast vs Man films become eg Alien, Deep Blue Sea, Arachnophobia. The situation "needs escaping from" - that's a vital ingredient of that type of film.
As soon as the chopper lands on Jurassic Park you know that's what's coming so it hardly just becomes an escape thriller near the end.

Johnbee 26-02-2013 20:29

I thought that about Lawrence of Arabia. Wonderful first half, but got dull.

Scooterwolf 26-02-2013 20:37

Jeepers Creepers - very chilling and gripped first 40mins, then it just all goes wrong.

Muttley76 26-02-2013 20:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by lil lexie (Post 64484308)
these are the worst kind of films.

Yes, it's much better if a film starts weakly and improves as it goes along. A generally good film can be killed stone dead by a poor last 20 minutes or so.


I struggle with 28 Days Later, the odd change of direction it takes with the introduction of the soldiers half way through, like someone has taken two fairly separate concepts and wielded them together. It kind of gets away with it, because Chris Eccleston is so good, but it still doesn't quite fit neatly.

Muttley76 26-02-2013 20:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scooterwolf (Post 64485379)
Jeepers Creepers - very chilling and gripped first 40mins, then it just all goes wrong.


good call, i really loved this film right up
Spoiler
which is just utterly crap.

Dr. Linus 26-02-2013 20:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluray (Post 64485091)
Right, I get what you're saying but I'm still confused by "it becomes a sort of escape thriller" - that's basically what almost all Beast vs Man films become eg Alien, Deep Blue Sea, Arachnophobia. The situation "needs escaping from" - that's a vital ingredient of that type of film.
As soon as the chopper lands on Jurassic Park you know that's what's coming so it hardly just becomes an escape thriller near the end.

Ah, but I think it feels more like, say, King Kong where you feel that the threat's going to get bigger and expand and be more of an action film where they struggle to contain the dinosaurs. I know exactly that happens in The Lost World, so it's neither here nor there. It's a great film, it just goes in a different direction to what I expected. :)

sheila blige 26-02-2013 20:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muttley76 (Post 64485408)
I struggle with 28 Days Later, the odd change of direction it takes with the introduction of the soldiers half way through, like someone has taken two fairly separate concepts and wielded them together. It kind of gets away with it, because Chris Eccleston is so good, but it still doesn't quite fit neatly.

I agree. Was talking about this with my son the other day. It starts off OK in a very filmic way but when the soldiers come into it - it becomes a different thing. Its like it switched from film to a TV drama that should have been over a few nights. I was particularly unimpressed by Eccleston as well - I normally adore him but found him just acting-by-numbers in this one.

Cissy Fairfax 26-02-2013 21:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muttley76 (Post 64485408)
Yes, it's much better if a film starts weakly and improves as it goes along. A generally good film can be killed stone dead by a poor last 20 minutes or so.


I struggle with 28 Days Later, the odd change of direction it takes with the introduction of the soldiers half way through, like someone has taken two fairly separate concepts and wielded them together. It kind of gets away with it, because Chris Eccleston is so good, but it still doesn't quite fit neatly.

The only reason I clicked on this thread was to say 28 Days Later. Was sure nobody wouldve suggested it.

Partly my thought as I had not researched it a bit before watching it, but eerily brilliant opening and concept, the first half hour stunning, your mind wanders all over the place,....

Then come the monsters ... and my pillow.

Dreammaster695 26-02-2013 21:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scooterwolf (Post 64485379)
Jeepers Creepers - very chilling and gripped first 40mins, then it just all goes wrong.

yeah i have to agree with this, also freddys dead had a really good intro but then got worse as it went on and i was dissapointed with the endings of terinator 1 and 3

EVILSPEAK 26-02-2013 21:58

Every single film adapted from a Stephen King novel.

Except The Mist, That was unexpectedly brilliant!

Dr. Linus 26-02-2013 22:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by EVILSPEAK (Post 64487655)
Every single film adapted from a Stephen King novel.

Except The Mist, That was unexpectedly brilliant!

Surely that doesn't include Misery? Granted, the very last scene's a bit misjudged, but the final half hour of Misery is fantastic IMO, the quality of the film never lets up throughout.

Bluray 26-02-2013 22:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by EVILSPEAK (Post 64487655)
Every single film adapted from a Stephen King novel.
Except The Mist, That was unexpectedly brilliant!

Really?
So Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Carrie, Dolores Claiborne, The Shining all started out well and ended terribly?
Nope!

TOONARMY12 26-02-2013 22:09

In my opinion

Batman Begins
Insidious
American Psyco

turquoiseblue 26-02-2013 22:12

Titanic, it was a terrible end, the boat sank and that was it. :D

Chris1964 26-02-2013 22:19

Cant remember why now but:

The Astronauts Wife.


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