At the movies: How I would tweak blockbusters and change the endings
By John Toth / Editor and Publisher
I made my semi-annual trek to the movies the other day to see the biggest release of the holiday season, “Star Wars.”
I’m not much of a “Star Wars” fan, but I did see the first one in 1977, so I wanted to find out what the big hoopla is all about for this one, other than Disney’s deep pockets to promote the film.
The ending set up the sequel, and it was a little puzzling. The plot was kind of shallow, paralleling a lot of the 1977 movie’s plot. The special effects were great. The writing was not all that great.
The problem with these blockbusters is that there is so much promotion that expectations run high while the movie has some noticeable flaws. But it is making a lot of money for Disney, which is important, since all the profits will probably go toward helping to fund ESPN, which is also owned by Disney.
It’s not often that I see a movie on the big digital screen. I like the comfort of my home when I watch movies on my own big digital screen, although not as big as the one in the theater.
At home I can pause the movie while I go to the bathroom. The other day I missed a few minutes of “Star Wars” during my short exit. Luckily, the plot was so shallow that I really didn’t miss much. Plus, I overheard in the bathroom how the movie ends from a bunch of kids who saw an earlier showing. Spoiler brats.
I wait to see these big movies after the opening fever dies down and the theater is not all that crowded. Many people like the excitement of opening night, scrambling for a good seat and dodging a sneeze or two, but I like a little space between me and other theatergoers.
I also like to buy a budget snack pack, but if the line at the concession stand is too long, I do without it. At home, I can pause the movie while I make myself a snack. Food for thought.
My snack selection at home is also better, since I don’t really like popcorn. It gets between my teeth and bothers me throughout the movie. But that’s the main snack at theaters, and it’s very expensive.
Popcorn is cheap to make, but theaters have to earn a profit some way other than charging admission, much of which is soaked up by the movie.
Some sneak snacks into the movie, but I don’t want to fool with it. The movie is two or so hours long. I’m not going to starve if I don’t eat something for two hours.
If you have a choice of seeing a movie in 3-D, do it. All movies should be made in 3-D. What a difference it makes.
I would have rewritten the plot a little, especially the ending. I cannot tell you how I would have ended it because, for some reason, the ending is some sort of big, deep secret.
Anyone uttering it is is made to feel as if they have committed a sin, even though it is actually pretty predictable. I wasn’t all that shocked when I heard it in the restroom.
I would have ended it differently. I also would have rewritten the “Inception” movie. I would have kept the wife alive, taken out all the shootings and made it into a love story. But it is one of my favorite movies, despite its flaws.
The “Matrix” trilogy would have looked great in 3-D. Those movies had some pretty good writing, and the plot hung together well. I would have tweaked it a little though when they had that huge underground battle between the humans and machines.
The movie had the human fighters in those big robots completely exposed. I would have put some protective metal shield around them. That way, more humans would have survived and subsequently enjoyed victory over the robots.
I also would have made the humans look cleaner. Just because they live underground doesn’t mean that they have to be dirty.
And, I would have not killed off Neo, Keanu Reeve’s character, physically, so he could marry his girlfriend and start a family. But I guess the Wachowski brothers knew what they were doing, making him part of some sort of spiritual machine world.
Well, that concludes my rare movie theater experience and a columnist’s view of how movies and their scripts could be improved with just a little more effort.
I would also take the credits away at the end. Hardly anybody reads them, anyway. I never do.