Movies with Bad Endings


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1
Saving Private Ryan 1998,  R)
2
I Am Legend 2007,  PG-13)
3
Source Code 2011,  PG-13)
Source Code
Imagine the movie Deja Vu, only good. Director Duncan Jones brilliantly crafts a script that is fascinating, intense, and humorous all at the same time. Jake Cyllenhaal gives a very good performance that makes the audience care for the protaganist as he races against time to stop a mad bomber. Some elements of the film do seem a little trite at times. One example is Michelle Monaghan's character who is just there to be "the girl", that our protaganist has to save. The mad bomber in this movie is your typical movie sociopath who wants to light the world on fire. The ending of the film may also be a little too preposterous for some. Despite this, Source Code is a very exciting sci-fi thriller that just might make one think.
4
War of the Worlds 2005,  PG-13)
5
Signs 2002,  PG-13)
6
The Last Exorcism 2010,  PG-13)
The Last Exorcism
A pretty intriguing spin on the typical exorcism story. It's just unfortunate that the filmmakers drop the ball so hard at the end but the movie is still worth checking out if your looking for some creepy thrills.
7
The Blair Witch Project 1999,  R)
The Blair Witch Project
Starts out creepy enough but quickly descends into a boringly trite and suspense-free rip-off of "Cannibal Holocaust". It also does not help that the three students are ultra-whiney and complete idiots (I have trouble sympathizing with characters that get lost in a forest despite possessing a compass and a map).

Similar to "Paranormal Activity" where most of the scare tactics comprise of repetitive teasing that has little to underwhelming pay-offs. It also contains one of the lamest endings to a film ever.

In the end, this horror schlock is more famous for it's gimmicky "true-story" marketing and found-footage style (which was cutting-edge for the time before it was over-used thanks to the popularity of this film and "Paranormal Activity") than as a quality piece of cinema.
8
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 2008,  PG-13)
9
The Abyss 1989,  PG-13)
10
Planet of the Apes 2001,  PG-13)
11
Superman 1978,  PG)
Superman
Richard Donner (The Omen, Lethal Weapons) set out to make 70's audiences believe that a man CAN fly. Armed with a big budget and a charismatic cast, Donner delivers the first superhero epic that recounts the Man of Tomorrow's origins and his encounters with his first nemesis, Lex Luthor. The story can be bloated, a bit un-even in tone (especially when the film turns towards a campy tone during the third act) and contains one of the most idiotic instances of a des ex machine ending ever; but delightful humor and memorable Superman moments are around every corner.

The large-scale special effects may be a tad dated (some of the models look a tad plasticy) but the flying sequences still look impressive even today, especially considering it was done before the days of CGI. However, the ultimate element that makes the affair worthwhile is the wonderful cast. Christopher Reeve makes the character leap off the comic pages with his balance of good-hearted nature and emotional depth. Margot Kidder plays Lois Lane and she has a fantastic chemistry with Reeve. Gene Hackman's interpretation of Luthor may not be the most literal, but he nails every comedic note to the point that this can be forgiven (enough to make you excuse the villain's underwhelming and ridiculous real estate scheme).

The legacy of this movie should not be underestimated; it established to a wider audience that superhero movies could be more than silly camp-romp like the Adam West Batman TV show.
12
Superman II 1981,  PG)
Superman II
Replacing Donner halfway through production, Richard Lester's (A Hard Day's Night) campy slapstick tone severely clashes with the serious tone of the Donner-filmed scenes. General Zod makes for an entertaining foe but too much of the story is taken up by the time-killer sub-plot involving Lois discovering Clark's secret identity. The narrative puts the Last Son of Krypton through the dilemma of losing his powers but due to its inexplicable anti-climactic resolution and the infamous memory-wipe kiss; any dramatic potential or intriguing story opportunities are wasted.

Thankfully the special effects and still fantastic-as-ever cast elevate this flick. With the exception of the moon sequence, the special effects are very creative and delightful to watch. Seeing the powerful trio of Kryptonian criminals effortlessly destroy buildings (White House and Daily Planet sequence) is extremely fun to watch and perfectly conveys that Zod is very much Superman's equal in strength. The Metropolis wind-tunnel sequence has some impressive special effects work also but the forced sight gags and jokes undercut the dramatic tension. Terence Stamp's turn as the rogue General Zod is very memorable due to his cold-calculating nature and subtle arrogance. Stamp shouting "Kneel before Zod!" is a very memorable line.

It is a shame that the story is so ridden with jarring tonal inconsistencies, lame slapstick, cheap gags, and wasted opportunities. 'Superman II' shows signs that the franchise was already descending into the realms of self-parody that will only get worse in the ensuing two sequels.
13
King Kong 2005,  PG-13)
14
Star Trek Generations 1994,  PG)
Star Trek Generations
A two part TNG episode that never fully takes advantage of it's film medium. The acting is overall decent and the visuals are entertaining to look at. However, the movie is plague by episodic writing, questionable character motivations, and a nonsensical plot device(The Nexis). The movie is meant to pass the torch from the old Star Trek crew to the new one. It fails as a goodbye to the old crew because Captain Kirk's death is character insulting and emotionally un-fullfilling. Picard and Kirk don't meet until the last twenty minutes and the movie barely bothers to establish a certain chemistry with the two. The movie also does little to introduce the TNG cast to movie audiences. The character Data is severely misused because he is mostly used as petty comic relief. The only funny moment with him is when he said "Oh, shit". Unless you've watched the show, the only character that may compel you is Captain Picard, and that is only because of Patrick Stewarts great acting. One thing I liked about Star Treks 2-6 was they were self-contained stories that didn't rely too much on the continuity of the TV show. Fans of TNG may enjoy this regardless but overall this is a very average Star Trek movie.
15
The Village 2004,  PG-13)
16
Saw 2004,  R)
17
28 Days Later 2003,  R)
18
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 3D 2005,  PG-13)
19
A Wind Named Amnesia 1993,  Unrated)
A Wind Named Amnesia
An interesting but disjointed mishmash of sci-fi and post-apocalyptic situations that boasts decent character development and backdrops. One of the few films that could have benefited from a longer runtime since the story felt so rushed and it's thought-provoking themes were not given a lot of space to develop properly. Not to mention that the ending was just kinda....meh. Not bad but could have been a lot better.

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