Archive for December 29th, 2008

Endings Blog-a-Thon: Clue

Oh, that sneaky little dude we all love named J.D. He nearly snuck his Endings Blog-a-Thon by me but he wasn’t quick enough!

When I think of endings, I think of the only movie that has multiple endings.  Actually, it has multiple justified endings (Lord of the Rings:  Return of the King, I shan’t say anything at all.  Much) that make sense within the story, which is essentially a variant on playing the actual board game.

Given the fact that the premise of Clue is, as above, based on a board game, there was a lot for the writers to create.


Just as you played the board game with different endings, so ends Clue.    Each ending retains certain similarities; the quote “Communism was just a red herring” is used in each, as is the chandelier crashing to the floor of the foyer.

That’s what could have happened, right?   But here’s what really happened…

The final ending is just the icing on the cake.  Instead of leaving anyone out, every character is guilty of something.

Mr. Green: “They all did it!  But if you want to know who killed Mr. Boddy, I did.  In the Hall, with the revolver.   Take ’em away, chief…I’m going to go home and sleep with my wife.”

For a movie based on a board game, Clue is sharply written even withstanding that fact.    Such wittiness is reflected right there in the distinct endings portrayed, with the final being a well-intentioned wink and a nod to the game.   Every character commits a crime with every weapon in every room.   No viewer is left out, not even the lame guy in the back who was picked last for dodgeball and could never figure out that it was Professor Plum in the conservatory with the candlestick.    Clue manages some incisively snarky humor throughout the film, directed more at ’50’s Americana than the game itself, but it returns to its humble roots in the end and that…that is where it really shines.

In this age of the forgettable adaptation of everything (I am looking at you, whoever is making Monopoly into a movie), you have to wonder…why don’t people look back as a guidepost to Clue?   It’s a solid movie with a stunner series of endings – endings that can only work because of its pedestrian but unique inspiration.

Read Full Post »

Here is the inherent problem with Domino: As a slick, uber-stylized action flick with no basis in reality, it’s actually kind of fun.   Sure, it’s outlandish and over the top, but some of the best action flicks are.   However…

Domino was marketed as and is supposed to be the life story of Domino Harvey, a bounter hunter from Los Angeles that stood out because she was female and because she was the daughter of Laurence Harvey and a fashion model.  Domino the movie is a souped-up, ultra-stylish version of Harvey’s life on PCP.

You can ask viewers to suspend a lot of disbelief, but asking them to suspend this much disbelief (multiple shootouts, a climax ending in massive explosions, lots of dead bodies and a twisty-turny plot, as well as Keira Knightley as a badass) is almost criminal.   Domino Harvey led what was in essence a very different life and she did not even make it to see the finished product, dying of a drug overdose before the movie was completed.

If you regard Domino as standard action fare, then it is not a disappointing waste of time; Tony Scott actually makes the film look very cool with the way he shot and processed it.   The ridiculous aspects of the film are humorous, but typical, and they can be enjoyable.

The problem lies in asking a viewer to believe that this life story is based in any sort of fact beyond the basic outline of Domino’s life, especially when she met a tragic end shortly before the film’s release.   Tiresome are the life philosophies of Film Domino and it’s regretful that the Real Domino never had a chance to appropriately comment on her thoughts on the film.

Aside from the fact that Keira Knightly looks like a shotgun recoil would break her shoulder blade clean in two and she looks awfully out of place as a no-nonsense, tough as nails kind of girl, it is a fun movie – as long as you can fully distance it from the real life person with the admittedly, probably more interesting story that could have been told.   It is a film that takes enormous liberties with its subject matter and should be treated as such.

That being said, compared to shit like Gigli, this stuff looks like it could’ve won an Academy Award, and I’ll take Knightley looking as though she’s just sucked lemons as an attempt to come off as a grimacing, tough bounty hunter any day over Lopez as a lesbian gangster.

Read Full Post »