Sunday, January 9, 2011

End of 2010 Bonanza: Top 5 Best and Worst Endings

Okay, all, and welcome back to our review of the past year.

I think we can all agree that the ending of a film can sometimes make or break it. And fortunately for us, 2010 had a nice array of endings for us to pick apart. So here are my top five best and worst endings, in order of worst endings and then best endings.

But, endings? Wait... does that mean...

Spoiler alert!

Yes, yes it does.

So let's get started.

Worst Endings

5. The Warrior's Way

This movie has cowboys, clowns, ninjas... and an ending that's slightly on the overly abrupt side. I like to think it was because things were a little rushed, but it is a little more egregious here as it gives us a rather rushed ending. Still, it's not too low on this list, because at the end of the day it still wasn't that bad an ending.

4. Daybreakers

This movie had a similar problem to The Warrior's Way: it had one of the most rushed endings of the year. We were on a roll with it too; but then, half the cast got killed off in ten minutes, only leaving the three good guys there and being cured and whatnot. Seriously, the end made me a little confused by how short it is. Not a fault for the rest of the movie, but I think it was a bad enough ending to be considered one of the worst endings of the year.

3. The Town

Yes, I'm listing what's otherwise a good movie as havig a bad ending. It's not even that it's a terrible ending; it's just that it feels like the ending of an entirely different movie. It was a good action climax, don't get me wrong, but I got the feeling it belonged to an entirely different film from the one that it was eventually put in. So for feeling out of place, this one goes here.

2. Skyline

Amongst everything else this movie did wrong? The movie ended with an incredibly abrupt tone shift. It also went on for about five minutes too long; it should have ended with the establishing shots of all the world's cities being empty husks of what they once were. Oh, and it also told us too much, thus ruining any kind of intimidating factor the villains could have had.

1. The Book of Eli

God, I hated, hated, hated this ending. The plot twist invalidated a rather large chunk of the movie by virtue that it rendered it all pointless, it required far too much suspension of disbelief, and it made one of the story elements so blatantly obtuse it came across as silly. I hated this ending, and it ruined the entire rest of the movie for me, which was pretty good up until then. I think this will be an example of how not to do a twist ending for future films, and I really hope I never have to mention this movie again.

Best Endings

5. Saw 3D

Why is it that the Saw franchise always has such effective endings? I can't figure out if it's because of the tight editing or because of the way the things everybody says early in the film come back during the reveals that always happen during the franchise's endings. This installment was no different, but this time it also brings us full circle to the ending of the first Saw in many interesting ways. I could have asked for a better installment overall, but in terms of the last few minutes the franchise couldn't go wrong.

4. The American

So, our hero has just gone through so much, he's done enough killing to last a lifetime... and then he drives off to meet up with his girlfriend while suffering a gunshot wound. And when he gets there? It's implied that he's dead from the way the camera pans up at the trees above. It's a very effective ending, and it brings together all the plot threads that have been working their way through the film.

3. Inception

C'mon top, fall! Fall!

*cut to black*

Oh, come on, Chris! All kidding aside, though, this ending adds a layer of ambiguity that really questions how much of what just happened was actually real. It opens the entire movie up to interpretation in the space of a single second, and it's very effective as a result.

2. Shutter Island

Yes, this counts as one of the best endings of the year. Why? Well... what of the really well-executed twist? Things get more convoluted... and then bam, the movie reveals everything. And at the very end, it's tastefully left ambiguous whether Leonardo diCaprio's character actually regressed back into whatever state he was in or not. All this makes for quite a roller coaster ride of an ending.

1. Toy Story 3

So Toy Story 3 goes about its business like any ordinary TS movie; Andy loses the toys, the toys fight to get back, they get back...

...and then we got one of the most touching sequences in the entire TS franchise (and in any Pixar film I've ever seen, period). Andy takes his toys to a girl's house, and then gives them to her one by one. It's the first glimpse the viewers ever get into how the toy owner viewed his toys, and it's ultimately one of the most moving statements in the entire franchise. And when he and the girl start playing with the toys?

Let the tears begin flowing.


And those are my top 5 best and worst endings of the year. The worst ones were idiotic/had tone clashes, and the best ones... Well, they either ambiguated things or were viscerally challenging (and in one case, heartbreaking).

Speaking of endings... I just realized I'm going to be going back up to Boston soon. Which means that soon, I'm going to have to end the 2010 lists. Fortunately, I'll be back on a weekend, so we'll be back with a Double Feature!

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews, and I'll see you guys next time with my top ten favorite movies of the year.

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