Welcome to a very special segment on TheScarletSp1der’s Movie Blog. As you all know, I love movies and I love discussing them. The “what ifs” and the “yeah, buts” and the “they should’ves.” Always so much fun to ponder and discuss. Well today focuses on some of that. Today, we take a look at Alternate Endings for movies that we have seen.
Have you ever watched a movie on blu-ray or dvd and checked out the special features to see if it had an alternate ending? After watching the secondary ending, have you ever wished that they used that one instead of the original? or maybe you said under your breath “It’s much better off ending the way it actually did..What were they thinking?” or perhaps you said, “I could have come up with a better ending than that!” I have. And I asked some fellow movie reviewers the same questions. They also wrote me back with wonderful contributions of their own answers to these questions!
I asked Dustin at PopGoesTheCulture and Ruth at Flixchatter to provide us with 2 alternate endings that they wished would have been used for 2 movies of their choice. The following is their contribution to “It Should’ve Ended This Way!” (Followed by my own thoughts). Keep in mind that in order to talk about alternate endings, the movie itself must be talked about. Spoilers may exist for you if you haven’t watched the film. Enjoy! (Please be sure to visit their sites and show some love!)
Dustin from PopGoesTheCulture
When I was approached with this project, I thought, “Oh, yes, there are so many movies that could have used a better ending!” But then, when I thought about it, there were very few I could actually think of. Most DVD “alternate endings” are just different camera angles or an added scene, not really changing much of the story. And frankly, if a movie sucks, an alternate ending probably won’t save it. I did, however, come up with two movies I think could have benefited from an ending makeover. I think it goes without saying that spoilers follow…
Alternate Ending #1: The Last Exorcism
This movie was one of the most creative, clever and engaging horror/docu-dramas I’ve ever seen…until the last five minutes. It still boggles my mind that such an amazing movie could be so thoroughly destroyed in so little time. When “recommending” it to friends, I told them to leave before the ending, go to a bar, and make up their own endings…because anything they could come up with would surely be better than what actually transpired onscreen.
What Happened: Cotton Marcus, a con-man/preacher who fakes exorcisms, begins to realize that Nell, a sweet, innocent teenager living with her father and brother, might actually be possessed. The movie builds in intensity, mixing in a surprising amount of humor to an increasingly creepy tale. Just when things reach the boiling point, just when a killer ending could seal the deal for this movie, it degenerates into B-horror film cheese. A giant flame demon, a town full of Satan worshipers and a cameraman hacked to pieces by a crazed redneck. Ugh.
What Should Have Happened: The Last Exorcism could have taken cues from An American Haunting and The Reaping. We realize that Nell has actually been severely abused, physically, sexually and mentally by her father and brother. The audience finds this out, then is led to believe her “episodes” are external reactions to the internalized trauma she can’t cope with at a conscious level. However, as the movie heads to its climax, we realize she is in fact possessed, but it’s not the evil devil/demon of classic possession tales. The demon is in fact Nell’s guardian angel, exacting revenge on her tormentors.
Alternate Ending #2: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
I am a self-described Star Wars fanatic, so even suggesting that The Maker (George Lucas) should have changed established canon borders on heresy for me; however, a few tweaks to the last, and best, of the three prequels would have made the movie just that much better.
What Happened: Padme races to the fiery planet of Mustafar to confront her husband, Anakin (now Darth Vader). When she finds him consumed with dark side power, she despairs for the man she loved. Anakin feels betrayed by Padme, and seeing Obi-Wan, feels his wife and best friend/mentor have conspired against him. In a blind rage, Anakin Force chokes Padme nearly to death. Obi-Wan and Anakin have their epic lightsaber duel, Obi-Wan wins, Anakin’s ravaged remains are collected by the Emperor and Padme dies “of a broken heart” mere seconds after giving birth to twins Luke and Leia. Padme’s death was necessary to complete Anakin’s fall to the dark side. It’s the ultimate irony…he joined forces with the evil Emperor in an effort to save Padme from death, yet it’s this very action that sets her fate into motion. But a lame Force choke and a broken heart seem like a weak way to go out.
What Should Have Happened: Padme gives birth to Luke and Leia in hiding on Alderaan. She can’t risk being found out by the Emperor or Anakin – she must take care of her children while thinking of a way to approach her husband (this would clear up the whole “Leia remembering her mother” debate). Meanwhile, the Emperor needs a catalyst to complete Anakin’s fall – with Padme in hiding, Anakin is spending his energies trying to find her and pressuring Palpatine for his secret to cheat death. Palpatine discovers Padme’s whereabouts, has her kidnapped and murdered. Palpatine brings the news to Anakin, framing Obi-Wan in the process. Anakin snaps, sending him completely into the embrace of the dark side. The epic lightsaber duel between master and student is that much more powerful, with Obi-Wan trying to reveal Anakin’s misguided ways and Anakin fighting who he thinks is his wife’s murderer.
So there are two movies I think could have been improved with better endings. What do you think? Agree, disagree? How would you have liked these movies to end?
TheScarletSp1der’s Note: I tend to agree about SW: Ep.III, perhaps, George Lucas would too! 🙂
Ruth from Flixchatter
Alternate ending #1: Sense & Sensibility
Given this is one of my favorite movies of all time, by no means is this a criticism of the movie. I have watched the Jane Austen period drama more than a dozen times and love it every single time. There’s nothing I’d change about this movie: the casting, direction, dialog, score, etc. all make up for a wonderful masterpiece from director Ang Lee.
However, the ending does leave me wanting… what’s a sweeping love story without a bit of passion, right? The movie concludes with a festive wedding scenes of both of the Dashwood sisters, which takes place right after that infamous scene of Elinor weeping uncontrollably upon hearing news that Edward is not married. Some people may think it’s farcical but I LOVE that scene and it never fails to move me. Now, I wonder if a transition between that poignant scene to the wedding festivities would’ve served the movie better. When I saw this Deleted Scene of Edward and Elinor before the wedding, I wish they had included it in the movie! All throughout the movie, we see more proof of Elinor’s strong feelings towards Edward, but not so much the other way around. This scene shows how much Edward wanted to be with Elinor and that hesitant but passionate kiss at the end is absolutely heart-wrenching!
Alternate Ending #2: Superman: The Movie
Again, this is a movie I LOVED as a kid and still do, but that time travel ending always leaves me rolling my eyes. I mean, sure we buy that he can fly as he’s from a different planet and that all his superhero abilities are powered by the sun. But now he suddenly can turn back the earth’s rotation? Now that’s a pretty huge stretch even for a superhero movie. I found this in-depth analysis of that ending on YouTube and I completely agree that it’s incredibly unclear what Supes actually did to reverse Lois’ death.
If he did turn back time, then the catastrophic events wouldn’t have happened yet when he stands in front of Lois’ car but both Lois and Jimmy complain about the dam destruction and the horrible earthquakes which implies that those events did occur. I like what the guy said in the video: “… I’m going to have to conclude that Superman didn’t travel through time at all, what we’re actually seeing him do is fly to the studio and demand a quick rewrite that Lois doesn’t die.” It’s kind of a faux happy ending in a way and I agree with him that a good masterpiece shouldn’t require us to shut off our brains for it to really work.
I can’t think a different way to end it but I’d have easily accepted the one How It Should Have Ended video which suggests that Supes can fly fast enough that he could catch BOTH missiles and still have time to um, have a coffee chat with Batman, ahah!
TheScarletSp1der’s Note: I LOVE the cartoon video of Superman’s ending! hahaha
TheScarletSp1der’s alternate ending choices!
Alternate ending #1: The Karate Kid
In the latest The Karate Kid, one of the things I wished we could have seen was Jackie Chan’s character fighting more than just a group of kids. In the alternate ending we get to see just that as Jackie Chan’s character, Mr. Han, battles it out with the Kung Fu master. The underlying conflict between the two that existed throughout the film is brought to a climax through the alternate ending. I am glad that in this ending we get to see Mr. Han battle it out with someone around his level of skill….I wish that this ending would have made its way, somehow, into the film. I must say that I wouldn’t have wanted this ending alone to finish the movie, but a nice blend between this one and the ending used would have been great. (If you haven’t seen the film then this may spoil a thing or two…fyi.) Here’s the alternate ending to The Karate Kid.
Alternate ending #2: Blade
I like comic book movies and I enjoyed Blade when it came out. I recently, however, came across this alternate ending and was appalled! This is one alternate ending that I am SO glad they did not use!! Be warned, the movie is rated R for language and violence and that should be taken into account when watching this clip as it reflects that fact! Here’s the horrible alternate ending to the film Blade. Again, SO glad they didn’t use this one. YUCK!
Now, before I let you go, I have one final thought for you. One that may mess with your brain a little bit (much like the movie itself). Remember The Matrix? Remember how great the first one was and the disappointments that followed? Well, what if, when the third and final Matrix movie ended….after all of the battle scenes have transpired and we see the Oracle sitting on the bench with the little girl. WHAT IF, after that, the final scene of the Matrix series was this?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3O52gK6c2A (Sorry, the video is not enabled to be embedded.) But what if, at the end of it all…Neo wakes up out of the “battery” only to find that everything he experienced didn’t really happen and now he’s in for a crazy time!??!! That would be the ultimate twisted alternate ending, and, in my opinion, is how The Matrix series should have ended!
Well, that’s if for Alternate Endings today! Tell me, what do you think of this segment? Should there be more “It Should’ve Ended This Way!” posts? What movies would you like to see discussed? (i.e. Little Shop of Horrors, I Am Legend, and more!) Tell me, what alternate endings do you like, hate, or wish would have made it?
I’d like to extend a special “Thank You” to Dustin and Ruth. Also to the other movie reviewers who wanted to contribute but were not able to! Thank you all.
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
up next: Review for Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and “Trailer Time Thursday!”