Movies/Entertainment,  Quick 5/Top 10

G-S-T Quick 5 – Replay Value on Movies with ‘Twist Endings’

For a time in my life I was very much into the types of movies that had twist endings, and it was all I talked about.  To this day, my favorite movie with an “ah ha” ending is And Then There Were None (which is such a well done film – I really have to watch it again soon).  However, with so many films out there trying to give the audience a shocker ending or some sort of twist they’ve never seen before, unfortunately there are only so many ways to fool someone.  After a while, you end up with cliche endings that just seem like lame knock-offs of a movie you’ve seen plenty of times before.  But never fear cinema fans, there is hope!! There are a few cases of simply exceptional films that even though you know the ending, the movie is so well crafted that watching it over and over is still almost as exhilarating as seeing it for the first time.

What makes the films featured below work so well is that they are all layered very intricately and it is only after multiple viewings that you get to see the true beauty of the film’s composition.  The first time you see it, you are lured in by the premise and the plot then awed at the end.  The second time, you try to look for all the trigger points leading up to the “ah-ha”.  With every viewing after that, there’s always something you’ll notice that makes you realize that these films are cinematic masterpieces.  It’s only then that you appreciate the efforts that went it to making such a spellbinding feature…well I do anyway.  Below are the 5 movies I singularly love and am impressed with every time (almost like an Alzheimer’s patient) as the pay off is just as significant as the instrumental parts leading up to it.  They are all so well done that I could just watch these again and again and again.

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1.)  The Game – While most people I know don’t know about this film, it really is one of the best of it’s kind and a film where I believe is Michael Douglas is at his finest.  David Fincher is also at his best with creating his trademark eerie settings from otherwise non threatening locales.  All of this starts to make the viewer not quite sure if what you’re seeing is real or not.  Cloaked in layers and layers of deception, this film shows you that you truly can’t trust anything or anyone but yourself.  For years it has caused me to question and ponder the plausibility of how something so extraordinarily complex could be crafted “in real life” and how much effort would go into pulling it off.  By far, my favorite (aside from And Then There Were None) and most stylish twist ending of all time.

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2.)  Memento – Working the whole movie backwards was a pretty cool concept.  Truly the only way to do it otherwise there would really be no big surprise, as the twist isn’t that great at all.  But like a salesman, it’s all in how you package it right?  Guy Pearce, did a tremendous job of playing the victim and the perpetrator so well that you never really knew what was going on until the climax…which like I said, wasn’t anything without Christopher Nolan’s artisan-like “yrekcirt citamenic” (it’s backwards).

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3.)  The Usual Suspects – While most people would expect this higher on a list like this, I do believe The Game is layered better so this takes a solid number 3.  Bryan Singer shocked the world with the cinematic presence of Christopher McQuarrie‘s legendary villain Keyser Soze.  Without a doubt, this film has caused more late night college dorm room discussions than any other and when all is said and done, I don’t think anyone will really know if there is or isn’t a Keyser Soze.  “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist“.  Well played Verbal, well played.

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4.)  Los cronocrímenes (Time Crimes) – I’ll start off by saying this movie is not one with a twist ending, but an entire film filled with equally significant twists and I enjoy this film to no end.  Time Crimes, (much like Spielberg’s patented slow-reveal) never let on what it was trying to be until about halfway through the film.  But once it was established it was not what you thought it was, you spent the last half of the movie trying to find the hidden and layered things just to be able to catch up.  Much like everything on this list, the movie’s subtle brilliance comes from its attention to detail and it’s misdirection.  I’d equate this to the entire series of Lost, where just because you see something from one point of view, doesn’t mean it’s the only point of view.  “Wow” is about all I can say…or however “Wow” is translated into Spanish.

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5.)  The Prestige – Much like our number 2 entry Christopher Nolan is at it again with his slight of hand (no pun intended) story and camera work leaving you guessing all the way until the end.  This movie has such an impressive cast:  Bale at his near best, counter-balanced by a very charismatic Jackman (and David Bowie for good measure), this cat-and-mouse game of “Gotcha!….No, got you….NO, got you!!” truly kept you guessing until the end.  Even then you had to ask “what the hell just happened?”  From the very beginning (the top hats and cats), there were layered bits laid out in a series contributing to the complex story that at really did cause you to “have to see it again when it was over“.  Most critics write that about movies but this one fittingly deserved and earned that phrase.

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So there you have it.  Anyone want to comment?  Anyone think that another movie deserve the top spot or is better on repeat viewings?  Love to hear your thoughts…