You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s something you wish had been included in a movie that wasn’t? This is broad, and falls under a large ‘missed-opportunities’ umbrella, but I’m studying Citizen Kane in my film class, and my professor pondered aloud at one point, “Why doesn’t Thompson visit Kane’s first wife? Well,” he continued, answering himself, “it would tell us nothing different from Leland’s flashback.”
It’s a big class, and I lacked the courage to speak up, “Um, respected doctor of film? His first wife died in a car accident with his son.” This made me wonder. That little fact is barely noticeable; it’s slipped in in the “News on the March” section and never spoken of again. We never see Kane’s reaction to the disaster. – Reed A
The thing that comes to mind most readily is No Country for Old Men, but I think the Coen’s knew exactly what they were doing. So, if we’re going to talk about missed opportunities I think the place to look is Superman Returns. That movie is basically 2 1/2 hours of blown opportunities, but what I really would’ve loved to have seen is Kal-El’s search for his home planet, which is only briefly mentioned in his first scene with Ma Kent.
What was missing from Superman Returns (other than a capable lead, compelling action, and a main villain that wasn’t hammy asshole Kevin Spacey) was a reason to really connect emotionally with Superman. As a hero he’s always been so removed from us because he can literally do anything…he doesn’t have the same hang-ups that guys like Batman or Iron Man have from being human.
Bryan Singer tried his hardest to make the Superman/Lois love story the heart of the movie, but really we just wanted to see Superman be vulnerable. Showing us his desperate search for his home planet would’ve accomplished this. I’m not saying an entire third of the movie needed to be dedicated to it, but we needed to know how IMPORTANT finding Krypton was to Superman, and how it felt when he FAILED to find it. That would’ve connected us to him immediately. But they didn’t, so we were left with a Brandon Routh Superman that was somehow less likable than vacant-expression Tom Welling on Smallville.
It’s tempting to say that the biggest missed opportunity was the graphic sex scene between Jessica Alba and Ashley Scott in Into the Blue, or a topless Raquel Alessi’s in the pretty awful Miss March (she was a Playboy Playmate, after all). Or I could lash out at the cinematic mess that is The Fifth Element and wish for the violent death of Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker). But I’m taking the high road on this one.
I wish the Twilight films would have a scene featuring Charlie giving his daughter Bella a swift kick in the pants and telling her to grow up. The perfect moment would have been in New Moon… he could come into her room where she’s been wallowing in her own pity (and probably her own filth, since it’s clear she didn’t move from that chair for three months), smack her up-side the head and tell her to act like an adult, stop feeling sorry for herself and stop screaming and thrashing whilst lying down. After all, it’s one thing to validate the confusing and illogical emotions of teenage girls. It’s another thing to pretend those are actually the feelings of a mature adult.
And if that couldn’t happen in the Twilight series, I’d love to see Sam and Dean Winchester from the CW’s Supernatural show up and lay waste to the town of Forks.
Of all the things wrong with the recent remake of The Wolfman I don’t know why my mind has chosen this to fixate on, but the “romance” between Lawrence and Gwen is so sadly underdeveloped that it makes virtually no sense.
One minute the doe-eyed Gwen is pining for her hideously mutilated husband, the next she’s cooing over his snarling but well-intentioned beast of a brother. The transition is completely glossed over, almost as though it all happened while we weren’t watching.
Enter missing scene.
From what I understand there was a shitload of important footage left on the cutting room floor which I can only assume must include a scene or two explaining that the two actually fall in love, cause it sure as heck ain’t on the screen. As it stands the romantic subplot makes no sense.
I figure the filmmakers knew we’d be expecting it, what with her being a woman, him being a man/beast and all that, so they didn’t bother explaining it. But it’s so ridiculously rushed and forced that it leads to a completely unfulfilling ending
It’s no Citizen Kane, and this particular omission wasn’t even the movie’s biggest problem but what can I say, it irks me.
A sex scene between Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond…
All seriousness aside though, there are a handful of films I’ve consistently watched since childhood and haven’t deteriorated in enjoyment through adulthood. One of them is John Carpenter’s Big Trouble In Little China. I don’t think there’s ever been a better part given to Kurt Russell than Jack Burton and I don’t think there was any other actor at the time capable of making a buffoon into a hilarious action hero with such ease, other than maybe Mel Gibson.
Something I always wanted to see in that film was a sequence showing the history of Lo Pan’s curse instead of Wang (Dennis Dun’s character) doing an expository description of the tale when he and Jack are locked in the dungeon. I got the idea after seeing Clive Barker do it for Nightbreed where he shows the monster massacre that caused them to go into hiding. Including it might have caused a weird break in the flow if placed within that scene in the dungeon, but fitting it in somewhere would have been a pretty awesome visual stimulator. I’m really just curious to see what a John Carpenter supernatural medieval China would have looked like.
Answer more burning cinematic questions with the Circle of Jerks