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And that’s good writing; it delivered something that satisfied the audience and maintained a moral balance they would be comfortable with in the long run.

That’s what atonement and punishment can do.

It’s also what some seemingly open ended stories do. ‘The Godfather’ got two sequels, but the original film leaves us in no doubt what Michael’s fate is. There are details that we aren’t told, but we understand the implications and we approve of what they’ll mean. We know that he won’t be happy. We know that his punishment is a long life of unhappiness.

Contrast that with ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, or the totally open ended ‘No Country for Old Men’. Both very well made films, but I argue that neither is even close to being satisfying at the end.


I guess Wolf of Wall Street is hampered by being a true story. You almost have to expect an unsatisfying ending when you watch something based on reality, right? I can’t think of many counters. Steve Jobs for sure, but the structure of that movie was unrealistic.


It surprises me when expensive films that have no real conclusion get made.

Johnny’s right, there’s an audience for ambiguity, but it’s not the majority. If the ending of a story doesn’t deliver that conclusion, then the budget should be kept as low as humanly possible.


I was pretty satisfied. They did well and people like to see them.

My point with Leon is that if he walked out of that building then the story would not be over because we would have wanted to see what happens next. Also, I think he died because if he had killed the bad guy and lived then it would have been too easy. It was a great movie villain.

But I would have been fine if Leon and Mathilda survived together too.

My point is how can it really be called atonement if the audience doesn’t really think the heroes did anything to atone for? Leon is a hired killer, but I’m all right with that. People love watching hit men and assassins. It would be hypocritical in the context of fiction to apply real world morality when I’m being entertained by it. Instead, the protagonist is judged by the code established in the context of the story.

In this case, maybe Leon does have something to atone for but it’s not for falling in love with a twelve year old who dresses like Madonna or killing a whole lotta guys. Instead, he has to atone for breaking his code. Up until the point he admits that he loves Mathilda and wants to put down roots with her, he has a chance. He’s stilll living by the killer’s code.

However, the moment he confesses he wants a life, he loses her and is doomed. That’s what he’s paying for. Not sticking to the lonely code of the killer.



Though the movie (Wolf of Wall Street) got off to a fast start, earning north of $9 million on Christmas Day, those lured to the cinemas by the promise of DiCaprio and Scorsese bombarding Wall Street are leaving disappointed. CinemaScore polls moviegoers as they exit theaters, calculating “a distinctive CinemaScore grade” that gives the industry a ballpark reaction. Wolf, so far, has earned a C. That sounds average. On CinemaScore, it isn’t. It’s terrible. Audience rarely trash a movie to the CinemaScore pollsters. Currently, Wolf has the lowest grade, behind such movies as 47 Ronin (B+), Walking With Dinosaurs (B), Homefront (B), and Jackass: Bad Grandpa (B). Yes, Bad Grandpa.

I can’t find the CinemaScore for ‘No Country’.

That’s writers’ bullshit Johnny.

It’s true that had he let Mattilda die or even abandoned her at any point then his life would be different, and probably longer, but he’s not “paying”, dramatically speaking, for having found that he has a heart.

He suffers the consequences of a life of murder for hire, of being part of the criminal system that employed him. Like Pacino in more than one film, every time he tries to get out they drag him back in.

Tactically, saving Mattilda is an error, but thematically it makes him human, and that starts the process of making us care.

If all the film offered was Jean Reno executing people it wouldn’t be as well regarded as it is now.

If you want a clever use of atonement and punishment, ‘Pulp Fiction’ is a great one.

The varying one fates of Jules and Vincent are fascinating. One atones and the other is punished.



Finally the prequel to that movie with Jeffrey Jones and Teri Garr.


A friend saw this recently and said it was one of her favorite films of 2017.


Yeah, it got mostly good reviews at TIFF:


Nicolas Cage’s financials must have hit a new low, though.





Wow, I really hope those girls get over there differences in time to do an amazing routine, that wins them the competition but more importantly the respect of the black community.


It would be hilarious if they didn’t.


Jodie Foster is a very talented actress and has decades of experience but she’s also got a massive entitlement chip on her shoulder there.

And she was in ‘Elysium’, a big expensive movie about a guy who gets a scifi exoskeleton and has a lot of fights.

It’s as much a superhero film as ‘Iron Man’ is.


It’s weird for her to complain. She’s been making movies when she feels like it for years. And it’s kind of been longer since she’s truly been relevant.


It may be out of context, or exaggerated, or just plain made up. Such things are not unknown.

We’re taking this at face value, we’ll see if there’s a follow up.


Good teaser poster;


That is good. I hadn’t heard anything about this. Do you know if it is it a horror movie about the Slender Man or about the girls who committed a murder in his name?


The trailer drops tomorrow (I think).

My understanding is that it’s about the Slender Man as a real, supernatural entity.